A sleeping pad can be a simple or complexly designed pad typically used by people who are sleeping on the floor or ground in a sleeping bag. The pad can serve several purposes. It can slightly cushion a hard sleeping surface, which may make sleeping on the ground more comfortable. The sleeping pad may also provide some insulation from the cold, which may be useful in cooler weather, especially if you’re camping or sleeping outdoors.
The simplest type of sleeping pad is made out lightweight foam. These are inexpensive, and provide slight cushioning and a little insulation. They may be particularly useful for kid’s slumber parties or if you have more guests than beds. Some people find them perfectly comfortable for casual camping trips, and other people need more cushioning.
Some people resort to air mattresses when they camp, which is a fine solution if you’ve got a large tent and plenty of storage space. When people backpack or take longer camping trips, they may want to invest in a sleeping pad that is a easier to pack, lighter to carry, and built for more rugged camping experiences. Several types of these pads exist, and they’re often air inflatable, but much lower in height than the typical air mattress. They usually come in two shapes, rectangular and mummy shape.
Though air inflatable pads are usually lighter to carry, they do run the risk of being punctured. This can be a real disadvantage if you can’t repair one and you’re in the middle of a long camping or backpacking trip. For this reason, some people prefer to carry foam pads instead, since durable ones would hold up for the length of a long trip. It really depends on the level of comfort you need when sleeping and the amount of weight you’re already carrying with you.
Not all people are fans of the sleeping pad. Some people are perfectly comfortable sleeping on floors or the ground, and think pads are an unnecessary expense. Others need them so that they can get to sleep at night without discomfort.