Bikes November 2, 2020 In this text, you have a list of best sleeping pads for car camping, all top-notch, top-rated, and reliable tools from renowned brands. Since this is about transporting a pad in the car, the focus is on comfort instead of weight. So the list includes either very wide pads (some are double) or very thick pads. If you have a car, you will probably have a bigger tent and not some claustrophobic bivy shelter, so such pads will fit well and you will feel comfortable. The pads are ordered alphabetically, so this is not a rank list. They all are very different and a direct comparison wouldn’t make much sense. This is on purpose, I have picked up the pads to satisfy various needs because the term car camping may imply different things. For example, it may mean: i) sleeping in the car, or ii) just transporting all your gear by car and camping in a tent at a place with car access. Clearly, you would need different pads for such two situations, regarding the width and the insulation. I sleep in the car very frequently and I have space for up to a 1-meter wide pad. But I use a 2-person tent solo when I sleep outside the car, so I have plenty of space for the biggest double pad. All pads in the list are 4-season tools, and some are with huge R-values. So you can use them in any environment, but no worry those pads are not heaters, they only insulate you from the surface underneath you, regardless of where you sleep, and regardless if the surface is warm or cold, you see the point. About some possible criteria for choosing the best car camping mattresses please have a look at my separate text. So here below are the pads, please have a look. 1. ALPS Mountaineering Apex Self-Inflating Air Pad ALPS Mountaineering Apex Self-Inflating Air Pad. This ALPS Mountaineering Apex Self-Inflating Air Pad is built in three different sizes. The regular size pad weighs 4 lb 14 oz (2.2 kg), and its packed size is 22.5 x 9 inches (57 x 23 cm). From these numbers, you understand why it is here in the list of camping pads, so this is not a pad to be carried on the trail. With its R-value of 6.9 and its two brass valves, this is an easy to use 4-season pad. It is 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick so this might be good enough even if you are a side sleeper. I have added it also to my list of best self-inflating camping pads. 2. ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Self-Inflating Double Air Pad ALPS Mountaineering Lightweight Self-Inflating Double Air Pad. This is a quite unique pad here in the list because it is a double sleeping pad that can be split into two separate single pads, or you can simply fold it and use as a very thick solo pad. This is because of a hook and loop Velcro connection that runs in the middle. The R-value 6.9 is such that you can use it in all seasons, and when you fold it, the R-value is higher by a factor 2 so you can use it in the harshest conditions. The weight is such that it is most suitable for car camping but if you take the half of it, then it can be carried on shorter overnight hiking tours. The pad weighs 9 lb 7 oz (4.28 kg). 3. ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed Queen Sleeping Pad ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed Queen Sleeping Pad. This ALPS Mountaineering Vertex Air Bed Queen Sleeping Pad is huge and very stable and supportive with its coil structure. It comes with a rechargeable pump included. Note that it is incredibly thick, no less than 6 inches (15 cm). This is an inflatable type, and the dimensions are huge, 80 x 56 inches (203 x 142 cm). It weighs 4 lb 12 oz (2.15 kg) and this is why I have included it here in the list of camping pads, this is not a piece to carry long distances in the pack although it is indeed portable. You will want to know that it comes with a great price tag. 4. Big Agnes Hinman Double Wide sleeping pad Big Agnes Hinman Double Wide sleeping pad. Here I present the Hinman Double Wide pad, but you have this model in several sizes, just to know if you buy them for family members. This Double Wide is designed to work with doublewide sleeping bags from the same brand, this may be important to know so that you can order them together. The Hinman Double pad is very stable and it does not shake when you move on it, this makes it a great choice for couples, you will not be disturbed too much when your partner moves on the pads. The pad is insulated and suitable for all seasons. They do not provide R-value, but they give the temperature rating, see below in the specifications. This makes its R-value roughly in the range 6 – 7, just to know that you can rely on it in any environment. With its 78 x 50 inches dimensions, this sleeping pad delivers optimal comfort. Its 2.5 inches thickness may not look too much, but this is a high-density solid foam that offers a great insulation and comfort. The exterior is PU-coated polyester for a better water resistance. It is a very quiet material, you might want to know if you are very sensitive. The weight is 114 oz (3.23 kg). The pad is with dual valves at the top. Note that it is very compactly packed when it comes from the manufacturer, so it may take much more time to self-inflate than what you may be used to. It is a good idea to inflate it first with some pump so that it can expand properly. Deflate and pack after that and use it as you would use any self-inflating pad. Because of such a dense core, the pad comes with two compression straps which you see in the picture above, and there is no stuff sack included. 5. CAMEL CROWN Camping Sleeping Pad CAMEL CROWN Camping Sleeping Pad. This CAMEL CROWN Camping Sleeping Pad is self-inflating and it weighs 5.07 lb (2.3 kg) so you realize why it is here in the group of camping pads. With its R-value 2 it is suitable for up to 2-season camping. The red fabric shown in the picture is waterproof, and it comes with an inflatable pillow of the same material and with the same foam fill. There is also a carry bag shown in the picture. The pad is 2 inches (5.1 cm) thick, and you will want to know that it is also incredibly affordable. 6. Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad with Pillow Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad with Pillow. This Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad with Pillow is self-inflating and you realize from the name and the picture that it comes with an integrated pillow that inflates separately. There is a foam inside, but they do not provide the R-value. It should be fine as a 3-season pad. In any case, this is a reliable and easy to use camping sleeping pad with an incredible price tag, so these are the reasons for having it here. When you see it weight you realize why it is in the car camping group, it weighs 6.4 lb (2.9 kg) so you would not carry it anywhere. 7. Exped MegaMat Outfitter 10 LXW Exped MegaMat Outfitter 10 LXW – a top-notch tool. This is a new 2017 version of the very popular and award-winning camping pad, a great option for side and stomach sleepers. This is definitely one of the most comfortable pads on the market. It is insulated and its R-value is impressive 9.5, one of the highest in the list. The weight is 6 lb 15.5 oz (3.16 kg). Particular distinction: comfort. Note that it is 3.9 inches (9.9 cm) thick. 8. Klymit Insulated Double V Sleeping Pad Klymit Insulated Double V Sleeping Pad – inflatable and insulated 4-season tool. This is one of the celebrated Klymit’s sleeping pads with the recognizable V-shaped air chambers. The pad is new, launched in 2017, insulated as the name suggest and with the R-value 4.4. So this is again a 4-season pad with the Klymit’s Body Mapping technology, incredibly comfortable and suitable for couples and for solo use as well. This is an award-winning design and technology so nothing can go wrong with such a tool. It is interesting that its stuff sack doubles as an air pump. It is with an integrated one-way valve which plugs in the inflation flat valve with a gasket on the pad. So you just roll and press the bag and this will inflate the pad. In such a way you avoid moisture accumulating in the pad (which may happen if you blow the air from your lungs). Note that it is built in one size only, and it is not particularly long, so if you are a tall person, better check some other models. Please check the link below for more, the pad is described in detail in my separate review. Particular distinction: body mapping. 9. Klymit Self-Inflate V Sleeping Pad Klymit Self-Inflate V Sleeping Pad. This sleeping pad is new on the market and it is also a new type for this brand which is best known for their iconic inflatable sleeping pads which you have here in the list as well. So here you have a self-inflating pad and it still has their V shape baffles in the design although not as prominent as in their other pads. The pad is insulated and you have 5.3 R-value which is roughly equivalent to the temperature rating of -4 F (-20 C). So this is a sleeping pad for all seasons. The shell is 30D stretch polyester on the top and 75D polyester on the bottom. The pad weighs 2.9 lb (1300 g) so it is lightweight for an insulated pad, and this is the reason for adding it here; you can use it also for shorter overnight tours away from your car parking. Particular distinction: this is a pad with an incredible price. 10. Klymit Static V Luxe Insulated Sleeping Pad Klymit Static V Luxe Insulated Sleeping Pad – very long insulated mat. This pad is very similar to the Double model given above, with all advanced features typical for these Klymit pads. So this is a luxurious single pad, insulated and with 4.4 R-value. The insulation is synthetic Primaloft Eco, lightweight and compressible, and it includes 60% of the recycled materials. Such an insulation is known for not absorbing water, it dries quickly and it retains its insulation even if it becomes wet. The word Luxe in the name describes it great length and width, so if you are a tall guy, this is a pad for you. This is an inflatable pad so its packed size is incredibly small, bear this in mind if this feature is essential to you. Such a design makes it far more versatile than most of the pads on the list. For more info please follow the link to my separate review. Particular distinction: great packed size. 11. KingCamp Luxury 3D Double Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad KingCamp Luxury 3D Double Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad. This KingCamp Luxury 3D Double Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad is moderately thick and with a foam that provides an effective R-value of 4.7. So you can use it in all seasons. The pad is very comfortable long and wide, suitable for two people. It comes with a storage bag included, and its weight is 10.6 lb (4.8 kg). So this is not something to carry around, you will use it at places with a car access. The dimensions are 79.1 x 50.3 inches (201 x 128 cm). 12. Lightspeed Outdoors XL Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad Lightspeed Outdoors XL Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad. This pad is too heavy to be carried on the trail, it weighs 6 lb (2.72 kg), this is why it is here in this list of camping pads. This is a very comfortable pad and with a huge official R-value of 9.66. In view of this, here you have a pad for all seasons. It is self-inflating and with an integrated headrest visible in the picture above. This is also a very popular camping pad, and for all the good reasons, you will want to know that it is very affordable. A carry bag is included. The dimensions are 77 x 30 inches (196 x 76 cm). How to choose So you have plenty of options here, and they all are great. In my view, those are the best sleeping pads for car camping currently on the market. Nothing can go wrong with such quality tools, except that they can get punctured of course. If this is your concern, then go for the Teton Sports pad, this is a great foam pad which will last forever. But how to choose really? First, check your budget. The prices are very different here, you have them in the range of $25 – 370. Next, you might want to think about versatility. All of them are relatively heavy and bulky, but some are still nicely packable and lightweight enough to be carried in the pack. Those are mainly the inflatable pads in the text above, both Klymit pads and the Exped SynMat. But regarding the versatility, the Alps Mountaineering Double pad is clearly without a match because of its 2-in-1 feature. As for the comfort, the thicker and the wider the better, as simple as that. I love to use double pads solo. But I have yet another reason, I feel claustrophobic in a sleeping bag, so I use either a double bag solo, or I unzip one of my rectangular bags completely and use it as an ordinary blanket. In such an arrangement, a double pad comes well. This works fine if it is not cold too much (but it is usually, I mostly sleep at very high elevations well above 2000 meters in the Alps). Note that this is not a sponsored text and I am not paid by any of the brands represented here in the list. Thank you for reading. Please let me know if you want to add something here or if you have a question, there is a comment box below. I wish you a nice day.