This is the 4th update to this guide on best self inflating sleeping pads. To come up with the results that you’ll see in the table below I’ve used:
- opinions of 12 experienced campers and hikers, 4 of whom are our featured testers
- reviews of the self inflating sleeping pads from all around the web
- the Menta statistical rating system
*I take pride in the fact that all the testing process is completely objective and I’ve never received “sample products” from companies.
The market of camping equipment is a jungle and it’s never been harder to tell the difference between true quality and stuff that would be a waste of your money. That’s what this website is all about – doing the research so you don’t have to.
Anyway, here are the results of the last update – top 5 self inflating sleeping pads on the market today and their respective reviews:
Comforlite camping self-inflating pad
By Teton Sports
Let’s start by going over the manufacturer’s product specification:
- Stretchy comfortable microfiber for soft and strong sleeping space. Non-slip, stay-put, sturdy base offers a stable contact with any surface
- Very resilient pad for camping without the need of a pump. Velcro strips on the sides allow for double thick or double wide configurations
- Insulating horizontal core equipped with latest thermal technology consists of foam specially designed to maintain warmth throughout the whole night
- 4lb 13oz of packing weight
- Rapid dual valves for inflation/deflation, very easy setup/take down
You can read more on the Amazon page of this Teton:
Sounds like a perfect camping sidekick, if you’re judging by what we’ve heard from Teton in the basic specs. But let’s go one step beyond corporate marketing and see how many happy campers are left in its wake where it actually matters…in real life camping situations.
Here are some positive experiences – the PROs:
- I’m a pretty big guy, and this pad holds me without breaking a sweat. Best self inflating sleeping pad ever!
- Extra width really comes in handy as far as overall comfort in concerned
- I was genuinely surprised at how quickly and efficiently it inflated all by itself. It just needs a bit of topping off before it’s ready for the best outside sleeping experience ever
- My wife has a REI self inflating sleeping pad, and I got myself this little Teton gem. It’s just so comfortable, and the size is just right…
- Mountains of Northern Utah are not known for their hospitality. The ground is littered with sharp rocks and tree roots, but with this pad I didn’t feel a thing…
- It does wonders at insulating me from the ground even through harshest of climates
- Best self inflating sleeping pad I’ve ever used! I swear to God, my sleeping bag provided better padding than my previous pad, so I’m really happy with this purchase as this one does exactly what it’s intended to do
- It packs very compact and packs very small which is a big deal if you are a regular hiker like me…
Let’s go over some of the CONs:
- Used to have this funny smell when I got it. It was completely gone after a couple of hours outside though
The verdict and the rating
I can’t remember the last time a product scored a perfect 5 (or a whammy as I call it) but this Teton came darn close to it.
Overall Quality Rating – 4.9/5.
According to the users, the comfort, durability and ease of use are a given with this sleeping pad. The main feature that separates this pony from the herd is the ability to stack two of them into a single bunk via Velcro strips. It’s a new take on sleeping pads build on a solid foundation of core values users worldwide came to appreciate, especially the more experienced ones – the ones that use the pad in the harshest of conditions.
ALPS mountaineering Comfort Air self inflating sleeping pad
By ALPS Mountaineering
The fact sheet:
- Super quick inflation/deflation thanks to JetStream revolutionary foam
- PVC Dot anti-slip bottom fabric
- Open-cell Polyurethane foam
- Brass non-corrosive valves
- Repair kit and stuff sack are included
See what other users shared about this pad on Amazon.com:
The positive reviews of this self-inflating pad that the users shared:
- I’m a fan of Thermarest self inflating sleeping pads a long time ago but was forced to change my views once I tried this baby out. The comfort level is just a whole level above anything I’ve tried before…
- The overall finish oozes quality, and I really like the repair kit and sack I got with it…
- It’s the best self inflating sleeping pad ever! On top of being super comfortable even of rocky surfaces, the bottom has these little bumps, which guarantee the pad won’t be slipping, no matter where I decide to set camp
- The valve is very solid, and the pad is inflated lightning fast
- a whole class better than my old Thermarest sleeping pad…
- Since I got this bad boy my Thermarest self inflating sleeping pad is up for sale, so if someone out there is interested…
- The comfort says top dollar, but the price says budget-friendly. I snatched two of them before they sell out since you just can’t beat this quality at this price
- Internal pillow and suede top just made me love it even more!
CONs as per the users:
- It’s a bit too heavy for hikers, more of a campers choice IMHO…
- You’ll needs some muscle to properly roll it up…
In the 4 updates to this guide, this ALPS and the Teton (the one above) have been bouncing back and forth between the 1st and 2nd position on the list. Both close to perfect in the Overall Rating (4.9/5). This time, the ALPS Comfort Air just barely “lost” and came as the runner-up.
This X Air self inflating pad is the whole package, as far as users are concerned. It’s a well-rounded product that would probably put your current sleeping pad to shame, both in terms of price and quality. It is somewhat heavier and tougher which makes it (as someone mentioned in the reviews), more of a camper’s choice…just something to bear in mind.
Self inflating StanSport air pad
Here’s how the manufacturer described this eye-candy:
- Die-cut constructed, self-inflating, durable air mattress
- Minimized weight and volume due to shaping it like a mummy bag
- Lightweight bag available in three different sizes
- Reliable seal offered by a valve made of durable plastic
- Fully bonded to provide a lifetime of comfort in the great outdoors
- Storage mesh bag included
Learn more by going to the Amazon page of this pad (link below):
Another promising set of specs from the manufacturer, but let’s really scrutinize the sleeping pad by taking a look at what the users have to share.
The positive user feedback – the PROs:
- I’ve read so many self inflating sleeping pads reviews, and based only on the sheer number of positive ones I decided to go with this one. Not a single complain or regret so far, holds air great and packs really small…
- This is the best self inflating sleeping pad I’ve had in my day both in terms of comfort and creating a great barrier against cold and moisture
- I really like the size of this one. It’s compact enough for me to carry around without a hitch, yet roomy enough to support even the most restless of sleepers
- It inflates super fast, and the support it gives me is nothing short of a proper bed
- Amazing comfort! I didn’t feel a thing underneath even though we slept on a terrain covered in small tree roots and sticks poking from the ground
- 3” thickness is the way to go, believe me, I’ve been sleeping in the Rockies on my hikes for over a decade now. This pad gave me the best night’s sleep ever…
- My old ALPS mountaineering started leaking and I decided to experiment a bit and got this StanSport…just as good, if not better…
- Very well made, durable and doesn’t slip or move around when I sleep like my old pad used to and if you are into the outdoors you know how much of difference that makes…
- It’s as comfortable as my gravely overpaid air mattress I have at home…
Here are some things the users didn’t like – the CONs:
- Doesn’t really pack as tight and small as I expected…
- It needs some help getting inflated for the first few times…
Summing up the reviews of this self inflating sleeping pad
I’ll be bold enough to say that, along with the paired Tetons, this is the most comfortable pad on the list. It has its flaws, but comfort is not one of them.
The Overall Quality Rating is not even close to the Teton and the Alps, but it’s still a solid 4.4/5 and a well-deserved place on the list of best self-inflating sleeping pads.
Self Inflating Ultralight Series Camp Pad
By Fox Outfitters
Basic specs of the pad:
- Self inflating premium camping mat with Ripstop fabric unique to this product
- Base fabric is abrasion resistant, which is a perfect fit for rugged terrain
- Added comfort via open cell Rapid Rise foam. Overall weight reduced due to diamond pattern
- Impact-resistant, durable and lightweight valves ensure ultra fast inflation/deflation
- Repair kit, compression bands, and stuff sack included
Learn more about this product on Amazon:
The PROs as per the users:
- Very well designed ultra lightweight and perfect for backpacking… Best self inflating sleeping pad ever…
- Reviews of this self inflating sleeping pad actually match the real thing, I’m really satisfied with the comfort and insulation it provides…
- It’s excellent for me to use alongside my hammock when the weather gets on the cooler side. It’s fits perfectly, and really makes a difference
- The most important thing is that it doesn’t leak one bit! I started sleeping scared I’ll wake up on the ground due to my previous mishaps. This little guy keeps me safely above…
- Very comfortable and durable, and it looks pretty stylish…
- It inflates pretty fast, and the top is just so comfortable. Plus, it adds an impenetrable layer of insulation, so I never wake up turned into a popsicle ever again
- They somehow managed not to sacrifice comfort going for ultra lightweight, great work…I’ve never owned a pad more convenient for my lifestyle…
- This is one amazing mattress or a pad, call it whatever you want! My Rei self inflating sleeping pad can now go to its deserved retirement
- You just can’t beat this price! Plus, I got a handful of free stuff that don’t come very cheap when bought separately
Here are some aspects the customers didn’t like – the CONs:
- I’m a pretty big guy, so I needed to blow some extra air when I inflated it for the first time, just to make sure. Other than that, I don’t have anything else to nitpick about
- It’s definitely not the thickest pad out there, but it’s intended for light backpacking anyway, so I guess it serves its purpose perfectly
Summing up the reviews
This mattress/pad is made extremely lightweight, and that’s its main selling point. It was made so without sacrificing any comfort or durability whatsoever, but the overall thickness had to be shaved off a bit. So, if you’re a light/medium backpacker, this is your perfect choice.
Solid score of 4.6/5 in the Overall Rating.
A smart choice, especially if money is an issue.
ALPS Mountaineering Self Inflating Sleeping Pad
By ALPS Mountaineering
As you might’ve already noticed, this brand of self inflating sleeping pads is no stranger to my reviews. So, let’s see what the company has to say about this particular model:
- Open cell Polyurethane JetStream foam
- Diamond Ripstop at the top, Polyester Taffeta at the bottom
- Lightweight and strong
- Fast inflating/deflating
- Durable and abrasion resistant
- Brass, non-corrosive valves
Click the link below to see what users are saying about it on Amazon:
Well, I guess renowned manufacturers don’t need lengthy specification. They have enough faithful customers to speak instead.
Let’s see what they liked about this model:
- My Thermarest self inflating sleeping bag had me spending twice as money, and somehow this pad feels better built, thicker and way lighter!
- The overall built feels like solid steel, yet it’s like silk when I move it around. Great job!
- I’m a pretty heavy backpacker myself, but this pad made damn sure I never touch the ground while sleeping again!
- This pad features a “long” version!! Enough said!
- Spending some extra money definitely goes a long way. I’ve had some convoluted, inexpensive pads before, but I got myself the best self inflating sleeping pad I could’ve wished for just by adding a bit more money into the mix
- Much more comfortable and lightweight than any other sleeping pad I’ve ever owned. Looks very durable and made of some high-quality materials
- This is where reading all those self inflating sleeping pads brought me. Just the number of positive 5-star reviews online is stupefying, so I had to give it a go. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed, as you can already tell by my grade
- My backpacking adventures always had me sleeping without any air mattresses or any similar stuff, so you can imagine my surprise when I decided to buy this pad, giving in to my best friend’s constant persuasion. It really changed my whole outdoors experience! It’s very comfortable and well made but, most importantly lightweight so it doesn’t make me too heavy to move freely, and you can buy a longer version if you’re a giant like me
Let’s go over some of the CONs:
- It would be an excellent backpacking companion if it weren’t for my incredibly broad shoulders. It’s just not wide enough for ultimate comfort, but I guess if you don’t have freakishly broad shoulders like me you’ll be just fine
Premium materials and technologies, great comfort and durability, plus ease of use and good support and insulation are just a few of the fortes that the users praised about this pad.
Relatively affordable (having the quality in mind) this is another great product coming from ALPS. It did score a close to perfect 4.9 (same as the two best self inflating pads on the list) it is yet to break its way into the top 2.
How do I choose the winners when the scored are tied?
A fair question that a couple of people on the website raised. It’s simple numbers, the one with the most 4 and 5-star reviews takes the spoils. It might seem unfair that, for example, this last ALPS comes so close to being the top rated in my model of rating the pads but it’s as close I can get to being objective.
Think of it as sprinter race, details determine the winner and as Seinfeld would say: “if I had a pimple I would’ve won.” The model might not be perfect in that respect but it was tweaked over the long years this site existed and it works, that’s all I can say.
One final thing to keep in mind – the ratings and the guide are updated every two months so that the information you get reflects the market as closely as possible. For you, this means that the ratings presented are fresh and trustworthy.
I hope that puts some of your concerns to rest.
Choose wisely and sleep tight,
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