There is nothing worse than coming back to an uncomfortable bed when you are exhausted. Not only does it result in poor sleep, but it also leaves you restless and may ruin your entire experience. It is definitely not the way you should feel when backpacking. To make the most of your next day, an individual must be sufficiently well-rested and ready to take on new adventures.
This is especially true for side sleepers who need more support to be comfortable. With most weight being concentrated on one part of the sleeping pad, it needs to maintain its shape and provide adequate support for those who sleep on their side.
This was a problem in the age of low-quality air mattresses. Still, with increasing technology and innovation, today’s sleeping pads consider all these factors. Our list will help you find the best backpacking sleeping pad for side sleepers by analyzing features, listing pros and cons, and answering some frequency asked questions.
Below, we have provided detailed analyses of each product, along with advantages, disadvantages, and the main feature we love.
This sleeping pad is known for its lightweight nature and the comfort it provides. Despite its size and thickness, it manages to weigh only 1.16 lbs. Not only is it 2.5″ thick, but it also provides plenty of room for side sleepers with its 23″ width. In addition to being light, the sleeping pad can be packed into a compact size, making it easy to carry for backpackers.
It is also user-friendly and makes for easy inflation and deflation – inflation can be done in as little as 10 breaths. It is especially helpful for backpackers who are already tired because of the long days they have had. Using 75D polyester, it is also durable and can withstand wear and tear, making it a long-lasting pad.
With unique Body Mapping Technology and the pad’s V-shaped design, it ensures comfort for every sleeping position, making it great for side sleepers. With 2.5″ thickness, it provides plenty of cushions and protects the user from the uneven ground. It also has side rails that keep the user centered and prevent rolling off the mat if tossing and turning, something that is more likely for side sleepers than back sleepers.
The welding pattern on the pad allows for better thermal comfort, added to the R-value of 1.3. This provides plenty of warmth to users and allows them to sleep comfortably during the night without being disturbed by the cold. Since the lofted air pockets hug the body, loss of air is no longer a problem.
A stuff bag and patch are also included for convenience. With a lifetime warranty, this is a great sleeping pad to invest in.
- Lifetime warranty
- Relatively expensive
- Not suitable for cold weather
Comfortable: This product is designed with unique technology to ensure comfort. With the V-shaped design, 2.5″ thickness, and side rails, this is one of the most comfortable sleeping pads on the market and will be sure to satisfy any side sleeper.
This sleeping pad is best known for its stability and support, two qualities that are integral for side sleepers’ comfort. With its 2.5″ thickness, it is very plush and provides plenty of back support. It is ideal for those who move during their sleep, which applies to side sleepers.
The 24″ width is a welcome addition to the standard 20″ width, allowing side sleepers to stretch out if they wish to do so and giving them plenty of room to move around and roll over without rolling off the pad. Since the pad is also silent, it allows users to sleep through the night without any disturbance. The single-layer air spring design ensures comfort by providing more cushion while remaining light.
With an R-value of 2.1, it is suitable for warm and cold weather, making it more versatile than other options. The warmth also adds to the comfort experienced by the user.
This sleeping pad weighs less than a pound, at 0.9 lbs, making it incredibly lightweight and suitable for backpackers. It is also extremely compact and takes up very little room, which is great for backpackers since they are traveling light.
Additionally, this sleeping pad is not one that needs to be replaced often – it is built to endure harsh weather and is very durable. The 20D ripstop nylon with TPU lamination makes it waterproof, easy to clean, as well as resistant to damage.
In addition to all these features, it is also simple to inflate and deflate with its two-valve design and only takes 7-9 breaths to inflate. Thus, making it efficient and speedy. Refund and replace options are available, so this is a great sleeping pad to try out risk-free!
- Refund/replace options
- Some users report air leakage
Lightweight and Portable: The weight of this sleeping pad makes it perfect for backpacking since it is less than a pound. Only 0.9 lbs, it can be folded into the size of a thermos and is space-saving as well as durable.
This sleeping pad is extremely lightweight for what it is – although 2.95″ thick and 25.6″ wide, this weighs only 1.14 lbs. The extra width is a significant advantage for side sleepers, who can ensure their presence on the pad, despite rolling over.
Because it is lightweight and portable, it can be carried very easily. INVOKER even claims that it can be packed into the size of a water bottle, making it convenient for those who do not have much space, including backpackers. Since there is an attached pillow, users need not worry about carrying an extra pillow or using a makeshift pillow, which may be uncomfortable.
Made of 20D ripstop nylon fabric with TPU lamination, this is a durable and robust sleeping pad. It can withstand rough weather as well as rough terrain while still being lightweight. It is even waterproof and easy to clean.
When on the go, users may not be comfortable blowing up their pads with their mouths since this can be unsanitary. This sleeping pad provides a foot pump that is easy to use and inflates the sleeping pad 25-30 seconds. The valves are also specially designed to be leak-proof so that air leakage is eliminated.
Comfort is an essential part of a sleeping pad, especially for side sleepers. This pad is 2.95″ thick and has a thermal fabric. The air cells support the user’s body and are ergonomic. The included pillow ensures comfort throughout the night in all sleeping positions. Side sleepers have reported the pad to be comfortable and plush, effectively keeping them sound asleep without any disturbance.
An R-value of 2.7 ensures warmth in several weather conditions and makes the sleeping pad a three-season one.
Since it brags lifetime replacement and refund, it is a risk-free purchase that side sleepers should consider.
- Lifetime replacement and refund
- Three-season sleeping pad
- Some users have reported crinkling noises upon movement
Highly Efficient: This sleeping pad is designed to be efficient and offers many features that do just that. Not only does it include a foot pump, saving effort, but it is also sanitary and speedy. Inflation takes place in just 25-30 seconds with minimal effort. The valves are also designed to be air-proof so that air leakage does not take place, and comfort is ensured.
The Airlive2000P brags extra thickness and width and backs up this claim by providing 4″ thickness and 28.7″ width. With this width, any user can sleep comfortably on this pad. Even if side sleepers roll around throughout their sleep, this will prevent them from rolling over onto the ground. The extra thickness provides comfort and stabilizes the sleeper, which is especially important for side sleepers, who put most of their body weight in one particular area. The frame conforms to the user’s body. It makes sure that the weight is distributed evenly, effectively reducing noise while providing comfort.
Despite being extra wide and extra thick, this pad can be deflated and be packed to fit into a backpack. It even comes with a drawstring sack for convenient storage. Users need not worry about using their mouths to blow up the pad, whether for sanitary reasons or tiredness. The built-in pump can be activated via hand or foot by pressing. With this technology, the sleeping pad can be fully inflated within 2-3 minutes, saving time and added effort.
Although heavier than other options at 3.9 lbs, it is lightweight considering the pad’s size and its R-value of 3-4. Because of this, this is suitable for colder weather as well, making it more versatile.
Another claim this sleeping pad fulfills is durability since it is made from 75D polyester pongee and PVC lamination. Not only is this waterproof and tear-resistant, but it also holds up in rough weather conditions. In case of damage, a patch is included, ensuring that backpackers are not trapped in case of an emergency. This patch is located on the sack and is easy to find to repair any potential damage.
Moreover, a 100% satisfaction warranty allows users to return the pad should they not like it.
- High R-value
- 100% satisfaction warranty
- Extra thick
- Lightweight and portable
- No connection buttons
- Some users report that the pump is hard to use
Great Sizing: This sleeping pad stands out because of its size. Being it is so much broader and thicker than other pads, it accommodates several different people, including side sleepers, those with bad backs, and even heavier people. For those who require extra width, this product delivers that at an extremely affordable price.
For further clarification, we have answered some commonly asked questions. Looking through these may provide answers to some of your queries and serve as a guide to buying the right sleeping pad.
1. Do side sleepers need wider sleeping pads?
Some say that side sleepers need less space than back sleepers, but they do not consider that side sleepers usually roll around more. Side sleepers may need wider sleeping pads. They depend upon their sleeping style – whether you’re curled up into a ball or your limbs sprawled across the mattress factors heavily into this. Although standard sleeping pads measure 20″ wide, many come in wider sizes and can even go up to 30″ in width.
2. Why do weight and packed size matter?
When backpacking, there is only a certain amount of space available, which you must make the most of. The ideal sleeping pad for this should be portable and able to be packed into a compact size. It should also be lightweight so that it is easy to carry.
3. Pumps or no pumps?
Pumps are generally advantageous because you do not have to inflate the bag using your mouth – this requires less energy and is more sanitary. Additionally, moisture build-up from breathing can cause mold, which is prevented using pumps. Because pumps are heavy and another item to carry, this is not ideal for backpackers. However, this is easily solved by picking self-inflating sleeping pads or those with pumping bags included.
4. What level of thickness should I look out for?
Thickness not only contributes to the comfort but also stability. Side sleepers require more strength since their weight is concentrated on one spot. Thicker sleeping pads help with this – users should look out for 2″ thickness and more, but choose 1.5″ at the minimum.
5. What is R-value, and why is it important?
R-value refers to how well the sleeping pad retains heat, i.e., how resistant it is to heat loss. Higher R-values equal higher heat resistance. This is important when it comes to comfort and warmth. An R-value of 3-4 is optimal for three-season pads, with 4.5 and higher ideal for cold weather use, especially during winter months.
After weighing out the pros and cons of each product, we recommend the INVOKER Inflatable Sleeping Pad. Not only is this affordable, but it also provides plenty of width and thickness to provide comfort for any side sleeper. Additionally, it is lightweight and has a lifetime warranty, making it ideal for backpackers.