10 best ultralight sleeping pads for Backpackers in 2020

**If you are in a hurry I recommend the FRETREE Camping Air Sleeping Pad as the best ultralight sleeping pad for its efficient design and durability**

Trekking through a long backpacking journey will have you looking forward to a good night’s rest. And leaving your sleeping pad out of your pack because it was too heavy or bulky is going to cost you some comfort when you need it. Learn which one will be light enough to carry and durable enough to last you several seasons in the best ultralight sleeping pad reviews below. 

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yellow sleeping pad inside tent

What Makes A Great Ultralight Sleeping Pad

Although there are three different types of sleeping pads you ideally only want to consider the air pad and self inflating pad when looking at ultralight options. This is because the foam pad is often too bulky and weighs too much to bring on a hiking or backpacking trip. 

Insulation

Insulation is usually categorized by the R-value if the brand has done the proper testing. This allows us to measure how effective a sleeping pad is at conducting heat and keeping you warm from the cold ground. The higher the R-value, the better insulation the lightweight sleeping pad will have. 

You can imagine how important it will be to find an ultralight sleeping pad that still keeps you warm in lower temps. Three season camping wont mind a R-value between 2-4 but if you are looking to bring your sleeping pad in winter you will want to look for an R-value over 5. 

Keep in mind that when you have a higher R-value you will generally have thicker material which will cause your sleeping pad to become heavier. 

Thickness

The only measurement used in determining thickness for sleeping pad material is to look at the Denier rating. Denier is a measurement of the individual fibers of the material and will have a number followed by a capital D for denier. The higher the number, the thicker the material.

A sleeping pad that weighs around one pound or less will often have a denier rating around 20D. This is great for portability and you can easily attach it to your backpack without even knowing it was there. But it can easily puncture or have air leaks if too much pressure is applied. 

A heavier pad around two pounds or can range anywhere from 40D-70D and will be more durable and able to last for several years before needing to be replaced. If you purchase a repair kit then your investment can last you a long time without having to shop around for a new one. 

Durability

How long your ultralight sleeping pad is going to last is going to depend on a couple of external factors but ultimately it will be a choice you make about the type of pad that works best for you.

If you need a very lightweight pad you can bring with you on any backpacking journey then you are going to have thinner fabric materials and will be more susceptible to punctures and air leaks. 

You can also use some of the other benchmarks to easily tell how durable your ultralight sleeping pad will be. A higher denier rating means the fibers of your pad will be thicker and built for the abuse of the outdoors. 

Inflation/Deflation

There are several different ways you will be able to inflate your ultralight sleeping pad. Innovative designs have allowed very fast set up times compared to sleeping pads of old where you could huff and puff and get nowhere before wanting to pass out. 

Some options on this list have a two-way valve where one piece is specifically designed for inflating and the other is designed for deflating. Other options have even included a built-in foot pump where you press on two different areas near the valve and you inflate the sleeping pad within a couple of minutes.

If you need to blow on up manually you will only need anywhere from 7-15 breaths before you have a fully inflated sleeping pad to keep you comfortable at night. 

Best Overall: FRETREE Camping Air Sleeping Pad

The FRETREE Camping Air Sleeping Pad is a well thought solution to finding extra comfort in the outdoors but offering some unique design elements that set it apart. For starters, the inflation device allows for an air pump, manual blowing, or you can use the built-in foot pump. The latter option is a considerate design so that you can free up your hands for other tasks that involve setting up your site. Both ends of the ultralight sleeping pad are slightly raised to imitate a pillow and regular mattress. 

The FRETREE is made of tough, 40D material and stands 2.7” tall when fully inflated, which only takes about 25 seconds with the foot pump. Shipping weight for the FRETREE is 1.9lbs so there are other options that are more lightweight but they don’t provide the level of consideration that this sleeping pad does.There’s even buttons that run alongside the inflatable pad that you can use to connect to another pad of the same model to create room for two when sleeping. It even comes with a carrying bag and is a top consideration for ultralight sleeping pads. 

Pros
  • Has 3 different blow up methods including built-in foot pump
  • Raised pillow built-in
  • 40D material
  • 2.7” tall when fully inflated
  • Can connect to another sleeping pad
Cons
  • 1.9lb shipping weight

Best Luxury: KLYMIT INSULATED STATIC V Sleeping Pad

The KLYMIT is a high-quality sleeping pad whose durability will have you sleeping with extra comfort in the outdoors for seasons to come. It has a high R-value for sleeping pads at 4.4 which will keep it much more insulated than other ultralight options on this list. It only takes about 10-15 breaths to fully inflate and is 2.5” thick which will keep you off the ground if laying directly on the KLYMIT. 

It comes with its own carrying bag that packs down to about 5×8 inches but the 25 oz is heavier than most other lightweight sleeping pads. The price is also a lot higher than competitors but given the durability and amount of use you will get it is worth an investment. The KLYMIT doesn’t need a lot of extra bells and whistles to prove its worth so if you’re looking for an extremely reliable sleeping pad you can use for years this is it. 

Pros
  • Very good insulation to keep you warm
  • 2.5” thickness for better support
  • Carrying bag included
  • Very durable and long-lasting
  • 10-15 breaths to inflate
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Heavier at 25 oz

Best Lightweight: WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad

The WELLAX Ultralight Air Sleeping Pad is very portable and helps any backpacker with their sleeping experience in the outdoors. But to have a lightweight sleeping pad like this means you won’t want to take it in any weather. The 20D material is great for soft grass or the inside of a tent but isn’t going to hold up well if you need to use it on rough surfaces. The 2.5” of thickness is pretty average but the 14.5oz of weight will have you forget it’s even attached to your backpack. 

There’s also a pretty great 2-valve inflation method set up that includes one valve for inflating and another for deflating. This actually makes it one of the easiest ultralight sleeping pads to blow up and should only take about 7-9 breaths compared to the 10-15 of other options. The R-value of 2.1 really only makes this a three season option at best and you should avoid taking it into temps any lower than 40 degrees fahrenheit. If you need one of the lightest options on the market that will make it easy to set up then add the WELLAX to the top of your list.

Pros
  • Very lightweight at 14.5 oz
  • Average 2.5” of thickness support
  • 2-valve inflation method allows quick set up
  • Very tall in length
Cons
  • Low insulation R-value 2.1
  • Low durability of 20D material

YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad

The YSXHW Self Inflating Camping Pad is one of the best value options on the list for the price point. The 80D material is the highest rating for any sleeping pad and will prevent air leaks and will dramatically increase durability for long-term. It also has a 4.8” thickness so that you have plenty of extra air support when laying down to sleep. And the R-value of 5 helps the thickness act as extra insulation to keep you warm. Not to mention the YSXHW is waterproof and floatable so you could take it on the water just as easily as you can use it for sleeping.

The air valve is very unique and includes a built-in foot pump system that takes about 2 min to fully inflate. The real downside is that it weighs about 2.7lbs and is on the edge of being considered an ultralight sleeping pad. But the camper who doesn’t mind hauling around a little extra weight if it means having an extra comfortable sleeping experience will enjoy bringing the YSXHW with them to the outdoors.

Pros
  • Impressive 4.8” thickness of support
  • Extremely durable 80D material
  • Built-in foot pump system for inflation
  • Great insulation R-value 5
  • Waterproof and floatable
Cons
  • Heavy at 2.7lbs

HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad

The HiHiker Camping Sleeping Pad has an ergonomic design that will keep you comfortable and it also comes with a blow up air pillow to give your head some extra support without the need of a large home pillow. It’s waterproof and washable with a 20D material so you can feel safe taking it to the outdoors without easily damaging it. It’s 14.5 oz heavy and has 2.2” of thickness to keep you from hitting the ground while you’re laying down. And it only takes about 10-15 breaths to have inflated. 

You should have an easy time attaching the included carrying bag to your backpack using the drawstring. And it packs down to the size of a water bottle so you don’t have to worry about limited space when bringing the HiHiker. The material is pretty thin but if you happen to get any holes you can use the sleeping pad patch kit to seal them up. Backpackers looking for reliable comfort during their outdoor adventure will enjoy the sleeping pad and air pillow that comes with the HiHiker. 

Pros
  • 14.4 oz in weight
  • Carrying bag included with drawstring
  • Easy to inflate
  • 2.2” of thickness
  • Air pillow included
  • Patch kit included
Cons
  • Material is very thin

ECOTEK Outdoors Insulated Hybern8 4 Season Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad

The ECOTEK is an ultralight sleeping pad that has an extremely durable design that will allow you to use it for years. The 70D rating is one of the highest on this list and combined with the 4.5 R-value you can truly use this in 4 season weather as it will hold up in temps as low as 10 degrees fahrenheit. It also has about 2.5” of height when inflated so you won’t have to worry about touching the ground at any point during your sleep. 

It’s a little heavier at 24.5 oz and the price is more expensive than other lightweight sleeping pads but you get higher quality materials like the woven polyester that separate the ECOTEK from other sleeping pads. It takes about 10-15 breaths to get it fully inflated but once you have it set up it should hold air all night long. Campers looking to invest a little more into their ultralight sleeping pad to have extended use should have the ECOTEK at the top of their list.

Pros
  • Very durable material – 70D
  • Great insulation for very low temps
  • 2.5” thickness of support
  • Higher quality materials used
  • Non-slip bottom
Cons
  • Heavier at 24 oz
  • Expensive

Sable Camping Sleeping Pad

If you’re looking for one of the thickest sleeping pads you can find while still having it be lightweight the Sable has designed a perfect option. Standing at an impressive 5.5” in height when fully inflated it’s one of the tallest pads on this list. You’ll never have to worry about sinking to the ground, especially with the 40D nylon material that will keep it from leaking. It also has a R-value of 5 which makes it one of the most insulated options as well.

If you are trying to limit the amount of gear you bring then the Sable has taken care of your sleeping pillow for you and has a raised air pillow built-in to the design. Which is very helpful because of the 2.2lbs of shipping weight that is listed. The air valve is in an awkward place, right between your feet, so I feel that could have been better arranged but otherwise this is a great option for campers worrying about the durability and height of their sleeping pad. 

Pros
  • Impressive 5.5” in height for extra support
  • Solid 40D material
  • Very well insulated with R-value 5
  • Built-in air pillow
Cons
  • 2.2lbs shipping weight is heavy
  • Air valve right between feet

AirExpect Camping Sleeping Pad

The AirExpect has one of the best built-in air pillows for a ultralight sleeping pad and a unique hand pump design. You don’t have to empty out your lungs to get this sleeping pad inflated but instead you just need to use the hand pump for about one minute and you’ll be ready to lay down for the night. And you’ll have about 2.5” of thickness to support you from the rugged ground. 

The AirExpect can support up to 660lbs of weight and has buttons all along one side that help you connect another sleeping pad to have extra room for two. I’m a little disappointed in the available information for this sleeping pad like denier rating or R-value but all the reviews rave about the performance. This is a reliable option that has some unique features that will help campers looking to avoid blowing up their pad with their lungs but still get the comfort they deserve.

Pros
  • 2.5” of thickness is average
  • Unique hand pump design
  • Great built-in pillow
  • Carrying bag included
Cons
  • No R-value listed
  • No Denier rating listed

POWERLIX Sleeping Pad

The POWERLIX is a great option for the campers who can’t quite find what they are looking for in other options on this list. The 40D materials being used will help from punctures and air leaks and the two repair kits plus patch kit almost ensure that you won’t ever have problems with preventing your sleeping pad from going flat. But that’s also because only having 2” of thickness support when fully insulated is the lowest amount on this list and there isn’t a lot of room for error. 

Its about 1.3lbs in weight and comes with a carrying bag so you’ll be able to take this anywhere your campsite ends up. There’s a two-color design on the top and bottom you can use depending on which you prefer. Overall there aren’t many features that come with the POWERLIX but its a durable ultralight sleeping pad that comes with repair kits if you ever need them.

Pros
  • Tough 40D material
  • Comes with 2 repair kits
  • Comes with patch kit
  • 2 color design
Cons
  • Thinnest option at 2”
  • R-value of 1.5

TREKOLOGY UL Sleeping Pad

The TREKOLOGY UL Sleeping Pad is one of the better built options with high quality materials that will last you a while. You are going to pay a premium price but it’s not the highest price for a sleeping pad on this list. The respectable 19.8 oz of weight makes it doable for backpackers who need an ultralight sleeping pad and the 4” of thickness support  also makes it one of the most comfortable. The R-value between 2-2.5 doesn’t make it ideal for colder weather but is still a great range for lightweight sleeping pads.

It comes with a carrying bag and the durable 40D material will keep it from puncturing easily or getting air leaks. The 2 way valve also makes this a nice choice because it will take less effort to blow up than other options but I still recommend getting an air pump if possible. Campers looking for a high quality built sleeping pad that they can still travel with will enjoy using the TREKOLOGY.

Pros
  • 4” of thickness support
  • Tough 40D material
  • 2 way air valve
  • Very portable at 19.8 oz weight
Cons
  • Low insulation R-value 2-2.5

Summary

My top choice for the best ultralight sleeping pad is the FRETREE Camping Air Sleeping Pad because of its efficient design and durability. The 40D rating and 1.9lb weight is a great combo for the camper who needs a durable sleeping pad that is still portable enough to take anywhere. The built-in foot pump and raised air pillow allow you to think more efficiently about your camping experience and what you need.

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