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Best Sleeping Pads for Hammock Camping & Backpacking – 2017 Buyer’s Guide

best sleeping pads hammock

 Our choices for the Best Sleeping Pad for Hammock Camping:

NameTypeMT Rank
Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest (Large)CCFBudget Pick
ALPS Mountaineering Foam Camping MatCCFSolid Pick
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture WV (Large)InflatableValue Pick
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Large)InflatableSolid Pick
Big Agnes QCore SLX (Wide-Long)InflatableSolid Pick
Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm Max (Large)InflatableTop Pick

Read on for a closer look at our favorite hammock sleeping pads!

Sleeping pads are by far the cheapest way to keep your butt warm while hammock camping. But the question is: what sleeping pad should I get? Well, if you already a sleeping pad laying around, use what you already have! However, if you’re in the market for a new pad, I’ve got some ideas to get you rolling.

Best CCF Pads For Hammock Camping

Closed cell foam (CCF) pads are the simplest and cheapest way to keep your bottom side warm. Also, they boast a better warmth-to-size ratio and warmth-to-price ratio than their inflatable air-type cousins.

What are CCF pads? Just the regular old foam rolls that you buy at the camping store.  Yep, they’re not most comfortable things to use, but they’re far more comfortable in a hammock than on the ground!

See below for a few suggestions of some good quality CCF sleeping pads that work well for hammock camping.

Therm-a-rest RidgeRest (Large)

Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz / 540 g

Dimensions: 75 in / 190.5 cm long – 25 in / 63 cm wide – .625 in / 1.5 cm thick

The Therm-a-rest RidgeRest really is a classic. Old school, tough-as-nails ground sleepers have been conking out these things since the beginning of time. These coated pads are also highly durable and will last you for the long haul.

What I particularly like about the Ridgerest for hammock camping is the size. Make sure to buy the large, and you’re looking at a pad 25″width and 75″. This is wider and longer than your average CCF pad. Depending on your sleep position, you might be able to sleep on this bad-boy without sleeping pad wings. The extra length will be appreciated by our taller hammock sleepers as well.

At 5/8″ thick, the RidgeRest Classic should keep you reasonably warm to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 degrees Celsius. If you want to go colder, consider the reflective-coated RidgeRest SoLite or RidgeRest Solar.

Overall, the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest is a solid, durable sleeping pad for a low price. As such, it is my pick for the Best Budget Hammock Sleeping Pad.

Check current prices for the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest:

      

 

ALPS Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat

Weight: Variable

Dimensions: Variable

The ALPS Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat (could they come up with a better name?) is my personal go-to pad for my winter-time Grand Canyon forays.  I’ve got a 5/8″ /1.5 cm thick version that keeps me warm during cold nights, and gives me the option to go to the ground if I cannot find trees on which to hang my hammock.

It’s also really nice that it comes in a bunch of sizes and thicknesses that allow a hammock backpacker to tailor their pad to their needs for a reasonable price. The 3/8″ / 1 cm should be plenty for hammockers going down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit / 5 degrees Celsius. I use my 5/8″ down to about 30 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 degrees Celsius, and the 3/4″ /2 cm might even get you down to 20 degrees F / -7 degrees C.

Check out the extra-large size, it’s 30″ / 76cm  wide and should give most hammock campers good shoulder coverage.  Otherwise, stick with one of the large sizes, which are 25″ / 64 cm wide. The regular size ones are too narrow to be usable in a hammock unless you spring for sleeping pad wings.

Here’s the caveat with these foam pads: the thicker they are, the less comfortable they are to sleep on in a hammock. So if you’re looking for warmth and comfort in a hammock sleeping pad, look at the inflatable pads below.

Check current price on the ALPS Mountaineering Foam Camping Mat:

Best Inflatable Sleeping Pads for Hammock Camping

Inflatable sleeping pads have always been the staple of backpackers looking for comfort and capability. Essentially, they come in two types: self-inflating or not.

When sleeping on the ground, I’ve found the self-inflating pads have always been a joke. I found nearly thick enough to be very comfortable, and blowing up a pad with your mouth takes little time or effort anyway. However, they work a little better in a hammock, and are more comfortable to lay on than a thick CCF pad.

Of course, if you’re shelling out the bucks for a comfy pad, I do think you might be better served going for a big ol’ fat one that you have to blow up with your mouth.  It only takes a couple minutes max…

Of course, some of these cost so much that you might as well just get an under-quilt.  However, these pads still warrant considerations for those of thus that take our hammocks into situations where going to the ground is often a real scenario.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture WV (Large)

Weight: 2 lb / 907 g

Dimensions: 77 in / 196 cm long – 25 in / 63 cm wide – 2 in / 5 cm thick

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture WV is not the lightest or the warmest pad out there, but it is arguably the most comfortable.  If you’re looking for something that’s good down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit / 5 degrees Celsius, and will have sleeping like a baby, this might be the pad for you.

It’s not only thick and plush, it’s covered in brushed fabric that is nearly a necessity when sleeping on an inflatable air mattress while in a hammock. Just be sure to get the large size, as the other sizes are rather narrow to be used in a hammock, unless you this a pad-extender.

Considering its comfort level, it’s also very reasonable priced. As such, this is the winner of our Best Value Hammock Sleeping Pad award.

Overall, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture WV is a super-comfortable hammock pad for a great price, just as long as you’re using it in warm summertime weather!

Check currents prices for the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venture WV:

   

 

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Large)

Weight: 1 lb / 460 g

Dimensions: 77 in / 196 cm long – 25 in / 63 cm wide – 2.5 in / 6.3 cm thick

The Therm-a-Rest Neoair XLite provides a great combination of low weight, high comfort, and good insulating power.  This insulated sleeping pad should keep you warm down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit / -7 degrees Celsius.  Weighing at 1 pound / 460 grams (for the Large), its also fantastically light in weight.

Perhaps my only real qualm with it is the lack of brushed fabric, making it easier to slide around while you are sleeping in your hammock. I also prefer a rectangular shape over the taper of the XLite, as I like to curl up into a fetal position at times, but that is more personal preference than anything.

Once again, be sure to get the large as you will appreciate the extra 5 inches of width when you are curled up in the hammock.  Check out the Therm-a-Rest Neoair XLite SV for an upgrade to a rectangular shape and a special valve that speeds up inflation!

Shop for the best price on the Therm-a-Rest Neoair XLite:

      

Big Agnes QCore SLX (Wide-Long)

Weight: 1 lb / 460 g

Dimensions: 77 in / 196 cm long – 25 in / 63 cm wide – 2.5 in / 6.3 cm thick

The Big Agnes QCore SLX in the wide-long format is a beast of a sleeping pad.  However, you will be hard pressed to find a pad that combines warmth and comfort quite like this.  Just be willing to pay a pretty penny for it too.

Compared to the NeoAir XLite, this pad is quite a bit heavier, for the same amount of warmth.  That extra weight goes toward comfort! It’s non-collapsing edges help keep you in the center of the pad instead of slipping off the side.

The real drawback here is the price, which is similar in price to a full-length down under-quilt. But if you occasionally need to sleep on the ground and want the utmost comfort inside your hammock, the Big Agnes QCore SLX might be the right sleeping pad for you!

Check current prices for the Big Agnes QCore SLX:

      

Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm Max (Large)

Weight: 1.4 lb / 635 g

Dimensions: 77 in / 196 cm long – 25 in / 63 cm wide – 2.5 in / 6.3 cm thick

The Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm Max is the Cadillac of winter-weather sleeping pads.  Ground sleepers use this bad-boy in frigid sub-alpine environments, and it will keep you toasty in a hammock as well.  If you are in the market for a sleeping pad that will keep alive in the coldest of temperatures weather hanging or ground-dwelling, this is absolutely the best choice.

How warm is this sleeping pad? It’s rated to go down to at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit / -20 degrees Celsius.  For hammock camping, I wouldn’t dream of needing anything warmer than that.

Note that I’ve chosen the Large Max version for the extra coverage.  You could theoretically cut weight and price by getting the “regular” Neoair XTherm, with it’s tapered cut and smaller width. Of course, you will make up for the savings by needing a pad-extender.

Based on the temperate rating alone, the Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm Max is the winner of our Best Winter Hammock Sleeping Pad award.  But really, this is a fantastic cold-weather pad!

Shop for the best price on the Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm Max:

      

More Hammock Camping Resources:

Best Hammocks for Camping & Backpacking

Best Hammock Tarps for Camping & Backpacking

Best Hammock Tree Straps and Suspensions


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