Hammocks are pretty great to sleep inside. For one, they keep you off the cold, hard ground. They also stretch and conform to your body, giving you a comfortable place to sleep.
As comfortable as hammocks are, they can be uncomfortable for some sleepers. Not all people sleep the same way, and some campers might prefer sleeping in one position over the other. Luckily, there are all kinds of sleeping pads available for hammock camping. With varying sizes and features on the market, how are you supposed to pick one? Luckily, I’ve researched to help you find the best sleeping pads for hammock camping.
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List of the Best Sleeping Pads for Hammock Camping
How to Choose the Best Hammock Sleeping Pad
The best sleeping pad for one hammock camper might not be the smartest choice for another. In the end, it all depends on the outdoor conditions, the type of camper, and how much they are willing to carry and spend. Ideally, when choosing the best hammock sleeping pad, the camper should keep these factors at the forefront of their mind.
Conversely, I would argue that the right hammock sleeping pad should have a few main features no matter what the camper’s specific preferences are. Some things to look out for are:
- Packed Size
- Insulation (R-value)
Sleeping Pad Weight – Sleeping pads are thought of by some as a luxury item. While you can certainly get by without one, you probably won’t be getting a good night’s sleep without one. By including a sleeping pad in your pack, you will be adding extra weight, so it’s best to keep this weight to a minimum. Keeping a light pack will make your hike much more comfortable.
If you aren’t backpacking or hiking down the trail to your campsite, then the extra weight is probably not much of an issue.
Packed Size – Depending on the size of your pack, you may want a sleeping pad that packs down to a small size. This is especially true if you have a small backpack or limited space. Inflatable sleeping pads can roll down to a much smaller size than foam pads, but you can’t strap them to the outside of your pack like you would with a foam sleeping pad. You will want to store inflatable pads inside your backpack to prevent them from being punctured during your hike.
Shape – The size and shape of your sleeping pad will determine where it can fit and how you will lay on it. Using a sleeping pad in a hammock is different than using a sleeping pad on the ground. Hammock sleeping tends to create pressure points that ground sleepers don’t have to deal with. Being woken up in the middle of the night with sore shoulders is not fun, trust me. You might want to look for a sleeping pad that has wings to relieve these pressure points.
Material – There are two different types of sleeping pads: inflatable and non-inflatable. Inflatable sleeping pads are typically made out of nylon and are inflated by blowing air into them. They are usually more comfortable and provide more insulation. However, they can puncture if they aren’t taken care of.
Non-inflatable sleeping pads are usually made out of a foam material. This foam material will sometimes be textured for extra comfort. Non-inflatable pads don’t pack down as small as inflatable pads, but they aren’t prone to puncturing either. Most hikers and backpackers like to store their foam pads on the outside of their packs.
Insulation (R-Value) – If you are camping during the cold season, then you will want to pay attention to the R-value of your sleeping pad. The sleeping pad’s R-value is a measurement of how warm it will keep you while you lay on it. Higher R-values indicate that the sleeping pad will insulate better, and will be appropriate for cold temperatures. Sleeping pads with low R-values should only be used in warm outdoor temperatures when you don’t need to retain body heat.
Thickness – Thick sleeping pads are sought after by campers that require more support when they sleep. While thick sleeping pads tend to keep you more comfortable, it is not usually worth the increase in weight and size that you will have to carry. However, thickness and insulation are correlated, so you will find that thick sleeping pads tend to have higher R-values as well.
Cost – The quality of sleeping pad that you will be able to get is primarily determined by how much you are willing to pay. A cheap, simple foam pad might be sufficient for some situations. But in other cases, you might want to pay a little more to get a more comfortable inflatable pad. If you are going to be camping in the winter months, then be prepared to pay more for a sleeping pad with a high R-value.
Prioritizing Your Needs
Ultimately, I believe the best hammock sleeping pad is the one that meets the specific needs that you require depending on what you will use it for. The sleeping pads of a backpacker and a car camper, for instance, will differ significantly. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled the five best on the market and included breakdowns below. Each includes info pertaining to the specific type of camper best-suited for the sleeping pad depending on which of their needs is most important.
Reviews of the Best Sleeping Pads for Hammock Camping
To find the best sleeping pad for hammock camping, we looked at a variety of sleeping pads, each with different sizes, weights, and features. Depending on your hammock camping needs, there is likely a sleeping pad that will suit them.
Klymit Insulated Static V
The Klymit Insulated Static V sleeping pad is a lightweight sleeping pad that keeps you warm while it’s cold out. While not explicitly a hammock sleeping pad, the Static V serves well inside of hammocks due to its design. The shape of the Static V fits perfectly inside of most hammocks and provides support for sleeping in almost any position.
One thing that hammock campers tend to have a problem with is staying centered on their sleeping pad. This pad aims to solve that with its side rails that keep you centered on the pad. This pad is also great for camping when it’s cold out since it has an R-Value of 4.4.
Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
The Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad is a lightweight choice for a hammock camper that doesn’t need a lot of features. It is a simple sleeping pad that packs down to a small size for easy carry. Even though this sleeping pad isn’t purpose-made for hammocks, it provides great value for campers that need a simple sleeping pad on a budget.
The thing that we like most about this sleeping pad is that it is the lightest out of the bunch that we tested. Better yet, it can be inflated very quickly with a few breaths. This sleeping pad is ideal for backpackers that need a simple and effective lightweight solution to their hammock sleeping setup.
Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad
The Klymit Hammock V is a sleeping pad that is designed specifically for hammock camping. This sleeping pad has side wings that expand your hammock for more comfort and to help to keep your hammock out of your face. The side wings also serve to provide protection and insulation to your sides and relieve pressure from sensitive pressure points.
The thing that we like the most about this sleeping pad is that its size is the largest of all the ones that we tested. It is longer and wider than most sleeping pads and will stay in place inside of your hammock without sliding around. However, you will only want to use this sleeping pad during mild weather since it does not provide much insulation from the cold.
IFORREST Sleeping Pad with Armrest & Pillow
The IFORREST Sleeping Pad is an inflatable pad that has features that are normally not found at its price point. It includes built-in side armrests that are able to fold inwards. These armrests make this sleeping pad ideal for hammock camping since they provide side support for sore spots. Better yet, you can leave the camping pillow at home since this sleeping pad also includes a built-in pillow for head support.
The side armrests and pillow inflate separately from the sleeping pad, so you are able to individually adjust the firmness of all three components.
Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus
The Therm-a-Rest Prolite Plus is a 4-season backpacking pad that is ideal for cold weather situations. With an R-value of 3.4, this pad will keep you warm while hanging out in your hammock. Better yet, this pad has a foam core that self-inflates, so you don’t need to go out of breath blowing it up.
While this isn’t a purpose-made hammock camping pad, it does fit well in hammock set ups and comes in various sizes for any body type. One thing that it does lack, however, is wings on the side of the pad. So if you need some padding on the side of your body, or have some sore spots on your shoulders, then you should look for a different pad.
Hammock Sleeping Pad Comparison Table
|Sleeping Pad||Weight||Size||Packed Size||Material||R-Value||Thickness|
72" x 23"
8" x 5"
75" x 23"
8" x 3.5"
78" x 47"
10" x 5"
77" x 26"
17.8" x 5.8"
72" x 20"
11" x 4.8"