5 Major Benefits of an Inflatable Sleeping Pad
Among essential camping gear, sleeping pads rank quite high. After roaming around in the wilderness, swimming, fishing and playing games, you need a good night’s sleep. So, you should make sure you have the best sleeping pads which can provide you ample comfort to prevent any body aches and pains, and warmth and softness against the cold, hard ground underneath.
When it comes to camping sleeping pads, you have two options, viz. inflatable sleeping pad and foam sleeping pad. Obviously the inflatable sleeping pad is much more convenient than its foam counterpart because when not in use, it can be deflated, folded and stored in a small space, tucked in any of your bags or backpacks. You just have to carry the air pump to inflate the bag. If you don’t have one, you can even inflate the pad with your breath.
Let’s see what the amazing benefits of an inflatable sleeping pad are.
1. More Comfort
As compared to a foam pad, an inflatable sleeping pad offers much more comfort because it’s thicker. It also provides better support to the curves of human body so that none of the body parts remains unsupported during the sleep and thus the entire body gets optimum comfort. The most remarkable feature of this pad is that its firmness can be adjusted by adding or reducing air which you cannot get in a foam pad. You have to bear with the firmness or excessive softness (which too is uncomfortable) of a foam pad if it has that.
You obviously want your gear to be as light as possible because you have to carry many other things. An inflatable sleeping pad can be folded and stored in your bag and becomes ultra-light.
3. Less Space Required
As mentioned earlier, inflatable pads can be folded and stored in your bag and thus take much less space than foam pads, so can be tucked anywhere in your luggage conveniently. When needed, however, i.e. when you want to sleep it becomes significantly larger and provides you a sizeable space to stretch, unwind and relax.
The warmth of a sleeping pad can be found by looking at its R-value. The higher the R-value the more insulation does the pad provide. Although a combination of an inflatable sleeping pad and camping pillow is the best for a comfortable sleep during camping, usually the R-value of inflatable sleeping pads is low and so, they are good for warm weather or 3 season camping. However, you can increase the R-value of an inflatable pad by combing it with another pad and increase your warmth level. In 4-season varieties of pads, a down filling is used to increase the R-value and to make it suitable for cold weather camping.
You may wonder what R-value is. It’s the measure of a sleeping pad’s ability to lose heat (to the ground) when you lie on it. Pads with a greater R-value lose less heat to the ground and thus offer more warmth to the user, whereas the thing is opposite in case of pads with a lower R-value.
Thus R-value 5 or higher is good for winter camping and R-value 2 is good for three-season camping. Women need pads with a higher R-value as they have lower body mass than men.
5. Advanced Technology
To make inflatable sleeping pads even more comfortable, convenient and light, and less bulky, companies are trying to invent and try new materials which are stronger and lighter. Inflatable pads keep updating by integrating new technology every now and then. You can even get self-inflating pads with a foam core insulation which can provide adequate warmth.
So, have you started looking for a nice inflatable sleeping pad?