But what is the difference between the sleeping pads that cost $30 and the ones that cost $200?
What is the difference between the small ones and the large and thick ones ?
You need to choose your air mattress to suit your camping experience. To begin with, consider the conditions under which you will use it (weather, duration of stay, soil type, temperature, etc.). Then determine what are your preferences and priorities, be it comfort or just R-value.
Once you have identified you selection criteria, you will have no problem choosing your sleeping pad for hiking reading the rest of this article.
Here are some criteria to be taken into account, but if you want a definitive guide that will offer you all the information you need to know on sleeping pads then you should check the one on bestairmattressguide.com website where James made a great job on it.
Often, there are sleeping pads that are fit for all seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter air mattress). Please note that this definition is valid for temperate regions. Even in summer, it may be necessary to have a winter mattress in some cold regions.
Sleeping pads that are only for 2 seasons are often thinner and less isolated from cold. They are though much lighter, less bulky and often cheaper. In winter it is possible to combine several sleeping pads or invest in a winter special one.
There are different sizes of mattresses built to match your body type. There are sleeping pads of different lengths, widths and different shapes. There are even some made specially for women.
Do not be surprised to see very short mattress ( about 1.20 m). These mattresses are made only for the upper body - placed where the majority of heat is lost.
With this type of mattress you can stack clothes or your backpack under your legs to protect them from cold. This is a less comfortable alternative and slightly less insulating but lighter and cheaper.
For foam mattress, just take a knife and cut it to reduce the size of the mattress if you prefer lightweight comfort.
The best comparison charts and also the most honest and complete reviews for all of the important air mattresses or air beds brands you will find on http://www.bestairmattressguide.com. Make sure you check that out as you are bound to make the smart choice following the tips there.
If sleeping comfort is your priority, it's not the mattress that will make a huge difference but mainly the choice of the location of your mattress. Well, surely a self-inflating mattress of 2.5 cm thick is more comfortable than a foam mattress of 0.7 cm thick but you must take into consideration the ground that you lay it on (rocks, bumps, etc.). But there will be very little difference though for large irregularities.
Having these in mind you are now prepared to find what is the best sleeping pad for you. Try a couple and you will find that it is just a matter of time until you get one that you will actually love and take it everywhere you go.