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Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping

Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping!

A good quality sleeping pad can be the difference between a good nights rest or a restless night when you’re on the road car camping. With a lot of different varieties and styles available at all different price points, it can be challenging to choose the best sleeping pad for your situation.

In this guide, we’ll go through our choices for the best sleeping pads for car camping along with some helpful information on the types of pads available & what to consider when purchasing a sleeping pad.

Best Sleeping Pads

RankBrandPillow TypeCurrent PriceRatingCheck Price
Best Sleeping Pad Quick Overview

1. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad


NeoAir UberLite Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping

For those looking for a well known brand in the camping niche it’s hard to go past the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad. We’ve reviewed a few of their products in the past and they have performed well for sleeping products including in the Best Pillows for camping category.

With multiple size options available you should be able to find the perfect size pad for your own car camping setup from small pads (20*47 Inches) to their large pads (25*77 Inches). Being an inflatable pad they also pack and store compactly which makes them ideal for smaller car camping set-ups or those looking to save space.

The R Value of this particular pad is 2.3 which makes it ideal for slightly warmer months and camping conditions however, Therm-a-rest offer a variety of pads designed for each climate which can be found on the Therm-a-rest store.

Like anything filled with air this ultralight gear is suspectable to punctures when not taken properly care of, so make sure that the surface you are setting it up on is free of sharp objects.

Overall the Therm-a-rest NeoAir sleeping pad is our choice for a light weight, compact sleeping pad for car camping. It offers a moderate level of comfort for short to medium term car camping trips and is great to support an USA built company.


  1. Ultra compact: Being an inflatable sleeping pad, this is super easy to store without taking up to much precious space or adding to much weight to your set-up.
  2. Perfect for warmer weather: If you are looking to car camp in the summer or in typically warmer states (such as California) the low R rating is great to avoid excess heat.
  3. Pump Sack Included: A pump sack is included to quickly inflate the pad with out having to wear yourself (and your lungs) out before going to sleep.
  4. Ultra-light weight: weighing in at a little over half a pound this sleeping pad is great for those who sometimes ditch the car to hike or backpack camp.


  1. Small can be too small: the small size option of the sleeping pad seems to be a little to small for larger users, especially with it’s tapered design. An upside is its great for vehicles with smaller back seats.
  2. Can be punctured: as previously mentioned, being a light weight inflatable mattress, it is prone to punctures if you are not being vigilant.
  3. Price: Coming in at close to $200 USD, this sleeping pad is moderately expensive compared to others and may not be suitable for all budgets.


At the time of our review the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite Sleeping Pad was available for $186.15 USD for a small (including a 7% discount) or $249.95 for a large. For up to date pricing make sure to see the Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad Listing.

2. WELLAX Sleeping Pad – Foam Camping Mat


Foam Camping Mats, Fast Air Self-Inflating Insulated Durable Mattress

Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping

The Wellax Sleeping Pad has made our list of best sleeping pads for car camping as best choice for a foam mattress. With the extra support offered by the 3 Inch sleeping pad, this offers great comfort for long term car campers or road trippers.

These foam pads are super easy to use, set up and pack away and stored if needed. Being a ‘self inflating’ style mattress you don’t have to worry about bringing a pump along or wearing out your lungs, these are also more durable and forgiving on uneven surfaces.

As they are made of foam, they are more durable and tear resistant which allows you to sleep easy without having to worry about punctures in the middle of the night.

With use, we’ve found that the self inflation sometimes doesn’t get the firmness preferred by side sleepers, however opening one of the inflation valves and blowing a little extra air inside helps improve this (you can also deflate it slightly for a softer feel). They seem to sometimes leak a bit of air with constant use so inflating that little bit extra every week or so does the trick.

For those who have a more permanent car camping setup or hit the road often we’d recommend the Wellax Foam sleeping pad over inflatable ones due to the extra level of comfort it provides (trust us, your back will thank you later).


  1. Quick Self Inflating: with 2 separate valves, this mattress inflates in under 5 min by its self making it super simple to set up and use.
  2. Water Proof: Covered in Rip Stop Nylon, this mattress is not only durable but waterproof.
  3. Large Size: The one size fits all approach is taken by Wellax with the pad measuring in at 77″ L x 27″ W making it ideal for most full grown adults.


  1. Size: Unlike inflatable sleeping pads, this foam mattress does not compress anywhere near as much making it slightly bulkier to transport (however we believe the added comfort makes up for this)


The Wellax Sleeping Pad had one size and was available for purchase for $79.99 USD when we completed our review, inclusive of a 11% discount. For current pricing make sure to see the Wellax Sleeping Pad Listing.

3. KingChii Memory Foam Camping Mattress


Memory Foam Camping Mattress, Portable Roll Up Travel Car Camping Mattress Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping

For those looking for a more comfortable alternative to the typical air inflatable sleeping pad for their next car camping adventure its hard to go past the memory foam style mattress from KingChii.

What you lose in portability with this sleeping pad you gain in comfort with the memory foam and high density sponge blend offering enough support and comfort, even with extended periods of use.

Although it comes with velrco straps and a travel bag for storage, we found this sleeping pad is best left out in its use position if space allows so in your car camping setup.

If you are looking for a sleeping pad for a long road trip or living out of you car full time we’d highly recommend a foam style mattress as they offer a lot more support and comfort which makes this sleeping pad perfect.


  1. Comfort & Support: With the memory foam material and reasonable thickness there is plenty of support to sleep comfortably.
  2. Anti-slip material: With an anti-slip bottom this sleeping pad stays firmly in place during the night and is great for putting on platforms.
  3. Portable: Although not as portable as inflatable mattresses this can still be rolled up and transported in its travel bag if needed.
  4. Larger Size: The Single size sleeping pad is 75″ x 30″ giving you plenty of space to sleep, KingChii also offer a larger twin style sleeping pad with and additional 8″ in width.


  1. Not Waterproof: Unlike other options in our list this sleeping pad is not lined with a waterproof layer meaning it is susceptible to absorbing liquids if you happen to have a spill.
  2. Thickness affected by temperature: The material is affected by changes in temperature, with some conditions seeing the pad only expand to just over 2″ of the advertised 3″.


This sleeping pad offers great value coming in at just over $100 USD for their single size mattress, which is well below other comparable products that can retail for over $300 USD. For up to date pricing make sure to see the KingChii Memory Foam Camping Mattress listing.

4. Klymit V Lite Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Brand: Klymit

Insulated Static V Lite Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping

If you are looking for a lightweight sleeping pad with portability that still is reasonably comfortable the Klymit V Lite Inflatable Sleeping pad is for you.

With a unique v shape design this inflatable sleeping pad has plenty of support with additional insulation that is not found with traditional style inflatable pads. Although it has the additional ‘insulation’ with its design it is more of a 3 season sleeping pad and does not offer a high enough R-value for colder climates.

The size of sleeping pad is slightly smaller than others on this list when inflated being 72″ L by 23″ W, although this may be ideal for those limited to space in their setup we’ve found it to feel cramped. It also isn’t as thick as the foam options at only 2″ high when inflated.

With both insulated and non insulated versions available of the Klymit sleeping pad, we’d recommend going for the insulated version to allow you to sleep a little more comfortably in multiple climates.


  1. Light Weight: When deflated the insulated Klymit sleeping pad weighs in at under 20oz, perfect for travelling and storage.
  2. Easy to use & Inflate: With it’s simple design, this sleeping pad is quick & easy to inflate ready to use straight away.


  1. Not ideal for cold climates: Even with it’s insulation this sleeping pad is not designed for colder climates.
  2. Can Puncture: As with all the inflatable style sleeping pads this pad can puncture and lose air.


The Klymit V Lite inflatable sleeping pad currently retails for just over $50 USD with the insulated model (recommended) listed at $90.88 USD inclusive of a 9% discount. For current pricing make sure to visit the Klymit V Lite Inflatable Sleeping pad lisitng.

5. Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad

Brand: Therm-a-Rest

Basecamp Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Pad

Best Sleeping Pads For Car Camping

It shouldn’t be a surprise by now for another Therm-a-rest sleeping pad to make our top picks and this time for our choice of a winter sleeping pad with the Therm-a-rest Basecamp Self Inflating Sleeping pad.

With an R Value of 6.0 this sleeping pad is perfect for all season car camping and even performs well getting into extreme cold situations.

As a sleeper who appreciates a larger sleeping pad or mattress their XL option was great measuring in at 30″ W by 77″ L which makes it comfortable even for larger people (6ft+). They also offer regular and large sizes at 20″ x 72″ and 25″ x 77″ respectively.

The sleeping pad is designed with durability and ruggedness in mind with the thick pad providing a warm and comfy surface for sleeping on that is dependable.

Overall this sleeping pad is our choice for those car camping all year round and are looking for a reliable and warm sleeping pad.


  1. Warm: With a high R value and thick thermal foam material, this sleeping pad is perfect for colder weather and all season car camping.
  2. Self Inflating: Super easy to use and inflate, with the self inflation working in about 5 to 10 min, with the ability to blow in air to make firmer.
  3. Water resistant: With a polyester top layer this pad is water proof and super easy to clean with a damp cloth.


  1. Thickness: It is not as thick as other sleeping pads on this list coming in at 2″ however the durable material doesn’t compress as much as others when in use.
  2. Not as portable: Being a foam style mattress this doesn’t compress as much for storage as inflatable mattresses, which isn’t too much of an issue with more permanent car camping set-ups.


The XL Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Sleeping Pad were available online for $149.95 with Large at $95.75 (inclusive of a 29% discount) and regular size pads for $109.95. For up to date pricing make sure to checkout the Therm-a-rest Basecamp Self Inflating Sleeping pad lisitng.

Types of Sleeping pads

There a a few different sleeping pads currently available on the market that are suitable for car camping, these include but are not limited to:

Self-inflating sleeping pads

These are one of the most common types of sleeping pads used for car camping. These pads have an internal foam core that inflates by itself when the valve is opened. These are relatively cheap and easy to use making them easy to set up and use.

Foam sleeping pads

Foam sleeping pads are made of a dense foam material that does not inflate. These pads are lightweight and durable, but they do not provide as much cushioning as self-inflating pads. As these do not inflate, they are bulkier than other sleeping pads which can make them difficult to store or transport in smaller vehicles.

Air-inflated sleeping pads

These are similar to self-inflating pads, but they will require you to inflate them manually. Air-inflated sleeping pads are lightweight and packable, but they do not provide as much insulation as self-inflating or foam pads. Due to their compact size when deflated these are ideal for smaller cars or those looking to save space.

What to look for when buying a sleeping pad?

With all the different types of sleeping pads available it can be difficult to make a decision, so to help out we’ve come up with a few import things to consider when choosing a sleeping pad.


Insulation is an extremely important consideration when choosing a sleeping pad. Make sure to choose a pad that is rated for the temperatures you’ll likely be camping in to ensure that you stay warm and comfortable throughout the night.

R-value is typically used by manufactures as a rating to measure a pad’s insulation, with the higher the R-value the better insulation it provides.

Size and weight

Consider the size and weight of the pad, as you need something that is suitable to your vehicle or camping setup. If you’re car camping in a larger vehicle, size and weight may not be as much of a concern, you can go for a larger and more luxurious option.


A thicker pad will provide more cushioning, but it will also be heavier and bulkier. So, it’s important to find the right balance between thickness and weight that works for you.

Type of the pad

With the different types of sleeping pads available, such as self-inflating, foam or air-inflated. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks. Be sure to consider your needs and preferences when choosing the type of pad that is best for you.


As with any purchase decision cost can play a big factor with what sleeping pad you buy. You’ll need to consider the value the sleeping pad will provide to you and how often you will use it.

How much do sleeping pads cost?

You’ll find entry level sleeping pads are available for around $50 which are great for beginners looking to start car camping or for those looking to do small in frequent trips. Higher end sleeping pads can range from $300 – $400 which often offer greater comfort and durability making them ideal for those looking to do long term travel or live in their car.

What are the benefits of Sleeping pads?

A sleeping pad is like a magic carpet for your camping adventure, providing a comfortable and cozy base for a good night’s sleep. But it’s not just about the comfort, there are several benefits of using a sleeping pad for car camping.

Sleeping pad serve as an important barrier between you and the cold, hard ground or the back seat of a car. They assist with insulation, keeping you warm and toasty throughout the night. So, you don’t have to worry about waking up feeling like a popsicle.

Sleeping pads provide a much needed cushioning effect, making it much more comfortable to sleep on. This means you won’t have to worry about waking up with aches and pains all over your body. Trust us, your back will thank you.

Another benefit of sleeping pads is that they can be used to create a barrier against the dampness and moisture. This is particularly important if you’re camping in an area that tends to be damp or humid. With a sleeping pad, you won’t have to worry about waking up feeling damp and clammy.

Overall, sleeping pads are a must-have for any car camping adventure. Providing insulation, comfort, and protection, to help ensure you have a good night’s sleep, to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day’s adventures.

If you are looking to set up a car camping build for your next adventure make sure to checkout our other related articles including our complete guide to car camping bedding.


  • Augustus

    Augustus, an intrepid traveler and RV enthusiast, has journeyed across North America, Europe, and Australia, turning his passion for adventure into a life's mission. His love for exploring began in his childhood, with local hikes and camping trips igniting a deep connection with nature. This connection now shines through in his popular travel blog, where he shares not just tips but personal stories, captivating a community of fellow wanderers. His travels are further enriched by his partnership with Zaara, his wife and travel companion, together exploring remote landscapes and diverse cultures. Augustus is also a skilled photographer, capturing the beauty of nature and the essence of his nomadic lifestyle in each shot. His life story is a mosaic of breathtaking experiences, a testament to the beauty of following one’s passions and embracing the unknown, inspiring others to explore the world with the same fervor.

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