Why Inflatable Sleeping Pads Are the Best
Are you still sleeping on your old closed-cell foam or egg crate Thermarest sleeping pad? If your answer was yes, you should consider upgrading to an inflatable one.
An inflatable sleeping pad is light-weight, packable, and considerably more comfortable than a closed-cell foam pad. The technology that makes a blow up pad more comfortable has come a long way from early inflatable pads. Today, new inflatable sleeping mats now feature quilted baffles, multiple layer air valves, and lightweight insulation. These features improve the quality and comfort compared to previous models.
Quilted baffles allow air to fall into pockets that allow you to sleep on your back, stomach, or sides. With the air pushed into different chambers, the pad will be more forgiving than an open chamber inflatable pad. If the sleeping pad is underinflated, the quilted baffles disperse air so you won’t feel like you’re sinking into a hammock.
Multiple layer air valves allow you to easily inflate, deflate, and adjust the air pressure of your inflatable sleeping pad. Open the valve for inflating and adjusting the air pressure and you will see a silicone barrier that only allows air in and blocks air from escaping. Blow up pads are small enough that you can inflate these pads manually. The quilted baffles also help take up space so you have less to inflate.
Once you have your sleeping pad inflated, you can lay on the pad and use the silicone barrier to adjust the air. Simply pressing on the barrier will allow air to escape slowly so that you can micro-adjust your sleeping mat.
To deflate, open the second valve. This second valve is usually about a quarter-sized hole that allows air to escape quickly for efficient deflating. Leave the valve open while you fold and roll up your sleeping pad to make sure all the air has escaped before closing.
Many people still choose closed-cell foam sleeping pads because of their insulating properties on cold nights. Closed-cell foam does keep you better insulated below than air. However, modern inflatable sleeping pads are using lightweight insulation along the top to help you retain your heat and not lose it thought the pad.
Inflatable sleeping pads have come a long way from what they used to be. Gone are the days of feeling every rock and lump under your closed-cell foam pad. With new technology for lightweight materials and new insulation, inflatable sleeping pads are preferable for backpacking and car camping.