Camping Sleeping Pad Test

Today, we’re testing out sleeping pads. Now, we hopped on to Outdoor Gear Lab, a great, fantastic review company, who reviewed over 20 sleeping pads. We took their top three, which we have right here. We then hopped over to Amazon and found out what their best selling sleeping pad was, which we bought as well. Let’s get these things inflated and get going.

You would probably think, “Hmm, which one of these companies is paying him the most?” But, this is a completely unbiased review by friends of mine with stake in this.

I covered up the brand names to give all pads a fair chance as some of these pads range from $50 up to $300.

Both the Exped and Therm-A-Rest, kept me off the ground when placing all my weight on the knees. I felt the ground pretty good with the Sea to Summit and definitely felt it with the Klymit Static.

Let’s how fast these guys dry on a sunny day in the middle of September in Upstate New York in a temperature of 82 degrees, humidity 46%, wind out of the north northwest at five miles per hour, dew point 56 degrees, and a sun seated at the angle of 143. Okay, I may have made some of that up.

While it’s been about 15 minutes. The first one to dry, which really dried in about three or four minutes, was the Exped. Next in line was the NeoAir Therm-A-Rest, and kind of a toss up of a tie between the Static V and the Sea to Summit. Onto the next test.

How well insulated are they? Don’t judge, this was the best I could come up with on a hot day. I sat on them and measured how long it took before I could feel the cold on my tush. The Exped 45 seconds, Therm-A-Rest two minutes 24 seconds, Sea to Summit the winner at two minutes 39 seconds, and Klymit Static a whopping 9.5 seconds.

Go, go, go.

How strong are these? One would say they are pit bull proof and I would tend to agree with them. Since my dog wasn’t able to do the trick, how ’bout this pile of rocks, sticks, logs, dirt, hell and damnation? If that’s not enough let’s add 500 pounds of pea gravel and let sit for two hours.

Have to admit I was expecting to come out and find some deflated pads but all passed. Let’s take it up a notch but we test gear to the breaking point. Exped was the first and experienced the most damage. It was the only one that tore down the seam. This is one of the smallest of the five tears.

Therm-A-Rest offered a fun ride down, almost as fun as winter sledding, and had one small tear. Sea to Summit slid the best, as if that matters, and had about a half in tear. Here’s some of the insulation in case you were wondering what it looked like. I’ll go ahead and tuck that back in there. Finally, the Klymit, which also tore about an inch and a half.

Lucky for me, all pads come with a repair kit. It wasn’t until I patched up the holes that I realized all the damage to the Exped, which totaled about five holes. Therm-A-Rest, Sea to Summit, and Klymit had the one hole previously shown.

To test my patch job let’s add 150 pounds of pea gravel and let stand for two hours. Before I do, and for good measure, I’ll hop on too for a total combined weight of 320 pounds.

Exped was flatter than flat after two hours while the other three didn’t lose any air.

Fire test.

Sometimes you sleep next to a fire so let’s see what would happen if a rogue ember made it’s way over. Exped burned the most, about four to five small holes. Therm-A-Rest almost popped. If you look closely you can see how it started to bubble but didn’t go all the way through. No holes for the Therm-A-Rest.

Sea to Summit had about five to six small holes, which if you rubbed your hand on it you could feel them, as they are difficult to see. Finally, Klymit Static V, which had about one to two small holes.



Teresa is a staff writer at Camping Is Easy and enjoys talking about the great experiences that she's had along the way.

One Response

  1. Very good article. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep writing!

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Camping Is Easy® was founded by lifelong friends who shared a passion for both the great outdoors and the gear required to enjoy it to the fullest. Erik & Alex now travel the world searching for the best camping spots all while reviewing the products they use along the way. Thanks for visiting!

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