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Sleeping Pad R Values

Sleeping Pad R Values

Sleeping Pad Insulation

A sleeping pad’s R-Value measures its ability to insulate you from cold ground and keep you warm. The higher the R value, the more effective it is.

R-Value Recommendations

  • For winter backpacking and camping, an R-value of 5, or higher, is recommended.
  • For three-season backpacking and camping, an R-value of 2, or higher,  is recommended.
  • R-values are additive, so you can combine two pads to increase your warmth level.
  • Women need higher R-values pads because they have lower body mass than men. An additional R value of 1 is usually a good hedge for women and other cold sleepers

For purposes of backpacking, you also need to factor in weight, comfort, compressibility, and rigidity when you make a sleeping pad selection. In addition, side sleepers may not receive the full R-value of benefit of an inflatable insulated pad because their bodies are not in full contact with the surface of the pad. This is particularly true for insulated sleeping pads that depend on your body heat to warm them up.

Sleeping Pad R-Value Comparison

The following table provides a side by side comparison of the major sleeping pads available in the US market. The pad weights listed are sized for 72″ long x 20″ wide pads, though there are a few exceptions below. The R-Value of a pad should remain the same if you select a longer, shorter, or wider variation of the pad. If a sleeping pad has a R-Value of “NA”, it’s because the manufacturer has not supplied one or R-value testing has not been performed.

Make / ModelR-ValueWeightThicknessType
Stansport Blue Foam Pad1.49.60.375Foam
Therm-a-Rest Z-lite SOL2.6140.75Foam
Therm-a-Rest Z Shield1.5120.38Foam
Therm-a-Rest Prolite2.4171Self-Inflating
Therm-a-Rest Prolite Womens3171Self-Inflating
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite3.2122.5Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Womens3.9122.5Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm5.7152.5Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Max SV3.2162.5Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir All Season4.9192.5Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker3172.5Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest Solar3.5190.79Foam
Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest SOLite2.8141.5Foam
Therma-Rest Prolite Plus3.4201.5Self-Inflating
Therma-Rest Prolite Plus Womens4.2201.5Self-Inflating
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Venutre WV1.8242Inflatable
Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro4302Self-Inflating
Therm-a-Rest Womens Trail Pro4.8302Self-Inflating
Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite3.4281.5Self-Inflating
Klymit V Ultralite SL1.311.92Inflatable
Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL4.415.22Inflatable
Klymit Static V1.318.72.5Inflatable
Klymit Static V Recon1.318.72.5Inflatable
Klymit Static V Camo1.3192.5Inflatable
Klymit Static V Junior1.313.52.5Inflatable
Klymit Static V Luxe1.6273Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Static V4.4242.5Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Static V Camo4.4242.5Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Static V Recon4.4242.5Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Static V Lite4.419.92.5Inflatable
Klymit Inertia X FrameNA8.51.5Inflatable
Klymit Inertia XLNA14.11.5Inflatable
Klymit Inertia X-LiteNA5.61.5Inflatable
Klymit Inertia OZoneNA10.91.8Inflatable
Klymit Static V21.316.62.5Inflatable
Klymit X WaveNA10.51.5Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Static V Luxe5353Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Static V4.4252.5Inflatable
Klymit Armored V1.646.42.5Inflatable
Klymit Double V1.643.23Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Double V4.457.63Inflatable
Klymit Hammock V1.327.32.5Inflatable
Klymit Insulated Hammock V4.4352.5Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Ultralight Mat0.713.92Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Plus Insulated Mat527.62.5Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Light SI Mat2.7212Self-Inflating
Sea-to-Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat3.316.92Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Deluze SI Mat5.2564Self-Inflating
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Light Insulated Mat4.221.82.5Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Plus SI Mat4.1313Self-Inflating
Sea-to-Summit Ultralight SI Mat2.6191Self-Inflating
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Deluxe Insulated Mat5353Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Plus Mat2.5252.5Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Comfort Light Mat118.12.5Inflatable
Sea-to-Summit Camp SI Mat4251.5Self-Inflating
Exped MagaMat 12 Lite5.333.74.7Inflatable
Exped MegaMat 109.589.63.9Self-Inflating
Exped MegaMat 10 Duo9.51203.9Self-Inflating
Exped DownMat XP 9831.63.5Inflatable
Exped DownMat UL722.23.5Inflatable
Exped DownMat TT 9749.43.5Inflatable
Exped SynMat HL Duo5372.8Inflatable
Exped SynMat HL515.23.5Inflatable
Exped SynMat UL Lite520.63.5Inflatable
Exped SynMat TT9632.33.5Inflatable
Exped SynMat XP 9831.63.5Inflatable
Exped SynMat UL Lite2.518.22Inflatable
Exped SynCellMat 52.924.72Inflatable
Exped AirMat UL Lite1.712.32Inflatable
REI Flash Insulated3.7152Inflatable
REI Flash All-Season Insulated5.219.42Inflatable
REI Air Rail 1.54.2261.5Self-inflating
REI Air Rail 1.5 Women's4.2251.5Self-inflating
REI Trekker5.6401.75Self-inflating
REI Kingdom Insulated3.5512.75Inflatable
REI Stratus Insulated2.9212.5Inflatable

Sleeping Pad Temperature Ratings

Some manufacturers do not provide R-values for their sleeping pads, most notably Big Agnes and NEMO, but instead provide minimum recommended temperatures or ranges. The problem with using temperature rating is there are no standard testing procedures to determine them. Some brands, like Big Agnes, also have a poor consumer track record when it comes to temperature range accuracy. So buyer beware.

Beginning in 2020, new sleeping pad R-value testing standards are expected to come into effect that all sleeping pad manufacturers will have to use. Until then, you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to manufacturers that use temperature ratings to label their pads.

Make / ModelTemperature RatingWeightThicknessType
Big Agnes AXL AirAbove Freezing9.63.75Self-Inflating
Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air32F / 0C11.93.75Inflatable
Big Agnes Air Core UltraAbove Freezing213.5Inflatable
Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra32F / 0C233.5Inflatable
Big Agnes Two TrackBelow Freezing242Self-Inflating
Big Agnes HinmanBelow Freezing341.5Self-Inflating
Big Agnes Q-Core SLX32F / 0C164.25Inflatable
Big Agnes Q-Core Deluxe32F / 0C234.25Inflatable
Big Agnes Air Core UltraAbove Freezing223.5Inflatable
Big Agnes Third Degree Foam Pad32F / 0C120.5Foam
NEMO Astro35F / 2C193.5Inflatable
NEMO Astro Lite35F / 2C143.5Inflatable
NEMO Astro Insulated15F / -9C273.5Inflatable
NEMO Astro Insulated Lite15F / -9C193.5Inflatable
NEMO Cosmo35F / 2C243.5Inflatable
NEMO Cosmo Insulated15F / -9C293.5Inflatable
NEMO Nomad40F / 4C486Inflatable
NEMO Nomad Insulated25F / -4C606Inflatable
NEMO Vector30F / -1C173Inflatable
NEMO Vector Insulated15F / -9C193Inflatable
NEMO Tensor30F / -1C183Inflatable
NEMO Tensor Mummy 20S30F / -1C83Inflatable
NEMO Tensor Insulated15F / -9C213Inflatable
NEMO Tensor Field Insulated15F / -9C173Inflatable

Updated 2018.

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9 comments

  1. Whether you’re car camping, backpacking or just looking for a pad which can handle any outdoors sleeping duty in absolute comfort. You have shared a great content, hope this might help campers and hikers.

  2. Hi Philip, long time! Thanks so much for this info. It’s the only place on the internet I could find it in a pinch. You come through once again.
    -Erika K

  3. I have both Big Agnes Insulated Air Core (4.1 R value) and NeoAir XLite (3.2 R value) and tested them in my back yard on an icy night with the temperature in the teens. My back froze with the Big Agnes pad and I switched to the NeoAir pad and was plenty warm. Although the Big Agnes has a higher R value, for me, the reflective internal baffles seem to work better than the insulation. I have since spent a number of cold nights on the NeoAir and have never been uncomfortable.

    I just bought the XLite for women on MassDrop. It has a 3.9 R value and is a little shorter than my regular but will still work fine for me. The regular will go to my grandson, who has certainly outgrown his small one.

    I’ve also bought some of the insulated Klymit pads on MassDrop but haven’t given them a proper test yet. I may back yard test one in our next cold snap.

  4. Great overview of sleeping pads for comparison. Thanks!

  5. I have two Exped Megamat 10 LXW’s. They are by far the best pads I’ve ever slept on. They are self-inflating, are big, (30x78x4- I cover them with a fitted sheet to make a queen bed), and have straight sidewalls so you get the full width. I’m a side-sleeper, and these are very comfortable for me. They also each have an R-value of 9.5. I’ve used these in sub-zero temps, and they never transmit any cold. Very expensive ($200+ each), but highly recommended!

  6. I’m getting an REI Flash Insulated mattress in their next 20% sale. It is a 3 season mattress good for (if my Prolite is any guide) to around 15 F. at least. This is the best R value for the weight other than an X-Therm, which I eschew.

    REI sez they guarantee the welds and that’s all I worry about. Other small holes I can patch myself.

  7. Thanks for the list. 1. You need to add products from pariaoutdoorproducts.com and 2. if it were sortable it would be bomber!

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