Sleeping Pad Selection Guide

As I was sitting around on a day off while resting up from a 10 mile run, I made this guide for selecting a sleeping pad based on desired warmth or season and lightest weight possible.
I'm partial to Therm-A-Rest pads, but this can apply for others.
It's pretty involved, so be prepared.

The top two charts are for 3/4 and full length sleeping pads, respectively, based on R value per weight in ounces.

The large table is for the lightest, warmest, and most logical pad combinations, based on R value per weight in ounces.  It is followed by an organized list of pad combinations in order of R value.

Highlighted in the tables are my personal pad selections, based on season, weight, warmth, and if a 3/4 length, full length, or combination of pads is desired.

If you have any questions or comments/insight, let me know.


  1. Hi.
    Great post. Good to see that it's not only my obsessing over the important things in life.
    To get this straight: If you put Blue Evazote on the NeoAir, youre good to go?

  2. Hey Runar,
    Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    Unfortunately, this whole topic is not clear-cut, black-and-white, & straight-forward, as I'd like to see it be...
    Personally, I feel 4 is the minimum R-value for below zero camping, but preferably, 4.5. Blue evazote foam and a 66 or 72 in NeoAir is a COMFORTABLE way to achieve this. However, I don't feel 2.5 in of air underneath me at negative temps is very warm. (Think sleeping on a hammock without a pad - not the same, but the idea might apply somewhat)
    Also, when it's that cold, I don't want to deal with an inflatable pad, as I'm blowing weight (water vapor = ice) into the pad every night, plus having to blow it up in general. Closed-cell foam is my favorite for cold temps. Snow is soft, anyway, and nothing is warmer for the weight than foam.
    The catch is figuring out how to carry two ccf pads. I like to use either the torso-sized blue evazote folded in thirds or a torso(+)-sized Z-Lite pad as my back panel and then strap a rolled ccf pad to the outside. Super light & super warm.
    I should update this chart with more specs, technique, and detailed thoughts.
    Thanks for the idea and I hope this clarifies things.
    If you're not camping in winter, below zero, you might not even need an R-value of 2. It all depends on the ground temperatures, not the air.
    Up here in Alaska, I camp on permafrost!


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