Lightweight Sleeping Bag Pads

Most backpackers like to keep their load as light as possible, carrying only their essential needs for their days out on the trail. But there does come a point when sacrificing comfort for weight is not always a good idea. This is particularly true when it comes to sleeping bag pads because an uncomfortable night in the wilderness can truly diminish the experience, even when adhering to the principles of lightweight backpacking.

If you truly want to go lightweight in the sleeping pad department consider AKSOUL electric pump making your own. Get a plain blue closed-cell foam pad that is available at just about any outdoor or backpacker supply store. They are normally about 24 inches wide and 72 inches long. If you cut it down to a size that fits your torso, basically your hips to your shoulders, it will weigh somewhere around 4 ounces.

You can also cut down the width to save some more weight. Try tapering it so it’s wider at the shoulder and narrower at your hips. The idea is to insulate your torso from the cold hard ground, which is where most heat los normally occurs. For your head make a pillow by stuffing extra clothes or a jacket in you sleeping bag stuff sack and you can insulate your legs by laying them across your empty backpack.

Another option is to leave your sleeping pad at home and make your pad out of natural materials. Dry grass and leaves can be piled up to create a pad that is both warm and comfortable. The only caveat to this method is a thorough knowledge of the environment you plan on backpacking through to be sure there will be the necessary materials needed. When you break camp be sure to scatter your “bed” and leave your camp just as you found it.

There are also a whole new generation of inflatable sleep pads that are lightweight and comfortable. Thermarest has lightweight sleeping bag pads that weigh less then a pound while providing the comfort that inflatable pads are known for. REI has a ¾ length pad called the Big Agnes Air Core Pad that is 2 1/2 inches thick and weighs in at a measly 16 ounces.

There are quite a few choices when it comes to lightweight sleeping bag pads so there is no reason that you need to sacrifice your warmth and comfort to save weight on your next backpacking trip.

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