Hammock camping is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to explore the great outdoors. It removes the need for a heavy tent and lets you gently rock to sleep in the breeze. One thing a lot of first time hammock campers don’t realize is how essential a quality sleep pad is to their experience. It adds structure to your hammock and helps keep you warm on colder nights. Today we’re checking out several different options to try and find the best hammock sleeping pad.
- 1 Best Sleeping Pad for Hammocks
- 1.1 ENO AirLoft Hammock Mattress
- 1.2 Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad
- 1.3 Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad
- 1.4 EcoTek Outdoors Hybern8 Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad for Hammocks
- 1.5 Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
- 1.6 Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Sleeping Mat
- 1.7 Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
- 1.8 Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
- 1.9 Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Sleeping Pad for Hammock
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Sleeping Pad for Hammocks
When you’re camping in a tent your sleeping pad is there to cushion you from the ground and reduce heat flow. In a hammock, it’s a lot more about adding structure and rigidity to your hammock.
Heat flow is definitely still a major consideration, but there are plenty of other products like hammock underquilts that help with that.
We picked out a variety of sleeping pads across the spectrum of material, price and R-value to help you pick out the best hammock sleeping pad for your needs.
ENO AirLoft Hammock Mattress
The ENO AirLoft Hammock Mattress is designed to fit perfectly in your hammock. It’s made from TPU coated nylon with a brushed fabric sleep surface.
It uses a solid inch of foam insulation at its core and has added inflatable wings on the side. These help you stay centered on the pad while in your hammock.
The AirLoft is 3’ wide by about 6’8” long. It weighs 45 oz and packs down to an 8” by 12” cylinder when not in use. This makes it on the high side of the inflatable weight range but still packable.
Unfortunately ENO hasn’t published an R-value or recommended temperature range for the AirLoft. This makes side to side comparison difficult, though we found it to be quite warm and comfortable.
If you’re looking for an ultra comfortable hammock sleeping pad the ENO AirLoft should definitely be considered.
Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad
The Klymit Hammock V sleeping pad is another purpose built inflating hammock sleeping pad. It has a unique 4-part wing system combined with a curved main pad design.
This makes the Hammock V both extremely comfortable and great for restless sleepers. It’s available in two variants, insulated and non-insulated.
It can be inflated in about 20 breaths and uses a multi chamber design to keep colder outside air away from your body. The pad wraps all around your body inside the hammock to provide additional comfort and insulation.
The insulated version of the Hammock V has an R value of 4.4, great for winter hiking or camping. The standard version has an R 1.6 rating, making it an excellent lightweight 3-season pad.
They weigh 35 oz and 27.3 oz, respectively. Both roll down into a very packable cylinder yet are easy to take out and set up.
The Klymit Hammock V is a well thought out and high-quality hammock sleeping pad. It’s definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum but you end up with an excellent sleeping pad perfect for hammock camping.
Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad
The Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight sleeping pad is an inexpensive air pad designed for general purpose use. It weighs just 16 oz yet has an R-value of 2.2.
It’s designed to fully inflate in just 10-15 breaths and is made from abrasion resistant nylon. The pad is 6’1” long and packs down to an 8” by 3” roll for easy transport. This makes it great for ultralight backpacking or other camping where weight is an issue.
The air chambers are arranged in a diamond pattern. This allows the sleeping pad to adjust itself to the shape of your body and the way you lay. It has a slightly tapered shape that works well with hammock camping.
One of the best things about the Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight sleeping pad is its price. You can pick one up for well under $50. Overall it’s a quality value priced sleeping pad that provides comfort and insulation. It isn’t quite as nice as some other pads but it costs just a fraction of their price.
EcoTek Outdoors Hybern8 Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad for Hammocks
The EcoTek Outdoors Hybern8 is an ultralight sleeping pad designed to work well on flat surfaces or in hammocks. It uses a multi chamber design that allows the pad to curve and conform to your body when in a hammock.
The Hybern8 is 72” long and 22” wide. This gives you comfortable coverage for most hikers and campers. It’s made from 70D woven polyester and weighs just over a pound. It can be inflated in just 10-15 breaths and packs down to a cylinder just over 10” by 3”.
It’s available in both a standard air pad and insulated variant. The air pad version is rated down to about 45 °F while the insulated version allows you to comfortably sleep down to 10 °F.
One nice thing about EcoTek is their commitment to conservationism. For every Hybern8 purchased they make a donation to the National Forest Foundation to plant a tree.
The EcoTek Hybern8 is a quality value hammock sleeping pad. It doesn’t offer the advanced features or materials of some other pads on this list but it costs under $50 and provides you with everything you need for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm is a high-end inflating sleeping pad designed for cold weather use. It’s made with 70D structural nylon with a 30D ripstop nylon sleep surface textured for stability and noise reduction.
It measures 6’ long by 20” wide and weighs just 15 oz. Despite this low weight it has an R-value of 5.7. This makes it suitable for use in cold-weather and 4-season camping.
It achieves this through the use of a triangular stacked matrix combined with multiple layers of ThermaCapture reflective layers. This gives it a thickness of 2.5 inches and significantly improves its heat retention.
It packs down to about the size of a one-liter bottle and is easy to inflate and deflate.
The NeoAir XTherm is an excellent ultralight 4-season hammock sleeping pad. It weighs less than sleeping pads with far less insulation but it does come with a pretty hefty price tag.
Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated Sleeping Mat
The Sea to Summit Comfort Light is an insulated sleeping pad with a lot of really cool features. It’s made from Exkin Platinum fabric with a laminated TPU coating for maximum insulation and durability.
It has an R-value of 4.2 and comes standard with a patch kit and multi-purpose stuff sack. The Comfort Light uses a matrix of multi sized air chambers combined with lightweight insulation.
There’s a double layer of air chambers around the torso with a single layer at the head and feet. This provides you with the best insulation possible for your torso while reducing the overall weight.
One really cool feature is focused around the included carry sack. It’s designed to turn inside out and act as a fully functional backcountry air pump.
The Comfort Light is a high-quality and lightweight hammock sleeping pad. The curved profile of the pad combined with its multi-chamber design allow it to fit well in any hammock. The only real downside is its high price, usually approaching $200.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
The Therma-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is a lightweight closed-cell foam sleeping pad. It measures 72” by 20” and provides an R-value of 2.6.
It weighs just 14 oz but folds down to 20” by 5” by 5.5”. That’s pretty large for a hammock sleeping pad and less packable than many inflatable options.
Because its a closed-cell pad it has a more rigid construction than similar inflatable pads. This can be a good thing in a hammock as it helps you maintain a flatter sleeping profile.
The Z Lite Sol uses a ThermaCapture coating with heat-trapping dimples to maximize its insulative properties. This makes it great for colder hikes or camping trips but not true deep winter camping.
It’s affordable pricing and good performance make the Z Lite Sol from Therm-a-Rest a great option for those who don’t want an inflatable sleeping pad.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite is an ultralight high performance sleeping pad. It weighs just 8.8 oz yet has an R-value of 2.
It’s made using 15D ripstop nylon and packs down to be just 6” long. When fully inflated it gives you 2.5” of comfortable and insulated pad.
The UberLite doesn’t provide quite enough insulation for cold weather camping but it will definitely get you through spring to fall in mild climates.
The UberLite is the lightest sleeping pad available that provides reasonable warm. If you’re looking for the most lightweight and portable sleep system possible while hammock camping it’s definitely an option to be considered.
Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
The Nemo Tensor is an ultralight sleeping pad designed for 3-season use. It’s made from 20D polyester and is available in a variety of shapes.
It’s rated down to temperatures of about 35 °F and weighs just a pound. When fully inflated it gives you 3” of comfort.
It uses Thermal Mirror metalized film as its primary insulation. This gives it good insulative properties and helps reduce overall noise.
Because you can choose from various shapes and sizes, it’s easy to pick out the best one for your particular style of hammock sleeping.
It comes standard with a Vortex pump sack. This does double duty as a compact carry sack and a backcountry pump.
Overall the Nemo Tensor is a high-quality ultralight sleeping pad that’s extremely versatile. It offers shapes that are great for both hammock camping or on the ground sleeping.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying the Best Sleeping Pad for Hammock
Hammock sleeping pads need to provide slightly different characteristics than on the ground ones. For one thing you have to be able to fit them into your hammock comfortably.
There’s also the fact that sleeping in a hammock is just different than sleeping in a tent. You have to consider the materials used, type of pad, and how warm it is.
Before you read our buyer’s guide let me tell you about a few of our other hammock articles you’re sure to enjoy.
- Best Hammock Bug Net
- Best Portable Hammock Stand
- Best Hammock Underquilt
- Best Hammock Tarps
- Best Hammock Tent
- Best Hammock Straps
Sleeping pads range in price from about $40 for a value priced sleeping pad all the way up to several hundred for a top of the line self-inflating pad. You can find quality pads with good performance at just about every price point in between.
Shape and Size
The shape and size of your sleeping pad makes a significant difference on its effectiveness in a hammock. Sleeping in a hammock isn’t like sleeping on the ground.
You’ll be laying in a rounded cocoon and need a sleeping pad that can adjust its shape to conform to that. Look for sleeping pads with rounded corners and a flared design.
These are commonly referred to as mummy pads and are designed to be used with mummy style sleeping bags. More recently specifically designed hammock sleeping pads have started to hit the market.
These have things like extendable wings, rails, and specially created shapes designed to work perfectly in a hammock.
Size wise and hammock sleeping pad needs to be smaller than the hammock you’re using it in. Check the width and length of your hammock before you buy a sleeping pad.
Don’t forget about packed size as well. Hammock’s make for great ultralight sleep systems. You should try to find a sleeping pad that’s just as packable.
Type of Sleeping Pad
There are three main types of sleeping pads available. These are air pads, self-inflating pads, and closed-cell foam pads.
Air Pads – Air pads are a lot like the inflatable floats a lot of us played with as a kid. You either blow them up manually or use a small pump. This gives you a miniature inflatable mattress that raises you a few inches off the ground.
They’re extremely lightweight, packable, and comfortable. They don’t provide a ton of insulation and usually hover around an R 3 insulation. This makes them perfect for hikes in warmer months.
Closed-Cell Foam Pads – Closed-cell foam pads are the most basic and inexpensive sleeping pads available. They’re made from a dense foam material with close air pockets.
They’re lightweight, inexpensive, durable, and provide excellent insulation. Because they don’t have inflatable sections like other sleeping pads it’s difficult to damage them beyond usability.
They’re great for use in a hammock sleep system as they offer more rigidity and structure. It can be difficult to find one with the right shape for a hammock body though.
Self-Inflating Pads – Self-inflating pads could best be described as a hybrid of air pads and foam pads. They use a matrix of open cell foam insulation that are designed to self-inflate once you open up the valve.
This gives you a warmer inflatable pad that’s still lightweight and fairly packable. Because they rely on air to fill their insulation you can adjust the firmness of the pads at any time. The material itself is generally more durable than air pads as well.
There are tradeoffs to this design of course. Self-Inflating pads are about the same price as air pads yet aren’t nearly as packable. They weigh more than closed-cell pads yet are nearly as rigid.
Thickness and Weight
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. The thicker a sleeping pad is the warmer it’s going to be. At the same time it will also become heavier and less flexible.
If you’re willing to spend a little more you can get thinner pads made from better materials that retain more heat. Try to find a balance between warmth and weight that works for your needs.
Warmth – R Value
Thankfully figuring out how warm a hammock sleeping pad is couldn’t be easier. They use a standard insulative scale known as R-value.
The higher the R-value, the more heat your sleeping pad will retain. Summer weight sleeping pads generally hover around R .5 to R 3, with 4-season sleeping pads going as R 10+.
The shell of your sleeping pad is going to vary considerably depending on what type it is. Inflatable sleeping pads use a sturdy, tear resistant material that’s designed to create a rigid structure when inflated.
Many of the newer sleeping pad systems incorporate thermal reflective materials into their design. This increases their R-value without additional bulk.
Anyone who on group hiking and camping trips can tell you the torture that is your restless friends sleeping pad. Too many sleeping pads are made using slinky, crinkly material that makes all kinds of noises when you move on it.
This is especially bad when using a sleeping pad in a hammock as movement is much more common. A good way to stop the noise is to look for a sleeping pad with a textured or non slip fabric coating on it.
This both reduces the noise and makes it easier to stay centered on your sleeping pad.
If you’re going camping with an inflatable sleeping pad you need to bring a patch kit. It’s really easy to snag your pad on something or accidentally set it down on a rock.
There’s no reason to ruin your camping trip because your sleeping pad won’t stay inflated. Patch kits are inexpensive, effective, and very easy to use.
Packability and Carry Bag
Air pads are always going to be the most compact and packable sleeping pad available. They roll up into a tiny bundle and slip into a cinched carry pouch. Self-inflating pads are usually more packable than foam pads but a bit heavier and bulkier than air pads.
Closed-cell foam pads usually either roll up, to about the size of a yoga mat, or fold up accordion style. This gives you a reasonably packable bundle but less so than air pads or self-inflating pads.
As you can see above there’s a lot more to hammock sleeping pads than just cushioning.
Finding the best hammock sleeping pad really depends on your hammock and the type of sleeper you are.
If you need more insulation you’ll have to put up with a bit more weight and bulk. Of course, if you’re willing to spend more, you can get very lightweight sleeping pads that still match the performance of less expensive ones.