In this article, we're looking at two of the biggest names in outdoor gear that specialize in sleeping pads: Therm-a-rest and Klymit. We'll provide an in-depth look at both brands, unearth what makes them special, and see if their sleeping pads really are as good as they say they are.
First of all, why do you need a sleeping pad, anyway?
If you've ever been camping and slept without a mat then it's likely you know the answer to that question already. Waking up with a stiff neck or bruised hips isn't a great way for anyone to start their day. Whether you're an expert mountaineer, a seasoned hiker, or a casual camper; a good sleeping pad can make a huge difference to your sleep quality.
Did you know that the ground conducts heat 60x faster than air? A huge amount of body heat is lost to the ground or tent floor. Sleeping pads prevent heat loss to ensure you stay warm and cozy throughout the night. When it comes to choosing a good tent, there are plenty of things to consider.
The best sleeping pads are comfortable, lightweight, and provide support where you need it most. Whether you're sleeping on the grass, snow, or rocky ground; a thick and protective mat is the key to a good night's sleep. You might not know it, but a good sleeping pad is every bit as essential as a sleeping bag.
If you're an outdoors enthusiast, or you've paid attention while walking around your local outdoor sports store, then you've probably heard of Therm-a-Rest and Klymit before. Both brands are big players in the outdoor gear industry, but today we're here to settle the great Klymit vs Therm-a-rest debate!
We've got a lot to cover, so let's dive right in.
Thermarest VS Klymit Sleeping Pads
They're both big names when it comes to quality outdoor gear, but how do Therm-a-Rest and Klymit sleeping pads stack up against each other? Let's find out.
Thermarest Sleeping Pads
Therm-a-Rest is a household name when it comes to outdoor equipment like sleeping pads, sleeping bags, camp chairs, hammocks, and pillows. They pride themselves on having provided life-saving warmth to some of the world's most significant expeditions over the years, and their brand message emphasizes comfort as the key to great performance.
Therm-a-Rest was one of the first companies to build inflatable sleeping pads, as their founder seized the opportunity to create a mattress that offered greater comfort than the closed-cell foam mats popular in the 1970s. Nowadays, Therm-a-Rest provides all kinds of products for outdoor enthusiasts to make a night in the woods more enjoyable. It's one of the best brands all-round for quality gear that delivers on comfort and warmth. Therm-a-Rest produces sleeping pads for any kind of activity. Whether you're camping in the foothills of the Himalayas or spending a night under the stars in your back yard; Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads guarantee a good night's rest.
What We Like
There's plenty to like about Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads. They offer a variety of different models designed to suit any camping adventure. From 3-season pads to trusted pads for mountaineers, to pads designed especially for women; Therm-a-Rest has a sleeping pad to suit anyone's needs. All of their sleeping pads are durable, light-weight, and compact, which makes Therm-a-Rest the perfect choice for any newbie or seasoned camper. Here's a breakdown of what we like about Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads:
- Built to last: Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads are extremely durable, you can rest assured that they'll last for years to come (assuming you look after them properly!)
- Compact: Therm-a-Rest offers sleeping mats that can be rolled up and placed in compact bags, which makes them ideal for backpacking adventures or for slotting nicely into the car.
- Sleeping pads for all seasons
Top Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pads
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite is the lightest and most compact full-size sleeping pad on the market, making it the ideal choice for backpacking and summer camping trips. Weighing less than 9 ounces, it can be rolled up for easy carrying; you won't even notice it's there! The layered, triangular baffles of the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite provide stability and support without any bulges or cold spots that can disrupt your rest. What's more, you can easily control how firm the pad is by twisting its valve. If you need a lightweight, comfortable sleeping pad that's easy to take on any kind of trip; this is a great choice.
What we like about the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite
- Super lightweight and compact
- Ideal for summer camping and outdoor adventures
- Triangular baffles for stability and warmth
- Quiet to ensure an undisturbed night's sleep
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
The Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol is another effective sleeping pad that provides three-season warmth in a compact, lightweight package. Of all the foam closed-cell pads on the market, the Therm-A-Rest Z Lite Sol is the most versatile. It doesn't inflate or deflate, but it also doesn't keep you very far from the ground. Although comfort isn't its primary function, the .75 inch thick Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol features a dimpled surface that gives you a bit of cushioning against the hard ground.
One of the best things about the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is how durable it is; it can't pop, so you can hold onto it for years to come. It weighs about a pound, compresses accordion-style, and is often seen hanging from the bottom of wearied backpackers' packs. If you're an ultralight backpacker then the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is the lightest backpacking sleeping pads available. What's more, it's extremely affordable and won't break the bank.
What we like about the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
- Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
- Extremely compact and lightweight
- The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol is a budget-friendly sleeping mat option
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm
The best sleeping pad for 4-season camping trips and people prone to getting cold when they sleep, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm offers the best R-value to weight ratio in the world.
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm features a contoured build that improves its weight effectiveness without compromising on comfort. This excellent sleeping pad also features a durable bottom layer of fabric for extra protection and insulation. The NeoAir Xtherm weighs just 15 ounces and boasts an impressive 5.7 R-value, which is why we consider it the best sleeping pad for winter camping. If you're planning a snowy hiking adventure or a cold-season camping trip, then the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm will provide exceptional comfort plus the warmth you need to enjoy the outdoors (even when the sun isn't shining!)
What we like about the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm
- Exceptional weight to R-value ratio (15oz:5.7)
- Compact for a 4-season sleeping pad
- Supreme comfort and support for a good night's rest
- Most durable NeoAir model
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is a lightweight sleeping mat that provides warmth and comfort comparable to the Therm-a-Rest XTherm model. The ultralight Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite sleeping pad is perfect for 4-season camping and backpacking. What's more, it won't weigh you down. The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X offers an R-Value of 4. 2 for excellent insulation, baffles for added comfort and warmth, and uses a Triangle Core Matrix to combat heat loss. What's more, The NeoAir XLite has an internal structure that's lined with a reflective surface that bounces heat, keeping the sleep extra warm and toasty.
The NeoAir XLite model also features a new durable wing lock valve that prevents air from escaping during inflation. It also increases the volume of air that can enter the valve for faster inflation. Its excellent weight to R-value ratio, durability, and innovative wing lock valve are just some of the reasons why the Ther-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is considered the number 1 Therm-a-Rest model by many outdoor experts.
What we like about the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
- Wing lock valve for more convenient inflation
- Compact and lightweight
- The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite packs down small considering how well it insulates
When it comes to sleeping pads, Therm-a-Rest is the most trusted name in the game. They provide all kinds of sleeping pads to suit a range of outdoor adventures. Whether you're winter camping or looking for the best backpacking sleeping pads, Therm-a-Rest is guaranteed to have a model to suit your needs.
Klymit Sleeping Pads
Klymit is a leading sleeping pad and outdoor gear company that offers a range of products for backpacking, hiking, and travel. Whether you're a seasoned mountaineer or a casual weekend camper, this brand provides quality sleeping pads for everyone. Combining radical designs with all the classic qualities of a great sleeping pad, Klymit is an innovator in its field.
Klymit's creative sleeping pad and backpack designs rely on air or inert gases to provide insulation and comfort. What sets Klymit apart from other leaders in its field is its unique designs based on body mapping technology that offers a unique sleep experience. Klymit's designs are relatively affordable compared to other producers of sleeping pads, which makes them a popular option for people on a budget who don't want to compromise on quality.
What We Like
- Radical designs: Uses body mapping and innovative sleeping pad designs for added comfort
- Budget-friendly: They have plenty of options available for well under $100
- Compact and durable: Their sleeping pads are built to last, and offer excellent portability and practicality.
Top Klymit Sleeping Pads
Klymit Static V2
The Klymit Static V2 is consistently mentioned as one of the top sleeping pads in outdoor gear reviews. It's super lightweight and can be packed down nicely into a stuff sack, making it ideal for ultralight backpacking. However, it has a low R-value, so it's only really ideal for summer camping and backpacking trips where the temperatures don't drop too low. That said, they make several insulated sleeping pad versions of this model, including the Insulated Static V Lite (see below for more on this model).
This model is built with thicker material than your usual lightweight air pad and is slightly wider than the standard size. It features V-shaped air tubes to provide extra comfort and support on the tent floor. When it comes to affordability and comfort, the Static V2 is one of the best backpacking sleeping pads on the market.
What we like about the Klymit Static V2
- Ultra-lightweight and compact for easy carrying
- An affordable inflatable sleeping pad that's widely used by all kinds of people
- Best suited for summer camping
Klymit Insulated Static V Lite
The Insulated Static V Lite is widely considered to be Klymit's number one sleeping pad as it provides traditional comfort alongside radical body mapping technology to enhance comfortability. One of the best things about this model is that it's wider than most sleeping pads at 23 inches, so you can spread out to enjoy better sleep. With an R-value of 4.4 and raised baffles along the sides, the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite is a roomy sleeping pad that's guaranteed to keep even the most fidgety sleepers comfortable.
Klymit's patented V-shaped design provides support and comfort whether you prefer to sleep on your side, stomach, or back. Its Klymalite synthetic insulation slows down the transfer of air between both halves of the pad for improved thermal insulation. The Insulated Static V by Klymit sleep pad is lightweight, durable, and can be easily compressed into a stuff sack for a light packed weight.
What we like about the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite insulated sleeping pad
- Wide sleeping platform
- One of the best backpacking sleeping pads due to its weight
- Klymalite synthetic insulation for advanced thermal heat retention
- Durable build
Intertia X Frame
The Inertia X Frame is probably the most radically designed sleeping pad on the market. Just because it has an innovative design that stands out from the rest doesn't mean it's a high-quality sleeping pad though. So how does the Inertia X Frame stack up against more traditional sleeping pad models?
The Inertia X Frame provides support at key pressure points. Its design features wide gaps between padded areas that are designed to support the heavier parts of the body while eliminating every bit of unnecessary material. For this reason, it's an ideal sleeping pad for ultralight backpacking and serious hikers who want to keep their gear loads light. It weighs just 9.1 oz when rolled up, and can easily fit into your back pocket. Talk about a compact sleeping pad! What's more, it features a customizable valve with a pump sack for precise pressure and comfort.
Although it doesn't provide the same insulation as a traditional sleeping mat design, the Intertia X Frame creates adequate warmth that performs best when paired with the right sleeping bag.
What we like about the Klymit Inertia X Frame
- Radical design that uses body mapping loft pockets to distribute body weight
- Extremely lightweight and compact
- Ideal inflatable sleeping pad for backpacking and hiking
Klymit gives Therm-a-Rest a run for its money. The engineer's creativity and innovative designs make Klymit sleeping pads stand out among other brands. They provide quality sleeping pads at affordable prices, which makes them ideal for casual campers or backpackers on a budget. What's more, they offer models that are suitable for all seasons.
When it comes to great sleeping pads, we can safely say that both Therm-a-Rest and Klymit know their stuff. Therm-a-rest has long been a leader when it comes to outdoor gear, and it's no wonder why. All of their outdoor equipment is extremely high quality. When you buy Therm-a-Rest, you know that you'll be getting a comfortable, durable sleeping pad that'll last you for years to come.
On the other hand, Klymit offers innovative designs that bring something extra to the table. Their use of body mapping provides enhanced support and comfort, which is why they're a huge competitor in the sleep pad market. They're also making advanced outdoor equipment more affordable, which is always a plus!
We think that both brands provide excellent sleeping pads. Where Therm-a-Rest is better for seasoned campers, experienced mountaineers, and avid hikers, Klymit provides plenty of lightweight affordable options for backpackers, casual campers, and budget travelers.
Buyer's Guide to Sleeping Pads
Type of Sleeping Pad
Different types of sleeping pad products are better suited to different situations. Here's an overview of the 3 main categories of sleeping mats, their key features, and the situations they're most practical for.
Closed-cell Foam Pads
These are the most basic kinds of sleeping pads. They feature small closed air cells that provide moderate comfort without fully inflating. They don't offer much in the way of insulation, but they're extremely lightweight, durable, and cheap. They can be uncomfortable, and they're usually not very compact.
Good choice for people on a budget, overnight trips, summer camping, or ultralight backpacking.
These rely on air for inflation. They can be inflated manually or by using a pump sack. Thicker than closed-cell foam mats, they usually provide ample comfort for getting a good night's sleep. They're also light in weight and usually pack into a compact stuff sack for easy carrying. These can be noisy if you move around a lot when you sleep, and pumping them up can use a lot of energy after a long day in the outdoors.
Air pads are a good choice for All kinds of outdoor activities, backpacking, and hiking as they come in a variety of styles.
These are the preferred choice of many campers. Just unfold them and they'll inflate by themselves. They feature open-cell foam for excellent insulation and comfort. Self-inflating mats are durable, compact, and provide excellent insulation, making them a good option for general camping, hiking, and backpacking. However, they can take some time to deflate and can be quite expensive.
Self-inflating pads are a good choice for backpacking and car camping.
When choosing the right sleeping pad to suit your needs, you'll need to consider what function you need it to perform. Think about what activity you're planning. For example, if you're going on a summer camping trip with friends a regular air pad mattress might be just what you need, whereas you'll probably want an ultralight self-inflating model if you're embarking on a long hike in the wilderness.
You'll always need to consider the climate you're going to be sleeping in, as a good sleeping pad can make a huge difference to your sleep quality in colder conditions.
If you're car camping, and not limited by size or weight, you can opt for a thicker self-inflating air pad or even an air mattress. Air mattresses allow you to use regular sheets and blankets rather than sleeping bags, for a more home-style camping experience.
Seasoned hikers will need to consider sleeping pad options that are lightweight and have a small packed size. Closed-cell foam mats offer more durability than inflatable options and come in short of 3/4 length sizes to save on weight.
If you're backpacking you'll need to consider a lightweight option to save you from carrying around a lot of extra weight every day. The best backpacking sleeping pads offer supreme comfort and have a relatively small packed size.
If you're embarking on a Winter camping adventure, then an insulated sleeping pad with a high R-value is crucial to staying warm during the night.
When it comes to selecting the best sleeping pad, you'll need to assess your own situation and what you need from a sleeping pad. Think about:
- Where you're going
- What the temperature will be like
- Your sleeping preferences
This is an extremely important consideration when choosing the right sleeping pad to suit your needs. Practicality and portability can make a huge difference.
Once you've packed the essentials like your trekking poles, your waterproof hiking pants, and food for the day; it's likely that your bag will be pretty heavy. You'll have enough to carry already, and the last thing you need to be lugging around a hefty sleeping mat as well!
If you're going camping you'll likely have a lot of equipment to take with, so it's best to pack as light as possible. This means a heavy air mattress isn't going to go down well (unless you have a car!), so you'll want to check out options for lightweight self-inflating mats or air pads that you can easily set up and pack down. If you're backpacking, something that's small, lightweight, and portable will provide you with more comfort than a bulky mattress.
Always think about how you're going to be traveling, and whether or not you'll be carrying the sleeping pad around for extended periods of time. Nobody ever said "I wish my backpack was heavier!", did they? When in doubt, opt for a sleeping mat that's light and can be packed down to a small size so you can carry it easily wherever you go.
Another consideration is how long the sleeping pad takes to set up. After a long day of hiking or backpacking, the last thing you want to do is spend time using a foot pump or pump sack to blow up your sleeping pad. For this reason, foam sleeping pads or self-inflating ones are a good option for those who prefer an easy set up at the end of the day. However, it's important to note that self-inflating mats can be bulkier than other types.
When searching for outdoor products, you're likely to hear the phrase "R-value" mentioned a lot. This is the measurement given to a sleeping pad's insulating ability. It's calculated based on how much resistance it offers to heat loss from the ground. This is a vital score to take note of when selecting a sleeping pad, as it'll tell you which climate it will perform well in, and which it won't. This way you won't have any unpleasant shocks when you take a low R-Value sleeping mat on a Winter camping trip.
A low R-value won't provide enough insulation to sustain you in cold weather. If you know you're going to be camping in cold weather conditions a higher R-value sleeping pad will provide the insulation and heat loss resistance necessary to rest up with minimal heat loss from the body. There's nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night shivering, despite the fact that you're wearing every single piece of clothing you brought with you!
It's important to remember that your sleeping pad isn't the only piece of equipment you need to consider for staying warm at night. You'll need to think about whether your entire sleep system is providing adequate warmth and insulation. This system consists of 3 things:
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- The sleeper's clothing
When you've got a sleeping bag and sleeping pad with a good R-Value, and you bring along warm clothing, you'll be all set to get a good night's rest (even if it is freezing outside!)
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a comfortable sleeping pad.
Length: You'll want to choose a pad that fits at least your shoulders and hips. Usually, they come in a variety of sizes, including regular (72 inches) and large (78 inches). Some models offer specific sizes designed for women, as well. If you're focused on choosing a super lightweight sleeping pad, you might want to consider a half or 3/4 length pads that can pack down smaller.
Width: The standard width for sleeping mats is 20 inches. If you usually move around a lot when you sleep, you might want to think about choosing one that's extra-wide like the Klymit Insulated Static V Lite which measures 23 inches. However, be careful when choosing wider mats if you're buying two or more, as you'll need to ensure they'll fit side by side in your tent.
Baffles: Some mats feature larger side baffles that provide more comfort when you rest by preventing you from rolling off the mat as you turn. These also help to retain heat, keeping you warmer on chilly nights.
Surface: Another comfort factor to consider is the surface of your pad. A smooth surface might mean your sleeping bag is more likely to slip off during the night, whereas a textured or brushed-fabric surface can help you to remain in place even if you're a restless sleeper. These may also be quieter, as some mats (particularly air pads) tend to be quite noisy which can disturb sleep.
As with every purchase you make, you'll need to consider your budget for outdoor products. There are plenty of affordable sleeping pad options on the market, whether you're looking for a foam pad, an air pad, or a self-inflating one. It's worth considering how much you'll be using your sleeping pad and weighing up the price in relation to that.
If you're always getting out into the outdoors, then it'll be worth spending a bit more on the price to invest in an all-season sleeping pad that provides support and durability.
If you're on a budget, a foam pad is a good option but you'll need to consider whether you'll be sleeping on it for long periods of time or just occasionally. Self-inflating mats might come at a higher price point, but they usually provide better comfort and less set up.
1. What is a good R-Value for a sleeping pad?
Sleeping pad R-value ranges from under 2 to 5.5 or more. The lower the number, the less insulation. A sleeping bag or sleeping pad with an R-Value of 2 provides minimal insulation, whereas one with an R-Value of 5 is very well insulated. What you consider to be a good R-Value for a sleeping pad depends on the conditions you'll be using it in. If you're going to be sleeping on it in warm weather, a lower R-Value will suffice (2-3), whereas if the weather's colder you'll need a higher R-Value (4+, depending on the exact conditions).
2. What is the best sleeping pad for side sleepers?
If you're wondering what's the best sleeping pad for side sleepers, you'll find you've got plenty of options to choose from! Whether you opt for a model by Therm-a-Rest or Klymit that we've covered in this article, or check out other options from brands like Big Agnes or Nemo Tensor; you won't be limited for choice.
First of all, you'll need to consider which kind of sleeping pad to look for. Closed-cell foam sleeping pads are usually relatively thin, which will mean you're more likely to wake up with a bruised hip in the morning. On the other hand, an air pad or a self-inflating pad is thicker and raises you up from the tent floor more, therefore providing more support. When it comes to choosing the right sleeping pad for a side sleeper, pad thickness should be one of your main considerations.
We recommend the Insulated Static V Lite or the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite as one of the best inflatable sleeping pads for sleeping on your side as it provides good support and is wider than other sleeping mats.
3. What should I look for in a sleeping pad?
The most straightforward things you should look for when choosing a sleeping pad are comfort and warmth, what any human to sleep soundly! Make sure to consider:
- Valve quality
- Set up process (inflation method)
- Surface texture