The best sleeping pads for motorcycle camping are ones that provide a desired level of comfort, take up as little space as possible and don't break the bank. For this reason, sleeping pads designed for lightweight backpackers are a perfect match for motorcycle camping. For motorcyclists, the added benefit of engine power makes packing space a much more important factor than weight. Here is a list of some of the best sleeping pads on the market when it comes to compact comfort. If you want to learn more about choosing the right sleeping pad, check out our choosing a sleeping pad article.
Factor to consider when choosing a sleeping pad
- How much it weighs.
- How small it pack down to.
- How thick it is (thicker is more comfortable).
- How well it protects you from the cold (R-Value)
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X-Lite
- Weight: 12 oz. / 340 g (Regular)
- R-Value: 3.2
- Thickness: 2.5 in / 6.35 cm
- Packed Size: 9 x 4 in / 22.9 x 10.2 cm (Regular)
This sleeping pad is a very popular option for those who want to have one of the lightest and most compact sleeping pads on the market, while still having a generous 2.5 inches of comfort. The pad is air inflated which greatly reduce weight and packed size when compared with foam filled self-inflating models. It features an internal baffle structure of a material that reflects heat to give this sleeping pad one of the best warmth to weight ratios with an insulation R-value of 3.2. When you consider that this sleeping pad packs down to the size of a 1-litre water bottle, it's clear why it's a favourite for those who need to consider both space and weight.
REI Co-op AirRail 1.5 Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad
- Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz. / 737 g (Regular)
- R-Value: 4.2
- Thickness: 1.5 in / 3.8 cm
- Packed Size: 9 x 7.5 in / 22.9 x 19 cm (Regular)
This self-inflating sleeping pad offers a relatively light and compact design at a very reasonable price. It’s heavier construction gives is more durability than many of the lighter sleeping pads, and also makes it a pretty warm pad with an R-value of 4.2 which allows it to be used in a wider range of conditions. The 1.5-inch thickness is in the lower range for these type of sleeping pads, but it makes up for it with raised side rails to keep you from sliding and a very competitive price point.
- Weight: 16 oz. / 453g (Regular)
- R-Value: 2.4
- Thickness: 1 in / 2.54 cm
- Packed Size: 11 x 4.1 in / 27.9 x 10.4 cm (Regular)
The Therm-a-Rest is a classic self-inflating sleeping pad that is still one of the most popular models on the market because of its proven and reliable design. Although it doesn’t pack down as small as other sleeping pads in this weight range, it is one of the most ruggedly built, one of the most affordable and its self-inflating foam filled construction make setup very easy. This pad is an excellent option for anyone who needs a reliable sleeping pad to get the job done.
The Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus is also available and features increased thickness and a higher insulation value.
- Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz. / 480 g (Regular)
- R-Value: 2.1
- Thickness: 2 in / 5.08 cm
- Packed Size: 9 x 5.3 in / 22.9 x 13.5 cm (Regular)
The EvoLite is very similar to the Therm-a-Rest ProLite, but manages to achieve an increased thickness of 2 inches without noticeably increasing the weight by combining lighter materials and a hybrid construction. The side of the sleeping pad is built with an alternating pattern of standard self-inflating foam, and empty air pockets. The result is a reduction in weight and packed size by removing material while preserving the self-inflating capability of the pad.
This sleeping pad offers a good amount of comfort while having a lower price than many other sleeping pads of similar weight.
Klymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad is unique because it is one of the most compact and affordable sleeping pads on this list. This pad is filled with air only and takes about 10 to 15 breaths to inflate. It also features a side rail to keep you centred. This pad has a low R-Value and is intended for use in warmer conditions. If you plan on camping during colder weather, the Klymit Insulated Static V is also available with a warm R-Value of 4.4, while only adding 1 inch in packed diameter to the size.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad
- Weight: 14 oz. / 397 g (Regular)
- R-Value: 2.6
- Thickness: 0.75 in / 1.9 cm
- Packed Size: 20 x 5.5 x 5 in / 50.8 x 14 x 12.7 cm (Regular)
This sleeping pad is different from the others on this list because it is a solid foam pad. This old-school folding style construction is by no means the most compact nor the most comfortable, but it is still worth considering. The reflective surface helps retain body heat to increase comfort in colder conditions and the closed-cell foam is extremely durable. The folding foam construction makes the pad easy to set up and very versatile. It can be folded to use as a seat or placed on the ground when kneeling to do camp chores or maintenance on your bike, without fear of breaking it. This sleeping pad is one of the most affordable quality pads on the market, and definitely the most versatile.
NEMO Astro Lite 20R Sleeping Pad
This sleeping pad is tied with the Klymit Static V2 as the most compact sleeping pad on this list when packed but features the highest thickness at 3.5 in. This very comfortable sleeping pad is built for warmer conditions and rated for a minimum temperature of around 35F to 45F (2C to 7C). It features an elevated baffle at the head to help supplement your pillow. This sleeping pad is one of the lightest and most compact sleeping pads available and also has a price that beats many of the others pads on this list. If you are planning on sleeping out in colder weather, the Astro Insulated Lite 20R Sleeping Pad is also available and is rated for a minimum of 15F to 25F (-9C to -4C).
One I think you have overlooked is the EXPED mat. I have a EXPED Down sleeping mat. It has down filling and is really warm, packs small for a full size 3″ thick mat and has an internal pump. Has served this side sleeper well for a couple of years now.