Sleeping directly on the ground is rarely fun, especially if you are out camping or backpacking for several days. Thankfully, hammocks provide a great way to get you off the cold, often wet ground.
Hammocks are pretty comfortable on their own. But, after several nights in the same position, you may wonder if there is something better—and warmer. Well, there is! Hammock sleeping pads can provide extra comfort and stability while you are camping or backpacking.
Sleeping pads for hammocks help you stay warm during the evening too. While sleeping in the air can be warmer than being on the ground, oftentimes you’ll need to retain heat escaping out of the bottom of your hammock. The best hammock sleeping pads are specifically designed to help hold body heat so you can stay comfortable throughout the night.[toc]
Quick Picks – Best Hammock Sleeping Pads
There are tons of sleeping pads to browse, but we spent hours collecting data and reviews to come up with a Top 5 recommendation. Compare the size, weight, and R-value to find the right sleeping pad for your hammock.
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- Klymit Insulated Static V – Editor’s Choice: Best multi-purpose hammock pad.
- Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro – Excellent multi-purpose sleeping pad.
- Klymit Static V2 – Great summertime hammock sleeping pad.
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm – Best ultralight hammock sleeping pad.
- OutdoorsmanLab Ultralight – Good cheap hammock sleeping pad.
Best Sleeping Pads for Hammock Camping and Backpacking
The right hammock sleeping pad for you will depend on your unique preferences and how you are using the pad. Some features will be absolutely vital to backpackers while campers may not need that particular benefit.
The best hammock sleeping pads also have a particular size and shape that will fit well inside your hammock. Having a pad that does not fit well only makes for a frustrating—not relaxing—sleeping experience. Each of the suggestions below has the size and shape that we think works best for sleeping in a hammock.
Below are our top choices and reviews for each—to help sleep in comfort on your outdoor adventure.
1. Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad
- “V cells” and side rails wrap the body, making it perfect for hammocks
- Large and insulated yet lightweight, great for all seasons.
This air sleeping pad is great for all four seasons, which is part of the reason we have named tat the top of our list for the best sleeping pads for hammocks. It has a v-cell design and Klymalite synthetic insulation that will keep you warm in all kinds of weather.
The Insulated Static V is specifically designed to limit air movement and decrease heat loss. It is made of a durable 75D polyester material to prevent most punctures and abrasions. Its R-value is 4.4, which works well for temperatures that are teetering on freezing.
It is lightweight and will pack to 5 x 8 inches. Inflated, its dimensions are 72 x 23 x 2.5 inches. Its large size makes it a great option to tuck into a hammock or into a sleeping bag. This pad also has side rails, which is unique compared to other brands. These rails will help keep you from rolling out of your hammock or off the pad at night.
2. Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro
- Highly rated multi-purpose sleep pad with a self-inflating design.
- High R-value of 4.0 for greater insulation.
This self-inflating air mattress is very highly rated. While it is a bit more expensive than other options, the additional features may make it worth the extra cost. It comes in several sizes, and you can use it for more than just hammocks.
The Trail Pro is a little bit bulkier because it also includes 2 inches of supportive foam so it may not be ideal for extended backpacking trips. However, the comfort it provides is outstanding, and it is an excellent shape for hammocks. Its diagonal-cut foam provides extra warmth without adding unnecessary weight.
Unlike many other hammock sleeping pad options, the Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro is self-inflating.
3. Klymit Static V2
- Extremely lightweight and durable summer sleep pad.
- Great bang for your buck.
This sleeping pad is incredibly light. It weighs just over one pound but doesn’t sacrifice on quality. Like the Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping pad, it has a v-chamber design that was created to limit air movement and increase insulation. As one of the cheaper hammock pad options, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
With an R-value of 1.3, this lighter pad works better for warmer adventures. It also has 30D polyester material on top with 75D material elsewhere, which makes it tear and puncture resistant while keeping the overall weight to a minimum.
The Static V2 even has loft pockets to fill in gaps while you sleep, which increases warmth and breathability of the pad, keeping condensation to a minimum.
4. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm
- High R-Value and great for winter hammock camping.
- Best ultralight sleeping pad for hammock backpacking, but expensive.
This ultralight sleeping pad weighs less than a pound. It includes a 2.5-inch mattress that you can inflate in less than two minutes. The R-value of 5.7 makes this pad usable in temperatures below zero. You can easily keep the portions of your body exposed to the air on the underside of your hammock warm with this pad.
The innovative design and materials in the NeoAir XTherm make it usable in the summer as well, however. It has a textured design and no-slip fabric that will keep you from falling out of your hammock too. The comfort and ultralight design come at a price—it is one of the more expensive options on the market.
5. OutdoorsmanLab UltraLight
- Lightweight, summertime hammock pad.
- Overall best cheap hammock sleeping pad.
If you are looking for a great pad that won’t break the bank, then the OutdoorsmanLab Ultralight sleeping pad has you covered. This summertime sleeping pad totes extreme comfort and durability at an affordable price. It uses 20D ripstop nylon, which is also used in down sleeping bags.
This ultralight hammock pad also has TPU lamination, which makes it more durable and less susceptible to holes or tears. It is also right around one pound, making it a great option for backpacking with your hammock.
- Insect free sleeping with Hammock Bug Nets
- Stay dry with a Rain Fly for Hammock Camping
- Cozy sleep with the top Underquilts
The Best of the Rest
The following hammock sleeping pads did not achieve our top-five list but are still excellent options to review. You may find that one of these matches your needs better than those in the Top 5.
6. ENO AirLoft Hammock Mattress
- Self-inflating, foam core pad specifically designed for sleeping in a hammock.
- Bulky for backpacking, but no problem for camping.
This hammock mattress is specifically designed to fit into your ENO hammock. It is also designed with comfort in mind, cushioning every contact point between your body and the hammock.
This self-inflating ENO AirLoft even provides support and warmth for your shoulders and arms, which are often not addressed in other hammock pad shapes. This hammock pad is pricey, but if you have an ENO hammock, it might be worth the investment.
7. Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout
- A good self-inflating, multi-use sleeping pad.
- Affordable, but not super lightweight.
This hammock pad uses an expandable foam core to provide additional comfort. It’s available in several sizes and weighs about a pound and a half for the regular size.
It also uses air and is self-inflating, but the air doesn’t seem to add much—the focus is on the foam, which provides both warmth and support. Its R-value is 3.7 but many people are surprised how much warmer it is in use.
There is a size for everybody, and every use, ranging from a large 77″ x 25″ down to the compact half size 47″ x 20″ version that is perfect for backpacking in summertime.
8. Sea to Summit Comfort Light
- Great support in a backpacking hammock sleeping pad.
- Durable and warm, but more expensive than other options.
This hammock pad provides excellent support because of its 331 air sprung cells. Its R-Value is 4.2, making it a great choice for cooler camping or backpacking trips.
It also includes antimicrobial materials that virtually eliminate delamination and prevent internal mold growth.
The Sea to Summit is quite a bit more expensive than other options, but for the price, you are getting a highly durable and comfortable pad. Some users reporting using it daily over 6 month long through hikes of the Appalachian Trial with no issues whatsoever.
9. Klymit Hammock V Insulated Pad
- Insulated, inflatable pad specifically for hammock backpacking.
- May work better for camping as it’s on the heavier range.
This pad is specifically designed for use in a hammock, without reference to a specific brand or make. It is an air pad that includes extra wings for your arms and hips. It is designed to keep you in place in your hammock while you sleep.
Its R-value is low, so it will work better in the summer. It is also much heavier than pads specifically designed for backpacking. Some of the reviews also note that this particular model may have problems with holding air overnight.
10. ENO HotSpot Sleeping Pad Wings
- Great non-slip design, specifically made for hammocks
- Slips over your existing sleeping pad.
Many sleeping pads have problems with slipping around inside of a hammock. While some designs have tried to address this issue, the ENO HotSpot simply slips over your existing sleeping pad.
It has wings on either side that wrap around your upper body. The winged-design also helps this particular hammock pad fit snugly into most hammocks. This hammock add-on is also extremely lightweight—weighing only 9 ounces.
Picking the Best Sleeping Pad for Your Hammock
Getting the right sleeping pad to meet your individual needs is crucial. It should fit your body, and it should be the right fit for your particular situation—if you are backpacking, you don’t want to lug around a 20-pound pad in your gear. So, what is the best hammock sleeping pad for your situation? As with most gear, it depends on how you plan to use it, and what your budget is.
Keep in mind that the “best” sleeping pad for one person may not work well for the next. It is up to you to determine what kind of qualities you want and pick the best sleeping pad for your hammock.
Take a look at the features, potential downsides, and situations where one pad may work better than another and pick the one that best suits your needs. You may even want more than one type of hammock sleeping pad for various situations—such as using one for local trips and a lighter version for backpacking.
Pad Weight – Sleeping pads can be cumbersome. In fact, it is often one of the bulkiest items in your backpack. If you are backpacking, you may want to a premium on weight and go with a lighter version. Making your pack lighter will make room for other things or generally make your journey more comfortable.
For regular hammock camping, weight is not so much an issue, and you can consider larger sleeping pads where comfort is the most important factor.
Packed Size – Your pack may also require a specific size as well. If you have a smaller backpack, you may need a hammock pad that is easy to roll and store. Inflatable sleeping pads will often pack the smallest, but you can strap large sleeping pads to the outside of your pack in some situations. Placing the pad on the outside may not be an option for an air pad because it could be punctured on your trek.
Warmth & Insulation (R-Value) – When the temperature drops, your hammock sleeping pad can keep you warm. Depending on the material, they can insulate and even reflect your body temperature helping you retain precious heat.
Hammock pad warmth is measured in terms of “R-value“. Higher R-values mean that the pad will insulate better. When and where you’re traveling and the evening temperatures will direct the type of R-value you should have for your pad. Some hammock pads should only be used in the summer months, while others are designed for cooler fall and spring temperatures.
Shell Material – Most hammock pads are either “air pads” or “foam pads.” Foam pads are a cheaper option, but they are bulky, and they don’t last as long as air pads. Air pads are usually more comfortable, but they can puncture while you are traveling. Having a repair kit on hand is a must if you are backpacking with an air pad.
Some hammock pads have specific textures or materials to help keep them from slipping around in your hammock. If you are particularly annoyed by a sliding hammock pad or you tend to toss and turn in your sleep, choosing a material that will minimize movement may be a good idea for you.
Proper Length & Width – Your sleeping style will dictate how big your hammock pad should be. Side sleepers do well with standard-sized pads while back sleepers may need some extra width to be comfortable.
The length of the pad varies based on your height as well. Full-length pads often offer the most comfort, but they may not be practical for someone who is on a several-week hike.
Related: Hiking & Backpacking for Beginners
Your hips and shoulders are big pressure point areas while you sleep, so you generally want to be sure that your hammock pad will support those areas. However, having a hammock pad that goes the full length of your body will keep you warmer as you sleep in the air.
Sleeping Pad Shape – Mummy pads cut out the edges of the sleeping pad because those sections generally go unused. These pads save on weight and still provide support where you need it. But, some campers prefer the larger, rectangular pad because it gives them some additional room to move around. Back sleepers tend to like the four-sided pads better. If you are using a hammock pad instead of just setting the pad on the ground, you may want to look for a design that has wings or additional support in the unique pressure areas that sleeping in a hammock creates. Wings will also keep the hammock pad in place while specifically designed support pads will increase comfort.
Inflated Thickness – Thicker pads do generally provide more support, and many campers and backpackers find that they are more comfortable as well. But, that is not always the case. Getting a pad so thick that it feels more like a pool float often really isn’t going to provide the support you need. You may need the added weight in your pack either.
Intended Use – If you plan to use your hammock pad for camping, weight and dimensions may not be as important to you. If you are going backpacking, weight is going to be crucial. Think about how you want to use your pad and consider your must-have features based on this particular use. You may be able to find one pad that is versatile enough to fit all your needs, or you may need to invest in a couple of pads for various situations.
Cost vs Performance – Money is often a huge factor in making a hammock pad purchase. However, you don’t have to settle for a cheaply made hammock pad. You want a durable option that provides comfort, warmth, and support that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. We have a few suggestions below to help with this concern.
Hammock Sleeping Pad vs Underquilt – Sleeping pads and underquilts are the two pieces of gear commonly used to stay warm while sleeping in a hammock. Underquilts tend to be more effective, as they can cover the full length of your hammock and retain more warmth. But sleeping pads are versatile and can serve you well in both hammock and tent camping. If you do both styles of camping and backpacking, a smartly chosen sleeping pad can provide comfortable rest in the tent and while hanging in the hammock.
You may need to engage in some trial and error before you find the best sleeping pad for hammock camping. However, guides like this one and online reviews can be very helpful to learn from others’ experiences—and mistakes.