What is a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

What is a self inflating sleeping pad

What is a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

When you go camping or backpacking, you need and want a good night after a great day outdoors or after a long hike. For that, you need a good quality sleeping pad. Sleeping pads come in different types; in this blog, we’ll tell you all about the self-inflating sleeping pad.

A self-inflating sleeping pad is a soft layer of compressed foam folded inside a fabric that inflates itself after the sleeping pad is rolled out and the valve is opened. A self-inflating sleeping pad is commonly used when a person is on a backpacking, camping, or hiking trip. There are different types of self-inflating sleeping pads on the market, each with various features to suit different individual needs. A good-quality sleeping pad is comfortable, durable, and well-insulated.

When sleeping outdoors or backpacking, you won’t have a king-size bed waiting for you at your campsite, as we all know, and sleeping on the hard, cold ground isn’t good for your back or health. So, you’ll need a good-quality sleeping pad to get your rest at night, preferably a sleeping pad that is self-inflatable to create less hassle after a long day hiking. Read on to learn all about a self-inflating sleeping pad.

How Does a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad Work?

Setting up a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad or a Camping Sleeping Pad is a straightforward and simple process. Its construction makes it very easy to set up as it is a layer of compressible foam inside of an airtight envelope of fabric. Most people refer to the process as being as easy as rolling a small mat on the ground.

How do you Inflate a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad? 

All you have to do is roll out the mat, open up the valves, and lay the sleeping pad straight down, fully open. As it contains airtight envelopes of fabric, the air starts to release, and inflating begins.

How Long Does it Take a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad to Inflate? 

As referred to in the name, a self-inflating sleeping pad inflates its own by expanding the foam. It results in sucking air into the pad itself. The inflating process takes about 20-30 minutes to raise the pad for your comfort.

How Do You Clean A Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

All Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads are mostly used during camping or outdoors, where it can catch a lot of dust, mud and get dirty quickly. Now, if something gets dirty, you should clean it up to get rid of all the germs ad bacteria on that. You can clean a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad by following the steps listed below:

  • Start by making sure that the valves are tightly closed.
  • Take a clean cloth and soak it in warm water.
  • Wipe the dirty part of the pad with the warm wet cloth (Make sure to keep the water out of the valves.)
  • Lay the pad straight down and leave it to dry.
  • You can also use a clothesline and hang the sleeping pad on it and leave it to dry.

Extra Tip:

It would be best if you didn’t wash the pad in a washer or dry it in a dryer. That can damage the lightweight materials inside the pad, and it will make the pad almost useless as it won’t inflate on its own.

How to Roll Up a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

After you have had a good night’s sleep on a self-inflating sleeping pad, it is time to roll it up. Rolling up the pad makes it convenient to carry around whether you are on foot or if you want to put it in the trunk of your car. Rolling up a self-inflating sleeping pad is as easy as inflating it. You can do it by following these simple steps listed below:

  1. Start by opening the valves to let the air get pushed out through them.
  2. Lay the pad straight down and lay down on the mat to push some air out.
  3. Now get up and roll the pad in half, and after that, roll it again into its half.
  4. Put your knees on the pad and kneel over to push any air out that is left. After all of the air is out, close the valves again.
  5. Now lay it straight down again and start rolling it tightly. Keep moving till all the left air inside it is pushed towards the valves.
  6. Open the valves and push the air out by pressing it or kneeling on it.
  7. Now close the valves again so the foam doesn’t expand while it is rolled.
  8. As all the air gets expelled, roll up the pad, and put it in its carrying case, sack or bag.

How to Store a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

When you are back home and want to store your self-inflating sleeping pad in a safe, clean place, there are a few things to keep in mind while storing your pad. Number one is keeping it in a cool, dry place. 

Secondly, make sure that the pad is stored while it is inflated. It will prolong the pad’s life by keeping the foam and envelope of fabric inside fresh and making it easier to inflate on your next trip. Our best tip for storing your sleeping pad is to store it under your bed so that it stays out of sight but can remain fully inflated without taking up too much space.

How Do You Fix A Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

If you use a self-inflating sleeping pad when camping or backpacking, chances are it might be damaged or accidentally punctured due to an accident or sharp rocks on the ground. Even of the smallest size, a hole or puncture will leak out the air and make it unable to inflate it properly. For situations like this, there is a method to fix it. It is called the “Listening Method.”

Here are the steps you need to follow to use this fixing method

  • Open the valves and lay the pad straight down.
  • Please wait until it is firmly inflated and closed the valves.
  • Put your ear on the pad, listen for a leaking sound of air, start at the top of the pad.
  • Continue to move down and keep listening while pushing on the pad.
  • If you don’t hear a leak on the top side, flip the pad over and repeat the same process of moving the air out, starting from one side and putting your ear on the pad.

When you have located the hole and want to fix it, start by cleaning the puncture area with a clean cloth. Take the patching aid kit that comes with the pad and take out the patch included in it. Press the patch firmly on the hole and let it be for a couple of minutes. This way, you can quickly fix your self-inflating sleeping pad by yourself.

What Is the Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad?

There are many self-inflating sleeping pads available on the market. They are of different quality for different prices. Don’t worry; sleeping mats don’t cost tremendous amounts of money, but there are differences in quality. To see the Best Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads click here to check them out on Amazon. The pricing mainly depends on the quality of the sleeping pad. There are low budget sleeping pads as well as more expensive ones.

Top 5 of the best high-quality, affordable Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads on Amazon:

  1. WELLAX UltraThick FlexFoam Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad – Lightweight, Compact and 3-inch Thickness for Better Stability & Support.
  2. KingCamp Deluxe Series Thick Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad – Durable Sleeping Pad with Jet Stream Flow for Faster Inflation & Deflation.
  3. Lightspeed Outdoor XL Super Plush FlexForm – Extra Thick Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad which keeps you Exceptionally Warm and has an Integrated Pillow.
  4. Therm-a-Rest Basecamp Self-Inflating Foam Camping Pad – Lightweight, Comfortable and the 2-inch Thickness provides a high lever of Warmth and Support.
  5. TETON Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad for Backpacking and Camping – This Sleeping Pad provides Extra Insulation and Comfort. 

Top 5 best budget Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads on Amazon:

  1. Forceatt Self-Inflating Camping Sleeping Mat – Lightweight and Non-Slip Particles on the back, ideal for Backpacking and Camping.
  2. Clostnature Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad for Camping – Compact & Light, Insulated Foam, Comfortable with attached Pillow.
  3. Ryno Tuff Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad – Well Insulated, Compact, Comfortable, Lightweight, Durable and Waterresistant.
  4. Coleman Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad with Pillow – Durable and with Soft, Tufted design which provides an extra layer of padding.
  5. Gear Doctors Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad – 4.3 R-Value, Four Season Camping Pad with Insulation for Cold Winters.

What is a Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad? – Now You Know

A good quality sleeping pad is essential when you go camping or backpacking. Not only for comfort, but a sleeping pad will also keep you warm while sleeping on the ground. A self-inflating sleeping pad is even more convenient than an inflatable sleeping pad or standard foam pad. One of the best features of a self-inflatable mat is that it doesn’t require any effort or hassle to inflate, and for that, it makes a great asset when you’re on an outdoor sleeping adventure.

About us

We are Arthur and Eileen and passionate about hiking and camping. Over the past years, we have had many great trips, together with our dog Stippy . We have learned a lot about the practical “need to know’s” and investigated many different camping topics to better understand.

All we have learned and know will be posted on this website. We will continue to update the website on a regular basis with new interesting Outdoor Topics!

We hope this information will help you with an even better Outdoor Sleeping Experience.

Outdoor Safety!

Next to having a great Outdoor Experience we have to ensure our trips and adventures will be done Safely.

A great overview with advice and tips are available on the site of US FOREST SERVICE. Tips for trail trips, camping trips, how to deal with lightning and much more helpful guidance. 

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