Foam vs Air Sleeping Pad Comparison

It doesn’t matter if you are travelling by car, bike, hiking. Sleeping well is the most important thing if you want to recharge batteries and start a new day with a smile. Choosing a sleeping pad is probably another dilemma you are going to face after choosing a tent. Don’t worry – it’s absolutely normal! We have been there and YES – it’s possible to make up your mind and choose it in the end. However, it turns out to be really a personal decision. Let’s try to be objective in this post. Ladies and gentlemen: foam vs air sleeping pad comparison deluxe!

Foam vs air sleeping pad

We have compared pros and cons of foam vs air sleeping pad in the table below. This is not only based on our own experiences, but also on other travellers’ experiences. We are talking here about hiking, cycling trips, so usually situation where you need to actually carry your stuff yourself.

Dimension folded/packed size – they are usually small More expensive than foam pad Cheaper than air sleeping pad Dimension folded/packed size – it’s quite big to transport, usually out of the backpack.
Probably warmer and more comfortable? – we are personally not so sure about it, but we still leave it in “pros” Air pad can be pierced, which may require a repair kit + know how to use it and where Very quick set up and quick way to pack it back Foam sleeping pad compress over time and they need to be substituted by new one
You need to inflate them (in case of self inflating mettraces you need to always add some extra air there) It can be easily used in any ground, even outside the tent  –
crinkly or squeaky noises they make when moving during the night (be aware light sleepers!)  –  –



We have started with air sleeping pads for our cycling trips Therm-a-Rest NeoAir with women version. They were quite cool, though inflating them every evening turned out to be quite exhausting. Anyway, we lost our luggage when travelling around South America and we needed sleeping pad in Patagonia and we just got the cheapest option in Doite shop. We realised it was awesome choice. They were cheap, light, easy to pack and set up. Together with our sleeping bags it was more than enough to keep us warm! Of course after few weeks of using them in Patagonia they were absolutely plain and for our next trip to Iceland we decided to buy Therm-a-Rest sleeping pads which turned out to be awesome.

Summarising, we personally opt for foam sleeping pads. Currently, we are using Therm-a-Rest closed cell pads, we live you the video from their youtube channel below.

How about you guys? Which sleeping pad do you prefer?


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