I heard about Exped sleeping pads  years ago but realized what a great product they made until my wife needed something to keep her warm.  I recently had a conversation with a customer service representative at Sea To Summit which manufactures a broad line of camping equipment about how to keep my lovely wife at night in a sleeping bag while camping.  I assumed the problem was in the sleeping bag and that I should choose a warmer sleeping bag for her.  The problem of keeping warm at night while camping turned out to be more of a function of the There are so many myths out there about how to stay warm in your sleeping bag while camping.  While it’s true that a high quality sleeping bag is very important in retaining your body heat to keep you warm, don’t neglect the sleeping pad or air mattress that is places between you and the ground. Most people camping in the woods don’t bring along any type of heater other than their own body heat.  Your body is heat is what is going to keep you warm.  The benefit of any sleeping bag or sleeping pad is it’s ability to retain that heat.

I recently had a conversation with a customer service representative at Sea To Summit which manufactures a broad line of camping equipment about how to keep my lovely wife at night in a sleeping bag while camping.  I assumed the problem was in the sleeping bag and that I should choose a warmer sleeping bag for her.  The problem of keeping warm at night turned out to be more of a function of poor insulation under her sleeping bag rather than the down sleeping bag.

Where this man scored superior customer service was help me understand why what is under my sleeping is as important as the sleeping bag itself.  I always assumed that an air mattress gave one ample insulation from the cold ground.  How wrong I was.  One of the big reason why my wife was always getting cold was due to our very comfortable air mattress.  The layer of air between her body and the ground acted as a conductor of heat rather than an insulator.  He suggested that I look at Exped SIM Comfort,self inflating air mattresses, a brand that his company does not represent..

Camping sleeping pads provide 2 important benefits:

  1. Insulation may be the most important function of a sleeping when the weather is cold.  It acts a barrier from the heat robbing ground.  Your own body heat is what keeps you warm, not the sleeping mat or sleeping bag. An insulating sleeping pad will trap your warm body in non-circulating dead air space between the mat and your body.
  2. Comfort and cushioning is king.  Being comfortable while camping is second to none.  Unless you are in danger of freezing to death (not likely), the main benefit why people choose any sleeping pad or air mattress is comfort. If a mattress is not comfortable, you will not be able to sleep.  Period.

Make Sure That You Have The Proper Camping Equipment

The first thing he did was help educate me about sleeping rating and why that is not the best indication if a sleeping bag is going to keep you warm.  In the United States, the sleeping bag rating system is more less an arbitrary rating and will vary from manufacture.  Sea To Summit uses the European E system that uses a more accurate and consistent way for all manufactures to rate sleeping bag comfort.

Where this man scored superior customer service was help me understand why what is under my sleeping is as important as the sleeping bag itself.  I always assumed that an air mattress gave one ample insulation from the cold ground.  How wrong I was.  One of the big reason why my wife was always getting cold was due to our very comfortable air mattress.  The layer of air between her body and the ground acted as a conductor of heat rather than an insulator.  He suggested that I look at Exped SIM Comfort,self inflating air mattresses, a brand that his company does not represent.

Self inflating air mattresses are much different from inflatable air mattresses.  Self inflating air mattresses fill up with air the same way that sponge fills up with air after it has been squeezed and released.  Additionally, these air mattresses are filled with an insulating foam core.

Warm Alternatives To Self Inflating Air Mattress

I recently purchased a Klymit Static V air mattress that has built in air baffles to create dead air spaces between you and the ground.  In theory, your sleeping is supposed to fill in the voids of the mat.  My 2 boys tested them and said that the mats were very comfortable.

The bottom line is if you want to stay warm while camping, start from the ground up.  Get a good quality sleeping pad or self inflating air mattress with a high R value.  The higher the R value, the warmer the pad will keep you.

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