How Much Should a Sleeping Pad Weight for Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

When it comes to backpacking, the weight of a sleeping pad should be one of the most important factors to consider. A sleeping pad provides insulation from the cold ground, cushioning from rocks and roots, and can also provide a comfortable place to sleep.

But if your sleeping pad is too heavy, it can make your backpacking trip much more difficult and tiring.

The ideal weight for a sleeping pad depends on several factors such as the type of backpacking you are doing, the terrain you will be travelling through, and how much gear you will be carrying. For example, if you are planning on an extended backpacking trip through rugged terrain with lots of gear, then a heavier sleeping pad may be necessary in order to provide adequate support and cushioning. On the other hand, if you are going on a short day hike or camping trip then a lightweight sleeping pad should suffice.

In general, an ultralight sleeping pad should weigh between 1-3lbs depending on size and thickness. If you are looking for something more comfortable and supportive then a light-weight sleeping pad in the 3-5lbs range is recommended. It is important to note that the lighter the weight of your sleeping pad, the less insulation it will provide from cold temperatures.


When choosing a sleeping pad for backpacking it is important to consider how much weight you want to carry and what type of terrain you will be travelling through. As a general rule of thumb, an ultralight sleeping pad should weigh between 1-3lbs depending on size and thickness while light-weight pads should weigh between 3-5lbs for more cushioning and support.