SNEWS Outdoor Summer 2010 web extras: What’s ahead for sleeping pads in 2011

Check out this expanded magazine extra from the SNEWS Outdoor Summer 2010 issue on sleeping pad trends for 2011.
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Check out this expanded magazine extra from the SNEWS Outdoor Summer 2010 issue. To download the full issue, starting in August, go to

Sleeping pads essentially span the gamut from simple foam pads to insulated air mats -- and seem to resemble bed mattresses more and more every year. Companies are broadening their lines in 2011 to appease comfort campers and ultra-light backpackers.

  • Sales are split between self-insulating pads (open-cell foam pads wrapped in air-tight, waterproof, nylon shells) and air pads (tube-like channels filled with air for comfort and down or synthetic fill for insulation), with consumers paying top dollar for a comfortable night’s sleep
  • Companies like Cascade Designs and Pacific Outdoor Equipment are investing in thermo-generating technologies like radiant heat and reflective barriers to increase warmth-to-weight ratios.
  • Inflation technologies have evolved to include flat valves, multiple valves and integrated pumping technologies that are easier to use and more durable.
  • Other innovations for 2011 include welded baffle seams, hybrid pillows that mix insulation and air bladders, integrated non-slip top sheets, and the use of recycled materials often reused from within the company’s manufacturing process.

--Lesley Suppes