While shopping for sleeping pads, you’ve probably seen the term “R-value”, followed by a number. For some brands, you read “suggested degree rating”. What is R-value and suggested degree rating? How important are those when deciding what sleeping pad to buy?
Simply put, R-value measures a sleeping pad’s thermal resistance, or how warm it can keep you. The appropriate degree rating for a sleeping pad depends on whether you love camping in high altitudes, in snow, or near water bodies like lakes.
How do I know which sleeping pad will keep me comfortable?
It will depend on when and where you will camp. Technically, sleeping pads have no set standards for “suggested degree rating”, and it varies per brand.
However, R-value is the set standard of measurement that determines a sleeping pad’s insulation. For example, if you camp during summer, a sleeping pad with an R-value of one or two is best, as sleeping pads with these R-value ratings are relatively light.
However, if you camp during winter, your best bet is to choose a sleeping pad with an R-value of 4 to 6. You can check the table below to determine which sleeping pad to choose for your next camping adventure.
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