Update Note: April 2015
We have contacted all of the companies and have confirmed any upgrades or changes, with most of the changes being in regards to colors; any changes have been noted in the reviews. A complete review was performed in October 2014.
Best Overall Women's Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite - Women's
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite - Women's
lives up to its name by being the lightest and smallest sleeping pad we tested. This mattress is so versatile, that it was our lead tester's first choice for all of her adventures. Its compact size and featherlight weight make it a great choice for extended backpacking trips or fast-and-light excursions. The NeoAir XLite is the thickest pad in this review at 2.5 inches and has a warm R value of 3.9 for extended 3 season use. To reduce bulk and achieve the NeoAir XLite's small size and weight, Therm-A-Rest uses patented construction techniques to trap your radiant heat and deflect cold air from the ground without using bulky insulating foam. The XLite is less durable than other models we tested, but when treated right, our testers have gotten years of use out of this excellent pad.
Best Bang for the Buck
Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite - Women's
At $69.95, the Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite - Women's
is the least expensive pad we have tested, and definitely offers the greatest bang for your buck. The Trail Lite is durable, warm, and comfortable. If you are looking for a good all-around sleeping pad that you can take with you on any trip from car camping, short backpacking trips, winter camping and expedition style camping, this is a great choice. It is a bit on the bulky and heavy side for a backpacking pad. When compared to the Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus - Women's
, the Trail Lite is a close competitor that costs less; the Trail Lite has a warm R value of 4.9 where the ProLite Plus is 4.6. The Trail Lite weighs 6 oz more than the ProLite Plus, but we found the Trail Lite more comfortable to sleep on because it has a slightly wider cut at the feet. We think the Trail Lite Women's provides an outstanding value for a excellent all-around pad.
Top Pick for Comfort
REI AirRail 1.5 Self-Inflating - Women's
Sleeping on the REI AirRail 1.5 Self-Inflating - Women's
is like sleeping on a cloud. One of our testers went as far as to call this pad her "princess bed". Our testers loved this pad because of its cushioning rails that provide a cradling effect. We were surprised at first, because we thought the rails were a bit of a gimmick; but after sleeping on the AirRail we discovered that they are quite comforting. The AirRail is slightly wider than the rest of the pads we tested (23" versus 20") which is great for back sleeping because your arms can stay on the mattress instead of falling off the sides. Side sleepers were also happy with the air rails because they could feel when they were near the edge of the pad. We doubt this pad would stop anyone from rolling off his or her mattress, but it sure is comfortable. The AirRail is also very warm with an R value of 4.2.