The difference between a good night's sleep outdoors and a sore back is the right pad.
These are the best sleeping mats for those who like to pack light, camp with their partner and hike in the dead of winter.
Optimal for packaging light
Insulated Axl Air – Big Agnes
Some light, barely existing sleep pads come with one big drawback : a Mylar-like shell that creates sounds every time you roll and spin. But the nights on the Axl Air are almost silent. The feathery pad (from 10.6 ounces) will blow easily and the PrimaLoft insulation layer will make sure you pack a lighter bag.
[From$139; bigagnes.com ]
Great for Winter
Aerostat Down 7.0 – Mountain Equipment
Winter camping finding solitude? Bring the 20 ounce Aerostat, which has a tangled construction over a thin layer of duck, for an absurdly high insulation value that keeps you warm at -40 degrees. It's also inflated in about a minute – important when it freezes.
[190$; mountain-equipment.com ]
Best of Couples  A pair of independent air chambers give the 4-pound duo an advantage for couples: they can move without disturbing their partner. They will be gassed if you blow it up, but the reward is a soft 50 x 77-inch mattress (about the size of a full bed), which is quite comfortable enough for house guests.
[$300; thermarest.com ]
Best for Tight Budgets
Switchback – NEMO
Foam Pads resist cuts and are quick to set up, but most lack the comfort of air versions. At one inch, the Nemo is thicker than most foam cushions, yet still compacts into a 14.5-ounce package, about the size of a brick. Metal underneath reflects heat to keep you warm to 30 degrees.
[$50; rei.com ]