Do You Put Sleeping Pads Inside or Outside the Bag?

Do You Put Sleeping Pads Inside or Outside the Bag?

Have you ever wondered if it’s best to put your sleeping pad inside or outside the bag? If so, you’re not alone! Finding the perfect sleeping pad is important for a comfortable night of sleep outdoors, and deciding whether to keep it inside or outside can make a big difference. In this blog post, we’ll provide useful tips and helpful information so that you can get a restful and enjoyable sleep.

How Big is Your Sleeping Pad?

The size of your sleeping pad can have a huge impact on whether you want to put it inside or outside the bag. Generally speaking, if the pad is small enough that it can fit inside the bag without taking up much space, then it’s best to keep it there for added insulation and comfort.

However, if you have a larger sleeping pad, then you may want to consider putting it outside the bag. This can be especially useful if you’re camping in an area with a lot of rocks and twigs that could puncture your pad.

Also bear in mind that some bags have straps or loops specifically designed to hold a pad outside the bag.

What Surface are You Going to be Sleeping On?

The type of surface you’re planning on sleeping on is an important factor to consider when it comes to deciding whether or not to put the pad inside or outside the bag. If you’ll be camping on a rough surface, such as rocks, hard soil, and sticks, then using the pad inside the bag could help protect you from any sharp edges that may poke through your bag.

If you’ll be camping on a much softer surface, like grass or sand, then putting the pad outside can provide enough protection against any potential bumps and rocks beneath the surface. You should also note that if there is a strong wind expected during your camping trip, then it might be beneficial to have an extra layer of warmth between you and the ground, which would suggest putting the pad inside. [1]

No matter what type of surface you’ll be camping on, ensure that you have a comfortable sleeping setup that can keep you safe and warm throughout the night!

What Surface are You Going to be Sleeping On?

Reasons to put it outside

If you use a tent, a pad should be placed on the outside. This is because it will provide insulation to the floor of the tent and help keep your sleeping area warm. Additionally, if you are using a two-person tent, having the sleeping pads outside allows for more room inside for both sleepers. Because air mattresses are thicker than regular sleeping mats, they can be hard to fit inside small tents. Putting them on the outside gives you extra space and comfort while you sleep.

It is meant like that

Having a foam or air mattress inside your bag can provide extra insulation and can make for a much warmer sleep. Depending on the type of bag you have, it might also help hold its shape while you’re tossing and turning in your sleep.

One potential downside to putting the pad inside is that some people find it uncomfortable because they often slide around more than when they have the pad outside their sleeping bag. That being said, if your bag has an adjustable shoulder baffle system, then you may be able to use straps to secure the pad in place so this isn’t an issue.

If you prefer to have your pad outside the bag, some people find that this creates a tiny gap between their body and the bag which can lead to a colder sleep. To combat this, you can use blankets or extra layers of clothing to fill in the gap and stay warm.

While it may take some experimentation, finding the most comfortable position for you is important for getting good sleep.

It is meant like that

More room inside the sleeping bag

You will be able to move around more freely and get comfortable quicker than if your pad was inside with you. This is especially helpful in colder climates where staying warm is a priority. Additionally, since there’s more space around you, air can circulate better and keep your body temperature regulated.

Another good thing about using an external sleeping pad is that when it gets dirty or wet, all you need to do is wipe it off and hang it up to dry instead of having to clean or replace the entire sleeping bag liner. This means less time spent dealing with maintenance and more time enjoying the outdoors!

Finally, by using an external sleeping pad, you can easily get out of your sleeping bag without having to move the whole thing. This is especially useful if you are camping with several people and don’t want to disturb them in the middle of the night!

Less room for air

Putting the pad inside can reduce the amount of air that circulates around it. This will make the temperature less efficient and result in a cooler sleep experience.

When the pad is placed inside, there’s less room for it to expand and contract with body heat changes throughout the night. This means that you won’t be able to get as comfortable or as warm as if it were placed outside.

Less room for air

No dimension measurements

The answer to this question largely depends on the size of your sleeping pad and the dimensions of your sleeping bag. If you have a thin or lightweight sleeping pad that is small enough to fit inside, then it can be placed outside for extra comfort and insulation. On the other hand, if you have a large and bulky sleeping pad that doesn’t fit into the bag, then it should be placed outside. It’s important to remember that having too much bulk inside the bag may cause it to lose its loft and reduce its insulating power.

Reasons to put it inside

First, if the temperature drops drastically overnight and you don’t have enough blankets to keep you warm, putting a pad inside can provide extra insulation and help keep you warm. Additionally, by placing it within the confines of your bag, it is better protected from the elements like wind or moisture. Doing this will also make your sleep more comfortable since the material of most pads provides extra cushioning and support for any bumps or lumps in the ground that would otherwise make it difficult to get a good night’s rest.

Finally, if you are backpacking or camping somewhere without a flat surface for your tent or bivy, a pad inside can help you sleep better by providing some extra cushioning. This will make it more comfortable to sleep on uneven ground and can even help reduce the chances of getting injured during the night due to a twisted ankle or other minor injury.

Prevents the bag and the pad from slipping

Your body weight can cause both the bag and the pad to slip. This is especially true if you are using a mummy-style or down-filled bag that can be quite heavy on its own. By keeping the pad inside, it stays in place and prevents this from happening. You also don’t need to worry about packing up your pad separately when you break camp. As long as you put it back in the same spot each night, it will stay in place so that when you wake up in the morning, everything is already packed up!

Prevents the bag and the pad from slipping

Protection for air pads

When you use an air pad, it can often be beneficial to put the pad inside. Additionally, if you are camping in cold temperatures, putting the air pad inside can insulate you from the cold ground. You will also be able to enjoy a much more comfortable sleep knowing that your body is fully supported by the air bed rather than just lying on top of it. However, if you opt to keep your air pad outside, ensure that you have a protective layer between you and the ground such as a tarp or blanket. This will protect both yourself and your air pad from the elements.

It is also important to consider how much space you have in your tent. If you are camping with a lot of gear, it might be necessary to keep the pad outside in order to save space. This will help ensure that there is enough room for everyone else and all their gear too. However, if you are more minimalist when it comes to packing, then putting the air bed inside can give you more comfort and warmth during nights out in nature.

Ultimately, deciding where to put the pad will come down to personal preference. It is important to consider the temperature, space and protection needs of your camping trip in order to make the best decision for you.

Easier to double up pads

If you plan to double up on pads, the outer sleeping pad should always be placed outside of the bag. This is because the interior pad will act as an extra layer of insulation and make sleeping on colder nights much more comfortable. Additionally, placing both pads outside will keep them from sliding around while you’re trying to sleep.

Easier to double up pads

Pads don’t scrunch

Putting a pad inside can scrunch up the insulation and diminish its loft. This means that your bag won’t be as warm and comfortable as it could be. As such, many campers prefer keeping their pads outside of their bag.

Another plus of keeping the pad outside is that you don’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to find it before crawling into your tent. It also makes for an easier setup since all you have to do is lay out your pad and climb inside.

However, there are some scenarios where putting a pad inside makes more sense than leaving it on the outside. Additionally, if it’s cold outside and you need all of the insulation inside your bag to keep warm, then putting the sleeping pad it may be advisable.

Some campers prefer to keep their sleeping pads on the outside while others opt to put them inside their bags. Experiment with both methods until you find what works best for you!

It’s important to consider factors such as temperature, terrain, and comfort. Consider all of these elements and decide which option makes the most sense for your situation. And no matter what you choose, make sure to get a good night’s rest!

Any difference in warmth?

The answer depends on the type of sleeping pad you have and how well it is insulated. If you are using a thick, inflatable air mattress with excellent insulation, there usually isn’t much difference in warmth whether you put the pad inside or outside the bag. However, if the pad is thinner or does not have as good insulation, placing it inside can provide an extra layer of protection from the cold ground. [2]

Any difference in warmth?

Additional Tips

When camping, the sleeping pad is an essential item to bring for a comfortable sleep. Although there are different opinions on placing it inside or outside the bag, there are some general tips that can be useful when you’re deciding what’s best for you.

If you put it inside, ensure that it fits comfortably and isn’t too bulky to encourage rolling over in your sleep. It also helps if you use smaller pillows to stuff around the edges of the pad so that it doesn’t shift out of place during the night.

Another option is placing a thin sheet between your body and the sleeping bag.

If you’re worried about the weight of your sleeping pad, try using an air mattress instead. These are much lighter and provide a wider range of comfort levels for different sleepers. The disadvantage is that they require a pump, which adds to the overall weight of your camping gear.

Finally, you can always put the pad outside the bag, either on top or underneath it. This ensures that the sleeping bag doesn’t lose any heat through its insulation and makes sure you stay warm. While this option does add a bit of extra hassle when packing up, it can be worth it if you want ultimate warmth and comfort during your camping trips.

Regardless of your preference, make sure you consider all of the factors before deciding where to place the sleeping pad.


Where do you put a sleeping pad on a backpack?

The sleeping pad should be placed on the outside of your backpack. It is best to secure the pad with bungee cords, straps or clips so that it doesn’t move during travel. You can also use a compression sack to reduce its size and make it easier to transport.

Does the sleeping bag liner go inside or outside?

The liner should usually be placed inside the bag. This provides an extra layer of insulation and protection from dirt and moisture. It also makes your sleeping bag more comfortable. [3]

How do you pack a sleeping pad?

Packing a sleeping pad is an important part of setting up camp, and it can mean the difference between a cozy night’s sleep and a sleepless night in the cold.

If you plan on camping in warm weather, your best bet is to put the pad outside. This will allow for better airflow around the pad so that it isn’t too hot during the night. If you’re camping in colder temperatures, however, having an extra layer of insulation from putting the pad inside may be beneficial.

No matter what kind of environment you plan on camping in, ensure that your sleeping pad has a durable outer shell. This will keep moisture and dirt from getting inside the pad, which can lead to an uncomfortable night’s sleep.

It’s also important to remember to size your sleeping bag correctly. A sleeping bag that is too small won’t fit around the mattress properly, while one that is too big could be dangerous if it slides off during the night. If you’re using an inflatable air mattress, ensure it fits inside your tent before packing it away with your sleeping bag. [4]

Overall, deciding where to put the pad will depend on where you are camping and what kind of weather conditions you expect throughout the night.

What do you put under a sleeping pad?

When it comes to sleeping pads, there are a few items you can use underneath them. One of the most popular options is an inflatable air mattress or foam pad. You can also use blankets, sheets, or even a camping cot if you’re looking for added comfort. Finally, adding a tarp underneath the pad creates an additional moisture barrier and provides some protection from sharp objects in the ground. [5]

No matter what you choose to put under the pad, ensure it’s comfortable and of high quality — this way you’ll get the best night’s sleep possible! Additionally, make sure all materials used are clean and dry before placing them. This will ensure a safe and comfortable sleep experience.

Useful Video: 7 mistakes EVERY new camper makes with their SLEEP SYSTEM


Knowing whether to place the sleeping pad inside or outside the sleeping bag while camping can be confusing, but it’s crucial for having a comfortable sleep. Generally speaking, it’s usually best to put it inside for maximum heat insulation and comfort. This also helps prevent air pockets from forming which can lead to cold spots and uncomfortable nights of sleep. Alternatively, if you don’t mind a little bit of extra weight in your pack, putting the pad underneath you is another great option that will help provide insulation between you and the ground below. Whatever option you choose, make sure that you’re taking into account all factors such as warmth, insulation, and convenience so that you have the best possible camping experience. Happy sleeping outdoors!