Yoga mats aren’t generally recommended for camping.
This is due to the fact that they are too thin to provide enough comfort and insulation to sleep outdoors.
While sleeping pads are generally recommended for their ease and effectiveness when camping.
Yoga mats are typically not, and so it’s best to avoid them if you can.
Instead of a yoga mat, you might want to consider some of other alternatives to sleeping mats, including an air mattress, a sleeping cot, or a sleeping bag.
Where a yoga mat doesn’t offer much comfort or protection from the cold, these options are much more effective when camping.
In the following article, we will look in more detail at why yoga mats shouldn’t be used for camping.
We cover some of the most important differences between yoga mats and sleeping pads.
Why a yoga mat as a sleeping pad is not ideal.
The types of sleeping pad you should be looking for and suggest a few more suitable alternatives to sleeping pads.
Can a yoga mat work for camping?
Generally, using a yoga mat as a sleeping pad is not considered to be a suitable for camping trips, especially camping outside.
While they might seem like a good alternative to a sleeping pad.
Yoga mats are typically too thin to be comfortable or warm enough for a camping trip.
Instead, you will need to invest in a traditional sleeping pad or a more suitable alternative.
Yoga mats are intended to provide you with grip during a workout, meaning they are typically very thin.
This means that you are unlikely to be comfortable while sleeping on a camping trip.
Instead you might feel any rocks or hard ground underneath you.
You will also likely feel very cold during the night, even with a covering over you.
In warmer weather or on nights when you want less protection, you might be able to cope with a thicker yoga mat to provide you with enough warmth.
However, even the thickest yoga mats can’t provide you with the comfort you can get from a sleeping pad.
They are also very unlikely to protect you from the hard, uncomfortable ground beneath you.
What is the difference between a yoga mat and a sleeping pad?
The main difference between a yoga mat and a sleeping pad is insulation.
Sleeping pads come with something called the R-value, which indicates how well it retains heat, allowing it to keep you warm as you sleep.
This is something that yoga mats simply can’t do, meaning you are likely to feel the cold when camping.
Sleeping pads are also designed to provide you with enough comfort to be able to sleep well.
Yoga mats, on the other hand, are intended to be used to provide enough traction that you don’t slip around while exercising.
They don’t have the right texture or thickness to keep you comfortable, meaning they are usually too thin for you to sleep on with any comfort.
Finally, a yoga mat may not be very heavy, but they are certainly heavier than most sleeping pads.
A typical sleeping pad will weigh a couple of pounds at most, while a yoga mat can weight up to double that amount.
So, having to carry a yoga mat around with you while camping just means you have something else weighing you down.
What type of sleeping pad should you use?
The first type of sleeping pad is an air sleeping mat.
You should consider an air sleeping pad if you want something that is easy to deflate and carry with you and won’t take up too much room while you walk.
An air sleeping mat isn’t necessarily the most durable, but it is a good idea if you want the comfort of an air mattress without having to carry out around.
Secondly, you might want to try a closed-cell foam pad, which is one of the more comfortable sleeping mats.
A foam pad is great for insulation, meaning they are particularly good for camping on colder nights.
The foam they have inside also means that they are more durable yet more bulky than other types of sleeping mat.
Finally, a self-inflating pad combines air with foam to provide the best parts of each.
These pads are usually good for camping trips in the car, because they can be heavier than other types.
However, they also last longer and are more durable than air pads but are more compact than foam sleeping pads.
So many campers like them for their convenience.
What can you use in place of a sleeping pad?
Possibly one of the best substitutions for a sleeping pad is an air mattress, which are very similar to a regular mattress.
For anyone who wants to keep their comfort while they camp, an air mattress is probably the best option out there.
It’s worth noting that you’ll need a separate pump for your mattress, and that they aren’t the most durable of options.
For a more supportive option, you could swap your sleeping pad for a sleeping cot.
These are small beds that dismantle for easy carrying, they are also usually comfortable and help you stay warm as they keep you off the ground.
They aren’t the easiest option for carrying around, though, as they can be too long to pack away securely.
If you don’t want to replace your pad and just want to improve it, try combining it with a sleeping bag for extra comfort.
Sleeping bags alone are generally too thin to keep you warm and comfortable through the night.
They work really well when used with a sleeping pad to give you a bit of extra support.
Overall, a yoga mat as a sleeping pad is too thin to provide campers with any real comfort or insulation.
A sleeping mat is a much more effective sleeping arrangement for camping.
In cases where a sleeping mat isn’t right, there are a number of other more suitable alternatives for ensuring you get a comfortable, warm night’s sleep.