It’s a crazy concept, but occasionally you will want to close your eyes and sleep at a music festival. The key is to take those few hours of rest and make them count so that you’re fresh for another full 20 hours of raging the next day. There’s no reason not to be comfortable, so we’re running down of the sleeping systems, we use here at Music Festival Wizard.
Festival Considerations for a Sleeping Pad
Insulation: You’ll see a lot about R-values (measure of insulation) when it comes to sleeping pads, but for most festies you’ll be camping out during the height of summer and warmth isn’t as much of a factor. Insulated pads tend to be more expensive, so if you’re not going be camping year-round, you can skimp in this area.
Packability: Even if you’re coming in a car, you’ll be surprised how quickly festival gear bulks up. For those of you riding in on a train or a bus, you’ll want something can fit in a pack (or be attached to the side of it). And if you’re trying to go to 15 festivals in 15 different countries, you’ll want something that fits into your coat.
Inflation: The more baller the sleeping pad, the more heavy breathing it will take to inflate. For larger pads, you’ll want to pack some additional equipment like a foot pump.
Sizing: You will want to pay attention to the dimensions of sleeping pads, especially the length. Most sleeping pads come in at least two sizes (regular and long) and the cutoff is typically around six feet.
Sleeping Pad Recommendations
Klymit Static V
Best For: Festival Flashpacking
Weight: 18.1 oz (513 g)
Dimensions: 72″ x 23″ x 2.5″ (182.9 cm x 58.4 cm x 6.4 cm)
Pack Size: 3″ x 8″ (7.6 cm x 20.3 cm)
Small, light, and durable, this is our top pick for a festival sleeping pad. It only takes about eight to ten breaths to fully inflate the Static V, and even with its slim profile, our testers reported being comfortably off the ground, including sleeping on their side. When deflated, the entire setup is only about the size of an average water bottle. And if you’re looking for a version that’s impossibly smaller and lighter, check out the Static V Ultralite SL.
NEMO Switchback Ultralight Pad
Best For: Easiest to inflate
Weight: 14.5 oz (415 g)
Dimensions: 72” x 20” x 0.9” (183 cm x 51 cm x 2 cm)
Pack Size: 20” x 5” x 5.5” (51 cm x 13 cm x 14 cm)
Skip the middle man and just go to sleep on this comfortable ultralight pad. While more bulky to pack, you don’t have to worry about your air pad being popped. Or inflating it. Or having to roll it up. If you’re not a fussy camper and have room in the car, you’ll be interested in this.
ALPS Apex Air Pad
Best For: All purpose
Weight: 6 lb 13 oz (2.8 kg)
Dimensions: 25″ x 77″ x 3″ ( 63.5 cm x 195 cm x 7.5 cm)
Pack Size: 10″ x 27″ (25 cm x 69 cm)
One of our go-to pads for all around camping, the ALPS Apex Air pad can take a beating, rolls up pretty small, and was completely comfortable for sleeping. The only downside is that twitchy sleepers may irritate their tent mates with noise as this pad can be noisy if you’re moving around on it.
NEMO Roamer Self-Inflating Mattress
Best For: Flat out comfort
Weight: 3 lb 15 oz (1.78 kg)
Dimensions: 76” x 25” x 4” / (193 cm x 64 cm x 11 cm)
Pack Size: 12.5” x 8.5” (32 cm x 22 cm)
For those of you that love festivals, but still wish you could bring your bed with you, we suggest the Roamer from NEMO. The bottom of the pad is made of durable 75D Poly, which means you can drag this out onto the dirt and rocks during the day when your tent gets too hot. You’ll also be sleeping on 4 inches of plush thickness and this pad folds down to half the size of other pads and is significantly lighter.
Your Friend’s Yoga Mat
Best For: Terrible packers
It’s 10:00am, you’re running late, and everyone is just throwing stuff into the car. When your friend asks “where’s your sleeping pad?”, you suddenly remember that you forgot to pack it. Look, we don’t have time to go back to your house, so you’re going to have make do with a yoga mat this weekend. It’s not ideal, but hey, at least your sleep will be so restless that you’ll definitely wake up in time to hit a morning festival yoga class.