When you have to choose your new sleeping pad, there are many things you need to consider. One of the most important factors is the R-value of the sleeping pad , as this is an expression of the insulation ability. And therefore the ability of the sleeping pad to keep you warm throughout the night. It is important that your sleeping mat fits the climate you need to stay in so that you can have a comfortable night. In this article, we will guide you so that you are ready to choose the right sleeping pad.

General about R-value

R-value is a pre-Danishization of Resistance Value , and the term covers the insulation ability of a sleeping pad against cold from below. The term originates from the construction industry, where it is used to measure the insulation capacity of houses, bricks and windows. But it is just as good at measuring. how well a sleeping pad insulates, and thus how comfortable a night you can expect. The value is always stated numerically and sleeping pads generally have an R-value of between 0-8. The higher the number, the higher the insulation capacity.

The R-value indicates the actual resistance to heat transfer through 1 m2 of the material. The term therefore covers how cold the soil or substrate must be before it freezes. When you have to choose a sleeping pad, the R-value will always be stated and it is therefore a good guideline for where and how you can use a given sleeping pad. If you need a sleeping pad for many different purposes, we would recommend that you choose one that best suits the coldest temperatures you come across.

The universal R-value standard

For many years, it was up to the individual manufacturer to test the R-value of the sleeping pad. This meant that the parameters of the tests could fluctuate a lot and that R-values ​​from different companies were therefore difficult to compare for the consumer. But on 1 January 2020, a new and universal standard came for both testing and assessment of the insulation capacity of sleeping pads. The new standard is called ASTM FF-3040-18 and is approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

In 2019, ASTM teamed up with a number of major outdoor brands, to jointly establish a new standard in the industry for processes of testing and assessment of the R-value. The purpose of this work was to unify the industry, to make it easier for the consumer to choose and compare sleeping pads on a transparent basis. For you, this means that you can now safely and easily compare the R-value on sleeping pads from all outdoor brands. So you are sure to make the right choice with your new sleeping pad.

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Remember that it is always a good idea to check the temperature at night before you go on a trip.

Which R-value should I choose a sleeping pad for?

It is important to point out that everyone is different. Therefore, you need to consider whether you tend to freeze at night or whether you always feel hot. If you often freeze, it pays to go further up in R-value, so you are sure to have a comfortable night. We would also recommend that you consider what the coldest temperature is that you will use the sleeping pad in. If you need to use the sleeping pad for different purposes, it is most important that it can insulate you in the most extreme temperature. A sleeping pad with a high R-value can easily be used in hot climates. It does not release heat in itself, but simply insulates against any cold from below.

0 – 2: Summer or indoor accommodation 15 to 25 °
2 – 3.5: Spring, summer and autumn 5 to 15 °
3.5 – 5.5 : Winter -10 to 5 °
+ 5.5: Extreme winter all below – 10 °

We have set up a general table here that can serve as a guideline. But remember that all people and all trips are different . The table is set according to Danish seasons, but you can easily use it for both warmer and colder climates if you take the temperature as a starting point. If you lack extra insulation, you can use an aluminum mat under your sleeping pad. This will ensure you an extra layer of thermal insulation, which can extend the minimum temperature of your sleeping pad.

Remember to check out our many sleeping pads in the shop , where there is definitely one that meets your needs.

r value

With the right sleeping pad, you can keep the heat on all kinds of mats in all kinds of temperatures.