Does The Sleeping Pad Go Inside The Sleeping Bag?

Does The Sleeping Pad Go Inside The Sleeping Bag?

Sleeping pads are beneficial for extra comfort when you’re sleeping outdoors or during a camping trip. However, it’s tricky that your sleeping pad stays underneath the sleeping bag through the night because it keeps slipping off. 

Now you wonder if your sleeping pad can be kept inside your sleeping bag. Or, if it’s your first time sleeping outdoors and you are unsure if the sleeping pad goes inside or outside the sleeping pad, this write will help clarify that. 

The sleeping pad was made to be underneath your sleeping bag for insulation and extra comfort. However, you can place your sleeping pad inside your sleeping bag, to keep it from sliding off. Doing this will reduce the insulation benefits gotten from the sleeping pad, and also ensure your sleeping bag can contain the chosen pad.

Putting the sleeping pad inside or outside the sleeping bag, depends on the type of sleeper you are, how you have weighed the pros and cons and what surface you sleeping on, all this would be discussed in the article.

What To Consider When Deciding Where to Place Your Sleeping Pad

1. Is your sleeping pad large/long enough to accommodate a sleeping pad? 

2. Can you prevent the sleeping pad from slipping off underneath you, by tapping it or buying a sleeping bag with strides or pad sleeves? 

3. Do you move around a lot when you sleep?

4. Which surface are you sleeping on, outdoors- on the ground or in a tent, you should keep the sleeping pad underneath for warmth. But if it’s in a hammock, you can keep the pad inside the sleeping bag, so it doesn’t slip off. 

5. Are you okay with reducing the sleeping pad insulation abilities, when it is placed inside the sleeping bag? 

These factors after being pondered on can help you decide whether to find a way to keep your sleeping pad underneath the sleeping bag or opt for placing it inside the sleeping bag. 

Why The Sleeping Pad Is Placed Underneath The Sleeping Pad

In no particular order, here are some of the reasons.

1. Sleeping pad was made to be kept underneath your sleeping pad, as it gives you added warmth and contains insulation properties, to protect you from the cold ground.

2. Sleeping pad comes in different shapes and sizes and is sometimes longer than a sleeping bag. Therefore, sleeping pads may not fit into your sleeping bag, but there’s usually the option of rolling the extra layer. 

3. Sleeping bags are made to seal heat in and keep you warm, if your sleeping pad is placed inside the bag, it increases the space of cold air circulating into your sleeping bag, and you may catch a chill. 

4. When the sleeping pad is placed inside the sleeping bag, it can no longer function to protect you from the cold ground. Thus you are lowering the insulation protecting the sleeping pad provides. 

5. It may pleas to backache and not enough sleep, as your back is directly on the sleeping bag and you’re likely exposed to cold. 

Why Sleeping Pads Are Preferred Inside The Sleeping Bag 

Although the sleeping pad goes outside the sleeping bag, there are certain factors and benefits, which make individuals place it inside their sleeping bag instead. 

1. It prevents it from sliding off

The sleeping pad slips off from underneath the sleeping bag because there’s not enough friction between them and the floor. Also, tossing and turning a lot when sleeping adds to them slipping off. Hence when placed inside the sleeping pad, it won’t slide off. 

2. Protects your sleeping pad

Inflatable and self-inflating sleeping pads are at risk of punctures, although they can be repaired through tapping, to avoid punctures, keeping them inside your sleeping bag, adds an extra layer of protection. 

3. You can easily double your sleeping pad

Although foam pads can be easily stacked and then placed underneath your sleeping bag, inflatable pads are difficult to stack. Placing one inflatable pad inside your sleeping pad and then another underneath your sleeping bag, will aid in easily doubling your sleeping pad and getting the insulation properties to keep you warm through the night. 

Note: many experts advise this as the best solution to your sleeping pad, catering to all your sleeping needs. 

4. The pad scrunching or folding-up is prevented

Asides from sleeping pads sliding off, they can also scrunch up or fold when they are underneath your sleeping bag with little friction. With this, the pad would fold up leaving your leg area exposed to cold and you can easily catch a chill with your feet being exposed. With them being placed inside the sleeping bag, the pad folding up is less likely and your whole body would be placed directly in the pad. 

5. The added advantage of a make-shift pillow

Sometimes sleeping pads are longer than the sleeping bag, and if you happen to own a long sleeping pad, now you can easily roll the top of the pad and use it as a make-shift pillow. 

Also, it helps to easily pack up in the morning, and move around with both pads, if your changing location or hiking, as they have been placed together and can be easily rolled together. 

What To Do If It’s A Hammock Or Tent? 

From many experienced campers or experts, if you’re sleeping in a tent, it is better to sleep with the pad outside your sleeping pad from protecting against the tent floor. Instead, invest in a pad that has pad sleeves or strides to prevent sliding off.

You can also double the pad or tape it. 

For a hammock, it is better to place the sleeping pad inside the sleeping bag, as hammocks can be a bit restrictive and the pad can easily slide off. 


We all love uninterrupted sleep and opt for solutions that can give you that. It is more of a personal option to choose to place your sleeping pad inside or outside your sleeping pad.

After some trials & errors and pondering on which style helps you sleep better, you can opt to either keep the pad inside or outside the sleeping pad or place the sleeping pad both inside and outside. 

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