How to Attach Sleeping Pad to Backpack

How to Attach Sleeping Pad to Backpack
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Sleeping pads are one the best way to reduce the weight on your backpacking trip. The sleeping pad is a lightweight material that provides you insulation and isolation during cold weather. Besides its merit, it also has some demerits like puncture or damage due to pressure or hitting against pointy things. This also occurs when you pack your pad incorrectly, because a sleeping pad is an air balloon that demands care, otherwise it blows up. So if you are struggling with packing your pad or a beginner who wants to know how to attach a sleeping pad to a backpack then you are in right place, we got you covered. This article covers the step-by-step guide on how to attach a sleeping pad to a backpack with different methods.


  • Where to store or attach your sleeping pad?
  • How to attach a sleeping pad to backpack

Before attaching the sleeping pad to the backpack first you should know what type of your backpack is. Is it an air pad, self-inflating pad, or closed-cell foamed cell? Well, each type of pad has different properties and needs to be packed differently. Well, if you are backpacking there is a huge probability that you have an air pad or self-inflating pad because they are lightweight and easy to carry while hiking or backpacking. In this article, you will understand how to attach a sleeping pad to backpack. This is a simple skill to attain. All you need is a single practice.

How to attach sleeping pad to backpack

Step 1- Open the valve

The first step is to open the valve of the sleeping pad if it is filled. Opening the valve allows the air to flow out from the pad.

Step2- Fold the pad

The second step is to fold the pad, you can also fold it from half horizontally. After that use your arm to press the pad and move it(your arm) in direction of the valve. Then open the pad flat on the ground.

Step3- close the valve

Close the valve again and start rolling the pad from the opposite side of the valve to towards the valve with a strong grip. This way the little air stored at the sides of the pad collects near the valve.

Step4- Release the air

After reaching the end open the valve again to release the stored air outside. Then close the valve again.

step5- Pack your pad in a bag

After that, Pack your pad in a bag to avoid any damage from rocks or pointy things. If you don’t have any special bag for the pad use any waterproof bag or any bag that acts as a shield.

Step 6- Attach sleeping pad to backpack

There are different option to attach sleeping pad to  backpack

  • Attach to the top or back- To attach the sleeping pad to the top at the loose top fly. Pack your pad in a bag or roll it up and attach it underneath fly. To keep it in place make sure to cinch the fly.
  • Attach the pad to the side of the backpack- Bring the pad under the side compression strap to attach it, you can also use a rope to tie the knot and attach the pad to the side of the backpack.
  • Attach to the bottom,- This is the best option if your backpack has this. The companies provide loops at the bottom of the backpack to attach the big outdoor gear like- tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags. Attach the pad by hanging the pad by fixing the pad inside the loops. Then tie the knot strongly to fix the gear in its place and prevent it from moving here and there.

You may also want to know- How to strap tent to backpack?- step by step guide

Understand through video



To attach the sleeping pad to your backpack first you need to release or eliminate the air from the pad by opening the valve. After that roll, the pad tightly to save the pace and pack correctly. To attach the pad outside of your backpack you have three options at the bottom, at the side, or at the back. Choose any option which suits you right. I hope this article is helpful and provides enough information on the topic to clear your all queries.

Where to store or attach your sleeping pad?

Today brands offer many storage spaces for your gear each have its advantages and disadvantage. If your backpack has a lot of space then storing a pad inside is the best option because not only it protects the pad from coming in contact with pointy things but also provides a good weight balance and it becomes so much easy to carry it.

Store the pad vertically at the side in your backpack, as by this way you save a lot of space, also it is the best way to store a sleeping pad because of its shape, width, and length. If you have a small pad that adjusts horizontally then make sure to place it in the bottom of your bag because the pad is the last thing you need while hiking or backpacking and it is best to store things at the bottom which are less used.

If your bag doesn’t have enough space inside then you have to attach it to the outside of the backpack. depending on your backpack many bags offer side staps, bottom straps, back straps.

If you attach the pad to the side of your backpack this way you protect, the pad from coming in contact with branches and rocks. Not only that it also puts less pressure on your spine, but you may find difficulty in finding the balance between sides.

If your pad is not wide enough then you can attach it to the bottom of your backpack. This is the best option of all because it put less pressure on the spine, you can also walk easily and much faster because the balance is even and the weight is also transferred through your hips.

Attaching a sleeping pad at the back strap is not a good idea if you are hiking a long trail with high elevation gain because it puts a lot of pressure on your back. It slows down your speed because the weight is not transferred through the hips Which leads to regular breaks in between your journey.