bestway alpinelite inflatable sleeping pad

New 2024 Bestway Inflatable Sleeping Pad Reviews

This summer, I had the chance to test out two new sleeping pads by Bestway® that will hit the market in 2024.

Before I dive into the two pad reviews, I want to point out the pads are at extreme ends of the r-value spectrum so they are suited for different types of camping adventures. 

What is r-value insulation for sleeping pads?

R-value is the insulation rating of sleeping pads and it’s one of the most important things to consider when picking out which inflatable sleeping pad is right for your adventure.

r value chart

Why does r-value matter?

Picking out the right r-value for a sleeping pad can make all of the difference in your sleep experience. The ground is naturally cooler once the sun goes down so you want to make sure to keep your back insulated for a warm night’s sleep. The warmth of a sleeping pad you want will depend on the type of adventure you are embarking on.

Having a warm sleeping bag is not enough to keep you warm at night. If your back is feeling the cold from a lack of insulation on the ground beneath you, you will remain a bit cold through the night and you won’t sleep well – trust me, I’ve learned the hard way plenty of times.

Make sure you pick a sleeping pad that is warm enough for your nighttime camping temps!

Personally, these are my preference of r-value as a woman of relatively small size who typically runs cold:

  • 1-2 r-value: Great for late Spring and Summer desert camping trips. There is very little insulation which makes it perfect for warm-weather camping trips, and what better place than the Southwest desert? Remember when you’re camping at higher altitudes in the mountains, it’s always colder so a pad of 1.3 r-value may not be warm enough – however, it can work for some people.
  • 3-4 r-value: I use a sleeping pad with an r-value around 3-4 for low-altitude summer backpacking in the mountains or Fall time in the desert.
  • 5+ r-value: This is my preference for all winter camping trips, expeditions, and all-season backpacking at higher elevations (10k+ ft). I typically backcountry camp at high elevations in the Eastern Sierra and Rocky Mountains so I bring an insulated winter sleeping pad on 95% of my trips.

New Winter Inflatable Sleeping Pad for 2024: Bestway® AlpineLiteTM Insulated Wide Mummy Sleeping Pad

The brand new AlpineLite™ Insulated Sleeping Pad is an amazing winter camping sleeping pad. Because it’s an inflatable pad, it’s very packable for backpacking. I’ve been backpacking for eight years now and as someone who runs cold, this pad is a must-have. It’s performance-oriented to provide one of the warmest insulation for inflatable sleeping pads on the market at a competitive weight and an affordable price.

If you’ve been following me since the beginning of my backpacking journey, you know I typically use the Thermarest Neoair XTherm because it has always had the highest r-value on the market. It’s no secret it has been my favorite insulated sleeping pad, but the new AlpiteLite™ gives the XTherm a run for its money. In 2023, Thermarest launched an updated XTherm NXT version with an r-value of 7.3 which is currently the highest r-value on the market for inflatable backpacking sleeping pads… and the new AlpineLite™ matches that.

When Bestway® reached out to me earlier this year to test out their new sleeping pad that also had an r-value of 7.3 but a much better price point, you can imagine how stoked I was to test this out.

What I love about the AlpineLite™

To start with, the new Bestway® AlpineLite™ sleeping pad is very cushy with its 3” thickness. I have been testing out the wide version which is 5” wider than the regular size (see full specs below) and paired together with the thickness, this pad feels almost as good as sleeping on a normal bed-size air mattress… but in the backcountry.

I have been using the AlpineLite™ in the same weather conditions I would normally use my current favorite insulated sleeping pad and it held up on par. It has kept me warm at high altitudes, during the harshest thunderstorms in the Wind River Range in Wyoming and Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado, and didn’t overheat on a warm backpacking trip like my Thermarest does sometimes when the sun strikes it. Although I have not had the chance to test out the pad in true freezing alpine conditions yet, I’m hopeful and look forward to putting this pad to the real test when the snow hits this winter.

How does the AlpineLite™ compare to other insulated sleeping pads?

I’ve also had the chance to test out Sea to Summit’s Ether Light XT Extreme Insulated Air Sleeping Mat which was also a great 4-season pad. It is 4 inches thick which is 1 inch more than the AlpineLite™ but you really couldn’t feel any of the rocks underneath both pads we slept on. The r-value of the Sea to Summit pad is still a boasting warm 6.2 but weighing in at 1 lb 9 oz and $219, the Bestway AlpineLite™ is superior.

What’s wrong with this sleeping pad?

There are a few downsides of the AlpineLite™ but these are personal preferences and not necessarily reflective of the performance of the pad:

  • The inflation valve
    • I like to inflate my sleeping pads by blowing directly into the valve – carrying the inflation bag is just extra weight and can be a hassle to fill the bag with air to inflate. When inflating directly into the valve, the pad makes a horn-like sound. At first, I thought the sound was loud but maybe it was just because I was so close to it. Turns out, my camping partners could all hear it clearly from outside the tent and burst out in laughter and wondered what the heck that noise was. It’s certainly not a deal breaker but just something to take note of.
    • The inflation bag also has a very narrow entrance to catch the air which makes it harder to inflate the entire bag for a quicker overall inflation.
  • It only comes in a mummy size. For a regular size sleeping pad, I prefer a full rectangle size over a mummy shape because my feet tend to slide off of a mummy pad when the foot area is more narrow; however; with the wide-size mummy pad, the shape isn’t an issue as there’s more room in the foot area.
bestway alpinelite insulated sleeping pad review

Details & Specifications for the Bestway® AlpineLite™ Regular Size:

  • R Value: 7.3, ideal for extreme weather
  • Pad Weight: 1 lb 7 oz (657 g)
    • Wide size weights only 4 oz more
  • Packed size: 4 in. x 4 in. x 9.5 in. / 10 cm x 10 cm x 24 cm to easily fit in your pack
  • Inflated size: 72 in.  x 20 in.  x 3 in.
    • Wide size: 72 in. x 25 in. x 3 in.
  • Puncture-resistant ToughLite™ material and sporty, durable 70D ripstop nylon fabric
    • See details on the fabrics below
  • ThermaZone™ features two layers of aluminized film for superior insulation
  • Pump sack is durable and lightweight
  • Low profile valve allows for easy pressure adjustment
  • Contents: 1 air pad, 1 pump sack, 1 repair patch, 1 storage bag

The Bottom Line

The most notable difference between the new AlpineLite™ sleeping pad versus the Thermarest and Sea to Summit competitor pads is the price point. All of these pads are warm and comparable in weight, but the Bestway® pad does come in a fun, vibrant color which I love.

The AlpineLite™ is a great choice for experienced hikers and backpackers who run cold &/or want to dip their toes in winter camping. It’s a quality pad at an affordable price point which I cannot disclose yet but trust me – it’s worth it.

New Bestway® WanderLiteTM Standard Rectangular Sleeping Pad 

The new Bestway® WanderLite™ sleeping pad is your typical budget-friendly inflatable sleeping pad and a good option if you are looking for a car camping pad (sleeping at a campsite you drive right up to as opposed to backcountry camping). 

The r-value is 1.3 which is perfect for warm weather camping – It’s the type of sleeping pad I would bring for May – September desert camping trip, or June – August summer car camping at low elevations between my alpine backcountry adventures.

I’ve tested out this pad at low-elevation car camping and sleeping in the back of the truck and it served its function well. The pad inflates very quickly by blowing directly into the valve. It’s 2.5 inches thick but honestly, it still feels a bit thin when you’re just hanging out on it due to the grid pattern construction of the pad which creates more dips in the pad if that makes sense. However, when sleeping on it fully flat as it’s intended for, it’s very full and comfortable.

The WanderLite™ is very comparable to the Klymit Static V2 – the main difference is in the grid construction of the center of the pad. I’m just personally not the biggest fan of the v-chambers pattern of the Klymit and don’t find it to be any more unique and worth opting for but to each her own.

Also worth noting – I took the WanderLite™ and Klyit Static V2 out side by side and I have no idea how, but the Klymit pad got 2 large 1-inch size cuts in it which speaks to the durability of the WanderLite™.

Who Should Get This Sleeping Pad

It’s perfect for beginners who don’t want to invest a ton of money into their gear but want to try out camping with their own gear! I’ve always felt like my sleep system is very personal so I’m not a fan of renting and borrowing. When I started backpacking in 2015, I wanted my own set of gear but couldn’t bring myself to fork out the money for a fancy sleeping pad so the pad I got was along the same standards as the WanderLite™ and lasted me for two years before I upgraded to a warmer pad. I’m hopeful this one will last as well.

If you’re new to camping and decide to try a sleeping pad like this with a low r-value rating but decide it’s not warm enough, you could also pair it with a foam pad like the Thermarest Z for added insulation and comfort.

It packs small and is relatively lightweight for backpacking in warm months, but I love how large the size of the pad is. It makes car camping a whole lot more comfortable.

What’s wrong with this sleeping pad?

I do want to point out that you should handle with the pad with care. The fabric is very durable but after a few times of deflating, the entire valve came out of the sleeping pad when I pulled on the valve to deflate. It does pop back in and functions the same, just annoying to have to deal with it.

bestway wanderlite sleeping pad review

Details & Specifications for the Bestway® WanderLite™ Regular Size:

  • Fits a regular-sized sleeping bag
  • R Value: 1.3, ideal for warm weather
  • Pad Weight: 1 lb 3 oz (549 g)
  • Packed size: 4 in. x 4 in. x 7.5 in. / 10.5 cm x 10.5 cm x 19.5 cm to easily fit in your pack
  • Inflated size: 74 in. x 23 in. x 2.5 in.
    • Large size: 78 in. x 28 in. x 2.5 in.
  • Puncture-resistant ToughLite™ material and sporty, durable 70D ripstop nylon fabric
  • CrossWing™ design features inclined air pockets for comfort and to prevent rolling
  • Low profile valve allows for easy pressure adjustment
  • Contents: 1 air pad, 1 repair patch, 1 storage bag

ThermaZone™ & ToughLite™ materials:

  • ThermaZone™: Proprietary air pad insulation construction made up of two layers of aluminized film that is low in weight and high in warmth. ThermaZone™ aluminized film provides superior insulation with minimal weight
  • Toughlite™: A PVC-free surface material used for Bestway® sleeping pads, made of high-quality TPU and either nylon or polyester. Puncture-resistant, PVC-free ToughLite™ material and soft, yet flexible 50D stretch knit polyester fabric.

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What quetions do you have about these pads? Are you excited to try out these pads?

*This post is sponsored by Bestway®

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