DURABILITY Many staffers started out on a RidgeRest, and though most have moved on to plusher pads, they still bust out this classic (brought back to life this year after a decade of suspended production) for winter camping. Why? The polyethylene foam is ultralight and pretty much indestructible. “I never take a winter trip without this pad,” our tester says. “Not only does it boost the warmth and comfort of any mattress, it’s great to throw down as a seat on snow or granite at dinner time.”
WARMTH The grid pattern isn’t just for show. The depressions between the rows trap warm air, giving this pad a 2.6 R-value on its own. (R-value represents a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the number—they go up to 8—the better the pad’s insulation.) Couple it with your uninsulated air pad, and you have an affordable winter rig.
$20; 14 oz.; 20x72x5/8; thermarest.com