Unigear Sleeping Pad Review (And A Backpack Bonus!)

unigear product review - sleeping pad lifestyle

On my recent trip back to the states for the holidays, I was finally able to test out our new sleeping pad from Unigear. This Unigear sleeping pad review will also include a brief overview of the Unigear Hydration Backpack.

Spending the better part of the winter in Costa Rica was honestly been the fulfillment of a dream I’ve had for more than five years. The warm weather has been so enjoyable and the space to work on writing projects has been crucial to my personal development.

That said, I haven’t had as much time to devote to product testing as I did over the summer, when the backcountry was right at my fingertips every weekend.

Why We Needed a New Unigear Sleeping Pad

Unigear sleeping pad review - sleeping pad rolled up

My partner and I love to hike and camp whenever we get the chance. We also have a four-year-old boxer (named Hoolie) that loves to go along with us. Before we met, I spent a lot of time hammock camping, but that doesn’t really work with our pup.

Fortunately, we have an amazing Marmot tent that fits all three of us snugly. Unfortunately, we spent all of the last summer carrying around part of a cut-out old mattress topper to act as a sleeping pad, as I only had my Thermarest Z-Lite.

I really wanted to get another pad to make our overall setup lighter and to make our nights spent in our tent that much more comfortable. Boom! Along came Unigear offering to send me one of their sleeping pads in return for a review.

Now, the timing was a bit off, as the backpacking season in Truckee had just wrapped up (nights dipping into the 20s) and I was preparing to head off to Costa Rica for the winter. Nevertheless, I know the pad will get plenty of use next summer, especially now that I’ve finally had the chance to sleep on it a couple of nights.

Unigear Sleeping Pad Review Testing Environment

Although it’s not the ideal testing environment, I was finally able to make use of the Unigear sleeping pad when I visited my brother for the holidays.

My sleeping arrangement consisted of a fold-out Army-style cot that I threw the Unigear sleeping pad on top of for added cushion. For all intents and purposes, this was the best testing environment I could muster with the given circumstances.

Unigear Sleeping Pad Review Results

Unigear sleeping pad review - sleeping pad inflated

Night one: I woke up halfway through the night and realized that the sleeping pad was completely deflated, but I was too tired to blow it up again.

I’ve used inflatable pads in the past and had always found their ability to remain inflated throughout the night to be their biggest weakness. I thought I had stumbled onto more of the same with the Unigear sleeping pad.

Night two: more of the same! I inflated the pad just before climbing into bed and woke up halfway through the night to find it very much deflated. As a result, I felt deflated thinking of crafting an honest review.

Night three: Before going to bed, I took the time to make a closer examination of the pad’s inflation mechanism and seal. I found that the issue hadn’t been the pad at all, but that it had been subject to user error all along.

I hadn’t depressed the seal fully, which meant the air was slowly leaking from the inflation mechanism. Once I did, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pad held air almost perfectly for the remainder of the nights I spent on it.

Final Verdict on The Unigear Sleeping Pad Review

I like the Unigear sleeping pad because of how light and compact it is when deflated and rolled up. It’s much smaller than my Thermarest Z-Lite, which means it fits into my pack without taking up unnecessary space. The Thermarest, of course, has to be strapped to the exterior of my pack.

Despite my skepticism when it comes to inflatable sleeping pads, I found that this pad was extremely comfortable and retained air well throughout the night (once the seal was depressed properly).

I am excited to use this pad in different environments to see how it holds up when used on an uneven tent floor or in more rocky conditions.

The Unigear Hydration Backpack

Unigear sleeping pad review - hydration backpack

In addition to the sleeping pad, Unigear also sent us their hydration backpack. This pack holds up to two liters in a refillable bladder and also has plenty of space for all the essentials you’d bring on an average day hike.

I like that Unigear included a waist strap with this pack, which makes it feel more secure on your back. This is handy if you do any trail running and don’t want the pack slapping against your back with every step. The best feature of this pack, however, is the added insulation to keep your water cold!

Check Out Unigear Online!

Do you have experience with Unigear products? If so, I’d love to know about the products you’ve used, how you’ve liked them, and whether you will invest in more items from them in the future. Also, if you’ve compared Unigear products to others in the outdoor industry, how do you feel they stack up?

If you decide to purchase this Unigear sleeping pad after reading this review, I’d love to know how you like it once you’ve taken it out for a few trips! Feel free to reach out to me directly (email below), or share your latest adventure or backpack by tagging @thebackpackguide on Instagram!

About The Backpack Guide

Why You Should Hire a Guide for Your Next Adventure - Local Knowledge
PC Katy Shipley for Tahoe Adventure Company

As The Backpack Guide, I’m always looking for new trails and wildernesses to explore and I’m also interested in the experiences of others in the wild. If there is one thing I am sure of it’s that we can all spend more time enjoying and connecting with Nature.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. I’ll be quick to reply to any questions, comments, or concerns you feel like sharing!

Note: If these Unigear products don’t interest you, I’d like to invite you to check out some other Outdoor Gear products I’ve reviewed. These include multiple methods of water filtration, tents, hiking shoes, and more. If you’re looking for a new backpack, feel free to peruse some packs I’ve reviewed from brands like Osprey, REI, and Kelty.

Hike On!

The Backpack Guide



  1. youness

    Hi Tucker! I really like the pictures it shows that you’re laying down on a Unigear bed and enjoying reading a book, I really like it! I live in northern BC Canada and during the summer we have a lot of hikes to do, with all the benefits that you explain in your review in think I will try to get one.

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      Tucker Ballister

      Thanks Youness! Please take a moment to come back and offer some thoughts on your personal experience with the Unigear sleeping pad once you’ve purchased and tested it out on a few hikes! 

  2. Renea

    I have never tried any Unigear products, but after reading your review they sound like really good products. Think it’s time to give them a try! The Hydration backpack would be a good choice to start with I think. The sleeping pad will work for a lot of places, kids would love it. This is a great review.

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  3. Robert

    Thanks Tucker for your review on these Unigear products. I personally do a lot of hiking in the mountainous areas here in the New Jersey and New York area. I have yet to need an inflatable sleeping pad as I rarely do any camping but this is something I should invest in for that next time that I do go camping next spring.

    What I am very interested in is that Unigear Hydration Backpack. This seems to have all of the features that I am seeking. Insulation to keep the water cold and a waist strap for a more secure fit. You say that it provides enough space for other essentials. Is this space by exterior or interior areas? Also is the bladder BPA free?

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      Tucker Ballister

      Hey Robert! The hydration pack mainly provides the space for your essentials via interior pockets but does include a bungee strap for securing small, light items to the exterior. And yes, the water bladder is BPA free! 

  4. Wayne

    My days of doing any overnight hiking are long gone but I can remember using a “Thermarest” as an under-pad and, to be honest, I didn’t really like them all that much.  

    They were self-inflating (you COULD add a little more air but not too much) and I didn’t really find them that exceptional in the comfort department being that they were only about an inch and half thick.  I think they might have had an expandable foam layer in them.  They were a great barrier against the cold ground though.

    This pad looks to be a bit thicker (about 3 inches?) and has chambers.  This seems to me to be a better design and with proper sealing (as you found out) would give far better comfort.

    I do like to still do some hiking from time to time.  I usually carry a full 2-litre bottle and an extra water bottle if I’m on an all-day hike but I find that somewhat heavy.  This hydration backpack looks like it could be a great alternative and may also have enough room to carry a few snacks and some small gear necessities like a flashlight and ? that don’t take up too much space.  Is this the case?  Does Unigear make a bigger pack that has a bladder in it?  I like to take along extra stuff just in case I get stuck in the rain or need extra clothing.  One should always be prepared when out in the woods.


    1. Post
      Tucker Ballister

      Hey Wayne! This Unigear pad is about two inches thick when fully inflated. It was a surprise to me that it STAYED inflated overnight too. I’ve had self-inflating pads in the past that certainly did not. You are absolutely correct about the hydration pack having space for a few necessities. And yes, Unigear does offer a few larger packs. You can check out all of their packs here: https://unigearshop.com/collec

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