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Padding for Tent Floors

Going on camping adventures with your family doesn’t have to be dirty and uncomfortable. The easiest way to make your tent more comfortable is to add padding to the floor. Padding the floor adds warmth, comfort and protection in an instant.

We’d been camping for decades without tent floor padding and I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, now we won’t go camping without it. When you need to kneel on the tent floor to change a diaper in the middle of the night, padding is a MUST.

Benefits of Padding for your Tent Floor:

Warmth

If you’re sleeping in cold weather, insulating yourself from the ground is essential. Even something like a yoga mat will help trap in heat and keep you and your family sleeping much more comfortably.

No matter what kind of floor padding you choose, adding a few degrees of warmth will be worth it.

Cleaning

Kids are messy and camping is messy, once you combine the 2, it’s very easy to have a disaster on your hands in no time. If you use tent floor padding you can bring the whole tent floor outside and shake it off. Much easier than trying to clean dirt and sand out of your tent.

Protection

There are all kinds of things that can damage the floor of your tent- from burrs and sticks to sharp rocks. If you have some form of tent floor protector, it will help protect your tent from wear and tear. Just keep an eye out for too much debris underneath the tent floor mat.

When you pay a lot of money for a good tent (or get a great deal on one) you don’t want it ruined, so protection is a must. If you’re camping with dogs, you need to use one of our tent floor padding ideas to protect your awesome camping equipment.

Comfort

Going on a camping adventure is always fun, but you don’t totally have to go with the rustic living vibe. You can make your tent floor so much more comfortable and cozy by adding a little extra padding to your camping supplies. Improving your camping experience by making your tent flooring softer is always a great idea.

Bottom-line: tent floor pads are a great choice. It helps keep you warm, clean, cozy and safe when camping. Tent floor mats keep your tent in top shape for many adventures to come.

Tent Floor Padding Types:

When it comes to tent floor mats, there are 4 main kinds on the market. Which one is best for you will depend on your camping style, tent size and how much weight you want to carry with you.

Interlocking Foam Tiles

Foam puzzle blocks are a very common tent floor pad. They’re interlocking foam tiles that are usually used in garages and home gyms. They’re light and easy to carry, but probably take up the most room when packing.

interlocking foam squares for tent floor padding

That said, these are my FAVORITE. They are great insulation for the tent floor and keep the tent noticeably warmer and are amazing to kneel on. Rocks, acorns, roots and uneven ground don’t stand a chance at hurting your feet or knees with these padding your tent. I highly recommend getting the assorted colors for even more camping fun!

Moving Blankets

Moving blankets are probably the least expensive tent floor padding option. They’re also very easy to carry. Just roll it up and throw it in your tent bag. However, they’re not as warm as foam puzzle blocks and they’re not the thickest option. Plus, if you have a small tent, the moving blanket might be larger than your tent and need to be folded.

Moving blankets for padding tent floor

In our Marmot Limestone 6p, we can fit 2 moving blankets with quite a bit of overlap, so it works really well for warmth. Moving blankets make for a nice soft floor for your bare feet. They also double as moving blankets, and we love having camping gear that has a dual purpose.
We camped in the rain recently and instead of attempting to roll up our wet muddy tent and get the tent bag all gross, we wrapped it in the moving blankets and put it in the back of the truck gently rolled. When we got home, it was super easy to set the tent up again and hose the mud off.

Yoga mats

Yoga mats are in between foam squares and moving blankets in price and weight carried. They’re perfect if you don’t want to carry the extra weight of foam mats but need more tent floor protection than moving blankets offer. Bringing a Yoga mat is a great tent floor padding idea and you’ll appreciate the extra layer of insulation.

Thick yoga mat for tent floor padding

Normal yoga mats are pretty thin, so make sure you get thicker yoga mats to have the most comfortable surface possible. If you only want to have a padded floor in between your air mattresses then one yoga mat will be a perfect option for tent flooring.

Outdoor carpet

The final kind of tent floor padding is outdoor carpet. This is the heaviest and most expensive option, but it’s also the most durable. Outdoor carpet can usually be found at home improvement stores or online. It will protect your tent floor from just about anything and usually comes in a variety of colors and designs.

Outdoor carpeting for tent floor protection

Outdoor carpeting can be cut to match your tent footprint exactly so you can cover every square foot of the entire tent floor. You can also spray it off with a hose if it gets dirty and it’s amazingly durable.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Which is the best floor padding for my tent?

This answer varies for everyone and varies between tents. We prefer the interlocking foam pads for our tent, but others swear by moving blankets. If you’re looking for comfort and warmth, go for the foam. If you’re looking for easy to carry and minimal padding, get a few yoga mats. Outdoor carpeting is the most durable option and moving blankets are the easiest to clean.

  • Why do I need tent floor padding?

For all the reasons above (warmth, protection, cleanliness, comfort and protection) and then some. When I walk into our tent after we put down the foam puzzle tiles, it suddenly feels cozy. It makes the tent feel like home. I was no longer worried about stepping on rocks or acorns and I was much more at ease letting our baby crawl around in the tent once the padding was down. It feels like just one more thing to add to the packing list, but it is so worth it.

  • Can I put padding underneath the tent?

You can put padding underneath the tent, but if you’re thinking of pitching your tent on top of outdoor carpeting, I’m going to advise you to not do it. Obvious reason is that it will get super dirty. Next reason is that if it rains while you’re camping and you have any of that carpeting bigger than your tent’s footprint, water will run right under your tent and soak everything.

Conclusion

It’s important to bring tent floor pads with you when you go camping. You can easily find tent flooring pads in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses for various purposes. The four main types of tent floor mats are foam tiles, moving blankets, yoga mats and outdoor carpeting. They all have different benefits and we hope we have given you enough tent floor padding ideas.

Packing padding for your tent floor is a real game-changer. Once you upgrade to the luxury of a padded tent floor, you’ll never go back.

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