Are you sick and tired of sleeping on a stuff sack crammed with random soft items? Do you know that bringing along a pillow can greatly improve your sleep and rest at night? To look for the best camping pillow out there, you can check on the different models out there, which in your case, is a lot of research, or you can read this post till the end.
We’ve done our research and evaluation on the different camping pillows used for camping – whether it be in the backyard hammock, the back of a vehicle, and the backcountry, and then compared the fine points of both compressible and inflatable options.
We evaluated them based on the fine points such as how they compressed down as well as if they offered a relaxed sleeping surface. Each brand has its pros and cons, and it will be up to you to determine which one is best for your situation.
Read below to see which pillows we liked the most for campers out there!
I. Choosing the best camping pillow for your needs
Choosing the best camping pillow can be tricky given the availability of numerous brands in the market today. So how do you find the ideal pillow that has a balance of quality, durability, and comfort? It depends mostly on what you intend to do with it.
There are some things you need to consider when choosing the best camping pillow. Each of these factors can affect the way you spend your resting time while camping. Take note of these considerations and make sure they match with your needs.
Weight and Size
When selecting your ideal camping pillow, initially think about for what and where you will be utilizing it. Backpackers should take size and weight into consideration much more than a weekend camping. The size and weight of the pillow can affect the way you’d want to rest and relax in the outdoors.
For me, I have a weight limit of 2.5 oz. for a backpacking pillow, unless the product is remarkable. It may not seem much, but every ounce counts when you are carrying everything on your back.
Where will you be keeping your pillow when you’re not using it? In your purse, a small compartment in your bag, or a briefcase? While a bigger pillow may seem like a good help to you when you relax and sleep at night, it will certainly be bulkier and heavier.
For me,, a packed-down backpacking pillow must, at least, be smaller than your palm. I find it easier to sleep with a pillow that isn’t so big.
In general, you do not want a pillow that is slippery. Even though it’s very comfortable, it is prone to sliding out from under your head, which is bad.
Avoid material s such as rayon or silk. Only under one condition is such fabric excusable – only if the pillow is sufficiently small to fit well in the sleeping bag’s hood.
The frequency of Use and Durability
Also, you will want to think about how frequently you’ll be using the pillow. Using it often will make comfort and durability important.
If any certain features trouble you at first, you will not get accustomed to using them. Using the pillow more often will create more leaky valves, which will bother you a lot. It is always recommended to purchase one higher-priced product once than purchase numerous inexpensive replacements, which will be bothersome.
Comfort and Support
When looking for a backpacking pillow, support and comfort are just two of the most crucial things to consider. We have evaluated the comfort level of each pillow throughout the article to help you out.
For side sleepers, support is important in ensuring you do not wake up with a stiff neck. A soft Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case or other more supportive inflatables like the Cocoon Hyperlight Air-Core Pillow are by far the best pillows we tried.
Back sleepers who require a supportive pillow must consider the options provided above as well. If you do not put support in the top of your list, you could make do with the use of less supportive options like the Exped Air Pillow UL, Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultra-Light, or Trekology Pillow.
Inflatable versus Pillow Case
There are currently two kinds of backpacking pillows: pillowcases and inflatables.
Pillowcases have to be stuffed with clothing while inflatables have to be inflated. We tested a pillow case and eight inflatables.
Often, pillowcases are less expensive and will never pop or burst. But their comfort level and support vary greatly on the kind of clothes you put into them. If you do not have the right clothes or the exact amount of clothes for a certain comfort level and support, it will be difficult to make a pillowcase comfortable enough.
On the other hand, inflatables are often costlier, and there is always the possibility they could leak air or pop. Their support and comfort level are more consistent: good thing if they’re comfortable, but bad if not. Also, you can try to customize an inflatable pillow according to your needs by deflating or inflating it further.
II. Five Best Backpacking Pillows
1. Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium
The range of lightweight and the Aeros compact inflatable pillows will provide you with a comfortable sleep whether you’re in the backcountry or transit. This pillow is luxurious and high performing without the bulk and weight. The construction of the pillowcase enables its outer shell to maintain maximum softness even when supported by strong and sturdy TPU bladder.
2. EXPED Ultra-light Air Pillow
The EXPED is the lightest and smallest pillow to take with you on any trip. It offers a comfortable night’s sleep without increasing weight to your pack.
3. Ultralight Backpacking and Camping Inflatable Air Pillow
The Air-Light Pillow is made especially for people who seek a durable, high-quality, and comfy pillow big enough to sleep on but it compact and ultralight.
It does not matter where you’re heading, do not give away your pillow.
At about the size of card deck when packed, and weighs about 2.2 oz., it’ll seamlessly fit into your purse, pocket, carry-on, backpack, or tied to the exterior of any these items with the drawstick.
4. NEMO Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow with Fabric Cover
You won’t have to ball your clothing into hard, lumpy pillows. The NEMO Fillo Pillow is now available to provide you with the deep, relaxing sleep you always deserved. It is the ideal sidekick for traveling, backpacking, or just sleeping.
The Fillo Pillow is machine washable, incredibly soft, and pack down small so you will barely notice until it’s sleeping time. If you extremely value a sound sleep anytime and anywhere, the Filli Pillow will be perfect for a good night’s sleep.
5. Exped Mega Pillow
The Exped Mega Pillow provides cushioned comfort, and air chamber maximizes support. It features Soft tricot surface fabric, and the Single inflate or deflate FlatValve. It is a combination of a foam topper, air pillow, and a soft tricot cover. It includes an adjustable height for the belly, side and back sleepers. Its anatomical shape centers your head. It also includes grommets for you to secure to a sleeping mat.
Buying a pillow that’s perfect for your camping and sleeping needs come down to what it is that you want to happen in your sleep. You may require a pillow of a certain size and weight and may not be comfortable otherwise. You may be looking for something soft or something that is harder.
Whatever your tastes are, just make sure that you are comfortable in the end. The purpose of choosing the right pillow is to reduce pains and aches and increase the quality of your sleep. This also makes the experience of sleeping a more worthwhile experience outdoors for you.
Among the five brands we reviewed, I find the Exped REM pillow the best one for my kind of resting needs. I’ve been used to pillows that are soft and comfortable and the Recycled Extracted Modules (REM), provides a cushioned comfort. I can sleep immediately with this pillow under my head.
I hope this post was helpful in providing you with the information you need to choose a pillow that is suitable for your camping and backpacking adventures. Which of the five brands is your favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
To get more perspective on the best camping pillows, you may also want to check out the best camping pillows of 2017: