Backpacking Pillow

Curious what pillows people use while backpacking? I just squish my puffy into a beanie and call it a day :slight_smile:

Sounds about right - my husband carries a “backpacking pillow” but I’m not into carrying things that are that specific. Plus when you use your extra clothes or “puffy” for a pillow it doesn’t have to take up space anywhere else at night!! Have fun hiking!!

I use the Klymit XL pillow and love it. Packs down smaller than a salt shaker and is infinitesimally adjustable.

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I’ve been rocking an REI down travel pillow for the past 11 years- it’s held up well. It will run you about 30 bucks and even though it says “do not wash”, I do and no problems have surfaced yet :sweat_smile:. The only problem with it is that it doesn’t have as much structure as a good ol’ sweatshirt roll.

Recently, I purchased a Casper “nap” pillow. I was skeptical, but dang- it’s pretty sweet. Firm but in a structured kind of way- not like a brick. Sometimes the clothing roll-up can hurt after a while- with the Casper, it’s not the case. It’s a little heavier though, and I wouldn’t want it to get wet. Good luck on your search!

I have a klymit pillow, I have neck problems, and sometimes I’m tempted to use it at home. I love how it cradles my head.

I have a Rumpl pillowcase (weight: 0.2 lb). It’s fleece on one side and a smooth (poly blend, I think) fabric on the other. I still have to stuff it with something (usually a smartwool hoodie) but it doesn’t squish out and it doesn’t feel lumpy. It also packs into itself to make a fist-sized nugget.

Sea to summit and outdoor vitals are my favorite.

a pile of clothes in a stuff sack seems to work pretty well for me. I’ve had two inflatable pillows, neither lasted more than one weekend.

The Nemo Fillo Elite Pillow has, by far, become my favorite. I like the Klymit one, but after trying the Nemo pillows, I just can’t go back.
It is only a few ounces as well and packs down really small. That tiny bit of insulation around the pillow really makes a difference, it just doesnt feel like a blow-up camping pillow, to me, at all.

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I’ve heard good things about inflatable pillows like the Cocoon Sleeping Bag Hood Pillow. As you probably guessed when not in use they deflate and are much smaller than when inflated with air.

Some hardcore ultralight backpackers may claim camping pillows are superfluous extra weight, but most campers and overnight adventurers will agree that squishmallow pillows are worth their weight, especially on extended trips in the backcountry or in situations that require a well-rested body to stay safe.

Many backpackers use a variety of items as makeshift pillows or opt for lightweight, packable pillows designed specifically for backpacking. Here are a few common options:

  1. Clothing or puffy jacket: Like you mentioned, many backpackers stuff their puffy jacket or other clothing into a stuff sack or beanie to create a makeshift pillow. This helps save space and weight in their backpack.
  2. Inflatable pillows: Inflatable pillows are lightweight and can be packed down to a small size. They usually have a soft fabric on one side for comfort. Some popular inflatable pillows include the Sea to Summit Aeros, Therm-a-Rest Air Head, and NEMO Fillo.
  3. Compressible foam pillows: These pillows are made of compressible foam that expands when you take it out of its stuff sack. Examples include the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow and the NEMO Fillo Elite.
  4. Hybrid pillows: Hybrid pillows combine the best of inflatable and foam pillows, offering a combination of comfort, support, and packability. The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium and Exped Air Pillow UL are popular options in this category.
  5. Multi-purpose gear: Some backpackers use other gear items, such as a rolled-up sleeping pad or a backpack with its straps tucked in, as a makeshift pillow. This approach helps to reduce weight by eliminating the need for a dedicated pillow.

For tips of how to make your tent cozy, you can check out here