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The Best Backpacking Pillows of 2021

best backpacking pillow (1)

A sleeping pillow is one of the essential items in your camping bag.  Unfortunately, most campers neglect the difference a good pillow can make and fail to get enough sleep. To make sure you don’t ruin your camping adventure, I have listed the 10 best backpacking pillows available for your ease. Scroll down and see for yourself.

10 Best Backpacking Pillows of 2021

1. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow-Best Backpacking Pillow for Side Sleepers

Specially made for side sleepers, this pillow is another name for luxury. It is pretty similar to pillows you use at home but is far more compact and comfortable. Here are a few of its remarkable features:

Features

  • Weight: 93 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 27 inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Pattern: Indigo Dot
  • Made for side sleepers
  • Urethane filling

As stated in the features, this pillow is made of polythene. According to my long camping experience, polythene pillows are the safest. Moreover, they are durable and portable.

Therm-a-rest uses urethane as part of its filling. This filling proves quite beneficial for pillow expansion as required. Now when it comes to its affordability, this pillow is relatively inexpensive. And the availability of various sizes makes this pillow great for all.  For your first camping experience, this pillow can be a significant investment. However, it is a little heavier than most other camping pillows. But you can always buy it in a small size and keep the bulk and overall weight low.

Overall, Therm-a-rest is a pillow for all backpackers looking for a comfortable sleep on their camping trip. With that said, this pillow has many competitors. You can easily find pillows with far better support than Therm-a-rest. But the affordability factor makes this pillow stand out.

Pros

  • It is a very comfortable and soft pillow for all side sleepers.
  • The durability of this pillow matches the requirements of all kinds of campers.
  • The surface is soft and warm for challenging camping trips.
  • You have the choice to buy your favourite in several colours and patterns.
  • Fortunately, this is an inexpensive backpacking pillow.

Cons

  • Therm-a-rest is bulkier than most pillows you will come across.
  • It is heavy and adds up to the weight.
  • When compared to other types of pillows, you will find this less supportive.

2. Nemo Fillo-Best Backpacking Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

Are you a stomach sleeper? Well, I am, and initially, I had many issues finding the right backpacking pillow for myself. After lots of research and asking people around, I finally found the pillow of my dreams. Nemo Fillo is one of the best backpacking pillows for stomach sleepers. Read below for some of its features:

Features

  • Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9 x 10 x 5 inches
  • Material: Plush
  • Colour: Abyss
  • Natural support
  • Air filling

Nemo Fillo comes with an ergonomic design and value that adds comfort in its usability and performance. If you have no experience of using an inflatable pillow, this pillow is the right product to make a start.

It takes just a few seconds to inflate Nemo Fillo without any discomfort. You can either use your mouth or opt for an air syringe to do the job. Once inflated, this pillow gives a beautiful feeling of softness and luxury. The cover is super-soft and is 100% washable. You don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping it in a mud puddle.

Moving on, Nemo Fillo is gifted with natural support. With a well-designed air cell, you don’t have to follow the traditional ways of filling the air in the pillow. Moreover, this pillow eliminates the discomfort you get with the most air-filled pillows. When inflated, Nemo Fillo takes its natural shape and supports your head. Besides, the thick layer of luxury foam gives an impression of your home pillows.

When not in use, you can deflate the pillow and pack it in your bag. It doesn’t take space more than a potato.

Pros

  • This pillow’s ergonomic design supports comfort and ease during your sleep time.
  • The material used is soft and luxurious.
  • It is super-easy to inflate and deflate it.
  • It doesn’t take space when deflated and is super-convenient to carry around.

Cons

  • You might feel a chemical smell coming out of the pillow at times.

3. Rikki Tikki Inflatable Camping Pillow –Best Backpacking Pillow Under 50

If you are on a hunt to find a backpacking pillow under 50, RikkiTikki is the answer to all your worries. It is precisely what you need when on a tight budget.

Features

  • Weight: 0.25 pounds
  • Dimensions: 2 x 3.9 x 2.05 inches
  • Material: Plush
  • Colour: Teal
  • Rectangular shape
  • Compressible pillow
  • Fits backpacking bags

Rikki Tikki inflatable pillow is a comfort affordable on a limited budget. As the best pillow under 50, you can easily take this on your first camping trip. Besides, this pillow delivers good sleep for all kinds of sleepers.

As the weight and dimensions already suggest, the Rikki Tikki camping pillow is well-balanced. It is just the perfect size to deliver a sound sleep, yet it is not very heavy or adds to your overall weight.

Rikki Tikki is compressible and super-light. With this pillow, you get a bag to put the compressible pillow. This pillow fits in so perfectly that you will be amazed to see it. Just fold the pillow, and you are good to go.

Rikki Tikki is a great pillow to enjoy your sleep around mountains or green trees, but you can also use this pillow to support your back. Place it on your office chair or a car seat and enjoy a painless experience.

With a lifetime warranty, this pillow is a great investment to make.

Pros

  • This pillow is super inexpensive for campers on a tight budget.
  • Its weight and shape supports all kinds of sleepers.
  • It is ultra-light and is easily compressible.
  • It is available in different colours .
  • This pillow can also be used as a support for your back on long drives or busy working hours.

Cons

  • It doesn’t support lots of external pressure so always fold it before using.

4. Sea To Summit AerosDown Pillow -Best Backpacking Pillow Under 100

It is an incredibly light and inexpensive camping pillow for those who want a pillow under 100. The multi-function valve and a padded surface raise its value to a whole new level. To understand further, here are a few outstanding features:

Features

  • Weight: 0.15 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.4 x 4.7 in
  • Material: Nylon
  • Colour: Lime
  • Air filling
  • Padded
  • Proper valve system

This woven nylon pillow is one of the most comfortable and lightweight pillows you will ever come across. You can call it the most luxurious pillows of all time. With a soft surface and padded finishing, this pillow is best for those who have trouble sleeping on campsites.

AerosDown pillow is of the same size as your home pillow. It doesn’t weigh too much as well. You can quickly deflate it and keep it in your bag wherever you like. Moreover, its valve system is pretty awesome. It is adjustable and allows for convenient filling within minutes.

This pillow is available in different sizes and colours. My favourite has always been lime, and it has stayed for me for as long as six years.

Pros

  • It is a super soft pillow with a padded surface and cushion-like softness.
  • The adjustable multi-functional valve allows for easy inflation and deflation.
  • It is incredibly lightweight to fit in all kinds of backpack.
  • This pillow is available in varying sizes and colours.
  • The material used to make this pillow is of premium quality.

Cons

  • It is an expensive pillow for those who have a tight budget.

5. TREKOLOGY Ultra Light Inflating Travel/Camping Pillows –Best Backpacking Pillow Under 30

If this is your first camping experience, we recommend you not to overspend on a backpacking pillow. Start with something that’s affordable and meets your requirements to some extent. Trekology camping pillow is something exactly we are talking about. It is lightweight, soft and above all, priced below 30. Here are a few features:

Features

  • Weight: 0.17 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 12 inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colour: Black
  • Inflatable
  • Elastic TPU fabric
  • Water-resistant
  • Slip-resistant

Not all inexpensive pillows perform well. But Trekology’s camping pillow is a lot different. Not only it is lightweight, compact, and comfortable, but it is super stylish as well. You can proudly carry it everywhere you go without even giving hints on its affordability.

Starting with an ergonomic design, this pillow easily folds down into something as small as a drink can. You can quickly deflate the pillow and fit it in even the tiniest pocket of your bag.  Moreover, this pillow has a super-convenient inflation system. With just 3 to 4 blows of air, your pillow will be ready to use.  The same goes for deflation. With just a click on the deflation feature, your pillow will squeeze in to adjust in even the smallest of spaces.

Another feature that requires your attention is its slip-resistant design. Most backpacking pillows slip away as you move your head. It is not true for the Trekology camping pillow. Its slip-resistant surface stays firm on the surface it is placed on. You don’t spend all your night fixing the position of this pillow and waking up tired.

Pros

  • This is the most lightweight and inexpensive backpacking pillow.
  • It is both water and slip-resistant for great use.
  • This pillow has a systematic valve system for convenient inflation and deflation.
  • The padded design and soft fabric allows for comfortable head support.

Cons

  • Trekology pillow might not be for people looking for something completely flat.

6. Tempur-Pedic Neck Pillow-Best Backpacking Pillow with Neck Support

Just because you have neck pain doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a camping trip. Tempur-Pedic neck pillow is an overall fantastic pillow supporting your neck and helps you establish a sound sleep. Look at its unique features below:

Features

  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12.5 x 4.75 inches
  • Material: Teak
  • Colour: White
  • Shape designed by doctors
  • Available in different sizes

On a camping trip, you can never determine what lies ahead. You might get a soft mattress to sleep on, or you might have to sleep on the ground in the open air. In both cases, you need a pillow that supports your neck, shoulder, and back. It is because if you already suffer from neck pains, it can get worse without proper support. And who can enjoy a backpacking trip with Constant neck pain, anyways?

This pillow’s unique feature is its ergonomic design. Developed by experts, this design supports all the neck, back, and shoulder muscles for a comfortable sleep. After a long day hiking and trekking, you would want to give your body a complete rest. This is where this pillow feels like heaven.

Tempur-Pedic might be heavy than most other pillows, but it is far more effective and supportive. So if you have a big backpacking bag or you can easily carry something in your hands, this pillow is worth your Consideration.

Pros

  • This pillow is a result of lots of research and successfully supports your neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Made with soft fabric, your muscles feel at home every time you rest on this pillow.
  • This pillow is perfect for both side and back sleepers.

Cons

  • This is a heavy pillow, so Consider carrying it on short trips or with no other things in hand .
  • It is an expensive pillow, so only buy it if you need a neck support.

 

7. Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow- Best Backpacking Pillow With Cooling Technology

It is normal to feel sweaty and hot all the time, even when you are on your backpacking trip. If you have a hot head, you need a cooling technology pillow to keep your head temperature regular. In that case, nothing works best than Tempur-Pedic Cloud Breeze Pillow. Before we jump into details, take a look at some of its features:

Features

  • Weight: 7.08 pounds
  • Dimensions:27 x 19 x 6.4 inches
  • Material: Memory Foam
  • Colour: White
  • Gel layers on all sides
  • Washable
  • Durable

You might have noticed that this pillow’s weight is a lot more than almost all pillows on this list. It is true, but the presence of gel layers keeps the pillow cool throughout all seasons. The gel layers are part of the cooling technology and hence increase the overall weight of this pillow.

Other than providing a cooling atmosphere for all hotheads, this pillow is also incredibly soft and comfortable. The memory foam filling raises the softness standard to another level. Moreover, this pillow comes with an easily washable and removable cover. If you like, you can change the covering according to your taste and choice.

Moving on, this pillow is a little giant and might take over all your space. With such comfort and features to offer, it is acceptable to give over the required space with pillows with such comfort and features.

Pros

  • This pillow comes with layers of gels to give your head a cooling surface throughout.
  • It is effortless to wash the covers of this pillow.
  • This pillow provides excellent support to your neck, shoulders, and back.

Cons

  • It is a heavy pillow for people who can’t carry much weight.
  • It is bigger than most other backpacking pillows and might Consume all space.

8. Remedy Contour Pillow Best Backpacking Pillow With Armhole

If you are habitual of an arm pillow in your home, you can’t do without one of your backpacking trips as well. To ensure we find the best backpacking pillow with an armhole, we tested many before finding the Remedy Contour pillow quite reasonable. Take a look at a few of its features:

Features

  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5 x 17.5 x 21 inches
  • Material: Polyester Blend
  • Colour: White
  • U-Shaped
  • Travel size
  • Built-in pocket

It is tough to find a good backpacking pillow that is both lightweight and has an armhole feature. Contour Pillow is not the lightest pillow on this list, but it is also not the heaviest. This pillow comes in with a built-in pocket to support your arm position. Moreover, this pillow’s design is perfect to balance your body’s arts without putting pressure or uneasiness on the rest of the body.

Besides, it offers excellent sleep and comfortable support for your head. It is a stress-relieving pillow. Since it might take lots of space in your bag, you can use a string to hang this with your backpack.

Pros

  • This pillow provides in-built pockets to rest your arms.
  • The design of this pillow allows for an overall body support.
  • The polyester blend offers a soft surface to rest your body on.
  • It is an inexpensive pillow.

Cons

  • This isn’t a lightweight pillow.

9. Big Agnes AXL- Best Ultra Light Backpacking Pillow

When it comes to backpacking pillows, the first thing to look at is their lightweight feature. Ideal backpacking pillows should be lightweight and easy to carry. Irrespective of your destination, pillows that provide weight convenience are the best. You might come across a thousand lightweight pillows for your backpacking adventure, but not all are worthy of your investment. Big Agnes AXL is an excellent pillow not only weight-wise but also has some unique features. Let’s take a look at some:

Features

  • Weight: 0.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 94 x 2.36 x 1.97 inches
  • Material: Polyester
  • Colour: Red
  • Nylon stretches
  • Heat reflective technology
  • I-Beam Construction
  • Two-way valve
  • Puncture-resistant
  • Lamination technology

Not just this pillow weighs 0.1 pounds; it is also quite technologically advanced. With a comfortable surface and shape, this pillow provides comfortable support for your head and neck. The 4-way nylon stretches allow for much-needed adjustability. The reflective heat technology keeps the surface warm and prevents it from overheating.

Besides, the I-Beam structure is an excellent idea. It reduces the weight of the pillow and allows for uniform stability. The two-way valves are designed to support easy inflation and deflation of this pillow.

Adding to its qualities, this pillow is both puncture and tear-resistant. It makes this pillow quite durable for all kinds of expeditions. Overall, Big Agnes is a lightweight pillow you must Consider.

Pros

  • This is an ultra-light pillow with lots of strength to offer.
  • It is both puncture and tear-resistant, so you don’t have to give it extra care.
  • Its shape is well-built for head stability and weight reduction.
  • The two-way valves allow for convenient inflation and deflation.

Cons

  • This is an expensive pillow to take on your first backpacking adventure.
  • The valves are a little too small.

10. Teton Sports- Best Budget Backpacking Pillow

This is one of the most budget-friendly pillows on this list. With no complicated design and system, this pillow meets the budget requirement of almost everyone. Have a look at some of its prominent features:

Features

  • Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 18 inches
  • Material: Flannel
  • Colour: Brown
  • Washable fabric

Irrespective of its high weight, this pillow stands out as the best backpacking pillow on a budget. This pillow is comfortable, soft, and durable and supports your head and neck on tiring nights. Interestingly, this pillow gives an impression of your comfortable home pillows.

There are no extraordinary features, but the Teton sports pillow is easily washable. You can keep this in a machine or hand wash if you like. The cover of this pillow is made of extra-soft flannel with a limited warranty. That is quite a plus point.

Irrespective of its good points, you will find this pillow heavier to carry. Moreover, it doesn’t pack small. You will have to make some proper place for this pillow in your bag or, if you like, carry it in your hands.

Overall, if you are looking for a pillow on a budget, Teton Sports is the right choice. But with this pillow in hand, you will have to sacrifice your space and weight requirements for your camping trip.

Pros

  • This is one of the most affordable pillows on this list.
  • It is comfortable with lots of support to offer.
  • It comes with a soft cover that is easily washable.

Cons

  • Unlike most pillows on this list, this is a heavy pillow for a backpacking trip.
  • This pillow takes up lots of space, so only buy if you can carry it easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you carry a backpacking pillow?

A backpacking pillow is one of the best investments. Why? There are quite a few reasons.

  • You need a backpack to survive the long night on hard surfaces.
  • A backpack pillow supports your neck on a camping trip. Who wants to wake up with a neck strain every morning, anyway?
  • If you worry about their carrying weight, don’t. Thanks to technology, today, there are so many categories of pillows designed for backpacking. They are lightweight and adjustable to fit in any bag. We will discuss a few major ones below.
  • Without proper sleep, your body won’t be able to enjoy the outdoors. For that purpose only, you must get yourself a comfortable pillow as part of your sleep equipment.

What Are the Different Types of Backpacking Pillows?

You will come across a wide variety of backpacking pillows in the market. However, you must know which category of pillows suits you the best. To help you make the right choice, here are a few popular categories:

Compressible Pillows

These pillows are made of compressible materials like foam. Foam can quickly expand and adjust to your requirement. Moreover, these pillows are quite comfortable and give you a feel like your own home. However, compressed pillows are heavier in weight and bigger in size. They do require a lot of effort to carry with your other camping equipment.

Inflatable Pillows

These are some of the lightest pillows that you can carry on your camping trip. Inflatable pillows are perfect for side sleepers as they maintain their shape and height for long time use. You can deflate these pillows according to the use and just pump air to bring them back to life. However, I sometimes find them quite wobbly. Also, their padding isn’t very stable and comfortable.

Stuff Sack Pillows

This is another category of ultra-light pillows. However, you will need a jacket to give them a height. With stuff sack pillows, you need to be very careful with the stuffing material. They shouldn’t get hard or too compressed.

Hybrid Pillows

These pillows are a mix of inflatable and compressible pillows. Hybrid pillows are inflatable but have padding. Therefore, they are lighter to carry and comfortable for a sound sleep. However, they are a little heavy but do not take much space. You can easily adjust them in your backpack.

What Should You Consider Before Buying a Perfect Backpack Pillow?

To better sleep on your camping trip, you need to Consider these factors before you buy your pillow.

Weight

As a backpacker, I would recommend you make sure your luggage is as light as possible. The same goes for your pillow. Don’t carry a heavy pillow that doesn’t fit in our bag or is too heavy to carry along. However, if you think a specific category is comfortable yet heavy to carry, choose comfort over everything.

Comfort

You might be surprised to know that some people do not Consider sleep comfort as a priority. As far as my experience goes, this isn’t the right approach. If you haven’t slept well all night, you will be least interested in enjoying your adventure. So, make sure your chosen pillow gives you all the comfort you need to sleep soundly. Both compressible and hybrid pillows give the comfort you need to sleep well.

Thickness

I don’t like thick pillows on my bed, but thick pillows work for me perfectly when I am on a backpacking trip. To make sure you buy this best pillow, you should know how thick you need your pillows. If you aren’t sure, buy a hybrid or inflatable pillow. Their thickness is easily adjustable.

Shape

Don’t experiment with a new shape. Buy a backpacking pillow with a similar shape as the one you use at your home. You can choose between rectangular or curved-shaped pillows. It all comes down to your preference, space, and comfort.

Ease of Inflation

Always look for pillows that require an easy inflation method. For instance, most hybrid and inflatable pillows just require your mouth to blow some air in the pillow. However, many pillows require you to carry a pump to blow in some air. If you are ready to carry a pump along, do so. But, as we said earlier, avoid carrying extra weight for your ease.

Price

As much as this factor is essential, I feel it varies from person to person. For instance, five years back, I wasn’t fond of spending too much on a sleeping pillow. I was young and thought I could easily rely on cheap pillows. But today, I feel a pillow should be comfortable and well-suited to my needs. So, I am ready to spend as much as I can on buying myself an appropriate backpacking pillow.

If your comfort is more important than your budget, there are many pricey and comfortable pillows available in the market. However, if you have a limited budget, buy something that suits your needs and your pocket.

Conclusion

We hope the above options must have helped you a great deal. Remember, irrespective of what others say, you need a pillow to sleep well on your backpacking trip. So, choose the one that supports your needs and meet all your requirement. Don’t let a mere pillow ruin your adventure. Happy Backpacking!

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