One piece of equipment even the most experienced of campers overlook is a camping pillow. Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it at one time: we’ve rolled our clothes into a ball and used them as a makeshift head rest. Even if you have a great sleeping bag and mattress, a good pillow is vital for a good night’s sleep, and helps prevent any possible neck and back strains. Below, we review the ten best camping pillows that will ensure you have a pain free and comfortable night’s sleep.
Are filled inside with either a synthetic material, foam, down or some combination of the three. A pillow filled with down will usually be lighter and more comfortable than a foam or synthetic pillow, although they usually cost slightly more. Compressible pillows are sturdier than the inflatables, as well as being more comfortable. They will however be heavier than the inflatables and compressed, and will also be larger and more costly.
Are a great option for the weight-conscious backpacker. Inflatables are filled with air, which makes them lighter and firmer than their hybrid and compressible cousins. The amount of air can be adjusted using a valve, which allows you to adjust the firmness to your needs. These pillow come in two varieties: manual inflation (usually with only 3 to 5 blows), or self-inflating. The latter tend to be slightly heavier, but last longer and are healthier, since they avoid the risk of bacteria entering the inside of the pillow. Inflatables tend to be cheaper than the compressibles and hybrids, but can sometimes be noisy if you move your head around a lot when sleeping.
Aim to combine the advantage of both inflatables and compressibles. They come with a top half that can be compressed for comfort, and a bottom that can be inflated for support. Hybrids are lighter than compressibles but heavier than inflatables, but offer a more comfortable sleep than the latter. They weigh and cost more than the inflatables but are lighter and smaller than the compressed.
The Nemo Fillo is a hybrid pillow offering the benefits of a memory foam filler on top as well as a three inch inflatable bladder on the bottom that allows you to tailor the pillow’s firmness to your exact needs. The Nemo inflates with three exalations. The memory foam is held in place with a mesh net. The outside shell is composed of polyester and microsuede. The size is just sufficent to provide good head support while preventing head slide. At 9oz the Nemo is heavier than an inflatable option, but it does offer excellent comfort in a compact size.