It’s a popular misperception that hiking is synonymous with camping. Best Hiking Pillow are sometimes ignored, and many first-time hikers dismiss them as insignificant, yet the quality of your sleep is critical when hiking. A comfortable backpacking cushion will give that much-needed level of comfort after a long day’s journey.
The days of wadding up your down jacket and using it as a makeshift pillow to catch a few zzz’s are long gone. The truth is that sleeping outside is only as comfortable as you make it. Camping pillows are now available for campers of all types.
Backpacking pillows are considered a luxury item by many ultralight hikers. They can make a huge difference in how you sleep outdoors because they just weigh a few ounces and take up barely any space.
We have compiled down the best hiking pillows available in the market and are reviewed positively by most users.
Reviews Of Best Hiking Pillow
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow
Of all the pillows we tested, the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow is the most comfortable. It has a similar feel to the pillows we use at home, but it’s smaller and doesn’t care if it’s dropped in the ground. While this best hiking pillow is a little bulkier than some of the other pillows on our list, we adore the comfort and have grown to rely on it with each use. For camping, traveling, and casual backpacking adventures, we highly recommend the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow. Therm-a-rest pillow is available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes.
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
The Aeros Ultralight pillow is shaped to provide secure comfort while sleeping and is made of a 20-denier stretch-knit polyester laminated on a TPU air bladder.
Whether you wish to sleep on your back, stomach, or side, the scalloped bottom binds the pillow to your shoulders and keeps it in place. Even when sleeping upright in a chair, it works great. This makes it the best hiking pillow.The three-way microvalve, which allows for quick inflation and deflation, is one of our favorite features. It also has a press-button release valve that allows you to adjust the pillow’s softness to your liking.
Sea to Summit’s PillowLock technology is also one of our favorites. This method is designed to cling to Sea to Summit sleeping pads and hold them in place while you sleep. The cushion collapses into its stuff sack to roughly a third of the size of a water bottle when packed, so there’s no reason to leave it at home.
Cocoon AIR CORE Travel Pillow
The Cocoon Hyperlight Air-Core Pillow has a non-inflatable feel to it. The Cocoon, unlike most inflated pillows, does not rely exclusively on the air in your lungs to provide support. You won’t feel like your head is resting on a balloon.
Because of the polyester fiberfill, it can provide above-average support. This best hiking pillow is also lightweight, compact, and inflates quickly. One of the best things about Cocoon is how simple it is. It doesn’t have neck contours or scalloped edges.
It has a recognizable rectangular shape, so getting used to it isn’t difficult. The Cocoon’s twist-style valve is its only flaw. Multi-functional valves are usually more reliable than twist-style valves.
Nemo Fillo Pillow – Inflatable Camp Pillow
For many years, the Nemo Fillo has been one of the most popular hiking pillows due to its fluffy foam topper, which provides excellent support. The removable micro-suede cover, durable air bladder, and sturdy valve are all composed of high-quality materials on the inside and out. The Fillo isn’t quite light enough for backpacking at 9 oz., but it’s a comfortable option with a good value for car camping, travel, and short backpacking trips.
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
The ALUFT 2.0 from Trekology is the greatest inflatable pillow we’ve encountered for around $20. It’s ideal for ultra-lighters on a budget. The cushion is composed of a long-lasting, water-resistant TPU fabric that is just elastic enough to offer you a little give when you lay your head on it.
Founded in Portland, Oregon, by a group of Ph.D. engineers, it’s evident that the designers put their degrees to good use. The curved design keeps your head in position while you sleep, and inflating the pillow just takes three to five breaths. Details like sticky spots on the back and elastic closures keep it in place as you sleep to show how much effort went into the design.
This best microbead pillow packs down to about the size of a drink can when it’s ready to hit the trail. In addition, side and stomach sleepers will appreciate the curved form and loft.
Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Camping & Travel Pillow
The Klymit X is compact and tough. It provides good support despite its roughness. It does such a great job of cradling the sleeper’s head. It’s one of the most long-lasting and best organic pillows available. The Klymit is resistant to wear, puncture, and tears.
Its design enables easy height and hardness adjustments. It is not the most comfortable pillow for side sleepers, however, due to its tough shape.
The Klymit Pillow X is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand when packed. There are some trade-offs in comfort because the cushion was designed to pack light, pack tiny, and endure a long time, but it works well for back sleepers. A lifetime guarantee even backs it.
Read also: Best sciatica pillow
Therm-a-Rest Air Head Inflatable Travel Pillow for Camping and Travel
Therm-a-Air Rest’s Head Pillow is extremely comfortable and durable. The Air Head has a thicker air bladder than most of the inflatables we tried, and a dense layer of open-cell foam on top of the bladder gives it a warm, soft feel. The interior baffling helps the Air Head feel less unsteady than other air pillows when it isn’t filled to maximum.
The removable polyester cover is robust enough to withstand regular washing, which is convenient given how difficult it is to wash many other pillows. The Air Head is a good alternative if you’re searching for the best pillow for hemorrhoids . This pillow is ideal for camping, travel, and casual backpacking adventures. Check out the Therm-a-Rest Air Head Lite if you want something even lighter.
TETON Sports ComfortLite Self-Inflating Pillow
This cushion isn’t the lightest or smallest on the list, but it’s one of the comfiest. The fact that the ComfortLite Inflatable cushion is self-inflating isn’t even its biggest feature.
It’s not your typical air bladder, even though it’s inflatable. The ComfortLite has a microfiber top and an open-cell foam fill. The microfibre aids in the absorption of moisture. It provides a remarkable level of comfort for a traveling pillow.
Don’t worry, and it’s simple to clean. This best massage pillow also has a non-slip foundation, so you won’t have to worry about it moving about as you sleep. Because it’s self-inflating, simply push and twist it once it’s reached your chosen size and form to stop it from inflating any further.
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow
The Aeros Premium Pillow is our favorite of the Sea to Summit Aeros pillows. It offers a superb combination of features that make it both comfy and light. Although the Premium isn’t quite as spacious as the Aeros Ultralight, it provides excellent support for side sleepers and features the same amazing high-flow valve for speedy air purging. The Aeros Premium has a comparable feel to the Aeros Down Pillow, but it costs about $20 less and softer fabric.
On top of that, the Aeros Premium contains a thin layer of synthetic fill for further comfort and breathability. Overall, the Aeros Premium is an excellent hiking pillow that is lightweight with good support and a soft surface.
Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow
The DriDown Pillow by Sierra Designs is the major competitor to Therma Rest’s compressible variant. It’s one of the most relaxing models in its class. The texture is quite pleasant to the touch, and the insert pad provides excellent support.
It lacks the stiffness of an inflatable pillow, but its incredibly soft feel makes up for it. If you need to reduce space, the insert can be removed. The pillow top is only 2.8 oz without the insert.
The DriDown Pillow is long-lasting. A lifetime guarantee even backs it. However, because this cushion retains heat, it might not be the ideal option if you want to sleep cool. If you’re looking for the best hiking pillow, this is a wonderful option.
Soft and easy to use
Soft and easy to use
Soft and easy to use
Types of best hiking pillows
These pillows are made out of various foams and synthetic fibers, or a combination of both. They’re very cozy and ready for your heavy head right away, but they’re big and can weigh a lot more than their inflated counterparts. If you desire comfort and are ready to pay for it, a compressible pillow with down feathers is the way to go. They’re the flimsiest, most compressible, and lightest to transport.
Choose from self-inflation (inflate with your breath) or auto-inflation (for the lazy) (open a valve and let the pillow expand). You can change the volume of air for better comfort. However, when you move your head, they can be noisy. The main benefit of inflatable pillows is that they are extremely compact and light. The disadvantage is that they are frequently inflexible and provide minimal padding.
These are a hybrid of inflatable and compressible designs, giving you the best of both worlds. A hybrid pillow includes fluff on top to keep your head comfortable and an inflatable bottom for further support. It will provide you with a dreamy night’s sleep, but you must be willing to give up a moderate amount of space and weight.
Stuff bags inflate the pillow with your apparel. Simply stuff your belongings into the sack and lay your head down. You don’t even have to deflate the pillow when you wake up. You can keep your clothes in the sack until you need them. Just make sure you’re wearing soft clothing with no buckles or other hard objects, such as socks and shirts.
Buying guide for the best hiking pillow
Even while the greatest backpacking pillows are comfy, they can’t match the comfort of regular memory foam or latex pillows. There are, of course, certain trade-offs to consider.
It’s also crucial to think about your tastes while selecting a hiking cushion. When purchasing a pillow for your journey, there are a few things to consider.
Dimensions and Weight
Hikers and backpackers must consider their size and weight more than campers. Every ounce is crucial. You’re quite literally carrying your house on your back when you’re out traveling the earth.
Where do you want to keep your pillow? Are you carrying it in your pocket, purse, backpack, or briefcase? When choosing a pillow, seek one that can be packed into the palm of your hand. You can rest assured that it will leave enough room in your backpack for all of your other items and that you will not notice it.
Inflatable pillows are common in small-packing pillows. However, certain trade-offs will be considered, such as loss of comfort, firmness, and support. Inflatable pillows of good quality usually do a decent job of balancing these characteristics.
Getting a cushion that is a few ounces heavier may be worth it in some cases. If you’re a combination sleeper, for example, you’ll want to make sure you pick a pillow that supports all sleeping positions, which may be heavier.
Position for Sleeping
Choose a hiking pillow that fits your preferred sleeping posture. When it comes to pillows, there isn’t necessarily a common level of comfort. If you sleep on your back or stomach, for example, you might prefer soft, low-profile pillows.
If you have a habit of sleeping on your side, you may require a firmer pillow with more height. This type of pillow will provide you with the necessary neck and shoulder support. When choosing a backpacking pillow, side sleepers should be extremely cautious because they are more likely to wake up with a painful neck if their pillow does not provide enough support.
If you sleep on your side, the Sea to Summit Aeros Premium or the Cocoon Hyperlight Air-Core pillows would be worth considering. On the other hand, if you sleep on your stomach and don’t require much support.
For combination sleepers—those who switch positions frequently throughout the night—medium-firm and adjustable pillows are ideal. The Nemo pillow is a versatile pillow that can accommodate most combo sleepers. Before you start pillow shopping, figure out whether you want firmness or softness.
Inflatable, compressible, and hybrid hiking pillows are the three main types. Naturally, each variety has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Inflatable pillows are made to be as convenient as possible. They are extremely light when packed and can fit practically any place. It only takes a few puffs to inflate an inflatable pillow. Self-inflating inflatables, such as the TETON ComfortLite, are available.
Multi-functional valve models are usually very adjustable. Inflatable pillows, on the other hand, can be quite stiff. Because the majority of them are ultra-minimalist, they offer very little padding. They’re also a little noisy.
Traditional pillows are more compressible than compressible pillows. They are somewhat heavier and bulkier than inflated pillows, but they are also quite comfortable and soft. Synthetic fibers or other foams are commonly used to fill them. They’re not as compact as inflatable pillows, but they’re still a lot lighter than ordinary pillows. The nights on your backpacking journey will be considerably more comfortable if you have room for such a pillow in your rucksack.
Hybrid pillows bring you the best of both worlds by combining compressible and inflatable forms. An inflatable foundation for increased support and a layer of fluff on top for added comfort are common features of hybrid pillows. Getting a hybrid pillow for your hiking trip will pay off if you are can easily add a few extra weights to your backpack burden and forfeit a moderate amount of weight.
Another alternative is to purchase a hiking pillowcase, such as the Therm-a-Rest Trekker. If you’re set on traveling light but don’t want to use inflated pillows, bring a hiking pillowcase and stuff it with your clothing every time you go to sleep.
The level of comfort provided by a pillowcase is determined by the clothes used to fill it. It’s a lightweight, cost-effective, and convenient solution, but it’s not the comfiest.
Pillowcases outperform all other solutions in this area because they are the least likely to fail. Compressible pillows are similar to conventional pillows in appearance. It will last a long time unless you wrap it around a pair of scissors.
However, things can get difficult when it comes to inflatables and hybrids. Seams on low-cost choices are frequently improperly welded. They will leak sooner or later if they are not well-built.
Leaks are a risk you must face when bringing a light inflatable hiking cushion into the bush, even when it comes to high-end goods. A good inflatable cushion should be able to withstand abrasions, but it’s always a good idea to have a repair kit on hand. This inflated pillow repair kit should also work with this exped mat repair kit.
What Is the Best Way to Make a hiking Pillow?
You can build a makeshift pillow or pillowcase out of your unwanted garments. You’re already carrying your clothing, so why not make excellent use of them?
Make a mound of your garments and position it beneath your head.
To keep your things together, stuff them into a buff or a t-shirt.
You may also wrap a minimalist pillow in a t-shirt and stuff it with extra garments for further comfort.
You won’t need to carry a separate pillow if you wear your clothes. Not only will wearing your old clothes save you money, but they will also keep you warm when you put them back on in the morning (incredibly awesome in colder climates).
Of course, this is most effective when your pillow-packing clothing is clean. You don’t want to sleep with your filthy socks on your feet.
Another factor to consider is your level of comfort. Clothes with zippers, buckles and other components that are uncomfortable for sleeping might be lumpy. Inflatable pillows are also comfier than clothing-based pillows.
Is the best hiking pillow worth it?
Hiking requires a lot of sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be at your best. The need for a restful sleep is the primary reason why hikers bring a cushion. Hiking pillows are not only comfortable, but they are also lightweight and take up very little room. If you value your comfort, a pillow is an excellent investment.
However, not everyone requires a comfortable sleeping surface. Many folks are perfectly content with a folded puffy jacket tucked behind their hat. A camping pillow is unnecessary for those who want to spend as little money as possible on their gear or travel as light as feasible.
On a sleeping pad, how do you hold a pillow in place?
Hiking pillows, like sleeping pads, are slick. In the middle of the night, they have a habit of slipping off their sleeping pad and sleeping bag.
The simplest approach to keep them from shifting is to tuck your pillow into an extra t-shirt. You can lay on the cushion by placing it at the neck opening and the bottom of the shirt underneath you. The t-shirt material is not only non-slip, but your body weight will also help to keep the pillow in place.
You can secure the pillow with velcro or attach elastic straps to keep it from shifting while you sleep if you don’t mind changing your sleeping pad or sleeping bag.
You might also look for a sleeping bag with a built-in pillow sleeve, although these are hard to come by.