Good sleep is essential for enjoying your camping trip. Many factors contribute to sleeping well beneath the stars. These include the R-Value of your sleeping pad and the warmth in your sleeping bag. But, the most important factor is whether you use a camping pillow.
Camping pillows have been a recent addition to the world of camping gear. The camping pillow is still not widely used by backpackers, car campers, and other adventurers. It is up to you to decide whether or not to bring a camping cushion on your next outdoor adventure. But, I will tell you a little secret: Camping pillows are worth the weight of your backpack if you want to get the best night’s rest outdoors.
What is a Camping Pillow?
The most important difference between camping pillows and at-home pillows is their size. Intending to be lighter and more portable, camping pillows are often significantly smaller than traditional pillows.
There are three types of camping pillows:
- Small pillows with a baffled core and air chamber. These pillows can be inflated to the desired firmness and then deflated to the same size as a deck of cards. They are small and lightweight, making them extremely comfortable!
- Foam/Filled pillows: Small pillows filled with Down or foam. They are great for car camping but can be too heavy to carry with you when backpacking, depending on how long the trip is. They’re very comfortable.
- Stuff Sack Pillows: The classic stuff-your-clothes-in-a-stuff-sack-and-call-it-good Pillow, but with stuff sacks intentionally designed for the job.
Inflatable Camping Pillows
Ultralight air pillows are a key factor in the current popularity of camping pillows. The Airhead(TM), Lite can be inflated to the required level of support and then deflated to a fraction of its original size. It is so small that it can fit into your sleeping bag or stuff sack. It’s important to keep it safe in your pack.
For ultralight hikers who need a comfort boost, inflatable camping pillows are the best choice. But they can also be used for other outdoor pursuits where weight and pack size are important. Comfort and durability are often traded for lighter, more portable gear. This is true for inflatable camping pillows, but they are susceptible to puncturing. Advanced fabrics can provide high levels of comfort.
To increase comfort, the original Pillow uses a soft, partially recycled, brushed polyester cover with a synthetic fill topper. The Down is made similarly, but with a down-filled top for a luxurious next-to-skin feel. They can be machine washed and kept comfortable for many years.
Filled Camping Pillows
People prefer traditional Filled camping pillows. It’s easy to see why. These pillows look very similar to the ones you use at home. They are just slightly smaller and can be packed into a small size.
The Compressible Pillow best illustrates this category. Its foam filling is recycled from Therm-a-Rest’s sleeping pad production waste. The Pillow can be stuffed into its own brushed polyester shell for easy transportation. It expands to provide great support and comfort. A compressible pillow is a great option if you plan on going car camping or for weekend backpacking trips.
Stuff Sack Camping Pillows
The Trekker(TM), Pillow Case, and Stuff Sack Pillow will be useful for those who prefer to rest their heads on their jackets or shirts while on the trail. The ultra-light brushed polyester Trekker Pillow Case can be carried in your shirt pocket. While the Stuff Sack Pillow has a soft interior lining that will make your clothes pile uniform and soft, it is cross-functional. New technology does not make old methods obsolete when it comes to camping pillows. Stuff Sack Pillows have a long history of reliability and are functional.