Best Backpacking Pillows: Rest Your Head and Sleep Soundly

Sleep more comfortably on these high-quality and soft backpacking pillows

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Backpacking can be exhausting, and at the end of the day, you will want the most comfortable pillow for your head. That’s why a backpacking pillow is worth the investment. Not only are they soft and padded, but they are ultra-lightweight and can be packed away easily so you can hike without carrying too much weight. For those planning a backpacking trip or those who simply need a camping pillow, consider these pillows for your outdoor adventures.

  • Best Overall
    Nemo Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow
    Summary
    Summary

    A luxurious and light nine-ounce travel pillow with padded foam that is adjustable to match your desired height and firmness.

    Pros
    Pros

    It compresses to a small and compact ball for easy storage. It is super comfortable; it features memory foam on one side and an inflatable chamber on the other, and it’s ideal for back, stomach, and side sleepers.

    Cons
    Cons

    The material can make a bit of noise if you turn or move it around a lot, and it can also be confusing to pack into its storage bag.

  • Best Value
    Teton Sports Camp Pillow
    Summary
    Summary

    A light, 10-ounce backpacking pillow with a stylish removable poly-flannel pillowcase for easy cleaning.

    Pros
    Pros

    It’s comfy, and the flannel case is warm and soft. It packs down to the size of a football. There is no need to inflate it, and it fluffs up nicely. It comes with a convenient bag.

    Cons
    Cons

    It’s not very wide, the padding isn’t the thickest, and getting it to reach maximum fluff can be difficult and time-consuming.

  • Honorable Mention
    Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
    Summary
    Summary

    A water-resistant and extremely lightweight camping pillow. Weighs only 3.4 ounces. 

    Pros
    Pros

    It folds down to five by two inches—the size of a soda can—for a super-compact fit. It’s simple to inflate and deflate, and you can control the firmness with the press of a button. It features a removable strap to connect it to your sleeping bag.

    Cons
    Cons

    You may need a pillowcase or some sort of cover to prevent sticking to the material and improve the comfort. Fitting it back in the case can be a hassle.

Tips

  • Take your time if you have to inflate a backpacking pillow with your mouth. You don’t want to get exhausted or air it up too quickly and get winded.
  • Clear the ground of all rocks, sticks, and debris before setting up a tent. A sharp object could cause the pillow to deflate.
  • Using an air pump is a much more convenient and easier way to blow up a backpacking pillow. However, it might be too large or robust to pack in a backpacking backpack.
  • To conserve space and weight, get a backpacking backpack to carry all of your gear. It is designed to hold specific equipment and provide a much more comfortable way to hike.

FAQs

Q: Will inflatable backpacking pillows self-inflate?

A: Check with the manufacturer before you purchase to see if it self inflates. Generally, most must be inflated by mouth or with an air pump.

Q: Are backpacking pillows machine washable?

A: This depends on the brand. While many can be tossed into the washing machine, you should consult the guide or manufacturer before washing it. Inflatable pillows may not be able to be machine washed.

Q: What can I do to make sure my backpacking pillow doesn’t slide around?

A: Many come with a strap you can use to attach it to either the sleeping pad or sleeping bag. Others feature tiny rubber bumps that cling to the surface to prevent it from moving. You could also wrap a piece of clothing around the pillow to help keep it in place if it slides around too easily.

Final Thoughts

For a comfortable and versatile backpacking pillow, consider the Nemo Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow. Or you can save some cash with the padded and easy-to-clean Teton Sports Camp Pillow.