Best Camping Pillow: Superior Comfort and Support for a Restful Sleep Outdoors

Best Camping Pillow
Sean Nelson
Written by Sean Nelson

Any outdoor experience, regardless the location, weather and duration, should be as comfortable as possible. There are many things nowadays in the outdoor market that makes your stay in wilderness pleasant and unforgettable, and one of them is a camping pillow.

In the majority of outdoor lovers’ checklists, a pillow is often neglected because of a belief that it is just a waste of space in a backpack. However, if you have experienced waking up with an aching neck at least once, you know that it is a big misconception.

Red Pillow

We have written this article not only with the purpose of convincing you in the necessity of purchasing the best camping pillow, but also for presenting to you several reviews in case you would want to shop for them.

Advantages of buying a camping pillow

If you are in doubt whether you should buy a pillow for your outdoor trips or not, here are a number of advantages that will help you to make the right choice:

  • A camping pillow will provide you a good quality of sleep during camping, and you will feel as comfortable as at home.
  • You will not wake up with a neck pain or headache caused by the wrong position of your head or the absence for support during sleep.
  • Many models of backpacking pillows can be also used for travelling by providing you with necessary comfort during your sleep in public transport.
  • Most camping pillows, especially those that are made of synthetic fabric, are quite cheap and durable.
  • Since they are not bulky, they do not occupy much space in your backpack, so you can easily find a place for it, even if your backpack is absolutely full and heavy.

What you should look for in camping pillows?

When choosing a camping pillow, there is a number of features that you should take into consideration. They will help you make the best choice and buy a pillow that will contribute to your comfort during stay in wilderness.

Level of comfort

Comfort is definitely the main factor when you choose the best outdoor pillow. If you want to make sure that you will have a good sleep outdoors, comfort should be the top consideration for you.

Green Pillow

A proper comfortable camping pillow is the one that can offer great support and softness, and similar level of comfort to a home pillow. An ergonomically shaped pillow is the best choice in terms of the level of comfort. Moreover, it is also possible to use it as a travel pillow to rest your neck during long travels by train, bus or plane.

Pillow fillings

When it comes to filling, there are several types of camping pillows: inflatable, down feather compressive pillow, synthetic compressive pillow, and a hybrid or combined pillow. Down pillows are considered to be the most comfortable because they provide a great combination of softness and comfort.

Sleeping on such pillow gives you a genuine feeling of sleeping in your own bed on your home pillow. Moreover, such pillows are much lighter and more compact, which is a significant advantage for those outdoor enthusiasts who have a limited space in their backpack.

Camping Pillow

In case if you prefer more firm pillow, then synthetic one is a good choice. It does not only provide the necessary level of firmness but it also gives a proper support to your neck while you are sleeping. Moreover, a synthetic pillow is usually much cheaper than a down one.

The third type is a hybrid or combined pillow – for those campers who prefer to have the best of both worlds. A hybrid pillow successfully combines the features of both a synthetic and down pillows. Thus, it is a great alternative for those who cannot decide whether to go for a synthetic or down.

Exped Pillow

Finally, there are inflatable pillows. In contrast to other pillows discussed above, their filling is air which make them lighter and more compact. It can be convenient to have an inflatable pillow because it saves space in your backpack. However, you should also know that it can be hard to sleep on it because it is much firmer than other types of pillows.


It is also very important to consider the pillow’s material since it directly touches your skin. The better quality of the material, the better and more comfortable sleep you will have. Nowadays, there is a great variety of materials available on the market, so it is important to know their respective advantages and disadvantages.

The most popular nowadays is synthetic because it is the most available, affordable and durable. Moreover, it can withstand various, even the most severe, weather conditions which is a very good benefit for outdoor use. However, synthetic isn’t exactly the most comfortable material out there.

Furthermore, there can be health issues associated with sleeping on a synthetic pillow. If this is a concern for you, you can always opt for pillows with all-natural material but they can be more expensive.


When you go backpacking and camping, you should never forget about the golden rule: you should pack smart and light, which means to consider compactness of all gear and equipment that you are taking with you. Any additional gear adds an extra weight to your backpack.

Inflatable Pillow

Therefore, when choosing a camping pillow, it is important to consider not only the level of its comfort but also its portability. As mentioned, down and compressive pillows are much lighter and therefore more portable, though you have to be ready to pay more for these beneficial qualities.

Proper care for your camping pillow

As any other outdoor equipment gear, proper care of your pillow is important, especially if you want to extend its life.

The first and one of the key rules is to avoid placing your pillow under direct sunlight. By doing this you reduce the likelihood of the degradation and worsening of the outer materials, especially if it has cheap synthetic fabric.

Camping Pillow

It is also important to wash your pillow from time to time. However, there are also some rules of doing this that need to be followed.  Thus, it is recommended not to put your pillow into a washer, especially if it is an inflatable pillow. Hand washing is much better and safe.

Try not to use a laundry detergent – instead opt to use the combination of warm water and mild soap.

Once you finished washing it, do not place it into a dryer because many camping pillows are very vulnerable, especially those that are made of thin synthetic materials.

Red Pillow

One more recommendation is to not keep your pillow from children or pets, since it can be easily destroyed and the fabric can get torn.

Reviews of the top-rated camping pillows

Nowadays, the market is full of the variety of outdoor gears, including camping pillows. If you have decided to purchase an outdoor pillow but you do not know which one to choose, we have highlighted a couple of products below which we think are worth the investment.

Mammut Kompakt Pillow

Weight: 0.24 poundsMammuth Pillow

Dimensions: 10 x 3 x 4 inches

Features: 75D polyester, 50D polyester stretch, inflatable, standard foam filling

Best use: For camping and backpacking

Mammut Kompakt Pillow with skin-friendly outer material provides your neck and head with good and comfortable rest in just about any terrain. It easily fits in the hood of your sleeping bag, and it barely occupies any space in your backpack because it is light and inflatable.

Due to the high quality materials, you can trust that this pillow will not skimp in terms of comfort.  Even though it is a bit more expensive than regular camping pillows, it is very durable, so it can easily last you many years

Related: Mammut Xeron Element – if you are looking for something to pack your pillow and other things for outdoor trip in, look at this Mammut functional backpack that can become your reliable companion on a day hike.

Check the price on Amazon

Big Agnes Round Mountain Pillow

Weight: 0.2 poundsBig Agnes Pillow

Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 4 inches

Features: Made of stretch nylon fabric, I-beam construction, durable inflation valve

Best use: For camping, backpacking and travelling

Light and inflatable Big Agnes Round Mountain Pillow made of stretch nylon fabric that will give the feeling of comfort and softness. Due to its I-beam construction, it is lauded for its easy inflation and proper support provided to the head and neck. This is also a very lightweight product which makes it a great backpacking solution.

In addition, it easily fits the pocket of sleeping bags if you have one. It is sold together with a stuff sack for easier packing, transport and storage. As any other inflatable pillows, it can be packed small and does not occupy any space in your backpack.

Related: Big Agnes – Q Core SLX – if you want to have even better comfort for your outdoor trips and feel like you are sleeping in your own bed, this sleeping inflatable pad is worth considering.

Check the price on Amazon

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters – HeadTrip Inflatable Pillow

Weight: 0.7 poundsEno Pillow

Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 13 inches

Features: Foam/air hybrid, upcycled foam, self-inflating

Best use: Camping, backpacking, travelling, home use, campus

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters – Pillow is great and comfortable addition to your camping gear regardless of types of landscape, duration of your trip and type of weather. Expect hotel comfort and restful sleep. Without being too stiff this pillow gives you lush support.

It is appreciated by many experienced campers for its light weight and ability to fit easily in the included sack. Moreover, it is the best choice for environmentally conscious individuals because the pillow is made from upcycled foam.

Related: ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters – Hammock – buy this hammock if you want to spend more time not only in wilderness, but even just in your backyard by relaxing and enjoying a sunny weather.

Check the price on Amazon

Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Pillow

Weight: 0.09 poundsKlymit Pillow

Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 3 inches

Features: Self-centering X design, lightweight, inflatable

Best use: For camping, backpacking and travelling

Due to its unique self-centering design, your head will be kept perfectly oriented on the pillow which definitely contributes to overall quality of sleep. This Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Pillow is great for any weather conditions, even in rain.

Since it is made of plastic fabric, it easily gets dry even when it is completely wet. Thanks to the durable 75D at the bottom, the pillow resists puncture and abrasion, while the lighter 30D at the top is able to shed grams and ups softness. Whether you’re heading outdoors or travelling, this is a great inflatable pillow that will serve you well.

Related: Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad – for those, who do not want to sleep on the ground and who needs to make their overnight experience in wilderness even more comfortable, this incredibly light sleeping pad is also a good buy.

Check the price on Amazon

Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow

Weight: 0.45 poundsSierra Designs Pillow

Dimensions: 2 x 9 x 13 inches

Features: 600 Fill DriDown Pillow, shell material – 30D Polyester Ripstop Insert, liner material – 30D Polyester Taffetta

Best use: Camping, hiking and travelling

With this Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow you will provided with the maximum level of comfort and flexibility. The top shell is 30D polyester ripstop that is durable and very soft at the same time. It is stuffed with 600 fill DriDown, due to which the pillow is not only able to provide you with the highest level of comfort, but also to damp moisture in a wet weather.

The pillow contains two parts: the DriDown top and an accompanying insert. It is also provided with a special stuff sack, which makes the storage of the pillow much easier.

Related: Sierra Designs DriDown Sleeping Bag – great versatile and intuitive sleeping bag from Sierra Designs that you can use in any season and any weather condition.

Check the price on Amazon

Nemo FILLO Backpacking Pillow

Weight: 0.55 poundsNemo Fillo Pillow

Dimensions: 6 x 7 x 7 inches

Features: Velvety soft microfiber, removable microsuede, 3″ bladder

Best use: For camping, hiking and travelling

This Nemo FILLO Backpacking Pillow guarantees you a comfortable stay in wilderness due to its unique qualities and design: you can easily adjust the pillow height by varying and changing the level of inflation. Since it is equipped with a special stuff sack, it is easy to compress and stuff in your backpack, even if there is no space.

In contrast to many other inflatable pillows, this one is absolutely quiet and does not make any noise. It has a very soft velvet cover, so you are given a very nice and pleasant feeling. Though it is a bit more expensive than other filling, it is durable and worth of money.

Related: NEMO Fillo Pillow Elite – a lighter version of an above described Nemo pillow.

Check the price on Amazon

Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow

Weight: 4 ozSea to Summit Pillow

Dimensions: 3.1 x 3.3 in/7.8 x 8.3cm

Features: Brushed 50D polyester knit, curved internal baffles, synthetic fill between pillow case and TPU bladder

Best use: For camping, hiking and travelling

Lightweight and non-bulky, here’s another great outdoor pillow. That is Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow. Due to its case construction, the outer shell is able to provide you with the maximum softness, while a strong TPU bladder gives appropriate support.

Also It is equipped with multi-functional valve for easier inflation and deflation. It is not the kind of a camping pillow that is usually left behind because of its weight and size: it is very light and can be compressed to the size of an apple easily.

Related: Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack – another great outdoor gear from Sea to Summit for your better convenience and comfort in outdoor environment.

Check the price on Amazon

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Weight: 9.6 ouncesTherm a Rest Pillow

Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 8 inches

Features: Brushed polyester on the outside and soft urethane foam fill on the inside, XL size

Best use: For camping, hiking and travelling

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow is one of the most popular camping pillows nowadays among travellers, campers and backpackers. It’s XL size is a big selling point for most people. However, despite its large size it packs very small and fits easily a backpack.

The filling of the pillow is earth-smart, which means that it is comprised of leftover pieces and bits of high-quality foam that is normally used for making sleeping pads. One more advantage is that it easy to wash because you can just throw it in the washer. There’s additional comfort which is provided by the brushed material of the outer shell.

Related: Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress  – Therm-a-Rest offers you a very light and comfortable sleeping inflatable pad that you can use in all seasons.

Check the price on Amazon

EXPED Ultralight Air Pillow

Weight: 1 poundsExped Pillow

Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 2 inches

Features: Inflated easily, single flat valve both for inflation and deflation, soft polyester tricot fabric

Best use: For camping, hiking and travelling

An inflatable pillow made of soft polyester that feels quite pleasant. The EXPED Ultralight Air Pillow is very light and is easily inflated via the Single Flat Valve. Just a couple of breaths is enough in order to fill the pillow with air. It is able to provide great comfort and appropriate support both for the head and neck.

One of the greatest advantages of this pillow is that it can be packed to the size of wallet, which means that in a compressed condition it almost does not occupy any space and be carried even in your pocket.

Related: Exped Air Pillow Case – if you want to add some more softness to your Exped pillow described above, you can purchase this soft pillow case.

Check the price on Amazon

Final words

A camping pillow is probably not the most important outdoor gear that you will need for your camping or backpacking trip. However, it is definitely worth having if you want to make sure that you can sleep as comfortable as possible. Moreover, camping pillows are usually multifunctional, so you can also easily use them for travelling or just relaxing at home.

Camp Pillow

We hope that this article with the reviews of pillows helped your to choose the best backpacking pillow that will become your irreplaceable companion while hitting the trail.

Are you a fan of camping pillows? Which one is your favorite? Please let us know in the comments!


Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson

Sean was backpacking since he was 7. He was born close to the RMNP and his father was a ranger, so life surrounded by mountains and wildlife is a norm for Colorado. He likes to explore, but prefers to stay in USA. In his opinion, there are too many trails and options in US to go abroad.

  • Marty Nance

    I’ve been using the Big Agnes Round Mountain Pillow a lot lately. It’s light, stays where you put it, doesn’t take up much room, inflates really fast, and is also really comfortable. It’s all you could ask for in a camping pillow in my opinion. Would recommend!

  • Sean Nelson

    Hello Marty and I’m pleased that you love that pillow! It’s odorless and very comfortable. After a hard-days’ work, it’s so pleasing to have this pillow

  • Lisa Hogenson

    The Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Pillow that’s written about above has worked well for me. It’s comfortable and has a nice, soft cover. It’s also not sticky and very plush when you have it inflated. It’s a nice convenience to have on those overnight treks! Definitely recommend!

  • Sean Nelson

    Hi Lisa! Good choice on the Klymit! It’s so easy to inflate, too so you don’t have to worry about carrying bulky pillows that weighs you down. Thanks for the great input and another great find for me is the Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow. Check it out, too.