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

Best Camping Pillow
Sean Nelson
Written by Sean Nelson

Camping isn’t all fun and games, so you’ve probably experienced a few trips where you weren’t as comfortable as you wanted to be. Do you agree that an uncomfortable sleep can easily ruin a camping trip? You’ve got your tent, your sleeping bag, even some extra blankets to keep you warm… so what are you missing?

For your next camping trip, don’t forget to take the best camping pillow with you to spare your neck and shoulders from all those aches and pains. A camping pillow is one of the best ways to improve your camping comfort. Aside from offering top level comfort, camping pillows are highly compressible so they don’t take up too much weight or space.

Camping Pillow

Whether you’re in a backyard hammock or in an outdoor tent, these pillows will provide the much needed comfort and support. So how do you go about looking for the perfect pillow? It’s not rocket science, but you may need some help and that’s what we’re here for.

In this article, we’ll lay out all the facts for you in terms of the features you should be looking for, as well as recommending a few products for your consideration. You may not think that there’s a lot that goes into a camping pillow, but we’re here to surprise you so that you can be adequately prepared for the next time you take a camping trip. Let’s take a look!

Our Top Picks

ProductWeightDimensionsTypePrice
Mammut Kompakt0.24 pounds7 x 12.5 inchesInflatableCheck price on Amazon
Big Agnes Round Mountain0.15 pounds16 x 9 x 3 inchesInflatableCheck price on Amazon
Eagles Nest Outfitters HeadTrip0.5 pounds15 x 11 x 4.5 inchesHybridCheck price on Amazon
Klymit Pillow X0.2 pounds15 x 11 x 4 inchesInflatableCheck price on Amazon
Sierra Designs DriDown0.36 pounds2 x 9 x 13 inchesHybridCheck price on Amazon
Nemo Fillo0.55 pounds17 x 10.5 x 4 inchesHybridCheck price on Amazon
Sea To Summit Aeros0.17 pounds14 x 10 x 5 inchesHybridCheck price on Amazon
Therm-a-Rest Compressible0.6 pounds15 x 9 x 8 inchesSyntheticCheck price on Amazon
EXPED Ultralight Air1 pound15 x 10.6 x 4.3 inchesInflatableCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

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 your stay in wilderness. You may not find a pillow that meets all of these criteria, but it’s the ones that are most important to you that matter.

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. A proper comfortable camping pillow is the one that can offer great support and softness, similar level to a home pillow.

Camping Pillow Comfort

An ergonomically shaped pillow is the best choice in terms of the level of comfort, as they are more sculpted to cradle the shape of your neck and prevent any pain in the morning. Moreover, it is also possible to use it as a travel pillow to rest your neck during long travels by train, bus or plane.

Filling

When it comes to filling, there are several types of camping pillows: down feather compressive pillow, synthetic compressive pillow, inflatable, and a hybrid or combined pillow. The kind that you get is dependent on your personal comfort levels and the kind of upkeep required for your pillow to remain supportive.

Down

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.

Down 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. The one downside to down pillows is that they don’t dry very easily if they get wet, and can start to smell. Weatherproofing is especially important when it comes to this kind of pillow.

Synthetic

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.

Syntetic Pillow

Pillows with synthetic stuff may not be as soft, but they’re better equipped to deal with getting wet, and can compress down a lot more to save space in your travel bags.

Inflatable

In contrast to other pillows discussed above, they are filled with 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, and the air does tend to leak out over time, requiring you to refill it every so often.

Inflatable Pillow

Combined

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.

Material

It is also very important to consider the pillow’s material since it will be against 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.

Camping Pillow Materials

The most popular nowadays is synthetic because it is the most readily available, affordable and durable. Moreover, it can withstand various, even the most severe weather conditions, which is a great benefit for outdoor use, and is extremely easy to keep clean. 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.

Portability

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.

Camping Pillow Portability

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.

Inflatable pillows take up no space at all, and can be folded up small enough to fit in the pocket of a backpack. But they’re also not the most comfortable. These are the pros and cons you should be weighing to determine what you really want to put your head on every night.

Price

Like most outdoor gear, camping pillows come in a variety of price range. The most expensive pillows will have a multitude of features in terms of comfort and support, and will likely be made from premium materials.

Pillow Price

However, budget campers are not left out because there are many great pillows available that are quite affordable.Clearly, you need to set your budget before deciding which camping pillows to take on your next trip.

Best Products on Today’s Market

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. So sit back, relax, and we’ll take you through the details on these various products.

Mammut Kompakt Pillow

Price: Approx. $29Mammut Kompakt Pillow

Weight: 0.24 pounds

Dimensions: 7 x 12.5 inches

Pillow type: Inflatable

Specific features: Standard foam filling, leakproof inflation valve

Best use: For camping and backpacking

The Mammut Kompakt Pillow has a 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 rolls up quite easily. Just take it out, blow into the valve a few times, and your pillow is ready to go.

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.

It’s also cut to contour the shape of your neck, whether you’re using it on the ground as you sleep in your tent, or on your shoulder as a travel pillow. That makes this pillow incredibly versatile and the perfect companion for any trip you’re taking.

PROS:

  • Inflates quickly and easily
  • Light
  • Compact
 CONS:

  • Doesn’t stay very warm

Related: When it comes to comfort, nothing’s better than having someone else to share your body heat with. The Ohuhu Double Sleeping Bag is perfect for two people to fit comfortably together, with enough space that you’re not crowding each other, while still being comfy enough that you’re not going to end up cold in the middle of the night.

Check the price on Amazon

Big Agnes Round Mountain Pillow

Price: Approx. $24Big Agnes Round Mountain

Weight: 0.15 pounds

Dimensions: 16 x 9 x 3 inches

Pillow type: Inflatable

Specific features: I-beam construction, durable inflation valve, comes with stuff sack

Best use: Camping, backpacking and traveling

Light and inflatable, the Big Agnes Round Mountain Pillow is made of a 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, so no aches and pains the next morning. 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 so you can fit more of your essentials.

Overall, it’s a fairly priced pillow that has enough features to please the most hardcore campers. Lightweight backpackers also has a lot to look forward to in this model.

PROS:

  • Inflates and deflates easily
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Fits into the pillow pocket of any sleeping bag
 CONS:

  • Not very insulating

Related: Though you may have a great pillow behind your head, sleeping on the hard ground, even in a sleeping bag, is not going to be comfortable. The Big Agnes Two Track Pad provides a lot of cushioning for you to rest your body on, especially with its high density foam. Forget about those sticks and twigs poking you in the back; this foam pad provides all the cushioning you need to get a decent night’s sleep.

Check the price on Amazon

Eagles Nest Outfitters HeadTrip Inflatable Pillow

Price: Approx. $29Eagles Nest Outfitters

Weight: 0.5 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 4.5 inches

Pillow type: Hybrid

Specific features: Self inflating, comes in a stuff sack

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

The Eagles Nest Outfitters HeadTrip Inflatable Pillow is a great and comfortable addition to your camping repertoire, regardless of the type of landscape, duration of your trip and weather. Expect hotel comfort and restful sleep, especially with the brushed fabric exterior against your skin. The self inflating design certainly earns it a lot of points in terms of usability.

Despite it being made of foam, it’s a hybrid pillow that also uses air, so don’t expect this pillow to feel stiff against your neck. You’ll sink right in and be off in dream land in no time whether you’re sleeping in a hammock or in the back of a car.

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.

PROS:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Inflates on its own
  • Compact
 CONS:

  • Might need to let some air out to achieve desired comfort

Check the price on Amazon

Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Pillow

Price: Approx. $21Klymit Pillow X

Weight: 0.2 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 4 inches

Pillow type: Inflatable

Specific features: Self centering X design, comes in five colors, doubles as a seat cushion, resistant to tears, abrasions and punctures

Best use: Camping, backpacking and traveling

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 when it is raining.

Since it is made of plastic fabric, it can be dried easily and be ready to use again in no time. Thanks to the durable 75D polyester at the bottom, the pillow resists puncture and abrasion. On the other hand, the lighter 30D makes this pillow lighter and has a soft touch against the skin. Great for lightweight backpackers who are quite conscious when it comes to comfort.

It takes no time at all to have it inflated, and it can be adjusted accordingly for your comfort level. Whether you’re heading outdoors or traveling, this is a great inflatable pillow that will serve you well.

PROS:

  • Easily adjustable comfort
  • Inflates in seconds
  • Very durable
  • Lightweight
 CONS:

  • No warm exterior material

Related: Hydration is important when it comes to traveling in the great outdoors, and you need some way to carry potable drinking water with you. The Evernew Water Carry System provides you with 2000 ml of water (or any fluid of your choice) and keeps it safe from contaminants.

Check the price on Amazon

Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow

Price: Approx. $28Sierra Designs DriDown

Weight: 0.36 pounds

Dimensions: 2 x 9 x 13 inches

Pillow type: Hybrid

Specific features: Comes with a stuff sack, weight saving features

Best use: Camping, hiking and traveling

With this Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow, you will provided with the maximum level of comfort, flexibility, and warmth you’ll ever find in the marketplace. The top shell is 30D polyester ripstop that is durable and very soft at the same time.

It is stuffed with 600 Fill DriDown, which is perfect for a comfortable rest, as well as being resistant to wet weather. The fill will also retain its shape, so there’s less tossing and turning at night, allowing you to have a full night of rest.

The pillow contains two parts: the DriDown top and an accompanying insert, which you can leave behind to save on weight if necessary. It is also provided with a special stuff sack, which makes the storage of the pillow much easier.

PROS:

  • Soft
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable
 CONS:

  • Can feel too hot against the skin
  • Not very supportive

Related: Having somewhere to wash your dishes can be useful, especially if you don’t want to lug everything down to the lake. Instead, the Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink is a collapsible container that makes it easy for you to clean off just about anything you have on hand. It comes with its own storage pouch, and has wide carrying handles that make it easy for you to transport to and from your camping site.

Check the price on Amazon

Nemo Fillo Pillow

Price: Approx. $39Nemo Fillo

Weight: 0.55 pounds

Dimensions: 17 x 10.5 x 4 inches

Pillow type: Hybrid

Specific features: Velvety soft microfiber, removable microsuede, 3 inch inflatable bladder, comes in five colours

Best use: Camping, hiking and traveling

This Nemo Fillo 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 until it meets your comfort requirements.

It is also equipped with a special stuff sack, making it is easy for you to compress and stuff in your backpack so that you’re not stuck lugging around another bag in your hands.

In contrast to many other hybrid 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 the cost if you want a pillow that’s going to last you a lifetime.

Overall, it’s not the cheapest pillow that is featured here but it certainly makes up for it in terms of comfort and features.

PROS:

  • Comfortable
  • Great support
  • Compact
 CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Related: Hiking results in a lot of punishment on your feet, and being without the means to ease your pain can make your trip unbearable. The Adventure Medical Kits Blister Kit has everything you need to take care of corns, blisters, and bunions. The medicated pads help to ease the pain and reduce swelling, while having a padded texture that prevents further friction from causing havoc with your feet.

Check the price on Amazon

Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow

Price: Approx. $40Sea To Summit Aeros

Weight: 0.17 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 5 inches

Pillow type: Hybrid

Specific features: Curved internal baffles, TPU bladder for inflating, comes in two colours, multi function valve, scalloped bottom edge

Best use: Camping, hiking and traveling

Lightweight and non bulky, here’s the Sea To Summit Aeros Pillow that’s guaranteed to help you sleep well at night. Due to its case construction, the outer shell is able to provide you with the maximum softness, so there’s no abrasion against your skin.

The strong TPU bladder provides a lot of support with easy inflation, and can be adjusted specifically for your comfort levels so that it’s not too firm or too soft.

In terms of usability, it is equipped with a multi functional valve which allows easier inflation and deflation. It is not the kind of a camping pillow that is usually left behind because of its weight and size. This pillow is very light and can be compressed to the size of an apple easily, making it a great product for either camping or in a flight.

PROS:

  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Great support
 CONS:

  • Can be a bit uncomfortable
  • Pricey

Related: Although it may be easier to simply toss out your eating utensils after your hiking trip, that creates a lot of unnecessary garbage. That’s why the finessCity Titanium Spork is the best investment you can make. It has a long handle, with the entire thing being made out of titanium so it’s designed to last for an extremely long time.

Check the price on Amazon

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Price: Approx. $14 – $36Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

Weight: 0.6 pounds

Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 8 inches

Pillow type: Synthetic

Specific features: Made from upcycled materials, compresses to a manageable size, comes in seven colours

Best use: Camping, hiking and traveling

The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow is one of the most popular camping pillows nowadays among travelers, campers and backpackers. It’s quite large for a camping pillow and may be a bit on the heavy side, but it’s quite comfortable, and can be compressed down to a size that can fit into your backpack. It’s also available in an XL size for those who just need more pillow.

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. That goes to show that the manufacturer is eager to reduce as much waste as possible in the process.

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.

PROS:

  • Great value
  • Comfortable
 CONS:

  • A bit heavy
  • Doesn’t compress well

Related: You wouldn’t think that digging holes would be important to your camping experience, but you need them more often than you might think. The GSI Outdoors Trowel is an easy to use tool that helps you dig out those holes you desperately need, whether it’s for a hole to take care of your business, laying out traps for certain small game, or you need to soften the ground for your tent spikes.

Check the price on Amazon

EXPED Ultralight Air Pillow

Price: $43 – $121EXPED Ultralight

Weight: 1 pound

Dimensions: 15 x 10.6 x 4.3 inches

Pillow type: Inflatable

Specific features: Single flat valve both for inflation and deflation, comes in two colours

Best use: Camping, hiking and traveling

The EXPED Ultralight Air Pillow is an inflatable pillow made of soft polyester that feels quite pleasant against the skin. It’s also very light and is easily inflated via the single flat valve that’s guaranteed not to leak. All it takes is a couple of breaths in order to fill the pillow with air, and then you’re ready to go. 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. A great thing to have when you need to catch a snooze during a flight or train trip.

This pillow is simply great for tall people and should present no problem for side sleepers. The price may not be the most affordable but it’s certainly worth it if you want high quality comfort and usability.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Compressible
  • Inflates quickly
 CONS:

  • Doesn’t stay fully inflated
  • Expensive
  • Moves around too much

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

And that ends our camping pillow reviews. So now that we’ve discussed everything you should be looking for when it comes to finding a camping pillow, you should feel a lot more confident in your upcoming trip to the store.

Whether you choose to go with down or inflatable, seeing what’s out there has definitely prepared you for making the best purchasing decision when it comes to your comfort, your budget, and you carrying load. Are you a fan of camping pillows? Which one is your favorite? Please let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.

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