5 Best Camping Pillows of 2017

​Rest with ease on these camping pillows

​You may not have given it much consideration, but camping without a pillow can be tough. Yes, you can stuff your shirts with socks and clothing, wad up something soft, and hope for the best. However, having a soft pillow is always desirable over these solutions. Here are the top 5 camping pillows that we found for 2017.

Therm-a-rest Lumbar Pillow

best camping pillows

​Offered in purple and blue, the Therm-a-rest lumbar pillow offers a small, yet a sensible resting solution for the weary camper. The pillow is designed out of polyester and is self-inflating. Dimension wise, the pillow is 7 by 8 inches. The thinness of the pillow may be a concern for those which are used to a more plush option, but for the outdoors it works well.

TOP PROS

  • Only .3 pounds and easily folded to carry in packs and gear bags
  • High tech padding self-inflates
  • Easy to adjust to your comfort

TOP CONS

  • Pillows are almost flat, requiring you to roll them up to gain max comfort
  • The air valve on some pillows has shown to be faulty
  • Once inflated the pillow tends to leak air

​This is a pillow for those which need a small cheap alternative to a full-sized pillow. It is not intended for those seeking a specially made product or to relieve back and neck pain while camping. Great to get your head off the ground or put some space between you and your hammock, but that is about it.

Premium Shredded Memory Foam Camping and Travel Pillow

camping pillows

​I would classify this pillow of being more of a glamping accessory than a camping accessory, and here is why. The pillow is white which does not do much good in adverting stains from it. Additionally, it comes with a bamboo-derived Viscose cover which is good for aesthetics, but may not be the best thing for the outdoors. However, if you are looking for a little pampering when you are on your camping trip, the Premium Shredded Memory Foam Camping Travel Pillow is definitely a top contender.

TOP PROS

  • Very compactable for a 14” by 19” pillow
  • Shredded Memory foam gives it a nice loft with medium firmness
  • Pillow is rather plush for a camping accessory

TOP CONS

  • It is white. Good luck trying to keep it clean
  • Full inflation can take up to hours to complete
  • Pillow tends to have a chemical smell

​This pillow is more of a novelty camping pillow than for a serious camper. The plush design is nice, but the fact that it is white and takes hours sometimes to inflate makes it a bit impractical for the woods or camping. If you purchase this product please use a pillowcase to avoid staining. The manufacturer suggests also washing the pillow at least once a year. Best suited for those that demand comfort and a bit of luxury.

Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight

camping pillows

​This pillow resembles most of the travel pillows that you will see in airlines and in comfort packages. There is a slight curvature to the middle as well as those ribs which work well for the neck. The Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight lives up to its name weighing only 4 ounces packaging and all when shipped.

TOP PROS

  • Made from 20D laminated polyester
  • Double RF-welded construction Laminated with abrasion resistant TPU
  • Quick and easy inflating process

TOP CONS

  • It is basically an air balloon. If it gets the slightest hole, you will be out of a pillow
  • Connecting seams have been reported as being weak on first use
  • It is filled with air but not like sleeping on air, customers complain of it being too hard.

​This pillow is a great alternative to those which do not want to sleep on the hard ground, but still want to “rough it”. The Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Ultralight folds up to a rather small size, making it great for camping and for lugging around. For best use, I would couple this pillow with something a bit softer.

Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Camp & Travel Pillow

camping pillows

​This is not a travel pillow, it is a camping pillow and the design gives testament to this. First, you have an X design which allows for the air to be distributed properly for comfort. You do not end up with the same sensation as sleeping on a rock. Secondly, the aesthetics are in the realm of camping and include the tan, red, and cameo option. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the pillow has its own bag, folds up easily, and can be stored within your camping gear easily.

TOP PROS

  • Large dimensions of 15 X 11 X 4 covers the neck as well as gives ample plush
  • Comes with a limited Lifetime warranty
  • Not many complaints of air loss when sleeping on it
  • X design cradles the head making it great for hammocks

TOP CONS

  • Materials of the pillow cause it to slide about
  • Material of the pillow has been reported to be irritating to some peoples skin

​Individuals who purchase the Klymit Pillow X inflatable Camp and Travel Pillow should be aware that this is an air based pillow. This is best suited for those who will not be sleeping directly on the ground (as debris could pop it). It is recommended for the average camper and suitable for both the novice as well as the experienced camper.

Neo Fillo Luxury Pillow

camping pillows

​One of the disadvantages of the average camping pillow is that the height is too low to provide comfort, especially if you sleep on a mat. And while there are a few options which allow you to blow up the pillow to various heights, for the most part you have to use a shirt or hoodie to add a bit more dimension to the pillow you choose. And while the Neo Fillo Luxury Pillow is no exception to the height problem, it does offer a solution with its implementation of grid elastic cords to hold a shirt or hoodie for that added height.

TOP PROS

  • The luxury pillow is 5” longer than a standard camping pillow
  • Rubber straps on the back help to add height and provide traction to reduce sliding
  • Made with memory foam so it is a bit more durable than an air pillow
  • Loop at the side of the pillow could be used to secure the pillow and reduce sliding
  • Grid on the back of the pillow does not interfere with the comfort

TOP CONS

  • The memory foam can be a bit noisy
  • A bit on the expensive side for a small camping pillow
  • Comfort foam will tear if you are not careful
  • Options tend to be limited to either hard or flat
  • Rather hard to fold up especially with the grid design
  • Although you have memory foam inserts, you still have to blow it up

This pillow is best suited for the camper who understands that a camping pillow will not be as luxurious as a home pillow. There are limited firmness options to the pillow so those which have specific sleeping needs may need to find an alternative solution.

A quick note about camping pillows:

​If you are purchasing a nylon or polyester pillow and sleeping on nylon or polyester, you will need to have something to add traction to the pillow or it will slide. This could be a shirt or something as simple as a sock. With blow-up pillows, note that the mouthpiece will be smaller as it is a smaller pillow. Also, keep in mind that with any blow-up pillow, you will want to ensure that the area is free from debris in order to maximize the life of the pillow. While you may not get the comfort of a Hampton or Hilton motel, a camping pillow is definitely a better alternative than sleeping on the ground or trying to get your neck adjusted in a hammock or on a flat mat while camping.

You can also check other pillows here, those pillows recommenced by many camper.​

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