The Best Backpacking Pillow Of 2021

As a travel enthusiast, I have faced sleep problems at the beginning. And I've talked to multiple travelers to know what they do. I was surprised to know that all of them carry travel pillows in their backpacks. Then I try to understand what the best backpacking pillow is?

Pillows are easy to carry, compressible, and can be used to sleep comfortably in any situation; that is the best travel pillow backpacking. Imagine you're on a flight seeking a quick nap by the wrong travel pillow. It may injure you for its size and shape.

The best travel pillow for long haul flights can solve this. Here, you are going to know the backpacking pillow reviews that are from my own experience. All these small travel pillows will provide a means level of comfort and support.

Our 10 Best Top Pick

How To Pack A Pillow In A Backpack?

Picking a pillow depends on where you intend to use it and how long you mean to rest with it. You may find it’s easy to pack a pillow in your backpack after reading my pillow reviews pro and con.

1. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

When you're thinking of outdoor sleeping with comfy, the Therm-a-rest compressible pillow is ideal for you. It expands to massive dimensions are 14 X 18 X 4 inches thick for the medium and 14 x 5 x 6 inches when compressed for a pack. If you go for the Thermarest compressible pillow size comparison, it is one of the small.

I recommend the Thermarest down pillow for plane travel, road trips, camping, and backpacking. The soft foam fill makes it an ultralight travel pillow and more comfortable. With this feature, you'll get a fresher sleep every time. It is expandable for this polyester fill.

This Thermarest camping pillow is fluffy when you rest on it. After use, it is easily compressible for packing. It's ideal for a long journey. The soft brushed polyester makes it comfortable. It provides coolness throughout the pad, ensuring a heat-free nap.

Its weight is only 9 Ounces, meaning carrying it won't cause you trouble. For its compressible model, a backpacker can easily pack it. Though the pillow comes in different sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large. But I prefer the medium for comfort, weight, and size.

2. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

In the traveler's arena, most of them know about these Sea to Summit Aeros pillows. The lightest pillow has all you've searching for an outdoor adventure. Among all Sea to Summit's pillows, I always comfortable with the Aeros premium pillow.

The Summit Aeros premium has a thin layer of synthetic fill on top. The synthetic fibers provide extra comfort and absorb the sweat. Its brushed polyester also added comfort when you lay your head. The bent internal baffles cradle the head comfortably.

The Sea to summit aeros ultralight travel pillow is good for side and back sleepers. It provides good neck and shoulder support. It comes in two sizes and perfect for those who move around in their sleep. Your sleeping experience will not complete without this pillow. The Aeros Down Pillow and Aeros Premium feel very similar.

You will get an inflation valve in this Sea to summit premium pillow. It can quickly inflate the pad with a little pump of air. You can adjust the air pressure if necessary. Again when you need to deflate the pillow, open the second tab, and pack it. The packing size will be small.

A backpacker can easily pack it. You can get the pillow quickly rolled out from its pillowcase and get it working in a few seconds. It's made with incredibly durable materials that ensure you'll use this best ultralight pillow in any outdoor condition without issues. The lining of this pad is sewn to be of top quality. Air pumped into this pillow can't escape easily; the air core pillow quality is excellent.

3. Nemo Fillo Pillow

Among the best backpacking pillows in the market, the Nemo Fillo backpacking and camping pillow is the most popular for its comfortable soft, and warm feel. Its microsuede cover also provides a luxurious, cooling feel.

The Nemo Fillo backpacking pillow is made of thick foam, a sturdy valve, a soft and washable microsuede or jersey cover, and a durable air bladder. You can use it on a long road trip, airplane, and as lumbar support.

Its weight is only 9 oz, and its dimensions 17 x 11 x 4 inches when inflated. When the Nemo Fillo packs down, it looks like a potato. So, you can carry it in your backpack in a comfortable way.

4. Nemo Fillo Elite Luxury Pillow

There are different types of backpacking pillows on the market. The Nemo Fillo also has various pillows for traveling, camping, hiking, backpacking, or just napping around. Most of the exciting hybrid pillows feature is present in this cushion.

With a synthetic insulation layer, the backpacking pillow Nemo Fillo is more comfortable than most ultralight pillows. The Nemo Fillo Elite ultralight backpacking pillow is the best choice for backpackers. Its fluffy nature boosts your outdoor napping time. Pillow weight is only 3 oz, and when packs down, it looks like a tennis ball. So this stuff sack pillow won't need much space to pack it.

It is easy to inflate and deflate this pad to adjust the loft. After fully inflated the air-core pillow, the loft will be 3 inches thick, good for head and neck contours. Fillo Elite pillowcase is made of a cotton jersey that is easy to remove and wash.

5. Exped Air Pillow Review

As a side sleeper, sometimes it is hard to sleep on backpacking trips because I can't cradle my head and protect myself from rolling onto my back. Later, when I got the Exped pillow, it improved my sleep. It keeps me on my side the whole night.

This exped air pillow feature is exciting. With a multi-sleep function, back and side sleepers and the any-way sleeper will feel comfier when using this pad. Side sleepers need a thick pillow ( 4 inches at least) to provide support properly.

When you need a down pillow with supple support for your neck and back- this exped pillow shows the benefits of having this pad with you when you travel. Take a close look at this exped down pillow review and choose based on all facts in this review. The best backpacking pillow for side sleepers comes in medium and large sizes with a backcountry support system. Its ergonomic design makes this pad comfy for your night's sleeping position.

The exped air pillow large is easy to carry in your lightweight backpacking tents or pocket for convenient packed size. It fits nicely. The tricot surface makes this pad comfy to rest on and prevents discomfort and irritation. Its medium inflated dimensions: 15 x 10.6 x 4.3 inches.

6. Teton Sports Camp Pad Review

Whenever I plan for camping, hiking, or backpacking trips, I always carry a much more comfortable pillow with me. If my night's sleep is not proper, then my travel adventure will be a collapse. Pillow may be a hassle to carry, but you don't need to worry about carrying it with you when you have a Teton sports pillow.

There's certainly something interesting for you when you look through the Teton pillows. This car sleeping pillow has special features that are not in others. Its size and weight are convenient to carry. After pack, it is 10 x 18 x 23 cm, and the weight is only 0.8 lbs.

With an automatic inflating feature, you can easily maintain these backpacking pillows. The inner pillow and pillow case is machine washable. The Teton self-inflating cushion has been made for multipurpose use. Its features are stand out and will ensure you adapt to any environment better.

This pad is built with an anti-rip feature, making sure that it doesn't tear during use. The outer cover of this pad ensures you get a fresh feel whenever you rest on it. The pad can expand to a bedroom pad size so that you won't feel discomfort away from home. The customer support is satisfactory.

7. Klymit X Pillow Review

Klymit pillow x review will impress you instantly! These best backpacking pillows have all the features that'll excite you and drive you to buy. Please take a look at every element of the Klymit inflatable pillow and how they help you.

The pillow provides comfort and support to your neck and back. It's easy to inflate and deflate. The Klymit pillow x design attached a pattern in the middle of the pad where your head can properly rest.

It can easily pack without much fuss. The packing size is too small (1.95 oz weight) to pack in your briefcase or backpack. This extra weight is nothing for a good night's sleep. You can travel with it wherever you need. With the inflated size of 15 x 11 x 4 inches, you won't feel any harshness.

You can customize the Klymit pillow x height and sturdiness with a functional valve by removing/adding air as required. This pad's design makes it incredibly comfy and retains its shape whenever you inflate it.

A stuff sack added to this cushion works well, and storage is also much more manageable. You've got an instant lifetime limited warranty when you buy this pad from a vetted dealer.

8. Trekology Ul Sleeping Pad Review

The Trekology ultralight pillow will amaze you with its designs and packed size. It promotes excellent support for your neck and back. With so many pads failing to meet your expectations, but the Trekology pillow may an ideal choice for you.

The compressible and contoured pillow design relaxed your head. Its hollow center and raised edges are perfect for head support. You can use this Trekology pillow for more than one purpose regardless of your sleep position. It is ideal for side, back, and stomach sleepers.

When you're on a long road or air journey, there's a high possibility that you'll need lower back support. Well, if it is, then this pillow assuring you a relief. You can use this pillow as lumbar support when you need to provide comfort for your lower back area.

The ergonomic design of this air pillow provides neck support. It inflates up to 16 x 12 x 4 inches and 4 lofts for proper support. Your shoulders and upper torso aren't left out.

Its outer material is a durable elastic TPU to enhance resistance to water and other liquids. These features maximize your comfort zone. The small packing size 5 X 2 inches and weight 2.8 oz only.

9. Cocoon Hyperlight Air-Core Pillow

cocoon camp pillowcocoon camp pillow

I am too comfortable with this Cocoon hyperlight air-core pillow. Its unique feature impressed me at all. It has two sides to use in different conditions. The microfiber surface is soft, warm, and cozy on a cool night, while its nylon side is well off to sleep on a warm night. 

You can adjust the firm level of this inflatable air core pillow. It is better for people who love to use a firm pillow. If it is not fully inflated, it might feel a little shaky. The available air-core size is 14 x 18 inches and 16 x 22 inches. The valve system accompanied by a twist cap mechanism adjusts individually.

10. Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow

The Sea to summit aeros down pillow is super lightweight than the average ultralight pillow in the market. The weight of the pillow is 2.5 oz only. And inflated size is 13.4 x 9.4 x 4.7 inches, and the packed size is 3.15 x 2.6 inches. Several times I used it in my travel.

This luxurious down pillow top is soft and supportive that provides comfort. With its multi-function valve system, it can inflate and deflate easily. Even though it is expensive but if you look through the comfort, you can compromise the price.

best hiking pillow

Types of Backpacking Pillows

Inflatable pillows

Inflatable pillows are the most common lightweight backpacking pillows in the stores right now. Some ultralight pillows have to blow up with breath, and some are auto inflates. For auto inflates, open the valve, and it expands automatically. Adjust the loft by the amount of air. If the pillow is tight enough by full of air, it can make noise when moving your head. I always prefer NEMO Fillo Elite or Sea to Summit Aeros Premium.

Hybrid pillow

Hybrid pillows are the combination of elements; it is compressible and inflatable. The pillow's top is fluffy to provide comfort to your head, and the bottom to increase support. The height and the support are the same as air pillows. For all these, it's the best of both worlds.

Compressible pillows

These pillows are made of different shredded materials like foam, synthetic fiber, etc. They are comfortable but heavier and bulkier to compare with the stuff sack pillows or other ultralight pillows. If you want to pay for comfortability, move with this and with down feathers. It is easy to carry for lightweight. I like to move with REI Co-op Trail Break Foam Pillow or Therm-a-rest Compressible Pillow.

Stuff sack pillows

It is one of the best options for a backpacking trip. Do you know the "DIY backpacking pillow"? If you have a soft cloth or puffy jacket, stuff it inside the sack and keep your head for sleep. To increase the loft, you have to stuff more clothes. It is comfortable and lightweight if you fill it with the right clothes. I like to carry HMG Large Stuff Sack or ZPacks Medium Dry Bag.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Backpacking Pillow

There are a few points you should keep in mind when you're in the valley of decision. Let's take a look at them;

Outer cover:

During your camping trips, get a pillow with a comfortable pillow case for maximum comfort. I prefer a polyester cover, though it is less comfortable but easy to clean. You may want another but should protect the pillow inside.

Packed size:

Is it collapsible or rigid? Some backpacking down pillow designed to provide that allow it to be compressed into much smaller shapes. Some of these pads can even get squeezed up to the size of a lighter! If you have a space issue in your backpack, select this pillow for easy to pack.

Size and shape:

The best packable pillow comes in single sizes, but some have several options petite, standard, and larger pillow. Your choice depends on certain factors sleep position, body weight, etc.

How to sleep fast in 5 minutes? A comfortable sleeping position will help you do this. The shape of the pillow will allow your comfortable position. It will decide how much support you need to keep your spine aligned. Many people like a rectangular shape, some are square and some others King or queen.


The height of the pad is a factor for good sleep. You have to choose adjustable sleeping pillows.


When you are camping in cold weather, you need to use insulation traps that heat inside the pillow to feel warm. With this, if you have similar sleeping pads, you are safe.


Some pillows make crinkly noise when you move your head, and some are silent. It's because of the compressed air in the air pillow. So before buy, test the pillow by keeps your head on it. If you buy it online, check the customer's review.

rei camp pillows

Finally, you want a pillow that will support you. If above everything is okay, then make sure the outer fabric of the pillow case is skin-friendly. Most of the pillow comes with a cover. Some pillows incorporate a soft layer on the top, and some have a removable cover. You have to select your suitable one.

If you look for a pillow cover for your home use, I must choose a silky pillow case, and it is excellent to make you happy.

Maintenance Tips 

Getting the perfect backpack pillow doesn't mean it's all done. There are a few maintenance steps that you've got to follow. These steps will secure your investment and guarantee prolonged comfort from your selected air pillows for camping. Let's take a look:

Deflated the cushion when not in use

It's fascinating how blow up camping pillows tend to support your head. But to keep your pillow functioning for longer, emphasize keeping the cushion deflate when you don't need it.

When air insulation is prolonged, seams of the compact pad may burst. Ensure you keep this in mind when using an inflatable camp pillow.

Don’t over-infuse the blow-up pillow

Every air pillows for sleeping has an air accommodation limit in its air chamber. When you've inserted too much air in the airhead pillow, you could eventually get it damaged. Get moderate air infusion at all times to maintain your pillow.

Don’t over test the durability

The manufacturer makes the camp pillows durable, which doesn't mean you should abuse them. Using the pillow on a rough surface might lose its durability. Use it where it's less likely for your pillow to damage.

Maintain the valve system

It's not a secret that inflatable backpacking pillows are washable. But note that not all the inflatable air pillow can withstand much stress around the multi-functional valve. Your pillow's valve acts as a channel for releasing and inserting air and should take care of it.


What is the best travel neck pillow for long flights?

The best travel pillow for long haul flights should provide all-round support for your neck and head. Spine alignment with your neck should also offer when choosing the best inflatable pillow for backpacking.

How Do Self Inflating Pillows Work?

A self-inflating camping pillow works through a button or automatically. Some of these pad pillows work by press a button on them, which allows airflow. And some other pads inflate when they unfold from their packaging.

How Do You Wash A Sleeping Bag?

Wash of sleeping bags with pillow depends on individual brand specifications. In most cases, inflatable camping pillows aren't readily machine washable.

Sleeping bag pillows come in designs that could be easily washable, and this would be stated in your product's packaging.

Can You Re-Use Sleeping Bags for a Long Period?

Sleeping bags come in different sizes. Regardless of your preferred size for a backpacking pillow, maintenance is crucial. When you package your sleeping bag properly, there may be no need to get another bag anytime soon.

So yes, you can re-use your sleeping bag as many times as you want.

What Size Stuff Sacks for Backpacking?

The best use for backpacking is Gear Capacity (Size - L) 30 liters. And the materials should be nylon with a drawcord closure. Dimensions will be 11 x 22 inches.

Based on the hostile nature of outdoor environs, your stuff sack should be as sturdy as possible. It should have adequate anti-rip features. Also, resistance to water and a tight-lock mechanism are must-have features.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillows?

If you regularly travel, go on picnics, hikes, etc. and use your pillow, you may need to wash it up frequently. But if you don't use it after several weeks, you may use a washing routine to maintain your pillow.

Final Word

You've got great info on pack pillows. Make your choice based on what you've seen. When you follow this info, there's a higher chance that you'll be satisfied with your choice for longer. Surely, there is no wrong stuff; we have provided real facts to choose a better backpack pillow.

Get proper support for your travels, picnics, and outdoor adventures. You'd surely be glad. It's a fact that there are several choices, but each pillow in this review is sure to give you the satisfaction you desire.

  • Updated January 25, 2021
  • Pillow
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments