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5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow
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David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/27/2006 17:20:03 MST Print View

How's it going guys,

I know most of you don't use pillows, but no one can deny the extra added comfort they provide. My personal experience is that pillows aren't neccessary for good sleep, but I get much more sound, balanced sleep with one.
I grabbed some Polarguard 3D(insulation of any sort could be used) that had been lying around and simply stuffed it into a 10 X 10 Hefty One Zip bag. For 1.6 oz (1.4 oz of which is insulation), you get a pillow with aproximately 2" of even loft, extra added warmth, and no stiffness common with lightweight inflatables. Because the insulation is in a sliding ziplock bag, the extra air can easily be squeezed out, and the insulation compressed, to aid in packing (packed size is aproximately 10 X 3). Another added bonus of the sliding ziplock is that when left slightly open while sleeping, the pillow forms naturally around your head when the excess air is squeezed out. The loft of the 3D will of course degrade over time, although I dont imagine the damage to be as severe as would be seen in a sleeping bag or quilt (due to part of the loft being extra air in and around the 3D). When combined with the ultralight inflatables available on BPL, you get more than 4" of total loft for 2.5 oz, and no stiff, airy feel. Simple, but hopefully effective. Thanks guys,


Edited by davidp80 on 03/27/2006 21:02:54 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/27/2006 18:22:53 MST Print View

David, excellent suggestion - very ingenious. I generally don't use a pillow. Have recently tried some inflatable ones. They don't work well for me (must have a wierd shaped head), but only partially inflating them works better than just about fully inflating them.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/27/2006 18:57:57 MST Print View

Thanks Paul. I've noticed the same with the Flexair inflatables. I have the dual-compartment version, which helps a little with the 'rolling' that tends to happen when lying on air...but still....ehh, it just doesnt feel quite right to me. With any luck, this will solve the problem and help to insulate my head a bit more in colder conditions, at least on one side anyway :)

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/27/2006 19:54:21 MST Print View

I agree David. I'm still not totally sold on the Flex Air. Next week, I'm taking a 3 or 4 day BP trip and am planning on giveing them more tests. But the idea above sounds somehow better to me.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/27/2006 20:07:38 MST Print View

I definitely agree with minimal inflation; just enough so my head doesn't bottom out. I use mine in the hammock because it insulates my head from the outside breeze. If I ever pop a hole in my FlexAir I'll open it up and stuff it with some Polarguard 3D and put it back in use. Thanks for the tip.

Edited by Otter on 03/27/2006 20:08:39 MST.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/27/2006 21:19:52 MST Print View

Indeed...I've been wondering how many inflate/deflate cycles the Flexair's are capable of before they're through (afterall, there are three in a package...). My guess is that they're more likely to develop a hole of some sort first before simply wearing out.

I'm not much of a shoe sleeper (especially after a wet, muddy day of hiking) so taking the Flexair and the homemade pillow gives me 1.5 oz of good sleep insurance. Until then, I'll be able to enjoy the 4" of warm comfy loft :) For such a simple system, the automatic 'air purge/valve' created by leaving the bag partially unlocked works wonderfully for sleeping and packing (in which case the valve is fully closed). I look forward to hearing from anyone else who is willing to give it a go. Thanks,


Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/28/2006 06:21:53 MST Print View

Sounds like a good idea to me, too. I'm not sure how I would like sleeping with my head atop a plastic bag though. A few years ago I sewed several 1.1 ounce, non-silicone impregnated nylon bags about the size of a 1-gallon zip lock. These are only a little slick (unlike silnylon) and very breathable. These I would stuff with various unused clothing items for use as a pillow. It takes some negotiating to get the the right combination of socks and shirts to make it comfortable, but then again these only weigh 0.3 ounces. Perhaps a combintion of my 1.1 ounce tops with some polyfill insulation would be just the trick.


Edited by jham on 03/28/2006 06:25:12 MST.

Scott Ashdown
(waterloggedwellies) - F

Locale: United Kingdom
Re: Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/28/2006 08:05:14 MST Print View

I always use the small dry bag I take in my pack as a pillow. It has a velcro closure at the top that folds over on its self a few times and then the two 'ends' clip together forming an airtight closure. Folding over the top naturally traps the air inside and forms quite a comfortable pillow that will stay inflated all night. It involves no lung usage to inflate, or a need to keep it stuffed with clothes to use as a pillow and during the day it keeps my clothes & food nice and dry. It's pretty tough too. I was sold on the idea of buying one when I saw the sales rep stand on the inflated bag without the seams 'blowing' as part of the sales pitch. I'll just tuck it inside a tee shirt or similar so I get that fabric feel. My brother reckons he used the same type of bag whilst backpacking in Australia to cross a river. He, put his clothes in, sealed it and used it as a bouyoncy aid without any problems (Not that its sold for that purpose, so care needed). Anyway, as I carry it as part of my pack it makes an ideal "Large" multipurpose pillow and more comfy than a Platypus bottle! I'm at work at the moment so can't remember the make or dimensions but i'll update the posting later.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/29/2006 04:35:25 MST Print View

I sewed two small flexairs together to make my own dual chamber pillow. Works awesome... and is way more comfortable than a regular flexair. Unlike the dual chamber sold here... my pillow is essentially a giant water wing style... i.e... the "seam" runs top to bottom instead of side to side.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/29/2006 10:19:32 MST Print View


I hadn't thought of that and I imagine it is comfortable laying your head between the two inflatied sides. I've only got dual compartment flexair's....hmm....I wonder if four compartments would be a bit much... :P


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: 5 minute, 1.6 oz pillow on 03/29/2006 10:52:15 MST Print View

Or put a couple pillows inside a stuff sack....