I have come to the conclusion that I need a real pillow for backpacking in order to sleep well and to avoid waking up with a terrible pain in my neck.
I've tried the BPL inflatable pillows and sold them:
I wasn't happy with the size, shape, feel or firmness.
I purchased a Snoring Cub Pillow from Arrowhead designs:
I promptly returned it. The stuff size was much too large for a lightweight pillow, yet the pillow itself was way too small. It barely fit under my neck. The pillow itself had so much loft that it felt like resting my head on a brick.
I purchased a Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow:
I was very disappointed and will return it promptly as well. First, they don't list the weight on designsalt, but I remember reading a review on the beta version and it was just over 3oz, with the production model expected to be just under that. In actuality it is 3.7 oz, and that weight is a total waste because all it is is a pillow case over an air bag. I wish I had realized that REI sells this, because not only is it easy to return to them, but they charge less in shipping and they list the actual weight of the item.
Apparently, they make a Hyperlight pillow that is only 2.4 oz.
This is a very uncomfortable pillow. In order for it to not bend my chin down to my chest, I have to barely inflate it, which means that based on its size, as I move my head, the pressure of the air shifts suddenly and is not comfortable. Plus I read many reviews on REI after I received this pillow that complain of an inability to retain air overnight. At least it does pack small. I think the insulation that they claim is much exaggerated and perhaps it will be much colder in the winter than a full fill pillow.
I've tried the lightweight stuff sack lined with microfiber that you turn inside out and fill with clothes. While this is somewhat comfortable, it is too heavy and sometimes it is difficult to find good clothing to put in there.
So, having purchased and sold/returned 4 different pillows now, I am quite frustrated and out the price difference and shipping both ways. I wish it was possible to handle these products prior to purchasing.
Designsalt sells a down "travel" pillow that comes in several sizes, but again, they have no information on dimensions or weight, so chances are it is heavy.
I want a 3oz or less pillow preferably with one microfiber side, though I suppose that is not absolutely essential, that is made out of either down or synthetic with good loft, but compressibility, that stuffs small, yet is large enough to go under my entire head.
I suppose I may have to make my own, though I am not experienced in doing so, and I imagine purchasing the necessary materials will be quite expensive. At this point, with double shipping, etc. I've already spent a bit of money hunting for a good pillow and coming up empty handed. I'm a bit burnt out on buying to try, only to return the same day I get it.
Trailspace.com says the Cocoon down travel pillow has these specifications:
Weight: 2.6 oz (60 g)
Fill: white goose down (no idea on fill/loft)
Dimensions: 10" x 13" (25 x 35 cm)
3" x 4" (packed)
They say that it is too compressible for some people (may be perfect for me), and that it doesn't have a microfiber side so it is a bit loud and scratchy against the hair/face. They suggest getting a cover (too heavy) or putting clothing over it (may not be an option).
It would probably be easier for me to just make a pillow rather than buy this one and attempt to change out one side to microfiber.
At this point, it's an aggravation issue more than anything else. I've invested too much time into it. I've contacted a friend of mine who knows how to sew. I suppose I could try to find material available in very small quantities. Still it might be more cost effective to just make a few and see if I can sell them or perhaps have extra in case the first attempts fail miserably.
Please offer your suggestions/sage advice.