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Pillow woes
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Erik Graf
(VanGo) - F

Locale: Southeast
Montbell on 07/01/2010 10:08:42 MDT Print View

+1 for the Montbell.

My stepfather recently started using a kids arm floatie. He said it is the most comfortable he's tried (as I listened with skepticism).

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Montbell on 07/01/2010 10:47:33 MDT Print View

I think Montbell has the best inflatable. The nice thing about it is that you inflate it completely and it has a good shape. So many of the inflatable pillows turn into a ball when fully inflated. This means you have to let some air out. When you do that, it sloshes around.

I have the Montbell, but I'm trying something different this year. I'm going to try using my O2 raingear (fact check: these may not be O2, but something similar, like DriDucks). There are two reasons why I think this is promising: One, I don't wear rain gear to bed. Two, this type of rain gear is rather puffy. Normally I want my gear to be as compressible as possible, but this time things are working in my favor. There are some differences in puffiness between the different brands (O2, DropStoppers, DriDucks, etc.) so I would try and get the puffiest. Unfortunately, even though I have bought a bunch, I forget the differences.

I'm going to buy or make a silk pillow case to stuff these in (which should be very light). Or maybe I'll just use a cuben sack and tape a silk sheet over one end (that way I won't have to worry about the rain gear being totally dry).

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: Pillow woes on 07/01/2010 11:11:15 MDT Print View

I've tried almost as many combinations as you, with similar results. This is what works for me as a side sleeper:

A foundation using a Thermarest Seat, 3 oz.
A REI Travel Pillow on top, 4.9 oz.

Neither slip, the REI feels good on the skin, and the combination is firm enough to support my head when on my side. And I can dial in the exact desired hight/firmness, as both are inflatable. Hollow inflatable pillows (Big Agnes, Kooka Bay, etc.) wobble too much, or aren't thick enough, or are too slippery. Down pillows compress way too much. Pillow systems can be quite heavy (12 oz. for the 2-piece Sea to Summit). No one has invented the perfect UL pillow yet--at least for me.

I tried the Z-Seat sitpad (instead of the Thermarest Seat), but it was just too thin and I lost too much head support.

There are two crazy things with pillow testing: when combining items to make a comfortable pillow, the final weight will be way more than you thought, and start to encroach on commercial pillow systems (Thermarest, Sea to Summit, etc.); and you can't test them in your bed as the mattress/pillow dynamic is different from your pad/pillow dynamic. Always test on the floor with your pad (and maybe bag).

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Kooka Bay & Montbell inflatables on 07/01/2010 11:36:18 MDT Print View

I used the Montbell air pillow (2.5 oz) last year, and was pleased with it. This year I'm using the Kooka Bay air pillow (1.3 oz). It's a bit smaller, and lighter as well. It works as well as the Montbell.

For skin comfort, I put a Buff (1.3 oz) around each of these when using them.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
No pillow woe here on 07/01/2010 11:42:45 MDT Print View

I bought a couple of GG's sit pads when I started using my Jam2/Pinnacle packs 2 years ago, to replace GoLite's frame pad. I noticed that the pad would roll up and fit inside a Quixote fleece pillow case I had (egg carton to the inside of the roll). Then I stuff my BPL cocoon pants, or anything else that I'm not wearing while sleeping, inside the pad to provide the right amount of loft. Bingo--a proper firm pillow, for just 1.25 oz. weight penalty (the weight of the Quixote fleece cover). So my sit pad is a triple use item--sitting comfortably on a log, padding the pack (egg carton against my back), and a pillow component. The pillow case can also be used for other things during the day--pot holder, a place to store my flashlight, little alarm clock, Bic lighter, etc. where I can find them, and probably even be a silly semi-neck gaiter if needed. Not bad for 1.25 oz.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts) - F

Locale: Nashville
two pillows on 07/01/2010 12:25:02 MDT Print View


I use a setup similar to yours but I do use the big agnes air core inflatable pillow topped with an arrowhead equipment bear pillow. It works great for me as a side sleeper also.

I have considered using a montbell down inner jacket in place of the AE pillow to save weight when I am not needing it for extra warmth in my sleeping bag

Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
non inflatable on 08/10/2010 02:54:24 MDT Print View

I have decided just can't sleep on an inflatable pillow.

I'm looking for a high fill down pillow. I'd be happy to request a custom pillow, but so far, I haven't found anything.

Where do you suggest I look for a custom down pillow?

Charlie Schaezlein
(cschaez) - F

Locale: Orange County
Cloudrest on 08/10/2010 06:13:58 MDT Print View

I'm not exactly objective here, but give the WM cloudrest a shot. If you're in Cincinatti, you're probably pretty close to ea WM dealer. Give one a call, see if you can head out and actually pick one up before buying. A little heavier than you're looking for, but its comfy as hell (or at least mine is). Also, if its really an issue, you can cut off the attached stuff sac to save some weight.

Edit: stupid spelling/punctuation

Edited by cschaez on 08/10/2010 06:27:43 MDT.

Mark Ryan

Locale: Somewhere. Probably lost.
Best Pillow for Stomach Sleeper?! on 11/21/2010 18:42:08 MST Print View

Think the subject line says it best. I'm a stomach sleeper and looking for a pillow. At home I use a thin pillow and usually sleep on my arms croosed under my head anyway. Clothing stuff sack not doing it anymore. Have read the Cocoon Down pillow squishes to much for back sleepers but may work for me. Also the Cocoon Hyperlite seems that it may work.

Any experiences out there?

Tangent- What's with the discrimination toward Stomach Sleepers? Where's my awesome sleeping bag?

Edited by Sixguns01 on 11/21/2010 19:10:30 MST.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Best Pillow for Stomach Sleeper?! on 11/21/2010 19:12:00 MST Print View

I got a Feathered Friends pillow for my son to use in the car and he discovered a cool way to make it thinner or thicker. If you prefer the pillow thinner, you can just pull the stuff sack out and push some of the down out of the pillow. To go thicker, the built-in stuff sack can by pushed inside of the pillow (so it's like a giant down mitten) and you can stuff items inside of it. Whatever you stuff in there is still covered with tons of down and an Epic shell so it's not lumpy. Pretty brilliant design.ff pillow

Kari Post
(karipost) - MLife

Locale: New Hampshire
Cocoon Down Pillow on 05/18/2011 21:24:48 MDT Print View

Have it... hate it... it just compresses under my head like there is nothing there at all

I'd be happy to find it a new home

William Cummings
(rcummings1) - F

Locale: Colorado
Cocoon Pillow on 05/18/2011 21:47:52 MDT Print View

I have the exact Cocoon Down Pillow that you speak of and I, like Kari, hate it. I went through a half dozen plus pillows before I gave up and removed all my requirements of it needs to be this, and it needs to be that. It only needs to be comfortable. Period. I wanted to try a Nemo Fillow but couldnt find one I could look at. I wasn't buying any more pillows sight unseen. My next to last pillow was the Exped red pillow, good and almost made the cut but not tall enough for me as a side sleeper. I finally found comfort in the Green Exped Comfort pillow I found at REI. It weighs over 10 oz's but I don't care anymore. No more pain in my neck waking me up at 4AM. It's comfortable.

That being said, PM me if you want the Cocoon Travel Down Pillow. Pay shipping and it's yours or anyone else that wants it.

Justin R
(5150Bronco) - F

Locale: Bay Area, Ca.
side sleeper here. on 05/19/2011 01:19:37 MDT Print View

Looks like reading everything....montbell U.L. is the winner.

Any other suggestions for Ultra light and for a side sleeper?

Right now, I use the REI trekker pillow case, but stuffing it is not always the best available option.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Pillow woes on 05/19/2011 02:29:28 MDT Print View

I use a 1oz inflatable pillow from my local pound store. Flock finish is nice. Tears easy, but only a dollar fifty to replace if the sticky tape fails, so who cares.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Shoe on 05/19/2011 04:50:10 MDT Print View

This may sound weird, but sometimes I'll just sleep on one of my trailrunners as long as it's not covered in mud. Plenty of support, somewhat soft, doesn't make any noise, and doesn't weigh a thing.

I've also tried inflating a 1 liter platypus bottle. It's comfortable, but a bit noisy and easy to roll off of.

Mostly I just use whatever clothing I'm not wearing.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
+1 on Exped Air Pillow on 05/19/2011 07:53:40 MDT Print View

I like that it has a higher and lower side and that it has a brushed side and a smooth side. I am a side sleeper and it has plenty of height. Only down side of the air pillows is they can move around on you but that can be remedied somewhat by wrapping it in piece of clothing.

Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Re: Shoe on 05/19/2011 08:00:40 MDT Print View

I tried this and while sleeping directly on the shoe wasn't great, I found the putting both shoes (the tongue side) under the mat, it gave a nice curved raise to the mat. With a neo air it seemed to work pretty well.

Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Mont bell on 05/19/2011 08:23:03 MDT Print View

+1 for the mont bell. I use it with a Big Agnes IAC pad. I sewed a couple of bungie cord loops to the pad on the outer edge of the pad and then attached a few small plastic hooks that can clip into the mont bell pillow at its corner holes. This has worked extreamly well so far. It keeps the pillow in place without having to put it inside the hood of my bag.

Melinda Turner

Locale: Illawarra
Multi purpose light weight pillow on 04/25/2012 01:52:56 MDT Print View

Empty 4 litre wine bladder blown up / 34 grams
Also use it to carry water and add flotation to pack when swimming rivers!
Cost = $0
(But be careful when you use it as a pillow and a water bladder at the same time!)

Edited by graceinspace on 04/25/2012 02:24:06 MDT.

Chris Irwin
(Chris.89) - F
Inflatable Pillow on 04/25/2012 03:15:11 MDT Print View

I know this is an old thread, but I find that most inflatable pillows become a lot more comfortable if you only half inflate them.

I have a trekmates inflatable pillow, which comes with a nice soft pillow case with a bit of cushioning on the top. If I inflate it as much as it can go, it has a more rounded shape and is very stiff, not comfortable at all. However, if I only half inflate it, it becomes a lot softer and has more give in the cushion.