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Pillows? Multi-use head padding? What do you do?
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Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
Pillows? Multi-use head padding? What do you do? on 08/11/2010 21:15:17 MDT Print View

I have switched from a 15 degree down sleeping bag to a MYOG climashield quilt this summer, which has decreased my base weight by almost 1.5 lbs. I would rate my quilt at about 45 degrees with no clothes. On my last trip in the mountains I had to wear my puffy top under the quilt on a ~35 degree night, which is exactly as I had planned to use this quilt.

Unfortunately I historically have used my puffy as a pillow, and I had a hard time sleeping without something under my head. My rain jacket was not a particularly good substitute. So while I was warm, I was not comfortable.

I know that a lot of people don't carry any more clothes than they need and often wear their clothes to sleep in. What do you guys use as a pillow when you are wearing all your fluffy layers?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Pillows? Multi-use head padding? What do you do? on 08/11/2010 21:36:40 MDT Print View

Montbell inflatable pillow with a Buff as a pillowcase. A couple of ounces is worth a no hassle good nights sleep to me.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Pillows? Multi-use head padding? What do you do? on 08/11/2010 21:39:56 MDT Print View

I use a Thermarest Lite Seat. When using my frameless pack it serves three functions: frame support for the pack, sitpad, and a pillow.

For the pillow, this is what I do: When fully inflated I open the valve, then fold it in half and rest my head on it until the firmness is right where I want it. Then I close the valve. It keeps its shape really well, so it actually has a little depression that cradles my head nicely.

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
what I use on 08/11/2010 21:45:47 MDT Print View

Personally, I wouldn't want to sleep in the pants, shirt, and socks that I hike in. The pants and shirt are sticky with sweat, and the socks are usually wet by the end of the day. For sleeping, I change into long johns and clean socks. This frees up the daytime clothes for use as a pillow. Stuff sacks can be pretty darn light, especially if you're willing to pay for cuben.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
pillow sack on 08/11/2010 22:10:14 MDT Print View

I ran into the same problem at some point and turned to the Granite Gear "pillowsack," which they also seem to call a "dreamsack." You can use it as a stuff sack for your quilt (if you use a stuff sack) during the day and stuff your pants and other odd clothing pieces in it at night. It's only 2oz and I like the feel of the fleece since I'm a back/side/face sleeper.

Dan Healy

Locale: Queensland
BPL dual chamber pillows on 08/12/2010 04:24:38 MDT Print View

I use one of those inflatable pillows from here (the twin one) and wrap whatever clothing/cloth that is not hanging out ... my pack is usually undr my feet and day clothes are generally hanging up to dry or destink... and while wet kit is sometimes available it is too small to be a comfortable pillow.
I agree that comfort is a big thing as I get wiser!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Pillows? Multi-use head padding? What do you do? on 08/12/2010 14:29:19 MDT Print View

I use my fold my hands like in prayer and use them for a pillow. Also, I have used my pack as a pillow or a book if I've brought a novel. Or I sleep on my back.

Joel Waddell
(TenderPaw) - F

Locale: Lake Tahoe
inflatable water wings for kids on 08/12/2010 17:05:36 MDT Print View

I read once here about someone using a water wing as a pilow. I went out a got a pair for 1.99. You cut it in half where the two inflatable sides are seam sealed. You now have a one ounce pillow for 1 dollar. It can also be used as an emergency water container.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Pillows? Multi-use head padding? What do you do? on 08/12/2010 20:27:03 MDT Print View

I have made a few of those water wings pillows. I used to wrap some clothing around them and put them inside a stuff sack.
On one or two I glued some foam to it as well. Not bad at all. (particularly value for money)
Now I use the Montbell pillow.

Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
thanks... on 08/13/2010 22:20:41 MDT Print View

everyone for the input.

I will try the water wing pillow this week, as I can readily get one for cheap. I was hoping not to have to spend a lot (any?) money on a pillow solution, but it seems that a lot of people are using dedicated pillows, which I think is probably the direction I will go. Unlike some of you who responded I always hike in shorts or nylon pants and also always sleep in them. And my socks smell bad enough to avoid using them as a pillow, though maybe inside a stuff sack would be ok. I probably need a real small stuff sack to achieve a thick enough pillow, do you all really get enough loft putting clothes in a quilt size stuff sack?

Just trying to avoid bringing an extra layer solely for use as a pillow.

Has anybody tried sleeping on water containers? I tried my platypus out the other night at home but it is really krinkly and kind of annoying.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Shoes for Pillow on 08/19/2010 13:09:50 MDT Print View


I don't care for air mattresses or pillows, but works for me is putting my shoes under my bivy bag as a pillow.

I then might take a stuff bag with my windshirt, which I don't like to sleep in (too humid/vapor barrier clothing like), rain mitts, gloves, etc....and put it under my head in the bivy.

Gives me the elevation that I need.

I am a back sleeper and I sleep like a dead log, so I don't move much and I sleep in my hiking clothing.

I do find that the BPL Green Hoodie gives me extra warmth wtih the hood on and eliminates the yucky feeling of skin against a plastic stuff bag.

It is what works for me....hope it helps.