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Best Camping Pillow?
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Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Best Camping Pillow? on 02/28/2011 07:35:30 MST Print View

fleece stuff sack which is filled with a high loft down or synthetic garment on top, and whatever I have that isn't too hard on the bottom to fill out the volume. I typically bring one more clothing layer than I need to sleep comfortably. If it is surprisingly cold I lose my soft pillow, but I am warm enough.


John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Best Camping Pillow? on 02/28/2011 07:38:30 MST Print View

FWIW Cut Bender some slack. I challenge anyone to open, run and grow a cottage gear industry as Bender is doing and not run into problems if your products take off in demand. If you have watched this forum closely you will have noticed that the demand for his gear has increased while his ability to keep up with this demand was the only real issue. His subsequent "open apology" and efforts to fill orders and handle any other issues should put this to rest.

That said, I use Bender's Kookalight Pillow.

Kookalight pillow

It is supportive, extremely packable and light in weight, 1.3 ounces. I keep it in a MYOG pillow case while packed and in use.

Kookalight pillow in MYOG pillowcase deflated

The firmness of the pillow and its support are easily adjusted by how much it is inflated.

Face side of MYOG pillowcase

The total weight of the pillow and case adds up to 2 ounces.

MYOG pillowcase bottom side

My pillow has served me well. I highly recommend it as part of your sleeping gear.

Party On,


Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Here's What I Use on 02/28/2011 09:05:15 MST Print View


Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Air + Pillow = Rock on 02/28/2011 11:05:16 MST Print View

I have tried 3-4 different styles of inflatable pillow because of the weight advantage. They all turn hard as a rock no matter how much air I put in them. So, I made my own pillow with microsuede on one side, 1.1 uncoated nylon on the other. I used a part silk, part synthetic fill which packs up fairly small and offers a lot of cushiony support. Comes in at 4 ounces and I wouldn't trade it for gold. Well, maybe gold.


Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Best Camping Pillow on 02/28/2011 11:39:27 MST Print View

I suspect, that like so much of our gear, the "best" camping pillow, is a personal thing. What works for one, might not work for others.

With that said, I've had it with the cheap inflatable hospital-type pillows. Likewise, I can't get a good night's sleep on a stuff sack filled with any extra clothes. Limited experiments with other inflatable pillows have left me still looking for a simple solution that' comfy and will stay put under my head.

On this last Saturday night, desperate to find a solution that would let me comfortably sleep, I pushed my clothes-filled stuff sack out of the way and folded my sit pad (a piece of the GG nightlight pads) into thirds, placed it under my head, and proceeded to sleep great the rest of the night! The pad didn't slide around at all (as I go from side to side to back to stomach and so on) and provided enough cushion (I like firm pillows) and height that I could finally get comfy and get a good night's sleep.

I think I'll continue to experiment with this and see how it goes.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
hm on 02/28/2011 18:18:50 MST Print View

my buddy has and likes this for hammocking:

Guy Sanders
(coloradowalt) - F

Locale: Southeast
Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow on 03/01/2011 12:34:28 MST Print View

I second or third the Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow. Picked one up last week and used it on a 3 day float trip on the Suwannee River last weekend. Blow if full, then let out a bit of air. Slept like a log!

Shane Shin
(melhousen) - F
Montbell UL Comfort System on 03/05/2011 07:22:01 MST Print View

I love my Montbell UL Comfort System pillow. It cradles my head so I don't roll off. In fact I use the whole system with the attachable sleeping pad for my body and sitpad for my feet.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
PiIllow on 03/05/2011 09:41:33 MST Print View

I've tried a few, none have been ideal. For whatever reason the Thermarest has been the one that has worked best for me, and unfortunately it's one of the heavier ones. The GG stuff sack pillows are nice IF you're carrying enough clothing to make a decent pillow... usually I'm wearing most of the clothing that I packed. REI carries some of the options mentioned, if you have a local store head over there and try em out.

If you're thinking you want the Kookabay, don't worry about Bender - he's a good guy. Do allow for enough lead time that you're not in a jam if delivery is a little behind though (as with any small manufacturer doing made to order).

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: A Camping Pillow? on 03/08/2011 19:56:31 MST Print View

Thermarest -- compresses during the night (did not pass the better half test)

Big Agnes (air with foam pad) -- heavy and not very thick, maybe three inches (another failure)

Ultralight Designs -- good on thickness for side sleepers. Less than one ounce and literally zero pack size. Untested, but I think this one will win.

tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
ShoePillow on 03/08/2011 21:11:08 MST Print View

My technique is to slide my shoes user my 3/4 length prolite and then stuff my rain jacket into aTurtleFur fleece neck gaiter. The shoes elevate my head and the rain jacket (low volume) gives me something soft and squishy to rest my head on :)

Total extra weight carried: 0 oz!

simon hackett
(minimalgear) - F

Locale: UK
+1 on the Nightlight on 03/09/2011 01:44:39 MST Print View

I've also used the nightlight-I wrap a length of shockcord around it to keep it folded. The nightlight is my sit mat and FBC cosy (Wrap the shockcord to hold the mat around the bag) The shock cord is also my poncho belt. If I'm not wearing my down jacket I wrap it around the pillow for extra comfort.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Re: shoe pillow on 03/09/2011 10:38:01 MST Print View

I also do the shoe pillow method, shoes under mat soles down to elevate the head and anything soft on top but the old synmat felt ok on it own mostly I just need my head at the right angle for my neck. Im going to a new pad combo and plan to have my head hanging over the mat. Ive been playing with my old 12oz 72" ridgerest folded in half for more cush, vapor trail under the legs then my new pillow will be my sea to summit shower bag with shoes inside and rain gear stuffed over shoes just right then tied with a couple cords to the ridge rest. The sea to summit bag while heavy at 4 oz is multipurpose as a dry bag stuff sack for sleeping bag and clothes, watercarrier at camp and of course a shower. Now I need a lighter version of the shower bag I saw one somewhere on here or another site someone made one out of I think cuban But so far I have not been much on MYOG...yet

Edited by mtmnmark on 03/09/2011 10:52:50 MST.

Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
re: on 03/09/2011 11:27:07 MST Print View

Another + for the Cocoon Hyperlight. I have used a number of pillows in the past few years in search of something perfect, and I am certain this is as close as I'll get. Great balance of UL and comfort. Just enough polyfill to mask the sense that you're resting your head on an airbag. My only qualm with it is the feel of the material on my skin, so I usually wrap it in a shirt if I have a spare.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
my solution on 03/09/2011 12:35:28 MST Print View

Thermarest makes a pillow case. it's soft, somewhat large, and is light. i shove stuff sacks, clothes, and whatever else i think is somewhat soft into it and that seems to be the best solution i've come up with. that roll up Thermarest pillow - ugh. flattens way to easily.

Edited by asciibaron on 03/09/2011 12:41:15 MST.

Sinead Duggan
(SineadD) - F
Re: Best Camping Pillow? on 06/05/2012 07:01:19 MDT Print View

I would recommend the Thermarest Compressible Pillow.

More info:

Edited by SineadD on 06/05/2012 07:01:56 MDT.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Re: shoe pillow on 06/05/2012 09:55:57 MDT Print View

Shoe Pillow for me too. I have a short length of string that holds my pad rolled up in my pack, I use that to hold my shoes together, oriented like laying in a shoebox. That goes under the head of my inflatable mat.
I've also carried a small (12x12?) square of fabric to wrap around the shoes if they're muddy or wet.

It's not my temper-foam pillow from home, but the string I bring anyway, and the nylon square weighs maybe 5 grams. The biggest benefit for me is that it ensures I didn't leave my boots out to get wet and/or chewed on by rodents. I'd like to believe that a small amount of warmth transfers to them, drying and warming them for the next day. Probably wishful thinking.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Klymit Cush Pillow/Seat on 06/05/2012 10:09:54 MDT Print View

I've been using the Klymit Cush pillow recently, and really like it. Very adaptable for height, and the ear space works great. I've even used it at home in bed - my wife thinks I'm crazy, but that's nothing new!

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Re: Best Camping Pillow on 06/05/2012 13:27:53 MDT Print View

Like NickB described above, I have a GG sit pad in my Gorilla or Murmur packs. I take it out and roll it loosely or fold in thirds and secure it with a small DIY Velcro strap that I also use to wrap around my NeoAir pad in my pack. This makes a very acceptable pillow for essentially no weight penalty. If I'm not wearing my Possumdown beanie, I do put something on top so it's not bare skin applied to evazote. I have done this for as long as GG has made the pads for their packs.

Sam Sockwell
(sockwellsam) - MLife
a vote for the new expel UL on 06/06/2012 06:14:49 MDT Print View

Have tried a lot of pillows, and as a side sleeper who likes a high pillow the new UL by expel is mighty nice. Using these vs the thermarest compressibles(prev item_ will make weight-bearing and space-occupying life a bit simpler.