Top 10 Best Backpacking Pillow Models 2017

top 10 best backpacking pillow models for your next camping trip

Outdoor activities are fun but tiring as well. After a long day of hiking, scuba diving, mountain biking or hunting, all you want to do is to lie down and sleep. When you sleep better at night, you feel more energetic and productive. But what if you wake up feeling sore and achy instead? Neck pains and headaches are an unwanted experience but they are somehow very common among campers.

Top 10 Best Backpacking Pillow Comparison Table

Picture NameFeaturesRating (1-5)Price
Compact Light Sleeping Bag with Detachable Pillowcase and Free Inflatable Pillow.Waterproof
Detachable pillowcase
Machine washable
Three-in-one pack
Low price
2$
Camping Pillow / Inflatable Air Pillow-- 20in x 12in, 10.5oz, Self InflatingEasy to clean
7 color options
Waterproof and slip resistant
2.5$
Trekology Ultralight Inflating Travel / Camping Pillows - Compressible, Compact, Inflatable, Comfortable, Ergonomic Pillow for Neck & Lumbar Support and a Good Night Sleep while Camp, BackpackingUltra light and super compact
Double-decked valve
Waterproof and slip resistant
6 color options
One-month warranty
3$
Inflatable Camping Pillow - the Ultralight OutSmart Camp PillowsUltra light and compact
Double-decked valve
Waterproof and slip resistant
Lifetime warranty
90-day money back guarantee
3$
Inflatable Camping Pillow, Vive Comb NaturehikeUltra light and super compact
Double-decked valve
Water, wrinkle and slip resistant
18-month warranty
Low cost
3$
REDCAMP Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad with Attached PillowDiamond chamber design
Waterproof and slip resistant
Include repair kit
365-day warranty
100% money back guarantee
3.5$$
LivBright Lightweight Sleeping Pad for Camping, Backpacking, HikingLighter than most
Waterproof and slip resistant
Includes a repair kit
1-year replacement warranty
30-day money back guarantee
4$$
Hikenture Backpack Sleeping Pad | Lightweight CampingSuperior insulating performance
Waterproof and slip resistant
1-year warranty
100% money back guarantee
4.5$$
Sleeping Pad For Camping lightweight Inflatable For BackpackingSuperior insulating performance
Water, slip and tear resistant
Includes torchlight
Lifetime limited warranty
30-day, 100% money back guarantee
4.5$$
Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Camp & Travel PillowUltra light and super compact
Advanced design
Waterproof, slip and tear resistant
Double-decked valve
Lifetime limited warranty
5$

If you lack a high quality sleeping gear, sleeping outdoors can be very uncomfortable. While a good sleeping bag can do wonders for your rest, nothing really compares to having a high quality backpacking pillow. Soft and light, these pillows can make even a hard outdoor surface feel like home. Moreover, some of these are so small that they will easily fit in your pocket.

Backpacking pillow is the perfect modern solution to on-the-go sleeping. It is extremely versatile and works well for all kinds of expeditions, making it a must-have item in your backpacking essentials. So, no more rolling clothes or stacking up books to lay your head on at night!

Get yourself the best backpacking pillow and ensure a good night’s sleep. Finding the right backpacking pillow can be tricky though considering the mind-boggling variety in market, which is why we have come up with this all-in-one guide. Here, you will get all the necessary information such as the types, benefits, drawbacks and the best models of backpacking pillows. Stay tuned and you’ll learn so much more.

What Types of Backpacking Pillows are There?

Backpacking pillows come in three styles: inflatable, compressible and hybrid.

The inflatable ones are the lightest and most packable pillows. They’re not made of foam and are filled with air. While some are self-inflating, others may require a little breath work on your part. They have valves for inflation and deflation and all you have to do is to keep blowing air through the opening until you reach your desired pillow thickness.

This kind of pillow can be expanded to a large size but it packs down so small that it can be easily fit in a small bag or even a wallet. It is incredibly lightweight as well (around 3-4 ounces). It is the best backpacking pillow for taking on long hikes but mind it – it does not offer the same level of comfort as its counterparts and can be a bit noisy (crinkling sounds) as well.

Compressible pillows are very similar to the regular pillows one uses at home, the only difference being that these are smaller and lighter. This kind of pillow is typically filled with foam, fibers or synthetic mixtures and it feels very soft. In terms of comfort, this is the best option although it is relatively difficult to store. But if you’re not worried about size or weight, compressible is the way to go.

Hybrid is a combination of the above two. Like inflatable pillows, it has an internal air bladder and like the comfortable compressible pillows, it has a padded outer layer. In some models, this outer layer is removable and can be washed while in others, it is integrated into the pillow itself. A hybrid pillow packs down smaller than compressible pillows but is softer and more supportive than inflatable ones. It gives the softness of foam and also the ability to adjust the firmness and size by blowing air into it. However, it is often too large and prone to leaks.

Benefits of Best Backpacking Pillow

A backpacking pillow can make a whole lot of difference to the quality of your sleep and trip. It is not a thing to compromise on and hence we suggest you to choose only the best for the sake of your well-being. It should be lightweight, compact, easy to clean and above all, it should be comfortable.

Now, comfort is a personal aspect and what’s comfortable for you might not be very comfortable for another person. You need to consider your favorite sleep position and the nature of your trip for this. For example, some models are designed for side sleepers while some are more comfortable for back sleepers.

If you sleep on your belly, thin pillows work best whereas if you sleep on your sides, thick pads are ideal. Also, bigger people need slightly bigger pillows for proper neck support. Similarly, a backpacking pillow with a ‘U’ shape that curls around the neck is comfortable for long-haul flights but not so comfortable for camping. For camping, the pillow should be light as well.

Thus, your sleeping style and purpose of travel will define the kind of pillow you need. Budget is another important consideration but in any case, do not go for low-end models that are usually slippery, stiff and non-durable. The best backpacking pillow will last long enough that you can pass it down to your kids.

Downsides of Backpacking Pillows

If a pillow isn’t big enough to support your head or if it doesn’t stay in place while you sleep, you won’t get much sleep or you may get a crick in your neck. Unfortunately, most small-sized backpacking pillows are slippery and they do not stay in place, especially if you roll back and forth while sleeping.

In contrast, the larger-sized pillows are more stable but not easy to store. Thus, talking of backpacking pillows, it is hard to find a good combination of compact size and comfort.

10. Compact Light Sleeping Bag with Detachable Pillowcase and Free Inflatable Pillow. Suitable For Up to 6ft 2in Adult, Great Christmas gift for Camping, Holidays, Backpacking, Sleepovers

This is a nice pack of an inflatable pillow, a detachable pillowcase and an orange-colored sleeping bag with grey cotton lining. All items are made of breathable, water resistant nylon fabric and collectively weigh around 26.45 oz.

The sleeping bag has a high visibility, double-sided zipper using which you can unzip it completely for use as blanket or you can also zip two sleeping bags together to make a double. It has an internal pocket where you can keep your valuables easily accessible and safe.

It expands so big that it can fit up to a 6ft 2in adult and compresses down to 11 inches (size of a small flask) for easy carrying and storage. The bag is warm and maintains a temperature of around 50°F which is pretty comfortable. Overall, it is an economical three-in-one pack that serves its purpose well.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Detachable pillowcase
  • Machine washable
  • Three-in-one pack
  • Low price

Cons:

  • It’s a bit slippery due to the fabric used.

 

9. Camping Pillow / Inflatable Air Pillow– 20in x 12in, 10.5oz, Self Inflating, Compressible– Best for Outdoor Trips, Backpacking, Hiking, Beach, Travel, Motorcycle, Car — By ONWEGO

This is a high quality air pillow having the perfect blend of support and comfort. It is soft and slip-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it sliding out from your neck and causing your head to bang against the ground at night. Since the cover is made of vinyl, it is water-proof and does not let in any moisture.

It doesn’t absorb humidity or sweat, so there’s no damp or sticky feeling. Vinyl is also easy to clean, so only some detergent and sponge is enough to wipe the dirt off your pillow. The surface is contoured to support the head and offer just the proper level of neck support.

Since the pillow is self inflating, it takes away the stress of having to blow it up manually. To fill it, you just have to open the safety lock air valve and it’ll inflate on its own. To deflate it or adjust its thickness, just open the valve and drive the extra air out. It is that simple!

The pillow measures 5.5 x 6 inches when deflated and 20 x 12 inches when fully blown up. Weighing 10.5 oz, it is almost as light as a softball. It comes in 7 different colors (green, black, blue, orange, red and a digital camouflage), so you can choose the one you like. It is a durable and versatile backpacking pillow that can be used for a wide variety of outdoor trips.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • 7 color options
  • Waterproof and slip resistant

Cons:

  • The fabric is not breathable.

8. TrekologyUltralight Inflating Travel / Camping Pillows – Compressible, Compact, Inflatable, Comfortable, Ergonomic Pillow for Neck & Lumbar Support and a Good Night Sleep while Camp, Backpacking

This is an easy to pack inflatable pillow made of high quality polyester and TPU fabrics which are waterproof and very durable. Unlike most other inflatable pillows which give a crinkling sound, this one does not. Measuring 16 x 12 x 4 inches when fully inflated, it is smaller than most other models.

It doesn’t take much space and folds to a size as tiny as 5 x 2 inches. Also, it is super light (2.75 oz). With its double-decked air valve, inflating and deflating is quick and easy. It takes just about five blows and less than 30 seconds to inflate and there is no air leakage thereafter. It comes in 6 color options (blue, deep blue, brown, green, orange & pink) and all look splendid.

Bottom of Form It isn’t the most comfortable backpacking pillow out there but definitely offers great head and neck support. It has a slip resistant, durable bottom and a fairly soft top.

It is contoured around the head region and has extra inter-layers for increased cushioning and durability. It’s a solid, built to last product. It also comes with a one-month warranty and most users seem to be happy with this purchase.

Pros:

  • Ultra light and super compact
  • Double-decked valve
  • Waterproof and slip resistant
  • 6 color options
  • One-month warranty

Cons:

  • It does not provide the utmost comfort.

7. Inflatable Camping Pillow – the Ultralight OutSmart Camp Pillows Provide Comfortable Sleeping when Traveling, Backpacking or Camping while Packing Light – 2.75 oz

This stylish teal green camping pillow from OutSmart can be a great addition to your backpacking gear for when you wish to travel light. Weighing 2.75 oz, it is super light and packable.

It is made of polyester and has an elastic TPU coating that renders the pillow resistance to punctures and superior grip. The material is slip-resistant, soft and durable. It expands up to 17.3 x 13 x 5.1 inches and compresses to a small size of 5 x 2.35 x 2.35 inches.

It takes less space than a soda can and you can easily carry it wherever you go. Thanks to its two-way valve, inflating and deflating are also easy and quick. It quickly gets inflated with just 2-3 puffs and deflates almost instantly. Another good thing is that there is no air leakage and the pillow maintains its shape over time.

It has an ergonomic design and supports your head well while keeping it in place. The size, shape and thickness are just right, ensuring good comfort for back, side and stomach sleepers.

It is a high quality product with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and a 90 day 100% money back guarantee if the buyer is not satisfied. This makes it a great deal, so go ahead and buy with confidence.

Pros:

  • Ultra light and super compact
  • Double-decked valve
  • Waterproof and slip resistant
  • Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
  • 90-day 100% money back guarantee

Cons:

  • It does not provide the utmost comfort.

6. Inflatable Camping Pillow, Vive Comb NaturehikeUltralight Compact Inflatable air pillow-Best for Outdoor Travel, Hiking, Backpacking, Train, Office, Easy Carry On

This is the lowest cost option on our list. If you are on a limited budget, probably this is the best backpacking pillow for you. It inflates up to 17.1 x 12.6 x 4.5 inches and compresses down to 2.1 x 2.1 x 4.1 inches, making it super compact and easy to store. Weighing 2.8 oz, it is light as well.

With its double-decked valve, it inflates and deflates within a matter of seconds, requiring you to make almost no effort. Of course, you can adjust the firmness according to your preference and the pillow will maintain its shape. Made of polyester and TPU, it has a soft feel and is easy to wash.

The material is elastic, breathable as well as water and wrinkle resistant, thus it doesn’t crack with folding. You can use it for outdoor activities or even as a lumbar support for your sofa or office chair.

It is highly durable and ergonomically designed. The two wide grooves in the pillow center support your head, keeping it steady in place and preventing it from sliding to the sides. Like all Vive Comb products, it comes with an 18-month warranty and even their customer service is very good.

Pros:

  • Ultra light and super compact
  • Double-decked valve
  • Water, wrinkle and slip resistant
  • 18-month warranty
  • Low cost

Cons:

  • It does not provide the utmost comfort.

5. REDCAMP Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad with Attached Pillow, Compact Lightweight Camping Air Mattress with Quick Flow Value, Blue 77″x26″x1.2-2″

This is a self-inflating sleeping pad with an attached pillow and can be even connected to multiple pads if you want to create a larger sleeping area. This is especially useful for couples who have a large tent and want to ensure they have satisfactory sleeping arrangements.

The shell is made of 75D polyester pongee coated PVC which is waterproof and slip-resistant. It is filled with high density, open-cell foam and feels soft and cozy. Measuring 77 x 26 x 2 inches, it is 5” longer and 6” wider than most pads.

It is large enough for a 6’ adult sleeper and all sleeping styles. Thanks to its diamond chamber design, there is no heat loss and the pad maintains its shape. Since it is self-inflating through its free-flow and non-leak brass valve, you do not need to carry a pump for inflation. It takes only about 10 minutes to be fully inflated.

Though it comes with a built-in pillow that cannot be detached, the pillow can be inflated separately. When packed, it measures 14.2 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches and weighs 4.2 pounds. It comes in beautiful shades of green and blue and is great for both indoor and outdoor use.

It comes with a 365-day manufacturer warranty and a 100% money back guarantee as well. If you do not like the pad, your money will be refunded. Overall, this is a reliable and reasonably priced product.

Pros:

  • Diamond chamber design
  • Waterproof and slip resistant
  • 2 color options
  • Includes a repair kit
  • 365-day manufacturer warranty
  • 100% money back guarantee

Cons:

  • The pillow cannot be detached to be used separately.

4. LivBright Lightweight Sleeping Pad for Camping, Backpacking, Hiking – Ultralight and Compact Inflatable Air Mattress Pads – Thick and Durable Design with Built-in Pillow for Indoor and Outdoor Use

LivBright Lightweight Sleeping Pad is a well-cushioned, contoured pad with an attached pillow.

It expands up to 74.8 x 24.4 x 3.5 inches and compresses down to 10.5 x 4.5 x 3.5 inches when packed. It is large enough for people who sleep on their sides, back or stomach. Weighing around 22.08oz, it is much lighter than most self-inflating pads or traditional air mattress pads.

This makes it a great option for campers who want to keep their backpack as light as possible. Although it is ultra-light and compact, it is thick enough to keep the shoulders and hips off the ground.

It has superior cushioning and support for maximum comfort. Unlike most cheap sleeping pads, it does not lose air over time and maintains its shape. Since it is made of 20D nylon and TPU fabric, it is waterproof, weatherproof and durable as well.

This is a wonderful product from LivBright with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1-year free replacement warranty, so 100% satisfaction is guaranteed. Moreover, a portion of each sale is donated to charity to protect rainforest land, enabling the buyers too to contribute to a noble cause.

Pros:

  • Lighter than most pads
  • Waterproof and slip resistant
  • Includes a repair kit
  • 1-year free replacement warranty
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Contribution to charity

Cons:

  • The pillow cannot be detached to be used separately.

3. Hikenture Backpack Sleeping Pad | Lightweight Camping Sleeping Bag Pad | Ultralight& Compact & Inflatable Air Mattress Pad-Insulated Air Mat | For Camp,Backpacking,Hiking,Scouts,Travel

The Hikenture Backpack Sleeping pad has a comfy top, smooth air flow pattern and air cell design which makes it extremely comfortable to lie on. Made of 20D Nylon fabric and insulating TPU coated inside, it is extremely durable and noiseless. It expands up to 73.6 x 22 x 2.2 inches and folds to 10 x 3.2 inches which is almost the size of a small water bottle.

Weighing 17 oz, it is also very light to carry around. It comes in a lovely pouch with a drawstring for extra safety and easy carrying. Inflation and deflation are hassle free and quick. It takes only 10 to 15 breaths to inflate it fully.

It has thick air cells which limit air movement and the valve is also carefully designed to lock air inside. As there is no air leaking, the pad retains its shape over night and provides full body support, ensuring that you do not have to wake up with body aches.

With R-value (thermal resistance) of 1.3, it has a superior insulating performance and keeps you comfy and cozy for much longer. There are two color options (green and blue), so you can choose the one you like.

This ergonomic sleeping pad comes with an attached pillow and is extremely multipurpose and useful for all. Also, it is backed by an unconditional 1-year warranty and a 100% money back guarantee policy.

Pros:

  • Superior insulating performance
  • Waterproof and slip resistant
  • 2 color options
  • 1-year warranty
  • 100% money back guarantee

Cons:

  • The pillow cannot be detached to be used separately.

2. Sleeping Pad For Camping lightweight Inflatable For Backpacking by Perfect Comfort – BONUS Pillow & Headlamp Flashlight, Torchlight – Best For Sleeping Bags, Hammocks, Thermarest

It’s a complete set with sleeping mat, pillow and headlamp torchlight, giving everything that one needs while exploring deep wilderness. The mat measures 72 x 23 x 2.5 inches and the pillow measures 19 x 12.5 x 5 inches when fully inflated. The pillow is not attached to the mat and can be used separately.

In just 8-14 breaths, you can have a comfortable sleeping pad that is waterproof and slip-resistant. Thanks to its innovative air cell design, it adjusts well to user’s body shape without deflating and stays warm over night.

This ensures home-like comfort and support for travelers. Made with 75D woven polyester fabric, it is tear/rip resistant and very durable. The headlamp torchlight is fitted on an adjustable, elastic headband, so it’s always handy and useful.

It is a bit more expensive than other sleeping pads in market but it is a reliable product. It comes with a lifetime limited warranty and 30-day, 100% money back guarantee, so it’s a risk-free purchase. It is lightweight, compact and packed with proper supplies for your safety and comfort.

Pros:

  • Superior insulating performance
  • Water, slip and tear resistant
  • Includes a headlamp torchlight
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • 30-day, 100% money back guarantee

Cons:

  • It’s a bit more expensive than other sleeping pads.

1. Klymit Pillow X Inflatable Camp & Travel Pillow

The Klymit Pillow X is a super compact travel pillow measuring 15 x 11 x 4 inches when fully inflated and 4.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches (about the size of a lighter) without air. It weighs just 1.95 oz, so it’s really light. If you want an option that’s smallest and lightest, this is the best backpacking pillow for you.

The pillow is made of 4 triangular sections. These are divided by stitching but share the same inflation valve. Thus, the pillow inflates in sections and one triangle can be slightly more inflated than the others, which helps find that perfect elevated sweet spot for your neck and head.

This innovative self-centering design provides better support and ensures that the pillow does not slide away at night. It is easy to inflate and deflate, so the height and firmness can be quickly adjusted for customized comfort. The top of the pillow is made of soft 30D polyester while the bottom is made of 75D to resist abrasion and punctures.

The material used is very durable and not crinkly or noisy at all. It comes in 5 color options (red, teal, black, coyote-sand and dessert camouflage) but the coyote-sand one seems to be most popular. Moreover, it comes with a beautiful stuff sack and a lifetime warranty against damage or punctures. There is nothing more one could ask for!

Pros:

  • Ultra light and super compact
  • Advanced self-centering design
  • Waterproof, slip and tear resistant
  • Double-decked valve
  • 5 color options
  • Lifetime limited warranty

Cons:

  • High price, considering it does not include a sleeping pad.

Editors Choice of Best Backpacking Pillow

Our search for the best backpacking pillow ended with the Klymit Pillow X which is extremely compact, lightweight, durable and comfortable. It is the smallest and lightest pillow we have come across; it will undoubtedly fit anywhere.

Unlike other pillows which are compact but not very comfortable, this one has the right mix of everything. Unlike most backpacking pillows, it does not slip or make noise.

Users find it to be soft and with its innovative self-centering design, it may be the most technically advanced pillow ever developed. We rate it 9/10 and recommend it to our readers.

Have you tried any of these? Which one do you think is the best backpacking pillow? Share your views & experiences by leaving comments in the box below.

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