Just because you are away from home, it shouldn't mean that you have to compromise your comfort. Getting a good night's rest is essential when backpacking and your pillow can be highly influential on your quality of sleep.
For lighter packers, a pillow may not be the most essential item on their list, however, it is going to be greatly appreciated when it comes to sleeping on rough and uncomfortable surfaces.
We have browsed the market selecting our top five picks of the best backpacking pillows available.
If you would benefit from a little more guidance before making your purchase, we have compiled a handy buyer's guide with our top tips for choosing the best product.
Top 5 Best Backpacking Pillows
OUR TOP PICK
As an ultralight pillow, the Therm a Rest Compressible travel pillow is ideal for backpackers looking for both comfort and convenience.
With a soft foam filling, this pillow offers sufficient support to your back, neck, and shoulders while remaining easy to pack courtesy of its compact design.
Thanks to the brushed polyester exterior, this pillow is soft against your skin allowing you to sleep with greater comfort.
Impressively, this pillow is available in four different sizes from small to extra large which allows you to select the most appropriate size for your needs. Each pillow is 4 inches thick ultimately conforming to a sufficient height which will allow you to enjoy a comfortable night's sleep.
- Usefully, this pillow can be folded for easy packing.
- This is an affordable backpacking pillow that is ideal for individuals on a budget.
- This pillow is suitable for the washing machine and tumble dryer so it is easy to clean after use.
- Available in a range of colors, this is going to be a stylish addition to your backpacking gear.
- As a sufficiently stuffed pillow, you are likely to enjoy a comfortable sleep.
- Unfortunately, this pillow is a little bulky which may make it unsuitable for some backpackers.
Ergonomically designed, the TREKOLOGY Ultralight inflatable pillow has been designed to provide you with enhanced support for a comfortable night's sleep, regardless of the terrain that you find yourself sleeping on.
When folded, this pillow is only 5x2 inches in size so it is a lightweight and compact option that is ideal for traveling purposes. Designed with elastic TPU fabric, this is a durable pillow that is going to allow you to enjoy a comfortable sleep.
Courtesy of the anti-slip qualities there is greater friction between your pillow and sleeping mat which eliminates the risk of your pillow slipping as you attempt to sleep.
Inflating the pillow is a straightforward process, simply requiring 3-5 breaths to do so. Impressively, it has also been designed with a deflate feature that releases the air inside within seconds.
- Great for use alongside air-inflated sleeping pads, the detachable latch will prevent your pillow from moving out of place.
- Durably designed, this pillow is going to withstand a range of outdoor conditions.
- Available in a range of colors, this is a stylish backpacking pillow.
- This pillow is easy to inflate and deflate when it is required.
- As a lightweight pillow, it is great for backpackers who don't want a heavy, space consuming pillow.
- Some may not find this pillow as comfortable as other available options.
If you are looking for a small pillow that isn't going to compromise on comfort, look no further than the TETON Sports camp pillow that is suitable for camping, backpacking, and road-tripping.
With a poly fiber filling, this pillow lofts up on its own without requiring inflating beforehand. Regardless of where you are sleeping, you are bound to enjoy a comfortable night's sleep courtesy of this pillow.
Not only is this pillow supper lightweight it also comes with a storage bag for safe storage in between uses and this is super convenient in allowing you to carry the bag easily if you should happen to struggle to get it into your main backpack.
Additionally, this pillow is designed with a removable case that comes in handy should it happen to get dirty. This allows for easy washing once you have finished using it.
- This pillow doesn't require inflating so it is always ready for use in a short amount of time.
- When not in use, this pillow can easily be packed for convenient transportation.
- Retailing at a relatively affordable price, this is ideal for individuals on a budget.
- It is easy to maintain a clean pillow as the case can be removed after use.
- With multiple colors available you can select the pillow that caters to your preference.
- These pillows are a little small so some people may find them uncomfortable.
Designed to cradle your neck for enhanced comfort, this synthetically filled pillow by Sea to Summit cradles your head so you can enjoy a good quality night's sleep regardless of the position that you sleep in.
Finished with brushed 50D polyester and TPU bladder, this is a breathable pillow that allows for effective air circulation so you can sleep without a build up of perspiration in warmer climates.
Courtesy of the multifunctional valve, this pillow can be easily inflated and deflated within seconds allowing for fast and efficient set up. Available in two different sizes, you can select the pillow that is best suited to your needs. Both are lightweight so they are easy to transport when they aren’t in use.
- This pillow is rather thick providing a sufficient surface for a comfortable night's sleep.
- Thanks to the multifunctional valve this pillow is easy to inflate and deflate.
- The curved contoured design cradles your head for enhanced comfort.
- Durably designed, this pillow can withstand the harsh conditions that it is likely to endure when used outdoors.
- This pillow is small in size which makes it easier to transport when it isn't in use.
- This pillow retails with a hefty price tag potentially making it an unsuitable option for those who are on a budget.
The Klymit Travel Pillow is supportive, lightweight, and durable, remaining comfortable enough so that you can sleep well regardless of the terrain that you find yourself sleeping on.
Uniquely designed, this pillow isX shaped with a self-centering design. Ultimately this attracts your head to the center of the pillow providing sufficient support as you sleep.
As a pillow that requires inflating you can easily alter the depth and height by inserting more or releasing the air as and when it is required. This is also applicable to the pressure and you can cater this to suit your preferences as you sleep.
Impressively, this pillow is super lightweight too, and can be folded down to half its size for convenient storage when it is not in use. If you are a traveler who prefers to pack lightly, this pillow is an excellent choice for you.
- Backed with a lifetime warranty, there is help available should you experience any issues with this pillow.
- Available in a range of colors you can select the pillow that suits your preference.
- The X design helps your head to remain centered on the pillow for enhanced comfort.
- Durably designed this pillow is resistant to tears, punctures, and abrasion.
- Courtesy of its lightweight design, it is easy to transport in between uses.
- Some users may find this pillow to be a little rigid and uncomfortable.
Best Backpacking Pillows Buying Guide
Before investing in your backpacking pillow, several factors need to be considered from the type of pillow to the quality and comfort that it is going to provide.
Below, we have outlined some of our top tips for selecting the best backpacking pillow that is going to accommodate your sleeping requirements.
Type of pillow
There are three main types of backpacking pillows available. The first is an inflatable pillow which requires inflation via a pump or you can do it yourself.
A great thing about an inflatable pillow is that you cater the amount of air to suit your comfort preferences and they are also very compact. A slight issue with a pillow of this kind is their tendencies to slip around depending on the surface that they are used on.
A compressible pillow is one that is filled with soft foam or synthetic fibers, sometimes it may be a combination of both. Due to their firmer filling, a pillow of this kind is considered to be much comfier, however, they can be a little bulky.
A hybrid pillow essentially combines the qualities of both an inflatable and compressible pillow into one. Hybrid pillows are designed with soft tops for greater comfort and inflatable bottoms for enhanced support.
You may require a different sized pillow depending on your sleep preferences.
Some may need greater support from their pillow than others. Backpacking pillows are of course intended to be smaller in size so it is beneficial to consider a contoured shaped pillow if the size is going to be an issue.
A contoured pillow is designed with a curve that adapts to the shape of your head, neck, and shoulders, some may feel that they provide greater comfort than a standard square-shaped pillow.
Having a comfortable pillow is essential, when embarking on your backpacking adventures you can't afford to lose sleep. A poorly designed pillow can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep.
The fabric is going to be influential on the overall comfort. Softer fabrics are preferential as they aren't so harsh against your skin.
The quality of the pillow is often a reflection of its price and the materials that it is made from. Not only can a good quality pillow improve your sleep, but it can also prevent the development of any unwanted neck or back pains which is crucial when it comes to backpacking and activities where you are likely to spend prolonged periods traveling on foot.
It is also worth opting for a durable pillow that is tear and puncture-resistant. When backpacking the surfaces that you are likely to be sleeping on can sometimes be unknown and there is the potential risk of damage occurring to your pillow. One that possesses the above qualities is unlikely to become damaged when subject to these conditions.
Of course, the aim with backpacking is to carry as little as possible, you don't want to be adding unnecessary weight that is going to make it difficult to carry around.
It's generally worth adding that little bit more weight when it comes to sleep accessories, as your quality of sleep is important. Most backpacking pillows that have been designed for this purpose are constructed with this concern in mind, hence why they tend to be particularly lightweight.
Backpacking pillows can retail at varying prices, some appearing to be more heftily priced than others.
While the price can often be considered to be a reflection of the comfort and quality of the pillow, there are still some affordable options available that are just as good in quality, ideal for those who are on tighter budgets.
Although this may not be important to some individuals, for others, the color and design are often influential in the product that they choose.
Many brands offer backpacking pillows in a range of colors and designs so you can select the pillow that is going to compliment your backpacking equipment and taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a pillow for backpacking?
While some may not require the use of a pillow, it is worth bringing a small pillow from home or a camping/backpacking pillow on your travels, so that you have one available should you require it.
They tend to be relatively lightweight so they aren't going to consume a huge amount of space inside your backpack.