Best Backpacking Pillows

by Rishabh Goria | Last Updated: July 1, 2020

this is our first review of cavingo and in this, we will review Best Backpacking Pillows

If you are traveling somewhere or if you are going for hiking or camping or backpacking then for sure you will stay or camp at someplace to get some good sleep in the night and then continue your trek the next day and to get a good sleep proper rest is needed and for that, you need a pillow for your head to rest on and get better support.

Backpacking pillows are very much necessary as they have all the things needed and they are made up in such a way that you do not experience any issues while sleeping on uneven surfaces.

In this article we will explain why you need backpacking pillows, what are the types of pillows,

what factors are compulsory while buying a backpacking pillow, and the best backpacking pillows present in the market so that you can get one for yourself if you are traveling to some destinations.

Best Pillows for Backpacking

The most important thing about a pillow is that it must be comfortable and soft as well if you sleep on a hard pillow which is uncomfortable there are very fewer chances of you falling asleep and you might also have neck problems as well,

and when you are traveling somewhere and camping as well, there may be uneven surfaces where you may set your camp, so having a soft pillow adds a slight advantage here.

1. Nemo File Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Nemo File Inflatable Travel Pillow

Nemo File pillows give you that advantage as well. Being only 260 grams, it might be slightly heavy to carry and move around but is super comfortable. Backpackers would not find it easy to carry around with them

but if you want a good sleep and happy sleep you can easily get this, and it is not too costly as well. It is covered using the cotton-polyester jersey fabric which gives premium feels of the pillow.

The pillow can be divided into two sides the bottom side which is inflatable and the top side which is the support site for your head.

For washing the pillow cover, you can remove the cover and wash it in the machine, handwashing is not specifically required.

It is a great choice for you if your comfort is a must and a great choice for people who are traveling or camping or biking.

Being an inflatable pillow, you can fill in the exact amount of air you need, not much nor less and it is great for both front and back side sleepers. The inflatable chamber is totally covered with foam which makes it softer, than the other pillows.

  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to fill in air and use.
  • Very smooth and the best one in this price range.
  • It is perfect for road trips and planes.
  • The interior foam is removable.
  • It is heavy for taking it with you for mountaineering, but if you prefer comfort overweight then this is the best.
  • There can be minor crinkling noise out of the pillow.
  • Some might find it too hard.

2. Therm-a-Rest Backpacking pillow

If you want a pillow to sleep on in any condition whether with your clothes on or on uneven surfaces, then therm-a-rest is the best option to choose.

It is a trekking and compressible pillow so perfect if you are going to a trek. Comparing to the inflated pillows which most of people find hard to sleep on this compressed pillow is the one if you are not impressed by the inflated pillows.

Therm-a-rest is a convenient and inexpensive pillow and gives superb results upon daily use.

This pillow is made up of brushed polyester and with the soft urethane foam filling the pillow,

it is just super comfortable and the best thing about the pillow is that it is even available in different sizes so people who prefer bigger pillows can get a bigger sized one and enjoy a very comfortable sleep.

As it is not an inflated pillow you are assured that it would pop.

The simple thing you need to understand here is a pillow is soft when you insert soft materials into it and stuff it in a perfect manner,

the same thing follows here, the pillow is made up of soft materials that in turn make the pillow soft and it is very comfortable for someone who have trekked the whole day and he can have a peaceful and comfortable sleep.

You can wash it when you buy and then use it for maximum fluff.

  • Convenient and inexpensive.
  • Very comfortable
  • It is stylish.
  • It is slightly heavier than other pillows in the same price


The name itself suggests that you can use this pillow anywhere from seas to planes and irrespective of the location it is super comfortable and super easy to use.

You can also take it on a multi-adventure trip and irrespective of the location or the temperature it is a great thing to have.

The regular size is recommended to all the backpackers, as it is super lightweight and the comfort with which you can pack it in any bag is unimaginable.

It comes with a brushed polyester cover and a very comfortable material even in sweaty and damp conditions as well.

When it comes to washing the pillow, you can hand wash it and dry it and it will still be comfortable to use.

The Aero’s premium has a multi-functional valve for inflation/deflation, and it works very well and allows you to inflate the pillow in just two breaths and then deflate it a second.

The valve helps you to put in the correct amount of air pressure required. So, if you are someone who would like to sleep sideways and have broad shoulders then the large size pillow would be better for you.

And if you are a front or back sleeper then you can get the regular-sized pillow and it would be perfect for you, as most of the backpackers find a regular size one comfortable.

But if you are a stomach sleeper then this might not be the right pillow for you. It also has a thin layer of synthetic fill on top, which helps you to breath properly and give you comfort.

  • It is made up of 50D polyester which is super soft and durable.
  • The curved internal baffles comfort your head and help to sleep in the best position.
  • It has a multi-functional valve.
  • Bit pricey for someone looking for a cheap option.
  • Might have been somewhat easier to use.

4. Cocoon Air Core Travel Pillow

It is an inflatable pillow with thin polyester fill between the air bladder and pillow so that this polyester fills fives you smooth and comfortable sleep whenever you jump on the pillow.

It is very similar in design with the sea to summit aero premium and almost have same dimensions and weight as the sea to summit aero premium pillows.

While the sides of the pillow are arc shaped and cradle’s your shoulders and head it is mostly rectangular.

The pillow cover is made up of ripstop nylon which is slightly slippery and not completely comfortable when compared to the cover as in sea to summit aero premium pillow.

  • It is inflatable.
  • It is very comfortable.
  • It can fold down to small size too and has a twist cap mechanism to adjust the pillow accordingly.
  • Slightly lesser fabric and shape

5. Trekology Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Trekology inflatable is already a loved product and many customers just love the colors and design of the pillow,

and this is an extended version of the product. It is completely durable and is water-resistant with elastic TPU fabric.

The inflation and deflation of this pillow is very easy and can be inflated in 3 to 5 breaths by clicking a single button and you can also deflate it using the button and it is done within no time.

You can also adjust the firmness according to your sleep preferences.

The slip-resistant design of the pillow doesn’t allow you to slip of during sleep and prevents your head from moving around so that you also do not experience any neck problems.

This also pairs well with your inflatable sleeping pads. It is very comfortable if you are front, back, and side sleeper because of the ergonomic design and the neck support while traveling.

  • It is long-lasting product.
  • It is durable and thick, which helps it to be strong.
  • It is very light compared to other products.
  • It is available in three different colours.
  • Do not worry about the price of the product it is super affordable.
  • It might be very difficult to find perfect fullness for the pillow.


Portable and easy to carry:

                                               When you get a pillow the main intention behind it is that it is lightweight and very easy to carry because while camping or hiking or trekking you need to move up and at that time it would be very easy for you if you have less weight on your back.

This means you need a pillow that is lightweight and easy to fold so that you can pack it in your bag and move along. That’s why we get backpacking pillows because they are super light and can be carried anywhere.

Cheap and very easy to use:

                                                 They are very easy to use and the covers are very easy to clean too. Adding another feature, they are also cheap compared to our normal pillows and very much affordable. So, if you are planning to get one you can for sure.

Different colours:

                                  There are many colours which make your pillow attractive and the designs look super cool. So that you can get the feels while sleeping and these covers are also made using perfect fabrics which makes it super smooth from exteriors and helps you sleep better.


                       After a whole day of hiking or camping, you need a good sleep and without a pillow your head wont is stable and you might get neck pains when you get up if you have slept on bags or your clothes. So the main idea behind the pillows is to provide comfort to hikers, campers, backpackers so that they can enjoy their sleep and have sweet dreams.


1. Inflatable pillows:

Inflatable pillows are the lightest and the most comfortable pillows and very easy to carry. They adjust to your firmness and as they are filled with air, they are not durable and do not have much support option when compared to others.


  1. They are ultralight
  2. They can be packed, and you can carry them with you anywhere.
  3. They are very compact and easy to clean.
  4. You can also adjust the thickness of the pillows by filling it appropriate air into it.


2. Compressible Pillows:


  1. They are most comfortable and super smooth.
  2. They are light when compared to other pillows.
  3. They are firmer and can be made more firm according to our sleeping choice.


  1. They are expensive.
  2. They are not easy to clean.
  3. You might not like them if you are using them during road trip or backpacking or hiking.

3. Hybrid Compressible pillows:

If you want the features of both compressible pillows and inflatable pillows then you can go for hybrid compressible pillows.


  1. They are perfect for backpacking.
  2. They have beautiful designs.
  3. They are portable and can be carried anywhere.


  1. They are premium.

Pillowcases and convertible stuff sacks: These aren’t really pillows but are sacks such that you can stuff your clothes in it, and they have the soft face fabric which makes them lightweight and can be packed very easily. This might be not effective in winters as you put all your clothes on there is no stuff to put it in these sacks.

Backpacking Pillow ( buying Guide )

1. Comfort

Comfort is the most important factor for any backpacker. And comfort while sleeping is of utmost importance because without the comfort you can’t sleep and at the back of your head you will be thinking about having a good pillow.

So, while buying a pillow always keep in mind that the pillow you need to choose is very comfortable. The most comfortable pillow has factors such as filling, type, shape, and structure of the pillow.

Also explaining the fact most ergonomically shaped pillows conform to the shape of your neck and back to provide more support which is because of the proper filling and the structure and also due to the even distribution of pressure and irrespective of the surface where the pillow is placed.

2. Material or Fabric

You need to understand what materials are present in the pillow, and what fabrics are used inside and outside the pillow so that you can understand

which material is softer and which provides more flexibility to bring close to your head and which pillow is perfect for outdoors/indoors.

These materials are important to shape your neck, back and you can also check whether the pillow has memory foam or not which provides more comfort to your neck and shoulders.

You can also get cooling bamboo if your think temperature is important, or you can get brushed polyester for getting more durable pillows.

3. Support

Another most important fact that you need to consider while buying the pillow is that you need to check whether the pillow provides perfect support to your neck

because while backpacking you would not be happy if you wake up with pain in your neck.

Also, many people might slip off during sleeping so you need to check whether the pillow slips off your head or not, whether it provides proper support to your head and your neck and shoulders do not get hard and mostly for side sleepers.

4. Weight and size

Weight and size are the two important things you need to consider while buying the pillows.

Because weight matters the most, as mentioned in the why you need backpacking pillows while traveling you need to keep the weight as less as possible,

so while buying the pillow you need to take care that the weight of the pillows is less and also the fact that choosing the size of the pillow that you need and you find perfect according to your body.

If you are someone who sleeps sideways and has broad shoulders then you need a large sized pillow, or if you sleep front or backside then you need to get regular sized pillows.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do the inflating pillows self-inflate?

    Ans: This is a good question actually, you can check the manufacturers instruction manual to understand the fact and also get more idea about the pillow whether it is inflatable using air pump or by blowing air into it.

  • Can I wash the backpacking pillows in machine?

    Ans: This also depends on the brands of the pillow you are using, most of them can be washed in machine, but some of them needs to be hand washed but check if it is inflatable pillows because they might not be machine washable.

  • What are the most important factors required while buying a backpacking pillow?

    Ans: You can refer the buying guide session for this, but the two most important factors required are inflation type and the weight of the pillow.
    The inflation type may be air pump or manually, many people prefer air pump but you need to carry an air pump or an electrical inflator which would blow air into the machine, and for backpacking especially you need to get pillow which is light weight because it would be easy to carry and sleep on to. Also, light weight pillows are more comfortable then the other pillows.

  • What is hybrid backpacking pillow and why do we you them?

    Ans: If you want a combination of inflatable pillow and compressible pillow, then it is called as hybrid backpacking. This means the top of the pillow is compressible and the bottom of the pillow is inflatable. Many people also find it more comfortable then other pillows, but they can be heavy when compared to normal pillows.


Hope you have gone through the whole article and read all about the types of pillows, the most used pillows by users, the buying guide and also cleared some doubts at the pillows in FAQs, hope you liked everything, so if you are going to buy the pillow you can check the list and get one for yourself. Or you can also check the buying guide and concentrate on the features that must be there in the pillows and then go to some offline stores and get them for yourself. Do share your experience with you so that we could improve if we lacked somewhere. Happy journey.