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10 Best Backpacking Pillows in 2020

Life is full of adventures, but for many of us, we find ourselves seeking even more. Whether by ourselves, with family, friends, or just people we meet along the way, we find ourselves trudging off the beaten path in search of new experiences and eye-opening encounters with nature. We will often find ourselves camping out in tents or under the stars. However, no matter where we decide to make our beds, the problem we are often faced with is either an uncomfortable pillow or, sometimes, no pillow at all.

That’s why, no matter if you’re a seasoned traveler, a backpacker, or you just love to go camping with your family in the summer, it’s wise to invest in a good backpacking or travel pillow. This will make sure you can complete your adventure in comfort. We’re here to help you decide which is the best backpacking pillow for you and to guide you on the way to traveling comfort, and a really good night’s sleep.

View The Best Backpacking Pillow Below

1. TETON Sports Camp Pillow

TETON Sports Camp Pillow

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This backpacking pillow from Teton may be small, but it gives a lot of comfort for its size. It’s an extra soft pillow that provides great neck support for lots of situations, be it backpacking, car camping while road tripping, or camping in a tent. It’s designed to be taken anywhere you need, and is easily washable with a separate pillow case. This pillow doesn’t need to be inflated, meaning you can take it out anywhere and quickly set yourself up for a power nap or a good night’s sleep with no effort required.

It’s the perfect size for travel and fits snugly in your backpack or suitcase. It’s perfect for matchy-matchy enthusiasts too, as the patterns all match one of the linings of a Teton sleeping bag for added style while you are traveling. When buying this travel size backpacking pillow, you’re not just prioritizing comfort, but you are ensuring you get Tetons customer care guarantee, which means they will be there to get you back outdoors and on the road, no matter what time it is or where you are. This makes for the best camping pillow.

Pros:
+Perfect size pillows, which are great for backpacking
+Perfect comfort to practicality ratio, as the pillows weigh in at only 7 oz!
+All pillows match the Teton sleeping bag patterns for stylish backpacking
+Really easy to wash due to the separate pillow case

Why We Like It – These are the definition of travel size pillows. They are high on comfort and small in size and weight. The pillow doesn’t need to be inflated, so you can pull it out and get straight to sleeping, no matter where you are. At 7 oz it’s a lightweight option too.


2. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow for camping and backpacking

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow for camping and backpacking

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This ultralight polyester backpacking pillow is a great size, and it comes in a large variety of stylish and fun patterns. It’s the best comfort companion to take out on the road for backpacking or traveling in cars, planes, and trains. It’s compressible and shrinks in size to fit into your backpack. Once taken out, it expands to a 4-inch thick pillow that provides great support and brilliant sleep. It’s lightweight too, given the material, at just 8 oz.

The brushed polyester cover is soft and provides amazing comfort. The interior is stuffed with lofty urethane that has been upcycled from a byproduct of Thermarest mattresses. This means it’s contributing to eco and sustainable production, as it’s limiting waste, perfect for planet conscious backpackers and travelers. The handy drawstring cord lock keeps the pillow compressed down and portable when not in use so that it will fit into any travel bag.

Pros:
+Compressible size for ease of travel, and barely noticeable in weight at only 8 oz
+Great support for the neck and head
+Made with recycled product
+Soft, washable, brushed polyester cover for great comfort

Why We Like It – This is a soft, 8 oz foam pillow that travels easily, is cleaned quickly, and comes in an array of eye-catching and funky colors. It’s perfect for any type of traveling on any kind of transport or in any situation. It’s a great weight too.


3. MARCHWAY Inflatable Camping Pillow

MARCHWAY Inflatable Camping Pillow

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This compact and ultralight air pillow packs down to a stuff sack that’s smaller than your palm, making it a great size to travel with. It’s made from a comfortable and durable polyester that’s elasticized, and the coating has been treated to be water-resistant and will remain soft. It won’t freeze, even in winter temperatures. It’s easily washed with soap and water, so it’s simple to keep hygienic and clean on the go. It’s versatile and is a great addition to your travel equipment.

The design of this ultralight pillow is ergonomic to fit around your anatomy for a really good night’s sleep with ultimate comfort and support. The contoured edge curves around your upper neck for better lumbar support in any sleeping position, so it’s great for side and back sleepers. The air core of the pillow is really quick to inflate and deflate as the valve allows you to inflate it in 3-5 breaths, using the two-way air in and air out system. The pillow can fully deflate in 2 seconds flat, making it perfect for fast and on the go power sleeping.

Pros:
+ Easy to keep clean and hygienic
+ Super light at 7 oz
+ One of the fastest inflating and deflating inflatable pillows around with a well-engineered air core
+ Perfect size to travel with when compressed into its stuff sack

Why We Like It – When compressed into the stuff sack, it’s smaller than your hand, so it’s a convenient size. It inflates with a small amount of air, and it’s perfect for side sleepers and back sleepers due to it’s contoured and engineered anatomical and ergonomic design


4. Rest-A-Camp Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

Rest-A-Camp Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

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This lightweight backpacking air pillow is only 4 oz in weight, so it can come with you everywhere you go. It’s tiny when deflated at only 5 inches, but inflates to a respectable 15 x 12 inches for a comfortable sleep. This air pillow folds down efficiently and then packs away in a tiny stuff sack for even more convenience on the go. It comes in a large range of exciting and eye-catching colors, so you will be able to find a style you like.

It’s easily washed down with a sanitizing wipe for hygiene and cleanliness, so you can clean no matter where you are in the world. (Remember to dispose of any wipes responsibly.) The cover is machine washable. The ergonomic design supports back and side sleepers and provides exceptional comfort and superior head and neck support for lumbar steadiness and amazing relaxation. The fabric layer is 100% cotton, so it’s friendly to skin and will keep you cool all night.

Pros:
+Provides excellent neck and lumbar support
+Really lightweight, coming in at only 4 oz, so it travels easily with you anywhere you go.
+100% cotton cover for skin comfort and coolness in hot climates
+Fast to inflate and deflate – one of the best pillows for survival use

Why We Like It – This is a convenient pillow as it’s so fast to inflate. It provides a comfy sleeping position for your neck and head and supports your breathing when lying down. despite how light the weight is. The cotton cover is amazing too, as it keeps you cool, even in hot weather.


5. RikkiTikki Camping and backpacking inflatable Pillow

RikkiTikki Camping and backpacking inflatable Pillow

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This compact backpacking pillow travels light and small. It’s been designed to be as well balanced as possible, providing even distribution of air and weight, increasing the comfort levels even more. It’s a good size at 15 x 12, which is more than adequate to provide a sound sleep no matter where you are, be it in your sleeping bag, hotel, a vehicle while car camping, or traveling on public transport. It’s reliable and won’t sink as the valve won’t let air escape. It’s one of the best backpacking pillows for the longevity of use, as it won’t go down overnight.

It inflates in 2-5 breaths so it’s quick to set up on the go, and compresses down to a tiny size, no bigger than a soda can. It’s multifunctional too, as when you’re back at home, you can easily use it as a back pillow or cushion for your office chair. The pillow comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you can sleep soundly knowing you are covered for any defects with the 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Pros:
+ Compressible – pillows fit in a small stuff sack so you can fit it neatly into your backpack
+ Multifunctional – use it while you’re back home too, for comfort at home or in the office
+ The air tight valve will not let air escape the pillow overnight
+ Quality and satisfaction guarantee with the company for all backpacking pillows. You can return or refund if there are issues

Why We Like It – This is a versatile backpacking pillow that will set you up for a great sleep no matter where you are. It’s one of the best camping pillows for ease of use and gives you great support every time you need to sleep on it


6. WELLAX Ultralight Camping Pillow

WELLAX Ultralight Camping Pillow

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Wellax has re-engineered their winning backpacking pillows to create this well designed and improved ergonomic travel pillow. It has been specially designed for durability, ergonomic sleeping support, and efficiency that will suit and support back, stomach, and side sleepers alike. It’s efficient and adjustable, inflates and deflates in seconds, and fits down into a small stuff sack that can placed in your pocket for easy and fast access. That makes it perfect for taking with you when you’re traveling light weight.

The inflation is effortless, and the two-way valve is designed not to release air unless squeezed specifically so that it won’t deflate or sag during the night. The back is made from slip-resistant material so it won’t slide or move around against the surface you’re sleeping on. This is especially useful for sleeping against transport windows on buses or trains. Included with the pillow is an eye mask that’s made of silky material for coolness and comfort. There’s also a stuff sack to pack your new pillow down into when not in use.

Pros:
+ Non slip back will stop it moving around against the inside your sleeping bag
+ Really light weight so can fit easily in your hand luggage
+ Non-release two-way air valve to prevent deflation
+ Includes useful travel accessories to help you get even better quality sleep

Why We Like It – This is a well-designed travel and hiking pillow that can fit into a really small space. The non-slip back is an innovative feature that will help you stay comfy and still all night long, while the valves make sure your head doesn’t end up on the floor come the morning.


7. REDCAMP Camping Pillow

REDCAMP Camping Pillow

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This travel pillow is soft and is one of the best for luxurious feeling materials with its flannel pillow case, and hollow fiber, super soft stuffing. You are guaranteed to have a peaceful and restful night’s sleep with this great little pillow while maintaining fantastic support and position for your spine and neck. It’s light too, at less than 1lb, so you can take it just about anywhere you need to: on transport, car camping, hiking, backpacking and commuting.

The fabric is designed to be a 100% match for at least one sleeping bag from the same company. This means you’ll not only be comfy, but you’ll be stylish too. The pillow is easy to clean, as the pillow case is removable and machine washable. The product comes with a stuff sack to keep the pillow clean. Redcamp also offers a 100% money-back guarantee should you not be satisfied with the quality of their product, but we doubt you’ll need it as it’s one of the most successful camping pillow brands available.

Pros:
+ Matching sets available for each of the colors the pillows are sold in
+ Redcamp pillows come with an amazing satisfaction guarantee
+ Easy to clean with a removable outer layer and carry bag
+ Superior materials, and some of the best feeling construction on the market

Why We Like It – This stylish and comfortable travel pillow is made by a trustworthy brand that makes some of the best pillows around. It’s low in weight, durable, and offers amazing support. It’s not air-filled, so it doesn’t require any preparation, just grab and go! For a nap…


8. TREKOLOGY Camping Travel Lumbar Ultralight Pillow

TREKOLOGY Camping Travel Lumbar Ultralight Pillow

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This travel pillow has been specially designed for lumbar and head support. It provides one of the smartest ergonomic designs on the market and lives up to being one of the best pillows available for camping and hiking. It’s lighter than a beer bottle and can be carried in your backpack, day bag, luggage, or pocket for immediate access and on-the-go sleep support. Being an inflatable pillow, you can adjust the firmness for your desired level of support and comfort. The curve will follow the lines of your back to support your muscles and spine.

The breathable, removable cotton cover is machine washable, so it’s easy to clean and maintain. The cotton fabric keeps air circulating to prevent sweat build-up or dampness on the pillow, so it’s perfect for hot climates. It’s also perfect for use at home in the office or on long drives, or just as extra support on your couch or desk chair. It’s a generous size at 19 inches and is now more durable than ever with improved material engineering for less risk of tearing or damage while you are traveling.

Pros:
+Specific lumbar support to promote a healthy sleeping posture
+Designed with durability in mind so it will stand up to the strains of continuous travel
+Fantasitc size for a night of proper sleep, and a superior level of support
+Very light and perfect for your hand luggage

Why We Like It – This pillow is one of the best travel companions. It’ll provide support and a comfy sleep wherever you go; the materials will keep you cool and dry in the hottest of climates, and comfy and warm in the cold, making it one of the most versatile backpacking pillows.


9. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillows

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillows

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This is a brilliant compressible foam pillow and a great choice of backpacking pillows for those of you who don’t want inflatable pillows for camping and traveling and need a more supportive option. Its memory foam interior and soft micro-suede cover give you a comfortable and truly supportive rest without the need for inflating, and the worry of deflating, while you sleep. The pillows are five inches thick for ultimate comfort and softness, so this is probably one of the best sleep companions you can take with you on the road.

The pillow comes with a drawstring travel bag, and it can compress to a much smaller size to fit in a 9*8 inch stuff sack. It comes in three sizes to give you a range of options to choose from for your own personal needs, meaning no matter how light you travel, there is a wise owl pillow that will suit you. They also come in a huge variety of colors so you can customize your purchase to your style or match it with your other gear. There is a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your pillow.

Pros:
+Soft foam filling for a comfy sleeping position
+Soft outer material that is lovely to sleep on and won’t irritate your face
+Packs down into a small bag to travel with no matter your luggage capacity
+Lots of options to choose from to match your travel style

Why We Like It – This is a versatile and super comfortable option that will meet and exceed your requirements on all of your adventures. It’s made with premium materials and has a premium feel to boot, so you know you’ll be sleeping soundly from the first night with any of these amazing little backpacking pillows.


10. Klymit Inflatable Camping & Travel Pillow

Klymit Inflatable Camping & Travel Pillow

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This is a specialist inflatable camping and traveling pillow that’s perfect for the most intrepid adventurers amongst you. It has been designed to be as compact as possible to fit into kit bags and pockets so you can take it anywhere and everywhere. Klymits backpacking pillows are technically engineered to be ergonomic and comfortable in the toughest of scenarios while adding no weight to your kit. It’s practically unnoticeable to carry, and once packed down, it’s no bigger than a lighter.

The inflated size is 15 inches and it weighs less than two ounces even with air in the pillow. You can adjust the height and air pressure to customize your position to be the most useful for your own needs and to support muscles that you may want to prioritize, which will provide a means to make sure your anatomy is catered for. This is simple to do by either adding air or releasing air, depending on the desired effect. It’s perfect for the mountaineers and hikers amongst you and will do you proud on even your toughest adventures.

Pros:
+Durable and rugged, but still amazingly light weight and portable
+Designed for the serious adventurers, but just as practical for any traveling purposes
+Provides fantastic, adjustable support dependant on your own needs
+Comes with a limited time guarantee for any defects

Why We Like It – This is a serious contender for adventurous and serene travelers alike. It’ll be comfy whether you’re sleeping on the side of a mountain, or the side of a pool. This is the perfect travel companion to ensure you sleep well and wake up rested, ready to see and experience all the amazing things travel has to offer.


Backpacking Pillow Buyer’s Guide

To help you even more, when it comes to deciding which products are the best backing pillows, and which one you might want to pick up, we have made this really useful buying guide. We’ll answer some questions you might have about the pillows and their functions, and which features and designs might suit you the most.

Do I need a foam or air-filled pillow?

Detail shot of a camping pillow. Clipping path

This is down to personal preference, and how small you need the pillow to compress.

If you need the pillow to fit into your pocket or a small compartment in your bag or backpack, you might need to consider an inflatable air pillow, as these are the best backpacking pillows for portability. They fold down to be incredibly small into bags, sometimes measuring only a couple of inches long when packed up completely.

If this isn’t so much of a concern, then you want to consider firmness. If you like the feel of a memory foam pillow, then go for a foam travel pillow as they are soft and compress gently while still providing good support. If you like your pillows firmer, or softer, then an air pillow might again be the best bet as you can customize the firmness to your liking.

If you often camp on rocky or hard ground, then a foam pillow might also suit you as there’s no risk of deflation while you sleep.

What size pillow do I need?

View from the tourist tent on the mountains

If you are using your pillow mostly while moving, go for a smaller size that can fit unobtrusively on public transport and that can compress small enough to fit in your pocket when you don’t need it. A small pillow is great for car camping too and for using as a back or sitting pillow at home.

If you use your pillow in hostels or while camping out, a bigger pillow will provide a more solid sleep and be closer to the homely and comfortable feel that you would get in your bed back home. If you are traveling to accommodation, then it’s worth using the extra space for your pillow, not just for comfort, but hygiene too.

You also want to take into account the weight of the pillows you’re looking at. Some pillows, such as the foam and many of the non-inflatable options, are slightly heavier in weight than the inflatable pillows. This means that they may be an issue for you if you’re traveling with hand luggage, or if you’re hiking and don’t want unwanted weight dragging you down.

To combat this, consider one of the low weight inflatable pillows. There are some with a weight is as low as 2 oz. The majority of the pillows come in at around 4 oz once inflated, and less than two once packed down. The weight of the pillows you travel with can affect the experience you have with them, so make sure to check the inflated weight and compressed weight of each one you look at to make sure you’re choosing the best backpacking pillows you can if weight poses an issue to you.

What material is right for me?

There are lots to choose from, and it’s a personal preference for the most part when it comes to choosing your preferred material.

If you’re traveling to a hot climate, cotton may be a good choice as it promotes air circulation and prevents the build-up of sweat and moisture. Cotton will encourage a better quality of sleep as it will help you stay cool and manage the humidity of a tropical climate.

There are also some brands on the list that specifically boast anti-freezing properties, which is an amazing option if you go camping in cold climates. This will mean your pillow will stay soft all night long.

For regular or general use, and for people who go to a variety of different places, or travel for long periods of time, then a brushed suede or microfiber material will be really versatile and comfy for a multitude of different climates and uses.

Conclusion

Hopefully, our reviews and guide will have set you on the path to choosing a reliable and comfortable travel pillow as a companion for your future adventures. They will ensure you have a great sleep no matter where you are, so when you wake, you can hit the ground running, wide-eyed, and freshened up, ready to face whatever your travels throw at you. Backpacking is an amazing experience, and a good pillow will only make the experience better.

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