8:02 p.m. on July 15, 2017 (EDT)
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In the interest of shedding ounces where I can find them I am torn between bringing my 5 ounce pillow or doing without.  I would love to hear from backpackers who are concerned about even small amounts of weight.

So, pillow or no pillow? If yes, what pillow do you take? 

7:42 a.m. on July 16, 2017 (EDT)
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My answer to this has changed over the last five years...used to be a stuff sack full of clothes guy, then a down puffy only...now I carry one of two pillows depending on the trip length. I have reviews I am finishing up on both the Nemo Fill (9oz) for short trips and Coccoon Ultralight Pillow (4 oz) for longer trips. Wouldn't leave one behind now. My wife and I both have back and neck issues....these two pillows have radically improved our comfort level. Can't say they would have the same effect on a healthy back though.

4:11 p.m. on July 27, 2017 (EDT)
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Sea to Summit inflatable pillow.  Fought it for years, now I just want to sleep better at night.  The stuff sack thing never really worked for me.

4:31 p.m. on July 27, 2017 (EDT)
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I've never been okay with the stuff sack pillow. There's two things that greatly increase my enjoyment outdoors- a good night sleep and good food. For those two areas specifically I don't care what something weighs, as I find the pay offs well worth it (I've never really cared about the ultralight movement to begin with though, so take that with a grain of salt). 

I use a MEC brand pillow, I believe the model name is the basecamp. Again, they have a backpacker model that is slightly less weight and has strategic cutouts but the extra weight is worth it for the comfort to me. 

5:34 p.m. on July 27, 2017 (EDT)
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I have never regretted bringing a pillow...99% of the time I spend sleeping outdoors I bring a compressible pillow made by Sea to Summit...I think its a medium...probably about 1/2 lb and takes up the volume of a mattress...but like Jake said...sleep and food are two places where having comfort options in your closet is never a bad thing.

11:00 p.m. on July 27, 2017 (EDT)
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Everyone who posted here have solidified my thinking about sleep comfort, thank you all.

Somehow my initial posted question ended up in two different threads and somehow this one seems to speak to me the best.  

The current trend among professional athletes is to get a quality , healing sleep.  Tossing and turning all night in camp does my body no good and I am actively procuring what it takes to sleep well.

9:11 a.m. on July 28, 2017 (EDT)
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Enjoy the rest...I just slept three solid nights on my luxury backpacking pillow while on a business trip...just suits me better than the hotel ones.

11:36 a.m. on July 28, 2017 (EDT)
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For years I just used extra clothing. Now I carry less clothing and have gone to a small inflatable pillow by Cacoon I think the name is. It works well. 

On boat trips I use a PFD as a pillow. 

On hunting trips a pillow from home. 

1:01 p.m. on July 31, 2017 (EDT)
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I have slept well with extra clothes stuffed in my sleeping bag stuff sack. There is some adjusting to find that comfortable sweet spot. 

12:30 p.m. on August 1, 2017 (EDT)
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I take my Nemo Fillo pillow, though it's a little bit old, but still very comfortable. I can sleep on bumpy ground, in gales, when I'm cold, when I'm hot, but without a good pillow I can't sleep at all!

3:20 a.m. on August 3, 2017 (EDT)
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Those tiny little pillows that they give you on airliners is what I finally ended up using.

6:17 p.m. on August 3, 2017 (EDT)
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So, just out of curiosity how is it possible that humans have to over think, over engineer, over design and over spend money..........just to have a pillow under their head? Not trying to be rude here, but really?

4:56 p.m. on August 4, 2017 (EDT)
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My initial question did in fact require thought, design and money in order to address the ounce by ounce planning regarding every item I intend on carrying on my back.

I have given thought to such mundane items as my choice of spoon, my cup, my tooth powder( lighter than paste) and pretty much everything that I would not give a second thought when used every day at home.  Whether to bring a pillow and if so what kind of pillow fits into that category of thought and planning.

I have learned from every post on this topic.  So please continue, it is helpful.

11:37 a.m. on August 5, 2017 (EDT)
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So, just out of curiosity how is it possible that humans have to over think, over engineer, over design and over spend money..........just to have a pillow under their head? Not trying to be rude here, but really?

Apeman...interesting question...I have several thoughts...overthinking and analyzing gear is part of the fun of our pastime or passion when I am not on the trail since life keeps intervening to keep me home more weekends than not. Second, it's in our nature...our species has been over thinking and engineering things compared to our distant cousins for thousands of years. Finally, over spending is a relative term...for a good nights sleep I don't mind spending a fraction of what someone would pay for one night in an average hotel sleeping on an uncomfortable pillow that countless others have drooled on at night.

3:41 p.m. on August 5, 2017 (EDT)
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Phil, Most of the time I would agree with you, and your thought are good ones in regards to this post........................but I do believe that, at least for each of us, there are those things that each of use feel do get over analyzed, over engineered, over designed, and then sent off to China to be made.................. at which point the people(s) are very often overly convinced that a new item is a necessity.  Now to be fair, if people want three dozen different mini super lightweight pillows from 9 different companies that they can spend as much money as is feasibly possible on, then by all means I think people should do that.  If there is one thing that I've learned is that if people did not make all the stuff that they do and then did not go and spend their time working so that they can spend their hard earned $'s, then I would never have the chance to own these previously expensive little pillows, that were bought for a trip up Everest, K2, insert your favorite mountain or long hard outing, for a fraction of the original cost for trips............that very often never happened.  And in fact, we would not have a community like we do if it was not for all of the excess gear that is made/produced, bought and the discarded as this site is mostly predicated on the reviews of the thousands and thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of different items made for stepping outside of ones house.  I still have and use my first tent I bought in 1979 a TFN Ring Oval Intention.  If everyone here bought, kept and used their gear for 40+ years...............well, then there would not be much of a gear industry and or maybe a forum/site such as this to actually have this conversation.  I'm in no way saying or telling people to not buy expensive, tiny, over thought out and over engineered pillows.  I just think that it is kinda odd.......when the airline industry had a tiny little pillow made that hardly weighs anything and compacts into a tiny little wad..................50 years ago.  But then again Americans went crazy and were willing to spend their hard earned $'s at one point in time over a rock in a box so that even they could own their very own pet rock, in it own little rock house. 

11:07 p.m. on August 5, 2017 (EDT)
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Wow.  My mind went off in twenty directions with a smattering of smart-butt responses but I think it might be best to bring this all back to pillows, just pillows.

I bought my little pillow at a sewing and fabric store, it came uncovered so I eventually found a small pillow case used for larger travel pillows.  Probably about $20 or $25 total.

It would be great to find someplace where they "give" pillows but most of us aint so lucky.

So, in going light while backpacking is it pillow or no pillow?  If you take a pillow, which kind?

11:17 a.m. on August 10, 2017 (EDT)
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On my first 7-day solo trip through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness I carried no pillow and no sleeping pad and slept great.  I was sixteen. 

In college, on wildland fires I used my boots as pillow.

Now I use a 3" air pad and a stuff-sack pillow.  I can easily see myself growing into an inflatable or other style pillow.

Though I don't use one today I don't rule out the possibility that one could be in my future.  I like hearing everyone's thoughts on this. 

6:00 p.m. on August 10, 2017 (EDT)
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I remember those early trips with no pad or pillow. Soft ground, leaves and grass were all I needed.

November 15, 2019
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