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Exped Pillow Pump

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Exped Pillow Pump pillow

This is a neat idea. It works so well I bought 2 more for my family. We've been using 3 of them since 2008/2009 while backpacking.

It works great as both a pillow and as a way to inflate an insulated air mattress pad without getting breathy water vapor moisture inside your air mattress/pad. (who needs mold growing inside the insulation of your air pad?!)

It takes me about 3 minutes to fill a Big Agnes Dual Air Core Insulated (wide/long) pad. It also works with my Pacific Outdoor Equipment "Ether Elite" air mattresses. (both require one to use the included 1" long silicone adaptor hose to reduce the diameter of the fill hose). Both the POE and BA air pads use the same size valves. Both pads have insulation in them which could potentially retain water vapor, so using this air pillow pump to fill your air pads with "dry" air is a good idea.

FYI, using this pump does require a special technique or finesse which was discovered by my son.

One must use the palm of your hand to cover and seal the fill hole. Your palm can make a really good seal. If you try to use your palm to press and hold the plastic fill cap in place over the fill hole, air seems to leak out around the fill hole and the hard plastic cap during the filling process. So just flip the cap out of the way and use your palm directly on the fill hole. Then compress the pillow (like you're doing slow motion CPR) to fill your pad.

There also appears to be a one-way valve built into the fill tube, so if you've got a good seal at the fill tube/adaptor valve, then no air (or very little) leaks out or backward into the pillow during filling. Nifty!

It also makes a great pillow. I like the contoured shape. It probably could be lighter or easier to use, but I like it. The only thing that I don't like is sometimes when compressing the pillow during inflation of an air mattress, the 1 piece foam inside the pillow squishes or rolls out-of-shape. But one can massage the pillow foam back into place easily.

This pillow pump did come with stuff sack and repair kit.

Design: kidney bean shaped
Fill: open cell foam for self inflation
Temperature Rating: n/a (used it both winter and summer)
Weight: don't know?
Price Paid: 29.00

* Trailspace Pick for Multi-Functionality *

Weight: 4.2 oz (120 g)
Dimensions: 13" x 6" x 4" (33 x 15 x 10 cm)
6" x 3" (15 x 8 cm) (packed)
MSRP: $19


The Exped Pillow Pump does double duty, first helping you pump up your air mat by hand or foot, then becoming a contoured pillow once you close its valves. The foam interior makes it surprisingly comfortable and with an adjustable firmness and height it's suited to a wide variety of sleepers. While the edges of the outer fabric may look scratchy, they're not. The pump packs down quite small for its bulk and works with any standard inflatable sleeping pad.


If you don’t need or want a pump for your sleeping pad, you probably won’t bring it along. While the contoured shape is adequate, you don't have a lot of surface area and can move off the pillow during the night.

Review originally published as part of Backpacking and Camping Pillow Comparison review.


Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Exped for testing and review)

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For the pros and cons of this and 15 other backpacking and camping pillows, read Trailspace’s “Backpacking and Camping Pillow Comparison” in the Gear Guide.


Price MSRP: $19.00
Historic Range: $12.32-$79.95
Size 35 x 17 x 10 cm / 13.8 x 6.7 x 4 in, Packed 16 x 9 cm / 6.3 x 3.5 in
Weight 160 g / 5.3 oz, Packsack 10 g / .3 oz
Product Details from Exped »