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Klymit Pillow X

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Klymit Pillow X pillow

This pillow is not comfortable for me. Although the Pillow X is well constructed and easy to use, the X-shape creates an uncomfortable sleeping surface that can create noise when you move around at night. To make matters worse, the material itself is noisy and uncomfortable.


  • Sturdy
  • Well constructed
  • Compact


  • Uncomfortable
  • Slides around
  • Makes noise

The trouble I have with inflatable pillows is like the trouble I have with inflatable air pads like the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir and Klymit's own Static V. I have found that for me they are supportive and keep your body out of contact with the ground but they lack any sort of cushion or softness. 

For a side sleeper like me, I figured a pillow with enough thickness to support my head would pretty much have to be inflatable if it was also going to be light and compact. I tried out several options, and most of them felt like I was resting my head on a beach ball. I thought that the Pillow X might be different because of its most noteworthy feature—the X shape that the pillow is named after. 

The X seems to serve two purposes. First, it cradles your head. The trouble with the word "cradle" is that it makes you think of your head being gently held while you snooze like a baby. My head felt like it was slipping down in the cracks between four different balloons. It's especially bad for a side sleeper, since parts of your face are pressed up against the pillow and other parts have a gap of space underneath.

The other thing the X shape does is to limit air flow between the four sections of the pillow. If you wiggle your head around, the pillow feels pretty stable. The trouble comes when you move your head from one side to the other and leave it there—you will likely hear a soft whine as air is pushed through the small air channels from one side of the pillow to another. The whine isn't so soft at night when your ear is pressed up against the pillow.

To me, those problems are enough for me to give this pillow a negative review. But plenty of people seem to like this pillow, and there are good things about it. The pillow seems sturdy. The material feels robust, although it is not a comfortable sleeping surface and slides around noisily. 

It is also easy to use and compact. It inflates with like two breaths, literally. Here's the pillow deflated:
One breath later (this might even be enough inflation for some people):
Now for the second breath:
Deflating isn't hard. As another reviewer noted, you do have to figure out how air flows through the pillow in order to get the air out without too much fuss. But after doing it once, it's really easy. If you can't get that last little bit of air out, the stuff sack is big enough that you can probably just stuff it in anyway. Once in its stuff sack, the pillow can fit in a coffee mug.

The pillow is even smaller than pictured because the stuff sack is generously sized. It can be squeezed significantly smaller and stuffed just about anywhere in your backpack.

I have owned this pillow for a couple of years and it still looks good. I've taken it camping and backpacking, and these days it is packed in a duffel bag with my wildland fire gear. It is certainly better than not having a pillow, but I plan on replacing it with something else soon.

If you are a finicky sleeper, just know that this product probably isn't the answer and you'll have to go with something heavier and bulkier. Even if you like inflatable pads, I think the comfort issues with the Pillow X make it worth checking out other options first.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20

The solution to the fact that everyone likes a different kind of pillow. This pillow inflates to suit anyone's desire. I have never been a fan of inflatable pillows until this model.


  • Inflate it as much or as little as you'd like
  • Indents in the middle so your head rests in it
  • Head keeps pillow in place
  • Very compact (approx 2" x 4")
  • Lightweight


  • Takes some time to learn to deflate properly
  • Full twist valve instead of 1/4 turn

Ease of Use: Really easy to blow up. Just 2-3 breaths depending on how firm you like it. The valve is the old school multiple twist to tighten. It would be nice to have the 1/4 turn valve, but it's not a big deal.
full turn valve
The pillow fits really nicely into the hood of all of my bags. In the bags with a tighter hood, I just inflate it a little less and it slides in snug and secure. 
X design allows head to rest in the depression of the pillow.

Features: I love the X design. Your head rests in the middle depression of the pillow keeping it from slipping out like many other blow up pillows. It offers great under neck support which I really like. 

Construction and DurabilityThe material is durable enough if you take care of your stuff and use it in a tent or in your sleeping bag and not on the ground. I've used it for 1 year now and it's still in perfect shape.

The design of the pillow allows the air to flow only around the perimeter of the pillow through small cavities. This means you have to be careful how you deflate the pillow or air can get trapped in portions of it making it difficult to fully deflate. 
air only passes through the small openings around the edges.
roll from the corners to deflate

size of pillow at 2.25 oz

Conditions: So far, it's been through some really cold conditions >-20°F and it performs well. I've used it in temps of up to 75°F with no problems. 

Source: received it as a personal gift

Finally, a legitimate replacement for my "bag-o-clothes."


  • Lightweight
  • Packs small


  • Takes a while to get the hang of deflating enough to get it back in the stuff sack

When on my back, the "X" in the middle cradles my head and holds it in place so my neck muscles don't have to. When on my side, my ear doesn't get crushed as the high spots support my head with my ear in the "X" in the middle and the pillow's just tall enough to keep my neck straight instead of bent up or down.

While waiting for delivery, I kept wondering why I spent $18 on a pillow when my extra clothes in a stuff sack has always worked for me in the past. Now that I have it, here are the differences:

  1. The pillow's not lumpy like my bag-o-clothes,
  2. Since it's not lumpy, it doesn't take 20 minutes to get it adjusted just right,
  3. The fabric feels better than the nylon stuff sack my clothes are in. I still use a cotton T-shirt wrapped around it (the only cotton I carry) even though it doesn't need it. Guess I could leave the T-shirt home, now, but I still use it as my "last day walking out" shirt and, potentially, bandages if things got that bad.
  4. At 2oz and packing to the size of a pack of cards...

I love it and even though I'm trying very hard to get my pack weight DOWN by eliminating things that aren't needed, here's 2oz I'm going to add permanently.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $18 delivered

Love this pillow. Cradles your head, so comfortable. Easy to blow up and deflate. Packs down so small.


  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean


  • Cant think of any

I received this pillow bundled with a Klymit insulated mat I purchased. I was pleasantly surprised.

The X design is perfect as the middle of the pillow forms an indentation for the occipital part of your head. The edges of the pillow can easily be adjusted to your desired thickness by adding or subtracting air. If you sleep on your side just put your head on an edge or fold the pillow in half.

The fabric makes it easy to wipe down. You can put a flannel shirt, pillow case, towel over it if you wished or not. Open the valve to easily and quickly deflate. It folds flat taking up very little space.

I love it as it is so comfortable. It originally arrived for a camping trip, but it is now my main pillow. I have been using it every night for a year and it is still going strong.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Bundled with mat $59

Lightweight. Deflates to almost nothing.


  • Lightweight
  • Actually fits inside the provided storage bag
  • The X helps to keep my head centered


  • Inflation valve sticks out

I am a hammock camper.

I got one of these several years ago on Mass Drop. Have never been happy with with the other pillows I have gotten as the down pillows compress to almost nothing and offer no support and the synthetic fill pillows while offering support do not compress enough, taking up valuable space in my pack.

Easy to inflate and easy to deflate. My only concern is the possible buildup of mold inside from the condensation from my breath.

Took a few nights to get used to this pillow, but now I can not image using anything else.

I have used it down to 11 degrees. While backpacking I do not store the deflated pillow in its stuff sack. As it deflates flat, it is easy to place along side other stuff sacks inside my pack and takes up no room.

At 2+ ounces what's not to love about this pillow?

Source: bought it new

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Price MSRP: $24.99
Current Retail: $20.24-$26.99
Historic Range: $6.83-$32.99
Reviewers Paid: $18.00-$20.00
Weight 2.5 oz / 71 g
Material 30D polyester
Dimensions 15 x 11 x 3.5 in / 38 x 23 x 9 cm
Packed Dimensions 4.5 x 3 in / 20 x 8 cm
Product Details from Klymit »

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