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Need help getting started? Read our Backpacking and Camping Pillow Comparison.

Top Picks

How we choose: The best pillows highlighted here were selected based on 143 reviews of 64 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

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Western Mountaineering Cloudrest

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Western Mountaineering Cloudrest was named Trailspace's Pick for Backpacking Comfort in our “Backpacking and Camping Pillow Comparison.”

Weight: 5 ozFill: 800-fill power goose downDimensions: 12" x 16"MSRP: $39 Pros: The 800-fill Cloudrest is amazingly soft and comfortable and offers sufficient support, cradling your head and preventing any head rolling. For not much weight you get a fairly large surface area, and it's extremely easy to compress into its built-in stuff sack. This pillow is just about perfect for backpacking. Cons: It's pricey, and it doesn’t compress down quite as tiny as the Cocoon Down Travel Pillow. Review originally published as part of Backpacking and Camping Pillow Comparison review.

Read more: Western Mountaineering Cloudrest review (1)

Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (8 reviews)

I need a dedicated pillow. Having a good night's sleep is one of the most important things to me when camping. This pillow far exceeds my expectations.

Reasons to Buy

  • Super easy to inflate and deflate
  • Comfy
  • Stows tiny

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pricey
  • Weight is innacurate

I have searched forever for the perfect pillow. I have been using a Slumberjack 14" x 16" pillow I purchased many years ago. It compresses fairly small (5" x 10" and weighs 12.65 oz.). The pillow is extremely comfortable and was a hard choice replacing it. I will not do without a pillow, I have tried and don't like it. I need a dedicated pillow. Having a good night's sleep is one of the most important things to me when camping. I will usually stuff some clothes under my pillow to raise the pillow a bit.

Read more: Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow reviews (8)

Exped Ultra Pillow

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The Exped Ultra Pillow is an extremely small and inflatable pillow that can make a big difference in one’s quality of rest on the trail. As a backpacking pillow it is small enough to take almost anywhere, plus it is an easy-to-use product that comes in handy for air travel or a car road trip.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact
  • Lightweight (1.8 oz medium, 2.1 oz large)
  • Very durable/great construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Getting inflation dialed in can be tricky
  • Lichen color shows dirt and oil

Snow Lake, Washington "Pillow talk" may be sometimes considered taboo, and discussions related to pillows in the backcountry can be equally questionable. Some people shun the idea, thinking of extravagance and unnecessary weight. Others may consider this an essential. Nevertheless, Exped’s Ultra pillow is a superb inflatable pillow for those who want to cushion their heads after a long day hiking.  Setting up camp—N. Puyallup River, Mount Rainier National Park Two sizes are offered of the Ultra model:  Medium              15 x 10.6 x 3.9 inches, 1.8 oz Large (tested)   18 x 11.8 x 4.7 inches, 2.3 oz   The 20D recycled stretch polyester Ultra pillow (Large) I tested weighed in at 2.25 ounces, 2.5 ounces with the storage bag. ...

Read more: Exped Ultra Pillow reviews (2)

Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Stretch Pillow

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

If 2.9 ounces in your pack is worth a better night’s sleep, then Outdoor Vitals’ Ultralight Stretch Pillow deserves a look. Relatively light. Exceedingly comfortable. As an admitted pillow skeptic I have been made a believer with this product.

Reasons to Buy

  • Adjustable fill
  • Fully inflates in 2.5 breaths
  • Comfortable
  • Stays in place

Reasons to Avoid

  • A bit of overselling about the shape
  • Extra weight in the pack

From my earliest days as a Boy Scout, the one thing I did was stuff clothes in a bag and use it as a pillow. WHY would I do anything else? Well, I have been listening to numerous hiking podcasts this winter, and a recurring theme is that an inflatable pillow is worth the extra weight. I’m no gram weenie, but I am incredibly cheap (check my other reviews!). So I sat on the idea, until Outdoor Vitals (and a few competitors) began flooding my FaceBook account with ads for a "free" UL pillow. The pillow isn't really free.

Read more: Outdoor Vitals Ultralight Stretch Pillow review (1)

Teton Sports ComfortLite Self Inflating Pillow

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Super pillow, packs down small, and great for those who like to sleep with a larger pillow.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to inflate
  • Quick to adjust

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the smallest backpacking pillow

This is a great little camping pillow. It has a foam core and a self inflating feature. If you are like me and sleep at home with multiple pillows, then this is the camping pillow for you. I have tried many different types of camp pillows from simple compressible filled pillows to more complicated inflatable ones. They all have had the same issue, they are meant to be small and compact and as such they do not support my head. I am a side sleeper and want something to keep my head level. All those other pillows did not work.

Read more: Teton Sports ComfortLite Self Inflating Pillow reviews (2)

Cocoon Air-Core Ultralight

user rating: 4 of 5 (7 reviews)

Absolutely essential for comfort and a superior night's rest. Highly adjustable for precise comfort. It is perfectly sized for any sleeping pad. Super lightweight, you will not know you are carrying it.

Reasons to Buy

  • Super lightweight
  • Adjust to any comfort level
  • Keeps you warm on cold Sierra nights
  • Inexpensive
  • Soft
  • Packs tiny. Flattened, rolls right into your sleeping bag
  • Fills fast, empties fast

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can get a little too warm

I tried using my clothes, down jacket, boots, day pack, and just about everything in my pack as a pillow. Sure, many people make that stuff work. But I really wanted to sleep as comfortably as possible to be ready for the next days big hike.  many of the above items were OK for a little while but I spend half the night trying to readjust and fluff the flats sports and remove lumps.  There had to be a better way... And so I searched for a camp pillow on the popular outdoor sites. Wow! So many! Yay! I read the reviews here on as well as the forums posts about pillows.

Read more: Cocoon Air-Core Ultralight reviews (7)

NEMO Fillo

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6 reviews)

Traveling, hiking, and napping are great with this Fillo. I sleep with a narrow pillow, and filling the Fillo only partially works wonders. I sleep soundly every time with it. When you try it out, it may not feel fantastic, but I sleep UN-interrupted using it, so my sleeping self loves the feel of it, I guess you could say. I would recommend it to anyone who travels, hikes, or naps. No air loss in the morning. Easy to clean. if you are a side sleeper, fold the Fillo over, to double the height. It can be more comfortable for side sleepers that way.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable
  • Foldable, but just as easy to store flat and deflated.

Reasons to Avoid

  • If you roll over onto your side, your head will push the air out of the side of the pillow under your head, until you get your inflation correct. You can also double it over, to increase the support.

You can store this Fillo in its sack (4 x 6 inches), or just push the air out of it and store it flat, as it is compressible and takes no space storing it flat. Please read my review above.  The only thing I would add is that there is a bit of "sticker shock" at the price at first, but believe me, I really value a good night's sleep and the Fillo is worth much much more than its full price. I have no question about that. Try it at different levels of inflation until you find the one that lets you sleep the best, and the longest.

Read more: NEMO Fillo reviews (6)

Therm-a-Rest Air Head Pillow

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Therm-a-Rest Air Head Pillow—just the ticket to reduce that aching neck.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent head support
  • Soft gel foam top
  • Right shape
  • Washable cover

  After countless nights on the trail trying to repeatedly position my head on makeshift bundles of clothing or puffy jackets and still waking up with a neck ache, I was just about to break down and get a pillow. As I am counting ounces I didn’t want to add any “unecessary” items. And along came the Air Head! I tried it in conjunction with the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Topo Luxe (separate review) air mattress and for the first time my neck didn’t ache! The pillow was easy to inflate> No, it didn’t blow up*, but held air perfectly.

Read more: Therm-a-Rest Air Head Pillow review (1)

Therm-a-Rest Stuff Sack Pillow

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

This is a nice, lightweight, and reasonably priced stuff sack/pillow that held up to some wet days and nights pretty well. I like that it is compact and lightweight and dual purpose.

Reasons to Buy

  • dual purpose
  • good price
  • good construction

I was looking for a cheap stuff sack and I have liked Therm-a-Rest products before so I got this one. It works well and is super lightweight, which is nice. I took it on a trip where we had a lot of wet weather and it stayed dry pretty well. I like that it's a good price too.

Read more: Therm-a-Rest Stuff Sack Pillow reviews (4)

Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Seeking a little more luxury and comfort in the backcountry? At around USD $25, the Sierra Designs DriDown pillow is a comfortable, reasonably priced, well-designed, and responsibly sourced down pillow for backcountry use. The flexible design of this pillow system allows one to shed weight or add luxury as desired.

Reasons to Buy

  • Flexible design
  • Comfortable!
  • Responsibly sourced down

Reasons to Avoid

  • Extra pack weight and bulk
  • A little too down for some side sleepers

The Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow is actually a pillow "system" consisting of a DriDown-filled, quilted pillow top, a synthetic pillow, and a lightweight stuff sack. I use the term system because one can carry only those components one wishes to carry. It is perfectly possible to use only the synthetic pillow, or, if one only needs a little cushioning under one’s head (as, for instance, when one is in an already supportive hammock), the pillow top alone may suffice. In lieu of carrying the synthetic pillow, one may instead opt to plumpen the pillow top with an already packed down vest or a spare pair of socks, too (see image, below).

Read more: Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow review (1)

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Other Types of Sleeping Bags and Pads

Find more sleeping bags and pads reviewed in these related categories:

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3-Season Sleeping Bags (0° to 32°F)

Warm Weather Sleeping Bags (above 35°F)

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