Best Backpacking Pillow: Top 5 Choices For Support Wherever You Go!

As someone who loves to travel and explore, I needed the best backpacking pillow to make sure I'm comfortable wherever! This goes especially when I'm hiking or backpacking around various countries. Why? I know hostel pillows or sleeping bags don't give me enough support!

If you're like me, then read on as I show you my five top choices!

Product Comparison Table

#

Preview

Name

Kind of Pillow

Our Rating

1

Inflating

2

Compressible

3

Inflatable

4

Inflatable

5

Compressible

The Difference Between a Backpacking Pillow and Every Day Pillow

The main difference between both backpacking and the everyday pillow is its portability. These are usually inflatable or compressible pillows, fitting inside your bag without taking up too much space or weight.

Compared to the more large and less portable everyday pillows on your bed, these camping pillows feel less luxurious. But, it still provides adequate support and comfort needed to relieve pain. The pillow offers comfort while sleeping on the ground or uncomfortable plane rides.

Caring Your Pillows

These pillows are for the simple backpacker who needs something a bit more comfort. All the while sleeping without lugging the usual ones used at home!

The Types of Backpacking Pillows

There are different kinds of pillows to choose from. Each of these has distinct advantages based on your preference and needs:

1

Compressible Pillows

Compressible Pillows - best backpacking pillow

These are the pillows you can compare to the ones you have at home (but not as luxurious and big). They're usually made of synthetic fillings and come in various shapes and fabrics for better comfort. You can also use this as a travel pillow.

Pros

Cons

2

Inflatable Pillows

Inflatable Pillows - best backpacking pillow

Inflatable pillows are the lightest and most comfortable pillows to bring along. These either inflate on its own or need a few breaths before you can start using it.

Pros

Cons

3

Hybrid Pillows

Hybrid Pillows - best backpacking pillow

A hybrid pillow is a combination of both the compressible an inflatable version. It has the internal air bladder and a full outer layer. That way, it can pack smaller than the compressible pillow but is still more supportive and softer than the inflatable one.

Pros

Cons

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Backpacking Pillow?

What to Consider Before Buying best backpacking pillow

There are some things you need to check before you start looking at the more technical parts of the product. Here are some important factors to consider when doing so:

What's Your Sleeping Position?

You'll be able to figure out the best firmness and thickness based on how you sleep.

  • Stomach sleepers need something flatter and softer.
  • Side sleepers need something of soft to medium firmness and medium height.
  • Back sleepers need something firmer and with more loft.

Space You'll Be Sleeping In

Look into how much space you have in your backpack, as well as the area you'll usually sleep on. You might need something smaller and more comfortable to pack if you're always outdoors and have limited space. But if you're on a plane or car, then a bigger one that covers your entire head and neck may be more preferred.

Furthermore, who will be using it? If you need a travel pillow for kids, something of a smaller size can work!

What's Your Budget?

Consider how much you're willing to spend for the best backpacking pillow. These products have a price range between $30 to $80, so find the middle ground and see what you can afford so you can begin doing your search!

How to Choose the Best Backpacking Pillow?

How to Choose the Best Backpacking Pillow

You already figured out how and where you sleep, as well as how much you can shell out for a pillow. Now, what are the things you need to research on the best backpacking pillow? Here are the tips on how to select an option for your next travels:

Weight

Weight is pretty essential for many people when packing, especially if there's a weight limit or they'll be bringing the pillow to hikes! If you want something ultra lightweight, then go for an inflatable or hybrid pillow. But if it's for car or train rides, or for the hotel, then a compressible product will do fine.

Shape

There are two main shapes a backpacking pillow has:

The u shaped backpacking pillow

The u-shaped are more common for inflatable pillows, which cradles the head and neck.

a square shaped backpacking pillow

If you're more accustomed to the traditional shape to cover your head, neck, and part of your shoulders, then a square-shaped pillow is best for you.

Size and Packability

If you usually don't have much space in your luggage or backpack, then you'll need something small and foldable, like the inflatable pillow.

For those who want something a bit bigger to fit their head (though not foldable), then a compressible pillow is best. 

Durability

Your pillow will experience a lot of pressure and movement, may it be from the weather to weight. That's why it's important to find one that's easy to maintain and made with the excellent material to last for years of traveling.

Tips on Care and Maintenance

Tips on Care and Maintenance best backpacking pillow

Now that you're equipped with what you need to know about the best backpacking pillow, how can you care for it? Follow these steps below:

  • Like your typical pillow, I recommend that you put it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and use mild laundry detergent.
  • If you choose to hand wash your pillow, you can do so as you would with clothes. Make sure that you close the valve to prevent water from going inside the bladder. Use mild laundry soap and knead it with your hands until it's clean. Rinse and squeeze excess water away.

Top 5 Best Backpacking Pillow Reviews

After doing a ton of research, tests, and checked out the customer reviews, these are my top five backpacking pillow reviews:

The Supportive and Durable

ASleepyWolf rating

  • Very lightweight and small to fit in backpack pockets
  • Great support to lessen pain and relieve pressure
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Made of very durable materials built to last
  • Doesn't feel the most comfortable
  • Difficult to open the valve during cold weather

What I love most about the Trekology Pillow is that it's one of the most lightweight ones I've ever tried! It doesn't even feel like I'm carrying anything when bringing this around in my pack. It takes up minimal space and weight, best for when I'm going on long hikes.

Although the pillow's feel isn't the most comfortable, it supports and cradles the head and neck well with its design. Instead of having a hard time sleeping when hiking, I'm able to drift off quicker and wake up without neck or shoulder pain!

Plus, I appreciate the fact that it's very durable. When I received it and began testing it out, I could feel and see that it's built to last regardless of where you place it and the weather.

Using and packing it is straightforward, only taking three to five breaths before it inflates! Deflating takes a few seconds and fold it up and place it in a small pocket of your backpack. It's that small and lightweight.

From its excellent quality down to its supportive feel, I can say it's worth the price. It's made best for backpackers who need something small and light but still keep comfort in mind.

The Easy-Compressible and Lightweight

ASleepyWolf rating

  • Soft filling for good comfort
  • Lightweight for a compressible pillow
  • Easily expands and compresses to save space
  • Very sturdy and long-lasting
  • A tedious task to dry it out (takes a few hours)
  • Feels a bit abrasive to the skin

If inflatable pillows aren't for you, then I recommend the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow.

What makes this a fantastic choice for a compressible pillow is its lightweight properties. But, it's still is very comfortable and supportive.

It's one of the most lightweight compressible pillows I've tried, packing down efficiently to fit in my backpack. It isn't like an inflatable version, but it does well in compressing small enough to fit without it bulking in my luggage.

The pillow expands to a four-inch travel pillow, which is at a right size to fit my head and neck. I love its soft filling, which makes it comfortable to use wherever I go. Whether I'm on the plane, car rides, hiking, or even at home and in the office, this gives me great naps and nights of sleep compared to others I've tested!

It's also pretty durable and doesn't flatten out while you use it. The material compresses as well as it expands, which is what makes it durable and long-lasting.

Because it's lightweight yet still is big enough to cover your head and neck as you sleep, I can say it's worth the price. I highly suggest it for those who would like to feel more comfortable without having a large pillow to put in their pack. 

The Most Compact and Comfortable

ASleepyWolf rating

  • Pillow comes at an affordable price
  • Takes up very little space but inflates to a sizable pillow
  • Feels supportive and comfortable for an inflatable pillow
  • Slip-resistant and doesn't slide when you lie down
  • The valve can be a bit difficult to open sometimes
  • Not the most durable and might start leaking after a year

For those who want something compact and very affordable, then the CHANODUG Camping Pillow is your best bet. Not only do I admire it for its inexpensive price, but also the fact that it's so easy to bring around when on trips!

The pillow comes with a bag and only takes up a few inches of space, weighing less than a can of soda. And when inflated, it's able to cover both your head and neck, providing excellent support when sleeping away from home.

Inflating it only takes three to five breaths. Deflating takes less than two minutes before you pack it back in and place it in a small pocket of your backpack. The entire process only takes a few minutes, and you're able to feel comfort anytime, anywhere!

Sure, it isn't the most comfortable and not like a memory foam pillow. But compared to sleeping on the ground or without one, you'll feel even better and rest the entire night without waking up erratically.

The Adjustable and Easy to Clean

ASleepyWolf rating

  • Durable and can last for years of traveling
  • Soft and comfortable, with a suede cover
  • Made of foam and adjustable for your preferred loft and firmness
  • Comes at a high price
  • There's a bit of a sound when you move your head

For an inflatable travel pillow, the Nemo Fillo might seem a bit pricey. But if you're looking for something that's both compact and extremely comfortable, then it will be worth the investment.

This pillow is made of luxury foam and has air insulation, which makes it adjustable to how high and firm you want it to be. That way, it's suitable for ALL types of sleeping positions and wherever you go. It feels soft and supportive, and I've had great nights of sleep with the pillow, especially since it has a plush cover to go with it.

I commend the fact that it's got all the features I need in one travel pillow. This product is light and compact, only weighing nine ounces and can pack smaller than your water bottle. It's also easy to clean and machine-washable, including the cover

All in all, it's worth the price because it's long-lasting and you don't scrimp on its comfort and support. Furthermore, any type of traveler can use this, from long plane rides to equally tedious hikes

For those who can spend a bit more and are always on-the-go, this product is the one for you.

The High-Quality and Versatile

ASleepyWolf rating

  • Relieves pressure while keeping you comfy when sleeping
  • Feels like your home pillow, cooling and hypoallergenic
  • Comes with a soft and durable cover for extra comfort
  • Excellent quality built to last for any type of travels
  • Heavy for backpackers and takes up more space
  • A bit difficult to stuff in its casing

The Coop Home Goods Pillow probably takes the cake comfort and support. That's because it's made of memory foam and is adjustable and compressible to your liking!

It definitely feels like my pillow back at home, because it's made of the most quality materials. I was amazed that a travel pillow can feel this comfortable! All the while coming at a size that covers my entire head and neck, providing adequate support regardless of where I'm sleeping.

The pillow also compresses well and save up on space. It isn't as small and lightweight as the inflatable pillow and is a bit heavier than most compressible pillows. BUT, if you're one who prioritizes luxury and has enough space in your backpack or luggage, then this is a good buy.

I also appreciate the fact that it's made of bamboo-derived covers, which sleeps coolly. That way, it's made for any type of weather, and I can sleep straight without worrying about heat and pain!

Wrapping it Up

If you're always want to travel on a budget, then backpacking is the way to do it! With the best backpacking pillow you can bring around, you'll be able to sleep comfortably. No more waking up with strains because of using a cheap and lousy pillow.

‚ÄčEditor's Pick

Of all the products I tried and tested, I believe that the Trekology Pillow is the best backpacking pillow. It isn't only compact and inflatable, but I love how comfortable it is, coming at the right size that fits my head AND bag! 

Sure, it isn't the luxurious memory foam pillow you expect, but it's also pretty supportive. It keeps my head and neck aligned with my spine. That way, it frees more pain compared to sleeping on cheap hostel pillows or on the cold ground. With all the features, it's become my favorite travel buddy whenever I'm backpacking!

Hopefully, this guide on the best backpacking pillow helped you find what to buy. So don't wait any longer and check any of these products out for your next trip now!

Got any questions or want to share your sleeping experiences when backpacking? Then comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

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