Best camping pillow of 2021

From bestreviews.com
By
Rachel Pintarelli
BestReviews

If you're concerned your head will slip off the pillow at night, consider a small, contoured camping pillow to keep your head cradled in place.

Camping pillows 

You can say goodbye to the days of whipping up makeshift headrests thanks to the advancement of convenient, comfy camping pillows. In 2021, the camping pillow offers a touch of comfort to those who long for great outdoor adventures without losing sleep. 

You'll discover everything from plush memory foam pillows to ultra-light inflatables for backpackers. There’s truly something for everyone, no matter your camping style or need.

Things to consider when choosing a camping pillow

Pillow size

Camping pillows come in many sizes, including regular household sizes. Your choices are abundant and defined by your need for comfort and convenience. You'll find balance by choosing a pillow size that packs small but provides suitable cushioning when you’re ready to rest. Backpackers will want to be more mindful of compression, while stationary campers have a little more leeway regarding pillow size and weight.

Pillow material

Soft surface materials like felt or flannel are available on some camping pillows. Others may lack a suitable covering and require a pillowcase. Identifying what kind of surface suits you best can help you choose a pillow. If carry space is at a premium, then packing a pillowcase may not be a workable option, and one with a ready-made covering can keep your packing light.

Weight and compressibility

If you’re an avid backpacker, size and weight of your gear is always a factor, and camping pillows are no different. Air pillows are designed to fold up and slide into convenient sacks for easy transporting. If you’re truly committed to something with added comfort, a foam pillow may be worth the additional weight. Nothing depletes energy quicker than a poor night's sleep; comfy sleeping gear can help make all the difference when the sunrise beckons you to begin a new day.

Your sleeping position

The way you sleep should be a deciding factor in your ultimate camping pillow decision. If you tend to sleep on your back, you’ll require a pillow that provides support for spinal alignment, starting from your head down. If stomach sleeping is your favorite position, you won't require quite as much support; a thinner pillow should meet your basic needs. Camping pillows for side sleepers require proper alignment as well. No one wants to wake up with neck or back pains, and a proper pillow choice can eliminate the chances of it happening.

Camping pillow features

Down feather

This uncommon type of camping pillow does exist. The higher price bracket and extravagant glamper status of down translates to a non-traditional option for the avid camper. That said, if supreme comfort rules regardless of whether you’re sleeping at home or under the stars, down feather camping pillows will be your top choice. 

Cooling features

Hot, humid conditions can make camping a less than enjoyable experience. Luckily, some camping pillows feature a cooling feature. These pillows have small built-in vents on the pillow's surface, allowing air to flow through it. Others utilize microcapsules and a thermic coating which can reduce the chance of moisture during the most humid of evenings.

Expanding memory foam

If the thought of a memory foam camping pillow sounds intriguing but you’re concerned about saving space, it's helpful to know these pillows can compress and expand up to twice their size. Although these pillows can contract to smaller sizes, a bit of effort is required to get them packed into their carry sacks — it can definitely be an exercise in patience. The comfort they bring, however, is usually worth the effort.

Best camping pillows

Best of the best camping pillow

Coop Home Goods Adjustable Camping and Travel Pillow: available at Amazon

Our take: This memory foam pillow comes with its own stuff sack and is machine-washable. Once decompressed, it expands to twice its size.

What we love: It’s soft and thick with breathable fabric. Made from a blend of memory foam and microfiber fill, you can adjust the firmness by removing portions of the filling. You have nothing to lose with this pillow, as it comes with a 100-day trial.

What we dislike: Pillow is weightier than other camping pillows and fails to compress as small as an inflatable.

Best bang for your buck camping pillow

Wenzel Camp Pillow: available at Amazon

Our take: If you’re looking for a soft, affordable choice, the Wenzel camp pillow can be a great option.

What we like: Covered in a cozy flannel fabric, the Wenzel stays secure on slippery surfaces like sleeping bags and sleep pads. It’s made with thermal fill and compresses down. It weighs a half-pound and has a carry sack.

What we dislike: It lacks thickness with no ability to adjust firmness.

Most versatile camping pillow

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow: available at Amazon

Our take: This versatile pillow comes in three different sizes with highly compressible memory foam.

What we love: The quality of the foam doesn’t disappoint and gives an “at home” feeling once you lay your head to rest. The surface material is a soft faux suede, adding to its luxurious feel. It’s a versatile and pleasing option for every comfort level.

What we dislike: The compression sack is on the large side, making this less than optimal for backpacking adventures.

Best inflatable camping pillow

RikkiTikki Inflatable Travel Pillow: available at Amazon 

Our take: This inflatable travel pillow with washable cover deflates down to an easy-to-carry size when not in use and holds air throughout the night.

What we love: Thanks to easy inflation, campers can adjust the firmness level to their liking. The washable cover contains batting, allowing for an extra level of cushioned comfort.

What we dislike: The length of the pillow at full inflation leaves it lacking in size (15 inches long) compared to its competitors.

Best ergonomic camping pillow

Trekology Ultralight Camping Travel Pillow: available at Amazon

Our take: Small in size but big in comfort, this ultra-light pillow is convenient to carry and provides ergonomic support at day’s end.

What we love: Ergonomically designed for superior neck and back support, this well-made, affordable camping pillow inflates and deflates quickly for convenience.

What we dislike: The curve of the design can be uncomfortable for some side sleepers.

Rachel Pintarelli is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

 

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