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The Best Backpacking Pillow

Last updated on July 27, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Backpacking Pillows and dug through the reviews from 38 of the most popular review sites including DPM Climbing, Bustle, All Top Ten Reviews, Pillow Click, Alphatoplist, Hiker Lodge and more. The result is a ranking of the best Backpacking Pillows.

Best Backpacking Pillow

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Our Picks For The Top Backpacking Pillows

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Hypoallergenic Backpacking Pillow

Coop Home Goods

Memory Foam Backpacking Pillow

Overall Take

Bamboo CoverThis bamboo memory foam pillow is very comfortable while small enough for backpacking.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Nest Maven, A Sleepy Wolf, Trip Savvy. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Pillow is compressible for lightweight travel. Memory foam filling. Includes a cooling cover made from bamboo and a blend of other materials."
Cons
"You may notice an off-gassing odor when you order this pillow."

Rest-A-Camp Inflatable Ultralight Backpacking Pillow

Rest-A-Camp

Inflatable Ultralight Backpacking Pillow

Overall Take

Removable CoverThis inflatable backpacking pillow has a removable cover that can be washed and it packs down to a very small size.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Camp Away, The Drive, Hiker Lodge, The Best A-Z. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Comfortable, super light, requires less effort and time to inflate, easy to deflate, exceptional head and neck support, durable construction."
Cons
"Some users complain it leaks air after a few uses. It can be hard to deflate and store in its tiny bag."
  The Best Value

Rugged Camp Ultralight Ergonomic Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Rugged Camp

Ergonomic Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Overall Take

Ergonomic DesignThis inflatable pillow was constructed with ergonomics in mind and will help you have a restful night of sleep.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Backpacker Magazine, Pillow Reviewer, Beckworth & Co. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It inflates to 16 x 12 x 4 inches for full-size pillow comfort despite its tiny compact size. Plus, the pillow comes with a pocket-size, 11-in-1 multi-tool to help at the campsite."
Cons
"Air leaks after a few uses. Has some holes. Slips from your head."

Hikenture Ultralight Washable Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Hikenture

Ultralight Washable Backpacking Pillow

Overall Take

Washable CoverSmart designs include a strap that keeps this pillow in place while you sleep.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus CA Best Reviews Guide, Alphatoplist, Buy Guide Online. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Incredible quality. Very comfortable and simple to use. Great pillow for those with neck pain."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the backpacking pillows available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

38

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: DPM Climbing, Bustle, All Top Ten Reviews, Pillow Click, Alphatoplist.

5,597

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Backpacking Pillows and also dug through the reviews from 38 of the most popular review sites including DPM Climbing, Bustle, All Top Ten Reviews, Pillow Click, Alphatoplist, Hiker Lodge and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Backpacking Pillows.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Hypoallergenic Backpacking Pillow

Our Expert Score
8.8
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
887 user reviews
Our Take

The memory foam that is built-in to this backpacking pillow really sets it apart as a comfortable option that doesn't force you to sacrifice your comfort for the weight of your pack. The ability for this to pack down small is a nice feature and the natural bamboo covering helps you know it was made with quality products.

What other experts liked
Pillow is compressible for lightweight travel. Memory foam filling. Includes a cooling cover made from bamboo and a blend of other materials.
- BestReviews
The Coop Home Goods Camping and Travel Pillow is compact and easy to pack with its 10 by 6-inch size that expands to twice its size. It will conveniently fit into your carry-on baggage, backpack, or car. The hypoallergenic materials...
- Nest Maven
Relieves pressure while keeping you comfy when sleeping. Feels like your home pillow, cooling and hypoallergenic. Comes with a soft and lasting cover for extra comfort. Perfect quality product to last for any type of travel.
- A Sleepy Wolf
It has a breathable, cool pillowcase made from a synthetic bamboo blend. The case is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. Comfort-wise, the pillow consists of memory foam that molds to your head shape. Besides its functionality, the foam is CertiPUR-US...
- Trip Savvy
What other experts didn't like
Takes up more space in backpack than other similar models.
- BestReviews
You may notice an off-gassing odor when you order this pillow.
- Nest Maven
Heavy for backpackers and occupies more space. Kind of difficulting to stuff in its casing.
- A Sleepy Wolf
The pillow won’t pack down very small.
- Trip Savvy

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Rugged Camp Ultralight Ergonomic Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Our Expert Score
0.0
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
528 user reviews
Our Take

This comfortable pillow was built with your spinal comfort in mind as it boasts a ribbed and curved design that will allow your head to rest peacefully on it without putting a kink in your neck. The cupped design even helps keep your head in place while you're sleeping and the pillow packs down into its own carrying case.

What other experts liked
It inflates to 16 x 12 x 4 inches for full-size pillow comfort despite its tiny compact size. Plus, the pillow comes with a pocket-size, 11-in-1 multi-tool to help at the campsite.
- Backpacker Magazine
This pillow is very compact and lightweight, only 2.75 ounces weight, coming with a water-resistant carrying bag, makes it quite convenient. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can buy it freely, and you don’t need to worry about any issues that may happen.
- Pillow Reviewer
Air is easily adjustable for firmness. Comes with storage pouch. Material is thick enough. Can be inflated with just a few blows. Valves seem sturdy.
- Beckworth & Co
What other experts didn't like
Air leaks after a few uses. Has some holes. Slips from your head.
- Beckworth & Co

Overall Product Rankings

Rest-A-Camp Inflatable Ultralight Backpacking Pillow

2. Rest-A-Camp Inflatable Ultralight Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 5

RikkiTikki Inflatable Lightweight Backpacking Pillow

5. RikkiTikki Inflatable Lightweight Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflating Backpacking Pillow

6. TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflating Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 5

WELLAX Ultralight Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

7. WELLAX Ultralight Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

MARCHWAY Ultralight Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

8. MARCHWAY Ultralight Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

HuTools Inflatable Ergonomic Backpacking Pillow

9. HuTools Inflatable Ergonomic Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 5

TETON Sports Washable Backpacking Pillow

10. TETON Sports Washable Backpacking Pillow

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 5

Our Backpacking Pillow Findings

Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Hypoallergenic Backpacking Pillow

What We Liked: The memory foam that is built-in to this backpacking pillow really sets it apart as a comfortable option that doesn’t force you to sacrifice your comfort for the weight of your pack. The ability for this to pack down small is a nice feature and the natural bamboo covering helps you know it was made with quality products.

Rest-A-Camp Inflatable Ultralight Backpacking Pillow

What We Liked: There are a ton of fun colors in the removable pillow cases that can be taken off and washed as needed, a much desired feature in a camping pillow. The whole pillow packs down to be hardly larger than a soda can and it can be inflated in seconds.

Rugged Camp Ultralight Ergonomic Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

What We Liked: This comfortable pillow was built with your spinal comfort in mind as it boasts a ribbed and curved design that will allow your head to rest peacefully on it without putting a kink in your neck. The cupped design even helps keep your head in place while you’re sleeping and the pillow packs down into its own carrying case.

Hikenture Ultralight Washable Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

What We Liked: Don’t worry about your backpacking pillow slipping out from under your head, this has a strap that you can use to affix it to your sleeping pad in a way that keeps it put where you want it. The washable cover is clutch when you’re often going to be sleeping on this pillow after a long day on the trail or at your campsite.

TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflating Backpacking Pillow

What We Liked: This inflatable pillow has a super soft cotton covering on it that can be washed. The design is perfect for sleeping on but also doubles as a lumbar pillow that you can use at an office chair or in the car. Packing down small, this might be a handy pillow to take with you anywhere you travel, even though it’s designed for backpackers.

Our Backpacking Pillow Buying Guide

Backpacking is a game of numbers. It involves hiking as many miles as you can during a day. Or, perhaps for you, it’s more about the elevation you can gain and the views that come with it. Whatever your goals (and how hard you like to push yourself!), most backpackers will agree that lowering the weight of your pack is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.

Why bother carrying something that’s bulky and heavy like a traditional pillow when you only have one bag on your back and you’re carrying it for days on end? This desire drove the industry to design the smallest and lightest pillows for this purpose because sleeping with a pillow for your head to rest on is good for your neck and back, which are parts of your body that you really don’t want acting up when you’re countless miles from civilization.

The ideal backpacking pillow will be lightweight and small enough to not take up noticeable room in your pack. Inflatable pillows are currently the best in these regards since the air from your lungs will end up creating all the volume and cushion that you will feel when you rest your head on it.

Inflatable pillows are often made from materials that are similar to your sleeping pad. When you are looking at inflatable camping pillows, look at the material that the covers are made of. The covers are like robust pillowcases that will often have their own small amount of padding and they are made from much softer materials like bamboo or cotton. Some backpacking pillows even have a strap that can be used to fix it to your sleeping pad and ensure the pillow remains in place.

The cover of an inflatable pillow will probably get grimy as you use it, so it benefits you to find one that is washable so you can keep it fresh over the course of its life.

Ergonomics play a big part in how comfortable we are when we sleep. Backpacking pillows can have ergonomic design features built into place like a rounded pillow that creates a concave surface where your head lays. This will allow your neck to be supported while your head can be slightly lower, which is a natural alignment that is comfortable for your spine.

Backpacking pillows are a small luxury when you’re in the wilderness, and their size also makes them very useful for putting behind your lower back when you’re sitting at the office or on public transportation. These small pillows will give your lumbar support when you need it and they can become used daily rather than just once every while when you’re on the trail.

DWYM Fun Fact

Pillows are so useful and common that they extend well beyond the world of civilized humans. We can find examples of animals in nature using their arms as pillows or even piles of leaves or sticks. The idea is that your spine wants to be in alignment and the use of a pillow is often the best way to achieve this. For us humans, we want our neck to be supported by the pillow but our head should rest slightly lower than the neck portion; this allows our spines to be as straight as possible and we end up getting better sleep with fewer neck issues this way.

The Backpacking Pillow Tips and Advice

  • Choose unique colors so you and your camping party can all know which pillow is theirs.
  • Backpacking pillows make great lumbar pillows for times when you’re on long flights, public transportation or even at the office.
  • Wrapping a slick pillow in one of your t-shirts is an easy way to have a makeshift pillowcase if your pillow tries to slide out from under you. The shirt even adds soft comfort to the mix, further enhancing your slumber.