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Thread: Pillows

  1. #1
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Pillows

    I was going to pick up a couple travel pillows from REI, but realized they have down in them and my daughter is allergic. Anyone have a recommendation for a non-down one? I have used an inflatable and a stuffsack with clothes in it, but neither was optimum.

    I know it is kind of a luxury item, but think it is worth carrying some kind of pillow.

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Thermarest makes a packable pillow. It seems too soft for me, but maybe your daughter will like it. REI should have them.

    I prefer to use a Camelbak by siimply inflating the bladder and putting some clothes over it. But I'm not that picky and dual use items score high on any of my packing lists.

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    Here's a weird but successful pillow that worked for me on a 1000-mile tour of Europe. I got one of those water bags that has nylon on the outside and a plastic bag on the inside. Interestingly, it hold snot only water, but AIR prefectly! You can hang it from a tree and it has a spout at the bottom. So I had water at my campsite and then a pillow at night. It folds down extremely small.

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    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Thermarest makes a packable pillow. It seems too soft for me, but maybe your daughter will like it. REI should have them.
    I had an inflatable, but switched to the thermarest one I picked up at REI. It's soft, but more comfy than an inflatable. I shove my fleece or other clothes underneath to keep my head propped up. I like a thick pillow.

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    Slowpoach
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    I used a cushion insert for a while, but it is quite bulky.
    I have used clothes in a stuffsack under a fleece top; OK.
    I don't like inflated water bladders to sleep on. Feels like I am rolling off them. Also, the mylar in my one was a little "crinkly" (noise).
    I am trying a base camp thickness Thermarest type next. It is comfy and not too bulky, but weighs a little more than the others above.

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    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I have the thermarest "medium" one -- filled with bits of thermarest. It's pretty good. I should have gotten the large one, but I wanted small pack size. I would exchange it for the bigger one if I could.

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    Honorable Member beowoulfe's Avatar
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    I MAKE room for a full sized pillow. A good night's sleep is worth it.
    Greenspeed GTO 1027

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    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    I use a square pillow that I got at Dollar General for about 4 dollars. It's one of those small ones intended for decoration (I guess) but works great. Takes of space, but does the job of a real pillow and doesn't weigh much. I've had "backpacking" pillows before and they are too much of a compromise, so I either take my this one or nothing at all, in which case my clothes bag stands in as a pillow.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Glad to see I'm not alone in this regard.
    As I get older, a decent pillow has the same priority as a patch kit.
    I used to just stuff a sack with clothes. Now I take a small cylindrical shaped neck pillow. It packs better in the panniers.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
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    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    I have a clothes stuff sack with one of the inside sides lined with fleece. When you're ready to sleep you empty it out, turn the bag inside out and restuff it. I used to use a dry bag filled with air on camping trips but they always deflate and are a bit wobbly. It would probably be more lightweight wrapping some clothes in a fleece sweater but I like how I can adjust the hardness of this style of pillow by stuffing various amounts of clothes into it.

  11. #11
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1
    I was going to pick up a couple travel pillows from REI, but realized they have down in them and my daughter is allergic.
    I'm allergic too, and I cannot sleep on a normal down pillow. But after some hesitation I bought my first-ever down sleeping bag, after being repeatedly assured it would be OK. I've slept maybe 10 nights in it now with absolutely no worries, to my great surprise. It all depends on how well the material is cleaned in the manufacturing process.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I've struggled with this for years. I can't see taking a full size pillow. Small, travel pillows aren't thick enough. My solution is to fill a stuff sack with clothes for a "foundation" - my sleeping bag stuff sack works fine. Then I have a top layer that cushions my head. I bring a fleece vest and fold it up. The flat surface is preferable to the lumps and irregularities of the clothes inside the stuff sack. The fact that it folds flat keeps it from slipping off. The softness of the fleece feels good. It's the best solution I've found, other than bringing my pillow from home. I actually get a pretty good sleep that way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I have a mummy bag and it's normally too cold here to sleep with anything less than a balaclava + mummy head area tied up.

    So. . . I need something small that fits in my bag. I have one of those fleece-lined stuff sacks, but have yet to try it. I think the Thermarest pillow + my little MEC Go Down pillow might be about perfect.

    Will report back once I test it.

  14. #14
    A long distance Newbie wiles9's Avatar
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    some sleeping bags have a pocket in the head to fill with clothes already... just in case anyones missed that secret pocket.

  15. #15
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I decided to check out the local fabric store when I was there for something else. I found what I think will be a good answer for us. They had nice thick firm 12X16 pillows for $7.99.

    They are thicker than the REI or Thermarest and pack pretty small if rolled up and stuffed into a stuff sack. The only downside I can see at this point is that we have to buy or make a stuff sack unless we can jam them in with the sleeping bag.

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    I either use nothing at all or blow up my Camel Bak with air. The trick with that is that if you don't want to feel like you are going to fall off, deflate it a little bit so that your head sinks in a little.

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