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Camping pillow suggestions

Old 07-02-13, 01:35 PM
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alan s 
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Camping pillow suggestions

I have a couple cheap camping pillows that fit in a stuff sack, but they don't really compress much, and aren't very comfortable. I'm a side sleeper on an inflatable Neoair Trekker pad, so a decent sized pillow or two would be great. Stuff sack with clothing inside is not an option. Will be inside a tent, so moisture/rain could be an issue, but not a major concern. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'd prefer buying from REI if it meets my needs. Any of these look good?

https://www.rei.com/search?query=pillows
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Old 07-02-13, 01:45 PM
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i bought this one and like it so far.

https://www.rei.com/product/830617/exped-air-pillow
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Old 07-02-13, 02:01 PM
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there are stuff sacks that you turn inside out, and they have a 1/2 fleece side to them,
then you stuff things like the clothers you had on, in the sack.
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Old 07-02-13, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
i bought this one and like it so far.

https://www.rei.com/product/830617/exped-air-pillow
+1 on the Exped pillow I tried one out on my last tour and was very happy with it, the only thing I did was to throw a t-shirt over it as a pillow case.
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Old 07-02-13, 02:32 PM
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Previous Thread on same topic: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Perfect-Pillow
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Old 07-02-13, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo View Post
Come on! It's a time honored BF tradition not to search for old threads. Pillow technology has undoubtedly changed tremendously in the past 3 years.
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Old 07-02-13, 03:48 PM
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I have one of these and love it for backpacking and soon to be used on some tours.


https://www.rei.com/product/850195/co...ralight-pillow
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Old 07-02-13, 03:58 PM
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I have a windproof polyester fleece that has a hood. I fold and roll the jacket into the hood and use it as a pillow.
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Old 07-02-13, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
there are stuff sacks that you turn inside out, and they have a 1/2 fleece side to them,
then you stuff things like the clothers you had on, in the sack.
I used this method for years. But I never could come to terms with how the clothes would compact, and unless they were nicely folded, there were always lumpy bits to contend with. And the "pillow" was never consistent in thickness.

Then I started experimenting with self-inflating pillows. The issue always was the thickness and general size when inflated was too small for me, and when deflated, the size was too large (odd equation, but true for me). I've also used compressible pillows, but the filling was always too soft to sleep with.

Originally Posted by 12bar View Post
+1 on the Exped pillow I tried one out on my last tour and was very happy with it, the only thing I did was to throw a t-shirt over it as a pillow case.
We acquired these while away last year. I bought mine in an outdoor shop in Switzerland. It is by far and away the best pillow I have had in terms of the above equation as well as comfort. I am, however, looking at the next size up for my next purchase. I think then I would be in pillow nirvana.

I have found, that as with the Exped mats, slight underinflation is better than pumping it up hard.

Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Come on! It's a time honored BF tradition not to search for old threads. Pillow technology has undoubtedly changed tremendously in the past 3 years.
Yes, it has indeed changed tremendously in the past three years with the event of the Exped pillows that are very well made, small to pack, and are apparently durable.
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Old 07-02-13, 05:46 PM
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I don't like the feel of the inflatable pillows regardless of the inflation. I tried the exped and thought that it was over priced and not super comfortable although many people love them. I am thoroughly happy with the REI compressible pillow. There's just something nice about having a real stuffed pillow after a long day of riding. It doesn't pack down as small as the exped and it weighs 4 oz more but worth it for me...
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Old 07-02-13, 06:17 PM
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Not sure what your specific 'pillow' needs are, but I have camped, canoed, kayaked and biked much of N. America. I have never found a need for a pillow 'specific.' I have always found that the clothes and gear I carry will always convert to a comfortable pillow. E.g. take a T-shirt and stuff it with other soft clothes. Use a vest the same way. My polar-tech vest (stuffed) makes a great pillow. Rule of thumb: less is better.
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Old 07-02-13, 06:25 PM
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I was using my bag of clothes... or a hoodie folded inside its own hood.
not the best pillow... but after cycling all day long for many consecutive days... I could even sleep on a rock.
=]
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Old 07-02-13, 08:38 PM
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If you want something cheap and light, and really surprisingly comfy, about three feet of bubble wrap rolled into a cylinder and covered in a buff as a pillow case. If you get the nice unpoppable stuff (my homebrew supplies always come packed in it, although I'm sure there are other sources) it's resilient as well.

I usually just use a stuff sack with my insulation gear in it, (just in case I need to pull it on in the middle of the night).
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Old 07-02-13, 08:44 PM
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Another less is best. 52 years of the stuff sack with a T-shirt over it. Inflatable sucks and anything else takes up space and weighs something.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Another less is best. 52 years of the stuff sack with a T-shirt over it. Inflatable sucks and anything else takes up space and weighs something.
For you.
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Old 07-02-13, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenhog View Post
I have one of these and love it for backpacking and soon to be used on some tours.


https://www.rei.com/product/850195/co...ralight-pillow
Brought one of those with me to Africa, but it didn't last. My thermarest also didn't last. Same reason in both cases was too many thorns - so even when I tried to make sure the area under the tent was cleared, I missed things occasionally and ended up with leaks.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:22 AM
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If you scroll down to August 26th, I talk about some of the equipment we had on our recent tour, including the pillows. Continue on down to August 29th, and I talk about the Exped pillow Rowan and I bought in Switzerland ...

https://www.machka.net/RTW_2012/RTW_Europe_Main_2012.htm
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Old 07-03-13, 03:26 AM
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And this thread might have some suggestions ...

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/793025-Pillows
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Old 07-03-13, 05:47 AM
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Currently saying a resounding "No" to anything inflatable after my last tour.
I'm returning to closed cell sleeping roll and clothes in stuff-sac for a pillow.
Until they design a Schwalbe Marathon Plus version of the inflatable gear I'm sticking with stuff that doesnt "blow".
I'll say no more as touring in Australia can be a "thorny" issue
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Old 07-03-13, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
Currently saying a resounding "No" to anything inflatable after my last tour.
I'm returning to closed cell sleeping roll and clothes in stuff-sac for a pillow.
Until they design a Schwalbe Marathon Plus version of the inflatable gear I'm sticking with stuff that doesnt "blow".
I'll say no more as touring in Australia can be a "thorny" issue
Aahhh... the notorious bindi?

There also are some nasties along the Murray River and on the Nullarbor Plain. But go figure, I've never had an inflatable mat holed by any.
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Old 07-03-13, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ravenhog View Post
I have one of these and love it for backpacking and soon to be used on some tours.


https://www.rei.com/product/850195/co...ralight-pillow
My GF uses that and loves it. I am in the clothes in the sleeping bag stuff sack with something over it camp.
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Old 07-03-13, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
i bought this one and like it so far.

https://www.rei.com/product/830617/exped-air-pillow
+1
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Old 07-03-13, 08:29 AM
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I have a fleece pillow case that I use to store my down sweater. For me it's worth the extra 2 ounces verses a nylon suff-sack.
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Old 07-03-13, 08:34 AM
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Lots of great ideas here and in the other threads. I'm thinking an inflatable pillow such as the Exped, and if that is not enough height, adding clothing under the pad to raise it a bit. The Cocoon also looks like a possibility. Both seem like they work well for side sleepers. I'm heading to REI this weekend to try out a few.

Nice blog, BTW, Machka.
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Old 07-03-13, 08:40 AM
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I did the clothes-in-a-stuff-sack for years. The results were mixed, from night to night, even from hour to hour. Sometimes it was comfy, but lost of times it was lumpy and I'd spend a lot of time fussing with it to try and make it comfy.

Then I got a Thermarest pillow. Problem solved. It's always comfy, light, and rolls up into a package the size of a big burrito. I'm a side sleeper and want a certain thickness pillow. I fold my towel and put it under the Thermarest. Perfect! It has a soft fleece side. I bought the small size to save size, weight, and money. It seems to have been a good choice. Why buy a pillow that's bigger than your head?

Highly recommended.
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