7 Top-Rated Camping and Backpacking Pillows (Put to the Test)

Let’s talk about camping and backpacking pillows! There are a lot of options on the market and it can be overwhelming to find a good one. Instead of focusing on every camping pillow ever made, I gathered some of the top-rated pillows on Amazon and tested them. Here are the results!

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testing the top-rated camping and backpacking pillows on Amazon

If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable pillow for backpacking or camping, this post will help you make the right decision.

I’m going to give you the pros and cons of each pillow and my review after testing.

But if you don’t care about the details, here are my top picks overall:

Amanda’s Favorites:

Pillow Considerations (before you buy):

1. How do you sleep?

What type of sleeper are you? Do you sleep on your side, back, or stomach?

Side sleepers might like a pillow with a little more height to support their head, while back and stomach sleepers might want a pillow with less height.

2. Pillow Weight

Pillow weight is a huge factor when it comes to backpacking. When backpacking, you have to carry all of your gear and food. A heavy, bulky pillow just won’t work.

A lot of people choose to skip a backpacking pillow to keep their pack lighter and smaller, but if you want some extra comfort on the trails, I say bring the pillow!

If you’re going to carry a pillow into the backcountry, make sure it’s one that you really like!

3. Pillow Size When Packed

Size is another important consideration for backpacking pillows.

Since space is limited in your backpack, and often filled with essential survival gear and clothing, you want your backpacking pillow to be small and packable when not in use.

If you’re just out car camping, size might not matter too much if you can pack all your gear in the car and drive up to a campsite.

4. Sliding

When you put the pillow on your sleeping bag or sleeping pad, does it slip right off? There have been so many times that I packed a pillow camping, only for it to slide right off my sleeping bag all night long!

That being said, one way to prevent this is to put the pillow inside the hood of your sleeping bag to better hold it in place.

5. Insulation

For the inflatable pillows, the air temperature inside the pillow will transfer to your body. A lot of pillows have a fleece, foam, or down layer to provide insulation and keep you warmer. I think these layers add some comfort too!

6. Surface Material

Is the surface material comfortable on the face? Is the pillow noisy as you move around at night, or is it quiet?

Camping & Backpacking Pillows on Amazon

I set out to find the best backpacking and camping pillows you can buy on Amazon! See what I thought by watching the video or reading below.

Note: Since I made this video, I’ve tested a few more pillows and updated my favorites in this blog post, but the video is still a great way to see some of these pillows in use and get a feel for the sizes and heights.

5 TOP-RATED Amazon Camping & Backpacking PILLOWS [Put to the Test]

1) Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow 2.0

Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow Review
  • Price: $25.99 (see on Amazon)
  • Amazon Reviews: average 4.5 stars (after over 22,000 reviews!!)
  • Weight: 3.4 oz (100g)
  • Pillow Thickness (when inflated): 4 inches

Pros: lightweight and small when packed, has rubber anti-slipping dots to increase friction between your pillow and the sleeping mat, latch strap can further prevent the pillow from moving around while you sleep, 1-way value, good price

Cons: no insulation

Review after testing: I’m really surprised by the quality and comfort of this pillow, especially for the price! The 1-way valve and anti-slipping rubber dots are a nice touch, and they’re features that none of the other pillows on this list have. I think this pillow is overall comfortable. For back sleepers and side sleepers, this pillow might work well if you need something lightweight and small like when you’re backpacking.

2) KlymIt Pillow X

Klymet Pillow X review
  • Price: $29.99 (see on Amazon)
  • Amazon Reviews: average 4.3 stars
  • Weight: 3.2 oz (90.7g)
  • Pillow Thickness (when inflated): 4.25 inches (10.8 cm)

Pros: small and lightweight

Cons: no insulation and the shape can take time to get used to, not suited for all types of sleepers

Review after testing: The X design helps to keep your head in the center of the pillow and it fits inside a mummy sleeping bag hood so it doesn’t slide around. I think this pillow is best for back sleepers. This was not my favorite pillow. The X design keeps your head in the center, but if you move around as you sleep or sleep on your side or stomach, the X design might be uncomfortable.

3) Nemo Fillow Inflatable Travel Pillow with Cover

Nemo Fillow Pillow Review
  • Price: $44.95 (see on Amazon)
  • Amazon Reviews: average 4.6 stars
  • Weight: 9 oz (255 g)
  • Pillow Thickness (when inflated): 4 inches

Pros: soft and comfortable insulating foam layer on top to keep you warm, you can take the cover off and wash it

Cons: bulky, relatively heavy, and the underside is very slippery

Review after testing: This pillow is comfortable for me. I love the soft foam layer on top. The underside is slippery on a sleeping pad, but if you put it in your sleeping bag hood, you can eliminate slipping. For backpacking, this pillow is a little bulky and relatively heavy.

4) Teton Sports Camp Pillow

Teton sports camp pillow
  • Price: varies depending on the pattern (see on Amazon)
  • Amazon Reviews: average 4.5 stars
  • Weight: 12 oz (400 g)
  • Pillow Thickness: 4 inches

Pros: machine washable cover, poly fiber fill lofts on its own so no inflating necessary, makes no noise

Cons: feels cheap, light on filling, bulky for backpacking

Review after testing: This was my least favorite pillow that I tested. While it’s a good price, the poly fiber fill just feels cheap, and over time, I think this pillow would be flat. This pillow is too bulky and heavy for backpacking but would be fine for car camping.

5) Therm-a-rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Therm-a-rest compressible travel pillow
  • Price: $24 – $34 depending on the size (see on Amazon)
  • Amazon Reviews: average 4 stars
  • Weight: 7 oz (small), 9 oz (medium)
  • Pillow Thickness: 4 inches

Pros: comfortable, warm, soft, inexpensive, fun patterns and colors

Cons: bulky for backpacking, might not have enough loft for side sleepers

Review after testing: I love this pillow. This pillow is so soft, warm, and comfortable – 3 very important things for me. I think this pillow is great for car camping, but for backpacking, unfortunately, it’s just too bulky for me to pack. I don’t mind carrying a little extra weight for some comfort, but this simply takes up too much room in my pack for backpacking. This was my favorite pillow until I got the…

6. Klymit Drift Camping Pillow

klymit camping pillow in the tent
  • Price: $49.99
Amazon (see on Amazon)
  • Reviews: average 4.7 stars 

  • Weight: 28 oz (large)
  • Pillow Thickness: 6.5 inches

Pros: 100% cotton cover that’s washable, very comfortable

Cons: can become too firm in cold temperatures, too heavy and bulky for backpacking

Review after testing: I bought this camping pillow a couple of years ago and it remains my top choice. When I first opened the pillow it did have a funky smell, but it aired out and now it’s fine. This pillow is very comfortable for me! I love the shape and size. The only downside I’ve noticed is that when I use this pillow in freezing temperatures, it does become very firm and not as comfortable. I love how this pillow packs up for traveling in the car and the cover is easy to wash.

7. HEST Camping Pillow

HEST camping pillow folded up
HEST camping pillow unfolded in the tent
  • Price: $74 – $119 depending on the size 
(see on Amazon)
  • Amazon Reviews: average 4.5 stars 

  • Weight: 1.2 lbs (travel), 2.2 lbs (camp), 3.2 lbs (standard)

Pros: super comfortable, washable cover, curved shape

Cons: higher price, too heavy and bulky for backpacking

Review after testing: HEST did send me this pillow to try out, but of course, these are my honest thoughts. Overall, this pillow feels like it is made well. It doesn’t feel cheap. I like the way it packs up and it was very comfortable. I have the camp size and it’s a great size for car camping. The pillow is soft, and warm, and has a washable cover. This pillow is *very* close to my number one pick.

All top-rated camping and backpacking pillows inflated and stacked

Overall Best Pillow for Backpacking and Camping

For car camping:

If weight and size are not a concern like when I’m car camping, the Klymit Drift Camping Pillow is my favorite!

For Backpacking:

For backpacking, when I want things to be lightweight and compact, the Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow would be my top pick on this list.

I think the Trekology pillow is an all-around good pillow for most types of sleepers and I’ve packed it on so many of my backpacking trips.

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