When going on a backpacking adventure, the value of a good night’s sleep is crucial for staying energized and productive. Spending days or weeks away from the comfort of your bed can leave you with not only separation anxiety, but also the lack of comfortability that you’re used to. Snuggling up to your new sleeping environment in the wilderness can be a challenge, leaving you restless and uncomfortable. You can be assured that getting accustomed to your new surroundings can take some time, but thankfully with this list of the top 10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Pillows, finding a comfortable place to rest your head and neck every night won’t be one more thing you have to worry about.
Now, throughout the different models and brands presented on this list, you’re going to be noticing a consistent pattern of required features we deem is necessary to earn the title of exceptional ultralight backpacking pillow. The specs we deemed a requirement, and we think you will too, not only involve being ultralight, but also involve how easily packable the product is, its compressibility, comfortability, and a level of durability when faced with the elements of your adventure.
It’s important that your gear doesn’t let you down, and actually contributes to the ease of your journey rather than cause complications. While we can’t speak for the rest of your gear, we are confident you will find the right kind of backpacking pillow that will not only meet your needs but will also become a permanent member of your necessary backpacking supplies.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Pillows
- 1.1 1. Therm-a-Rest Airhead Down Pillow
- 1.2 2. Nemo Fillo
- 1.3 3. Cocoon Ultralight Air Core Pillow
- 1.4 4. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium
- 1.5 5. Trekology Pillow
- 1.6 6. Klymit Pillow X
- 1.7 7. Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case
- 1.8 8. Nemo Fillo Elite Ultralight Pillow
- 1.9 9. Exped Air Pillow UL
- 1.10 10. Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow
- 2 Conclusion
Top 10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Pillows
|Therm-a-Rest Airhead Down Pillow||Check On Amazon|
|Nemo Fillo||Check On Amazon|
|Cocoon Ultralight Air Core Pillow||Check On Amazon|
|Sea to Summit Aeros Premium||Check On Amazon|
|Trekology Pillow||Check On Amazon|
|Klymit Pillow X||Check On Amazon|
|Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case||Check On Amazon|
|Nemo Fillo Elite Ultralight Pillow||Check On Amazon|
|Exped Air Pillow UL||Check On Amazon|
|Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow||Check On Amazon|
1. Therm-a-Rest Airhead Down Pillow
The Airhead Down Pillow model emphasizes comfortability and convenience over weight and space. Along with being very comfortable to sleep on, the Airhead Down Pillow has more flexibility in air volume and comes in a distinct oval-like shape and helps meet any user’s needs regardless of sleeping position.
With comfortability being the major aspect that makes this ultralight backpacking pillow so attractive, there are some down sides when in comparison with its competitors. The median weight for an ultralight backpacking pillow is around 3 ounces, and with the Therm-a-Rest Airhead Down Pillow weighing in just under 6 ounces, it’s clearly the heavier option.
It is also important to remark that some people are allergic to down feathers which serves as the main material for this pillow. Overall, this is a great option for someone who minds a heavier pillow in exchange for sublime comfort.
2. Nemo Fillo
Some of the best features of the Nemo Fillo are comfort and versatility. This backpacking pillow really hits the sweet spot by making a pillow with the comfortability of a compressible pillow as well as having the elasticity of an inflatable one. This pillow can be used for a backpacking adventure just as easily as it can for a road trip or a weekend away. This almost universal usability and comfort does come at a price. It is one of the heaviest pillows on this list weighing in at 9 ounces, which makes it not very suitable for long backpacking excursions but great for anything else!
3. Cocoon Ultralight Air Core Pillow
The Cocoon Ultralight Air Core Pillow provides the user with versatility. The pillow comes with two different sides that are meant to be used in different weather conditions. There is a nylon side which is meant to be used in warm weather since it is cooling and provides comfort for the hotter nights. The other side is a microfiber side which is meant to be used in cooler temperatures since it is warm and cozy for the cold weather.
The Cocoon Ultralight Air Core Pillow is targeted to those who prefer a firm pillow since it can prove to be wobbly when not fully inflated. The Cocoon Ultralight Air Core Pillow comes in two different size options which are 14×18 inches and 16×22 inches, which are great sizes for those who prefer a larger pillow. The pillow does come with a few downfalls such as it being a bit bulky proving to be on the heavier side but, overall, it will get you through your adventure just fine!
4. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium
This Sea to Summit Aeros Premium pillow is unique in how it is designed specifically for your neck and shoulders no matter what position you sleep in. This design dedication emphasizes comfortability, and makes a good night’s sleep a certainty. One top of being one of the most comfortable pillows on this list, it also is equipped with a multi-functional valve, making it only take a few deep breaths to blow up completely. At weighing only 2.78 ounces and reducing to a packing size of 7×8.5 centimeters, this pillow is a great choice and is considered one of the most comfortable pillows on our list.
5. Trekology Pillow
This ultralight backpacking pillow by Trekology is the largest on the list at 16 inches. On top of being so big, the pillow is remarkably comfortable and can actually be used as an excellent back support as well because of its size. The inflation valve system is unique and effective. Using a button to actually open and seal the airway, this simple design helps to ensure sealing the captured air inside the pillow with very little possibility of leakage. Trekology did a great job creating a large pillow while being easy to use and is actually very durable. Naturally, because of its size and durability, it’s also heavier than most other models, and more expensive.
6. Klymit Pillow X
One of the lightest pillows on our list, the Klymit Pillow X is only 1.7 ounces and is lightweight, comfortable and durable. It’s built with a mixture of inflatable technology while also having compressible capabilities, making it comfortable for any sleeping position along with being easy to pack.
Once deflated, the Klymit Pillow X can minimize itself to the size of your smartphone in its protective bag. Regarding the Klymit Pillow X’s durability, its polyester construction also makes the pillow puncture proof. These three great qualities are also complemented by the rippled circle design divided up into four different padded sections in the shape of an X, leaving lots of padded room for head placement and changing sleeping positions.
We chose this ultralight backpacking pillow as our number one choice because of how we feel it’s the perfect combination of all of our necessary requirements that not only help you get a good night’s sleep, but also directly make your packing and backpacking experience easier. Therefore, it earns the label of being one of the best ultralight backpacking pillows.
7. Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case
The Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case takes a different, more creative approach to what it means to be an ultralight backpacking pillow. In fact, I’m sure as you insinuated from the title, the Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case rejects the standard notion that an exceptional backpacking pillow has to be inflatable and compressible. Instead, Therm-a-Rest Trekker Pillow Case has made a pillow case that is so comfortable, durable, stylish, packable and waterproof, putting in your excess packed clothes in as a substitution for the actual pillow doesn’t make you bat an eye.
The brushed polyester pillowcase feels great on your skin and only weighs 2.3 ounces. While being even lighter then our first pillow choice, this pillow case can actually pack down to essentially nothing, making it easily the most packable item on our list. This alternative to the standard industry approach to ultralight backpacking pillows still easily meets our previously claimed requirements, exceeds our expectations of packability, making it easily be one of the best ultralight backpacking pillows for optimizing space.
8. Nemo Fillo Elite Ultralight Pillow
For the tenth and final product that made it to our list, the Nemo Filler Elite is a great choice. Like the Nemo Fillo listed above, this pillow is incredibly comfortable but, unlike the previous Nemo model, this one is extremely light in comparison. At 3 ounces, this pillow is essentially a third of the weight of the other Nemo Filler model and still has many similar qualities regarding material and insulation. Both use a comfortable light layer of synthetic insulation below a soft cotton outer coating that makes it one of the more comfortable inflatables.
What the Nemo Filler Elite gains from being extremely lightweight, it loses in pocket compartments that are great for securing holding on to any miscellaneous valuable items required for your trip. Of course, if you’re looking for a reliable and standard ultralight backpacking pillow, this is an excellent choice.
9. Exped Air Pillow UL
The Exped Air Pillow UL is another example of a great very light backpacking pillow with great packability, taking up the space the size of a smartphone. This ultralight pillow also comes attached with two clips that can latch on to any standard sleeping mat or air mattress, ensuring that the pillow stays in place while you sleep. The pillow is very easy to inflate and deflate, only needing a few gasps of air for inflation, and applied pressure to deflate. The ultralight pillow does lack some degree of durability, making it more prone to damage or puncture then other top models.
10. Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow
This bigger than average ultralight backpacking pillow is made mainly of stretched nylon fabric which helps give the pillow more cushioning than competing nylon based products. While also being bigger in size when inflated and relatively comfortable, it’s still extremely light weighing at only 1.8 ounces and is easily packable.
The two characteristics that set the Big Agnes AXL pillow apart is how it’s one of the biggest pillows on the market while in combination of being very light. While these aspects are great, with them you lose durability. With this model being made exclusively of stretched nylon fabric, it makes it easy to be punctured and damaged. This shouldn’t be a problem if packed correctly and deflated after use, but be wary of its fragile structure. The last thing you need is to be in the middle of a backpacking adventure with your only pillow popped and unusable.
Overall, all ten of these best ultralight backpacking pillows found in this article are exceptional choices compared to much of what the rest of the industry has to offer. And when it comes to crucial supplies and gear for your perilous adventure, or two-day backpacking trip, having the right equipment is necessary for success, even for something as routine as a good night’s sleep.
While we have ranked these products from what we deem as the best of the best and what we believe as slightly less, each one of these ultralight pillows are excellent. Every single product has a variety of different features that may better suit your needs as a backpacker. We hope that the diversity of products and functionality that is found within this article helped and contributed to you finding the best ultralight backpacking pillow you need. Cheers to your next adventure!