What are the best backpacking pillows in 2022

by Sigita B | Last Updated: November 12, 2021

Although pillows may seem insignificant and sometimes disregarded, they may make the difference between sleeping well and shifting and tossing all night. 

We slept beneath the moonlight on hundreds of hiking and camping cushions. To filter this list down to the elite of the elites, we took many afternoon naps.

Our camping specialists have acquired and evaluated the best camping pillows over the past six years. This research analyses the most popular models for 2022.

We’ve tested each product in campsites, slings, and flights all across the globe, comparing it to our key performance indicators. After countless hours of on-hand testing, we discussed things, made observations, and took opinions for each model.

Keep reading to keep experiencing sweet slumbers, irrespective of your whereabouts.

Product Mini-Reviews

Mountain view from a tent

Best Overall – Sea to Summit Aeros

Despite its small weight, the Sea to Summit Aeros is remarkably snug. This cushion, which only weighs only a few ounces, expands to a large size. It compresses to roughly the size of an apple when packed, making it almost invisible in your bag.

A flexible air unit complements the plush polyester fabric. The stretchy fabrics of the cell, we believe, are what distinguishes this cushion from its competitors. Textured contours in the pillow contribute significantly to a restful night’s sleep.

After considering all of these advantages, we had no doubts about bringing this camping cushion on our next major wilderness excursion. One tester has been hiking with this cushion for seven years. It is still going strong —remarkable longevity for an inflated pillow.

This cushion keeps your neck off the floor and offers a cradled layer of assistance. Still, it isn’t as comfy as most of the inflatable or hybrid choices we examined.

The Sea to Summit Aeros is also available in Super Lite, Luxury. So you may choose one that suits your needs based on whatever end of the lightweight continuum you fall on. 

This backpacking pillow is our personal favorite. Sea Summit Aeros is the cushion we carry on hiking excursions that last a few days or longer.

Best Overall
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow

Regular size inflates to a comfortable 13 x 9 x 4 inches which fits inside a sleeping bag hood.

Packs into its stuff sack, no bigger than a bottle of ibuprofen! Weighs just 2.7 oz.

Inflate with 5-7 breaths. Easy deflation & adjustment with the mini Multi-Function Valve.

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Best Economy – Trekology Ultralight Inflatable

The Trekology Ultralight Inflating Pillow is a lightweight, ergonomically designed inflatable cushion.

The Trekology Ultralight Inflating Pillow weighs 2.5 ounces and is great for hiking, traveling, and trekking. It’s light and small.

It folds up into a small carry pouch, making it ideal for extended trips when storage and weight are important considerations.

Both the pillow and the storage bag are weatherproof, and the cushion has a non-slip bottom to protect it from sliding around under your neck.

A detachable and flexible cotton cover is included with the Trekology camping cushion. This accommodation allows for appropriate air circulation, which avoids moisture build-up.

It’s also relatively simple to use. There is an additional button that you may press and blow into for 4 – 5 puffs, and this will be fully inflated and ready to rest on.

Extremely comfortable and made to provide a restful night’s sleep.

You may now sleep as though you are at your house without burning a hole in your pocket, whether you are going on a lengthy camping vacation or simply a weekend break.

Best Economy
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

Small in Size - Big on Comfort! This is the most compact & lightweight inflatable camp pillow on the market – folds down to 5x2 inches, smaller than a soda can! Inflates to a comfortable pillow for head or lumbar support. Deflating back down in only seconds. This backpacking pillow can easily be carried in your backpack or pocket for convenient access. Weighing a mere 3.9oz (110g), lighter than a can of soda!


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Best Luxury – NEMO Fillo Elite

For many years, the Nemo Fillo has become one of the most renowned camping pillows due to its soft foam core, which offers excellent comfort.

The detachable micro-suede cover, robust air bladder, and strong valve are all composed of high-quality materials on the inside and out.

The Fillo is not light enough for camping weighing in at 10 ounces, but it’s a comfortable alternative with a good value for vehicle camping, traveling, and short overnight excursions.

This pillow has a microsuede cover and a polyurethane filling for dependable comfort. The Fillo, primarily an inflatable cushion, inflates with only a few breaths and incorporates a twist vent for personalized support.

This pillow compensates for its lack of compact size (it’s approximately the size of a football) with an exceptional blend of support and comfort. You’ll have one less item to look for while packing up for camp since the stuff bag is linked to the pillow.

Although we like the included stuff bag, several reviewers made it challenging to pack the cushion inside it. Those who are not as fussy about the weight will appreciate the Fillo’s advantages in almost any outdoor location.

Best Luxury
NEMO Fillo Elite

The soft cover provides a cooling, luxury feel and is machine washable for convenience. A 3" I-beam baffled air cell eliminates the 'balloon' feeling of traditional camp pillows and creates a more natural shape that cradles your head. he Fillo Elite packs down to about the size of a lime - small and light enough to carry into the backcountry. The integrated stuff sack won't get lost in your pack or the depths of your sleeping bag.

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Buying Guide

We dragged cushions all over the globe, recording careful details and comparing items next to each other, whether we were car camping, trekking, or kayaking. 

We rated all the models on five key factors: comfort, stability, lightness, and packing size.

Value For Money

Camping cushions are affordable. Despite their cheaper pricing, we discovered that particular pillows provided better value than others. Among the most costly ones were also some of the least comfy.

Comfort

Comfort is the most crucial factor for car campers when choosing a cushion, and it’s also a key consideration for backpackers.

If you aren’t relaxed, your chances of getting a good night’s sleep reduce, and your next-day energy may suffer as a result. Pillow material, contour and curvature, dimensions, and outer shell fabric are all elements that influence pillow comfort.

Lightness

Backpacking cushions, on the other hand, must fit inside your backpack alongside everything else you’ll need for a night in the woods. The most excellent backpacking pillows weigh roughly as much as a whole bag of Doritos and compress about as little as an emptied bag of Doritos. 

Still, they are substantially more pleasant to lay your head on for longer timeframes than some packet of crisps.

Packing Size

Your favorite camping cushion may become your regular bedroom pillow. When vehicle camping, you don’t have to worry about your pillow being too big. 

You should be able to jam it into any corner or crook in your luggage, even if your vehicle is already stuffed with camping chairs, gas cans, and overstuffed coolers.

Conclusion

Trekking and backpacking are often coupled. That’s why it felt natural to offer a cushion that would be particularly suitable for nighttime backpacking.

After all, most multi-day walks last between three and four days.

As a result, they’re short enough, and weight is unlikely to be a decisive issue. The trips are lengthy and strenuous, so a good night’s sleep is essential!

The Sea to Summit Aeros, in our opinion, is the best bet. It’s a tiny all-rounder that doesn’t skimp on functionality.