The 10 Best Inflatable Pillows for Camping in 2021

1. TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

4.5/5

2. TREKOLOGY Inflatable Pillow with Removable Cover

4.6/5

3. Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium

4.7/5
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Spending time outdoors is fun, but all the joys of camping could fade if you can’t sleep well. Sure, sleeping under the starry skies will never be as comfortable as sleeping in your own bed, but it doesn’t have to be daunting either.

An inflatable pillow can improve provide all the neck and head support you need for a restful sleep. If you don’t know which to pick, check out our rundown below to find the best inflatable pillow for you. 

How We Rated Best Inflatable Pillow?

  • Comfort

    Is it designed for comfort?

  • Firmness

    Is it adjustalbe?

  • Material

    Is it breathable?

  • Washing

    Is it machine washable?

  • Set up

    Is it easy to inflate?

  • Portability

    Is it easy to carry?

  • Lifespan

    Is it build for years to come?

  • Durability

    Is it sturdy enough?

How We Conducted Research?

  • 14

    Hours Researched

  • 18

    Products Evaluated

  • 8k

    Reviews Considered

  • 2

    Sources Researched

1. TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

4.5/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow

Ultralight and easy to inflate, the TREKOLOGY pillow is an excellent choice if you want a reliable camping pillow at a price that won’t break the bank. Its curved shape delivers proper neck support and makes it perfect for all kinds of sleepers.

A two-way valve, makes it easy to deflate is also as easy as it gets – simply open the valve and press on the pillow to reduce it to soda can dimensions. Although a two-way valve is slower in deflating, it helps reduce weight. Affordable and comfortable, it is undoubtedly a great choice for your lightweight hiking trips.

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2. TREKOLOGY Inflatable Pillow with Removable Cover

4.5/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the TREKOLOGY Inflatable Pillow with Removable Cover

The TREKOLOGY Inflatable Pillow is both light and compact when packed. It inflates / deflates rapidly, and is very comfortable to sleep on – both in terms of feel and temperature.

The one-way valve, if fully removed, lets the air out immediately. If partially removed, it lets you blow air into the pillow, without losing the air when you take another breath, making sure every breath counts.

It has a lightweight design without being too flimsy and susceptible to damage. This is the perfect pillow for when you don’t want to compromise on nightly comfort but don’t want to spend too much money.

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3. Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium

4.4/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium

The Aeros inflatable backpacking pillow has changed the way thousands of people sleep in the backcountry. Highly comfortable, lightweight and compact, it features a super soft brushed 50D polyester knit exterior and a silent, contoured TPU air bladder for support and comfort.

Like its bigger brother the Aeros Premium Deluxe, it is equipped with a patented system to attach it to your Sea to Summit mattress. It’s easy to clean with some mild soap and water, guaranteeing a fresh pillow on every adventure.

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4. Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover

4.7/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover

Hikenture proposes a camping pillow similar to our premium choice, but for a fraction of the price. It has less contoured shape, but it’s super easy to inflate and comes with a removable pillow case that’s easy to wash and sanitize.

The breathable surface of the cover ensures comfort even on the hottest days; another highlight is the one-way valve that lets the air in without losing any while you’re inflating. Durable, resistant, and affordable, it’s a great choice if don’t care about hybrid filling but need a quality camping pillow.

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5. Klymit Luxe Pillow

4.7/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Klymit Luxe Pillow

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, the Klymit Luxe pillow certainly knows how to spoil you. A hybrid between an inflatable and a compressible pillow, it boasts a polyester filling that adds up volume once you’ve inflated it. 

Comfort is also brought by the soft, quilted cover. If we look at the size, the pillow is almost as big as a regular pillow, which truly improves sleep and brings a home-like feel to your adventures. Although it’s not the smallest pillow when packed and while it is more expensive than most other options, the Klymit Luxe is definitely worth every dime.

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6. Gear Doctors Anti-Slip Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

4.9/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Gear Doctors Anti-Slip Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

This ultralight pillow from Gear Doctors is surprisingly comfortable and complete. Weighing around half of many other pillows, it comes with an array of ingenious features. It really looks like the guys at Gear Doctors thought about its design in detail.

No more neck pain in the morning because your pillow keeps slipping from under your head. Simply tie the detachable strap around your sleeping pad. The pillow’s arched design makes it very comfortable, for both back-sleepers and side-sleepers.

The one-way valve makes inflating a breeze, without air escaping. Fine-tune the firmness with the included needle and voila! You’re ready for a good night sleep. 

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7. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow Deluxe

4.8/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow Deluxe

The Aeros Premium Deluxe inflatable pillow uses a construction similar the technology used in Sea-to-Summit’s world-renowned sleeping mats. This ensures the pillow maintaining its flat surface. Luxurious, lightweight and surprisingly compact, this full-size pillow features a super soft brushed 50D polyester knit exterior and a silent, TPU air bladder for support and comfort.

They updated the Aeros Premium Deluxe Pillow in 2019 to add compatibility with their unique Pillow Lock system, where you can attach the pillow securely to your Sea to Summit mattress.

You would have to dig a little deeper into your wallet compared to other pillows on the market, but you’d have royal nights for years to come. 

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8. Leisure Co Ultra-Portable & Ultralight Camping Pillow

4.5/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Leisure Co Ultra-Portable & Ultralight Camping Pillow

This pillow is one of the softest we have tried, thanks to the outer cover. It gives a good level of support and it packs to a tiny size, about the size of a pair of socks.

The very innovative valve is genius and makes it very easy to inflate without deflating along the way, making sure every breath goes in and stays in. Perfect for when you’re on a high-altitude trek.

Overall it deserves credit for being very well built with regards to quality of materials, workmanship, and packability.

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9. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

4.3/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Not inflatable in the traditional meaning of the word but compressible, the Therm-a-Rest pillow is an excellent choice for camping and traveling alike. Made from polyester foam, it becomes as fluffy as a traditional pillow you’d use at home.

Rest comes even easier knowing that the lofty urethane filling is upcycled—the byproduct of Thermarest mattresses, utilizing the waste generated during production.

We also like that fact that it’s washable. To make it fluffy, simply wash and tumble dry it. Unpack, shake and fluff to restore loft whenever needed, and simply compress it back to tiny dimensions by turning it inside-out into its integrated stuff sack. Coming in various colors and sizes, this is one of the comfiest camping pillows you can find.

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10. Wildhorn Sage Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

4.8/5

Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Wildhorn Sage Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

The Wildhorn Sage Ultralight is a hybrid inflatable camping pillow, meaning it combines a  central air bladder with an extra 0.78 inch thick layer of memory foam for premium comfort. It is designed to be ergonomically comfortable for back and side sleepers.

The exterior covering is made 30D nylon material that is removable and washable, so you’ll always have a fresh and clean pillow on your trips.

It’s super packable so you can take it anywhere, without sacrificing a moment of sleep or neck support.

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How to Choose the Best Inflatable Pillow

Inflatable pillows provide portability that every camper needs. They also provide loft customization that is favorable to campers to adjust comfort during outdoor trips. The best inflatable camping pillows are lightweight, easy to transport, and can be packed down into a small bag.

Inflation Method

Traditional inflatable pillows are inflated using human oxygen. There’s a tightly sealed air valve that allows air to be blown into the pillow to inflate. The other version of the Trekology Inflatable Pillow with Removable Cover has a one-way valve that allows you to blow air into the valve while inflating it which takes about 30 seconds. The one-way valve can be pressed for easier and faster deflation time.

Newer versions have improved inflating systems. User opens the valve and presses a button for the pillow to inflate by itself. The Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow has a two-way valve that allows you to inflate the pillow in just 10 seconds and deflate the pillow in a much faster time of 5 seconds.

Tip for inflation method, do not over inflate because this will put stress to the seams of the inflatable pillow causing it to burst at its seams or cause damage to its structural integrity.

It is normal for inflatable pillows to deflate after a few hours especially at high altitudes. If you do not want to wake up to re-inflate, you can over inflate before use to compensate for lost air.

Material Composition

Most inflatable pillows in the market are made from polyurethane-base material, the best example is polyvinyl. Like the Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium that is made from polyester.

Polyvinyl is cold to touch when exposed to cold temperatures. This is why some camping inflatable pillows have a cover made of warmer materials like velvet. The Hikenture Camping Pillow with Removable Cover has a cotton removable cover that can easily attached and removed for cleaning every after use.

The cover is multi-purpose. Polyurethane is not machine washable so dirt can build up. With the cover, it is more hygienic.

Weight

Weight will not matter much for car campers. The 9.6 ounces of Wildhorn Sage Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow will not be much of a difference for them because of the trade-off that it comes with a 0.78 inch thick memory foam for premium comfort. Some even bring their room pillow with them when car camping. But it’s a different story for backpackers, where weight will be carried from jump-off site to camp site. 

Some of the best inflatable pillows we’ve seen have weighed 10 ounces or less. The trade off between comfort and weight has been a long running debate for campers, regardless of type.

But we pick Gear Doctors Anti-Slip Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow here as our best choice, at 3.5 ounces without sacrificing comfort.

Pillow Loft

Lofts describes the height of a pillow. Most inflatable pillows have a valve that allows you to adjust to your preferred loft by adding or removing air.

Side-sleepers will be most comfortable with a medium-to-high-loft pillow. Back-sleepers generally have the same preference. Low loft pillows may be the most comfortable option for stomach sleepers.

Regardless of the type of sleeper you are, we recommend the Klymit Luxe Pillow. It is a hybrid between an inflatable and a compressible pillow hat allows you to adjust pillow loft according to your needs. It boasts of a polyester filling that adds up volume after inflating it.

Packed Size

Same with weight, for car campers packed size is not much of a consideration. Backpackers on the other hand prefer that the pillows can be packed down to the smallest size possible. Some pillows can be packed the same size as a Nalgene bottle. Some campers pack their pillow in the exterior pockets while some strap theirs on the outsides of their packs.

We like the Leisure Co Ultra-Portable & Ultralight Camping Pillow for having one of the smallest packed sizes at 3x3x5.5 inches that can be packed down to a size of a sock. But even at its small size, it is one of the softest pillows we’ve tried.

FAQ

• What kind of Pillow Should I Use for Camping?

Roughly, there are 3 types of pillows on today’s market. Inflatables, non-inflatables and hybrids. As the name suggests, inflatables are basically a simple air bladder with a soft outer layer. Inflatable pillows are very lightweight and compactable, making them a perfect choice for lightweight backpacking. Like the TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow.
Non-inflatables, like the Therm a Rest Compressible Travel Pillow, are filled with memory foam. They tend to be more bulky and heavy.
Hybrids, like the Klymit Luxe Pillow, combine both by having an air bladder surrounded with a soft cover, sometimes with added foam. What pillow you should use for camping really depends on what you want. Do you prefer lightweight and don’t mind compromising a little bit on comfort or do you prefer comfort above all?

• What is the Best Camping Pillow?

If you’re looking for the best value for money when choosing a pillow, the TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow and TREKOLOGY Inflatable Pillow with Removable Cover have good quality for great value. Both pillows are durable, with the latter being the more affordable one. If you want premium comfort, the Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium is the one to go for, but prepare yourself for paying bold prices. It’s worth mentioning Therm-a-Rest with its Compressible Travel Pillow. Although technically not inflatable, it does provide excellent comfort and is surprisingly compact.

• What do Backpackers use for Pillows?

In a recently performed survey, it showed that over 90% of the surveyed backpackers do use a pillow of some sort. More than half uses either a rolled up fleece or other type of gear. Almost 40 % uses a commercial pillow, inflatable or not.  3% uses anything from rolled up foam to even wine box bladders as a pillow. The rest of the surveyed people don’t use one since they either sleep in a hammock or don’t use one at home either.

What these numbers show us is that the majority of backpackers out there don’t mind adding the extra weight of an inflatable pillow to their gear for having some extra comfort at night. Especially because, nowadays, they become more and more lightweight.

• Do you Need a Pillow for Camping?

While you don’t necessarily need a pillow to have fun on your camping trip, they do provide an extra level of comfort. And a good nights rest is critical for you to be able to enjoy the day after also. These days, you can find very affordable pillows for a few dollars, making the choice to invest in one perhaps a little easier.

• What Can I Use Instead of a Pillow?

Instead of bringing a pillow on their camping trip, many hikers and campers will choose to take a pillowcase and fill it with their spare clothes. Although this is less comfortable than a real camping pillow. Alternatively, you can also look for a sleeping bag that comes with a special pocket for a pillow or folded up clothing, like a down jacket or fleece sweater.