A pillow for your sleeping bag is probably the last thing that crosses your mind when preparing for a backpacking trip. However, this particular accessory is crucial in determining how much quality rest you can get while out in the wild. Therefore, apart from being comfortable to wear, a pillow for sleeping bag needs to be lightweight, easy to pack, and convenient to carry around.
Below we’ve prepared some of the best alternatives to a pillow for sleeping bag. We’ve extensively researched which pillow is the lightest and most affordable for your next backpacking trip. So if you’re on the hunt for a pillow for sleeping bag, you’re in the right place! And without further ado, let’s check out our reviews.
Table of contents
- Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow
- Therm-A-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow
- Klymit Inflatable Pillow
- Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow
- Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
- Big Agnes Q Core Deluxe Camping Pillow
- Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow
- Nemo Fillo Elite
- Trekology Aluft 2.0 Ultralight Pillow
- Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core
- Exped Air Pillow
- InstantCamp Pillow
- Rugged Camp
- How to Choose the Best Pillow for Sleeping Bag
- Are Camping Pillows Worth It?
- How Do I Keep My Pillow from Sliding?
- Is Sleeping in a Tent Good for You?
Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow
Bearing the reputation of one of the most prestigious outdoor gear brands in the US, the Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow offers you nothing but comfort and reliability. This tiny pillow weighs less than 2.1 ounces and is only the size of a paperback book, making it more than ideal for a backpacking trip. You’ll be able to get the quality sleep you need without sacrificing precious space in your backpack.
This pillow for sleeping bag is now available in three sizes. Depending on your needs, you may choose between regular, large, and deluxe. They all feature a polyester knit material that works great for even the most sensitive skin. If you’re an avid backpacker obsessed with ultralight gear, this pillow won’t disappoint you.
- Comes in different sizes
- Polyester knit fabric
- High-quality materials
- Free storage bag
- Hand wash only
Therm-A-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow
The Therm-A-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow is perhaps one of the most popular portable pillows in the backpacking community. Most love the fact of how light this cushion is. It has a soft cotton filling that won’t weigh your back. This pillow for sleeping bag will allow you to rest comfortably like at home without all that extra burden.
The Therm-A-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow is perfect for various occasions with extensive plush support through its four-inch dimensions. You can use it in your camp or even on public transportation. The pillow also boasts a soft polyester cover, so those with sensitive skin won’t have any issues.
Don’t have much room left in your backpack or travel bag? You can check out our best inflatable pillows for travel and get a good, comfortable rest without adding extra bulk to your bag.
- Machine wash friendly
- Made in the USA
- Use recycled materials
- You need to fluff it constantly
Klymit Inflatable Pillow
Boasting an unconventional design, the Klymit Inflatable Pillow is made to ensure your head stays in the right position, no matter what kind of ground you’re lying on. This ultra-lightweight pillow provides excellent support and is comfortable to wear. If you need to make some adjustments, you can release air to lower the pillow.
Another great thing about this pillow for sleeping bag is the fact that it’s inflatable. You can fold it small and store it anywhere in your backpack. As for the price, this inflatable pillow is now being offered at around $18 or almost a third cheaper than most of the products on this list. So if you’re on a tight budget, the Klymit Pillow will make a great investment.
- Available in various colors
- Excellent design
- Lifetime warranty
- Replacement cover
- No extra grip
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow
The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow is made for any backpacker out there. It’s available in regular and large sizes, both of which come in a super soft polyester material. You can pack it small into the sack provided, allowing you to have more room for other stuff in your backpack. Another great thing is that this pillow for sleeping bag weighs less than three ounces.
If you think the pillow is too high, you can use the Multi-Function Valve to release some air and make adjustments. Apart from that, this pillow is considered one of the lightest pillows on the market. So if you’re looking for new gear to accompany your sleeping bag, this one will be perfect.
- Various colors
- Ultra-soft lining
- It’s was a bit pricey
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow is an affordable option not to be missed. Don’t let the low price tag fool you because this thing can do a lot. First of all, it has a soft micro-suede cover to ensure your head lies comfortably all night. Next, the pillow is available in three different sizes. Even if you go for the biggest one, it only measures 12×17 inches. In other words, this cushion won’t take up much space in your backpack.
Thanks to its versatile design, this pillow for sleeping bag will work great on any occasion. You can use it while camping or traveling. And since the pillow won’t cost you that much, you’ll be able to save your money for a few other things. Brilliant!
- Easy to clean
- Machine wash friendly
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- It can get a little lumpy
Big Agnes Q Core Deluxe Camping Pillow
Made by one of the most renowned brands in the industry, the Big Agnes Q-Core Deluxe is a versatile pillow that works great for travel, camping, or backpacking trips. Offered at around $50, this product provides comfortable and soft cushioning, even for people with the most sensitive skin. The cover is made of premium nylon and is fully stretchable. This means you won’t have any pressure points during your night’s rest.
For added comfort, this pillow for sleeping bag comes with reflective heat technology. It is supposed to be able to collect heat around the head area, which will be convenient during wintertime. If you’re looking for a minimalist pillow with excellent stability, this pillow will not disappoint you.
- Soft surface
- Hand wash only
Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow
Here comes another amazing product from Sea to Summit. The Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow comes with a nylon woven fabric that’s extremely easy to adjust, inflate and deflate. All made possible thanks to their patented Multi-Function Valve technology. This allows you to immediately have a nice rest right after you’ve finished setting up your tent.
Just as you would expect from the best pillow for sleeping bag, the Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow comes with its carrying bag. Once you deflate the pillow and place it in, you’ll have a 5.5×3.15-inch pack that’s super easy to carry around. This allows you to save room for other essentials, like a raincoat or extra socks.
Are you looking to do some hikes shortly? Make sure you check out our best sleeping bags for hikers.
- Nylon fabric
- It’s quite pricey
Nemo Fillo Elite
The Nemo Fillo Elite is marketed as an ultralight portable pillow. Despite its small dimensions, this cushion can provide excellent comfort while you spend the night in the wild. It’s compressible, which makes it perfect for any backpacking trip. And what makes the pillow even better is that it comes with its carrying sack. You shouldn’t have any problem carrying this thing around the backcountry.
As you would expect from the best pillow for sleeping bag, the Nemo Fillo Elite comes with a special filling. It has a three-inch air cell to give your head a nice cushion. Trust us; this pillow is as comfortable as it can be. You’ll get nice support and excellent altitude. Check this one out when you have time.
- Integrated storage
- Ergonomic value
- It might take some time to get used to it
Trekology Aluft 2.0 Ultralight Pillow
The Trekology Aluft 2.0 Ultralight Pillow is perhaps one of the most cost-efficient options. This portable pillow offers a non-slip layer on the bottom to prevent it from slipping on top of your sleeping bag. And for greater security, Trekology adds an integrated latch.
Compared to the older model, the Trekology Alutft 2.0 promises far superior comfort. It features a water-repellent coating and an elastic, durable TPU fabric. As for portability, this pillow for sleeping bag is foldable. When not in use, you can squeeze this cushion for up to 5×2 inches, small or no larger than a regular coke can.
- Dot and latch design
- No additional padding
Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core
Available in two sizes (14×18 inches and 16×22 inches), the Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow is one of the biggest products we’ve tried on this list. This large pillow will be great if you’re looking for a large cushion with plenty of lofts. Once fully inflated, it will give you a nice grip. For those who prefer firmer pillows, the $35 product won’t be a disappointment.
The Cocoon Ultralight Air-Core Pillow boasts a nylon cover, which will make a great investment for your summer camping trip. It will give your head some extra chill during those warm nights. As for care, this pillow is super soft and machine-washable. If you don’t mind its bulky dimensions, this is the pillow for sleeping bag you’ve been looking for.
- Machine wash-friendly
- Slightly bulky
Exped Air Pillow
The Exped Air Pillow is another great option for you to consider. It’s ergonomically designed and boasts an ultra-lightweight material. The pillow is a bit crinkly, but this is a common problem for this kind of product. For about $60, this thing isn’t bad at all. While it’s not the most comfortable pillow around, you’ll still be able to get a comfortable rest during your camping nights.
Weighing at around 1.6oz, the Exped Air Pillow is one of the lightest pillows. If you love backpacking, this product will make an excellent investment. It boasts an anatomical shape and is super easy to maintain. Check this one out if you have the time.
Get yourself a comfortable and relaxing rest, no matter where you go. Check out our best roll-up sleeping bags and decide when you want to grab a nap in the middle of the day!
- Adjustable height
- Anatomical height
- Easy to carry
- It’s a little crinkly
When it comes to portability, you can’t beat the InstantCamp Pillow. This thing only took four full breaths to become fully inflated. This pillow makes a great investment when you don’t have all the time in the world to set up your camp. Apart from that, it’s made of nylon material. This means you should get a nice, comfortable rest throughout the night.
Our only problem with this pillow for sleeping bag is the shape. It’s too big by our standards. Yes, the pillow is durable, but you’ll probably need to free up some extra space to accommodate this. As of this writing, the InstantCamp Pillow is on offer at around $14. So if you don’t plan on spending a lot, this one will make a great option.
- It’s big
Rugged Camp Pillow offers great value for money. This ultralight product is the ultimate bargain and can be folded so small. It offers great support for your head and promises impressive stability. Like most of the products on this list, the Rugged Camp has a nylon cover. While we didn’t have any issues with it, some people indeed found this material to be uncomfortable.
Yes, indeed, you can always pick another pillow. However, let us remind you that you can easily fix this by adding an extra cloth cover. That shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to do. After all, you don’t need to spend much to get this pillow. Add the compactness and portability factor to the equation, and you’ve got yourself the best pillow for a sleeping bag.
- Easy to carry
- Ergonomic design
- You might need an extra cover
How to Choose the Best Pillow for Sleeping Bag
With so many alternatives available, how do you know which pillow will work best for you? Well, first of all, you need to understand that a pillow for sleeping bag is more than just a small pad to lay your head on. Of course, you’re free to pick anything if you plan to use it at home. However, we’re talking about the backcountry environment here. A place where you probably won’t get the flattest or most comfortable ground to rest on.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the three most important things to look at when you’re looking for a pillow for sleeping bag. Hopefully, this brief guide will reduce the amount of time and effort before you can finally get the right pillow.
A pillow for sleeping bag is supposed to be able to rest your head comfortably. Whether it’s foam or air inflation, you need to make sure that you’ll be able to get an excellent rest from the pad. Apart from that, see if the pillow comes with a rough or soft exterior. Some people react differently to specific materials, so you need to think about this before you decide to go with a certain product.
When it comes to backpacking or camping trips, space management is the name of the game. Therefore, look for a pillow for sleeping bag that’s both lightweight and portable. See if you can roll it up when it’s not in use. That way, you’ll still have plenty of room in your backpack for clothes, food supplies, and other daily essentials.
Want to get some rest during your trip? Check out our best neck pillows for travel at Walmart.
Just like any other outdoor gear, a pillow for sleeping bag needs to be tough. It should withstand repeated abuse since it’ll most likely rub against your other gear and receive a lot of shock and impact. See if the pillow is made of a decent material. Make sure it can cope with temperature changes, stains, or other external challenges.
Are Camping Pillows Worth It?
Well, this will depend on how you plan to camp. If you think you need some extra comfort, getting a camping pillow would be worth it. However, if you’re comfortable enough with a sleeping bag, then you might as well use your bag or shirt.
How Do I Keep My Pillow from Sliding?
You can use a strap or strap to keep your pillow in place. Meanwhile, some products do come with a contoured bottom to prevent slipping. For an extra measure, make sure that you set up your camp on fairly level ground.
Are you looking for some new pillows for your next weekend getaway? Don’t forget to check out our best Wayfair pillows and throws for travel.
Is Sleeping in a Tent Good for You?
While this is debatable, several studies show that sleeping in a tent has many positive effects. It is said to improve your sleep cycle and reset your circadian rhythm.