7 Best Camping Pillows

Rilor Staff
Update: October 9, 2021
Table of Contents

If sleeping comfortably is a challenge that you usually encounter whenever camping, it's time that you get the best camping pillows. Designed to be ergonomic and convenient, these camping pillows can ensure that your head receives the proper support while you lay down on your sleeping pad or sleeping bag. You can also use them to optimize your preferred sleeping position, which, in turn, prevents the occurrence of body aches every time you wake up. 

The following pillows on this list are rated to be suitable for outdoor use. You can use them at your campsite or during overnight backpacking trips. Check each of them and see which one can grant you cozy evenings in the wild. 

7 Best Camping Pillows

 Fill TypeFabric Material
REI Co-op Trailbreak Foam Pillow FoamPolyester
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow AirPolyester
Exped Mega Pillow Synthetic fleecePolyester tricot fabric
HEST Pillow Memory foam/polyesterPU-coated nylon/stretch-woven nylon 
NEMO Fillo Elite PillowRecycled PrimaLoft insulation Polyester jersey
Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow FoamPolyester
Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow SyntheticTPU

1. REI Co-op Trailbreak Foam Pillow


Even if you are exhausted from trailing and doing camping stuff, the REI Co-op Trailbreak Foam Pillow can give you the rest that you need. This pillow is made from the leftovers and recycled bits of high-quality foams that were used in REI's self-inflating pads. Hence, you can always guarantee that this pillow is soft but supportive enough to prevent your head from shrinking into it. 

This pillow is designed for camping, air travel, and road trips. When not in use, you can compress it down to 1/5 of its original size. It comes with its own pocket for hassle-free storage in your pack. Moreover, it's machine washable so that you can remove the dirt and stains on its surface. 


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Foam
  • Fabric material - Polyester
  • Dimensions - 18 inches x 14 inches
  • Weight - 10 ounces

2. Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow


The Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow is a luxurious and highly ergonomic camping pillow. But unlike its counterpart, it is not bulky. It has the portability that makes it ideal for camping, backpacking, and every form of travel. If you have the Sea to Summit pad, you can utilize its PillowLock system that lets you affix the pillow, preventing it from getting displaced whenever you move. The pillow features the Aeros Premium construction that maintains the suppleness of its outer shell while being supported by a highly rugged thermoplastic urethane bladder. 

Interestingly, the pillow's surface is embedded with a 50-denier brushed polyester stretch knit, which provides an ultra-soft feel to its users. It has a synthetic fill between its urethane bladder and face fabric. This design does not only secure your comfort but is also designed to wick away moisture and sweat. Meanwhile, its curved interior baffles generate contours, resulting in comfortable head cradles. 


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Air
  • Fill material - Synthetic
  • Fabric material - Polyester
  • Dimensions - 13. inches x 9.4 inches x 4.3 inches 
  • Weight - 2.7 ounces 

3. Exped Mega Pillow


With the Exped Mega Pillow, catching peaceful and undisturbed sleep while in the campsite will never be just dreams. This one features a 3D architecture that includes fleece padding and air-core for optimal support and comfort. It includes proprietary low-profile FlatValve on its body, enabling hassle-free inflation and deflation. Packing it is just a breeze, making it a travel-worthy companion for campers and backpackers. 

The polyester tricot fabric of its surface is extremely comfortable and supple; when in touch with your skin, it doesn't cause any irritation or itch. You can use the three eyelets on its body so that you can attach the pillow to your sleeping pad. Moreover, the Exped Mega Pillow also fits inside various sleeping pads. There's also a stuff sack so that you can transport it safely and conveniently. 


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Synthetic fleece
  • Fabric material - Polyester tricot fabric
  • Dimensions - 20.9 inches x 12.6 inches x 4.7 inches 
  • Weight - 6.5 ounces

4. HEST Pillow


Originally designed to be a home pillow, the HEST Pillow is now becoming a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a comfortable sleeping experience while being surrounded by trees and a fresh breeze. It has an architecture that offers optimal support to the head and neck region. At the same time, it also has body-fitted alignment and an extra-soft surface so that you'll not be bothered by discomforts. 

The pillow also allows air circulation around your head. Hence, even if the weather is warm, it can minimize the sweaty feeling. Meanwhile, its fill features a combination of shredded polyester and memory foam. Such a design enables the pillow to exude impressive resilience; it doesn't get flat and get out of shape even on extended use. There's also a zipper on the foam where you can access its fill and adjust its loft level. 


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Memory foam/polyester
  • Fabric material - PU-coated nylon/stretch-woven nylon
  • Dimensions - 22 inches x 15 inches x 8 inches
  • Weight - 35.2 ounces

5. NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow


If you want to experience nighttime full of comfort, you should consider the NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow in your selection. This one is known for its lightweight construction and packability. Moreover, it also features a premium loft and insulation to keep you warm and cozy while sleeping in your campsite. The pillow allows quick inflation and deflation. When not in use, it can pack down to the size of a lime and store it inside its stuff sack. Its unique portability makes it a perfect choice for camping, backpacking, and expeditions. 

The NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow features the combination of post-consumer recycled PrimaLoft insulation and I-beam baffled air core. This innovative amalgamation enabled the pillow to provide exceptional head and neck support. Moreover, it also adds a degree of warmth retention to its performance so that you can combat the chilly outdoors. Meanwhile, its soft jersey cover is soft to the touch and doesn't retain sweat and odor. 


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Recycled PrimaLoft insulation
  • Fabric material - Polyester jersey
  • Dimensions - 15 inches x 11 inches x 3 inches
  • Weight - 3 ounces

6. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow


The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow is definitely a luxurious pillow designed to give you comfort while you are out and away. It has impressive compressibility, which allows you to pack and stow it inside its portable stuff sack. Specifically, you can size it down to one-fifth of its original size, which is indeed a necessary feat for a camping pillow. But of course, its travel-friendly construction is not the only thing that this pillow can offer to you. 

With its earth-smart filling, you will enjoy your outdoor evening rests. The said fill is composed of leftover pieces of the high-quality foam used in Therm-A-Rest sleeping pads. The said foam is soft but is known for its excellent shape retention. It is not too mushy, which prevents your head from collapsing to the ground. Since it is machine washable, you'll never have to worry that it will get dirty during your trip.


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Foam
  • Fabric material - Polyester
  • Dimensions - 16 inches x 12 inches 
  • Weight - 7 ounces

7. Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow


You should also check out the Trekology Ultralight Inflatable Pillow. It primarily excels in portability and compactness, given that you can stuff it down to the size of a soda can. At the same time, it has a quick-inflating mechanism so that you can use it immediately whenever you need to. Thanks to its ergonomic curved design, this pillow is a great companion if you are looking for head and lumbar support. It can easily cradle your head, neck, and back.

Durability-wise, I can say that this pillow will never disappoint you. Its primary fabric is tailored from a rugged elastic TPU, which is resistant to punctures. It also offers decent water resistance, which, in turn, prevents the entry of moisture and perspiration. This pillow also includes a rubber back on its construction that provides anti-slip capabilities. As long as it is around, the pillow will never move out of place. 


  • Type - Traditional pillow
  • Fill type - Synthetic
  • Fill material - Synthetic
  • Fabric material - TPU
  • Dimensions - 12 inches x 16 inches x 4 inches
  • Weight - 3.9 ounces

A Guide In Choosing The Best Camping Pillows

When it comes to choosing pillows for camping, backpacking, and travel-related purposes, several considerations should be taken into account. After all, you still have to balance your preferences with the actual quality of the pillow. It should be able to provide comfort and support to your body. 

Moreover, portability has to be included in the factors. You should refine your choices to the pillows that let you bring them wherever you want to go. 

Let's discuss more of these things below. 


The first thing is how comfortable a particular pillow will make you feel when sleeping on it. This can vary from person to person, depending on their own preference. Some people prefer soft pillows while others like firm ones. If you like softer pillows, you might consider getting one made out of down or feathers. However, if you are looking for something firmer, then this type of pillow would not work well for you.

If you are looking for a pillow that can support your body, I suggest that you go for those with moderate firmness. They are still comfortable, but they are firm enough to support your head, neck, or whichever body part you place them. Squishy pillows might sound too tempting, but they aren't ideal choices when it comes to protecting your body from possible body aches. Furthermore, they also support correct sleeping positions. 

Of course, you may also want to take into account the shape of the pillow. Some pillows are designed to have a curved shape. In this way, they can cradle your head and neck better. It is also notable that others are structured with memory foams so that they can conform to your body shape, which, in turn, would enable you to experience total sleeping convenience. 

Fill With The Pillow

The next consideration is what kind of fill material does the pillow contain? There are two types: synthetic and natural. Synthetic materials include polyester fiberfill, microfiber, and other similar products. These kinds of pillows tend to be cheaper because they use less expensive materials. 

On the other hand, natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk, and even bamboo are used by some manufacturers. Natural filling tends to cost more than its counterparts. But, there are advantages associated with using natural fillings. For example, they offer superior breathable properties and moisture absorption capabilities. Also, they don't cause allergies, unlike synthetics. 

However, both types of filling come with pros and cons. So, before making any decision about the best choice for you, you need to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of each option. 

There's nothing wrong when it comes to using pillows that are using synthetic fills. They are great because they provide excellent cushions without the worry that the elements can ruin them. You see, synthetic fills can still perform if they get wet or dirty. This is not the case when it comes to lofts made by natural fills, where you need to secure their safety from the weather. It is for this reason why most campers and backpackers are opting for synthetic pillows. 


Another important factor to look at is compressibility. Compression refers to the ability to be compressed so that you will be able to stow in a compact stuff sack. When choosing a camping pillow, you should ensure that it has good compression characteristics. This means that it won't lose much volume after being folded over several times. Therefore, you shouldn't expect to find many options that meet these criteria. 

You could opt for a foam-based pillow instead. Foam cushions are highly compressible and therefore easy to pack away. Moreover, they are very durable since they do not easily break apart. Moreover, they tend to be lightweight. Hence, carrying them around during your hikes should not pose any problem.

Weight And Size

When selecting a camping pillow, you must make sure that it doesn't add unnecessary weight to your bag. After all, you wouldn't like to carry an extra load while hiking through rugged terrain. Specifically, you should choose one that weighs no more than a pound. If possible, go for something that weighs between 1/2 and 2 pounds only. 

When looking for a size, remember that you will probably sleep on it every night. Thus, you need to consider how big it needs to be. Remember that bigger isn't always better. Instead, try finding out whether it fits comfortably enough within your sleeping area. That said, you might want to avoid buying anything too large. Otherwise, you'll end up having trouble fitting inside your tent. In addition, you may also have difficulty getting comfortable once you're asleep. 


As mentioned earlier, you should select a camping pillow that offers durability. The main thing here is ensuring that it lasts long enough for you to enjoy it throughout your trip. As such, you need to check whether it meets certain standards regarding quality assurance. One way to determine this is by checking the warranty period. Most companies offering camping pillows usually give warranties ranging from 30 days to three years. However, some offer longer periods as well. For example, Coleman provides its customers with a lifetime guarantee. 

In Summary

The best camping pillows come in different shapes and sizes. Some of them are designed specifically for backpacking trips. Others are meant for use in tents. Still, others are intended for general usage. Regardless of what type you decide to buy, there are things that you need to keep in mind before making your purchase. These include:

  • Weight – Make sure that you don't exceed the recommended limit of two pounds. Also, bear in mind that heavier items require additional effort to move around. Consequently, they can cause discomfort when carried around.
  • Durability – You should pick a product that's made using high-quality materials. Such products last longer and provide superior comfort. They are also easier to clean.
  • Comfort – Ensure that the item you plan to buy feels soft against your skin. It should fit snugly without causing pain or pressure points. Furthermore, it should allow you to breathe freely.

Well, that's it for now. If you have inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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