Backpacking Pillows: Which one is right for you?

There are a lot of reviews that exist online for backpacking gear.


As usual, our goal is to deliver the hard facts -- concise and to the point. Pro's and con's, do's and don't's.


You'll be able to find quality backpacking pillows at any outdoor fitters, such as Valhalla Pure Outfitters, MEC, Atmosphere etc. etc. You'll also find quality sales representative on the store floor who will be able to answer any questions you might have.


I prefer to navigate purchases through online methods when possible and where I know that I can trust the brand. If you would prefer to order through some of these provided links in preparation for your ASCEND backpacking tour please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have prior to making your purchase.


Anyway, let's cut to the chase. We're here to compare quality, affordable backpacking pillows. I've listed three pillows below that I prefer over others and have given a bit of information on them. Ultimately, the choice of what to lay your head on rests with you!


Which camping pillow should I choose?


Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Personally, I love this little pillow. I think the best part is all the options you get to choose from for the design.

I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is to have a quality piece of equipment for your head to hit at the end of the day.

One of the things that I love about this pillow is that it compresses down to a variety of sizes (dependent which size you choose).You won't feel the ground below your head and it is only 7 ounces of weight in your bag. Therm-a-Rest is a tried and true brand. This little backpacking pillow is comfy and stylish, compact and top-quality. Also -- it doesn't hurt that you get all this quality for under fifty dollars. I can definitely appreciate a good deal, and this is one of them.



Outbright Camping Pillow with Compressible Memory Foam

Okay, so...this is not what I would consider a "backpacking pillow" per se. But I mean...there is a lot of unique features to the Outbright Camping Pillow and I love the concept and quality of the brand.

What we have here is a pillow that is tailored for the sensitive skin, the ones who need hypoallergenic materials, aren't down with harsh chemicals and so on. With that said -- there are a couple of drawbacks to this pillow. One of them being that it is not actually all that compact. Definitely you could clip this pillow to the outside of your bag, or if you've got a lot of space just toss it right in there. Its light, but definitely not ultralight weight. I think this is great pillow for people who are maybe into one night trips but absolutely do not want to compromise on night time comfort. I honestly love this pillow. Its incredibly comfy. Its easy to clean and is just a great pillow for camping, and lets be honest, if you're around Calgary or Southern Alberta, there are a lot of gorgeous day trips that you can make by car.


Leisure Co Ultra-Portable & Ultralight Camping Pillow


I want to include at least one inflatable pillow in this little list of recommendations. Why should an inflatable backpacking pillow be on here, you ask? Well -- because they are kind of the O.G of backpacking pillows. The Leisure Co makes the list because I feel like they've done the best job of revisioning a classic and making it into something that is useable and good quality. Usually an inflatable pillow is gross material on your face and stiff. This pillow however, is lined with a nice cotton cover. Also, from what I've seen the material is durable and I'm not afraid of popping it on a rogue rock. Inflatable pillows have the competitive advantage of deflating into almost a zero size. This pillow is only about 5 ounces in your backpack, and thats pretty great.


So, like I said before. There are other locations to shop around in person. There are lots of options available to you. Luckily, when it comes to backpacking equipment, pillows are relatively cost effective. I personally, recommend one of these three pillows simply on the fact that I can say I've reviewed these products.


Happy pillow shopping and happy hiking! Feel free to connect with any questions you have about your coming trip!






403-636-1679

Calgary, Alberta, Canada