If you find yourself in cold conditions then you need an insulated sleeping pad, because you actually lose quite a bit of heat in to the ground at night, and you need to capture that heat and reflect it. Of course the same is true for your head, which is why something like a down camping pillow can be a great piece of gear to have with you. It will help keep your head warm, and will of course also keep your head well padded, which is often a bit of a problem for many backpackers.
Down Camping PillowWhat to look for when you're looking for a down camping pillow.
- Down Quality – As with any down product, part of what you need to be concerned about is the quality of the down. Higher quality down will not loft as much, meaning that you will need more down inside the pillow to achieve the same amount of loft. And more down means a heavier pillow.
- Compression – Part of what makes a down pillow great is that it can be compressed way down when it’s not being used, so that it doesn’t take up all kinds of room in your backpack. So it pays to make sure that your down pillow comes equipped with some method of compression, just like many down sleeping bags do.
Best Down Camping PillowThere aren't many, but these are the best down camping pillows.
- Quixote Goose Down Pillow - First up, a seriously good down camping pillow from Quixote. It uses 650+ fill down, to provide plenty of comfort. And of course it stuffs down in to a tiny package in the morning, which is the main advantage of using down for just about any piece of camping gear. It doesn't come with a stuff sack, however, so you will need to find your own if you want to keep it separated in your backpack. It weighs a total of 6 ounces, or 170 grams for the small size.
- Western Mountaineering Cloudrest Down Pillow - Another down pillow for camping, this one better suited to being used as a topper for some other bulky item that will do the elevating part. This is more just to provide comfort. It uses high quality, 800 fill down, which is definitely nice, and weighs less than the Quixote option, at 4 ounces, or 113 grams. Even better, there's a stuff sack built right in to the pillow, so you'll never lose it and you'll always be able to make it in a small package in the morning.
- Therm-A-Rest Ultralite Pillow Case - If you're looking at down pillows then chances are you might have other down gear, like a down jacket or sweater, for instance. If that's the case, then you could go with a padded pillow case and then use your down garments, or anything else really, to provide the bulk inside the pillow case. It's not a down pillow, but it accomplishes the same thing, and best of all, it's a lot easier to pack a pillow case in the morning than it is an entire pillow. It weighs 1 ounce, or 27 grams.