When you go hiking you can always just stuff whatever is handy under your head and get by, but a good hiking pillow makes for a much more comfortable sleep. And that really is the logic for something like a hiking pillow. You can reduce your backpacking or hiking gear to just the main essentials, but if you’re not at least comfortable in the outdoors you’re not likely to have much fun. If you’re not at least getting a good night of sleep, then you’re definitely not going to be having much fun.
Hiking PillowWhat to look for when you're looking for a hiking pillow.
- Bulk – What you definitely don’t want to do is bring along a big, bulky pillow that is going to take up a large amount of room in your backpack. It’s much better to bring along a smaller, lighter pillow that will provide that essential amount of comfort, but will not sprawl across the whole tent either.
- Inflate or Foam – There are actually many high quality inflatable hiking pillows that, just like a sleeping pad, will provide you with a lot of comfort but will also deflate and pack up nice and small when you’re not using them. There are also some great foam pillows, if you prefer a foam sleeping head rest.
Best Hiking PillowSome of the very best hiking pillows to keep your head comfy at night.
- Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillow - If you want a straight compressible foam pillow, Therm-A-Rest is the go to option. This particular pillow compresses in to its own case, which makes it easy to pack up in the morning. And it comes is a small, medium or large, depending on how much pillow you want. The medium weighs 9 ounces, or 255 grams.
- Mont Bell U.L. Comfort System Pillow - If your focus is saving on weight and bulk then an inflatable pillow is definitely your best option, and Mont Bell makes an excellent. First and foremost, the whole pillow weighs just 2.3 ounces, or 65 grams, so you'll hardly know it's even in your backpack. The top of the pillow isn't padded or anything, but that does help with bulk, and you can always throw a sweater on top of it for a little extra comfort.
- Western Mountaineering Cloudrest Pillow - The Cloudrest is actually a down pillow. By itself it's not of much use, because it doesn't offer much in the way of support. What it is useful for is a nice, padded layer on top of a few bulkier items, like a jacket or a sweater. The good thing about down is that it weighs very little and compresses down very small. This particular pillow comes in just one size, which weighs 4 ounces, or 113 grams.