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When you think about all the gear you need for backpacking, a pillow might not be at the top of your list. But after a long day of hiking, you'll be glad you have a comfortable place to rest your head. If you're not getting a restful sleep it might be time to consider swapping out your pillow.

Check out our list of comfortable pillows to find the perfect one for your backpacking trip. We’ve got a variety of options to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

Just keep reading to check out our Cracking Choices!

How We Uncover The Best For You

Trying to find the right pillow for your backpacking trip can be a real pain in the neck, especially when there are so many different options to choose from.

It can be tough trying to figure out which pillow is best for you - after all, you want something that's going to be comfortable and supportive on your neck and fit for purpose.

We did the hard work for you and read through thousands of user reviews to find good pillows for backpackers. Whether you're looking for compressible pillows or some that double as travel pillows, we've got some suggestions for you:

Best Value For Comfort

Klymit Drift Camping Pillow

A Cracking Choice For Value And Comfort


We Chose This Because

  • Soft and Comfortable
  • Easy To Keep Clean
  • Compactible

Things We Love

Looking for a lightweight backpacking pillow that will give you the comfort of home? Introducing the Klymit Drift Campers Pillow. Made from 95% polyester and 5% cotton, this pillow offers great support. The shredded memory foam innards, make it soft and comfortable to sleep on especially if you are a side sleeper.

Things To Know

The pillow is also durable and water-resistant. The outer shell is easily cleaned and reversible, so you can use it for sleeping or transporting.  Plus, it packs well rolled up and pressed flat.

Best Budget Inflatable Pillow

Gear Doctors Inflatable Anti-Slip Pillow

A Cracking Choice For Campers On A Budget


We Chose This Because

  • Affordability
  • Compact Storage
  • Easily Inflation

Things We Love

If you love backpacking, you know how important it is to have the right gear. The Gear Doctors Anti Slip Pillow is a great option for those looking for a reliable pillow for backpacking. The ergonomic design of these inflatable pillows provides support for your head and neck, and the quick inflation and deflation means you can set up camp in no time.

Plus, the lifetime replacement warranty ensures that you'll be able to use this pillow for years to come.

Things To Know

And if you're worried about pack weight and size, don't be - this pillow packs down to a small and compact size, making it easy to pack into your backpack. So if you're looking for a pillow that will provide comfort and support on your next backpacking trip, grab one of Gear Doctor's Anti Slip Inflatable Pillows!

Best For Comfortable Camping And Backpacking

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

A Cracking Choice For Eco-Conscious Campers


We Chose This Because

  • Compressible
  • Soft
  • Eco-Friendly

Things We Love

This compressible pillow is a great addition to any backpacking gear. It is lightweight and easily compressed, making it easy to squeeze into a small space in your pack to carry with you on the trail.

The pillow is available in four different sizes, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Things To Know

The Therm-A-Rest compressible pillow is made of recycled fabric and upcycled foam, making it an environmentally friendly option.  

The soft cover is comfortable to sleep on, and the pillow is easy to wash. This pillow is great for camping, backpacking, and air travel. If you are looking for a light, compact, and comfortable pillow for use when backpacking, the Therm-A-Rest compressible pillow is a great option.

Best Ultralight and Washable Pillow

Hikenture Camping Pillow

A Cracking Choice For Functionality


We Chose This Because

  • Easy to Clean
  • User Friendly
  • Lightweight

Things We Love

If you're planning a backpacking trip, you'll need a reliable and functional pillow. The Hikenture Pillow is a great option, made from polyester, cotton, and TPU for durability.  

You can adjust the height of the pillow to suit your needs, and it has an ergonomic design for added comfort. The pillow comes with a removable and washable cover. Plus, it's easy to clean – just wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Things To Know

This pillow is also lightweight at just 5.6oz, so perfect to bring along on your trekking vacation. The pillow is easy to inflate and deflate and comes with an elastic strap to keep it in place. It packs down well too, so it won't take up much space in your backpack.

So if you're looking for a functional pillow that's easy to use and pack, the Hikenture Pillow is a great choice.

Best For Cushy Support

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow

A Cracking Choice For A Luxurious Sleep


We Chose This Because

  • Comfort
  • Generous Size
  • Compressible

Things We Love

Wise Owl Pillows are perfect backpacking pillows for campers who enjoy a bit of luxury living. The cushion memory foam in the backpacking pillows is very soft, supportive, and compressible. They are available in two sizes: standard and large. The large size is great for people who need a little extra support when backpacking.

Things To Know

The pillow is made of breathable materials and is very durable. The pillow cover is removable and washable and the waterproof storage bag keeps the pillow clean and dry. The separate stuff bag makes it easy to store and compress the pillow. So if you're looking for a cushy soft pillow that's easy to use and pack, the Wise Owl pillow is a great choice.

Best Backpacking Pillow For You?

But with all the different types of backpacking pillows on the market, how can you know which one is right for you? What we have done is compiled a Buyers Guide to help you with your decision-making.

What Is The Best Camping Pillow For Backpacking? What Should I Look For In A Camping Pillow?

When you're shopping for backpacking pillows, there are a few different things to consider when choosing:


These pillows can be made from synthetic materials like polyester or from natural materials like down or cotton. Synthetic materials are usually cheaper and easier to care for, but they oftentimes don't provide as much comfort as natural materials.

Cotton or wool is both natural and breathable, making them ideal for campers who tend to get sweaty during the night. If you're looking for a pillow that will be luxuriously comfortable during your camping trip, you may want to invest in one made from down or cotton.


Compressibility: Can the pillow be compressed into a small size, or does it take up a lot of space in your pack?

Inflatability: Can the pillow be inflated by mouth, or do you need a pump? How easy is it to inflate and deflate?

Hybrid: Some pillows are a combination of compressible and inflatable, giving you the option of adjusting the firmness to your liking.

Stuff sack: Does the pillow come with a stuff sack for easy packing?

Size and Weight

How big is the pillow when it's fully inflated? Will it take up too much space in your tent?

How much does the pillow weigh? Is it too heavy to carry on extended backpacking trips? You also want a pillow that is lightweight and compact, so it doesn't add too much to your load.


When you're looking for a pillow you can use for backpacking, comfort is a big consideration, but bear in mind you will be trekking and carrying everything you need in your pack. You want something that will provide support to your head and neck, but that isn't so bulky that it takes up too much space in your backpack.

How thick is the pillow? Will it support your head and neck properly?

Another thing to consider is whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach. This will dictate what kind of pillow you need.

For example, if you sleep on your back, you'll want a pillow that provides support for your neck. On the other hand, if you sleep on your stomach, you'll want a pillow that's soft and won't put too much pressure on your face.

Self-inflating pillows come with an air valve that allows you to inflate them to the desired firmness. They're a good option if you like a firmer pillow. They are compact, adjustable, comfortable, and versatile.

The Best Pillows For Backpacking - Your Questions Answered

So what we have found is that a good pillow for use when backpacking means different things to different people. Some backpackers prefer inflatable pillows because they can be adjusted to achieve the perfect level of firmness. Others prefer foamy pillows because they offer more comfortable support and can be packed down small.

To help you choose the perfect pillow, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Keep reading to learn more about finding the perfect pillow for a good night's sleep.

Your Answers Are Just A Short Distance Away, Keep Reading!

What Do Backpackers Use For A Pillow?

There are a few different options backpackers have for a pillow. One option is to bring along a travel pillow, which is often filled with memory foam or microbeads and can be compressed down to a small size.

Some backpackers choose not to bring a pillow at all and instead rough it out by using whatever is available. They will ball up their clothes and place them behind their neck for support.

Another option is to use clothing to create a stuff sack pillow - a makeshift arrangement.

Some campers will fold up T-shirts or sweatshirts and make stuff sack pillows for under their heads.

How Do You Keep Your Pillow In Backpacking?

You can bring your pillow along when you are backpacking by compacting it down to a small, lightweight size and then hooking it to the outside of your backpack.

A great way to compact your pillow is to roll it up tightly like a sleeping bag. Then, find a length of string or some webbing and tie it tightly around the rolled-up pillow. This will create a little parcel that you can easily hook onto the outside of your backpack.

Alternatively, if you have an inflatable camping pillow, you can deflate it completely and roll it up into a very small size. Then put it in a compression sack for extra protection. Either way, your pillow should take up very little space and won't add any significant weight.

The most compact option of all is to create stuff sack pillows. This is the technique of using the clothing and beanies etc that you already have to carry and placing them inside a stuff sack.

Making stuff sack pillows is one solution, but they can be a bit uncomfortable. So if you can find space for a supportive pillow, that would always be a good choice and far superior to a stuff sack pillow.

Are Inflatable Camping Pillows Good?

I am a big fan of camping, and I have used inflatable camping pillows myself. Overall, I think they are a great option for anyone looking for a pillow while camping.

There are several reasons why I like inflatable camping pillows. First, they are very compact and easy to carry. When you are packing for a camping trip, every square inch counts and you want to save as much space as possible. An inflatable pillow takes up hardly any room in your backpack.

Second, they are adjustable. You can add or release air until the pillow is just the right firmness for you. This is great because everyone has different preferences when it comes to pillows. Some people like them soft, while others prefer a firmer pillow. With a pillow that inflates and deflates, you can customize it to your own comfort level.

Third, they are comfortable. When they are inflated properly, they provide good support for your head and neck. I have found that inflatable camping pillows are just as comfortable as regular pillows, if not more so.

Fourth, they are versatile. You can use them for other purposes besides sleeping. For example, you can use them as a backrest while sitting around the campfire or reading a book in your tent.

Overall, I think inflatable camping pillows are a great option for anyone looking for a pillow while camping.

Are Travel Pillows Good?

Travel pillows are not just for planes, they're good for camping too! They help you sleep comfortably while traveling and can be a great accessory for camping trips. I like that they are small and easily portable so I don't have to worry about lugging around a big, bulky pillow.

Plus, they come in a variety of colors so you can find one that fits your style. I also like that they are made from different materials depending on how firm or soft you like your pillow.

So if you're looking for a great way to get a good night's sleep while backpacking, be sure to check out the pillows in this article. Safe travels!

Why Are Camping Pillows Noisy?

Some camping pillows can be uncomfortable because they are often filled with small, polystyrene pellets that make potato bag-like noises and tend to slide between your head and sleeping pad.

A better option for a pillow is one that is filled with down or synthetic fiber insulation, which will help keep its shape and won't make any annoying noises if you are a restless sleeper and move around on your sleeping pad.

What Size Should My Camping Pillow Be?

The size of your pillow will depend on your own personal preference. That said, here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right size for you:

If you want a pillow that's large and comfortable, go for a model that's at least 20 inches long. For your reference, a standard-size bed pillow is 20 inches and above.

If you're looking for something more compact, opt for a pillow that's around 15 to 18 inches long, or even smaller if you are really short of space. Keep in mind that the smaller the pillow, the more likely it is to be lightweight and easy to transport.

Do You Use A Pillow With A Sleeping Bag?

I love using a pillow with my sleeping bag! It makes snuggling up in my sleeping bag so much more comfortable and keeps my neck warm.

When you are winter camping sleeping with a beanie helps you not lose heat from your head, but the pillow will insulate you further. If you want the best possible sleeping experience, I highly recommend using a pillow with your sleeping bag.

There are a few different types of backpacking pillows on the market, and the best one for your backpacking trip will depend on your personal preferences. Ultimately, the best pillow is the one that feels most comfortable to you. Whichever type you choose, make sure to test it out before hitting the trail. A good night's sleep is essential for a successful backpacking trip! Let's recap the options we uncovered for you.

Our Choice For Value And Comfort

Klymit Drift Camping Pillow

Our Choice For Budget

Gear Doctors Anti-Slip Inflatable Pillow

Our Choice For Eco-Friendly Comfort

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Our Choice For Functionality

Hikenture Camping Pillow

Our Choice For Luxury Cushiness

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow

So what we have found is that the best pillow to use on a backpacking trip means different things to different people. Some backpackers prefer inflatable pillows because they can be adjusted to achieve the perfect level of firmness. Others prefer foamy pillows because they offer more comfortable support and can be packed down small.  You want your pillows to be comfortable, functional, easy to clean and compact.  We took the time to find just those!

Keep Asking Questions And We Will Keep Finding Answers For You.

Make Your Choice A Cracking One!

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