Best backpacking pillows

(Image credit: Simon Migaj on Unsplash)

Backpacking is a great way to spend time embracing nature. While having a pillow handy isn’t as important as stocking up on food and water, you should still devote some space to one if you plan on sleeping under the stars. Fortunately, backpacking pillows come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. We’ve selected a few of our favorites for you to check out. 

Best overall

(Image credit: Therm-a-Rest)

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Choose your favorite print

No need to worry about holes forming in your pillow with this option. When compressed, this pillow measures in at 16 by 7 by 7 inches. When you roll it out, the foam inside expands up to 4-inches thick. The outer cover is available in more than ten patterns and colors, so you can find the one that matches your gear or your personality.  


(Image credit: Trekology)

TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow

Fully inflatable to save pack space

At only 3.4 ounces, this pillow delivers lots of comfort on-the-go. Once you manually inflate it, the shape forms to cradle your head and neck, but can also be used to as a lumbar support pillow. You'll be able to fit this pillow anywhere in your bag that you can squeeze in a standard can of soda (it's actually a bit smaller). This updated model features four color options and more durable fabric, so you won't need to worry about leaks. 

Real cozy

(Image credit: TETON)

TETON Sports Camp Pillow

The flannel print is perfect for the outdoors

Grab a pillow that is covered in flannel print to match the inside of your TETON Sports sleeping bag. No inflation is necessary since this pillow is stuffed with foam, but can be compressed down to 4 by 7 by 9 inches. The cover and pillow are both washable, so it'll be fresh for each new adventure.  

Almost like home

(Image credit: Klymit)

Klymit Luxe Pillow

The quilted case delivers comfort

Bask in comfort with this luxe option from Klymit. The extra-soft pillow cover only adds an ounce to your travel pack. Inside the pillow are both air pockets and polyester fill, creating a supportive hybrid. The total weight is 6.2 ounces, it can be compressed down to 3 by 7 inches, and it’s the closest replacement for pillows you keep at home. 

Getting comfy

Compressible pillows can contain foam or other stuffing like traditional pillows but are made to be rolled up into a compact pouch. They pose no risk of getting punctured, so your pillow will last you for trips to come. We think the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow is the best option for most people. It’s soft, comfortable, and with so many design options, you’re sure to find one you like. 

However, if weight is a primary factor when picking a pillow, we think you should consider the TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Pillow. It inflates with a few breaths, and it has a quick-deflate option when you’re ready to pack up. The unique shape makes it useful for sleeping or back support in a chair, making it a great pillow to take on airplane trips.