When it comes to camping, there’s a happy medium between glamping on a California King and roughing it Spartan-style directly on the ground. Point is: you can be connected with nature without waking up feeling like you went 12 rounds against Sugar Ray Robinson. The key to camping in comfort is investing in a camping pillow.
The main thing that sets a camping pillow apart from a regular one is portability. Most camping pillows are made from a soft foam that, unlike your standard down pillow, is designed to be easy to compress and pack. They can be squished down without losing their shape when you pull them out of the bag. That means that you can sleep comfortably at night, without having to carry all of your gear in your hands because your daypack only fits your pillow.
Camping pillows typically either come with a designated stuff sack that’s designed to carry the compressed pillow, or they have a built-in pouch that allows the pillow to fold into itself. That makes packing them super easy, convenient and space-saving.
If you’re not much for the outdoors, a camping pillow can still be a worthwhile investment for a frequent traveler. You can bring them on your next long car ride or plane trip, and some of them are even comfortable enough to be your nightly pillow. These are the best camping pillows to get right now.
1. Coop Home Goods – Adjustable Travel and Camping Pillow
This plus camping pillow from Coop Home Goods is made with a shredded memory foam fill, offering the benefits of a memory foam pillow with the plushness of a traditional fill pillow. It comes with a washable cover which is made from a blend of polyester and bamboo-derived rayon. Included with the pillow is a convenient stuff sack with a compression strap for packing it. The pillow keeps its shape out of the bag, providing support while sleeping.
Pros: Soft and comfortable. Comes with a compression sack for packing it. Breathable and washable cover.
Cons: Some options pack down to a smaller size.
2. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
This compact pillow from Wise Owl is made from supportive memory foam and features a soft synthetic micro-suede cover. It comes with a lightweight and waterproof drawstring pouch for packing and carrying the pillow. And while it’s easy to travel with, it doesn’t sacrifice comfort for portability. The pillow is a generous five inches thick when in use, providing ample support.
Pros: Folds to compact size without sacrificing support. Supportive five-inch loft. Comes with a waterproof bag. Soft and smooth microsuede cover.
Cons: A compression strap would allow the pillow to compress to a smaller size, but this stuff sack only has a drawstring.
3. Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow for Camping
This camping pillow from Therma-a-Rest is a unique option. While many of the options on this list come with a stuff sack that you could potentially misplace, this option packs into itself. It has a pouch on the side and the drawstring allows you to pack it down to a smaller size. It comes in four sizes, so you can choose the best one based on the amount of space you have. It comes in a dozen subtle colors and eye-catching prints.
Pros: Stylish prints and colors. Packs into itself, eliminating the need for a separate stuff sack. Four sizes available to suit your needs.
Cons: Since there’s no stuff-sack, it’ll be more susceptible to the elements. Some may prefer more fluff.
4. TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable Camping Travel Pillow
For long hauls, where every square inch of backpack space is crucial, consider this inflatable option from Trekology. It has a curved shape with raised edges to help keep your head in place, and it has a soft fabric coating, so it won’t feel like you’re sleeping on a raft. The bottom of the pillow has a strap that can be used to secure it to your sleeping pad, and the textured bottom keeps the pillow from moving around. Included with the pillow is a small stuff sack that packs the pillow to smaller than a soda can.
Pros: Packs down to soda can-sized pack. Easy to inflate and quick to deflate. Soft fabric outer for comfort.
Cons: Can be a little hard to pack and take out of its bag.
5. TETON Sports Camp Pillow
This plush pillow has a soft poly-fill that “inflates” on its own, returning to a plush state after being packed. Both the pillow and its included pillow-case are machine-washable, which is helpful considering the places travel and camp pillows get taken. It comes with a lightweight stuff sack with a drawstring closure. The pillows are available with a variety of plaid pillowcases, giving them a retro camping look.
Pros: Machine washable. Comes with a drawstring stuff sack. Throwback prints. Comfortable brushed flannel cover.
Cons: Doesn’t roll up as compactly as some pillows.