I use a combination of an 18"x18" inflatable pillow and a Thermarest compressible one, the largest size (commonly seen at REI and similar stores). However, the inflatable often slips out and I just don't seem to get the two to work together to provide even a remote simulation of a quality anatomical solution one would have at home. Consequently, I wake up often and seldom get quality sleep while camping.

So I am looking for suggestions that could be a compromise between size (inflatable) and comfort (fluffy). I tend to like large pillows with lots of firm support. Anybody have any suggestions?

3 Answers 3


Have you tried fitting them both into a single pillowcase? That should keep them together for you.

Failing that, if you are car camping, why not just take your normal pillow? Presumably you don't have any weight or space issues. That's what I do when car camping.

  • 1
    that's plan B, sometimes going together with a crowd and space can be an issue, e.g. 2 ppl in a small hatchback along with sporting gear etc.
    – amphibient
    Apr 21, 2013 at 21:41
  • 1
    +1 for regular pillows. Sit on them in the car - or use them as arm rests. There's always room for pillow.
    – Lost
    Apr 22, 2013 at 9:10

Inflatable pillows blow. (Get it? Ha ha! I kill me.)

Seriously though - after years of battling inflatables (sticky in hot climes, slippery, hard to breathe when you are face down in them) I've found the most comfy pillow is a fleece jacket rolled loosely in a pillow case. You presumably have extra clothes with you - roll em in there too.

For extra comfy - a down vest works nice.

A down vest rolled around a fleece jacket is kingly.

  • I prefer the fleece rolled around the down jacket myself. The down jacket has a nylon surface which is less pleasant to have in contact with your face than the inner side of a good fleece.
    – Nisan.H
    Apr 24, 2013 at 10:33

I picked up a memory foam travel pillow for around $5 at Canadian Tire a few years back. It actually packs small enough (about the size of a 1L Nalgene) that I also use it on easier multiday mountaineering trips where I'm not already trying to shave as much weight off of my pack as possible (otherwise the down jacket wrapped in a fleece works beautifully.)

The only downside with memory foam is that if it's really cold outside, it can get rock hard, and you either have to sit it on it for a while to warm it up, or find some other means of unfreezing it.

I can't find the one I have online, but this much more expensive one looks identical.

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