New Zealand Adventure Riders

Camping Pillows for Adventure Riding

When it comes to camping pillows suitable for adventure riding, stuff pillows, compressible foam pillows and inflatable pillows are your three main choices. I’ve tried all three types over the years and while there are benefits with each pillow type, I’m hands-down an inflatable pillow fan. The information below runs over the pros and cons of each pillow type ending in the inflatable option that seems to be winning the pillow fight for best camping pillow on the market. 

Stuff Camping Pillows

This is the most basic type of camping pillow. Stuff pillows are simply a fabric bag with a zip or velcro flap that allows you to stuff them full of clothing to create a pillow to your preferred height and firmness. The pros include that they are lightweight, take up very little space and aren't susceptible to punctures like inflatable pillows. The cons are that they are not as comfortable as compressible foam pillows or inflatable pillows.

The one below is the Exped Stuff Pillow. A conveniently shaped, light weight and durable stuff camping pillow.

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Compressible Foam Camping Pillows

There are a few compressible foam pillows on the market but by far one of the most popular is the Thermarest. For a number of years I used one of these pillows when out adventure riding. They fold up reasonably small for packing and only take a few minutes to re-expand once unpacked. They are quite a comfortable pillow and the foam has proven to be very durable. I like my Thermarest compressible pillow, the only reason I don't use this pillow today is due to inflatable pillows having the benefit of packing down so much smaller.

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Inflatable Camping Pillows

A few companies have started producing inflatable camping pillows nowadays and while they are the most expensive option, they are worth every cent. You simply can't beat inflatable camping pillows for comfort plus small packed size. They pack up tiny!

One of the most popular brands is the Sea to Summit Aeros. This is the pillow I use as it’s lightweight, compact, durable and comfortable to sleep on. I've had mine for a little over three years now and it is still going strong.

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Cheap Inflatable Pillows

Oftentimes when discussions pop up about inflatable pillows, those looking for a bargain ask about the cheap ones that are listed on many of the Chinese websites and auction websites. These can be picked up for around $10 to $15 but as a word of caution, I'd steer clear. In the few instances I've seen adventure riders use these cheap pillows they’ve had a pretty dismal failure rate.  Saving a few pennies might be achieved but a pillow that goes flat in the middle of the night may have you regretting your decision! 

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