Top 5 Best Backpacking Pillows for Outdoor & Travel – Buyers Guide

Guess how your soothing night can turn into a nightmare? It’s when you can’t sleep properly and the next thing you know you end up waking up with a crucial pain on your neck. Things get worse when you can’t straighten your neck and start walking like a zombie. 

Well, getting the best backpacking pillow can be a great solution. A soft and well-shaped cushion can trigger your sense of comfort and ensure a deep and relaxing sleep over the night.  

It’s tough to say which one is the best, especially if you haven’t used any. That’s where we take hold of the steering. We have reviewed 5 of the most comfortable backpack cushions that are pretty useful to travelers. If you are looking for one, fasten your seatbelts!

Not every good-looking pillow can serve you what you need. Getting one that actually makes you comfortable can be a bit challenging for most of us. That’s why we took our time to analyze some of the top-class products on the market. The result? Here it goes!

5 Best Backpacking Pillows for Outdoor and Travel


If rolled up, this bag can be measured at 5 inches in length and 2 inches in width. That’s quite a handy size to be kept even in your jacket-pockets if you can.


The most interesting part of this type of pillow is that it was originally designed by NASA long ago. Not to mention, it was a kind of instant support for the astronauts in space.


Weighing only 9.5 ounces, this shouldn’t feel any significant weight inside the bag during the travel.


What makes it a stand out product is the fact that it can’t be restricted to be a travel headrest only. You can easily use it in your day to day life and even at your home at night. Its size, which is 4 by 7 by 9 inches, makes it a perfect headrest for every occasion.


When you use it on your neck, it fills up the gap between your neck and your shoulder. Its exclusive chin support is truly a one-of-a-kind feature that we have found. It comes with a trunk below the cushion that helps your chin rest on it.

1. TREKOLOGY Ultralight ALUFT 2.0 - Best Inflatable Backpacking Pillow

We kick off this review with the Ultralight ALUFT 2.0 from TREKOLOGY. If you are looking for a comfortable night out, TREKOLOGY has got your back with their latest model!

To begin with, you can’t just ignore the size of it. It’s amazingly small in size and comes with a quite compact design. Weighing at 110 grams only, this pillow can be rolled up to fit in any part of your bag. Why? Because it comes with only the size of a soda can!

If rolled up, the bag can be measured at 5 inches in length and 2 inches in width. That’s quite a handy size to be kept even in your jacket-pockets if you can.

Alternatively, you can unroll it and keep it beneath your clothes, as well. This way, it will take literally no space at all.

Inflating the bag is the easiest of tasks. It doesn’t need any special air pump to pump it up. Just your breath is enough for that. Usually, it takes 3 to 5 breaths to get wholly inflated. Given the size of it is 16 by 12 by 4 inches, and you need approximately 5 breaths at best to pump it completely.

That’s not all. When you are done sleeping the best of your sleep in years, you can easily deflate the cushion in seconds. It leaves all the air inside at a quicker pace than many of the common airbags. 

The best part of it is the ergonomic design it comes with. Its designers have kept your comfort and convenience in mind while designing the whole piece. The improved ergonomic shape and enhanced support for your neck mean you are going to get a sleep of a dream in the middle of trekking! 

Not only that, but this headrest also has some added fabric layer on the outer portion for better comfort. It makes it really indistinguishable from the regular airbags. Apart from that, its build quality is a kicker. 

Made from 80% polyester and 20% durable elastic TPU fabric, this one is a master of resistance. No matter where you sleep, or where you go with this one, it will not be deflating out of anywhere. 

Plus, don’t expect it to get irritating scratches here and there, as well. So if you are wondering what pillow is best for backpacking, we guess we have an answer here!


  • Ergonomically designed for top-quality neck support and comfort.
  • It is made from TPU fabric and polyester for great resistance.
  • An extra layer over the top for better comfort.
  • Small size for easy carriage.
  • Inflates and deflates quite quickly.


  • A bit rigid if you are trying to bend it for some reason.

2. Travelrest CURL - Best Neck and Head Pillow for Road Trips and Flights

There is a separate fan base for this type of headrest. That’s mostly because of its versatile nature. Travelrest took advantage of it to craft one to make it to the list of the best budget backpacking pillow.

This comes with neck support that can be used in different positions and ways. It’s a cushion; it’s a neck-support, it’s a remedy to neck pain – it’s kind of multiple things in one. You don’t need to travel to use it.

If you are working on your PC at your home, feeling a bit dizzy, or need your neck to rest, it’s there. Likewise, it’s going to be your magic support when you are traveling on bus, metro, airplane, etc.

The most interesting part of this type of pillow is that it was originally designed by NASA long ago. Not to mention, it was a kind of instant support for the astronauts in space.

But you don’t need to be in the space to use it, though. The thermo-sensitive memory foam used in this bag helps your neck and head to rest on, forming a comfortable position. That’s not all.

If you are suffering from chronic pain or regular neck pain, this headrest is going to bring about much comfort to you that you could only dream of. Especially the memory foam fits your neck area perfectly to give it an excellent room to rest. 

The outer fabric is made from micro-fiber to keep your skin away from any type of irritation. Your neck and scalp skin will be at optimum comfort, coming into direct connection to this fabric. 

A useful part of this outer layer is that it’s just a cover. You can remove this softcover and wash it in the washer, as well. Even if it gets dirty after a few sessions of use, just wash it up! 

One of the most useful features of this pillow is that it can be adjusted to your neck size. There’s no universal size in it. It has drawstrings attached to it that can be drawn to regulate the size of it. So, no matter what size your neck is, there’s always a setting to support your neck.


  • Versatile neck-support works as a headrest and a neck resting place.
  • It is made from thermo-sensitive memory foam.
  • Outer layer is made from micro-fiber for extra comfort.
  • The cover is removable and can be washed.
  • Neck position can be adjusted according to your neck size.


  • A bit of hard, so it may irritate if you are using it for a long time.

3. AirComfy Inflatable Pillow - Best for Neck and Lumbar Support

For those of you who travel by vehicles most of the time, this is a perfect companion you can get for you. The Aircomfy is the ultimate support you may get for any vehicle ride. Is it the best pillow for backpacking? Well, we don’t know for sure, but surely you can bet!

What impressed us the most is its intelligent contour design. This is pure genius. It’s so versatile that you can use it to support your head, your neck, your lower, the mid, or upper back part of your body.

In a nutshell, this is a comfortable cushion that helps you reduce stress for literally all parts of your body.

Forget buying an air pump, your very own breath can pump this one. Just a few breaths in, the pillow is pumped up and ready for use. You can choose how much air to pump inside it.

This way, the headrest can be made soft or firm – whatever you like it to be. That’s why the producers propose it to be an all-round performer, as it suits men, women, and kids. Just adjust the air according to your comfort level – that’s it.

The Aircomfy is truly a versatile head-support when it comes to use in multiple situations and places. From office chairs to car headrests, from camping to even physical therapy and hospital bed – this one can easily blend into every single location. 

Moreover, it’s an excellent choice for moms-to-be! Put it beneath your lower back or front to get that little extra amount of comfort that you’re missing out! Fits perfectly for all-level pregnancy!

Even though it’s an air pumped cushion, it does come with a large size. When fully inflated, the pillow takes up the size of 14 by 8.5 by 3.5 inches. That’s enough to rest your head on. 

Plus, when you pump out the air from it, it takes about 4.5 by 8.5 inches of size, making it really handy to be packed in backpacks. That, too, comes with a bit help of the lightweight it offers. 

Weighing only 9.5 ounces, this shouldn’t feel any significant weight inside the bag during the travel. 

If it gets dirty after consistent use, we got good news for you. The velvet case of it is entirely removable. Remove it, and wash it. Dry it up and use it again!


  • Versatile airbag for different purposes.
  • Pumps up with a few breaths and deflates even quicker.
  • The lightweight bag only weighs 9.5 ounces.
  • Elastic strap to hold it with the seat.
  • Removable and washable case.


  • Self-made blow up doesn’t work as expected.

4. TETON Sports Camp Pillow - Great for Camping and Backpacking

Number four on our best backpacking pillow review is the Teton Sports Camp. What makes it a stand out product is the fact that it can’t be restricted to be a travel headrest only.

You can easily use it in your day to day life and even at your home at night. Its size, which is 4 by 7 by 9 inches, makes it a perfect headrest for every occasion. Plus, its look is pretty awesome to be used even as a decoration piece on your bed!

The Teton camp is just a synonym to comfort. This soft and fluffy cushion lets you relax on it anytime, anywhere! If you are planning on camping, backpacking, or a long drive, this is the perfect neck-support you need.

What most users fail to understand is the outer layer, or the cover of the pillow is quite crucial. This is the part of the headrest that comes in direct contact with your skin. If you fail to find one that has the best cover on the cushion, you are going to feel irritated later on.

Even in the cushion itself is soft, the layer would make it a thumbs-down product. Luckily, the Tenton Sports Camp airbag comes with a poly-flannel case. Why does it matter? Well, a poly-funnel fabric lets your skin feel less irritated when it comes to direct touch.

It gives your skin a soft and smooth feeling.

The biggest hit of this air-headrest is its self-inflating support. This is more than what we expected. You don’t need a pump, and you can forget about breathing it to pump it up! It does all the pumping job itself. 

Its automatic inflating system makes it easy to fill the air in. You just keep it open and see it pump itself up slowly. It’s literally that easy and convenient. 

The pillowcase over the airbag is a removable one. Peel it off, and you can wash it in your machine. The surprising part is, even the headrest can be washed, as well. If you choose to wash both of these at the same time, that’s also a possibility. 

This bag comes in a pretty handy storage bag. You get to keep it inside the bag when you are traveling. The drawstring on the bag makes it comfortably easy to lock it up.


  • Ideal pillow for multipurpose use.
  • Automatic pumping system to fill the air in.
  • Poly-funnel case lets your skin be at comfort all the time.
  • A useful storage bag comes with the package.
  • Upper cover can be removed and washed with the headrest.


  • It appears to be a bit thin if you are trying to sleep for a long time.

5. J-Pillow Travel Pillow - Great for Head, Neck & Chin Support

Our final pick for the contest of the best camping pillow for backpacking is the J-Pillow’s travel 2020. This is a uniquely designed supporting rest that can turn your sleeping session into a super relaxation session.

So how does it stand out? Well, the answer lies in the name of the headrest itself. The J-pillow is a J-shaped cushion that lets your head rest on your shoulder without sacrificing the discomforting bend of your neck bone.

When you use it on your neck, it fills up the gap between your neck and your shoulder. Its exclusive chin support is truly a one-of-a-kind feature that we have found. It comes with a trunk below the cushion that helps your chin rest on it.

If put on, the trunk curls under your chin. Again, the rest of the cushion goes below the side of your head. This makes a perfect position that you can relax on. Leaning your head slightly on your left or right, you can easily take advantage of your afternoon sleep, even at your home.

So when you are traveling by bus, airplane, or any other way, just put it on around your neck for the best ever sleep you deserve. As for camping, this one can be a great support to your headrest.

Place it over the regular one, to get a better position to fall asleep! 

The cushion is made from supportive 3D fiber. That’s the secrete to its super-comfortable feeling. Besides the inner part, the outer part of the pillow is made from Cuddlesoft plush material.

This makes sure that your skin doesn’t get itching or any kind of irritation while you sleep on it. 

With this one, you get a quite useful storage bag. The bag is a compression bag type, and it makes it easy for you to store the headrest inside. First, just place the cushion in it, then use the snap-loop fastener to lock the opening of the bag. 

Not simply attach it to the travel bag you have, and it will nicely hang from it. Take it with you wherever you go! 

This cushion is completely machine washable. You can put the entire bag inside the machine without any of its parts being removed.


  • The pillow is made from 3D fiber for optimum comfort.
  • Its cover is made from Cuddlesoft plush material.
  • This one is designed with unique chin support for maximum comfort.
  • A well-designed bag comes with the headrest as an accessory.
  • It is machine washable for regular cleaning.


  • The fluff tends to fade out over the course of time after rigorous use.

Introduction to the Technology and Benefit of Backpacking Pillow

Backpacking pillows are the support you need for your head when you are out of your home. These cushions are made especially for travelers who need to keep riding for a long time or stay out overnight.

The technique behind this head-support is to fill up the gap between our neck and our shoulder. Let’s say you are trying to sleep sitting without any such accessory. When you fall asleep, your head will lean sideways, front, or back.

As there is no support, your neck will hurt, and it can get severe at times. But if you are using a headrest, it will fill the hollow gap between these two organs. It prevents any neck pain or muscle damage.

The benefits of using such a cushion are not limited to this only. Here are some other benefits you get from it.


These cushions are quite small in size and weigh very low. That’s why you can easily carry these anywhere with you. Some can even fit in the side pockets of a backpack.

Easy To Use

Most of these pillows are air-filled and can be used only by pumping air from your breath. So inflate whenever you need and deflate whenever you don’t. This is super convenient and comfortable.

Different Shapes

There are multiple variants of such a headrest. U-shaped, J-shaped are some of the most popular and used ones. You can use these to support your side, your back of the neck, etc.


Backpacking pillows are not only for sleeping on those. You can use one against your lower back, upper back, or the mid-back for comfort. Plus, you can use these on your day to day tasks, as well. If you are working on your desk or watching TV, just place one over your neck – comfort confirmed.

Things to Know Before Buying Backpacking Pillow

So, you are wondering what is the best backpacking pillow, huh? Well, as Backpackers Trip have reviewed the top 5 headrests already, you can easily pick one from the list. But before you make such a decision, let us remind you of some of the features you need to consider.


Trust us; you won’t be using the pillow for your neck-support only. At times, when you feel a little bit of back pain, you will find a backpacking headrest to be a great support for your back.

Placing it at your lower backside between your back and the chair may turn out to be astonishingly relieving. That’s why make sure you find one that can support you in multiple dimensions, not just for sleeping.

Easy Air Filling System

If you are fond of air-filled pillows, you need to keep in mind that it should be convenient to fill the air in it. If you need an additional air-pump to do this job, it may seem a bit complicated.

Try finding the one that can be easily filled up by your own breathing. That, too, with a few ones. The excessive effort would mean additional pressure on your lungs, that doesn’t mean anything good for your health.

Build Quality

As you will be relaxing on it, it must be made out of great quality materials. If it’s not an air-filled one, the inner part of it should be stuffed with materials like 3D fiber or thermo-sensitive memory foam.

As for the outer cover, it should be made from smooth and comfortable material as it will be in direct contact with your skin. Microfiber made covers are great for your skin. This material can prevent irritation and provide comfort, as well.


It’s not that you are going to use a travel pillow every other day. But still, it may become dirty after a few uses. That’s why it needs to be washable. If you can’t get one that can be washed as a whole, make sure the cover can be washed, at least.


One of the key characteristics of the best travel pillow for backpacking is portability. It should be very lightweight so that you can easily carry it anywhere with you. There are some air-filled cushions that can’t even fit in your backpack once rolled up. 

This should not be the case. Try to find the one that comes with the least weight for easy mobility.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do inflatable backpacking pillows self-inflate?
It depends on the manufacturers. Some of the inflatable cushions do come with the option of an automatic inflating technique. Check the packaging for such instructions.
2. Can I machine wash the backpacking pillow?
Most models come with a washable cover. As for the cushion, it is not the case for every other unit. A few products are there that allow washing the headrest itself.
3. How to prevent the backpacking pillow from sliding?
Some models come with a strap to lock the cushion against the vehicle seat. If you can get one, it’s an easy solution. Otherwise, you can use thin clothes to wrap around to do the same.
4. Are backpacking pillows waterproof?
It depends on the build quality of the pillow. Not all the backpacking cushions come with a waterproof solution. If the producers make it waterproof, it should be mentioned on the packaging.
5. Can I use a backpacking pillow as lumbar support?
Ans. Yes, surely. If you are feeling uncomfortable while sitting for a long time, place a pillow between the chair and your back for a better feeling.

Final Words

So that’s where we wrap it up. We did our best to extract the top 5 options for the best backpacking pillow for your convenience. You can easily pick one from the list, or you can take the help of our buying guide to looking elsewhere. If you are following all the tips we shared, it’s evident that you will be grabbing the most functioning pillow of the market.

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