There really isn’t a lot to say about an inflatable pillow, it is what it is; a somewhat comfortable bag of air.
This is my first inflatable pillow so I don’t have much to compare it to. For me, previous pillows have consisted of shoes under a pillow case (or stuff sack) filled with whatever was around (usually my rain shell). Not the most comfortable set up, but for the most part, it worked.
Since I have decided to give up on my inflatable sleeping pad (at least for the summer/warmer months) and return to using the RidgeRest (classic closed cell foam pad), I thought it would be worth introducing a more comfortable/dedicated pillow to my sleep system. There’s a lot of options out there and after reviewing the possible pros and cons of each, opted to go with an inflatable, mostly for the small amount of volume it would take up in my pack.
This certainly isn’t the lightest pillow option out there, but the price was right at $25. The Exped Air Pillow UL (1.6oz for size M) looked great, but I was not interested in spending $50 on a pillow.
•Internal pocket for cradling your head
•One side nylon, other side microfiber (fleece like)
•Air core surrounded by layer of synthetic fill
I’ve slept on this pillow a total of eight nights so far and will say I find it fairly comfortable. It works best for me if I fully inflate it, lay my head on it and then use the twist valve to slowly let some air out until it reaches desired firmness. The weight of my head forces air to each side of the pillow and I then can actually feel the internal pocket under my head, thus creating a nice cradling effect.
I have to say my first exposure to an inflatable pillow has been a fairly positive experience. It is certainly more comfortable than a rain jacket in a sack. I plan on continuing to use this throughout the summer and will update this post after I have some more time in the field with it. Time will tell in regard to durability and whether or not I deem it a necessary enough comfort that I will continue to carry it with me.