Looking for the Best Camping Pillow? Here’s our Top 5 Picks

When it’s time to unwind from a busy week, nothing beats spending some time in the great outdoors. Whether it’s sandy beaches, thick forests, or quiet mountains, you’re sure to experience a full recharge. When you’re packing your bags for a night or two under the stars, you need to stick to the essentials. Warm clothes, snacks, sleeping bag – check!  But what about a pillow? We’ve test many options and have you covered on the best camping pillow for trip.

Should you grab the pillow off your bed and throw it in your rucksack? The short answer is no. Even if it’s your favorite pillow, you probably don’t have enough space for it, especially not with everything else you’re bringing. Plus, do you really want your nice, expensive pillow getting dirty or rained on? Of course not. That’s where camping pillows come in. Read on to learn about how camping pillows save the day – and your sleep.

Many people think that because of its size and compact nature, a small, weatherproof pillow will be hot and uncomfortable. However, these 5 best camping pillows show that just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean you’re “roughing it”.

Overall Best Camping Pillow: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Pillow


For superior comfort in your camping pillow, look no further than Wise Owl Outfitters. The microsuede material is super comfortable and breathable. Inside the pillow is a lightweight memory foam filling, which weighs only 12 ounces for the medium size. The memory foam provides plenty of support for your head and neck. For easy portability, the whole pillow compresses to fit in its tiny waterproof stuff sack. When you’re ready for bed, or if you need an extra cushion, it fluffs back up to full size in no time. The combination of support, comfort, and cushion makes for an incredible night’s rest. 

Camping gets dirty, of course, but this pillow is a breeze to clean. The pillow cover is machine washable and dryer-friendly.  It has a removable pillow case for easy cleaning, but if you’re feeling lazy, throw the whole thing in. You can wash it on cool, then put it in the dryer for 5-10 minutes on low temp. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow is an excellent choice for comfortable travel as much as it is for camping adventures.

Runner Up: Coop Home Goods – Adjustable Travel and Camping Pillow


Next in line, we have the adjustable travel and camping pillow from Coop Home Goods. This pillow comes in a spacious 13×19” size, but compresses to nearly half that in the included stuff sack. Whether you are packing it in a rucksack or a suitcase, it doesn’t take up much space. 

Coop uses their super-breathable Lulltra fabric for the pillow case, which is a blend of bamboo materials and polyester. This gives you great water and dirt resistance, plus it allows for good airflow. However, inside the case is where this pillow really shines. It is filled with medium-firm shredded memory foam, giving you a soft, yet supportive experience. It’s also great that the materials used are certified by CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold. They are made without harmful chemicals like CFCs, ozone depleters, or heavy metals.

What’s truly exceptional is how Coop Home Goods will go the extra mile for your comfort and satisfaction. They offer free loft customization for their pillows. Do you like your pillows extra fluffy? Do you prefer a flatter feel? They will work with you to make a foam blend just the way you like it.  And if that’s not enough, they offer a 100-night sleep trial. If you aren’t totally satisfied for any reason, you can return it for a full refund.

Runner Up: Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow


If you want a wide array of options, look to Therm-a-Rest for your camping or travel pillow. Their pillows come in four sizes, ranging from a small 12”x16” to the extra large 16.5”x27”. They also come in 9 different colors/ prints, so you can be equal parts comfortable and stylish. These ultralight pillows weigh only 9 ounces, but offer excellent head and neck support. For the frequent travelers, this pillow also gives great back support during those long drives or flights. The pillow comes with a super compact bag for packing, and it includes a drawstring to make sure it stays cinched up. Despite packing up so tightly, the pillow fluffs up to 4 inches thick after a good shake. 

The Therm-a-Rest pillow uses a brushed polyester cover, which is soft to the touch. The urethane fill is responsibly up-cycled from their mattresses, and gives a lovely, lofty cushion. These materials are easily cleaned in the washing machine. And best of all, these pillows are proudly made in the USA.

Runner Up: TETON Sports Camp Pillow


Another perfect addition to your camping, backpacking or road tripping adventures is the TETON Sports Camp Pillow. It’s extra soft, without losing its shape, which means your head and neck get additional support and alignment. When you’re sleeping on hard surfaces in nature, going on hour-long drives, or jet-setting across the country, take this fluffy softness with you. 

Poly fiber fill allows the pillow to loft up on its own, so after you pack it down tightly, it will puff up to full size. You can wash the pillow and pillow case together or separately. Their soft, comfortable poly-flannel shell won’t fade out or lose its texture after washing it in the washing machine.

The compact storage bag doesn’t take up much space and contains a drawstring and barrel lock closure for safe transport. This storage-friendly pillow packs up to 4″ x 7″ x 9″, and you can easily take it from place to place, with its 0.8lb weight. If you have any questions or concerns, their exceptional product support team is available to take care of your needs. 

Runner Up: Ballast Beach Pillow


Last but not least, the durable Ballast Beach Pillow is designed for sandy shores and more. Its ingenious design includes a pocket to put a handful of sand or a heavy object to anchor the pillow. This assures that it will stay put during wet and windy conditions. It also includes straps to attach it to beach and pool chairs, so that you can relax and soak up the sun with extra comfort. It is made of a weather-resistant material, and the padded top makes you feel like you’re at the spa.

Inflate it in just a couple of breaths; an adjustable air valve allows you to decide how firm or soft you want the pillow to be. When fully inflated, the Ballast Pillow is 14″ x 11″. For easy transportation, the pillow folds into its own storage-friendly carrying case, which is 7″ x 7″.

The pillow can get wet, and it dries off quickly. Soft, stain-resilient fabric draws the moisture away, sheds sand, and helps you take your comfort to the next level. The classic blue color perfectly blends with clear skies and crisp water – we must admit that the red sloth pattern is perfect for a lazy afternoon!

Best Camping Pillow FAQs

What is a Camping Pillow?

Camping pillows, also called travel pillows, are small-sized cushions that can be compressed to take up very little space when backpacking. They are very light, usually weighing less than a pound. They’re also weatherproof and easy to clean. Despite their name, many people love to use them for traveling, not just camping.  Cars, trains, and airplanes hardly have seats we can call “well-cushioned”, and  even the most luxurious car seat will make you fidget after hours of road tripping. These portable pillows can give you the head, neck, and back support that you need to stay comfortable.

Are camping pillows worth it?

Absolutely! A comfortable, easy-to-clean, and easily transportable camping pillow reduces neck pain, keeps your head and neck in alignment and supports your spine while sleeping on hard surfaces. Camping pillows are a perfect companion for outdoor and indoor activities when your comfort matters (and that’s always!).

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