Mar 30, 2007 at 8:54 am #1222603
I assume most of you are using a shirt and maybe a stuffsack like I was planning on doing but how are the fabricated pillows? I see western mountaineering has a down pillow, any experiences with it? Air chambered ones? I love a cold flat pillow at night so I figured I buy and try one. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance, EricMar 30, 2007 at 9:04 am #1384147
@scottalanpLocale: Northern California
I have tried the inflatable pillow sold on this site. I have tried silnylon sacks with clothing. I recently got the WM pillow. I will gladly carry this 4 oz. item all the time now as it is incredibly comfortable compared to the previous things I mentioned. Could be considered a luxury or an necessity depending on your sleep needs…but I am finding as I get older I need something to rest my head on at night.Mar 30, 2007 at 9:10 am #1384152
Hey Scott, thanks for your help. I figure it's cheap enough to buy it and try it so I may just order one. I can always decide to bring it along on plane trips. Thanks.Mar 30, 2007 at 10:25 am #1384176
@vidnovicLocale: SF Bay Area
I prefer the single chamber inflatable BPL pillow. The method I use is to slightly under inflate the pillow and put it inside my sleeping bag hood with me.Mar 30, 2007 at 12:03 pm #1384195
I made a silnylon stuff sack that is lined with fleece. To use as a pillow I simply turn the bag inside out so that the fleece is on the outside and stuff it with some clothing.Mar 30, 2007 at 12:13 pm #1384198
I have the Thermarest medium sized pillow. Its bulky, heavy, and I seldom carry it.Mar 30, 2007 at 1:03 pm #1384209
@geekguyandyLocale: New York State
I bought a BPL single chamber and wasn't thrilled. I thought I might try to heat-press the center, and see it that holds, likely burning a hole through it and saying "whoops!".
I normally just stuff a few items of clothing and stuff sacks in my fleece, but adding a platypus inside that might be better too.Mar 30, 2007 at 1:14 pm #1384214
I use an inflatable pillow from Eagle Creek. It fits perfectly inside the hood of my sleeping bag. You can see what it is here: http://www.eaglecreek.com/accessories/travel_comfort/Comfort-Head-Rest-41021/?gclid=CLPZy9GnnYsCFQ8uUAodkkXuSgMar 30, 2007 at 1:37 pm #1384217
@earthdwellerLocale: North Carolina
How much does the Eagle Creek pillow weigh, Brian?Mar 30, 2007 at 2:19 pm #1384223
@jjpittsLocale: Midwest US
I use a pair of "water wings" that I split down the middle on a seam. It works really well. Here is a photo of my sleep setup and you can see the pillow. This was the only night I used the tarp… a really light rain. I was glad to get a picture of it in full bloom otherwise it would have spent the week inside my pack.
The term "best" is obviously relative. This is "best" for me because it provides the right support and lets me sleep on my side more easily. It is very light and when deflated takes up very little pack space.
This is not an invention of mine. A good friend passed the tip onto me. Perhaps it will work for you.
As a follow-up my trekking poles were super-ultralight… zero ounces! I left mine at home and borrowed a pair from one of my hiking buddies to pitch my tarp. In a group of hikers there never seems to be a shortage of unused trekking poles. :)Mar 30, 2007 at 2:19 pm #1384224
Ernie: 4 & 5/8 ounces.Mar 31, 2007 at 5:21 am #1384299
Actually the Montbell UL inflatable pillow was one of my best finds of 2006. It attaches with toggles to the inflatable matress so it does not move around. The first time I used this setup was the first time I slept through the night in a tent. 80 grams.Mar 31, 2007 at 5:37 am #1384301
>>Actually the Montbell UL inflatable pillow was one of my best finds of 2006.
Same here Brett. The Montbell pillow is now a permanent part of my kit.Mar 31, 2007 at 8:48 am #1384321
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Two years ago I started using an inflatable Samsonite travel (ie: airplane) U-shaped pillow. It weighs little, has a soft cover, and the support level is easily adjusted for hammock or ground sleeping.Mar 31, 2007 at 9:17 am #1384327
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
I use a stuff sack that I stuff my clothes in. I turn it inside out and it has a fleece lining in it. Nice and comfortable without taking up extra space nor any added weight.Mar 31, 2007 at 11:03 am #1384345
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
In the YMMV category, I've never related to the need for a specialized stuff sack that has a fuzzy side to make it a better pillow (Granite Gear sells one of these too).
I put whatever pillow I end up creating for the night under my sleeping bag top/hood area, so my head is on the bag. Then it doesn't matter if it's rain clothes or a silnylon stuff sack or whatever kind of surface to the "pillow", since I'm not laying directly on it.
All that said, I'm still not happy with my pillow setup; for warmer nights, no problem, but colder nights when I'm wearing all my clothes, it gets a little thin trying to build a pillow. I don't find an inflated 2L hydration bag enough. But I've changed some gear choices recently; maybe scratching around I'll come up with something at least adequate for colder nights!Mar 31, 2007 at 12:12 pm #1384347
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
After 4-5 different pillow setups (including child flotation pillows and the inflatables sold at BPL), I've finally settled on one that works for me. It's the most comfortable UL setup I've found, and it adds 0.0oz to my setup.
I take my 500ci stuffsack (homemade version of the ones sold at BPL), and insert my folded pair of rain pants (folding them in half and then in thirds creates a nice, smooth rectangle six layers thick). Then I add my 4L Big Zip platypus. On top of this I add my rain jacket. I then take one deep breath and inflate the platypus. I am able to put the cap on fast enough that it traps most of the air inside. In fact, most of the time it automatically deflates to the perfect thickness. Finally, I loop the draw cord around the platypus cap, keeping the stuff sack secured onto everything (it doesn't all fit into the sack completely; some hangs out the opening, but it all stays together with the drawstring over the cap).
Since I never go to sleep in my rain gear, I will always have these as a pillow option. And serving this dual function helps me justify the added weight of a rain suit (something I am inclined to bring anyway in the PNW). The stuff sack keeps everything together and keeps my head oils away from the waterproof-breathable membrane. The stuffsack will also keep wet rain gear isolated from my sleeping environment.
The trick I found was to stow the rain gear in flat layers rather than rolling the rain gear around the platypus. I've found that this creates a much more level surface, and I don't notice any "bubble" effect (that is, it doesn't feel like my head will roll off the pillow or that it will slide out from underneath my head). This is in part due to the larger 4L platypus and leaving it partially uninflated. But I also think that by folding the clothing rather than rolling it, the edges are thicker (due to the fabric folds), adding stability to the platypus. Also, it is much easier to fill the stuff sack with empty layers than to roll everything up and try to squeeze it in.
I carry a 4L platy anyway so that I can take warm showers and camp away from water. But most of the time my 2L wide mouth bottle (my on-the-trail water bottle), holds enough for camp, thus freeing the Big Zip for my pillow. So the Big Zip platy serves 3 functions: extra/backup water storage, pillow, and shower. That alot of functionalith for 2.3oz, and worth the extra tenths of an ounce over the 2L version. Therefore my net weight for the pillow is 0.0oz, and every component is multi-use.Mar 31, 2007 at 12:27 pm #1384349
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
For those of you looking at inflatable pillows, I own both the aforementioned MontBell UL pillow, as well as the Entex I-Beam inflatable sold at REI. Both are very comfortable:
19" x 12.5" – 6oz – $3
Cheap as heck but very comfortable because the I-Beam construction provides uniform thickness even when only partially inflated.
18.5" x 10.6" – 2.3oz – $29.
UL and comfy — a tad expensive, and often unavailable — unless you ask either Brett or Miguel, the resident MB pimps — to buy and ship to you from Japan.Mar 31, 2007 at 4:07 pm #1384359
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
One of the members here asked me to try to pick up one of the pilows recently and I went to the Mont Bell head store in Tokyo to have a look. They checked with all the stores in Japan and unfortunately the pillow has been sold out everywhere until mid-April. Very popular item. I own one and like Brett have finally found a pillow that I am happy with for camping. Only took me about 35 years to find it! I like Ken Helwig's feature of a fleece surface. One thing I don't like about inflatable pillows (even the MB one) is when my ear lies against the the non-porous surface the inability for air to escape fro my ear canal often creates painful air pressure. A fleece surface eliminates this.Mar 31, 2007 at 8:08 pm #1384379
The two best things about the montbell pillow are the toggles to attach it to a mattress, and the built in indentations in the center of the pillow which cradle your head and keep it centered in the middle, whether you sleep on your back or side, toss or turn.
Miguel; great suggestion, Im going to make a fleece cover from an old jacket.Apr 3, 2007 at 9:27 am #1384667
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
I use two single chamber FlexAir pillows sewn together along the excess material outside the heat seal. The double pillow creates what is basically a big water wing style pillow… which is much more comfortable than a single chamber… since it creates a place for your head to rest.
Also, since actual water wings are made out of relatively heavy vinyl… they are usually actually heavier and smaller than my 1.0 oz doubled up Flexair. My water wing pillow made from an actual water wing is 1.5 oz and 1/4 the size of my flexair "water wing". I bought a box of 50 for $25 rather than paying $6 for 3 on BPL.
On not crazy about the double chamber FlexAir. I prefer my "two singles sewn together" option.Apr 3, 2007 at 10:18 am #1384682
Water wing, Walmart, $1
THE ENDApr 19, 2007 at 2:14 pm #1386657
>>They checked with all the stores in Japan and unfortunately the pillow has been sold out everywhere until mid-April. Very popular item.
I was in the Montbell Boulder store today and was told that the pillows would be arriving on April 27th. Apparently, they have become a cult item (with good reason ,IMO) and sell out as soon as they arrive. Anyone looking for one should be prepared to act quickly.Apr 19, 2007 at 2:42 pm #1386659
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
Do you know if the other stuff marked "available soon" will be arriving at a similar date? I've got my eyes on the 90 Pad and 30 extension piece, plus the pillow.
Thanks!Apr 19, 2007 at 3:14 pm #1386665
Hi Daniel, I haven't checked the Montbell site in a while, so didn't think to ask about the other items. The guy I talked to, who seemed pretty knowledgeable, said something about a big spring shipment coming in soon. I think you'll really like the 90 Pad + pillow combo. The 90 pad is way more comfortable than the only other torso pad I've slept on, the POE Uberlite.
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