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Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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    Mitch Chesney


    So I was going to grab a pillow case off my bed, stuff my down parka in it, and sleep like a bloody king this winter in the high mountains. Then I got to thinking… "well, it's going to get dirty… I should buy a dedicated pillow case… but that costs money, even all of $5, I wonder what else I could use instead…" and came up with repurposing my Hilleberg Jannu stuff sack. It's about the right size… I can easily stuff a down jacket in it for comfort. But, "Ehhh, it's silnylon… it's not going to be comfortable" so I thought about wrapping my keffiyeh (44×44" of cotton) around the stuff sack for that last bit of comfort. Voila! Pillow without the added 0.5oz.

    huzzah! 0.5oz saved. (inward perspective, analysis) "Damn, it might be easier just bringing the damn pillow case"

    Gordon Gray
    BPL Member


    Locale: Front Range, CO

    I do a very similar thing….

    I stuff my down jacket and any other clothing not worn at bedtime into an unzipped leg of my convertible pants. This keeps its all together. I then wrap it with my camptowel which is a fleece like material.

    It is ideal and doesn't really weigh anything since it is the stuff I bring anyway.

    BPL Member


    Locale: California

    I've been using a micro fleece long sleeve running shirt as my pillowcase, works good when I can figure out how to tie the arms so it holds together through the night. Unfortunately, half the time I don't figure out how to tie it, and I wake up with my head on a loose wad of the things I stuffed inside it.

    I am now having the idea using a little cordage and maybe a taughtline hitch to close up the opening… or maybe I'll just get a small pillow case.

    theodore jefferson


    For a long time, my pillow was whatever left over under my head. But a good nights sleep is so priceless I now bring an inflatable pillow and wrap it in a t shirt.

    Stephen M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Way up North

    If using a stuff sack pillow slide a buff over it, I did that for years
    until I came across the monkey but pillow cases, its well worth the extra weight as it will stay on a pad.

    Lizz Roe
    BPL Member


    Locale: Cardiff

    Thermarest have come out with a stuff sac which has sil nylon on one side and microfleece on the other – result! During the day it is in the bag with clean clothes inside fleece side in, at night it gets swapped round, fleece out, hmm comfty.

    Kenneth Jacobs
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest -or- Rockies
    BPL Member


    Locale: SoCAL

    I stuff my down jacket and other clothing items into a cuben fiber stuff sack that I store my clothing in (0.2oz for the sack). I put other gear stuff sacks under it to give it the height I want. If it isn't very cold, I use my lightweight balaclava (1.8oz) as a pillow case with the fleece side out since I don't need to wear it (use a down quilt so no mummy hood). When it's colder, I wear the balaclava so that's what is touching the cuben fiber and not my face. Doesn't seem any different to me. Before the balaclava, I used a fleece cap the same way.

    That said, once cuben fiber wears, it's pretty soft. But when it's new, its slick and crinkly and not so pleasant.

    Nick Smolinske
    BPL Member


    Locale: Rogue Panda Designs

    I don't have any extra stuff sacks for a pillow . . or extra clothes that I might not need at night. So I just carry an Exped. Doesn't weigh much more than a stuff sack anyway.

    John S.
    BPL Member


    I've been stuffing rain gear into a silnylon stuff sack.

    Cassie Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: Anchorage

    I use a 2.5 gallon ziploc as my pillow. I put unused garments in it, then semi-inflate it, then put it inside whatever shirt I'm not wearing. (I am small so the 2.5 gallon bag stays put pretty well.) It is light and cheap, and I've never had one fail on me during ~14 day trips. Not a big deal weight-wise to bring a spare, and both bags have many other uses.

    Believe it or not, you can blow some air into the ziploc through a small gap in the zipper, then zip it closed, and the bag will stay inflated, especially if it's got something in addition to air inside. This makes for a thicker pillow than is generally possible when you are just using a stuff sack. The best support comes when it's warm enough to stuff my belay jacket (synthetic insulation) into the ziploc. The plastic bag semi-compresses the jacket, creating a pillow that's perfect for a side-sleeper like me. Unfortunately on colder nights I have to make do with less stuffing because I am wearing the jacket. Rain pants, spare socks, etc. are better than nothing.

    Gary From CA


    I've had good luck stuffing the compression sack for my sleeping bag with clothes, or even blowing air into my camelbak and using it as a pillow. I switched to the Exped after consolidating my gear and making my jacket an official part of my sleep system on cold nights however. It might add an extra 3oz, but it's just so darn comfy…

    Tyler Milke


    I use my 2L platypus with my buff over it.

    Daniel Pittman


    Locale: Central Texas

    Jeeze, y'all! I got a 6oz down pillow from REI. Totally worth it for the luxurious decadent sleep I get. Backpacking Light, not Backpacking Stiff Neck.

    Katherine .
    BPL Member


    Locale: pdx

    I have a klymt x And on top of that, a fleecey thermarest pillow case that I stuff with whatever is the softest stuff I'm not wearing. Anything left that has any give, eg FAK, goes into the shelter stuff sack and is used for the knees.

    Dan Gregerson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Bob Marshall Wilderness

    Check out Goosefeet Gear's down pillows! I got the small size with the optional sleeve sewn in. Put my 1L Platy (which I carry rolled up normally, but use for extra water when traversing dry patches) in the sleeve and inflate apx. 2/3 full and Presto! Wonderful down softness for just 2 oz. Liked it so much, I recently decided to upgrade to the decadent large size for 3.75 oz. There's even a small loop sewn to the side so you can have a bungy around the pad to keep the pillow in place all night.

    Adam Salinger
    BPL Member


    I use the Zpacks Medium-Plus Pillow.  It’s big enough to hold my sleeping bag and all of my night clothes during the day as a water tight bag packed at the bottom of my pack…and at night, I stuff it with my down jacket and any other soft odds and ends for the perfect loft.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Australia

    Ive tried zpacks bag – i think it has a minor design flaw. Dry bags need roll the top down a few times to seal. But the felt on the inside is sewn all the way to the rim of the dry bag. So when your roll to seal you are rolling not just dcf but dcf with a layer of felt. I think it breaks the seal.  I couldnt get a perfect seal – when i press on it it lets air out, and vice versa after. It would be great for rain protection but i needed a sealed bag as i fish with pack so i want to protect for possible immersion.

    Ive often though it might  work much better if the felt was only sewn to within 6” of the top. A DIY project someday

    Dustin V
    BPL Member


    Since I’m a side-sleeper, I need a pillow. Haven’t found one that I love, yet.

    I’ve tried the old thermarest pillow stuffsack, a Schnozzel bag semi-inflated, one of my down coats inverted into its stuff pocket, other random stuff sacks and just my arm. Since CO nights generally get pretty cold, I usually wear a buff or hood, so I’m effectively wearing the pillowcase.

    Someone above mentioned using their water bladder. I’ve thought about this as a way to have water handy and keep it from freezing. I wonder if the water weight might help keep it from shifting as much. I’m leery of trying this unless it’s inside a stuffsack to contain potential leaks. Has anyone tried this?

    BPL Member


    Locale: Australia

    Im also a side sleeper –

    Found success recently!  I used a stuff sack with both a s2s p inflatable pillow and my polar fleece for height. Silnylon sack to hold it all together.  Then insert yr sack pillow combo into yr buff, it both insulates the inflatable part in winter and stops it going walk about as provides more friction with the mat. If the sack pillow still escapes then hobble it by passing a length of light elastic throough it and around the mat.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Australia

    Re use of water filled platy.  I suspect instead it might just make your head really cold, and crash your body temp.
    I found this when sleeping on am uninsulated air filled pillow which was direct on the ground last winter (only -2C)  – both conduction and convection in full force.  Chilled the air in the,pillow, so it felt like i had an iced bag behind my neck and head. When i realised this at 3am i was already very cold – after the oblig squat thrusts to warm up, when i laid back down i put both my head and the pillow inside my down jacket and voila was warm rest of the night as temps continued to drop to 5-6am mins.
    so would wonder about water filled platys in really cold temps eg snow if not also insulated somehow to store your body heat.

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