As a side sleeper, I have a hard time getting to sleep outdoors when my head is not propped up. This is not an problem during the winter when I have enough extra down or synthetic clothing to bunch up as a pillow, but the rest of the year it’s an issue because I usually don’t carry enough extra clothing to fill a stuff sack. I guess that’s one downside of going lightweight.
One of the first products I ever bought to address this issue were FlexAir Ultralight Pillows from Backpackinglight.com which you inflate with a straw. At 0.56 oz, this was an ultralight solution, but once inflated they’re as hard as a rock despite having a slightly fuzzy surface. They’ve since been relegated to my dead gear box.
One solution I’ve been forced to adopt is to go to sleep on my back. The downside is that I snore like a dragon in this position and you don’t want me sleeping anywhere near you. If you’ve ever been on a trip with me and wondered why I always sleep apart from other people, this is the reason. I value my life.
This winter, my wife bought me an 800 fill power goose down Cloudrest Pillow from Western Mountaineering that I will be trying this spring as a solution to my pillow problem. It supports my head pretty well when I use it inside the hood of my Western Mountaineering Ultralite Sleeping Bag, but at 5 oz., I wish I had a lighter weight or multipurpose solution that I could use instead. Still, getting a good night’s sleep is essential for me, so if it works consistently, I’ll be sold. It comes with it’s own attached stuff sack, making it easy to keep clean and dry and is highly compressible as down only can.
What kind of camping pillow do you use? Is sleeping without a camping pillow a problem for you too?