Given that multi-purpose gear is one of the foundations of ultralight backpacking, it’s surprising that Hyperlite Mountain Gear is the only ultralight manufacturer that sells a pillow which can double as a stuff sack. Turned inside out, one side is covered in Polartec 100 fleece, making it very cozy and warm to rest your head on.
(Correction Zpacks.com sells a CF pillow too. I missed this when I fact checked the article. The pillow is buried in their dry bag product listing. Thanks to a reader for pointing this out.)
Available in two sizes, the HMG cuben fiber pillow is also very lightweight, weighing just 1.4 ounces in a size large (12″ x 17″) and 1.0 ounces in a size small (10″ x 14″). I use mine to store all of my sleeping and “oh heck” clothes on backpacking and day trips including long underwear, extra socks, gloves, and hats.
When I use the pillow as a stuff sack, I keep the Polartec fleece “sleeping” surface facing inwards, so it doesn’t get wet or dirty when it comes in contact with the contents of my pack. While it closes with a side zipper, I know if it ever fails, I’ll still be able to use it to stuff clothing into for a pillow.
No Air Leaks
The other advantage of the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Sack Pillow over the inflatable backpacking pillows offered by many manufacturers, is durability. Sooner or later inflatable pillows leak at the seams and around the valve or they develop pinhole punctures. That can never happen with a pillow that is a stuff sack.
Disclosure: Hyperlite Mountain Gear provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a cuben fiber stuff sack pillow, but he was under no obligation to write a product review about it.