.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Monday, 16 January 2012

More pillow talk............

You'll see from this post that I'm really getting into the subject of camping pillows now.  I've had some good ideas from the comments left previously so I thought I'd follow up some of them here.

Looking on various websites has lead me to divide the available pillows into groups. The photos are lifted without permission but I'm sure nobody will mind..........

Each group has forms of the same kind of pillow made by different manufacturers and coming in at different prices. Most of them I have not had a chance to see in 'the flesh' as it were, so I'm looking at them just from the written descriptions and pictures. Sadly they don't all have very clear information and some do not tell you the weight.

Air pillows
{DIY blow-up pillow}

There are many makes of air pillow or cushions on the market. They range from the downright rubbery and heavy to some that are like thin balloons but essentially you blow them up yourself. The one in the photo above is kind of suedy stuff, and has ridges which I imagine would be better than just a plain surface.
{Self-inflating pillows}

There are some on the market that claim to be self-inflating. They vary in size and I would think contain foam in various forms.
{Another shape - giving a space for your neck?}
There are other air pillows which try to address the shape of the pillow in a more inventive way.

My thoughts on the air pillow generally are these....they don't feel like a 'real' pillow under the head and for side-sleeping I suspect they might move quite readily as they are quite light especially when pumped up.

So moving on..............

Filled pillows

{Pillow filled with compressible synthetic material}

Again there are various makes and qualities of this kind of pillow. Some fold up, and others squash into stuff sacks.

{Half moon shape for inside the sleeping bag hood}

Some of these have soft material-like outer covers or are fleecy. Other shapes are available too. 

Apart from synthetic fill there are also down filled pillows and I have seen (but not considered here) some filled with foam beads.

With all these filled pillows unless it is as substantial as a pillow from home (in which case it would be far too heavy and large to carry) it will, I think, be rather flat and small, which would not be supportive enough for a side-sleeper.

And finally.............

Pillow Sacks

{A pillow stuff sack}

Another way to solve the problem of a good camping pillow is to have a suitable stuff sack and use it with your own amount of soft clothing. That is the idea behind this one - it can be turned inside out to find a fleecy type surface for sleeping on.
{Another pillow sack - this time flatter and wider when stuffed}

 These pillows appeal to me the most so far. They have a dual purpose in that they can also be used to carry items in the rucksack, perhaps even your sleeping bag. For that they would have to be waterproof to protect the contents. However, if you intend only taking a minimum of clothing with you, it may mean stuffing with wet clothes in bad weather or having a small pillow if you are wearing your spare items for warmth.

{A hybrid idea - light padding, with space for clothing}

 Finally, this one was suggested to me and I do like the idea. It folds down small and light, but it can be enhanced with as much padding as you need. Perhaps even stuffed with a lightweight air pillow. The surface against your face is not fleecy but a kind of smooth silky material.

Decisions, decisions...............................


Louise said...

... and we all know how good you are at decisions!

Alan R said...

I'm with you on this. One of your (2L) stuff sacks filled with your soft gear, bashed down a bit to make it comfy. Followed by a wee dram with a nice bit of cheese. Soooo comfy you wake up never knowing you missed the star show. Ah,

John Green said...

I am in my 60s, overweight and arthritic, so comfort is important to me.

I use the Exped air pillow that you described as "Another shape". It weighs 85 gm and packs up small. There are good-sized openings for inflation and deflation, which are more robust than the fiddly tube on the Ajungilak pillow I used before. At night, the Exped pillow is stuffed into a lightweight snood, which I carry anyway. The snood is just a thin fabric tube, and will dry on my head in the tent if it gets wet during the day's walk. The snood improves the feel of the pillow and stops it sliding about. It may also protect the pillow from abrasion, or from being stabbed with a spork.

As with an air-bed, comfort depends on putting just the right amount of air in. When you have achieved that, it is doubly important that the pillow does not deflate in the night. So far, that has not been a problem.

Laura said...

Louise - I'm not sure what you mean!

Alan - sounds idyllic! How do you stop the bag sliding away from you?

John - thanks for taking the time to leave such a detailed comment - I am certainly considering a kind of combination approach - an air pillow at the core of some softer clothing and then put into somekind of bag or Buff to keep it all together.

Alan R said...

Well, you can put it in the hood of your sleeping bag. To be honest i have never fastened it to anything.
I also use a 5l bag that i put my tent into. I use this more than my 2l bag and it normally stays put with it being more pillow shape that tube shape.

Laura said...

Hi Alan - Al mentioned putting the pillow into the sleeping bag hood -I don't know why but I didn't think of doing that....
All this is part of a plan to be more organised for this year's Challenge - think I might have a long way to go with that!