Choosing the right sleep system for your trip outdoors greatly impacts your comfort while sleeping in a tent. It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep is hard to achieve when you’re in the woods, away from the comfort of your bed and home pillows that you’re so used to.

But if you choose sleeping gear that’s right for you, you’ll be sleeping soundly in a tent in no time. A good camping pillow is a great place to start!

Here are 3 important things to consider when choosing a camping pillow:

Consider your camping style

When choosing the right camping pillow for you, it’s important to factor in your typical camping situation. Do you mostly go car camping? Set up camp at a designated campsite? Or hike long distances, carrying everything in your backpack?

Think about the compromise between comfort, packed size and weight. Typically, comfortable pillows are bigger and heavier while lightweight and portable models tend to lack comfort. For example, you often camp in your car which means that weight and pack size are not a big issue. You can go for bigger pillows that maximize comfort and support.

Consider the type of pillow

There are 4 main types of camping pillows: inflatable, compressible, hybrid and stuffable.

  • Inflatable camping pillows are the most popular among hikers and backpackers because they’re lightweight and take almost no space in the pack. All you have to do is blow air through the valve and you’ll have a pillow. However, inflatables are said to be noisy and the least comfortable.
  • Compressible pillow resemble home pillows the most. They’re filled with foam, down feather or synthetic fiber. Although heavier than inflatable ones, compressible pillows are the most comfortable.
  • The hybrid variety is a mix between the first two. It has a compressible top layer for comfort with an inflatable bottom side to reduce pack volume.
  • Stuffable pillows are lightly padded fabric sleeves wherein you can stuff with what you have in your pack like shirts, jackets and socks. It packs light, but the comfort depends on what you put inside.

Consider how you sleep

Are you a back, side or stomach sleeper? The support that your pillow offers based on your sleeping style greatly impacts your sleep quality. Compressible pillows are great for head, neck and back support because they conform to the shape of your head. There are also models with adjustable support so if you’re prone to waking up with an sore neck or achy back, they’re worth looking into.

Remember these important things to consider when buying a camping pillow!