Gear Review: Ozark Trail Camping Pillow

I just wrapped up another awesome night of camping in the woods of Pennsylvania.  I love camping in the fall, with the leaves coming down around me and the weather cooling off.  But one thing that makes the difference almost every time, is whether I have a pillow.

For the last couple of years, I carried a nice Coleman pillow, which I loved because it was big and comfortable.  But I hate it for backpacking trips because it just takes up so much room in my pack, even when I fold it.  On this campout I backpacked in to my tenting location on the mountain, eager to try the new camping pillow I just purchased.

I paid under $10 for a blue plaid Ozark Trails Camp Pillow that folds up into a solid blue stuff sack, emblazoned with the Ozark Trail logo. It’s filled with polyester with it’s own pillow casing and packs neatly (and compactly) into my backpack.

Pros:

  • This pillow packs small (12″ long and 4″ diameter, but can compress to about half that under pressure.), but opens to a usable size (12″ x 20″).
  • It’s light at about 1.25 pounds.
  • It comes in its own stuff sack, to help keep it from getting dirty.
  • It fits in the washing machine.
  • The fabric was comfortable against my skin.

Cons:

  • I had to fold it in half for it to be useable when I was on my side.
  • If I could sleep without a pillow, I wouldn’t really need this and could have saved more room in my pack.  But I guess that’s not really the pillow’s fault.

This is not the worlds largest pillow.  If you’re going to a cabin where you need to bring your own bedding, don’t bring this since you can probably easily transport your larger gear with your vehicle.  This pillow might be a good emergency pillow for the car in case you ever have to catch a few zees in the vehicle.  I really liked it in my backpack where size and weight matter.  But if I’m able to carry more gear and I’m not worried about volume, a larger pillow would be more comfortable.

While it’s not essential gear, I think it’s a good boy scout pillow for those that might want one on their next backpacking outing.  And under $10?  It might make a good stocking stuffer.

I definitely think it was worth the price for it’s intended purpose: In my case, that purpose was backpacking where I can’t live without a pillow.

Bottom line: This is a nice backpacking pillow for the price.  If you’re not backpacking or don’t need a pillow when you camp, it might serve as an emergency pillow where you might not otherwise have one.  If space and weight aren’t an issue, look for larger pillows.

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