on March 10, 2008
I own two of these Thermarest Compressible Pillows. I take the small pillow backpacking. No more smelly rolled up pants etc. for a pillow. I have a Medium pillow which I take car camping. They both loft up wonderfully if you unroll them as soon as you get to your destination. If towards morning you want more loft, just flip it and drift back to sleep. It is by far the very best backpack pillow I have ever tried! I have hiked 600+ miles on the AT.
on May 23, 2010
Here's my review I left on Backcountry dot com.
"Everyone's captured it... these things are crazy good pillows. I'm not one for camp pillows, having no problem using a sweater or my arm but my wife always brings a bedroom pillow out when we car camp. What a perfect excuse to buy new gear. So I purchased the medium and was concerned whether or not it would/could really fluff up once I saw how hard packed it compresses down. But sure enough, after 20 seconds or so of punching and fluffing this thing shocked me. I immediately wanted to sleep three nights on it in the house. I was more than pleased, granted you can sort of feel the little foamy clumps it's still better at providing support while remaining soft and inviting than your typical pillow. It even put to rest my concern of failing over prolonged use. I still don't know how a pillow designed to compress supports the weight of your head all night (it doesn't have an opportunity to spring back). Great product, my wife immediately wanted one because I decided I was keeping the medium."
Addressing some of the negative complaints about it not fluffing up- I have no idea if it's a quality control issue with thermarest but I doubt it. You are supposed to fluff it with your hands a bit. And I had no issues. It FAR exceeded my expectations as far as fluffing up goes. The picture doesn't do it enough justice, I'm still surprised how well it works.
on August 28, 2011
I'm very happy with this pillow! I purchased the Medium Blue one, (Denim refers to color, not material), one side of pillow is a nylon fabric and the other is soft cloth! When it first arrived I was not impressed, as it must have been in storage for awhile. It was so smashed and compacted, even fluffing it up didn't help. One quick trip to the dryer took care of that! It puffed up like a blow fish! It's full of little left over chunks of memory foam mattress pieces, and I figured I'd be poked all nite with them, but not even a little bit! I find this pillow very comfortable for my injured neck, I have 3 crushed discs, and this is the first pillow which I didn't wake up with a nasty headache after sleeping on it all nite. I myself don't care for the inflatable pillows, they are very uncomfortable to me, too firm and too thick of an angle for my injury. I like that this pillow does conform around your head, but I also just flipped it over about 1/2 way thru the night but it's worth it! I also think the Medium size is perfect, but maybe a little indulgent for backpacking. To me it's worth the comfort, I think the large would be wonderful for short camping trips or car camping. I have not seen the small, but wouldn't even consider it after having the medium even for hiking/backpacking trips were to me comfort is a must over a luxury! Anytime it just gets too flat, just wash & dry it, has not happened to me yet still fluffy from 1st dryer experience of 2 mins. It does compress quite nicely into it's attached pocket with draw string. compressed it's kinda a smiley face shape and 14"L x 6"H x 5" D. I've included some photo's, hope it helps!! Enjoy!
small- 12x16-- 4.5oz fill weight///carry weight 7 oz
medium- 14x18--7oz fill weight///carry weight 9oz
large- 16x23-- 9.5oz fill weight///carry weight 12oz
fill material- Urethane Foam. outer-Brushed Polyester
on April 6, 2011
When I got the pillow in the mail, it arrived compacted. I opened it up and fluffed it a bit with my hands, and then let it sit unrolled overnight. In the morning, I found that it had "risen" to a nice size/comfort level. I then followed the directions and washed/dried the pillow, and it fluffed up to AMAZING size. It gets so puffy and nice out of the dryer. It fluffs up to even bigger than shown in the product photo.
All in all, the pillow should probably be unrolled in advance if possible in order to give it lots of time to fluff up, but it's comfortable even when not at 100% size. I have seen that it's also recommended to store it unrolled and simply roll it up for transport, so the blocks can stay expanded.
I bought this in Medium and it's a good balance between comfort and packing size. The covering is also really nice and soft.
** Update - I slept on this pillow for two weeks camping. It's GREAT. If you unroll it an hour or two before bed it puffs up really nice with a little fluffing and is super comfortable. The covering resists getting dirty really well - I dropped it in the red dust at Kodachrome Basin and was able to just pick it up, brush it off with my hand, and it looked as good as new.
***Second Update - I bought ANOTHER one, in a large this time, because I liked it so much. Used it this past weekend in Baxter state park - still packs down pretty small and is SO comfortable!!
on June 28, 2012
we ordered the medium size. One for each member (4 of us). When folded, they are really small (1/4 or smaller), and after unfolding, they take a bit of time from a few minutes to perhaps more than an hour, depending on how long ago it was folded (weeks or months). they are medium firm (not soft, not hard), the outer material is really comfortable (kids are loving them), and we hope it will last a long time. A few pictures are uploaded to show you comparatively what a medium size is, with my 3yr old daughter sleeping on it.
Update: just returned from a 2-night camping. Kids as well as us slept well, no complaints at all.
on January 15, 2013
I went with the small thermarest pillow for backpacking. It isn't perfect, but it's certainly a good option for what it is. It rolls up to an acceptable size and weight for a pack. You could also probably toss it in a compression sack with a sleeping bag or tent if you're hurting for space. I found the small was adequate, but I also use a thermarest sleeping pad, so it's not as big of a deal if my head finds its way off of the pillow overnight. If your alternative is the hard ground or a thin tent floor you might want to consider a medium or large. There is a notable difference when it comes out of the dryer after a wash cycle. It is full, fluffy, yet firm. After it is rolled up for a time or it has been slept on, the stuffing shifts as it might in a down comforter. A few seconds of fluffing helps and the product is quite amazing in that regard. That being said, this is a wonderful alternative to some dirty clothes. It is comfortable enough, but I do find I'm often fluffing it in the middle of the night. For the space it takes, you'll find no better substitute, and it gets the job done. Included some photos to offer a visual.
on February 5, 2014
I was hunting for a small pillow to use between my knees when sleeping when I happened across these. After some research and reading many reviews I decided to try these pillow. I only intended to buy the small size but the super price (on the geometric pattern, see note at end) inticed me to also order the medium. Knowing they would arrive compressed I was still surprised at how small they can roll up. When rolled and turned into their attached case/sleeve they are like small versions of a neck roll pillow.
I was prepared to fluff with my fingers as many reviewers said. Many of the foam bits were stuck/clumped together and I needed to really get in there (from the outside of the pillow) and work them apart. There was still quite a bit of room for the foam to "shake" back and fourth inside the case so I took another reviews advice and tossed them in the dryer, adding a fabric softener sheet to reduce static and the memory foam smell.
Just 3 minutes on delicate/low heat (one up from "air only") for the small and 5 minutes for the medium and both pillows were very fluffy, fully filling out their cases! Seriously, there was about 75% increase in volume!
I've got a bad cold and sinus infection so I've been laying in bed watching tv on my Kindle Fire HDX using both (knees for small, medium for head) all day now with pleasant results (I just removed the tags because they are here to stay!) I do have another standard down alternative pillow under the medium to lift it. It fits nicely between my neck and shoulder bunching up just the right amount. The small "knee pillow" is also fantastic! It's got enough loft that it doesn't squish down and allow my knees to touch. It's soft and small yet still firm enough to keep my legs & back aligned without allowing my knees to touch or feel like I'm sleeping with a basketball between my legs (like many other "knee pillows" do).
Check out all the various options. When I purchase them the geometric pattern (small circles) in size small was $ 3-$ 5 [three -five dollars] less and the medium was $ 4-$ 7 [four-seven dollars] less than any of the other color patterns/options. I've watched the prices jump up and down so if you're not in a hurry, put them in your "save for later" cart and keep checking the prices. I paid $ 13.93 and $ 15.93 [thirteen nintey-three and fifteen nintey-three] respectively (Amazon likes to remove prices from reviews).
on October 25, 2010
If you're a backpacker like me, and you long for a comfortable sleep, this is for you. Small is a good size, very lightweight a compresses to be pretty small. After unrolling it from compression, give it a good few fluffs, leave it for about a minute, and get ready for a good sleep. Suits my needs, highly reccomend it.
on May 26, 2012
I purchased two of these in medium for use as travel pillows, and so far I am VERY happy with them. I have not "fluffed" them through any wash or dry cycle, but they are still very useful. This past weekend my daughter did an overnight trip on a 1860's sailing ship, and we could only take what we could carry in one large garbage bag. This meant clothing, sleeping bag, pillow, etc. all in one bag. We each took one of these with us and they worked like a champ. We bought the medium size, and folded up they are about a foot long and 6 inches in diameter. Unfolded they are large enough for an adult's head. We found that leaving them "at rest" for 15 minutes allowed the pillows to fully expand, and even though the memory foam chunks inside could be felt while laying on the pillow, it wasn't problematic at all. The pillows were very comfortable. While others were sleeping on rolled up sweatshirts and jackets, we were comfortable with these great little pillows. I highly recommend them.
on April 8, 2011
I bought this pillow due to the fact I was heading out to hike the AT and knew I had to have a pillow or I would not sleep. I found this pillow, read the reviews and decided to give it a try.
When it arrived I unrolled it and noticed as everyone else did you could feel the stuffing, I gave it about an hour and it did fluff up a good bit but not to what I wanted so I washed and dried it as the directions stated, when I took it out of the dryer this pillow was huge, it fluffed up beyond my expectations and was super soft.
For the reviews that stated theirs never fluffed, I'm sorry for your bad luck but I just cant see how it didnt work for you, I rolled it back up and was happy with its size and then unrolled it and in no time it was back to full fluff.
I ordered a medium and would surly buy another if I had too, great product and well worth the money.