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on June 2, 2012
Finally decided a travel pillow would be a good purchase with a long trip looming. I bought four different pillows to compare. One I ordered from China for $2 (with ear plugs and eye cover on eBay), one was the Lewis N. Clark travel pillow available here on Amazon (~$14), one was the cheaper $7 Samsonite travel pillow available here, and the last was this Samsonite pillow with cover for $12. I'll preface this review to say that I've only tested these at home in airplane-like chairs; I have not flown with them yet.

The $2 pillow actually wasn't terrible. If you were careful with it chances are it would work fine. It's a little small, and no washable cover. It is some kind of vinyl or PVC that they coat or spray with something like velour to give it a somewhat fabric-like texture. For $2, not bad in a pinch - and it uses a pinch valve for air insertion (you pinch, squeeze, or bite the valve together partially and then blow in it to inflate it). The $7 Samsonite pillow is essentially identical to the cheap pillow I got from China, except Samsonite put their name on the side of the pillow. Otherwise no different. Really. $5 more for their name. Needless to say, no reason to get this one. My last choice of the four.

The Samsonite pillow from this page that includes the removable cover for $12 isn't bad. It is definitely of better quality than the two cheapies. The air bladder is better built, and a removable cover is always nice. It also has a little pocket on it that you can stick an iPod and earphones into, or keep earplugs in. It is also a little bigger than the other two. I'm not a fan of the material they used on the cover (I would also suggest avoiding the Pagoda Blue color as well, which is what I have here). It's kind of a velvet material. It reminds me of a material that a young child would think was great. It is very soft, but it doesn't remind me of sheets or a regular pillow at all, and I wonder how that material will look after it is used and washed a few times. But this is really just my personal preference; perhaps you would like it better. To put air in this pillow you have to unzip the cover and get to the pinch valve, same type as the ones above. This is kind of a pain, and you will have to do this again to deflate. But otherwise this pillow is perfectly functional, and again, of somewhat better quality than the first two.

The Lewis N. Clark adjustable pillow is a little more money (I paid $14), but I quickly decided that if one isn't going ultra-cheap, it is the pillow of choice. It has several advantages. It is a little bigger. It has an agreeable and removable (and therefore washable) fabric cover. It also includes a little case to stuff it into. But best of all, it inflates in like two seconds - literally. No little pinch valve to pull out. Instead you pull off a cover over about a 1" diameter valve and blow into it. One or two blows, depending on your lung capacity, and it's full. And once you fill it up you can adjust the firmness quickly just by pushing the little button at the back of the valve opening. I'm not sure how well I'm describing this, but just know that this system really works well. Near instant inflation and adjustment of firmness to your liking. It is much better than the pillows that have the little pinch valve. It is enough better that even a cheapskate like me is going to pay the extra money for it.

All of these pillows are of essentially the same type shapewise, although their size varies a little. I can't help with comparisons to the long, thin pillows that you wear across your body. I don't fly enough to justify the expense of those type of pillows.

What I cannot comment on yet is the durability of any of these products. However, my impression looking at the pillows initially is that all of them should be handled with care. I would expect the two cheapest to be least durable, and the Lewis N. Clark to be the best. I will be keeping the Lewis N. Clark and the cheapy $2 pillow. If I have any issues I will update this review. I will also post this review at the other product pages for the items from Amazon.

Wishing you all a little rest on your travels...

3/14/16 - Update:
Since Amazon has reminded me that folks are still occasionally looking at this review, let me just follow up by saying that I am still using the Lewis N. Clark pillow are remain pleased with it. Definitely a good purchase for me.
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on November 17, 2011
I recently used this pillow on a 2-week trip on 8 plane flights and it performed wonderfully. The bite valve is a common one; if you haven't used it before it could be frustrating. Just pinch the valve at the base to blow in or to release the air. You can see a flap inside the valve so you may have to rotate your pinch a 1/4 turn to fully open it. Press down with the other hand while pinching the valve and it deflates easily. I roll it up and put a rubber band around it to travel with. Also, do not inflate it fully at first. As the plane ascends, the pillow will puff up even more. The bladder itself seems a little thin compared to other inflatable pillows that I've had and I'm afraid it would pop if inflated too fully at first. Also, I find that a slightly deflated pillow is often more comfortable if the airplane seat is too tall, so your head isn't tilted too far forward. The fabric on the outside it very soft and well-sewn. I would buy it again.
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on September 6, 2015
I did not believe the reviewers that had complained about how hard it was to blow up. I played the tuba and french horn for years, and I have a fairly good lung capacity-- surely this would make blowing up any pillow easy.
WRONG. Blowing up this pillow was like trying to inflate a piece of paper. Near impossible. It took me nearly 5 minutes of pinching and readjusting to figure out just the right angle to get air in to the pillow, and after that it took me another minute to get it inflated well enough to use... And once inflated enough, it leaked air out of the valve-- which required me to figure out a quick maneuver in which I hurriedly tried to shove the cap on as soon as I finished blowing, so that as little air was released as possible.
Once inflated, it was not bad, but not nearly as comfortable as the stuffed pillows looked-- it still felt like I was laying on a fleece covered beach toy-- which I basically was.
Deflating it also proved a challenge. I had to simultaneously roll both sides of the pillow down, while holding the valve at just the right spot and angle. If I did not get all three of these parts of the equation right, I was left with a pillow full of air that did not fold up nearly as nicely as it had before.
Despite all of this, I don't regret the purchase. It is convenient, takes up almost no space in my bag, and made sleeping on the plane much easier. Stuffed pillows are obviously going to be more comfortable, but they also take up more space. There are other inflatable pillows with better reviews, but they are also more expensive. For a cheap pillow that is easy to transport, and not impossible to use, it is a good deal.
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on March 8, 2017
Folded after use to about the size of a flat softball. It packs easily into my backpack. Reduces the bulkiness when walking through the airport. I don't travel without it. It can be washed. I also like that if I want, I can blow it up lower for a more "cushy" feel or fuller for more support.
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on May 28, 2012
This was the best of the 3 inflatable pillows that we purchased for a long flight. It inflated and deflated easily (just pinch the plastic mouth piece). It was the softest.
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on December 11, 2015
I had a $6 inflatable camping pillow from WalMart (don't judge) for at least 5 years and I loved it. It was practically identical to this one, except it wasn't a piece of junk. This pillow covering has one of those tiny, delicate zippers like you would expect to find on a dress. The amount of effort that is required to open and close the zipper is a little ridiculous. Additionally, if you are not careful, the bladder will get caught up in the tiny teeth of the zipper and render the pillow useless before you even get it inflated. The bladder is so thin and delicate and I am surprised that it supported any pressure once it was inflated. The bite valve is very tiny and difficult to inflate/deflate. I thought I might faint due to the effort required to get it inflated. CAUTION: This product may induce wheezing or a full-blown asthma attack. Use Caution! The color is just the right shade of blue to make you questions what you were thinking when you hit the 'purchase' button.
I would advise spending a couple extra dollars and going with a higher quality pillow with one of the newer styles of valve. http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-Adjustable-Pillow/dp/B003N7NN06/ref=pd_sim_198_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41457TPXwcL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL200_SR160%2C200_&refRID=0KVRM1NPVBYCM74QJMR9
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on April 13, 2015
Super pillow, light and small and comfy. I love how very very soft the material is. I had one for several years, and often lend it to family who is travelling. For a long trip my husband asked for one too, so we bought a second one. He enjoyed using it too. I kept them in an eagle creek pack it sac (two crammed into a medium bag). If they're not in a bag they can get annoying, I like to be organized :)
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on March 16, 2015
Best neck pillow I've tried, and I've tried quite a few. I make several international flights every year. When deflated and folded into it's own built-in pocket, it slips easily into a compartment of your backpack, briefcase or purse, or into the seat-back pocket. You don't have to be one of those ridiculous-looking people who boards the plane wearing their neck pillow. The shape is really excellent - providing mostly support between your head and shoulders (not at the back of your neck, which only serves to bend your neck backwards). Because it's inflatable, you can adjust the firmness to suit your taste. Be aware: if you inflate it on the ground, you'll need to let some air out at 30,000 ft, 'cause it expands as the cabin pressure lowers. The plush covering is really comfortable - you really don't feel the vinyl bag underneath. Plus, the cover is removable and washable. And the thing is so cheap! I paid about $12 for mine.
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on September 2, 2013
I purchased this neck pillow for use on a plane just prior to a six-weeks long trip to Europe and found that it leaked air so badly that it was completely unusable. Now that I am back, I tried to return it, only to be told that the time limit has expired. I can prove my length of travel if necessary and given the circumstances believe the product should be returnable and the cost refunded since I purchased a different and usable pillow prior to my return flight.

It's this kind of poor quality and service that will keep me from purchasing again.
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on March 15, 2017
We bought two- one was perfect, the other nearly killed us trying to blow up. Had it not been for the inconsistency, 5 stars. Very soft fabric, very comfortable, probably easy to inflate assuming they aren't all cruel. Pocket is a nice touch- handy for ear plugs, headphones, tissues, etc.
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