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Travel pillows

I took a long-overdue trip to Europe last May (Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, England, Scotland, it was fabulous). I packed light, with a single carry-on of c. 18.5 pounds, and am now thinking about ways to reduce that weight. I used a Travelrest pillow, which worked very well for sleeping on planes, though it is a bit heavy. I have not weighed it, but it seems to be maybe 12+ ounces, which is a lot for an item used only twice in a month.

I have just found online something called a J-Pillow, which looks at least as useful as the Travelrest, and apparently weighs no more than 7.5 ounces. Moreover there is an inflatable version which is probably even much lighter, and would pack much smaller.

Has anyone used the J-Pillow? Do you know how much the inflatable weighs? Other airplane-pillow suggestions are more than welcome.

Thanks very much

Posted by
495 posts

I took a travel pillow also (not inflatable), and it came in so handy for those flat,
Soft pillows in Europe. My pet peeve! Hate soft, squishy pillows.

BUT, I'm rethinking this pillow because it was an additional item to remember to pack when I moved on, and also to find a place for in the bag.

Posted by
128 posts

I use an inexpensive inflatable neck pillow. It serves me well. If it develops a leak or I lose it, I don't feel bad about it. I have traveled with and without a this type of neck pillow and prefer to have it along. I bought the most recent one at our airport gift shop, just last winter. I paid around $8 for it.

Posted by
260 posts

I personally hate the inflatible pillows! Can never seem to inflate them to the level that feels right. I use a Therm-a-rest compression pillow - I'm on my second generation. They aren't the perfect pillows (they are still kind of small) but they seem more "real" to me. They compress to a very small size (they look like a mini football when compressed) and are machine washable to boot.

Posted by
139 posts

I love my inflatable travel pillow. I need it the most on the flight to Europe so I guess I could ditch it once I arrive. But I use it on trains and buses to catch a nap as well.

Posted by
683 posts

Thanks everyone for your input. I'm pretty sure I'll go with the inflatable "J-Pillow" next spring; this will save significant weight, and if it does not work all that well it won't be the end of the world. On my recent trip the longest flights were only 5 hours and 45 minutes, not too bad compared to travel from non-eastern time zones, and I expect future trips to be roughly similar.

I would like to use the standard "collar" type pillow, but I do need something to keep my head from nodding forward.

Posted by
9 posts

I use a stuff sack that is typical nylon on one side and the other side is very soft fleece, I store a sweater or other " squish able" clothing item in it, and when I need a pillow I turn it soft side out. Got it at REI

Posted by
683 posts

Aly, for packing light your idea seems like the best yet, thanks. If I can find a long enough stuff sack to kind of curl it beneath my chin on the plane, this seems like the way to go.

Posted by
507 posts

I prefer a twist pillow from
http://www.contourliving.com/twist-neck-pillow

I purchased it in 1997 & use it for long flights. Since I prefer to sleep on trans-Atlantic flights, I am able to twist one end up & rest my head against it.

As a CPAP user this pillow does not interfere with my mask when I use it in a hotel. In 14 yrs of travel only one screener (Charles DeGaulle Airport, France) has questioned the spine of this pillow.

I carry it on my neck rather than pack it.

Posted by
683 posts

Colette, thank you, I had not heard of that kind of pillow. The pictures look as though (appropriately kinked) it would give both head and chin support on a plane. And wearing it onto the plane is a interesting idea, a way to avoid the packing issue altogether. Hmmm

Posted by
1077 posts

Sea to Summit has a new travel pillow that is inflatable and packs up to a size that is smaller than a childs fist! I clip this on my carry on bag with a small caribiner and take it off when I load my bag in the overhead compartment for the flight, this works nicely and doesn't really add any additional "stuff" to my packed bag.
Don

Posted by
15570 posts

I've seen those travel pillows and they always look so comfy, but then I think about schlepping it around for weeks on the ground and I turn and walk away. I use an inflatable pillow because it packs away to nearly nothing in size and weight. I've also used it a few times on long train rides. My latest one has a cuddly plush covering that still doesn't add noticeably to the size. It's a little tricky to deflate, but that makes it easy to adjust the firmness and it doesn't slowly deflate as others have done.

Posted by
683 posts

Donald (especially) and Chani, belated thanks for the tips. After due consideration I think I'm back to my original idea of the inflatable J-pillow; it does seem like an inflatable is the way to go if you really want to save weight and space.

Posted by
418 posts

I'm thinking of this one but it may not be available in the States. Unfortunately they don't quote the weight but I'd be planning to have this in my handbag on all the flights.

Posted by
1406 posts

beginning of second paragraph from your link...."it will become essential to all your future tripe "
we beg you, on behalf of the flying public everywhere, please do not snack on tripe in any air conveyance. :) (got to love those typos!!!)