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  • Writer's pictureShua Dagg

A practical backpacking pillow. "Balloons" are bad pillows.

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

This an idea for someone passionate about backcountry camping and wants to create their own product.

Have you ever used a blow-up pillow?

I'm just going to say - balloons do not make great pillows.

There's no give for the pillow to take your weight, it just pushes your head back at you, like a taut trampoline for your head.

Maybe it is just preferences, but I've never used one I've liked.

Also, space is a premium when backpacking. I like everything to serve more than one purpose if possible.

That's why I really liked this Stuff Sack Pillow my girlfriend ended up buying from Valhalla Outfitters in Squamish, BC.

Your clothes are the "feathers" and the stuff sac is a "pillow case" that doubles as a clothing carrier.

They're close but they have the same problem as the blow-up pillow.

It's only comfortable if your clothes are positioned just right.

Considering it's called a "Stuff Sac", it's never going to be comfortable. It's not really made for folding your clothes and layering them in a way that's comfortable on your head.

You end up getting a zipper or button from your pants or jacket poking you in the neck.

A really simple way to remedy this is for the sac to have 2 section.

The main section is for stuffing all your clothes however you want.

And the other section would be a long flat slit that was just raised slightly above the main compartment. You slide in 1 or 2 folded fleeces or towels that would could easily be positioned to pad your head comfortably.

If the sac was a rectangular pillow shape, it would feel like a comfortable pillow!

And I'd recommend making it compressible packing in your backpack. Just add the straps like a normal compression bag. When not in your backpack you just unbuckle the strap to loosen up the clothes so its comfortable for your head.

And the small section would keep your pillow padding in place while you're sleeping.

I've used good compression bags and I've seen comfortable pillow, this is what you can do to combine two valuable items to make a unique and practical product.

Backcountry campers are a passionate group that are willing to spend money on the right gear, a product like this could do very well with instagram or fb ads.

Let me know if this is something that you'd want to see made!

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