When you set out to build a sleep system, don’t overlook the importance of a camping pillow. It may get overshadowed by the bigger-ticket items of a pad, sleeping bag or quilt, but the right pillow can be a small key that unlocks your best rest under the stars.

couple sleeping on thick camping mattress with camping pillows and dog

Here we guide you through our lineup of camping pillows so you can pick the right pillow for your system. With a Therm-a-Rest pillow suited to just about every outdoor sleeping situation, there’s opportunity to add a great deal of comfort to your sleep system without adding much weight or spending too much money.

So ditch the lumpy jacket stuffed into the hood of your sleeping bag and give your head the rest it deserves.

Therm-a-Rest® Camping Pillows


Model Fill Weight Dimensions Thickness Fabric Best Use
Air Head™ Pillow
Therm-a-Rest Air Head Pillow
Air +
Synthetic Insulation
5.6-oz. / 0.16kg 15.5 x 11 in / 39 x 28cm 4 in / 10cm Brushed Polyester
+ Synthetic Fill
Lightweight sleep systems,
car camping,
Air Head™ Down
Airhead Down
Air + Down Insulation 4.9-oz. / 0.14kg 15.5 x 11 in / 39 x 28cm 4 in / 10cm Brushed Polyester
+ Down Fill
Lightweight sleep systems,
cold weather
sleep systems,
Air Head™ Lite
Therm-a-Rest Air Head Lite Pillow
Air 2-oz. / 0.06kg 15.5 x 11 in / 39 x 28cm 4 in / 10cm 30D Stretch-Knit Polyester Ultralight sleep systems,
losing in your backpack
Compressible Pillow Cinch
10-oz./.30kg 13 x 18 in / 33 x 36 cm 6 in /15 cm Partially Recycled Brushed Polyester Car camping,
base camp,
the couch or bed
Stuff Sack Pillow
Stuff Sack Pillow
N/A 2.7-oz. / 0.08kg 7.5 x 17 in / 19 x 43cm 12L
Brushed Polyester/Ripstop
Ultralight sleep systems,
Trekker™ Pillow Case
Trekker Pillowcase
N/A 2.3-oz. / 0.07kg 14 x 17 in / 36 x 43cm 12L
Brushed Polyester Ultralight sleep systems,

Specifications in table for Regular/Medium pillows

inflating camping pillow

Air Pillows: Light, Compact, Customizable

When it comes to Therm-a-Rest air camping pillows, inflatable means customizable comfort. Fully inflated in just a few breaths, it’s easy to let out air in search of your perfect support level. Whatever your comfort style—firm, soft, or somewhere in between—a Therm-a-Rest air pillow can do it for you.

Air Head™ Pillow

airhead pillow

The Air Head anchors our inflatable camping pillow line, exemplifying the benefits of Therm-a-Rest inflatable camping pillows. It packs small for easy transport and, once inflated, it provides an ample, plush and supportive surface for your head.

The inflatable, baffled core provides stability and is wrapped in a soft-to-the-touch, brushed polyester cover. For an extra measure of warmth and next-to-skin comfort, the top side of the cover is filled with the same synthetic eraLoft™ fill we use in our popular synthetic sleeping bags. Plus, the cover is removable and machine washable, making it easy start every trip fresh and clean. The cover also has a non-slip bottom to keep it where you need it, and is made from partially recycled fibers to keep a softer touch on the planet too.

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Air Head™ Down

airhead down pillow

The Air Head Down is essentially the same as the Air Head except—you guessed it—down insulation. The top of the cover is filled with 650 Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™ just like some of our most popular sleeping bags.  While this makes it slightly more expensive, it also makes it lighter and creates that quintessential plush feeling only down can provide. Its lower weight boosts its backcountry performance, while still offering the go-anywhere versatility that Air Head pillows are known for.

Like its synthetic companion, the polyester cover is partially recycled, it’s non-slip, and is machine washable. Rest assured that if you take care of your pillow, it will take care of you.

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Air Head™ Lite

airhead lite pillow

In many ways, the Air Head Lite is peerless amongst camping pillows. The same inflated size as its series companions, with the same thickness, the Air Head Light camping pillow weighs just 2 oz. At one-third the weight of the Air Head Down,  it’s the clear choice for the dedicated ultralight gear kit. It too is non-slip when laid right on the pad for those using quilts to pursue the lightest sleep systems.

The Air Head Lite forgoes the insulated polyester cover of its series companions to cut the weight. Unlike a lot of dedicated ultralight gear however, the Air Head Lite sacrifices very little in comfort and versa. With its remarkable next-to-skin softness, the Air Head Lite creates a supportive and soft resting surface.

Aside from the comfort, the most notable attribute of the pillow is its packed size. It can easily fit in your pants pocket or the pocket on your pack’s hip belt. The sheer convenience of being able to pack it anywhere makes the Air Head Lite an excellent addition to any sleep system.

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compressible cinch camping pillow

Foam Pillows: Durable, Comfy, Versatile

Puncture-proof and eco-friendly are two key features of our foam pillows. Rest assured, when you add one to your sleep system, you can expect the camp comfort Therm-a-Rest is known for.

compressible camping pillow cinch

Compressible Pillow Cinch

The apex of comfort, the Compressible Pillow Cinch  takes the Compressible Pillow and adds a few key features to make it our most decadent camp pillow.  It starts with the same brushed, 60% recycled polyester exterior and up-cycled foam fill as the Compressible Pillow, but we’ve added a layer of soft and warm synthetic fill to the top surface that makes it feel just like pillows from home. It also features an ingeniously easy way to cinch it down for easy packing, that can also be used to vary density and support to your taste.

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Stuff Sack Pillows: Ultralight, Durable, Versatile

Simple and utility focused, stuff sack pillows take up minuscule amounts of pack space and perform an essential function when not being slept on.

Stuff Sack Pillow

stuff sack pillow

The Stuff Sack Pillow allows you to pack lighter and smarter by doubling the functions of pillow and storage. With a 12L volume, there’s enough space to stash your sleeping bag or clothes in it on the way to camp. Once there, turn it inside out and stuff it with extra clothing to create pillow. The super-soft brushed polyester interior lining provides plush next-to-skin comfort so you can get the rest you need after long days.

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Trekker™ Pillow Case

trekker pillow case

Keeping it simple is almost always a good idea. The Trekker Pillow Case offers a simple camping pillow solution for your sleep system for very little weight. This luxuriously soft brushed polyester pillow case folds up small enough to make breast pocket storage possible. In the tent, simply stuff it with your soft extras and settle in on a comfy place to lay your head.

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Final Thoughts

Closing the comfort gap between sleeping at home and sleeping outdoors is a goal that drives much of what we do. More comfort means better nights under the stars. It means you’ll be more at ease like you would be with the creature comforts of  home. With the right camping pillow, that gap becomes considerably narrower.

Still, the gap is not all the way closed and perhaps it never should be. There are a lot of benefits of nights sleeping outside  specifically because it doesn’t feel like home. So get out there and embrace the wind on your face, sore legs, rain falling on your tent and the occasional pine needle in your tea. Combined with a pillow and a great night’s rest, you’ll be making memories to last a lifetime.

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Updated. Originally Published August 4, 2020.