Friday, 15 October 2010

Exped AirPillow – first look

It might seem strange that for someone who is constantly striving to reduce pack weight that I should make space for a pillow in my rucksack.

It’s simple really; I sleep on my side and need something to support my neck. Most text books state that you can make a pillow out of your spare clothes but I don’t carry much in the way of spare items. If I was packing a primaloft top or down waistcoat then chances are I’d be wearing it to boost the rating of my sleeping bag.

For a couple of years I used a Ajungilak pillow but this had developed a leak on a seam that, no matter how I tried to repair it, it would always deflate.

The full monty

The Exped AirPillow is it’s natural successor. It tips the scales at 79g, over 50g lighter than the one it replaces, and the tiny stuff sack supplied weighs a measly 5g. It has two valves on the underside, one to inflate (a one way valve) and the other to deflate the pillow. The Ajungilak had one valve with no self sealing mechanism making it a struggle to get the plug in without letting too much air out. Another plus for the AirPillow then.

Sweet dreams?

The pillow is supplied with a repair kit which is a nice touch, especially given my previous experience. The pack size is good too, being about the same size as a mobile phone.

On paper then it ticks the right boxes, all I need to do now is to get out with it and see whether it lives up to it’s promises.


Unknown said...

I'm thining of swapping my Kookabay pillow for one of these. Look forward to hearing how you sleep on it, but it seems ideal for a side sleeper.

Phil said...

I found that the only item I could guarantee I wouldn't be wearing in my quilt was my shoes - so I use these as a pillow. This relies on a separate groundsheet/bivvy bag hood/plastic bag of course, but it's a pretty good way to prevent them freezing too!

baz carter said...

@Phil LOL; I know why you'd need a bag to put your shoes in :)

A pillow is my only luxury so I'll feedback how I get on with this.

Dorset Backpacker said...

I switched from an Ajungilak to an Exped this year and find it is just as comfortable, lighter and easier to inflate. I don't bother with the stuff sack, I just pack it in a dry bag with the sleeping bag, liner and matress.

Lightening up... said...

Good sleep = good hiking
Pillow = good sleep
-> pillow = good hike


I have had the Exped Airpillow for half a year and it has performed well. I think I will not use it during winters (as I don't wear my heavy down jacket to sleepign bag so I use it as a pillow) but at least in summer time it works great!

I dont carry the small stuff sack or repairing kit (if it breaks, it breaks and Iäll reare it when home) and I just place it on the bottom of silnylon rolltop bag that I use for my sleepign bag that way it holds the bottom of the bag dry even it inside or my backpack is filled with water (which has happened...)

Only thigs I might change in the pillow:
- the little holes for attaching are on the wrong side (if you would like to use cors instead of ground pegs!)
- maybe simpler valve would be enough?
- for best comfort you have to turn the pillow if you switch from side to back while sleeping

baz carter said...

Some good points there.

A pillow aids a good night's sleep for me so I'm with you 100% on that :)

The holes I'd put on the side; so I could run a bungy around my NeoAir or mat if I wanted to hold it in place.

And I also agree about the valve (it would make it lighter too!)

Stuff sacks are great for organising your kit, and keeping it compacted and dry but only really necessary for some bits of kit. I haven't tried it yet but I think that it will fit in the dry bag I use for the sleeping bag. The best place for it really :)

Alan Sloman said...

Thanks for that Baz. It's now on my Christmas present list.
Cheers fella!

baz carter said...

I better stop buying stuff otherwise I wont have anything left on my Xmas wish list!