Therma-A-Rest Compressible Pillow Review

Therma-A-Rest Compressible Pillow Review

Resting Happy Face

Campfire Guy here.  It took me a few years to stumble into the wonderful world of camping pillows.  No longer would my EDP (everyday pillow) come home from a weekend in the woods smelling like a campfire.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good campfire, but when it’s time to head back to civilization, that campfire smell and sandwich stealing raccoons can stay in the woods.  Fortunately, my stumbling lead me to the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow.

This pillow is made for napping!

Do Dirty Clothes + Stuff Sack = Pillow?

No.  No, it does not.  I took a backpacking trip to Colorado when I was 12.  The experience was awesome, but those five nights in the woods taught me everything I needed to know about cramming dirty clothes into a stuff sack and calling it a pillow.  It’s not a pillow.  It’s a stuff sack crammed with dirty clothes.  Unless you are counting ounces on a thru-hike, a good camping pillow should be included in your sleep system.  

When fully lofted, the pillow is about 6″ thick.

Therm-A-Rest Gets It

The Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillow is one of the most comfortable camping pillows on the market.  Mine is medium size, which is approximately 14”x19”.  I picked mine up about three years ago.  The pillow consists of a brushed polyester shell filled with urethane foam.  A built-in pocket with a drawstring allows the pillow to fold up into itself and be cinched tight.  The urethane foam compacts decently enough, but you’ll have to get creative in how you pack the pillow, as it is an odd shape.

A built in pocket and drawstring allows the pillow to be rolled up tightly.

Tips for Using It

To cut down on head sweat and drool (don’t judge me), I cover my pillow with a lightweight cotton pillow case.  Does it get any better than the cool side of the pillow on a hot night?  Right after I unroll my sleeping bag, I’ll also unroll the pillow to let the foam expand.  You could use it right away, but after about an hour or so, the pillow is nice and fluffy, about 6” thick.  When packing it back up, I’ll roll it up once to get the air out, then a second time to get a nice tight roll.

A simple cotton pillow case will help keep the pillow clean.

After heavy use over the past few years, the stitching on mine still looks brand new. The pillow gets a trip to the washing machine with a nice air dry at the end of a camping season, or after an especially hot trip.  If you are tired of the dirty clothes and stuff sack combo or want a little comfort of home out in the woods, grab a Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillow.  Unlike admitting you drool in your sleep, you won’t regret it!

Therm-A-Rest compressible pillow next to a Camelback water bottle to give a sense of scale and harsh lighting.
When compressed, the pillow does require some creative packing when getting stuffed into a backpack.


  • Comfortable
  • Compact
  • Pocket and drawstring make it easy to pack


  • Gets a little warm in warm weather
  • Rolled up shape is challenging to pack


  • Manufacture – ThermARest
  • Size (Medium) – 14” x18”x6”
  • Weight – 9 oz.
  • Price – $21.99 on Amazon

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