I love camping in all of its forms – backpacking, car camping, cabins – you name it I like being in the wilderness. However, as I have gotten older I find that I want thicker sleeping bags, and more cushy confines, but the one thing I have not been able to find yet is a good backpacking pillow. Sea to Summit thinks they have solved this dilemma with the Aeros Ultralight Deluxe Pillow. I have the good fortune of reviewing the pillow over the next few months.
Sea to Summit is an Australian based company, and their founding story is pretty cool. You can read about it on their website, but the cliff notes version is that the name is based on one of their founders trek to climb Everest by starting at sea level in the Bay of Bengal in India and making the trek to Everest from the bay on foo,t thus the name Sea to Summit. The company’s goal is to “create truly ingenious, well-made but affordable outdoor equipment.”
Sea to Summit has clearly put significant thought into pillows as they offer three distinct options – the Aeros Premium, Aeros Ultralight and Aeros Traveller. I am reviewing the Aeros Ultralight Deluxe. According to Sea to Summit, the Aeros Ultralight pillow is designed to be light, compact and comfortable. It features 20 denier fabric that is quiet, weighs 4.6 oz and can be stuffed into a small sack that is the width of large smartphone and about as thick as two smartphones. Unfolded it is 23.5 inches by 16 inches and fully inflated has a depth of 5.5 inches. It comes with a small silnylon pouch for storage.
My initial thoughts on the pillow are very positive. I am surprised that the size of the pillow is almost the size of a regular size pillow. The outer fabric is soft to the touch and quiet, and the thickness of the pillow is the full five inches advertised. This is great because I am a side sleeper.
Inflation is easy, I just blew into the valve. I looked on the Sea to Summit website and the included material to see if there was another method, but I didn’t find anything. Deflation is just as easy, open the deflation valve and it dumps all the air. Then I rolled the pillow to get all the air out. At this point, I folded it in thirds and stuffed it right back into the sack. Super easy.
Sea to Summit has care instructions on their website. The pillow can be washed by hand with normal laundry soap and then air dried. They caution to make sure that the valve is securely closed so that water does not get inside the pillow. They also suggest that the pillow should be stored flat or lightly rolled with the valve open instead of stuffed tightly inside the stuff sack. I am glad that they included the storage instructions because I would have probably just kept it stuffed in the sack that it came in.
I will look for the following criteria over the next few months as I review the pillow. First – comfort. I am a side sleeper but I toss and turn some. Does the pillow stay in place? Can I use it hammock camping in addition to camping on the ground? Second – durability. I am hard on gear and this is an inflatable pillow. Will it survive repeated use and being shoved in my pack? Finally – cleanliness. Does the pillow accumulate dirt? Do I need to wash it after every trip?
Thank you to 4alloutdoors.org for allowing me to participate in this review and to Sea to Summit for providing the product for this review.