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Pillow

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2020
Another odd question from this first time pilgrim. Do you take a pillow with you?

I'm very concerned about a pillow because I had shoulder surgery last year. I also have neck issues from a car accident years ago that get aggravated easily. I use a feather pillow at home. It doesn't weigh much but I cannot exactly squish it small. I can't be the only pilgrim with this problem.

Does anyone have a great small travel pillow?
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
Another odd question from this first time pilgrim. Do you take a pillow with you?
I did take an inflatable cushion with me on my first camino last year, but I actually sent it forward from Burgos to SdC with some other stuff via Correos, because I never needed or used it.

In all albergues I stayed there was a pillow offered as well as a pillowcase.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
I've almost always found albergues have pillows. What you MIGHT want to carry is a lightweight pillowCASE?
Or take a liner with an integrated pillowcase like this one, worked out great for me. You can't see it well on the picture, but at the top there is on the backside another silk layer sewn which only opens to one side, where you can stuff the pillow or clothes inbetween.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Things may be different now but when I walked in 2013 all the pillows I encountered were those long cylindrical ones. They were too long to fit into the integrated sack of my liner. Besides, I found them very uncomfortable.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
Things may be different now but when I walked in 2013 all the pillows I encountered were those long cylindrical ones. They were too long to fit into the integrated sack of my liner. Besides, I found them very uncomfortable.
Same in 2019 (most pillows being long cylindrical), but they fit in the pillowcase of my rectangular liner perfectly.

Though I agree that those pillows aren't that comfortable, but better than no pillow ;).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I both brought inflatable travel pillows, made by Sea to Summit. These worked great and collapse very small. You can adjust the amount it is inflated to suit your needs. I slept with mine slightly less inflated. During our third camino, we stayed in private rooms every night and these all had sheets, pillows and blankets, so didn't use our travel pillows. Bob
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
I use a scarf as a pillow case. Hubby does the same. We bought his in an Asian bazaar in Pamplona five years ago and he has been using it ever since when walking or serving as hospitalero. At the simple alberges with only mats there will be no pillows. Usually those with mattresses and bunk beds have pillows. There are some decent camp blow up pillows. I have one from Sea to Summit that I like but the are pricey. Very light though.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
If you have medical needs for a special pillow, you will probably want to bring one and any recommendations for a lightweight, portable travel pillow likely won't do the job. If you just need a pillow, almost all albergues provide them (one notable exception being the often recommended parochial albergue in Grañon).
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Actually..."all" albergues do not have pillows. They are seldom (if ever) cleaned....so you may want to take a pillowcase.. (many make a light weight silk one) to use. The pillow case should have both ends open as the European pillows are most often much longer than those we see in the U.S.
You can stuff a jacket or other clothes in the pillow case for those times when a pillow is not available...or just too disgusting to use.
 

K Turner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August-October 2019 CF
Another odd question from this first time pilgrim. Do you take a pillow with you?

I'm very concerned about a pillow because I had shoulder surgery last year. I also have neck issues from a car accident years ago that get aggravated easily. I use a feather pillow at home. It doesn't weigh much but I cannot exactly squish it small. I can't be the only pilgrim with this problem.

Does anyone have a great small travel pillow?
I'm fused occiput to C5 so have no neck movement at all. My pillow was my dry sack/laundry bag with clothes inside. It worked better than I expected since I could put just the right amount of support I needed, which changed on different nights. For me anyway, it helped to shave off that small bit of weight in my pack and just use the sack instead of a pillow.

Go with your instinct; you know yourself better than anyone else!

Buen Camino!
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I was given a travel pillow from Therm a Rest.15" by 11". Weighing 180 grm.
A considerate gift...
It is a godsend when flying but usually gets chosen away in the camino sack ..
I think this is the smaller model...
 

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Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Another odd question from this first time pilgrim. Do you take a pillow with you?

I'm very concerned about a pillow because I had shoulder surgery last year. I also have neck issues from a car accident years ago that get aggravated easily. I use a feather pillow at home. It doesn't weigh much but I cannot exactly squish it small. I can't be the only pilgrim with this problem.

Does anyone have a great small travel pillow?
I take a blow-up pillow - the kind you can buy at all the airports - but mostly don’t use it.
 

Terry Ruttger

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017); Finisterre (2018); Ingles (2019); Hospitalera (2019)
My Pillow has a small travel size that weighs next to nothing and packs into a small stuff sack. I use it both on the plane and every night - regardless if I have an albergue pillow or not. The blow up ones aren’t comfortable - at least for me. It’s important enough for me to add it to my pack, but is really personal preference-
 

cooldavidt

New Member
Another odd question from this first time pilgrim. Do you take a pillow with you?

I'm very concerned about a pillow because I had shoulder surgery last year. I also have neck issues from a car accident years ago that get aggravated easily. I use a feather pillow at home. It doesn't weigh much but I cannot exactly squish it small. I can't be the only pilgrim with this problem.

Does anyone have a great small travel pillow?
Use your clothes rolled up to suit. you need to be ruthless in eliminating weight. But don’t omit the corkscrew! 😎
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Maybe I shouldn't worry about a pillow then. In an emergency, I could probably make a pillow from my clothes, and cross my fingers it doesn't hurt my neck.
I too have my fingers crossed for you. Most albergues have pillows, long and skinny. Knowing it adds weight to my pack I bring a cotton pillowcase for its familiarity. P.S. Most nights I am so tired I hardly remember putting my head down. Good luck with you neck.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
As an aside, the long round skinny pillow that come on the matramonia or double beds are the worst when sharing
Just as you drift off the sleep, your partner will give it a yank as he or she nestles into bed. It a rude awakening to have the pillow yanked away. I use my inflatable pillow to avoid the "unipillow".
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I also have problems with my neck. I use a down pillow at home that is really squishy. I can mold it perfectly to how I need to sleep. The pillows in the albergue would require immediate chiropractic care as soon as I woke up. Assuming I could even fall asleep. A very good friend of mine made me a small down throw pillow. Even though it takes up room in my pack it is very, very lightweight. For me this pillow is as important as my Brooks Cascadia trail runners that I use on every camino. It is a lifesaver. The moment I arrive in the albergue, if there is a pillow on my bed I find a place to put it. I don't even rest on it. That is my advice and for me it works great!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
My husband has had cervical disc replacements and must have a pillow also. He uses a pillow by Grand Trunk. It is not small — the stuff sack is 10.5 inches long/5 inches diameter — but is very light —11.5 oz. He doesn’t use the stuff sack inside his pack but instead just stuffs the pillow between other things. He arrived at this choice by trial and error. You might just want to try them out at the store. Tom pilled them out off the sack and just lay on the bench at our REI to try them out! Or you could buy a couple different ones and try them out to get one that meets your particular needs.
 

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Cindy McGuire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting from St.jean Pied de Port April 24, 2016
Maybe I shouldn't worry about a pillow then. In an emergency, I could probably make a pillow from my clothes, and cross my fingers it doesn't hurt my neck.
I also have neck issues and have used a Cocoon brand Hyperlight Air-Core travel pillow. You can buy it at REI and inflate to whatever feels good to you. It weighs 3 oz and packs small. I take mine everywhere that my down pillow can't go. You won't be sorry and your neck will be happy.
 

Bella2017

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014,2015,2016.
March 2017 Oct 2018 Camino ingles june 2019 cancelled Camino Portuguese Oct 2019
I just fold up my fleece and use that. Ikea has small cheap pillows that you may wish to try
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
I found I could fold those long narrow pillows in half - made them not as flat, and more comfortable. They would also fit better into a non-Spanish pillowcase that way. Still not great, especially if you snore more if not slightly propped up (I've heard some do, not me of course...). On my second Camino I took a very light down jacket thinking I would need it due to colder weather. I think I wore it once, but discovered it made an excellent down pillow if rolled it up into a stuff sack (a bigger one than its own, so it wasn't too tightly packed). Doing the same with other clothes would work too, although not a comfortable. I was so pleased with myself I took it again on the next Camino - I may find an actual travel pillow next time though!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I have tried many approaches over the years, including making a pillow from my spare clothes, compressible foam pillows, etc. My current solution for travel is an inflatable, the Exped Air Pillow XL. It weighs about 105 gm in its carry bag. Noting that I use a CPAP, the added weight of the pillow is tolerable. Exped make smaller pillows. The one that I have tried but didn't inflate to the right height for me was the Exped Air Pillow UL M. It weighs 49 gm in its carry bag. These are the lightest solutions that I have found, although I haven't needed to examine what is on the market for the last couple of years.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I have tried many approaches over the years, including making a pillow from my spare clothes, compressible foam pillows, etc. My current solution for travel is an inflatable, the Exped Air Pillow XL.
Here is a link to the Exped air pillows on Amazon. There are a few types. I agree with Doug. . . of most air pillows I have tried, I thought the Exped was most comfortable. I prefer the stuff sack approach, but the Exped is worthy of audition, if air pillows are on your list of things to try.

Doug's Exped can also be further justified as a multi-tasker: it can be used as a sit pad. :)
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
I carry an ultralight Sea 2 Summit inflatable pillow because I get a sore neck if the pillows are night the right height.

Pillows in Spain can be very narrow and high too so I'd definitely recommend taking your ien if you have neck issues.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013, CF 2014, CP 2016, CN 1st half 2018, CN 3rd qtr+R. Cantabrico 2019, Via Francigena 2017
I also have problems with my neck. I use a down pillow at home that is really squishy. I can mold it perfectly to how I need to sleep. The pillows in the albergue would require immediate chiropractic care as soon as I woke up. Assuming I could even fall asleep. A very good friend of mine made me a small down throw pillow. Even though it takes up room in my pack it is very, very lightweight. For me this pillow is as important as my Brooks Cascadia trail runners that I use on every camino. It is a lifesaver. The moment I arrive in the albergue, if there is a pillow on my bed I find a place to put it. I don't even rest on it. That is my advice and for me it works great!
It56ny, I have exactly the same issues as you and love my squishy down pillows. My mother-in-law liked small squishy pillows and had a regular-size down pillow converted into two half-full down pillows. I was lucky to inherit these. I bring one of these on the camino. Weighs 10 oz including pillow case and carrying bag, but worth it.
 

dbender49

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2020 - Planned
Another odd question from this first time pilgrim. Do you take a pillow with you?

I'm very concerned about a pillow because I had shoulder surgery last year. I also have neck issues from a car accident years ago that get aggravated easily. I use a feather pillow at home. It doesn't weigh much but I cannot exactly squish it small. I can't be the only pilgrim with this problem.

Does anyone have a great small travel pillow?
We use a small fleece pillow case from Thermarest and stuff it with our down jackets to make a pillow at night. Of course we will be walking in colder weather and will be taking the jackets anyway, so this may not be an option for you.
 
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