Therm-a-Rest – Compressible Pillow (large)

I’ve established during previous reviews that I’m a big fan of sleeping well while camping. So I was an obvious choice for a pillow review when the Therm-a-Rest pillow floated gently through GearWeAre’s post box.

Compressible_PillowThe pillow comes in four sizes – small, medium, large and extra large. You can read the various sizing specs on the Therm-a-Rest website here. My other half and I already own, and use regularly, two of the medium-sized versions, so I’m already a fan, though friends of ours remain unconvinced due to the fact that these pillows are a bit, well, lumpy when first unpacked.

This is because these pillows are designed to gain loft as they decompress, and when first unpacked, they aren’t at their most inviting. However, there’s ways to resolve this – firstly, as Therm-a-Rest instruct, don’t store these pillows compressed, i.e. don’t pack them until you absolutely have to. This helps them to retain their fluffy properties. The next is a more general care instruction – you can restore loft if they’ve been packed away by tumble drying them.

So when it comes to packing, squish them down at the last minute. And when you unroll them, don’t despair, give them a shake, leave them a while, and they puff up by themselves. It’s worth it – from above they’re around two-thirds of the size of a normal pillow, and they’re a decent thickness too – plenty enough to keep me (a two pillow person at home), happy.

On the flip side, these are not tiny when they’re packed away, instead they’re around the size of a small cat, sitting sausage-style. Which means if packing size is an issue these may not be for you. But if snuggly comfort is, go forth and purchase immediately.
My only minor niggle is the finish. While not horribly unpleasant, it’s no brushed cotton, instead it feels a little ‘non-breathable’, though in fairness, I’m yet to wake up bathed in my own face sweat at any point. Easily resolved by taking a pillow case regardless.

In conclusion, sizable pillow comfort, absolutely worth it for a good night’s sleep, and takes up less space than grabbing the ones off your bed. Not so great if packing space is at a premium though.  If space is an issue, you can shave off a few cms, and go for the small or medium ones instead.