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Hands-on Gear Review
TETON Sports 12 x 18 Review
Cons: Heavy, large packed volume, becomes lumpy after extended use
Bottom line: If you need a simple and comfy pillow strictly for car camping, this is a solid and affordable choice.
The TETON Sports model most closely resembles a pillow made for four-walled bedrooms. Its traditional design of pillow and pillowcase proved comfortable and supportive for most sleepers. It's also easy to use; just pull it out of its stuff sack and it's ready for your melon. Ideal for car camping, rather than backpacking, it has its drawbacks in packed size and weight; however, if these are not important factors for you, this contender makes for a solid and affordable choice.
Be sure to also check out the Therm-a-Rest Compressible pillow, which beat out the TETON to win our Best Buy Award for its added comfort, lighter weight, and smaller packed size. Or, for a pillow that combines the comfort of the TETON with the benefits of an inflatable pillow, consider our Editors' Choice winner, the NEMO Fillo.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The TETON Sports 12 x 18, costing $20, is a moderately priced compressible pillow. It features a fill of synthetic fiber contained in a polyester inner shell and a pillowcase made of brushed flannel. Despite having the largest packed size and greatest weight of all pillows in this review, we liked this pillow for car camping, as well as for daytime naps. When used in these applications, this pillow performs very well.
This pillow was one of the most comfortable pillows in this review. Its large size gives your head plenty of surface area to move around at night. We also liked the flannel pillow case, which was soft against our cheeks without getting too hot. The fill of this pillow is designed to maintain its loft, even after being compressed in its stuff sack, which worked well in our testing. The only drawback we found in this pillow's comfort was that the fill material bunches up in some areas over time, making the pillow slightly lumpy. The only model that is more comfortable is the Therm-a-Rest Compressible.
The opposite of our Top Pick for Backpacking (the Sea to Summit Aeros), the TETON was the heaviest pillow in this review; it weighs in at ten ounces.
Ease of Use
This was the easiest pillow to use along with the REI Co-op Backpacker. Just unpack it from its sack, and it's ready to go. The stuff sack is large enough to make packing it back inside a breeze, too. It doesn't slide around on a sleeping pad and fills the hood space of most sleeping bags to prevent it from moving around in your sleep. Lastly, the flannel pillowcase is easily removed for machine or hand-washing.
The TETON Sports pillow scored the poorest of all pillows we tested in this category, having a volume of 4.5 L when packed in its stuff sack. The
The TETON pillow provides moderate support. It compresses under the weight of one's head, yet doesn't flatten out like the Sierra Designs DriDown Pillow. In this metric, it fell in the middle of the pack. The Exped REM took home top honors in this test metric with exceptional and adjustable support.
The TETON Sports pillow is ideal for car camping, which is where its substantial size, comfort, and sufficient support will be most appreciated. It's too heavy for multi-day backpacking trips.
For the price of $20, the TETON Sports model is a good value, especially if you primarily car camp. It fell shy of our Best Buy Award, yet we were still impressed with the comfort, ease of use, and support it provided for its modest price.
The 12 x 18 pillow is a solid option. Sure, we wouldn't take it along on multi-day excursions. Yet, it served its purpose very well at car-accessible campsites and even campsites with a short hike away from the parking lot.
— Ross Robinson
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