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Cocoon Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow Review

Weighing in under 4 ounces, this model can easily be taken into the backcountry on extended overnights at a price below most comparable options
Cocoon Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow
Photo: Cocoon
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Price:  $29 List | $28.95 at REI
Pros:  Durable, solid design, easy to use, well-priced
Cons:  Silky cover attracts oils and dirt, may be too firm for some sleepers
Manufacturer:   Cocoon
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 6, 2021
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Packed Size - 20% 7
  • Support - 20% 5

Our Verdict

It lacks pizzazz, but the Cocoon Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow is legit. Despite being a bit vanilla, the Hood/Camp checks all of the boxes and scored well enough in all of our tests. This pillow is specifically designed for mummy-style, hooded sleeping bags. It's well-built, functional, fairly comfortable, and surprisingly lightweight and packable when compared to its fully inflated size. What we like best about this model, though, is that it costs less than other backpacking models we've tested.

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Pros Durable, solid design, easy to use, well-pricedVery comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, washable exteriorVery small packed size, lightweight, great supportLightweight, packs up small, reasonable comfortable, built-in stuff sackTwo-sided design offers two distinct fabric options, lightweight and packable, easy to use
Cons Silky cover attracts oils and dirt, may be too firm for some sleepersHeavy and bulky, not for extended backcountry tripsNot super comfortableThin for side sleepers, stuff sack is too small, valve is finickyComfort is limited to user's items and ability to stuff evenly, a little wide for tighter mummy bag hoods
Bottom Line Weighing in under 4 ounces, this model can easily be taken into the backcountry on extended overnights at a price below most comparable optionsThis pillow will please the vast majority of campers due to its superb comfort, adjustable support, and washable external layerThis model increases nighttime head support and decent comfort at minimal weight and volumeA great option for folks who want comfortable sleep without sacrificing pack space or added weightShed weight and packed volume without sacrificing comfort and support
Rating Categories Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros Nemo Fillo Elite Rumpl Stuffable Fleece
Comfort (25%)
5
9
6
6
7
Weight (20%)
8
3
8
8
7
Ease Of Use (15%)
7
8
6
6
5
Packed Size (20%)
7
6
8
8
7
Support (20%)
5
9
7
6
6
Specs Air-Core Hood/Camp... NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros Nemo Fillo Elite Rumpl Stuffable...
Type Inflatable Hybrid: Compressible and Inflatable Inflatable Hybrid: Compressible and Inflatable Stuffable
Measured Weight (oz) 3.7 oz 9.0 oz 3.1 oz 3 oz 3.5 oz
Packed Volume (L) 0.6 L 1.4 L 0.4 L 0.4 L 0.7 L
Length 15 in 16 in 14 in 15 in 16 in
Width 11 in 9.5 in 8 in 11 in 11 in
Thickness 3.5 in 4.5 in High side: 5 in; Low side: 4 in 3 in High end 8 in Low end 1 in
Stuff Sack included? Yes, with drawstring Integrated Stuff Sack. Velcro strap as well. Yes, with drawstring Yes, built-in with drawstring Yes, with drawstring
Materials Polyester microfiber/20-denier nylon/synthetic fill/thermoplastic air bladde Polyester, microfiber / microsuede outer layer, inflatable bladder Polyurethane bladder, Brushed 50D Polyester Knit Cover Polyester jersey fabric, synthetic PrimaLoft Insulation, inflatable bladder 100% Post-Consumer Recycled 30D ripstop polyester and polar fleece & PCR synthetic insulation

Our Analysis and Test Results

Since its first pillows hit the market, Cocoon has consistently produced high-quality products, and the Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow is no exception. Its air cell inflatable center is surrounded by a layer of synthetic insulation and topped off with a dual-sided removable pillowcase consisting of polyester microfiber (top) and quilted 20 denier Nylon (bottom). When compared to current and past Cocoon inflatables, this pillow's primary unique feature is its curved design, which matches the shape of most mummy bag hoods and accommodates the ergonomics near the neck and shoulders.

Performance Comparison


The Hood/Camp's arched design fits most mummy bag hoods. Its close...
The Hood/Camp's arched design fits most mummy bag hoods. Its close in weight and packed size to premium backpacking models, but costs a touch less. Notably, the removable pillowcase has two different fabrics so you can choose which you find more comfortable or suited to the night's temperature.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Comfort


The words "general purpose" came to mind when we first placed our hands on this model. Cocoon's pillows are designed for use on a plane or train just as much as the outdoors, giving them a "one size fits all" kind of vibe. Most of the company's inflatable pillows all share the same fabrics, colors, design features, and internal air cell. In our experience, the comfort between each model doesn't vary much. This opinion holds true with the Hood/Camp. Like other Cocoon's we've tested, you get two options for face fabric. One side of the pillowcase is a silky polyester top fabric that feels cool and smooth against the skin on warm nights. The other side is microfiber and better for colder nights.

Our testers enjoyed sleeping on the quilted backside of the...
Our testers enjoyed sleeping on the quilted backside of the Hood/Camp as much as the silky top side. However, regardless of the air setting, most felt the pillow was just a titch too firm.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Additionally, the pillow is well-made, but the air cell tends to be a little more firm than other inflatables. Even after reducing the air volume in the pillow, we still sensed a firmer, less forgiving nest for our heads. There just wasn't as much stretch or give — a common characteristic we've noticed in most Cocoon inflatables. That said, we still enjoyed sleeping on the Hood/Camp. If you like firmer pillows, this is a good pillow for you.

Its quality design and plush exterior result in a slightly heavier...
Its quality design and plush exterior result in a slightly heavier pillow; however, the Hood/Camp is still lighter than one would expect, making it a legitimate choice for backpacking.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Weight


Given its plush materials and sturdy design, we were pleasantly surprised when we placed the Hood/Camp on the scale. We've noticed this with other Cocoon products. Even their largest inflatable pillows are surprisingly lighter than their overall appearance and feel would suggest. Cocoon doesn't innovate often on the basic components of their inflatables. The overall design has remained the same for several years. However, pillows like the Hood/Camp have a long reputation of being well-crafted. The end result is a solid product that can easily handle the rigors of the backcountry, despite being surprisingly more lightweight than one would think.

The Hood/Camp inflates in about 4 to 6 large breathes. The pillow's...
The Hood/Camp inflates in about 4 to 6 large breathes. The pillow's twist valve makes it easy to inflate and deflate. The stuff sack is perfectly sized, making stowing a breeze.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Ease of Use


A simple, thoughtful design scores the Hood/Camp high marks in our Ease of Use metric. The air valve is very easy to use and is ideally placed on a lower corner of the pillow, giving the user the perfect amount of fabric to hold onto when inflating the pillow and closing the valve. Inflatables can often be tricky balance of gripping the pillow, blowing into the valve, and twisting the valve shut — all without allowing air to escape from the bladder. Placement of the valve on the Hood/Camp makes this process a lot easier.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

We love the zipper. All Cocoon inflatables come with a wide zipper opening that allows the interior air cell to be easily removed and separated from the pillowcase. This allows for easy cleaning of the exterior fabric or repair of the air cell. Additionally, the Hood/Camp's quilted nylon base does a great job of clinging to whatever it's placed upon, keeping the pillow easily in place. Lastly, this pillow rolls up and stows easily into its stuff sack. It also fits most hooded sleeping bags well and has a nook at the bottom that allows it to ergonomically accommodate the shoulders and neck. The only thing we don't like about the Hood/Camp is that its silky polyester exterior noticeably absorbs and holds oils from the face and hair during a multi-day jaunt in the backcountry. This makes us appreciate how easy it is to clean the face fabric, though.

It doesn't boast the smallest packed size on the market, but it...
It doesn't boast the smallest packed size on the market, but it certainly was smaller than we anticipated, making the Hood/Camp a legit contender for most backpacking trips.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Packed Size


Cocoon doesn't skimp on stuff sack size. However, despite its spacious storage vessel, the Hood/Camp still holds its own in our packed size metric, measuring in at well under one cubic liter. It doesn't boast the smallest packed size but is certainly small enough to deserve space in a backpacker's bag.

We feel the Hood/Camp offers great support; however, its support...
We feel the Hood/Camp offers great support; however, its support came with only average comfort. It always felt a little too firm.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Support


Cocoon inflatable pillows tend to be on the sturdy side, which translates into a firmer pillow. The support it provides cannot be mistaken and is excellent for side and back sleepers. However, it doesn't provide a lot of cozy support. Its cupped air cell will keep your head in place and off the ground, but regardless of the level of air, the Hood/Camp tends to always feel like a typical inflatable pillow.

Value


Having purchased and tested one of the first Cocoons on the market, we can honestly say the Hood/Camp's features, functions, and fabrics are very similar to the early models. The result is a time-tested product that is built to last. We feel this gives this model the value it deserves. Based solely on its durability, this pillow is worth the price. That said, there are more comfortable inflatables on the market that pack up smaller and weigh less. But, they all cost more than this one.

Conclusion


Except for its shape, the Hood/Camp is no different than any other Cocoon inflatable pillow. It isn't a stand-out in the backpacking realm, but it could hold its own. Its general-purpose construction makes it good enough for use on a plane, train, or hammock. However, we feel its broad-appeal design does cause it to lack just a bit as a top performer in the backcountry. Then again, the price is right.

Jason Wanlass