Cocoon Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow Review
Cons: Silky cover attracts oils and dirt, may be too firm for some sleepers
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Cocoon Air-Core Hood/Camp Pillow
|Price||$28.95 at REI||Check Price at REI|
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|$42.95 at REI|
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|Check Price at REI|
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|$35.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Durable, solid design, easy to use, well-priced||Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, washable exterior||Very small packed size, lightweight, great support||Lightweight, packs up small, reasonable comfortable, built-in stuff sack||Two-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 sleepers||Heavy and bulky, not for extended backcountry trips||Not super comfortable||Thin for side sleepers, stuff sack is too small, valve is finicky||Comfort 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 options||This pillow will please the vast majority of campers due to its superb comfort, adjustable support, and washable external layer||This model increases nighttime head support and decent comfort at minimal weight and volume||A great option for folks who want comfortable sleep without sacrificing pack space or added weight||Shed 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|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Packed Size (20%)|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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