On paper, the Exped Air UL inspires awe. Tiny and ultra-lightweight, we couldn't wait to give it a go. Compared to the other pillows in this review, it is the most lightweight and packs to the smallest volume. Although this is impressive, we soon found out that it was also the most difficult to use and least comfortable of the pillows we reviewed. In the end, Exped compromised too much comfort in its effort to reduce this pillow's weight and packed size.
If you're looking for a more capable model for extended trips into the backcountry, our Top Pick for Backpacking, the Sea to Summit Aeros provides acceptable comfort at a minimal packed volume and weight. For shorter trips, check out our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Nemo Fillo.
There have been a few notable changes made to the Air UL this year. In addition to a change in color, the updated version of this pillow totes a new fabric. This Gripskin material is lightweight, yet grippy, to help reduce slippage and keep the pillow in place. The pillow also decreased in price from $49 to $39 for the medium size we tested. More details below!