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HEST Pillow Review

If you spend most of your outdoor time in the backcountry, this pillow is a hard pass, but if space and weight aren't issues, this is a no-brainer
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HEST Pillow Review (The Hest's comfort is unsurpassed. Even when we weren't asleep, we often found ourselves hugging it for warmth or...)
The Hest's comfort is unsurpassed. Even when we weren't asleep, we often found ourselves hugging it for warmth or comfort.
Credit: Jason Wanlass
Price:  $89 List
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Manufacturer:   HEST
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 16, 2022
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 10.0
  • Weight - 20% 2.0
  • Packed Size - 20% 3.0
  • Support - 20% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

It's a little dorky for us to be this excited about a camping pillow, but we just can't help ourselves. The Hest Pillow is an oversized, super comfortable, compression-style camping and travel pillow. Its core is a perfect blend of memory foam and polyester batting, and it has a cozy stretch-nylon pillowcase, which stays cool and soft against the skin. The dog-bone shape and medium plush loft is ergonomic heaven for any adventurer. The Hest doesn't have a stuff sack — instead, the pillow folds into itself and zips tightly into a rugged, water-resistant nylon case perfect for keeping dirt and grime out. This pillow can handle the rigors of van life, RVing, or car camping with ease. Get the scoop on how it stands up to the competition in our review of the top-rated camping pillows.
REASONS TO BUY
Ultra comfortable
Tons of support
Nearly the size of a regular pillow
Stuffing can be adjusted
REASONS TO AVOID
Large packed size
Pricey
Takes up a lot of luggage space

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Bottom Line Stop searching: If you RV, life half your life in a van, or do a ton of car camping, this is the pillow you've been looking forThis pillow provides excellent comfort and is adjustable for all kinds of sleepers in most camp settingsSerious comfort for folks who don't need to spend top dollar on a lightweight, packable modelThis model adds significant comfort, but at a weight penaltyMove over blow up pillows, sleeping on the ground far from home just got a whole lot better with this cozy compressible option
Rating Categories HEST Pillow NEMO Fillo Therm-a-Rest Compre... Therm-a-Rest Air He... REI Co-op Trailmade...
Comfort (25%)
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (20%)
2.0
8.3
8.4
9.2
9.4
Packed Size (20%)
3.0
8.4
7.8
8.9
7.8
Support (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs HEST Pillow NEMO Fillo Therm-a-Rest Compre... Therm-a-Rest Air He... REI Co-op Trailmade...
Type Compressible Hybrid: compressible and inflatable Compressible Hybrid: compressible and inflatable Compressible
Measured Weight 32.8 oz 9.0 oz 8.6 oz 5.4 oz 4.9 oz
Packed Volume 11.4 L 1.4 L 2.6 L 0.6 L 2.5 L
Length 20 in 16 in 15.5 in 18 in 15 in
Width 15in 9.5 in 9.5 in 12.5 in 9.7 in
Thickness 7.5 in 4.5 in 6.75 in 4 in 5 in
Stuff Sack included? yes, with zippers and handle Integrated Stuff Sack. Velcro strap as well. Yes, built in with drawstring Yes, with drawstring Integrated stuff sack with loop/toggle button closure
Materials Shell Material: Polyester; Shredded Polyester Foam Padding Polyester, microfiber / microsuede outer layer, inflatable bladder Outer: Polyester; Inner fill: Upcycled foam Partially recycled polyester, down, urethane Shell Material: two-sided recycled polyester. Fill: polyurethane foam

Our Analysis and Test Results

Hest has produced one of the most comfortable and supportive camping pillows on the market by doing one simple thing: making an actual pillow. While most camping pillows attempt to mimic the real thing, the Hest Pillow is the real deal. Hest built a superb pillow first and then figured out how to make it camping and travel-worthy. The result is a product that performs like your pillow at home. We think its 20 x 15" design may be the largest in the biz, and we know it's the most comfortable pillow we've tested, ever. The stretch-nylon pillowcase stays cool to the touch, and the blended polyester and memory foam core offers the most comprehensive support we've ever experienced in a camping pillow. On the downside, weight and packed size were not even considered in the making of this pillow, which is why it isn't a good choice for backpacking or other backcountry adventures. However, if you live the van life, own an RV, or like to car camp, this pillow is the best you can find.

Performance Comparison


hest pillow - the hest's sturdy fabrics make it a perfect choice for any road trip...
The Hest's sturdy fabrics make it a perfect choice for any road trip or car camping adventure, even a chilly spring day at the dunes.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Comfort


We rarely shell out a perfect 10. However, after just one night's sleep on the Hest Pillow, we gladly gave it our top score for comfort. When compared to other camping pillows, it's simply that enjoyable to sleep on. Our favorite comfort feature is the ability to remove or add stuffing. Simply unzip the pillow, grab a handful of stuffing and repeat until the Hest is at your exact comfort level. We've never seen this feature in a compression pillow — and we're not sure it even exists in most regular home pillows. This simple feature equates to countless personal levels of customized comfort, making it a perfect choice for side-, back- and stomach sleepers alike.


The stretch nylon pillowcase stays cool and inviting throughout the night. Its large size also allows sleepers to hug, twist, bend or cram this pillow into nearly any desired contortion, just like your pillow at home. The Hest simply has a comfort X-factor. It's snuggly and firm, flexible, and floppy. We often clutched it against our chest while we wrote down our notes during testing — we're not even kidding. If it's not already clear: this pillow is really, really comfortable and happily reminded us of our pillow at home.

hest pillow - too firm? just unzip the hest and remove the stuffing until you...
Too firm? Just unzip the Hest and remove the stuffing until you reach your perfect comfort and support level. This is one of our favorite features.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Weight


Trust us, you won't have any problem moving this pillow from point A to point B. However, in the camping pillow world, the Hest is super heavy, earning it the lowest scores we could give in this metric.


At nearly 33 ounces, this pillow is three times heavier than some of the heaviest pillows we have ever tested. Its massive size combined with huge amounts of thick memory foam, a stretch-nylon pillowcase, and a rugged carrying pouch accounts for its extra weight. However, you won't hear any apologies from the manufacturer nor complaints from us. This pillow was never meant to be stuffed in a backpack or hauled up to base camp. Instead, the Hest was made for adventurers who stick a little closer to the car, van, or RV.

hest pillow - it's the hands-down the heaviest camping pillow we've ever tested...
It's the hands-down the heaviest camping pillow we've ever tested, but it's still lighter and more compact than your pillow at home, making it perfect for car camping or RVing.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Packed Size


The Hest Pillow does not stuff neatly into a small, apple-sized stuff sack. In fact, we've tested entire sleeping bags that pack up smaller than this pillow. When fully stowed, the Hest condenses down to just under half its size (think medium-sized watermelon). Comparatively, its 11.4 liter packed size is 5 to 10 times larger than any camping pillow we've ever seen, earning it our lowest score in this metric.


In fairness, the storage case of the Hest wasn't designed to neatly compress the pillow into a convenient size. Instead, its main purpose is to protect the pillow from dirt and grime. The manufacturer touts it as a camping pillow and a travel pillow. We only tested it as a camping pillow. For those who intend to use it for travel, be warned it will take up a fair amount of luggage space. However, for campers and travelers alike, this pillow is our favorite to sleep on, and it's a legitimate alternative to lugging around your own pillow from home.

hest pillow - it scores dead last for packed size, but still zips up small enough...
It scores dead last for packed size, but still zips up small enough to easily cram into our checked luggage, so we could enjoy a few extra comforts as we roughed it in northern France.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Support


Most compression pillows eventually give in to pressure and will flatten out during the night, resulting in very little support. However, the standard medium-plus loft of the Hest stays true to form from sundown to sun up, earning it near-perfect scores for support.


The Hest isn't just a cloth bag filled with chunks of foam — it's an actual pillow. Its core is a blend of 70 percent high-quality memory foam suspended in 30 percent polyester fiber. Together, these materials are encased in a soft nylon fabric. This inner pillow is then cocooned in a stretch nylon pillowcase cut and seamed like a traditional bed pillow. All combined, these layers provide some of the most dynamic support we've seen in a camping pillow.

The massive size of this pillow, combined with its real-pillow design, allows the Hest to contort into any desired position, all while maintaining a powerfully consistent firmness that cradles the head. We have never tested a compression pillow that allows the user to add or remove stuffing — this was our favorite aspect of the design. It provides endless customized levels of support. This feature also allows the stuffing to be completely replaced if it gets damaged.

hest pillow - using our hest to relax in the backwoods of vermont as we mentally...
Using our Hest to relax in the backwoods of Vermont as we mentally prep for a big Spartan race.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Ease of Use


Using the Hest Pillow is as easy as unzipping its carrying case and unfolding the pillow from itself. The carry case then folds neatly into the center of the pillow, and a final zipper holds everything together. The pillow deploys or restuffs in seconds, and the pillowcase easily separates from the pillow and can be machine washed and dried.


As with most compression pillows, the Hest is ultra-quiet to sleep on, it stays in place during the night, and it contorts well, which serves side-, back- and stomach sleepers alike. The built-in storage case is water-resistant and very rugged, which effectively protects the pillow from the rigors of camping and travel life. When it's time to clean the Hest, simply remove the pillowcase and machine wash and dry.

The Hest is one of the easiest camping pillow's to set up. First...
The Hest is one of the easiest camping pillow's to set up. First, unzip the storage pouch.
Second, pull out the Hest and stuff the storage sack backward into...
Second, pull out the Hest and stuff the storage sack backward into to the pillow.
Third, zip up the Hest's outer pillow case.
Third, zip up the Hest's outer pillow case.

Value


Unlike the vast majority of camping pillows, the Hest is an actual pillow, giving it endless value for adventure seekers who demand the highest quality at a reasonable price. We feel this pillow is worth the money. It offers unsurpassed comfort and support, all at a price that is not much higher than some inflatable pillows that don't score nearly as high. This pillow's only drawback is that it wasn't designed with everyone in mind. Backpackers and other backcountry enthusiasts would love the comfort and support but will certainly take a hard pass on weight and packed size.

hest pillow - whether sleeping in a cush fifth-wheel or lugging it along for a...
Whether sleeping in a cush fifth-wheel or lugging it along for a hike to a Vermont waterfall, the Hest was a great companion for any adventure where space and weight weren't a factor.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Conclusion


Based solely on comfort and support, the Hest Pillow is our favorite camping pillow ever. Nothing comes even close in these two areas. However, in our search for the overall best, we must take other metrics into consideration. Factors like weight and packed size lowered this pillow's overall score. But, as we've already said: you won't hear any apologies from the manufacturer. The Hest was not meant to be used for all forms of camping. This pillow is aimed solely at comfort and support — it's pure sleeping luxury on the go. If you travel a lot, see the world in a van, RV, or spend a lot of time car camping, the Hest Pillow is the best camping pillow you can buy.

hest pillow - the built-in storage case is made from thick nylon that will keep...
The built-in storage case is made from thick nylon that will keep your pillow clean and protected from the rigors of travel and camping. It doubles as a nice seat cushion as well.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Jason Wanlass