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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
HEST Pillow
Credit: HEST
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $79 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Ultra comfortable, tons of support, nearly the size of a regular pillow, stuffing can be adjusted
Cons:  Large packed size, pricey, takes up a lot of luggage space
Manufacturer:   HEST
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 16, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 17
  • Comfort - 25% 10.0
  • Weight - 20% 1.0
  • Packed Size - 20% 1.0
  • 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.

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HEST Pillow
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HEST Pillow
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $79 List
Check Price at REI
$40 List
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$44.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Ultra comfortable, tons of support, nearly the size of a regular pillow, stuffing can be adjustedVery comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, washable exteriorVery small packed size, lightweight, great supportLightweight, packs up small, reasonable comfortable, built-in stuff sackInexpensive, very comfortable and supportive, easy setup
Cons Large packed size, pricey, takes up a lot of luggage spaceHeavy and bulky, not for extended backcountry tripsNot super comfortableThin for side sleepers, stuff sack is too small, valve is finickyLarge packed size, not adjustable
Bottom Line 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-brainerThis 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 weightSupremely comfortable and very affordable, this model is a great option for enjoyable nights at the campground
Rating Categories HEST Pillow NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros Nemo Fillo Elite REI Co-op Trailbrea...
Comfort (25%)
10.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
Weight (20%)
1
3.0
7.0
7.0
2.0
Packed Size (20%)
1
7.0
9.0
9.0
3.0
Support (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
Specs HEST Pillow NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros Nemo Fillo Elite REI Co-op Trailbrea...
Type Compressible Hybrid: compressible and inflatable Inflatable Hybrid: compressible and inflatable Stuffable
Measured Weight 32.8 oz 9.0 oz 3.1 oz 3 oz 10.1 oz
Packed Volume 11.4 L 1.4 L 0.4 L 0.4 L 6.3 L
Length 20 in 16 in 14 in 15 in 18 in
Width 15in 9.5 in 8 in 11 in 14 in
Thickness 7.5 in 4.5 in High side: 5 in; Low side: 4 in 3 in 7 in
Stuff Sack included? yes, with zippers and handle Integrated Stuff Sack. Velcro strap as well. Yes, with drawstring Yes, built-in with drawstring Built in stuff pouch
Materials Shell Material: Polyester; Shredded Polyester Foam Padding Polyester, microfiber / microsuede outer layer, inflatable bladder Polyurethane bladder, Brushed 50D Polyester Knit Cover Polyester jersey fabric, synthetic PrimaLoft Insulation, inflatable bladder Polyester, 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 camping 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.
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 camping 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 camping 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 camping pillow - the hest has the largest packed size of any pillow we've tested...
The Hest has the largest packed size of any pillow we've tested. It's about the size of a medium watermelon. It's definitely larger than our melon.
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.

HEST Pillow camping pillow - the hest's memory foam and polyester core allows the pillow to...
The Hest's memory foam and polyester core allows the pillow to contort to any desired shape, giving any sleeper that "home pillow" experience.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

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 camping pillow - the hest's comfort is unsurpassed. even when we weren't asleep, we...
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

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 camping pillow - the hest's stretch-nylon pillow case stays cool and comfortable all...
The Hest's stretch-nylon pillow case stays cool and comfortable all the time. It also stays clean thanks to the rugged storage case.
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 camping 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
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Jason Wanlass

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