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NEMO Fillo Review

This pillow will please the vast majority of campers due to its superb comfort, adjustable support, and small packed size.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $40 List | $37.90 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, small packed size
Cons:  Heavy
Manufacturer:   Nemo
By Ross Robinson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Weight - 25% 5
  • Ease of Use - 20% 9
  • Packed Size - 20% 6
  • Support - 10% 9

Our Verdict

Our favorite camping pillow overall continues to be the Nemo Fillo for nailing nighttime comfort and versatility. Our testers loved its hybrid design, which is a fantastic compromise for folks who want the comfort of a compressible pillow yet the adjustability of an inflatable. It also packs down small for its size and luxurious feel. On outdoor excursions from Minnesota to Alaska, we loved sleeping on this contender while car camping, on weekend trips, and even short backpacking ventures. It is too heavy for most on extended treks lasting more than a few days (though we have taken it on week-long, alpine hikes), but this model fits the bill for the majority of folks' camping styles.

Different Fabrics for the Fillo
NEMO offers this pillow in two different fabrics — the microsuede reviewed here, and a jersey fabric. The solid-colored pillows (grey and green) are the only ones sporting the microsuede, which we are huge fans of. Recently a tester got his hands on one of the striped, jersey-fabric pillows, and was let down by the diminished quality and comfort. NEMO tells us they're dropping the microsuede altogether in 2020, so if you have your eyes on this pillow, we suggest grabbing one of the solid colors while you still can!


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Pros Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, small packed sizeVery small packed size, lightweight, great supportGreat value, very comfortable, easy to useTwo-sided design offers two distinct fabric options, lightweight and packable, easy to useLightweight, small packed size, easy to use
Cons HeavyNot super comfortableHeavy, large packed sizeComfort is limited to user's items and ability to stuff evenly, a little wide for tighter mummy bag hoodsLess comfortable than other models, can be punctured, noisy
Bottom Line This pillow will please the vast majority of campers due to its superb comfort, adjustable support, and small packed size.This backpacking model increases nighttime head support and decent comfort at minimal weight and volume.For those who don't travel far from their vehicles to the campsite, this model is inexpensive and comfy.Shed weight and packed volume without sacrificing comfort and support.It's a blow up pillow and it feels like one, but it what it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in weight and packed size.
Rating Categories NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros Therm-a-Rest Compressible Rumpl Stuffable Fleece Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow
Comfort (25%)
10
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9
10
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5
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
3
Weight (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
9
Ease Of Use (20%)
10
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9
10
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7
10
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9
10
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6
10
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7
Packed Size (20%)
10
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6
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8
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5
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7
10
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9
Support (10%)
10
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9
10
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9
10
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8
10
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7
10
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7
Specs NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros Therm-a-Rest... Rumpl Stuffable... Big Agnes AXL Air...
Type Hybrid: Compressible and Inflatable Inflatable Compressible Stuffable Inflatable
Measured Weight (oz) 9.0 oz 3.1 oz 8.6 oz 3.5 oz 1.8 oz
Packed Volume (L) 1.4 L 0.4 L 2.6 L 0.7 L 0.3 L
Length 16 in 14 in 15.5 in 16 in 16 in
Width 9.5 in 8 in 9.5 in 11 in 10 in
Thickness 4.5 in High side: 5 in; Low side: 4 in 6.75 in High end 8 in Low end 1 in 4 in
Stuff Sack included? Integrated Stuff Sack. Velcro strap as well. Yes, with drawstring Yes, built in with drawstring Yes, with drawstring Yes, with drawstring
Materials Polyester, microfiber / microsuede outer layer Polyurethane bladder, Brushed 50D Polyester Knit Cover Outer: Polyester; Inner fill: Upcycled foam 100% Post-Consumer Recycled 30D ripstop polyester and polar fleece & PCR synthetic insulation 4-Way stretch nylon w/ TPU coating

Our Analysis and Test Results

The NEMO Fillo is a rectangular hybrid pillow that's a breeze to use. For its price, a lot of thought and design process went into making this product. It consists of a baffled inflating sack on the bottom, with a layer of memory foam on top, held snugly in place by a mesh net. Encasing all this is an outer shell made of polyester and microsuede, which also has a built-in stuff sack. It is an all-around pillow, well suited for a variety of situations. It's great for car and weekend camping, as well as short backpacking trips. We loved having it along on a five-day canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. Additionally, this pillow is great for hammock napping and even lumbar support when sitting for long periods. It would also be effective while trying to catch some sleep on a plane or in an airport.

Performance Comparison


After a full morning of paddling  Jacob Busiahn enjoys the comfort of this hybrid pillow under the sun in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness  Minnesota.
After a full morning of paddling, Jacob Busiahn enjoys the comfort of this hybrid pillow under the sun in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota.

Comfort


Our team of reviewers unanimously agree that this pillow is a comfy one. Considering the Fillo's small packed size, it has a large surface area for your head to roam around on. During our tests, we found that if our head moved away from the center, we didn't have to worry about it sliding off as we did with most of the inflatable pillows. But like inflatable pillows, we could use the air valve to adjust the thickness, which made it versatile for side, back, and stomach sleepers.


The microsuede top of the outer shell felt great against our skin. That, combined with the memory foam, makes for a pillow that your head and face gently sink into. The only real downside is that it produces noise as your head moves across the pillow. However, when compared to other (especially ultralight) inflatable pillows, the Fillo's extra layering of padding does a good job of tempering the sound.

Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.
Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.

Weight


The biggest drawback of this product is its weight. It weighed 9.0 ounces on our scale. It still earned decent scores, however, in packed size, although it isn't intended to be used primarily for long-distance backpacking. One of our testers took this pillow on a five-night trek through the Peruvian Andes, though, without complaining, so it can be done. It's just doesn't offer the same space- and weight-saving features that come with other ultralight inflatable pillows. Some of the other pillows we studied offer hybrid technology (or versions of it) and compete with the Fillo at a lower weight. In the end, the greatest distinguishing feature that placed the Fillo higher on our list was its sheer outstanding comfort. None of the other products could compare, making it a clear recipient of our Editors' Choice Award.


Ease of Use


Our Editors' Choice winner also scores well in this category. It has an inflatable element, which makes it more work than a compressible pillow. It inflates in just three breaths, and the air valve is designed to make adjusting the air level very easy, without the risk of deflating the whole pillow. We like that it has a stuff sack built into the design.


You can expect this model to last. The bladder is well protected, and the craftsmanship is fantastic. One of our reviewers has owned this pillow for nearly three years, taken it on countless camping trips, sent it through the washing machine, and it still performs as it did on day one.

This pillow's stuff sack is rather small, though, which made it more difficult to get the pillow inside. That said, we were happy never to have to search through our pack for its stuff sack. A bit more material to extend the stuff sack's volume would be an improvement here, but it's not a deal-breaker.

The air valve twists open and close  making it easy to inflate the pillow fully and close it without air escaping.
The air valve twists open and close, making it easy to inflate the pillow fully and close it without air escaping.

The Fillo's length made it fit snugly inside the hoods of the mummy sacks we used for our tests, and it did not slide around much under our heads at night. Lastly, to clean it, remove the outer shell and send it through the washing machine and dryer.

Packed Size


For such a large pillow, its packed size is impressive. Inside the attached stuff sack, its volume is just 1.4 liters. This is smaller than the fully compressible models reviewed, as well as some of the hybrid pillows we studied. As expected, the inflatable pillows without any foam padding packed away smallest.


The Fillo packs a lot of comfort into a reasonable size.
The Fillo packs a lot of comfort into a reasonable size.

Support


This pillow provides your head, neck, and back with sufficient support. Our heads sank gently into the foam of the pillow, while the inflated portion underneath sustained the weight easily and kept our spines aligned. This pillow combines comfort with support the best of all the products in this review.


This pillow provided great support and comfort simultaneously.
This pillow provided great support and comfort simultaneously.

Value


For its price, this pillow is above the budget pillow range (for a true budget option, consider our Best Buy winner). However, the Fillo's convincing performance across the board makes it a great value and a clear pick for our Editors' Choice Award.

Kiddos are also fans of the Fillo  shown left in green next to the Klymit Luxe on the right.
Kiddos are also fans of the Fillo, shown left in green next to the Klymit Luxe on the right.

Conclusion


Our Editors' Choice winner combines some of the most desirable qualities of inflatable and compressible pillows into a top-notch hybrid pillow. We enjoyed having it along in our pack, whether we were camping right beside the car or four days deep in the backcountry. It packs down small, yet provides plenty of comfort and support. It's also simple to use and feels like it will last a long time. If you are looking for a camping pillow to keep you comfortable on almost any trip you take it on; we are confident that you will enjoy this one as much as we did.

Fully inflated  this pillow is a snug fit in a standard hood on a mummy sack  helping to keep it in place through the night.
Fully inflated, this pillow is a snug fit in a standard hood on a mummy sack, helping to keep it in place through the night.


Ross Robinson