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NEMO Fillo Review

This pillow will please the vast majority of campers due to its superb comfort, adjustable support, and washable external layer
NEMO Fillo
Photo: Nemo
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $40 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, washable exterior
Cons:  Heavy and bulky, not for extended backcountry trips
Manufacturer:   Nemo
By Ross Robinson and Jason Wanlass  ⋅  May 6, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Weight - 20% 3
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Packed Size - 20% 6
  • Support - 20% 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 smaller packed size and adjustability of an inflatable. On outdoor excursions from Alaska to Alabama, we loved sleeping on this near-perfect camping pillow. It's ideal for car camping, weekend trips, and even short backpacking ventures. Some found it too heavy for 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 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. We suggest grabbing one of the solid colors to achieve the same performance we did.

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NEMO Fillo
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NEMO Fillo
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award   
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$42.95 at Backcountry
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$19.95 at REI$25 List
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Pros Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, washable exteriorVery small packed size, lightweight, great supportInexpensive, very comfortable and supportive, easy setupGreat value, very comfortable, easy to useInexpensive, comfortable, easy to use
Cons Heavy and bulky, not for extended backcountry tripsNot super comfortableLarge packed size, not adjustableHeavy, large packed sizeHeavy, large packed volume, becomes lumpy after extended use
Bottom Line This 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 volumeSupremely comfortable and very affordable, this model is a great option for enjoyable nights at the campgroundFor those who don't travel far from their vehicles to the campsite, this model is inexpensive and comfyIf you need a simple and comfy pillow strictly for car camping, this is a solid and affordable choice
Rating Categories NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros REI Co-op Trailbrea... Therm-a-Rest Compre... TETON Sports XL
Comfort (25%)
9.0
6.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (20%)
3.0
8.0
2.0
4.0
2.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Packed Size (20%)
6.0
8.0
2.0
4.0
3.0
Support (20%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Specs NEMO Fillo Sea to Summit Aeros REI Co-op Trailbrea... Therm-a-Rest Compre... TETON Sports XL
Type Hybrid: Compressible and Inflatable Inflatable Stuffable Compressible Compressible
Measured Weight (oz) 9.0 oz 3.1 oz 10.1 oz 8.6 oz 10.0 oz
Packed Volume (L) 1.4 L 0.4 L 6.3 L 2.6 L 4.5 L
Length 16 in 14 in 18 in 15.5 in 16 in
Width 9.5 in 8 in 14 in 9.5 in 9 in
Thickness 4.5 in High side: 5 in; Low side: 4 in 7 in 6.75 in 4 in
Stuff Sack included? Integrated Stuff Sack. Velcro strap as well. Yes, with drawstring Built in stuff pouch Yes, built in with drawstring Yes, with drawstring
Materials Polyester, microfiber / microsuede outer layer, inflatable bladder Polyurethane bladder, Brushed 50D Polyester Knit Cover Polyester, foam Outer: Polyester; Inner fill: Upcycled foam Fill: SuperLoft Elite 4-Channel Hollow Fiber; Inner Shell: P5 Poly Hi–Count; Outer Shell: 100% Brushed Flannel

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Fillo is a rectangular hybrid pillow that is a breeze to use. For its price, a lot of thought and design process went into making this product. Its employs a layered core consisting of an inflatable air cell, topped by a thick slab of memory foam. These two layers are then encased in an outer shell made of polyester and comfy microsuede. Basically, the Fillo is a blend of the top features of several types of pillows, which give it a general appeal to most sleepers. It's great for car and weekend camping, as well as short backpacking trips. We loved having it on-board during 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. While not an ideal weight for long backpacking trips, some of our testers feel the extra weight is worth the supreme comfort this pillow offers.

Performance Comparison


After a long day in the backwoods of Alabama, the Fillo was the...
After a long day in the backwoods of Alabama, the Fillo was the perfect addition to a river bank snooze. This pillow works well for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Comfort


Our team of reviewers unanimously agrees 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. Its block-shaped design allows the pillow to easily fill the notch between the head and shoulders, making it perfect for side sleepers. Additionally, its adjustable air cell allows back and stomach sleepers to thin down the pillow's volume for individualized comfort. Regardless of sleeping preferences, all of our testers agree that the Fillo's differentiating characteristics are its memory foam layer and microsuede exterior. Simply put, the high-quality foam cradled our heads better than any pillow we've tested. The microsuede is soft and plush, but also offers enough grip that if our heads moved away from the pillow's center during the night, we didn't have to worry about it sliding off as we did with most of the inflatable pillows.


A thick layer of dense memory foam is a key factor in why the Fillo...
A thick layer of dense memory foam is a key factor in why the Fillo is our favorite all-round pillow. It drastically improves the comfort of this pillow.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Additionally, the microsuede top 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.

Don't let, its relatively small packed size fool you -- the Fillo is...
Don't let, its relatively small packed size fool you -- the Fillo is a hefty little nugget. Many ultralight trekkers would hard pass on its extra ounces.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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.

The Fillo's layered system separates easily for repair or for a...
The Fillo's layered system separates easily for repair or for a quick wash in the river. The pillow completely dries after a few hours in direct sunlight. Take extra care in making sure the memory foam is thoroughly dry.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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.


The Fillo easily inflates in about 3 to 4 large breaths. It's...
The Fillo easily inflates in about 3 to 4 large breaths. It's locking twist valve closes off quickly, keeping air from escaping.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Ease of Use


The Fillo 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.

After a full morning of paddling, tester Jacob Busiahn enjoys the...
After a full morning of paddling, tester Jacob Busiahn enjoys the comfort of this hybrid pillow under the sun in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota. After 5 years, this pillow is still in regular use.
Photo: Ross Robinson


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.

The Fillo's stuff sack is too small, making it more difficult than...
The Fillo's stuff sack is too small, making it more difficult than necessary to pack this pillow up. Some testers preferred rolling the pillow up before stowing, while others felt shoving in the pillow as-is was easier. Either way, most felt the manufacturer should increase the size of the stuff sack.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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 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.

The Fillo's packed size is about the length and width of a standard...
The Fillo's packed size is about the length and width of a standard smart phone. This is quite impressive when compared to its generous size when completely inflated.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

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 the smallest.


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. However, the Fillo's convincing performance across the board makes it a great value and a clear pick for our favorite model overall.

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

Conclusion


The Nemo Fillo 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.

Year in and year out, our Nemo Fillo has handled every outdoor...
Year in and year out, our Nemo Fillo has handled every outdoor adventure we could throw at it. From canoe trips to car camping, backpacking, travel, or hammocking—when good rest is needed, the Fillo doesn't disappoint.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Ross Robinson and Jason Wanlass