Hands-on Gear Review

NEMO Fillo Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:  $40 List | $38.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, small packed size
Cons:  Heavy
Bottom line:  This pillow provides excellent comfort and is adjustable for all kinds of sleepers in most camp settings.
Editors' Rating:   
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Type:  Hybrid: Compressible and Inflatable
Measured Weight (oz):  9.0 oz
Packed Volume (L):  1.4 L
Manufacturer:   Nemo

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.

The Fillo faced stiff competition, especially in areas of specialized use. If you're looking for something lighter with a smaller packed size, be sure to check out our Top Pick for Backpacking, the Sea to Summit Aeros. Another hybrid model reviewed is the Exped REM, which provides excellent support at a lower weight, but doesn't live up to the comfort of the Nemo model.

Seeking More Plushy Z's?
If you're seeking bonafide comfort for car camping trips, Nemo's got you covered with the Nemo Fillo Luxury version of our Editors' Choice winner. Unpacked, it's wider and longer to provide more acreage for your dome. It is more expensive and too heavy and large for backpacking trips, but if you camp close to your vehicle, this upgrade might be for you.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Pillows of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ross Robinson

Last Updated:
Monday
June 18, 2018

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The NEMO Fillo is a rectangular hybrid pillow that's a breeze to use. For $40, 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. These innovations lead to many great nights of sleep.

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, scoring evenly with the fluffy TETON Sports pillow. 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. For unparalleled comfort, check out the plush and affordable Therm-a-Rest Compressible.

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, placing it second to last among the other pillows in this category. It still earned high 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 not the space- and weight saver that the Sea to Summit Aeros is.


The REM offers hybrid technology and competes with the Fillo at a lower weight, while the other Exped model, the Air UL weighed the least of any contender reviewed. None of these products, though, were as comfortable as the Fillo.

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, like the Therm-a-Rest Compressible, so we never had to worry about losing it. The 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. It's easier to remove the air chamber for washing than the hybrid REM.

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.

Packed Size


The Fillo packs a lot of comfort into a reasonable size.
The Fillo packs a lot of comfort into a reasonable 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 the hybrid Exped REM pillow. As expected, the inflatable pillows without any foam padding packed away smallest.


Support


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

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. If you're willing to sacrifice comfort for more support, consider the inflatable Aeros or hybrid REM.


Best Applications


The NEMO Fillo 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 of time.

Our Editors' Choice winner served one reviewer very well on a backpacking trip in the Alaskan wilderness.
Our Editors' Choice winner served one reviewer very well on a backpacking trip in the Alaskan wilderness.

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.

Value


At $40, this pillow is above the budget pillow range (for a true budget option, consider our Best Buy winner - the $25 Therm-a-rest Compressible). 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

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Most recent review: June 18, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Backpacker

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   Jul 15, 2017 - 05:44am
Michael Haderlie · Backpacker · ID

I have used this on a few weeks of camping and backpacking. It packs pretty light and doesn't take up much space. Way more comfortable than the non hybrid inflatables, however, I still feel the rolling sensation of being on a balloon or something that I tend to get with every inflatable I've tried. . I also have the thermarest compressible. It is the same weight and far more comfortable. The downside is it packs quite a bit larger. As I am aging I find that I have to carry larger extra weight items in my sleep system so I can enjoy my trips. Funny thing all this weight reduction rage last few years is opposite of the way things were in 90s. Back then it almost seemed cool to have heavy packs. So seriously don't get too snobby about getting the weight down so low you can't get a comfortable night sleep. If I was able to easily sleep using any gear I'd get sea to summit for sure because So small and no weight hardly. For me I have to have comfort so I'm sticking with thermarest typically these days and my son uses this pillow. He does great with it.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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