Rumpl Stuffable Fleece Review
Cons: Comfort is limited to user's items and ability to stuff evenly, a little wide for tighter mummy bag hoods
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Primarily known for its high-end blankets and quilts, Rumpl is certainly turning some heads (and softly cradling them) with its latest foray into the world of backpacking, the Rumpl Stuffable Pillowcase. After releasing a few initial designs of the pillow last year, the manufacturer has really hit the mark with its latest version of the Rumpl. Namely, it's lighter, has a smaller packed volume, is more self-contained and is easier to use. However, the feature we're most stoked about? The pillow's fabrics (30D ripstop polyester, polar fleece, and synthetic insulation) are 100% post-consumer recycled materials.
As mentioned, what makes the Rumpl a little problematic also happens to be what makes this pillow unique. The quality and level of stuffing are completely determined by whatever the user has on hand. In most cases, we didn't think this was a big deal. However, it could be an issue for warm weather backpackers who may not have a lot of extra clothing or layers in their packs, as well as backpackers who sleep in all the clothes they packed for warmth.
The Rumpl's wide range of stuffing options makes this pillow a great option for side, belly, and back sleepers. We loved the different textures of its dual-sided design. One side is silky, rip-stop nylon, and the other side is a quilted fleece top. We also like its generous footprint and feel the pillow's overall design, fabric, and texture give it an "it" factor that just says comfort.
We found that socks and clothes create a different feel than jackets, hats, and hoodies. This made it a little harder to measure comfort. Through several tests, we found our favorite padding to be a combination of loose socks and clothes cocooned inside of a jacket or down puffy. We then slid the bundle, as a whole, into the Rumpl. Regardless of the variables, we still gave this pillow above-average scores for comfort. We liked how it performed when we stuffed it properly.
The Rumpl's absence of built-in padding allows it to be one of the lighter pillows we tested. Ounce for ounce, it smashed most of the other pillows we studied. When comparing its packed weight against its potential for support and comfort (if stuffed effectively), we were simply impressed.
It certainly isn't the lightest pillow on the market. However, we feel it is light enough to appeal to most backpackers, while at the same time serving as a car camping pillow or travel pillow.
Ease of Use
The manufacturer changed the position of the zipper on this latest version of the Rumpl, making it easier to fill. On previous models, the zipper was positioned at the end of the pillow. Now, the zipper opens lengthwise along the pillow's side. This creates a larger opening for items being placed inside, improving its ease of use. A simple yet effective upgrade.
Acquiring the necessary stuffables to place in the pillow proved to be somewhat of a snag for some testers. Some didn't like the hassle of digging through a backpack or suitcase, trying to find the right mixture of (hopefully clean) clothing. Other testers didn't mind so much, resulting in polarized scoring. In the end, we made an executive decision and bumped the Rumpl's scores down a little in this metric.
The Rumpl is armed with a built-in, stuff sack. It's amply sized and stays hidden inside the pillow. We found it a breeze to fold in both sides of the pillow and roll it virtually right into the stuff sack. The Rumpl is a titch larger than what is needed for tight-hooded mummy bags. It stays in place, could double as a seat cushion (without the potential for puncturing), and it can easily be cleaned in a washer and dryer.
Effective, comfortable materials and no stuffing allow the Rumpl to compress quickly and pack up tightly. The latest model employs thinner fabrics, which have reduced its weight and packed volume — a plus in our opinion. The Rumpl sports one of the smaller packed volumes of all the pillows we've examined, making it very portable and a perfect tag-a-long in carry-on luggage, car trunk, or RV. By shaving off ounces and decreasing its packed volume, the manufacturer has created a pillow that can be a legitimate contender in the backpacking arena.
Pillows with the smallest packed volume tend to be inflatable pillows. Those with larger volumes tend to have built-in fill. The Rumpl is somewhere in the middle due to its DIY stuffing. This gives it the ability to offer top-quality construction and comfort with minimal packed volume and weight. This pillow performs like a pre-stuffed pillow, but packs up and weighs more like an inflatable pillow.
Support was a little difficult to determine because potentially no two Rumpls are stuffed the same. However, we found that when filled full, this pillow provided decent support in nearly every situation. Most testers like that users have complete control. This pillow is small enough to fill with soft clothes you likely have with you. Its fabrics are beefy, which allows the pillow to hold its form throughout the night.
By not including stuffing, the manufacturer was able to focus on the quality of materials, resulting in a very plush, comfortable, and lightweight product that can meet a wide variety of sleeping needs. Primarily known for its down and synthetic quilts, the manufacturer has continued in its previous footsteps by producing a high-quality product at a reasonable price. That, combined with the varying configurations for comfort and support, makes it a great choice for most sleepers who are willing to stuff it to their needs.
We enjoyed testing the Rumpl Stuffable Fleece. It is an excellent option for campers or travelers looking for a light and packable pillow that doesn't require inflation. By using the right combination of clothing, the Rumpl provides a comfortable and supportive place to lay our head for a few ZZZs or a full night's sleep. It's perfect for nearly every adventure except, perhaps, backpacking when little extra clothing is on hand.
— Jason Wanlass