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Therm-a-Rest Compressible Review

For those who don't travel far from their vehicles to the campsite, this model is inexpensive and comfy
therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow review
Credit: Therm-a-Rest
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Price:  $30 List
Manufacturer:   Therm-a-rest
By Ross Robinson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 17
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Weight - 20% 3.0
  • Packed Size - 20% 6.0
  • Support - 20% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

At first sight, the Therm-a-Rest Compressible did not impress us. Taking it out of the box, it looks and feels like a lumpy mess. However, after several nights of pleasant sleep, we were reminded of the sage advice concerning book-cover judgment. We were won over by the comfort this pillow provides, as well as its simplicity and support. Comfort, however, often has drawbacks in weight and packed size, which is true for this pillow, but we loved sleeping on it. It's a great option for car camping.
REASONS TO BUY
Great value
Very comfortable
Easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Large packed size

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $30 List
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Pros Great value, very comfortable, easy to useInexpensive, very comfortable and supportive, easy setupCreative design features, packs up small, lightweight, inexpensive, ergonomic shapeComfortable and supportive, removable pillow case, packs up well, soft fabrics, easy to use, affordableInexpensive, comfortable, easy to use
Cons Heavy, large packed sizeLarge packed size, not adjustableNoisy to sleep on, lacking in comfortNeeds to be thicker, too heavy for backpacking, difficult to separate pillow from pillow caseHeavy, large packed volume, becomes lumpy after extended use
Bottom Line For those who don't travel far from their vehicles to the campsite, this model is inexpensive and comfySupremely comfortable and very affordable, this model is a great option for enjoyable nights at the campgroundWe love this pillow because it offers innovative features most backpacking inflatables don't have, all at a great priceThis memory foam core pillow is perfect for hammocking, tent camping, road trips, travel, or catching some winks on a van tripIf you need a simple and comfy pillow strictly for car camping, this is a solid and affordable choice
Rating Categories Therm-a-Rest Compre... REI Co-op Trailbrea... Trekology Aluft 2.0 Wise Owl Outfitters... TETON Sports XL
Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
4.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (20%)
3.0
2.0
6.0
2.0
2.0
Packed Size (20%)
6.0
3.0
9.0
3.0
4.0
Support (20%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Therm-a-Rest Compre... REI Co-op Trailbrea... Trekology Aluft 2.0 Wise Owl Outfitters... TETON Sports XL
Type Compressible Stuffable Inflatable Compressible Compressible
Measured Weight 8.6 oz 10.1 oz 3.8 oz 16.2 oz 10.0 oz
Packed Volume 2.6 L 6.3 L 0.5 L 6.8 L 4.5 L
Length 15.5 in 18 in 17 in 16 in 16 in
Width 9.5 in 14 in 12 in 12.5 in 9 in
Thickness 6.75 in 7 in 4 in 4.5 in 4 in
Stuff Sack included? Yes, built in with drawstring Built in stuff pouch yes, with drawstring yes, with drawstring Yes, with drawstring
Materials Outer: Polyester; Inner fill: Upcycled foam Polyester, foam Shell Material: Polyester; Bladder: TPU/thermoplastic Polyurethane Shell Material: Polyester micro suede; Padding: Polyurethane memory foam Fill: SuperLoft Elite 4-Channel Hollow Fiber; Inner Shell: P5 Poly Hiā€“Count; Outer Shell: 100% Brushed Flannel

Our Analysis and Test Results

We selected the smallest version of the Therm-a-Rest for our review (it comes in four different sizes). It is a compressible pillow made of upcycled Therm-a-Rest mattress scraps, encased in a suede-like polyester shell. For the price, this soft, thick pillow packs a lot of pleasure into its price. Although the weight and packed size of this pillow do limit its uses, it delivers on car camping trips. We loved using this product and even took it along on a five-day canoeing trip where weight and packed size weren't major issues. Due to its heftier size and weight, though, this isn't an ideal pillow for multi-day hiking or backpacking trips.

Performance Comparison


therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow review - blake stave enjoys a peanut butter burrito while relaxing in the...
Blake Stave enjoys a peanut butter burrito while relaxing in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. The Therm-a-Rest can double as a back rest, or even lumbar support in its packed form.
Credit: Jenna Rae Ammerman

Comfort


The Therm-a-Rest is one of the most comfortable of all the pillows in this review and therefore received high scores in this metric.


This pillow is large enough to tolerate a few turns in the night. It is also thick and soft. Incredibly soft. We loved how the outer shell felt against our cheeks. You just might let out an audible "Ahhh" when you lay down on this pillow after a long hike.

therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow review - the therm-a-rest is soft, thick, and large. comfortable? oh yes.
The Therm-a-Rest is soft, thick, and large. Comfortable? Oh yes.
Credit: Jenna Rae Ammerman

Weight


The Therm-a-Rest weighs in on our scale at 8.6 ounces, which doesn't scream extended backcountry use, when compared to other models we tested which weigh in much lighter. For walking from car to campsite, though, the weight is negligible. It also is a viable option for an in-flight snooze on a plane or for catching some shuteye while riding shotgun on a long road trip.


Packed Size


One of this pillow's drawbacks is its packed size. Stuffed into its attached sack, the Therm-a-Rest has a volume of 2.6 liters, which is on the large end of the spectrum of models we tested.


For many experienced backpackers, this pillow may simply be too big. However, car campers, hammock-enthusiasts, RV-ers and jet-setters shouldn't consider the scores in this metric too heavily.

therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow review - ross robinson rolls up and packs this compressible pillow into its...
Ross Robinson rolls up and packs this compressible pillow into its built-in stuff sack in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Credit: Jenna Rae Ammerman

Support


The Therm-a-Rest compresses slowly after you lay your head down, but doesn't flatten. It's firm enough to provide decent support to side and back sleepers alike. However, it doesn't perform as well as models with an inflatable air chamber, which offer greater support and don't flatten at all throughout the night.


therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow review - the thickness of the therm-a-rest compressible provides sufficient...
The thickness of the Therm-a-Rest Compressible provides sufficient support and great comfort.
Credit: Jenna Rae Ammerman

Ease of Use


This model does offer incredible simplicity. We like that the stuff sack is built into the design of the pillow. Just roll the pillow up, tuck it into the lip of the pillowcase, and pull the drawstring tight. It also fits snug in every mummy sleeping bag hood we tested it with and didn't move around much in our sleep. Furthermore, it can be machine washed and dried. Additionally, the nature of the pillow's exterior fabric gives the pillow some grip, keeping it in place.


Upon receiving this pillow, send it on a trip through the washer and dryer (set to tumble dry) to help decompress the foam inside the pillow and increase its loft.

Value


The Therm-a-Rest provides great value among the pillows in this review. It's a great price for nighttime comfort and painless necks the following day.

Conclusion


The Therm-a-Rest Compressible is a great budget option that doesn't feel cheap. Sure, it's not the best for multi-day backpacking trips due to its weight and size, but it is great for shorter trips, such as car camping weekends and mid-day campsite hammock naps. It's also a great option for a travel pillow and would be a welcomed addition if you're trying to catch some sleep aboard a plane or in an airport. Its comfort is unrivaled in this review. Furthermore, our eco-hearts are glad to see such a fine product come from upcycled materials.

therm-a-rest compressible camping pillow review - although this pillow appears lumpy, it doesn't feel lumpy under your...
Although this pillow appears lumpy, it doesn't feel lumpy under your head. It's really comfortable, and a relatively inexpensive option for car camping.
Credit: Jenna Rae Ammerman

Ross Robinson
 
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