Backpacking, Cool Stuff, DIY, Gear, hiking, PCT

Oh, Wherrrre is my Pillow?

Since I have some Velcro left over from the tent door project I had planned to attach some to my inflatable pillow and inflatable sleeping pad, to keep my pillow attached to my sleeping pad instead of disappearing into my tent in the night.

My sleeping pad is the Thermarest NeoAir XLite Women’s pad (12.5 oz), with an R-value of 5.4. According to a chart I found in this article from, that R-value should keep me warm down to between -7 and -14 degrees Fahrenheit, so plenty warm for the Pacific Crest Trail in summer. I like the women’s model of the XLite because it is only 5’6″ long, just long enough for me. I don’t like wrassling with a 72″ long pad in the tent. They finally made the Thermarest pads with a two-way valve and provided a pump sack, although I couldn’t figure out how to get the pump sack to attach to the valve. I bought a little air pump made for the Thermarest pads, and it works great, if slowly.

My pillow is the Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow, size large. It is an inflatable pillow that has a down layer on top so it feels cushy, and is the shape of a regular pillow. I usually use a pillowcase I made for the Boy when he was little. It’s the perfect size for this pillow.

Right now I am waffling between just using the Velcro I already have (using two 4.5″ strips of 3/4″ wide tape) or buying some that is much wider, like 2″. I’ve seen others use the wider Velcro. Also, I don’t know whether to put the soft side of the Velcro tape on the sleeping pad, or the scratchy side. I’m concerned that the scratchy part of the Velcro might pop a hole in my sleeping pad.

<Imagine the Jeopardy waiting song while I figure this out.>

BUT WAIT!! I Googled “How to keep your pillow on your sleeping pad” and came up with this gem. How had I not heard of this sooner? Why didn’t I figure it out myself?

Andy Parrish Outdoors – Keep Your Backpacking Pillow From Sliding

You’ll have to go to the video from Andy Parrish Outdoors and see because it won’t embed itself in this post like all the other videos do, but you use a neck gaiter (or Buff), put that around the pillow, and get an elastic strap with a clip (like one that you use with a sleeping quilt) and put the elastic through the Buff. Then you put the elastic strap over your sleeping pad and voilá! The pillow is attached to the pad through the Buff with the strap and you won’t lose your pillow.

Pillow, Buff, Strap

I think I will use this hack instead of the Velcro, so I don’t have to worry about the scratchy, pointy part of the Velcro poking a hole in anything. Yay!!

Just keep walking!



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