Getting decent sleep is crucial when you’re cycle touring, and so a comfortable place to rest your head is essential. A regular pillow like you use at home is generally too bulky, but thankfully there are alternatives. Having crashed on plenty of floors in my time, in Asia in particular, I know that a rolled up jacket or piece of clothing works to some extent, and that’s what some cycle tourists use. A dry bag filled with clothing does work as a pillow, but it’s not for me. If the clothes need washing, it makes for a smelly pillow, and if it’s been raining you might end up with a damp pillow. Neither of those are acceptable options for me, so I looked for a travel pillow.
Having decided on a Big Agnes sleeping pad and sleeping bag, it made sense to get their pillow as well. It’s lightweight (around 4oz/100g) and folds down to fit in an accompanying stuff sack that’s 2″ x 7.5″. It inflates with a few deep breaths in comfortably under 30 seconds, and the valve holds tight keeping it inflated all night long. When you wake up, it’s a quick twist of the valve to let it deflate and then easy to fold up to pack it away again. I’ve used it for a year, and it’s just as good as it was the first night which fills me with confidence that it’ll be good for years to come.
I’ve never had a problem with my pillow, but reading online about Big Agnes customer support, I’m confident that if a problem ever does develop, they’ll do their best to get it resolved quickly. That confidence in a company is essential when I’m on a trip like this, and the few e-mails we have exchanged make me happy to be using their products.