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#127638 - 01/30/10 04:38 AM MYOG Pillow
JeremyDuncan Offline

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Midwest
I know what you're thinking. "Sleep on you clothes". Not bad advice, but I already use my clothes (w/stuff sack) for something else. SO...I am making a pillow.

I bought some super cheap fabric from Walmart for a blanket, and I have just enough left over to make a nice little camp pillow(I honestly don't know what the stuff its -it almost feels like satin). I need to decide. DOWN or SYNTHETIC.

DESIRED PILLOW SIZE: 10"x15" with about 3/4" loft

BUDGET: $5 (I already have the shell material)

I know DOWN compresses better and is warmer. I don't care at all about warmth, but I do want it to be light and compress as small as possible. There are a couple things that turn me off about down, though. Down takes a long time to dry, and if it might wet from condensation (or drool). Also, I don't know if this material will hold down. Down leaks out of some materials. I have an expensive Nautica down ski coat and the down leaks right through the lining. Also, I don't know where to get that small a amount of down. I was going to buy a down jacket or comforter from a thrift store and just rip it open, but even the childrens jackets were $10+ at Goodwill. I need cheaper!

I am leaning towards the SYNTHETIC, unless anyone can give me a compelling reason to use down. Which synthetic idea do you think is best? Keep in mind I like a soft, fluffy pillow.

-buy a $2.50 pillow and use the stuffing out of it
-buy a $30 bag of poly-fill from Walmart
-use a triple up a few leftover scraps form the sheet of synthetic I used in my sleeping bag (the cheap Walmart stuff)

Or do you have any better ideas?

My pillow weighs about a pound. If I bought the $2.50 one and used half the filling, it should be about 8oz. I can live with that, but I really want something that would be a little more compact. I tried rolling my pillow up real small and it was way more than twice the size of something I'd want to carry.

Oh yeah, don't want an inflatable one. They don't fold, and I that's a quality I need. Plus they are uncomfortable.


#127672 - 01/30/10 08:25 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1912
Loc: Napa, CA
I use my fleece for a pillow. It doesn't weigh anything (at least, anything MORE than I already carry) and I fold it up to be about 2 inches thick. Good loft, comfy pillow.

No cost, no weight, no space.


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#127673 - 01/30/10 08:34 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: balzaccom]
JeremyDuncan Offline

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Midwest
Yeha, I have used several things as pillows, and I have to say my fleece was one of the more comfortable things. I don;t carry it through the warm season, tho. I could, but I was hoping to get a little lighter. My fleece is like 14oz.

#127684 - 01/30/10 09:29 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
thecook Offline

Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
How about a piece of soft foam with holes drilled in it like the core of a Thermarest is now?
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

#127693 - 01/31/10 12:29 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
phat Offline

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

1) fly somewhere for a hike

2) ask for airline pillow

3) walk off with it

Woot! dual use.

But I do just use my extra clothing..
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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#127697 - 01/31/10 01:38 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: phat]
JeremyDuncan Offline

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Midwest
HA! Now that's more my style! Freebie!

@thecook: In another thread someone posted a picture of something he made similar to that. A piece of foam with holes in it. I think I am going to give that a whirl.

Edited by JeremyDuncan (01/31/10 01:38 AM)

#127704 - 01/31/10 08:03 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
Pika Offline

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1802
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
You may want to try using your shoes in your sleeping bag stuff sack as a pillow. It sounds a bit uncomfortable but if you arrange them carefully when you put them in the sack they can be surprisingly comfortable though perhaps a bit smelly. They work even better when you pad them a bit with some unused article of clothing. This also gives you somewhat warm shoes to put on in the AM.
May I walk in beauty.

#127707 - 01/31/10 10:23 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
CamperMom Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1211
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
See if you can find a piece of foam from packing material, so you have a "freebie," then wrap it around an inflatable of some sort. Another "freebie" can be a recycled mylar balloon. They can be inflated and deflated using a straw.

Even if you buy the above, you are looking at fairly cheap and very light.

Your pillow can be improved if you make the case with two open ends, closed with a casing to enclose the "stuffing, and with the drawsting set up to go around and under your mattress to anchor the pillow to the matt.


#127712 - 01/31/10 01:30 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: CamperMom]
Shrike Offline

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Minnesota
Found this video on Tinny's youtube page.
Swiss pillow
I think this is what you all are talking about. I havent tried it but it looks like a good idea to me.

#127719 - 01/31/10 01:57 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: Shrike]
JeremyDuncan Offline

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Midwest
Wow. That is perfect. Thank you.

#127730 - 01/31/10 02:51 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: Shrike]
Rucksack Offline

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin
I like the idea.
Seems like it would hold moisture. Next thing you know , your pillow is a wet sponge.

Mabey a liner would be the next step.

If your in a mummy bag you would proably not even notice the extra material.

I see that Jermey has the shell material. What is the material?

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by Rucksack (01/31/10 02:55 PM)
Edit Reason: Didnt notice jermey had shell material.

#127732 - 01/31/10 03:34 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
bigandbulky Offline

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2
Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
I have used the old fleece and stuff sac or just folded clothes but i find i almost always end up on my arm when i sleep. I have pretty much scrapped a pillow and lay on my stomach/side with my arm. I have also used the shoe thing too. Woke up with a hiking boot under my cheek.

#127736 - 01/31/10 05:11 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: Shrike]
DJ2 Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 1348
Loc: Seattle, WA
That was soooo coooooool!

3.5 ounces aint bad for such a nice pillow.

#127748 - 01/31/10 09:08 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3953
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I second the airline pillow. Mine has been in use for nearly 30 years and weighs 3.65 ounces. smile Its egg crate on the bottom. I like to put it on top of something else to give it about another inch or inch and a half of elevation.
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

#127790 - 02/01/10 06:03 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
BarryP Offline

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
My pillow cost about 50Ę. I went to a garage sale and found an open cell egg crate mat that is 1.5Ē thick. For my pillow I cut a 6Ēx14Ē rectangle. It weighs about 1.5oz. If I sleep on my back, I stuff it under --only-- the small of my neck, just for support. If I sleep on my side or stomach, I fold the rectangle in half. Yes, itís a small pillow, but it still does a good job of propping my head and allows a cush feel. When packed, itís about the size of a soda can.

For the pillow case, I just drape my car shammy over it. Thatís probably my most multi-use item in my pack that ends up being the same weight as my pillow.

I use the above on about 1/2 my trips. The other 1/2, I just fold my hiking clothes into the quilt/bag stuff sack and also drop my shammy over it for a nice feel. But I admit, itís not as cushy as open cell foam.

May everyone find their pillow zen smile

#127822 - 02/01/10 10:22 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: Shrike]
Boomer Offline

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 98
Loc: Minnesota,USA
shrike i dont know if its because we are both from minnesota or we both just have a great deal of sense. i use a swiss pillow too!!!!!
Modern civilized man, sated with artificialities and luxury, were wont, when he returns to the primeval mountains, to find among their caves his prehistoric brother, alive and unchanged. -Guido Rey

#127897 - 02/02/10 08:02 PM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: Shrike]
RogerB Offline

Registered: 05/04/09
Posts: 17
Loc: S. Chicago, IL
Very cool idea...

But think i will still keep with the tried and true rolled up sweater. This is still a good amount of space and every ounce adds up. My wife reminds me of that daily with "Its only a dollar"

#127932 - 02/03/10 01:26 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: Boomer]
Shrike Offline

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Minnesota
Boomer sorry to disappoint sorry I do not actually use the swiss pillow. smile I do think you are on to something with Minnesotan thing though. It does look very comfortable. Gotta hand it to him but Rucksack made a good observation (he is from Wisconsin smile ), so my question to you (boomer) is. Is moisture a factor? Seems like it would turn into one big sponge if it got wet.

#128744 - 02/13/10 08:22 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
Prospector Offline

Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 49
Loc: Myrtle Beach, SC
That is cool! I've got all the material I need to do this already. Thanks for the video. I'm gonna love this forum. For me, comfort is king when sleep is in question. A decent night's sleep allows me to wake up and appreciate where I am so so much more and gives me a spring in my step I don't have if sleep was a struggle.

#129010 - 02/17/10 07:39 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
JeremyDuncan Offline

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 26
Loc: Midwest
Here is the first thing I have done, so far. I bought a $2.50 pillow from Walmart and used it to make 3 of these.

I used one to sleep with at home for a couple nights and it's not too bad. A little to slippery. The material is non-ripstop nylon.

It is about 12x16 and weights a little over 6oz.

I sewed elastic bands into the seam, so I could fold it and half and roll it up. \

Rolls up to about the size of a Nalgene bottle.

I made 3 of them. I don't expect each one to last more than a few uses, but hopefully I will have something better by then. This was mostly for practice with a sewing machine.

I think my next pillow project will be to make a stuff sack that is ripstop on one side and this polyester material I have leftover from a quilt project on the other, so I can flip it inside out and stuff something soft in it (something I would have already brought. My poncho/tap maybe?).

#130958 - 03/19/10 09:33 AM Re: MYOG Pillow [Re: JeremyDuncan]
Redfacery Offline

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 82
Loc: NY
On the topic of airline pillows, I use an inflatable one- so it wasn't free, but it does weigh less, and it certainly packs smaller than anything else people have mentioned besides using clothing you already brought. Folds up to about 4" by 4" by .5"

Took me until about 5 minutes into the swiss pillow video to get that it was a reference to the cheese, not the military... laugh


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