Gear Review: Sea to Summit
Why would I even need a hiking pillow?
Similarly to many other hikers, I try to go as light as possible within my means. I am very far from ultra-light but I’m getting close to a comfortable lightweight hiking. One of the easiest way (and cheapest!) to cut on weight is to simply leave some stuff at home. I tried to be strict as possible, so for the past years, I didn’t have a separate pillow. Like many other campers, I just pulled some clothes into a dry bag and used it as a pillow, as you can on the photo below:
But before my January trip to Greece, I decided to allow myself a bit of luxury and comfort. I was tired of constant neck pain and issues with my back. I’m not a young and fresh gal, after all, I needed to take more care of myself!
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Which hiking pillow to choose?
The decision wasn’t easy, because the backpacking pillows are also pretty pricey. I need to be very careful with spending as I’m on a modest salary. I’ve read a lot of reviews to help me make the decision.
In the end, I decided to get the Sea to Summit’s Aeros Pillow Premium. And I’m glad I did.
When the parcel arrived I couldn’t believe the size and weight of this thing. Packed in its tiny string-drawn baggy it felt feather-light.
When I tried to inflate it, I was actually confused at first, expecting the more traditional kinds of valves where you have to be careful not to lose any air when screwing the top on or in between the exhales.
This valve is different – you don’t have to worry at all about accidental deflation. Three blows or so and it’s done – if the pillow feels too firm, you just press a tiny button in the middle to let some air out.
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium: The Comfort of use
The pillow’s surface is made of a pleasant velvet-like fabric which feels very comfortable to the skin. It felt like a real pillow, comfortable and delicate against my cheeks.
Relating the most important issue – the comfort of sleep – I loved it. I am the kind of person who hates sleeping on huge pillows, I just use one small pillow to fit under my neck (I can’t have anything under my shoulders). This pillow is just the perfect size for me but it could be a bit too small to some.
The shape of this pillow cradles my head perfectly, no matter if I sleep on my back or on my side.
I found it really comfortable and finally was waking up with no neck pain or strain of any kind. YAY!
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium: The Downsides
For this trip, I took my new custom-made sleeping bag which has no hood. Because of it, my pillow was sliding off the mattress (too short, btw). I had to add a food bag at the end of it to stop it from falling. I’m guessing that if it was inside a hood it would stay put perfectly.
I think it would be nice if there were some sticky (silicone-like) stripes to help keep the pillow in one place on slippery surfaces like sleeping pads.
- After a while I noticed some pilling - but it does not seem to be a big issue.
- The price is somewhat steep (at least too me) but the benefits definitely outweigh it.
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium: Versatility
I used the pillow also when traveling – it worked wonderfully when I was trying to catch some sleep on the board of a ferry from mainland Greece to Crete and back. It’s so tiny it can fit with no problems in any carry-on bag.
I actually hope to buy another one. Why? Because I need one for my knees. At home I sleep with a long body pillow and it helps when I sleep on my side. A pillow between your knees can help with back pain and strain.
I thought of it as a total no-no item, but now that I know how tiny and light this pillow is - why not help my back a bit?
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium: Care
You can actually wash it in your washing machine! Isn’t that awesome? Just remember to close the valve shut before you throw it in.
Packing it back into its stuff sack was painless and easy.
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium: Conclusion
4.7/5 - Tiny, light, comfortable, and can be machine washed, but a bit pricey.