While traveling the world for the last 15 months, Griffin and I have had the “opportunity” to sleep in some interesting places. Hotels, hostels, people’s houses, airport chairs, buses, trains and just about any place else you can think of. Some places are great, others leave a lot to be desired. One thing you can always count on to be a factor in a good night’s sleep is your pillow.
I have rested my head on everything from plush amazingness, to a couch cushion, to nothing at all. A couple of months in, I was a little worried about the possible future pillows I might encounter, but I wasn’t thrilled at the thought of lugging around a giant pillow or fighting to stuff it into my bag every morning. So, I did some research on what other travelers suggest for the best travel pillow.
It didn’t take long to figure out that a down pillow is the way to go. Firstly, I love down stuff. If I could surround myself in down cushiness all the time, I totally would. It’s comfortable, it has a nice cooling affect and it’s lightweight. Additionally, a travel size feather pillow can fit almost anywhere. Believe me, if there is an inch of open space in my bag, I can force my travel pillow into it!
The best travel pillow I came across was from GooseFeet Gear, a one-man company that makes custom down gear including everything from down socks to pants to pretty much anything you want.
I got in touch with Ben, the main man over at GooseFeet to ask about his options for a travel pillow and he quickly gave me some great advice. This guy really knows his trade. He asked me all kinds of questions about how I sleep and what I like in terms of firmness and loft in pillows, etc. By the time he was putting my pillow together, (and Griffin’s, who had to have one as well), I was getting pretty excited about it. Ben actually makes all his products by hand and to order. You can’t beat that!
The pillow was perfect! I chose a black color so as not to show much dirt and Ben chose a rip-stop material to make sure it was durable. The first thing I did was spend some time squishing the pillow down and checking to see how long it took to regain its shape. Then I practiced stuffing it into the smallest spaces I could find and then taking it out and shaking it back to its original form. The pillow passed every test I could throw at it, so I thought it was time for the ultimate test, sleeping. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, my hostel-provided pillow granted me a great opportunity as it was basically a rock with a pillowcase. I whipped out my down travel pillow and was ready to go. I woke up the next morning and decided Ben had done me a huge favor. The thing slept great and I woke up feeling refreshed, without the sore neck I knew would await me with the cotton rock I would have been sleeping on.
From that point on, the pillow has stayed with me on planes, trains, buses, cars, etc. I just shove it into my day pack and I’m ready to dream. It adds no weight to my bag, which is ideal, it’s withstood everything I can throw at it, and grants me the ability to sleep on those rocky overnight trains.
If you’re a traveler looking for lightweight, durable, stuffable pillow, GooseFeet Gear is the place to shop. If you’re like me and your idea of heaven has down clouds, just drop Ben a line and he can hook you up with pretty much anything you want! Don’t sleep on this advice… just get the pillow.