Not too long ago, I raved about Grand Trunk’s Bamboo Sleep Sack and Tim reviewed their family tent. Now I’m back with Grand Trunk’s Hooded Blackout Pillow. I said it last time and I’ll say it again: I love the Grand Trunk philosophy of adventurous exploration and practical solutions to make said adventures more fun and, frankly, more comfortable.
The Hooded Sleep Pillow is designed for long car, plane, and bus trips, but we used it for another purpose as well (three cheers for double-duty gear!). More on that in a minute, but first, here’s how it works: travelers pull the compressed u-shaped pillow out of its stuff sack, put it around their neck like a standard travel neck pillow, and then put the attached blackout hood over their head, adjusting with the drawstring to tighten as needed over eyes for some serious shut-eye on the go.
My kids used the pillow for precisely this purpose while on a long road trip last month, but I grabbed it from the car for an overnight in our camping tent on impulse and never looked back. I love using this pillow for camping and backpacking! I’m actually surprised the Grand Trunk folks don’t list backpacking as a use for the pillow on their site: the included stuff sack makes it easy to bring along (though yes, smaller backpacking pillows are out there), and the blackout hood does double duty as either a regular hood to keep your head and ears warm on cold nights or as a blackout for your eyes (I always wake at dawn while backpacking because the sun wakes me before I’d like).
The shape of the pillow (which is lovely memory foam) is just as comfortable while resting it on the ground as it is to use while sitting, and it’s much more substantial than other backpacking pillows. It felt downright luxurious to use it on a multi-day pack in July. The weight is 16 oz, so no, this won’t work for extreme backpackers reducing every ounce, but for the less hard-core, give it a try! The stuff sack is washable, and you can remove the memory foam insert and wash the outside too.
Whether you use the hooded pillow for road or air travel or as a camping and backpacking pillow, it’s a nice travel accessory to have in your arsenal for $39. Pick it up at Grand Trunk, or look for it at Amazon for the same price.