When I drive long distances in one stint – say the 3.5 hours from my mountain house to the “big city” of Denver – my right foot gets fatigued and I feel dull pain radiating up my leg to my tush. Sometimes my lower back gets a bit sore, too. I stretch and flex while using cruise control as often as possible, but still, it’s not that much fun to drive even moderately long distances with such discomfort.

Enter the TravelLite Cushion by Lifeform for Relax the Back. I’ve used this during a couple of hours-long driving sessions and it absolutely helps relieve this “driver’s fatigue” in my lower body. Its memory foam conforms to my body, making it a very comfortable cushion on which to sit. But, perhaps more importantly, the cushion relieves pressure on my butt and the backs of my thighs, which improves circulation to legs and feet. Increased blood flow is a good thing in preventing aches and pains (not to mention swelling), for sure.

I found that as soon as I’d sit on the TravelLite Seat Cushion and take to the wheel, I’d sit up much (much!) straighter than I typically do without the cushion. It is ergonomically designed to correct the user’s pelvic angle so you’re sitting “properly” with no slouch. In fact ,when I sat with the cushion in the passenger seat and tried to fold myself pretzel-like to nap, it wasn’t that easy. The cushion wants you to sit erect.

Now, this cushion adds an additional two inches or so to your seated height, so I actually had to lower the driver’s seat a little bit since I felt so ridiculously tall when using it. You’ll certainly need to adjust the driver’s seat or mirrors when using this cushion, since it does mess with your typical line of sight and distance to the pedals.

This TravelLite Cushion has a removable insert you can take out if you have a sensitive tailbone; the cushion cover is also removable for ease of washing (by hand; I wouldn’t put it in the washing machine). While it’s not a smooth, soft cover by any means, I’ve sat on it with summer shorts (bare thighs) and not felt annoyed by the mildly nubby texture. The bottom is non-skid rubber; it definitely stays put when it’s on my driver’s seat.

For easy transport, the cushion comes with a built in handle. Because it’s easily portable, you can use it at sporting events, at your office desk, on an airplane… really, just about any hard(ish) surface where you might be seated for a while. That said, it’s 3 lbs and 20 x 19 x 2.5 inches, so you will attraction attention if you’re carrying it on your next plane flight (you can’t compress it into a small sack; I’ll stick to using it in my own private car).

Purchase the TravelLite Seat Cushion for $135 from RelaxTheBack.com; a backrest for lumbar support sells separately for $135, as well (both are 15% off right now). Sure, this is not an inexpensive pillow (I’ve seen cheaper and smaller gel and foam pillows for a fraction of the price), but if you do drive long distances regularly — or experience some lower back or leg pain when seated for a long time — this product could solve your problem.

Don’t miss a single review on Practical Travel Gear! Subscribe to the RSS feed.

Categorized in: