Klymit Inflatable Pillow X Review

Klymit Pillow X
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I recently got the Klymit inflatable Pillow X as part of my Cairn of the month club shipment. This is a welcome addition to my outdoor and hiking setup since I’m constantly napping in random places and using bunched up t-shirts as pillows. The concept of an X shaped pillow really intrigued me because normal tube shape inflatable pillows are just awful to sleep on.


Klymit Pillow X Features

Weight – I’m a big fan of ultra light hiking, my pack for a week or longer weighs less than 20 lbs. That’s a large part of the reason I normally use extra clothing as pillows. The Pillow X weighs only 2 oz. – to put that into perspective, a Pop-Tart pack weights 3.6 oz.

X Shape – The X shape is one of the main features and selling points for the pillow. It is said to center your head, but what it also does is provide all sorts of sleeping options. More on this later in the usage section.

Size – The pillow is so small once rolled up, barely 2 inches by 3 inches. It’s a little tricky to fully deflate but you can fit it back in the bag with a little wiggle action.

Klymit Pillow X Usage

I had the perfect test weekend for the Pillow X – a long drive to upstate NY, a camping trip, and 20 mile run followed by car nap. Although my camping trip was in my pop-up camper this time I still appreciate the weight and size of the Klymit Pillow X.

After driving for a few hours my fiancé and I decided to stop for some Mexican food and mid day margaritas near our campsite. This was all fun and games until it was 3pm and we were both looking for a nap. Immediately instead of unpacking our full pillows I whipped out the Klymit Pillow X gave it a few tired breaths and filled it up. Fast-forward and hour or so and I’m waking up feeling rested but not fully sold on the pillow. This wasn’t the best test but it was a start.


Coming to nightfall here was the test – would this pillow beat out or be close to the comfort of my camper travel pillow? The quick answer is no, a full size pillow is way more comfortable. But I did learn there are some great benefits to the X shape. I’m usually a side sleeper and the X shape allows you to have your ear in the center gap without it getting squished like most tube shape pillows would do. I was also able to slide my hand underneath the pillow into the grooves without much discomfort; I normally do similar for full size pillows.


The final in the wild testing I did was on my drive home. I decided to go for a noon time summer run before driving home and I knew this would not happen without a solid rest stop nap. I personally think this is where the pillow really comes up big. I inflated it a little less than I would for flat surfacing sleeping which allowed me to have it cradle my head even more as I put the pillow between the door and the back/slide of my seat. Slept like a baby, the quiet kind, and woke up without a crick in my neck.

Klymit Pillow X Conclusion

Here’s the thing, this pillow isn’t the solution to all of your sleeping needs for daily life. But this pillow is an extremely versatile addition to your travel sleeping needs. I know I’ll be leaving the current one I own in my car since I do go on a lot of random long trips that involve highway naps, and I’ll likely get a second for my ultra-light camping setup as one of my few luxuries. However I will never use this when there is a normal pillow within reach – soft fluffy pillows can’t be beat by inflatables – but you knew this coming in. Go buy one of these for sleeping on the go.


Additional Notes

This pillow takes more than two breaths to inflate and your first time inflating takes a little more effort than subsequent inflations.

Do not inflate all the way unless you like an extremely firm pillow.


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Dario is a long time distance runner and OCR athlete. When not on the roads and trails logging miles he can be found drinking coffee while reading bad science fiction books.
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