Valveless inflatable UL pillow

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by tom, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    We bought two "AntiGravityGear Flex Air Ultralight" pillows (at 27gram) some years ago which didn't convince as they lost a little too much air overnight. But the idea of a minimalist valveless pillow substitute appealed in the context of this year's project to get better sleep comfort without significant weight penalty. As a side sleeper, a pillow was high on my list...

    I tried a few things that failed but eventually thought of foil balloons (the ones designed for helium) which are designed on the same principle as the AntiGravityGear pillows. They do hold air pressure very well but comfort was a problem with the various coverings I tried (buff, pillow cases etc). Then I hit the jackpot with simply inserting the balloon into my quilt or sleeping bag silnylon stuff bag - bingo! To inflate and deflate, I use a tube that came with the AntiGravityGear pillows.



    Field tested in Italy recently - maintained full air pressure throughout till morning at sub-zero temps. Weight varies between 9 and 10 grams so taking a spare is feasible. But they are surprisingly robust - the weak spot is the tube insertion but if done gently, no signs of wear: my first test balloon is still very much alive in spite of much abuse.
    Meadows, Mole and el manana like this.
  2. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker


    The endless quest for a UL pillow that stands the test of time.
  3. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

  4. Meadows

    Meadows Ultralighter

    Nice idea.
    How do you seal the opening?
  5. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    We get some A4 sized ziplocs at work sometimes with IT kit, I've always thought they'd make good pillows
  6. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    They are self-sealing - same principle as the AGG flex air - the material of the inner tube sticks together when you pull out the straw used to inflate or deflate. The foil seems to seal better than the thicker plastic in the AGG pillow - but probably also more fragile through I haven't managed to damage one yet.
    Meadows likes this.
  7. tom

    tom Ultralighter

    Interesting - we get these on the farmers market here but I never tried to inflate them. Is the seal strong enough to hold the added weight pressure of head and movements?
  8. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Now of course if anyone wants a Flexair.... I have a few knocking around...
    Last edited: May 13, 2017

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