One of the biggest challenges when my family goes camping is space. Everything takes up room, and it’s astonishing how quickly even seemingly small things can add up to a vehicle stuffed with stuff, and then some. We’re able to manage somewhat thanks to a reasonably large vehicle and a rooftop cargo carrier, but every camping trip is still like playing a real-life game of Tetris.
Pillows are a particular pain. A regular pillow takes up a lot of physical space and is not as easy to condense as one might think, despite the fact that there’s a lot of air among the fluff. We often stuff our pillows in the rooftop carrier but it takes time and energy, and takes away space for other things.
Aldi, it seems, has a solution.
The Adventuridge Self-Inflating Pillow, which retails for $6.99, usually comes out as part of Aldi’s Special Buy camping line. It comes in a small drawstring carrying case. According to the instructions, it is suitable for people up to 176.4 pounds. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
Once removed from the case, the pillow is held in place by two straps that themselves are attached to the pillow. To use, you simply remove the elastic straps, unfurl the pillow, and then unscrew the valve, which then allows air to begin flowing into the pillow. The instructions advise inflating the pillow fully by mouth prior to first use, in order to make sure the filling can expand completely. Either way, you can screw the valve closed to keep the air in.
From there, you’ve got a couple of options. One, you can simply use the pillow as a pillow. In this position the pillow has rubber ridges on the bottom to keep from sliding, which is helpful. Comfort-wise, it’s not quite the same as a regular pillow, in part because it’s a ridged pillow rather than one big thing like you’re probably used to in a standard pillow. I found that it was okay lying on my back, but I found it less comfortable when on my side and especially on my stomach. Running the ridges vertical (going the same direction as your body) helps.
The pillow can also be converted to a bolster, which is a thicker pillow. This is done by way of a zipper that connects one end of the pillow to the other. Whether you prefer the bolster to the standard pillow position is a matter of taste; my wife prefers the bolster position, and I liked this bolster position when sleeping on my stomach. Regardless, you’ve got options.
One other tip: in either position, I found the pillow is more comfortable if you put a pillow case over the pillow.
To close the pillow, you unscrew the valve, slowly roll up the pillow toward the valve, close the valve, then use the straps to hold the thing in place. I had no trouble fitting the pillow back in the carrying case after use.
The Adventuridge Self-Inflating Pillow is a compact, easy-to-use option for campers and other people working with limited space. It’s not as comfortable as a traditional pillow, but it will get the job done if you need it. It feels pretty durable, but be mindful of the weight restrictions. The 2-year warranty is a nice extra.