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LuxuryLite Travel Pillow Field Report - Pam

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  • pamwyant
    For edit: LuxuryLite Travel Pillow Field Report HTML version here: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LuxuryLite%
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 27, 2005
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      For edit:

      LuxuryLite Travel Pillow Field Report

      HTML version here:


      or here:


      Field Report: LuxuryLite Travel Pillow
      Date: November 27, 2005

      Tester Information:

      Name: Pam Wyant
      Age: 48
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
      Weight: 165 lb (77 kg)
      E-mail address: pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
      Location: Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background:
      Last year I finally acted on a long time interest in backpacking,
      starting out slowly by day hiking, researching backpacking products
      and techniques, purchasing gear, and doing a few overnight trips,
      including one solo. This year I took several two night trips in
      addition to some overnights, and I hope to do a longer trip in the
      spring. I hike and backpack mainly in the hills and valleys of West
      Virginia, and use a hammock sleeping system. For a two-day trip my
      typical pack weighs 22-30 lb (10-14 kg) including consumables, and
      I'm striving to lighten that a bit.

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: LuxuryLite
      Year of manufacture: 2005
      Date of Delivery: September 17, 2005
      Listed weight: less than 4 oz (113 g)
      Weight as delivered: 3.9 oz (111 g)
      Listed Dimensions: 19 in x 15 in (48 cm x 38 cm)
      Dimensions as delivered: 18 in x 14 in (46 cm x 36 cm)
      Color: Black
      Manufacturer Website: http://www.luxurylite.com
      MSRP: $39.00 US

      Fabric cover (measured weight: 1.7 oz or 48 g)
      Foam Insert (measured weight: 1.7 oz or 48 g)
      Inflatable plastic insert (measured weight: 0.5 oz or 14 g)
      Inflation straw (measured weight less than 0.1 oz or 3 g)

      Light weight
      Packs small
      Two layer internal structure (foam and air bag)
      Fits inside mummy bag hood (verified by tester)
      Inflates up to 6 in (15 cm) high (per manufacturer)
      Non allergenic
      Breathable cover
      Inflate and deflate with ordinary soda straw

      (Photo - LuxuryLite in hammock)

      The LuxuryLite travel pillow consists of a black fabric cover with a
      short opening in the center of one of the long sides, a 3/4 in (2
      cm) thick foam insert, and a plastic air bag. The pillow shipped
      with a bright pink straw for inflating the air bag. Inflating the
      pillow is simple - just unsnap the opening, pull out the valve of
      the air bag, insert the straw, and blow the air bag up to the
      desired level. For a detailed description of the components,
      packaging, and instructions, please see my Initial Report.

      Field Information

      The LuxuryLite Travel Pillow has been used in a hammock and on a
      camp cot with a 2.5 in (6 cm) thick mattress, at elevations from 550
      to over 4000 feet (150 to over 1200 meters). Sleeping temperatures
      ranged from a low of 24F (-4C) to 70F (21C), and conditions included
      a variety of weather, detailed below by use. Pack weight varied
      between 22-30 lb (10-14 kg).


      My first test of the LuxuryLite travel pillow was in a screened half-
      cabin on a camp cot at Girl Scout camp, with weather conditions
      being dry and temperate at around 55-70 F (13-21 C) over a two night
      period. I found the pillow very easy to inflate and use. I
      immediately found out it is definitely best not to over inflate the
      pillow, and the 2 in (5 cm) height suggested by the manufacturer
      truly seems to be the most comfortable inflation level. At this
      level, the pillow has enough air to properly support my head and
      neck, and cradles my head in a manner similar to the compression
      level I normally experience with a fiberfill pillow. I normally
      toss and turn a lot before going to sleep and continue to move
      around some during the night, and I found the crinkly noise made by
      the air bag rather annoying. My bunkmates mentioned they could also
      hear the crinkly noise, but were able to go to sleep without
      complaining it was keeping them awake, so I concluded it must not
      sound quite as loud to them as it did to me.

      (Photo - Condensation on air bag insert)

      My next use of the LuxuryLite Travel Pillow was on a combination
      trip, with the first night being spent in a rustic lodge on a camp
      cot, and the second night being spent out on the trail in my
      hammock. Temperatures in the lodge dropped during the night to
      around 50 F (10 C) and on the trail to around 40 F (4 C). The
      pillow continued to sound very crinkly, but in spite of the noise
      felt very comfortable both in the cot and in the hammock. I did
      find the pillow has a tendency to move away from my head during the
      night, sliding toward the top of the cot or hammock. To my concern,
      I experienced some condensation on the outside of the air bag and in
      the foam insert during the second night, but it easily wiped away
      and dried out quickly.

      Two weekends later, the LuxuryLite Travel Pillow joined me on a two-
      night group backpacking trip in the Cranberry Wilderness. Overnight
      temperatures dropped to around 32 F (0 C), and conditions were dry
      both nights, with the first night being calm and still and the
      second breezy. On both nights, I again experienced condensation on
      the outside of the air bag and on the foam insert, which I was able
      to wipe off with a bandanna and the pillow dried completely before
      the end of each day, in spite of being buried down inside my pack I
      found using the pillow in my hammock a bit of a mixed experience -
      it added welcome additional insulation under my head, but when my
      head invariably slid off it during the night, it sat annoyingly on
      the top of my head until I woke up enough to realign it.

      The next weekend, I was back to using the pillow on a camp cot,
      sleeping in a platform tent. Conditions over the weekend were wet
      and humid, with rain most of the first night and second day.
      Temperatures the first night were moderate at around 50 F (10 C) and
      I noted minor condensation on the foam and outside of the air bag
      once more. Temperatures the second night dropped to around 35 F (2
      C), and for the first time, I noted condensation inside the air bag
      as well as on the outside. This concerned me, because I wasn't sure
      I could get the inside of the air bag to dry out since the air valve
      has only a small opening. Once I got the pillow home, I gave the
      matter some thought, and decided to insert the straw in the valve to
      keep it open and place the open valve in front of a small fan to try
      to get the air to circulate inside the air bag and dry it out. I
      had my doubts that this would work, but to my surprise the interior
      dried out in a couple of hours and I happily packed the pillow away.

      (Photo - Frozen Condensation)

      A couple of weekends later, I experienced my first sub-freezing
      temperatures using the LuxuryLite Travel Pillow in my hammock on a
      two night backpacking trip. The first night was chilling at 24 F (-
      4 C), but calm with almost no wind, and with some extra insulation
      under my hammock, I slept warm and toasty. The pillow does serve as
      extra insulation, allowing my short RidgeRest foam pad to be used
      under my torso and more of my legs for extra warmth. I again
      experienced condensation both inside and outside of the pillow,
      which turned to frozen ice once I left my hammock. The amount of
      condensation was relatively small though and did not affect my
      ability to pack or store the pillow. During this trip, for the
      first time, the air bag began losing air, and was flat by morning on
      both days. I found the foam insert makes a reasonable pillow by
      itself in a hammock, especially when it's folded in half. The
      second night started out about 32 F (0 C) and breezy, but warmed up
      to around 50 F (10 C) by morning. I experienced less condensation
      that night, probably due to the breeze and warmer temperatures.

      Carrying and Storing

      I've experimented with a few ways of carrying and storing the pillow
      on backpacking trips, and I've sort of settled into a routine I find
      works well for me. When I'm getting ready to leave for my trip, I
      pack the deflated assembled pillow with the straw tucked inside the
      cover in a large waterproof stuff sack with my sleeping bag and
      hammock underpaid at the bottom of my backpack. I just cram it into
      the top, and it takes up very little space. If the pillow develops
      condensation overnight, the next morning I pack it outside the
      waterproof stuff sack, loose, near the middle of my pack. The
      pillow easily conforms around oddly shaped objects like my cook set
      or toiletry items and compresses well. I leave the straw stored
      inside it all the time, even when sleeping, between the foam insert
      and the air bag. I've found it isn't even noticeable at night due
      to the padding provided by the foam. The straw has taken a bit of a
      beating from being stored this way, flattening out to some extent,
      and developing a lot of crinkles, but so far has remained
      serviceable with no holes. Storing it this way means it's always
      easy to find, and always with me, so I consider a few crinkles a
      good trade-off.

      Field Test Findings

      (Photo - Opening Slit)

      With the air bag seeming to have developed a slow leak that causes
      it to deflate overnight, I will be contacting the manufacturer for
      replacement under the lifetime warranty for the air bag. So far the
      cover still looks like new, the foam remains intact, and I have not
      noticed any flattening or permanent compression. I have not yet had
      to wash the pillow, and it hasn't developed any odor or stains. The
      components of the pillow remain in place well during the night -
      neither the air bladder nor the foam seem to shirt inside the cover.

      The pillow is comfortable while sleeping on a cot or in my hammock,
      in any sleeping position (side, back, or stomach), although it does
      sometimes slide a bit and move out from under my head, requiring re-
      adjustment. When I curl an arm under the pillow, it's comfortable
      and not sticky or hot, which was an early concern I had. About 2 in
      (5 cm) of inflation seems the most comfortable level.
      I've found the light weight and compressibility of the pillow a plus
      for both backpacking and camping trips, allowing me to save space
      and still pack a good sized pillow. Having to blow the pillow up
      each night is a minor nuisance, but doing so has become just one
      more camp chore that needs done. It's certainly easier than a lot
      of other chores such as filtering water or digging catholes. The
      crinkly noise remains annoying, and it is one thing I would like to
      see improved about the pillow. I would also like to see the opening
      made larger, which would allow insertion of extra clothing, since
      the current opening is too small to easily insert or remove clothing
      during the night. This would be particularly useful during cold
      nights, when I could stuff a jacket and/or fleece pants inside to
      keep them accessible during the night and warm when I want to put
      them on the next morning. It would also serve to allow a puffier
      pillow if the event the air bag fails again.

      Test Plan

      Over the remaining test period, I plan to test the LuxuryLite Travel
      Pillow at least twice more in my hammock, at anticipated
      temperatures of 20 F (-7 C) to 40 F (4 C) at elevations that may
      range from 550 to over 4000 feet (150 to over 1200 meters). I'm not
      experienced in winter camping, so I don't plan to test on weekends
      that have the potential to fall much below 20 F (-7 C), but hope to
      get at least one more backpacking trip in before the end of the test
      period. If weather conditions don't permit, I'll be testing the
      pillow at least a couple of times in my back yard for further
      analysis. Weather conditions may range from temperate to rain, or
      even snow. My pack weight will likely vary between 22-30 lb (10-14
      kg) if a backpacking trip is possible.

      I'll continue to monitor durability, performance, and comfort. It's
      likely I will have to replace the straw, and I'm curious if a
      standard straw will prove as durable as the original. I'll try
      inflating and deflating the pillow with a hydration system drinking
      tube to see if it could provide an adequate substitute for a straw.
      I'll also try soaking the pillow to see how quickly it will dry, and
      try washing both the cover and the foam insert. I'll continue to
      observe the interior of the air bladder to see if condensation
      becomes an increasing problem at cold temperatures, and whether mold
      or mildew develop.

      Finally, I"ll be describing how my current warranty issue of the
      deflating air bag is handled.

      Likes so far –
      Compressible and easily packed
      Light weight

      Concerns so far –
      Crinkly noise when using
      Condensation sometimes develops inside (and outside) the air bladder
      Failure of the air bag to remain inflated during my last trip

      Thanks to LuxuryLite and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to
      test the Travel Pillow.
    • Alex Tweedly
      Pam - this is the edit on your FR for the LuxuryLite Travel Pillow. Couple of tiny typos only. ... edit: shift ... edit: in the event (in not if) -- Alex
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 1, 2005
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        Pam - this is the edit on your FR for the LuxuryLite Travel Pillow.

        Couple of tiny typos only.

        pamwyant wrote:

        >Field Report: LuxuryLite Travel Pillow
        >Date: November 27, 2005
        >Tester Information:
        >Name: Pam Wyant
        >components of the pillow remain in place well during the night -
        >neither the air bladder nor the foam seem to shirt inside the cover.
        edit: shift

        >This would be particularly useful during cold
        >nights, when I could stuff a jacket and/or fleece pants inside to
        >keep them accessible during the night and warm when I want to put
        >them on the next morning. It would also serve to allow a puffier
        >pillow if the event the air bag fails again.
        edit: "in the event" (in not if)

        Alex Tweedly http://www.tweedly.net

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      • pamwyant
        Thanks for the edits Alex. I ve corrected the typos and will upload as soon as we are given the go ahead to start uploading again. Pam
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 1, 2005
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          Thanks for the edits Alex. I've corrected the typos and will upload
          as soon as we are given the go ahead to start uploading again.

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