Shoulder support and a stuff bag, but this time-saver is a bit of a letdown
Price as reviewed: £15
With self-inflating mattresses for camping now common but necessarily snubbed by anyone other than drivers, it was only a matter of time before the same happened to pillows. Is this the little bit of luxury any hiker can carry?
Slow to inflate
It might seem like a treat, but the Vango DLX self-inflating pillow is a bit of a letdown. It uses not batteries nor external devices to inflate, relying only on a vale than sucks in air, but it does so very slowly. After three minutes of waiting we decided to intervene and give it a helping hand – and a lung full of air later, it’s up.
Even when it’s pumped up the Vango DLX self-inflating pillow is pretty shallow; it’s of a concave shape with a dip in between two ridges designed to support shoulders as well as head.
Soft & comfortable
The 38x34cm Vango DLX self-inflating pillow is pretty comfortable for those that sleep on their back, and it’s made from a soft fabric. However, that softness comes at the price of weight – even in its accompanying drawstring stuff sack it’s not much smaller than a lightweight sleeping bag.
Too big for hiking
Our biggest criticism of the Vango DLX self-inflating pillow is that we’re not sure who it’s for. Too big for ultra-lightweight travel and hiking, we’re also mindful that most campers with cars will take their own pillows.
Add a less-than-effective self-inflating feature and the Vango DLX self-inflating pillow is disappointing.
Better as a seat?
However, right at the death of this review we did find a cracking use for the Vango DLX self-inflating pillow; while out stargazing we used it first for sitting on (the concave shape is pretty comfy) and later on for kneeling on while looking through a telescope. We’re not sure Vango planned it that way, but the Vango DLX self-inflating pillow might find universal appeal among astronomers.