Saturday, March 6, 2010

Best Neck Support Travel Pillow: Review

Getting up with a neck creak after a redeye flight a few hours before an important meeting is not a good way to start a business trip. As many of us have experienced, bringing along just any neck or support travel pillow does not always work, and many reviews complain about the poor comfort of many models. 

When looking for a travel pillow, we look for a specific set of important attributes:
  • Small weight and volume: by now most of us only use carry-ons, and we are very limited in both size and weight. This really implies that a travel pillow needs to be inflatable and stow, deflated, in a very small volume.
  • Comfort: otherwise why carry it?
  • Good surface feel: raw plastic is a terrible surface to sleep on. Conversely, too plush a surface often makes a pillow too warm in a plane where temperature adjustment is not often possible.
  • Adjustable inflation: making the pillow just right for your anatomy and the space available is critical to actually being able to sleep well and comfortably
  • Longevity and reliability: travel gear sites are riddled with reviews complaining about leaking inflatable pillows.
 While there is significant choice in inflatable pillows, a thorough review of all pillows available online uncovers numerous complaints for most: unreliability, lack of comfort, surface too soft or too harsh... There is one model, however, with a very solid set of numerous positive reviews, and which satisfies all of our critical criteria: the Air Comfort Pillow, by Lewis N Clark, available on Amazon, is the Best Travel Pillow available online, and a very good choice. This pillow is listed by Lewis N Clark on its web site as the 520-Adjustable Neck Pillow, but is typically not found under this name on distributors' web sites. 

Be careful, however, when purchasing, as there are numerous models available from Lewis N Clark, with almost the same name, which are not comparable. The best way is to identify the model by its characteristic picture, which includes a large inflatable valve (see above). As a note, Magellan's On Air Comfort Pillow appears, from the picture, to be the same item. Magellan is an excellent online retailer of travel gear with a good user community of product reviews, and typically carries good merchandise.

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