How to Make Sleeping Bag Pillows for Camping

How to Make Sleeping Bag Pillows for Camping

Every time an individual goes camping, the primary reason is to get away from the daily routines, and instead enjoy the wild. Camping has been shown to be beneficial to the mind, body and soul. Considering that most people only spare a couple of days to go camping, minimalist packing is of the essence. And although this is a good thing, many often forget to account for their comfort during camping trips.

Hunting for food and pitching a tent for shelter are crucial activities. But so is finding the ideal place to rest your head. Instead of stuffing some dirty linen in a case to improvise a pillow or using a log as your pillow for an entire night, you should get acquainted with making sleeping bag pillows. There are many benefits of sleeping bag pillows. They’re lightweight, comfortable and compact, which means that they won’t take up too much space in your camping gear. Here is a quick guide on how to make this pillow.

Making a Sleeping Bag Pillow

Step 1: Collecting materials

Making a simple camping pillow shouldn’t cost you that much. The only materials you’ll need are:

  • Leather strap
  • Ziplock gallon bag
  • Soft shell fleece
  • Polyurethane foam

If you can’t access polyurethane foam you can use your old mattress pad. As for the tools, you’ll need iron, aluminium foil, fabric sheers and tape.

Step 2: Cutting the foam

Once you have all the materials ready, you can get down to the main activity. Start by cutting out two sides of the polyurethane foam. Ensure that you cut out nicely so that it forms a good cushion.

Step 3: Filling the bag

The next step is to put the pre-cut foam inside your ziplock bag. At this point, you will also have to make holes in the bag to allow for deflation.

Step 4: Ironing the bag shut

Ideally, ironing the stuffed bag makes it easy to seal it. Before doing so, create a foil sleeve on the section you intend to iron. This prevents you from ruining the iron.

Step 5: Sewing the pillow case

Just because it’s a do-it-yourself made pillow doesn’t get you off the hook from making a high-quality camping pillow. After all, you’ll use it for many camping trips in future. One thing that will determine how good and effective your pillow is, is the case. Advisably, you should cut out a nice pattern before sewing it up. Sew the two pieces of fabric while they’re facing each other. Afterward, turn the inside section out and put the foam bag inside this case. Finish by making an outside seam to close the contents.

Other than making your own pillows, there are other tips that can really help when you go camping. Adventure Gears Lab Editor Ashley Casey recommends these type of camping hacks to make your camping experience easier.

Now, if you’re still doubtful about making your own sleeping bag pillow, then consider the following benefits.

Benefits of Sleeping Bag Pillows

For some unknown reason, campers don’t pay much attention to their sleep system. This shouldn’t be the case when you’d spend only a few minutes making one that is light-weight and comfy. But is it worth going through all the trouble of making such sleeping bag pillows?

To create a home away from home

There are those who go for camping, not so much because they love having their survival instincts tested but because they want to relax. If you fall into this category, you will appreciate the comfort that a sleeping bag pillow offers. Without this pillow, you’ll find yourself waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to adjust the position of your improvised “pillow”. Sleeping bag pillows let you sleep as soundly as you would if you were home.


As mentioned earlier, many campers are conscious about the amount of luggage they take. Some of the essentials you need to take with you are tents, sleeping bags, lantern, ropes, maps and warm clothing. If you plan to camp for longer, you also need to carry a few cooking equipment.

With all these items, a pillow is probably the last thing you’d consider carrying. It is why our self-made sleeping bag is not only comfortable but also pretty compact. This way, it won’t take too much space. Check this ultimate camping gear guide.

Improve your sleep

Converting your duffel bag into a pillow might be a clever idea but it’s not the best option for your health. You’re likely to wake up with a stiff neck and sore shoulders. If this happens, you’ll have to either terminate your trip or carry on with your camping activities while in an unhealthy state. If you don’t want your camping expedition to be cut short because of neck pain, remember to carry a sleeping bag pillow on your next trip.

The Bottom Line

High-quality camping pillows can be quite expensive. But you don’t have to compromise your comfort just because you have a limited budget. You can make your own pillow, which you can use with your sleeping bag. Just get a ziplock gallon bag, polyurethane foam, fabric sheers and follow the steps highlighted in our guide. In addition to being cost-effective, such a pillow ensures that you enjoy a good sleep all night long. Take a look at this cool camping gear site.

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