Who makes a better camp pillow—Nemo or Exped? The winner, apparently, is Nemo.
While video-blogging with sales reps from both companies at the Midwest Mountaineering Spring Expo, in Minnesota, a couple of weeks back, they each had a chance to highlight their pillow's best features. Then, we let the audience decide, via social media. The Nemo Fillo received 34 votes and the Exped Downpillow L received 29.
The two styles have many similarities. Both were inflatable, allowing them to be lighter and firmer than synthetic- or down-filled pillows. However, inflatables are also known to be the least comfortable, with an irritating squeaky/scrunchy noise when you move your head side-to-side.
Nemo is a hybrid, having a stuffed top and inflatable bottom, and still packs away nicely. The material covering the bladder can also be removed and washed (good for excess drool stains)—but the Exped has these features too. The Exped packs down smaller and also has a flat valve system unlike the Nemo, adding less of a chance of breakage. It also has cozy down-filling added to the upper portion.
If they’re so similar, then why did Nemo win? It was the integrated stuff sack. Air-filled pillows can be stored in a stuff sack, taking up little room in your pack. Exped’s stuff sack is separate from the pillow. Nemo's is attached to it. Campers seem to prefer that for some reason and this bumped up the number of votes enough to make it the winner.
Of course, you could just stuff your spare clothes into your sleeping bag sack and save yourself $50.