Comfort comes in a small package with the Forclaz MT500, Inflatable Backpacking Travel Pillow!
“Before this pillow, I had always camped using bunched-up clothes or nothing at all, but this little travel pillow is a game changer!”
After several nights under the stars and even a few on planes and trains. We wanted to take you through the features of this small but comfortable pillow and give our honest review.
- Weight: 6oz ( 170 grams)
- Size packed: 15cm x 10cm
- Volume packed: 0.7L
- Size inflated: 35cm x 24.5cm x 7cm
- Construction inflatable: 50% Polyester cationic, 50% Thermoplastic polyurethane
- Construction Cover: 100% Lyocell
What We Loved
- The cover can be removed
- Easy to inflate/deflate
- Adjustable comfort (with air pressure)
What We Didn´t Love
- It was slippy on our camping mattress
Inflating And Deflating The Forclaz MT500, Inflatable Backpacking Travel Pillow
The process of inflating and deflating this pillow could not be more simple!
You do not need pumps to inflate this pillow
Simply remove the pillow from the handy carry sack, remove the red valve cap, and breathe into the red valve, located at the end of the pillow.
Inflating the pillow to a comfortable pressure should only take 2-3 breaths. Once inflated, close the valve cap and enjoy a good sleep.
The red inflation valve is fitted with a non-return function. This means that air will rush back at you between breaths
This whole process takes less than 20 seconds!
To deflate and pack away this pillow, open the red valve cap and press the red button in the middle of the valve.
Once the initial pressure has been released, squeeze the pillow whilst pressing the button to remove all air.
Place the valve cap back on then fold the pillow and pack it back into the carry sack
I found the Forclaz MT500, Inflatable Backpacking Travel Pillow to be comfortable and practical for a good night’s sleep not only in the backcountry but for general traveling too!
I have started to take it in my backpack when I am flying or generally traveling on public transport. There’s always an opportunity for a good snooze!
When I first used the pillow I tended to pump it up as hard as I could but that is way too hard. I now find that 1.5 to 2 breaths are the perfect amount.
A small annoyance that I had with the pillow was that it was slippy on my Forclaz MT500 Air Trekking Mattress. Throughout the night it would fall off the mat and wake me briefly to put it back on.
I have started to sleep with the pillow inside my sleeping bag hood which has solved the issue, but isn’t ideal when camping in warm temperatures.
In the future, I may try to attach some sticky velcro to my mattress and my pillow which could solve the issue.
Different Ways To Use The Forclaz MT500, Inflatable Backpacking Travel Pillow
An interesting feature of this pillow is that it can be used in 3 different ways.
As the pillow and cover are separate it can either be:
The Intended Use
The pillow was designed to be used with the inflatable pillow and the cover, this is the most comfortable way to use it.
Although this is the heaviest way to use the pillow, it does feel very soft and luxurious against your face. The cover can also be easily removed and washed, which is important if you are on long thru-hikes or just between uses.
The Minimal Approach
On a recent bikepacking trip, I removed the cover and only slept on the inflatable pad. Although this was not the most comfortable way to use the pillow it halved the weight and bulk, bringing it down to under 100 grams. It was still comfortable enough for a good night of sleep.
The Stuff Sack
Decathlon/Forclaz mention in their description that the outer cover can be used as a stuff sack. You stuff some of your clothes in there to create a pillow.
I have never tried this but it doesn’t sound very comfortable. You could easily create the same pillow with a sleeping bag stuff sack or just by folding up clothes.
Forclaz MT500, Inflatable Backpacking Travel Pillow, when inflated measures 35cm x 24.5cm x 7cm. This size is fairly standard for inflatable trekking pillows and provides a good balance between comfort and packability.
The photo shows the pillow next to a size U.S size 12 (EU 43) shoe.
I found this size to be big enough for both back and side sleeping.
With a packed volume of 0.7L (compressible to less), this little pillow doesn’t take up much space in the backpack at all.
Given the improvement in the quality of sleep this has given me, It’s well worth the extra 170 grams!
The carry sack that it comes with has a drawstring and also a little hook for a carabiner. This is helpful as you can attach it to the outside of your pack if required.
In terms of value, the Forclaz MT500 pillow is truly unbeatable. It offers a remarkable balance between price, weight, and comfort. While there are lighter and more expensive options available, they often lack the soft and comfortable finish, ease of cleaning, and overall durability that this pillow provides.
The Forclaz MT500, Inflatable Backpacking Travel Pillow is a game changer, offering comfort and convenience in a compact package. It’s easy to inflate and deflate, providing adjustable comfort with just a few breaths.
The pillow’s versatility allows for different uses, and its size is suitable for both back and side sleeping.
With excellent packability and value, this pillow is a must-have for camping and travel.
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