July 24, 2016 - Austin Grandt
As an avid traveler, I am always looking at ways of maximizing my money and miles so I can travel more often. This means often flying in coach and trying many ways to maximize my comfort. I've tried everything from sleeping masks to pre-flight regimens to make my travel experience more comfortable, but nothing truly seems to work.
This is why I was intrigued when I saw a new product out there called the Hoodie Pillow. It provides the comfort of a regular neck pillow and a sleeping mask all in one. One the site, it looked like it could help with my never ending quest for comfort so I decided to reach out to the company and see if they would be willing to send me one to review on my next trip. Luckily, they were gracious enough to provide me with one and it came just in time for a LONG flight I was taking to india.
In my package was two of Hoodie Pillows' products, the memory foam Hoodie Pillow and the inflatable version. I decided to carry the memory foam one with me to test on this particular trip. The memory foam version wasn't quite as portable as the blow up version, but I wanted to experience their original version of the travel pillow to give a better review. I will review the inflatable one at a later date.
Carrying the Hoodie Pillow felt much like other neck pillows out there. I wish there would have been a button on the ends like other neck pillows so that I could clasp it onto my bag, but it was easy enough to stash in the top of my backpack. As I am a huge fan of packing light, I had enough space in either my backpack or duffle bag to put the pillow in. If you like to pack a bit more heavily or carry a lot of gear, I would suggest potentially looking at the inflatable version.
Even though I prefer to have a button to attach the pillow to the outside of my bag, I should mention that not having it on the outside made storing my backpack easier. I also didn't have to worry about hitting a passenger in the face with my pillow (damn you small economy seats!) as has happened before with other pillows.
The Hoodie Pillow definitely held up compared to the various neck pillows I have tried in the past. The material the pillow was covered with was extremely soft and felt better around my neck and face than any other pillow I have tried. The memory foam inside of the pillow was also comfortable and felt a bit more supportive than other pillows I have tried. For what it's worth, I was able to get some sleep utilizing the pillow and I am not normally a very good sleeper on a plane.
At first, I have to admit I felt a bit silly utilizing the hood. It felt like a gimmick, but once I mustered up the courage to use the hood it actually felt nice and provided some utility. It was big enough I could pull it over my eyes to block out any light that might still be around the plane. If you are normally cold on planes, the hood could also provide a way to keep slightly warmer on the plane as well. For me, I found it to be a bit hot, but more so due to my personal body traits (always warm) versus the product design.
Overall, I enjoyed using the hoodie pillow. I would love to see a clasp be added on to future versions and would like there to potentially be an option to snap/zip off the hood. I was surprised at the added utility of the hood and it definitely exceeded my expectations on quality and usefulness while traveling. If you travel often, it might be good to invest in one of these, especially if you often have to travel during the day and want to sleep. It doesn't cost too much more than other pillows out there ($30) and might just make your next trip a bit more pleasant.