Last summer I used a prototype of the new Sierra Designs Animas Pillow ($25, 2.1 oz) for about 30 nights. It was a similar experience to when I first used a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (instead of foam): it’s hard to imagine reverting back to my old approach, which included sleeping on my:
- Soft-sided water bottles (full or inflated) and spare clothing, inside of a stuff sack;
- Shelter, when cowboy camping; and,
- Food sack, in areas where I deemed it safe, YMMV.
Review: Sierra Designs Animas Pillow
My sole criticism of the Animal Pillow is its $25 price. That seems expensive to me, although it turns out that REI doesn’t sell a single pillow for less than this amount. Otherwise, I thought the Animas was just about perfect:
The 20d polyester face fabric is brushed and slightly stretchy, making it comfortably soft. It’s not quite silky, but it’s far from being stiff and plastic-feeling. It’s comfortable next-to-skin, and I never hesitated to sleep directly on it.
Equally important, it’s not slippery, so it tends to stay in place. The underside has silicone branding to help with that.
2. Easy inflate and deflate
With the wide pressure-sealed valve, the Animas can be inflated with two breaths and deflated in seconds by puncturing the seal with a finger.
In 30 nights of use, I never had a leak or hole.
The Animas specs at 2.1 oz, which I think is a good balance of weight, performance, and value. It could be lighter, but it’d have to be smaller or it’d have to made of lighter fabrics that are less comfortable, more expensive, and less durable.
4. Sized right
Depending on the topography of my campsite and my sleeping bag, I tried placing the Animas between my bag and pad, under my pad, and inside the hood of my bag (as seen in the first photo). I preferred this last setup most, because the curvature of the hood kept it in place best. Thankfully, the Animas is narrow enough (15 inches wide) that it nestled well into this spot.
Prototype vs production
Only minor changes were made to my prototype Animas before it went into production. The production colors are blue/gray, rather than red/purple-ish gray. And they changed the branding, thankfully with no spelling errors. Mine reads, “Don’t let a soar neck ruin your fun.” Oh, the joys of working with Asia.
Questions about the Animas? Leave a comment.
Disclosure. I strive to offer field-tested and trustworthy information, insights, and advice. I have no financial affiliations with or interests in any brands or products, and I do not publish sponsored content
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Additional disclosure. I formerly worked with Sierra Designs as a product consultant and brand ambassador, but was not involved in the development of this product.