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NEMO Fillo Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $40 List | $39.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Very comfortable, great support, easy to adjust thickness, small packed size
Cons:  Heavy
Bottom line:  This pillow provides excellent comfort and is adjustable for all kinds of sleepers in most camp settings.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Nemo
By Ross Robinson ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Tuesday

Our Verdict

Our Editors' Choice Award winner goes to the Fillo for combining comfort and versatility better than any other model. Our testers loved its hybrid design, which is a fantastic compromise for folks who want the comfort of a compressible pillow yet the adjustability of an inflatable. It also packs down smaller than all except two models. On outdoor excursions from Minnesota to Alaska, we loved sleeping on this contender while car camping, on weekend trips, and even short backpacking ventures. It is too heavy for most on extended treks lasting more than five days, but this model fits the bill for the majority of folks' camping styles.

New Colors — May 2017
Nemo no longer offers the blue version we tested. In its place are four new colors, including the green pictured above.

The Fillo faced stiff competition, especially in areas of specialized use. If you're looking for something lighter with an even smaller packed size, be sure to check out our Top Pick for Backpacking, the Sea to Summit Aeros. The other hybrid model reviewed is the Exped REM, which provides excellent support at a lower weight, but doesn't live up to the comfort of the Nemo model.

Seeking More Plushy Z's?
The Fillo Luxury
If you're seeking bonafide comfort for car camping trips, Nemo's got you covered with the Fillo Luxury version of our Editors' Choice winner. Unpacked, it's wider and longer to provide more acreage for your dome. It is more expensive and too heavy and large for backpacking trips, but if you camp close to your vehicle, this upgrade might be for you.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Pillows of 2017

Our Analysis and Test Results

New Look for the Fillo


Nemo dropped the light blue color seen on the model we reviewed. This pillow hasn't changed anything more than its color options, so the price and performance remain the same. Below are the four color options available for the Fillo.

Fillo - Gray
Fillo - Stalker Stripe
Fillo - Sunrise Stripe

The NEMO Fillo is a rectangular hybrid pillow that's a breeze to use. For $40, a lot of thought and design process went into making this product. It consists of a baffled inflating sack on the bottom, with a layer of memory foam on top, held snugly in place by a mesh net. Encasing all this is an outer shell made of polyester and microsuede, which also has a built-in stuff sack. These innovations lead to many great nights of sleep.

Performance Comparison



After a full morning of paddling  Jacob Busiahn enjoys the comfort of this hybrid pillow under the sun in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness  Minnesota.
After a full morning of paddling, Jacob Busiahn enjoys the comfort of this hybrid pillow under the sun in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota.

Comfort


Our team of reviewers unanimously agreed that this pillow is a comfy one, scoring evenly with the TETON Sports 12 x 18. Considering the Fillo's small packed size, it has a very large surface area for your head to roam around on. During our tests, we found that if our head moved away from the center, we didn't have to worry about it sliding off like we did with the rest of the inflatable pillows. But like inflatable pillows, we could use the air valve to adjust the thickness, which made it versatile for side, back, and stomach sleepers.


The microsuede top of the outer shell felt great against our skin. That, combined with the memory foam, makes for a pillow that your head and face gently sink into. The only real downside is that it produces noise as your head moves across the pillow. For unparalleled comfort, check out the plush and affordable Therm-a-Rest Compressible.

Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.
Jenna Ammerman maximizes the comfort of a hammock by adding the Editors' Choice winning NEMO Fillo to the mix.

Weight


The biggest drawback of this product is its weight. It weighed 9.0 ounces on our scale, placing it second to last among the other pillows in this category. It still earned high scores, however, in packed size. The REM offers hybrid technology and competes with the Fillo at a lower weight, while the other Exped model, the Air UL weighed the least of any contender reviewed.


Ease of Use


Our Editors' Choice winner also scored well in this category. It has an inflatable element, which makes it more work than a compressible pillow. It inflates in just three breaths, and the air valve is designed to make adjusting the air level very easy, without the risk of deflating the whole pillow. We liked that it has a stuff sack built into the design, like the Therm-a-Rest Compressible, so we never had to worry about losing it. The sack is rather small, which made it more difficult to get the pillow inside. That said, we were happy to never have to search through our pack for its stuff sack.


The Fillo's length made it fit snugly inside the hoods of the mummy sacks we used for our tests, and it did not slide around much under our heads at night. Lastly, to clean it, simply remove the outer shell and send it through the washing machine and dryer. We found it easier to remove the air chamber for washing than the hybrid REM.

The air valve twists open and close  making it easy to inflate the pillow fully and close it without air escaping.
The air valve twists open and close, making it easy to inflate the pillow fully and close it without air escaping.

Packed Size


Of the six pillows in our review  this one came in third place in packed size. It was larger than the two inflatable pillows  yet smaller than all three compressible pillows.
Of the six pillows in our review, this one came in third place in packed size. It was larger than the two inflatable pillows, yet smaller than all three compressible pillows.

For such a large pillow, its packed size is impressive. Inside the stuff sack, its volume is just 1.4 liters. This was only bested by the two inflatable pillows in this review, the Aeros and the tiny Air UL.


Support


This pillow provided great support and comfort simultaneously.
This pillow provided great support and comfort simultaneously.

This pillow provides your head, neck, and back with sufficient support. Our heads sank gently into the foam of the pillow, while the inflated portion underneath sustained the weight easily and kept our spines aligned. This pillow combined comfort with support the best of all the products in this review. If you're willing to sacrifice some comfort for more support, consider the inflatable Aeros or hybrid REM.


Best Applications


The NEMO Fillo is an all-around pillow, well suited for a variety of situations. It's great for car and weekend camping, as well as backpacking trips lasting a week or less. We loved having it along on a five-day trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. Additionally, this pillow is great for hammock napping and even lumbar support when sitting for long periods of time.

For trips lasting longer than a week, check out the Sea to Summit Aeros, which is much lighter weight and received our Top Pick for Backpacking.

Our Editors' Choice winner served one reviewer very well on a backpacking trip in the Alaskan wilderness.
Our Editors' Choice winner served one reviewer very well on a backpacking trip in the Alaskan wilderness.

Value


At $40, this pillow is above the budget pillow range (for a true budget option, consider our Best Buy winner - the $20 Therm-a-rest Compressible). However, the Fillo's convincing performance across the board makes it a great value and a clear pick for our Editors' Choice Award.

Conclusion


Our Editors' Choice winner combines some of the most desirable qualities of inflatable and compressible pillows into a top notch hybrid pillow. We enjoyed having it along in our pack whether we were camping right beside the car or four days deep in the backcountry. It packs down small, yet provides plenty of comfort and support. It's also simple to use and feels like it will last a long time. If you are looking for a camping pillow to keep you comfortable on almost any trip you take it on, we are confident that you will enjoy this one as much as we did.

Fully inflated  this pillow is a snug fit in a standard hood on a mummy sack  helping to keep it in place through the night.
Fully inflated, this pillow is a snug fit in a standard hood on a mummy sack, helping to keep it in place through the night.

Ross Robinson
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