Travelrest, the revolutionary travel neck pillow (that I’ll never use again)

Everyone is different.

Travel Neck Pillow

That statement couldn’t be more true when it comes to travel, as we each have our own challenges, strategies, hacks, and pet peeves as we travel. For instance, some people can fall right asleep on an airplane (or bus/train/ferry boat, etc.) and snooze like a baby, while others just toss and turn and couldn’t even fathom getting some shut-eye under such conditions.

Or, there are probably plenty of travelers like me who can get a serviceable amount of sleep only IF they find a comfortable enough positions. Therein lies the problem!

I can sleep like a rock on a plane or while traveling in just about any vehicle, falling into a post-hectic travel plan slumber like I was hypnotized as long as I can control one factor: my head bob.

In fact, I’m the guy who dozes off strangely quick before we even take off, but whose head keeps dipping and falling, snapping myself away as I pick it back up, only to do it again and again. Needless to say, it ain’t that comfortable.

So I had extremely high hopes when I saw the newest innovation in travel pillows – the Travelrest, billed as the “The Ultimate InflatableTravel Pillow/Neck Pillow – Ergonomic, Patented & Best Adjustable for Airplane, Auto, Bus, Train, Office Napping, Camping, Wheelchair (Rolls Up Small)”

You can see why I was ecstatic to find this product, as it’s designed differently than any pillow I’ve seen before! In the photos in its advertisements, you see that right away, with a long countered design that runs the length of the spokesmodel’s torso. The top part is wider, and that’s what you tuck on top of your shoulder, with your neck and/or cheek resting comfortably against that surface. It tapers smaller towards the bottom, and that looks like she’s just tucking it in between her body and her arm or slinging it across her body diagonally. Either way, it appears in the photos to be the perfect solution to sitting-upright sleep.

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My opinion of the Ultimate Travel Pillow? Meh.

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When the box came in the mail, I tore into it quickly, unrolling the new deflated travel pillow. I’d say it’s about 2 ½ feet total in length and rolls up into the size of a rolled t-shirt or so, with a snap to conveniently hold it together for storage.

My next thought was “How the heck do I blow this thing up?” as I struggle to even inflate balloons without my face turning purple and passing out from oxygen loss. But that wasn’t ever an issue, as it has a circular valve that makes it so easy to inflate and deflate, even for me. I literally blew the whole thing up with two breaths, and the third breath made it adequately firm. Cool! Now, to test it.

I sat in a dining room chair to simulate an airplane seat, arranged the pillow slung across my body like in the ads, leaned my head against it, and…the bottom of the pillow popped out, dislodging the upper portion and sending my head into whiplash once again. I thought I must just have the position wrong, so I tried again at a different angle but nope – it popped out again.

No Bueno. Basically, this pillow has nothing to secure it to your body down below (unless you want to hold it the whole time), so whenever you apply weight or pressure by putting your head on it, the top cushion part comes right out. Trying to hold it in place was like a seesaw with only one person riding it.

I don’t know how the lady in the advertisement is holding it in place (SuperGlue? Television Magic? Telekinesis?) but it wasn’t working for me.

Deflated. Rolled up. Back in the box. Returned.

My quest for a decent travel neck pillow that lets me sleep continues!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post, Business.com, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo, Hotels.com, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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