Agnes Clearview Air Pillow
Owner Review by Jennifer Estrella
July 8, 2009
Name: Jennifer Estrella
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California, United
into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking,
I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have
backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along
with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly
been cutting my base weight to be able to go longer in
duration and distance. I have done so mainly by using
better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year
round in all weather, and usually take a free standing
tent and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out
Web Site: www.bigagnes.com
Product: Clearview Air Pillow
Year Manufactured: 2008
Available/Reviewed Colors: Clear
3 oz (85 g)
Actual Weight : 2.82 oz (80 g) with
stuff sack; stuff sack weighs 10 g (0.35 oz) alone
12 in x 16 in x 2 in (30 cm x 41 cm x 30 cm)
Packed Size: 1 in x 7 in (3 cm x 18
Photo obtained from
the manufacturer's website
Big Agnes will warranty all of its products against
manufacturer defects. They will replace any defective item
free of charge and any products damaged due to misuse or accidents
will be repaired at a reasonable charge and sent back.
The Clearview Air Pillow is noted
by the manufacturer as a durable camp pillow that is made from
clear polyurethane with a lightweight plastic valve.
This is a clear polyurethane (puncture
resistant) pillow with the similar construction as the Big Agnes
Clearview sleeping pads. The pillow has 5 air chambers, welded
seams, and a plastic valve (for inflation and deflation). Each
Clearview Air Pillow is individually inflated and
factory tested. The pillow comes with a mesh storage sack. The
pillow can be used in the pillow pocket of a sleeping bag or alone.
Since I do not have a pillow pocket in my sleeping bag, I made
a pillow case for my Clearview Air Pillow.
Clearview Air Pillow with a homemade
On the manufacturer's website there
is a minimal description of the pillow and the specifications are
listed. The pillow image on the website is gray with a white logo.
My pillow is clear with a black Big Agnes logo and the words "Clearview
Air Pillow) in the upper left corner, on the second chamber from
the valve. I am wondering if Big Agnes used a gray pillow image
since the background of the website is white.
|The valve opens to inflate the pillow by turning
it left. "Righty tighty, lefty loosey" as my dad
used to say. The valve opens easily and is ready for inflation
with two turns. If I keep turning the valve it does not come
completely off the stem base. The valve base has an almost
triangular shaped, rigid, clear, plastic reinforcement where
it enters the inside of the pillow. The valve stem is protected
by this 3 cm (1.18 in) long piece of plastic and it does not
bend at the point where the stem enters the pillow. The clear
polyurethane of the pillow body can be squashed, folded, and
rolled up just below the reinforcement plastic.
The pillow is not self inflating.
But, with about three to four large puffs of breath, I can fully
inflate the pillow. Sometimes when I am inflating the pillow I
can hear the air going through the chambers and it makes a subtle
popping noise. There is also some condensation inside the pillow
after inflating it. The condensation appears to dissipate after
several minutes in warm temperatures. In cooler temperatures the
condensation remained in the pillow for a longer period of time.
During my snow camping trip I left the pillow unattended in the
tent for a few hours and it looked like the condensation inside
the pillow froze.
The valve is closed by turning the valve to
the right. Remember "righty tighty, lefty loosey".
The valve is easily tightened so that when I squeeze on the
pillow I cannot hear any air seep out of the valve.
To remove the air from the pillow I opened
the valve and some of the air escaped. To remove the remaining
air I squeezed it out of the pillow by folding and rolling
the pillow into a cylindrical shape. Since I use the pillow
with a homemade pillow case, I just fold it in half and roll
it up with the pillow case on and then I put it inside
the mesh storage sack. The storage sack is black mesh with
a cord and a cord lock to close the opening. It is cylindrical
shaped. At the bottom of the sack is a black piece of fabric
with the company logo and the words "Clearview Air Pillow" in
National Forest, California: This was a two day backpacking
trip. Camp was located at Limber Pine Bench
at 9,300 ft (2,835 m). The temperatures ranged from 67 F (19 C)
to 40 F (4 C) with enough wind to keep the mosquitoes away. The
trip had an elevation gain of 3,680 ft (1,122 m) in 6 mi (7 km)
for a total of 12 mi (19 km) for the trip.
Mount San Jacinto State Park, California: This
was a 6 mi (10 km) two day snowshoe/backpacking trip. We camped
at an elevation of 9,100 ft (2,775 m) on 5 ft (1.5 m) of snow pack.
The temps ran from 40 to 22 F (4 to -6 C).
Cleveland National Forest, California (San Mateo Wilderness):
This was a two day backpacking trip on the Tenaja Trail
to Fisherman's Camp then to Tenaja Falls. From Tenaja Falls we went
back to Fisherman's Camp to spend the night. We hiked 9 mi (14 km)
on the first day and 3.5 mi (6 km) on the second day, all up-hill.
It hit 75 F (24 C) for a high and got down to 28 F (-2 C) at night.
The high elevation was 2,000 ft (610 m) with a total of 1,300 ft
(396 m) of elevation gain and loss.
Mount San Jacinto State Park, California: This
was an overnight backpacking trip. The elevation at camp was 9,100
ft (2,775 m). The low temperature was approximately 47 F (8 C).
Impressions and Performance
There are a couple reasons why I made a pillow
case for the Clearview Air Pillow. For one I do not have a pillow pocket in
my sleeping bag. Secondly I found that if I do not have something over the
pillow my face sticks to it, and it is just down right uncomfortable. Also
when I shift my weight or move around at night it dampens the noise. I found
that the pillow case or a cover over the pillow keeps the air inside the pillow
warmer. I believe that my pillow case will help protect the pillow from abrasion
and punctures while I am using it or while it is stored in my pack. The pillow
has not become punctured to this date.
The pillow is holding air all night and I do
not have to re-inflate it. That is true except for when I failed to fully close
the valve after inflating. I can inflate the pillow with my lips over the valve
and turn the valve closed while it is still inside my mouth. This technique
works well to hold the air inside the pillow while I am trying to close it.
Especially when I desire to have the pillow fully inflated.
In temperatures below freezing I prefer to have
an insulated pillow. Rather than using my pillow case I placed my down jacket
over the pillow and that seemed to keep the air warmer inside the pillow. This
worked well and my head was not cold. However, I was wearing a hat as well.
I love the fact that this is a versatile pillow
for firmness. I do not like squishy or extra soft pillows. If I want the pillow
as firm as I can get it, I just put the maximum amount of air inside it. If
I want it softer I can just fill it to my liking. I like to have the Clearview
pillow firm most of the time, but sometimes I let out a little bit of air and
I fold it. This gives me more cushioning. The pillow
has about 2 in (30 cm) of height when it is fully inflated. I find this to
be more than adequate. In the past I was trying to save weight and space by
using soft, down, packable pillows. These would not give me enough pillow volume.
The Clearview Air Pillow is lighter than the down pillow I was using in the
past and has much more volume.
The welded seams are holding up well and there
is no indication that they are becoming separated. It appears to me that the
pillow is made of a good quality polyurethane. The valve is still functioning
like new; holding air and being easy to open and close.
- Holds air
- I can make the pillow softer or harder by the amount of air
I put in
- It can be folded to add more height
- Takes up a small amount of space when rolled up in my pack
That Are So So
- Without a cover over the pillow my face sticks
- Can be noisy if I roll or change positions
- I needed to use a down jacket over the pillow
in temperatures below freezing
The Clearview Air Pillow is a nice addition
to my backpacking gear. It also comes in handy for use when traveling
by car or on an airplane. I like the fact that I can make the
pillow as soft and as firm as I like. It takes up less space
in my pack than other pillows I have used in the past. I plan
on using it for many years to come.