Product Review: TRTL travel pillow

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TRTL Travel Pillow


If you’ve done any amount of traveling, you know that staying comfortable during a long flight can set the tone for the entire journey. Travel pillows are one of those accessories that the wise traveler carries and uses regularly. If you’ve ever leaned your head against that hard airplane window in an attempt to catch a nap during your flight, I’m sure you’ve opened one eye and glared jealously at that dude across the aisle blissfully snoozing with his head supported by a comfy, soft travel pillow.

Until recently, travel pillows were bulky things — either the U-shaped kind, stuffed with some type of soft fill, roughly the size, shape and consistency of a large sleeping cat (without the relaxing purr), or the big, inflatable ones which form large wedge shape to be placed on the seat back tray table. While these options are miles ahead of sleeping with your chin on your chest, the old designs do have some drawbacks. U-shaped pillows tend to cause the user’s head to tilt forward slightly, which may not result in noticeable discomfort during short naps, but for anything more than an hour or so, this can be a literal pain in the neck. Inflatable wedge pillows, like anything inflatable, tend to deflate under the sleeper’s weight (some more quickly than others). Also, as they are designed to sit on the tray table, any motion from the passenger sitting directly in front will be transferred directly to the head of the person trying to sleep.

Then, along comes the TRTL pillow. Well, actually, the concept has been publicly available for about 6 years, but it’s only recently been showing up in worldwide marketing. I came across it only recently on Amazon while looking for a new travel pillow for myself.

Intelligently simple in design, the TRTL pillow solves both of the above problems. This pillow is comprised of an internal neck support, covered by super soft fleece (hypoallergenic). Its manufacturer, Coolside Limited, claims the engineering was undertaken in consultation with physiologists, to ensure the support would hold the head and neck in an optimal ergonomic position for sleeping. It is indeed very comfortable.

The pillow is used by placing the support on one side of your neck, wrapping the fleece around and attaching it to itself with the sewn-in velcro tabs.

The pillow is machine washable, which is a big plus. The fleece is warm, but not too much so. If you’re like me, being too warm can make it hard for you to sleep, so this is important. The TRTL pillow is lightweight (only about half a pound) and it is quite small compared to other styles of travel pillow. It has a velcro strap that you can used to attach it to the handle of your carry-on or backpack.

The manufacturer’s standard warranty covers the pillow for 60 days, but they offer an extended warranty via their website, if you are so inclined.

I do have one minor critique about this item.The internal neck support is made of a type of plastic that can end up misshapen if the pillow is crammed into a bag or suitcase such that the support piece is flexed under significant pressure, especially if this were to happen for an extended period of time. However, I can’t think of any way to redesign around the issue, because the slight springy give of the material under the weight of one’s head is exactly what makes it so comfortable to use. A more durable material would result in a pillow that’s not much better than that airplane window. But with proper care and storage when not in use, the TRTL pillow should last for years.    

The TRTL pillow sells for $29.99 on Amazon, and is Prime eligible, so no shipping costs for Prime members. It has over 3600 reviews, with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. In my opinion, those few reviews which give the product less than 5 stars are overly critical, or doing so for reasons that have nothing at all to do with the genuine TRTL product. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, personally.

To purchase this product, click here.

Here’s TRTL’s product video:

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Happy travels!


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