Massdrop x Klymit Pillow Ultra Light

Massdrop x Klymit Static V Ultralight Pad & Pillow X UL

Greetings Adventurers!

Wanted to talk Klymit pillows for a couple of minutes, with a primary focus on the newly introduced “Pillow Ultra Light” – a collaborative pillow with Massdrop and Klymit.

At the moment Klymit has three pillows on the market:

  1. Pillow X
  2. Cush Seat
  3. Pillow Ultra Light

I have used all three of these and as one would expect, they each have their highlights.

When it comes to pillows, everybody on this planet has their own preferences, and I seriously envy folks that can sleep without a pillow. I wish I could. I am getting close, but I am not there yet. At home I use to have 6 to 8 pillows all stacked up on top of each other, and now I have one tiny pillow about 4 or 5 inches in height on my bed.

At one point, back in December of 2013, I spent a bit over $100 bucks on a hiking pillow setup – it was Chad ‘Stick’ Poindexter’s fault, lol – and I ended up selling it to Matthew Xavier Lucero in August of 2014, so it did not even make it an entire year… I remember using it very little.

Along the way there have been many others that I have used, including a very special made ‘Klymit V Pillow‘, but without a doubt the pillow that has been with me the long is the ‘Pillow X‘ from Klymit.

Than something horrible happened.

Massdrop worked with Klymit to introduce the “Pillow Ultra Light“, an even lighter version of the Pillow-X. Noooo!!!! That could only mean one thing… my longest used pillow was about to get left behind.


Pillow Ultra Light Specs:

So the new Pillow Ultra Light hits my scale at 55 grams (1.94 oz) with the stuff sack – which on my scale is 5 grams (0.17 oz), so it makes the weight of just the pillow to be 50 grams (1.76 oz) which is about the weight of one mouthful of water I would guess.

The dimensions of the Pillow Ultra Light are the same as the Pillow X, at 15″ width, 11″ deep, 4″ height.

What makes the Pillow Ultra Light different from the Pillow X is the use of lighter weight fabric, a 20d fabric on top and bottom, instead of a 30d top / 75d bottom on the Klymit Pillow X.

Like the Pillow X the Pillow UL only takes two breaths, for me, to fully inflate.

Like with the Pillow X the Pillow UL ends up getting stuffed into my pack sans stuff sack.



One of the nice things about the Pillow X is the 75d fabric on the bottom. I truly cannot count how many times I have used it right on the ground as a sit-pad. I know the Therm-a-rest Z Seat is a crazy popular long distance hiker sit pad, and for good reason, it packs down small, gives you protection from stickers and rocks and wet sand. I would challenge Z Seat users that the Klymit Pillow X is just as good – and in some ways better: it packs down significantly smaller and is an air-cushion sit pad. It cannot handle stickers/cactus obviously as well, but that is about the only negative aspects of the Pillow X as a sit pad. Being made of 20d fabric on the bottom, I am not too sure using the Pillow UL as a sit pad is probably the best idea.

I have also used both the Pillow X the Pillow UL as a knee pillow. There are times when at night, usually have a long day of trail running, when my knees badly need some padding, and the X shape of the pillow really helps the pillow stay in place and not cause my knees to hit each other.

I have also used the pillow, inflated about half to three-quarter of the way, so that it bends/conforms to my back, as a quasi internal frame support inside super ultralight backpacks on those sections where I have a few days worth of food and any extra bit of support is just nice to have.


Cush Seat/Pillow:

I do want to briefly talk about the Klymit ‘Cush Seat‘, which as much as it is called a ‘seat’, is one of the most ideal side sleeper pillows I have encountered.

This little seat (just going to call it a pillow from here out) has the ability to fold up into a bunch of different heights. This allows you to have, an albeit narrow pillow, but a pillow that can be significantly higher than any other pillow out there that I have used.

As a side sleeper, and 41% of people on the planet are side/fetal sleepers, having a high pillow means you can have your head even with your shoulder gap/height. The Cush Pillow is the best solution to this, that I have been able to find.

At 82 grams (2.89oz) and about $13 bucks directly from Klymit, and at the time of writing this, $12 bucks over at, this is probably the least expensive and most useful side-sleeper pillow I have used.


Final Thoughts:

For many years I have been hoping that Klymit would introduce sleeping pads with lighter weight fabric. Thanks to the Massdrop x Klymit collaboration we now have the Massdrop x Klymit ‘Static V Ultra Light’ Sleeping Pad, and now with the Massdrop x Klymit ‘Pillow Ultra Light’ we have a matching pillow to go along with it – or all by itself!

With the exception of directly-on-the-ground durability, the new Pillow UL is just the way to go – at just 50 gram, and under $18 dollars shipped, is pretty much a no brainer. Order it up, along with the Cush Pillow and all your pillow problems should be solved!


+John Abela

Disclaimer: As of the time of this being published I am not sponsored by Klymit nor Massdrop. I typically buy all of the gear that I use, even when I am sponsored by a company, and I receive zero commission nor payments for any products that I (co)design and which companies manufacture. I do not work for anybody, or any company, within the outdoor industry. I am just a regular guy that uses gear and writes about it. Massdrop sent me the Massdrop x Klymit Pillow Ultra Light for testing and review before they were brought to market.

6 thoughts on “Massdrop x Klymit Pillow Ultra Light

  1. Haha… that’s pretty funny… thanks for the mention! lol… :)

    I was actually talking with Ben Smith about these the other day… He actually has a Massdrop that released this morning that goes along with this pillow! He is making the same type of down pillowcase that I have been using with my Exped UL pillow. You can check it out here if you are interested:

    I will admit, for $17 and some change, it’s tempting to pick up one of these pillows… however, I just remember how much I disliked the Static V I had. I actually am planning a potential week long section hike on the AT in a couple of weeks (depending on how I feel… I am just getting over my second microdiscetomy… but I think it is going to be ok – crossing my fingers!), unfortunately though, the pillow wouldn’t make it to me until I was actually on the hike… and with everything going on, I don’t know when the next time will be that I will get another chance to get out… at least I have a few days before the drop ends on the pillow though to let it bounce around in my head… :)

    However, I know the Cush seat has been around a while, but I was wondering about it for use between my legs when on my side. How do you think it would work out for that? I wonder if they would come out with a “UL” version of it… it would be nice to see it closer to the 1.5 oz mark… you think that would be possible, or is it just too much pillow? And to be honest, I haven’t looked at the specs to determine which weight materials is used for all the pillows… so I guess it could already be using the lighter weight material…

    Anyway, long time no talk man… Hope all is going well on your end.


    1. Hey Chad!

      Yeah, I saw over on facebook your non-work-days spent in a hospital. That sucks. But, do what you gotta do man!

      I was going to include a message about the Goosefeet gear pillow cover for the Klymit Pillow UL, but I totally forgot too. So thanks for mentioning it.

      As for using the Cush between the knees instead of the X/UL, I tried that, and it just ended up being too narrow and would flop out. The thing folks seem to hate about the X/UL pillow, that being the “x” in it, is exactly what makes it really nice for the knees… the “x” helps keep it in place. I mean, sure, if you flop around at night it is not going to stay in place, but if you do not flop around, I have woken up many times with the x-pillow right where I left it.

      As for a “ultra light” version of the “cush”…. hmm, not anything I have heard that is in the works.

      So very good to hear from you Chad, and hope you do not mind me mentioning you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Be blessed over there!

  2. Hi John,

    I can sleep without a pillow. But once I’ve cut my mattress down I find I need a pillow again. Six in one, half a dozen the other. So I either go without a pillow and prop my feet up or use a pillow on my backpack and support my knees with the mattress. I find my knees rub more if my feet are not supported. My knees need to be supported or I sleep terrible, though.

    Anyway, I’m waiting for the Klymit pillow to see how that works. Have been using a aliexpress s2s aeros that you can pick up for $10-12USD, it’s comfortable, durable, but a little heavy.

    At the moment I think my ultimate set up would be a xlite max with this pillow.

    Why do we sweat these small things?


  3. Hey John,

    Great post. I’ve noticed this pillow before but never gave it much thought. However, your article definitely peaked my interest. So I got out my REI Flash pillow that weighs 35 grams. It is smaller (8 X 12″ approx.) than the X UL and I’ve been wanting a pillow that was slightly larger. I carry a buff that I pull over my inflatable as a pillow case and that way I can wash it and it feels better against my face too. The larger size of the X UL would work even better with the buff. I also like that you say it is a good pillow for between the legs as you side sleep; the X holds it in place.

    So I’m intrigued by the X UL. But upon closer inspection, I guess due to the small size, it is just five grams lighter than the Pillow X, at least according to Klymit’s webpage. I did find one commenter in the Massdrop comments that said her Pillow X weighed 2.25 oz or 64 grams, which would seem to make more sense. Maybe Klymit has the wrong weight on their website? But if the X UL really is only five grams lighter it would make better sense to buy the Pillow X so you can use it as a sit pad though there is a significant price differential.

    I am really glad that you brought up the Cush Seat/Pillow too. I am a side sleeper and never gave this pillow much thought either. I just looked funny and didn’t originally make any sense to me. But I see now how it could really be a great pillow where you can adjust the height for use under your head. And Klymit’s video showing it can be used as a sit pad is very cool too.

    So, now I’ve got a bit of pondering to do. Two pretty cool pillows that would really make a nice sleep suite. And at the prices, it is certainly easier to experiment.

    1. Hey Warren, as always, thanks for taking the time to comment – much appreciated!

      >>> if the X UL really is only five grams lighter it would make better sense to buy the Pillow X so you can use it as a sit pad though there is a significant price differential

      Yeah, if a person did want to sit on their x/ul pillow, the 75d fabric is going to be a heck of a lot better option. There have been times when I would grab the pillow, and not inflate it, but just to put it down on some wet log/rock/ground to sit on and not get my butt wet. Been taking the Pillow-X with me a few years and almost always use it as a sit pad and knee pad, and never a single puncture. Have only had the Pillow-UL for about a month or two, and as such I do not have enough usage with it to determine just how puncture resistant it is going to be.

      The Cush really is the best pillow I have found as a side sleeper. I should probably try that ‘Sea to Summit Aeros UL Pillow’ one of these days, a bunch of hikers I respect say it is the best actual pillow. I got to try one (for about 5 minutes) but have never slept on it. As for sitting on the Cush… think I have done it twice… never wanted to pop it, as it is usually my actual sleeping pillow.

      This new Pillow-UL basically, as I see it, falls into the category of being a lighter weight option for those that like the Pillow-X and only want to use it as a pillow.

      1. Hi John,

        So, I’ve still been thinking about the weight difference between the X UL and the Pillow X. So I emailed Klymit and here is the answer:

        Q: I’m looking at your X pillow. The massdrop ultralight version is supposed to be 48-50 grams. The pillow X on your site is 55.3 grams. Is the ultralight version really only 5 grams lighter or is there an error in the published weights of these two items?

        Thanks for clearing up this issue.

        A: That is correct. It is an average weight.

        Happy Trails,


        So I guess with so little material there is very little weight difference between the two versions of the X Pillow.

        Regards, Warren

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