The TravelRest is a long, inflatable travel pillow that is worn across the body like a sash. Unlike U-shaped pillows, the TravelRest is shaped like a comma, with a rounded top and a tapered bottom. The pillow is held in place by a tether that can be looped over the headrest of a seat and a flap that can be connected to the seatbelt. Reviewers say this design provides stable support for the head at a natural angle and like that the TravelRest rolls up when deflated, easily fitting into a carry-on bag. Some reviewers complain that it can be cumbersome to switch the pillow from one side of the body to another, however. Others note that, on some airplanes, the tether cord might cover the screen of the seat behind. The TravelRest comes with a removable, washable faux-velvet cover in red, blue or green.
The TravelRest receives the most reviews and recommendations of any travel pillow we found. It is included in a four-pillow comparison test by syndicated Canadian travel writer Reb Stevenson, and it is reviewed such in reliable sources as The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, USA Today and About.com. It is also the most-reviewed travel pillow at Amazon.com.
Syndicated travel journalist Reb Stevenson, whose work appears in several major Canadian newspapers, tests four travel pillows (Eagle Creek Comfort Travel Pillow, inflatable Komfort Kollar, Neckii and TravelRest) on flights. She likes the TravelRest's unusual design, which she says supports her head at a natural angle. She also likes that this pillow rolls into a "small scroll" for easy storage. On the downside, Stevenson says switching the TravelRest from one side of her body to the other is cumbersome.
Review: Pillow Fight! Catching Some Sleep on a Flight, Reb Stevenson, March 15, 2009
About 40 reviewers on Amazon.com give the TravelRest a nearly perfect score, saying it is comfortable and easy to use. A handful of owners complain that it is difficult to find a comfortable position with the TravelRest or that it leaks.
Review: TravelRest, Contributors to Amazon.com
Lois Friedland, the About.com guide to adventure travel, and a friend test the TravelRest pillow during a long drive and an economy-class international flight. Friedland says the pillow provides good support for the head and neck and rolls up for easy storage, though she complains that air can leak out while the seal is being closed. She finds the TravelRest pillow to be "much more comfortable than the comparably priced, conventional travel pillows," although it may take some time to find a comfortable position. The TravelRest gets similar reviews from About.com's guides to European travel and New York City travel. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: TravelRest Travel Pillow Keeps Head Supported During Airline Flights, Lois Friedland, Feb. 22, 2009
4. Chicago Tribune
Laurie Goering praises the TravelRest for providing "a delicious sense of snuggling up with one of those full-body bed pillows." She also likes the inflation valve, which "eliminates the usual problems with the valve popping out and deflating the pillow just as you start snoring." One disadvantage, she says, is that changing the pillow from one side of the body to the other means "you've got to wake up and fiddle with the strap."
Review: Inflatable Travel Pillow Makes for Comfort and Convenience, Laurie Goering, Jan. 4, 2009
Peter Ha reviews the TravelRest travel pillow, which he has been using for a couple of months on long flights. He says, "It's pretty low-tech, but works surprisingly well." He praises the TravelRest pillow's large surface area, though he's not fond of the faux-velvet finish.
Review: Review: TravelRest Pillow, Peter Ha, Feb. 9, 2009
Joel McLaughin tests the TravelRest during a bus trip, saying it works well. He says the pillow is "small, comfortable and light." This long review also contains photographs of the pillow in use.
Review: Review: TravelRest Pillow, Joel McLaughlin, Oct. 8, 2008
7. San Jose Mercury News
Reporter Ann Tatko-Peterson uses the TravelRest pillow during a six-hour trip. This comfortable pillow "keeps your head more upright, eliminating neck stiffness common when using travel pillows," she says, noting that it can be used in tight spots like the middle seat on an airplane. Her one complaint is that the inflation valve is hard to access, noting that "it felt like I might tear off the rubber tab used for lifting it."
Review: Gadget to Go: Odd-Shaped Pillow Great for Travel, Ann Tatko-Peterson, July 24, 2009
8. The Boston Globe
Lylah M. Alphonse tries the TravelRest on a trip and finds that she can "nestle into it and rest in a more natural position." She also says it works well for children, though she doesn't discuss specifics of how the pillow was tested or who tried it out.
Review: Gearing Up: A Nice Way to Nap, Lylah M. Alphonse
9. USA Today Magazine
Reporter Beth J. Harpaz says that the TravelRest "just begs you to snuggle up and take a nap." She also says the pillow will appeal to children, but she doesn't elaborate on her opinion or discuss whether she considered other travel pillows.
Review: Gifts for Travelers: Think Local, Edible, Useful, Beth J. Harpaz, Nov. 28, 2008