NEMO Fillo Elite Review

  • Ultralight Backpacker
  • Wilderness Backpacker

Backpackers.com is a small, independent team that writes unsponsored reviews and outdoor guides. If you're thinking about buying this product please use the links below – that really helps us. Thank you.

NEMO Fillo Elite Overview

NEMO Equipment is a premium outdoor brand based out of Dover, New Hampshire. They’ve been around for over a decade now and produce excellent ultralight tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and other accessories. Their flagship pillow has been the Fillo for years — but with the introduction of the Fillo Elite, there is a new ultralight, ultra-comfortable pillow in town. In short, it’s no exception to the company’s impressive outdoor sleep pedigree.

The NEMO Fillo Elite weighs just 3 oz — which undercuts some of the lightest backpacking pillows on the market — packs down to the size of an orange, and provides incredible comfort and support to keep you well rested on the trail. It has a single micro-adjustable valve that fills the pillow with a single breath and a thin layer of insulation to keep your face cozy. With a solid pillow you can rest and recover faster while you crush the miles ahead of you.

NEMO Fillo Elite Star Rating
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Adjustability
  • Packability
4.9

Summary

Believe the hype! The NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow really does have it all – micro-adjustments, a bit of insulation, and under 3 oz. You’ll sleep so well you may have to actually set an alarm to wake up to hit the trail.

Due to the extreme comfort, low weight, and easy packability, we have named the NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow as our Premium Pick for Wilderness Backpackers and Ultralight Backpackers alike!

See the full NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow review below, and check out our comprehensive guide to the Best Backpacking Pillows.

NEMO Fillo Elite Specifications

Feature Type Feature Specs What This Means
Weight 2.8 oz. (80 g) Crazy lightweight.
Type Air + Foam Mostly an air pillow with a thin layer of foam where your head lies.
Shape Rectangle A classic rectangular pillow shape..
Valve Twist and Pull NEMO’s specialized twist and pull valve that’s micro-adjustable.
Full Size 15 x 11 in. A decent size for such a lightweight pillow.
Packed Size 4 x 3 in. Packs up to the size of an orange.
Max Height 3 in. Decent height.
Materials Machine washable pillow cover, 100% post consumer recycled Primaloft insulation Solid construction.
Stuff Sack Yes Pack it away when not in use.
Warranty Limited Lifetime NEMO has a great warranty, be sure to get in touch if something (like the valve) fails.
Retail Price $44.95 A high price for a highly engineered pillow. You’re paying for the insulation, design, and name brand.

Gear Review of the NEMO Fillo Elite

If you’ve spent some time backpacking and sleeping in tents then you know that a good pillow is one of the most important things for a good night’s sleep. You also know that this is no easy feat. There are dozens of types of backpacking pillows out there. You could go fully inflatable, but those don’t provide great support and lack the comfort of more substantial pillows. Many backpacking pillows use down or another type of insulation combined with memory foam, and while these can be very comfortable, the weight can add up. You could, of course, also go the truly ultralight route and just pile up your clothing to use as a pillow, but this is not the most comfortable option and if you’ve been out on the trail for a while, it is likely to smell…bad.

Nemo-Fillo-Elite-held
The NEMO Fillo Elite.

In the last seven years I have spent roughly three hundred nights in a tent. In that time, I’ve had six different tents, five sleeping bags, three girlfriends, one wife, and I’ve lost track of how many different pillow “solutions” I have tried. I have used inflatable pillows, down pillows, my jacket, my backpack, my jacket again, and so on and so forth. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever used the same pillow to rest my head on two nights in a row while camping. Until now.

The NEMO Fillo Elite, thanks to its superior comfort, packability and ultralight weight, is going to be a staple in my backpack for years to come.

Comfort – 5 Stars

The highest compliment I can give the NEMO Fillo Elite is that it does not feel like an inflatable pillow, despite being 100% inflated by my own breath. Whatever magic this pillow is stuffed with gives a feeling akin to your pillow at home. I slept brilliantly on it.

1-1Nemo-Fillo-Elite-in-tent
Inside a red tent, the NEMO Fillo fits snugly into sleeping bag hoods and has a slight depression for cradling your head.

The Fillo Elite is mostly an inflated, baffled bubble of air, but it also has a thin layer of synthetic insulation to warm up your cheeks and provide that comfy feeling. The baffles are also strategically placed in a horizontal orientation to keep your head from rolling around.

Durability – 4.5 Stars

While I have not been able to put this pillow through endless paces, nothing about its construction leads me to doubt its durability. Heck, it’s so small that I fear I may lose it before it gets damaged. The NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow has held up just fine whether I slept in the car or in my tent.

Nemo-Fillo-Elite-close-up-fabric
High quality face fabric that’s machine washable is ideal for a backpacking pillow.

All that said, I’m knocking off a half star because I’m yet to own a NEMO product containing a screw valve that has not failed over time. The company continues to update and improve its valves, so time will tell.

Adjustability – 5 Stars

The NEMO Fillo Elite is surprisingly adjustable for such a simple product. Unlike some other inflatable pillows, you really can dial back the firmness by simply loosening the valve and then clicking it into place with a downward push. I like to max out the inflation and then dial it back just a touch. This allows for your head to be cradled just like your pillow at home. I’m a side sleeper and have found it extremely comfortable.

Nemo-Fillo-Elite-blow-up-valve
The micro-adjustable valve allows you to fine-tune the firmenss of the Elite.

Packability – 5 Stars

The NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow packs down slightly larger than my GoPro Hero 9 Black. Simply open the valve and roll it up. For such a small package I’m blown away by the comfort it provides. And, at 3 ounces, it’s a no brainer that this pillow should accompany you on all your adventures — ultralight and otherwise.

2-Nemo-Fillo-Elite-packed-up-size-2
The Fillo Elite packs down quite small. GoPro and MSR Whisperlite for reference.

Grievances

I found the NEMO Fillo Elite Pillow to be an absolute homerun. I’m not a huge fan of the color, so I guess it’s a good thing you don’t have to spend any time looking at it — but NEMO does make it in some other simpler colorways. Believe it or not, that is all the negatives I’ve got to say about this pillow.

Of course, if you consider spending over $40 on a backpacking pillow exorbitant, the NEMO Fillo Elite might feel, well, elite.

Where to Buy NEMO Fillo Elite

We tested the NEMO Fillo Elite. NEMO also makes the Fillo Elite Luxury, which is the same construction as the standard Elite but is larger.

NEMO does make a number of other Fillo models, including the classic Fillo, the Fillo Luxury, and the Fillo King. The classic is great for backpacking and camping, and the Luxury and King are built specifically for camping, being much larger and heavier (and more comfortable.

You can get those pillows depending on your activity, but we find the NEMO Elite to be excellent for ultralight backpackers.

Compare NEMO Fillo Elite prices below.

jon rosenberg packrafting

Jon Rosenberg

Jon Rosenberg is an avid adventurer living at the foot of the rugged San Juan Mountains in Southwestern Colorado. When not working, you can find him and his wife exploring the mountains, canyons, rivers, and lakes of the surrounding areas. Their husky mix Bivy stands guard over his impressive gear room.

Review Policy: We do not accept payments or gifts from brands and vendors, and strive to provide unbiased, independent advice. Brands typically provide review samples which we return, and in some cases we purchase the item so we can keep using it long after the review. Affiliate Policy: We support the hours that go into our reviews and testing through affiliate commissions on purchases made through links in this article. These don't effect the outcome of our reviews or selection of gear, as per our Review Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Buying Options

Welcome to Backpackers.com.
We are a small, independent team writing gear reviews and useful outdoor guides.

Image of the Backpackers.com team

Our mission is to empower all walks of life to be ambassadors of the outdoors. Read our About page for more information, and check out our gear reviews and outdoor guides.

Subscribe to Backpackers.com!

We will never share or sell your data.

Latest Gear Reviews

Latest Outdoor Guides

Latest Blog Posts