The Most Comfortable Travel Pillow Is Essentially a Padded Scarf

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Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

The Goal: Find the most comfortable travel pillow that creates minimal bulk in your carry-on bag. We scoured the newest shapes and fabrics — infinity circles made of bamboo; inflatable body cushions favored by travel editors — and tried falling asleep.

The Verdict: The Trtl pillow is so small that it’s essentially a padded scarf, taking up the same amount of space as a couple of magazines. Three interconnected bands hidden inside a hypoallergenic fleece exterior hold your head almost completely upright. To keep the Trtl’s small shape, these bands lend support to only one shoulder at a time, so you’ll have to choose which side you prefer nodding off toward, but the whole piece is easily adjustable and customizable with a simple Velcro strap. The tighter the Velcro, the stronger the support. You can even place it beneath your chin to keep your head from drooping.

*This article appears in the February 20, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

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The Best Travel Pillow Is Essentially a Padded Scarf