Copy editor Kelly Taylor of the Winnipeg Free Press took one of our pillows for a "road test", a reasonable analogy since Kelly is also the WFP automotive critic.
Kelly Taylor is not normally encouraged to sleep on the job. Here's what he had to say....
If you’ve ever stayed awake at night in a hotel room thinking to yourself, "If I just had a bit more pillow..." there’s something on the market you might like.
Created by Canadian company Pillowpacker Pillows, the inflatable travel pillow tucks away neatly in a suitcase and inflates with just a couple of puffs. A quick-release valve makes easy work of adjusting the pressure inside the pillow to the user’s preference.
On a recent trip to Finland, the Pillowpacker came in handy, supplementing the pillows at the Scandic Simonkentta Hotel in Helsinki and later at Santa’s Gisele Hotel in Saariselka. Kept in my carry-on, it was a welcome companion for the economy-class flight from Copenhagen to Toronto.
The pillow folds into a tube about the size of a football and features an outer pillow of either hypoallergenic microfibre, duck down or goose down. An outer cover is available in a variety of colours.
Prices range from $90 for a pillow with a microfibre cushion to $225 with premium Hutterite goose down. (Geese have religion, who knew?)
At the recent National Womens' Show we offered a prize of a silk sleeping liner to the winner of our contest draw. That prize was won by Laurie F. of Ottawa which she claimed earlier this week at Pillowpacker World Headquarters in Briitannia Village.
We also offered contestants the option to exchange the value of their silk sleeping liner toward the purchase of any of our world class inflatable travel pillows and Laurie exercised this option. Laurie selected one of our microfibre models which Garry presented to her along with all the accessories that accompany our pillow sets.
We wish Laurie a lifetime of comfortable Pillowpacking!
There is a lot of confusion with terminology as it relates to products used as natural filling in garments, bedding and, more specifically, in pillows. What’s the difference and why should you care? Well there is a very significant difference that I’ll try and explain and which will bring us to the So What aspect of this article.Both feathers and down come from birds which is about the extent of their similarity, and ducks and geese are the birds in question.
Let’s start with Down. Down is the undercoating of waterfowl. It consists of millions of light, fluffy filaments, growing from a central quill point. Down is naturally very fluffy and light and has the marvellous ability to breath and “wick away” body moisture. Every ounce of quality down has about 2 million fluffy filaments that interlock and overlap, creating a three-dimensional structure or cluster that traps air that makes down so desirable. The ability of these filaments to trap air is called “loft”. Down continually re-lofts and molds itself to the body without clumping. Because of its resilience, you can scrunch it up or flatten it out and it will still bounce back to its original shape in order to maintain its warm and fluffy properties.
Goose clusters are generally larger than duck clusters and typically come from older, larger birds. As a result, their down tends to produce higher fill powers, be more resilient and durable than duck down. Because a duck’s diet is usually more diverse than a goose, which eats only grass, goose down also tends to have fewer odour problems than duck. This is not an issue with Pillowpacker Pillows All our down is produced by Feather Industries, the largest processor of feathers and down in Canada, and exceeds all Canadian and International cleanliness standards.
Feather Industries only buys feathers and down from farmers who follow their policies regarding the ethical treatment of animals, which include but are not limited to, no force feeding (and whenever possible, free range fed) and absolutely no live plucking. No waterfowl are ever raised solely for the harvest of their down. Using down from livestock provides farmers with an additional source of income and reduces waste. Feather Industries buy feathers and down from the Canadian Hutterites and Brome Lake Duck, the two sources of down in our down pillows.
Feather Industries uses eco-friendly processes to wash, clean and sanitize the down to the highest international standards. The by-products and cleaning agents are 100% biodegradable. The end result is a product with a much lower carbon footprint than synthetic alternatives. The adherence to these strict standards and the vigilance to ensure that these ethical policies are practiced by all partners continue to make Canadian Feather Industries one of the most respected companies in the industry.
Now what about feathers? Feathers on geese or ducks are the outer covering of the bird. They have quills, repel water, and make it possible for the animal to fly but have little loft compared to down. Rather than forming clusters they are basically a relatively straight structure with few of the benefits of down.
Finally: So What? Why should you care? For one thing you want to be assured that what is claimed to be in your product actually IS in it. You want and need assurance that you are getting what you pay for! Mostly people who have allergies express concern about down and worry that down will affect their allergies. Most of the time, any allergic reaction to down bedding is usually due to impurities trapped in the down, not the down itself. Our down has been prepared to the highest standards and is deemed to be hypoallergenic, which means that it has been specially cleaned and processed to screen out impurities. However, those who suffer from avian allergies may opt for a microfibre pillow because of the bacteria- and mildew-inhibiting and hypoallergenic properties of the manufactured fibres.
At Pillowpacker Pillows we pend a lot of time worrying about details so that you do not have to. Our website has many articles related to down (and microfibre) that will go a long way to helping you decide what product is best for you. As a starting point follow this link and browse further at your own pace: https://www.pillowpackers.com/blogs/more-information/57857347-more-about-our-down
Beth and I are pleased to announce that we have added a new member to our Down family of Pillowpacker pillows. It is another premium pillow, naturally 100% Canadian content, so we can certify that what we say is in the pillow is actually IN the pillow. We've added this pillow because of a new business partnership with another supplier, Marie L'Oie from St-Jérome, Québec; here is a picture of Beth with the owner, Nancy Simon of Marie L'Oie.
The details: Our Canadian White Down outer pillow is filled with 5 ounces/150 grams of a premium mix of white goose down (minimum 25%) and white duck down (maximum 75%) from Lake Brome, Quebec. The white down clusters provide a loft of 560-575 and are contained in a down-proof shell of 100% white cotton, 260 thread count. The pillow size is 20X14 inches (51x36 cm) and has a full-length zipper opening. Pillowpacker® Canadian White Down pillows are made in Quebec and bear the Down Mark, your assurance that the down is of the highest quality.
This product is so new we only made it available at the National Women's Show earlier this month and it is not yet added to our website selections. This will take us a bit of time but in the meantime anyone interested in buying one can benefit from the Trade Show price of $150 (plus tax) until we do so. We expect the price to be in the $175 range when it is added to our site. Anyone wanting to order this pillow should send me a "Contact Us" form request and I will process orders manually so as to bill only the lower price. Here's a pic of our new pillow family member:
Pillowpacker Inflatable Travel Pillows will be launching a brand new premium pillow model at the upcoming National Women's Show at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa April 8 and 9. We will be located in Booth 205 so please join Beth and Garry over the coarse of the Show. Our new pillow is a luxurious Canadian product made of natural white down from Québec and we will be offering it a discounted introductory price available only at the Show.
We have a co-branded coupon for the show attached to this post so download it and use it in conjunction with your admission tickets.
Let’s start with some idea of what constitutes comfort. At home it can as simple be a pair of cozy well-worn slippers or a favourite sweater on chilly days. But when you are travelling you may be well outside your “comfort zone” in more ways than one.
Travellers may find comfort in indirect and direct things. Indirect things may include peace of mind through confidence that your trip and plans are all nicely looked after whether made by yourself or a trusted travel consultant. Loose ends or uncertainty at this stage of your travel experience can be very disquieting and “uncomfortable” So, get this aspect looked after with confidence and add to your comfort. See our blog post “Book it yourself or use a Travel Expert? - Ten things to consider!” for more details.
Another indirect aspect of comfort may be related to hygiene. Hygiene is increasingly on travellers’ list of concerns, especially to “exotic” places but even to non-exotic locations like some major North American cities. What could be a concern going to North American hotels with brand name recognition? Well many travellers have told me that pillows are very much a new issue. Some hotels now provide many of them but they are exaggerated in size or firmness. So bringing your own “personal” pillow can deal with this concern.
A further issue with hotel accommodations is the increased use of strong detergents or other additives to the washing of bedding that can irritate skin and cause discomfort. Naturally, travelling to more exotic places compounds the likelihood that hygiene is a major concern. In addition to the importance of bodily hygiene there may be factors such as protection from insects of various “hazard” ratings.
Silk sleeper liners are designed to add a significant degree of protection from either of these latter two factors. Lightweight and packable these liners fit inside beds or sleeping bags to add a layer of separation of skin from hotel bedding.
What about the importance of good sleep or quality rest while en route and at your destination? Flights of short duration are not much of a comfort concern but what about long haul non-stop legs of 15-20 or more hours? Now we’re talking about real comfort and discomfort concerns. Here is what Carole Gobeil, travel specialist with Far Horizons has to say about comfort related issues….
“What I am finding more and more in my years as a travel consultant, is that the biggest challenge for my trip and for my clients is the flights. The delays, the tight squeeze on the plane, the terrible food, enduring some strong perfume scents, listening to the constant noisy humming sound for many hours, the bad air that we breathe and the germs that we share are all part of the picture. We sit next to someone who has a cold, and next thing we know we have a cold 3 days later. Not getting any sleep on a long flight definitely affects how we feel when we arrive at our destination; tired, dehydrated, and adapting to a different time zone are all part of the challenges traveling by air today. So how do I make it easier?
I would say using my amazing Pillowpacker travel pillow is an added touch for some comfort while traveling by plane today, not only as a head pillow, but sometimes for seat or back support. It is versatile, and an easy to pack carry on travel item. I don’t travel without it today. I even use it in my car travels, train, jeep safaris and even camping. My Pillowpacker pillow, combined with a full bottle of water on hand, sleeping mask, ear plugs (or those fancy ear phones), my sandals or slippers (I take off my boots), comfortable loose clothes, extra layers to use for extra warmth (as it gets pretty cold on some of those planes), extra vitamin C and some eucalyptus, I am ready to get on board my flights.
I also see that more and more of my clients are opting to travel in business or at least in some premium class. It just makes their whole travel experience more enjoyable overall. Bottom line, it’s a combination of small things that add up to make one’s travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable.”
So, in summary, your travel comfort can be enhanced by indirect and direct action. Indirect factors include taking steps to relieve stressful aspects like uncertainty by having confidence your travel plans will bring no unpleasant surprises, often assisted with a travel expert. Direct action includes adding your personal hygiene items and sleep / comfort-enhancing products that easily store in your carry on luggage.
Book it yourself or use a Travel Consultant? - Ten things to consider!
It’s vacation time and you are hyped to get things underway to make your trip and all related plans a super memorable and positive event. So, what do you do to get things started? You've got your items-to-pack checklist naturally headed by packing your Pillowpacker inflatable travel pillow! One of the first things to consider is whether or not to use a travel consultant or take the DIY approach.
With every choice in life there are likely Pros and Cons and of all the things to consider about vacation or trip planning, this first step is probably the most important one you will make. Doing so with eyes wide open with awareness of potential (or probable) pitfalls is sage advice.
Here is a list of some of the most important things to consider when making this vital choice. Frankly this list could go on and on but according to Carole Gobeil, Travel Specialist with Far Horizons, these deserve particular attention:
As mentioned earlier, this list is not exhaustive but should whet the appetite of travellers who have come to this T-intersection in their planning stage. Let’s have a look at each point:
So, in summary, and as with most things in life, we are free to make choices and travel planning is increasingly offering the option to do it yourself. A healthy dose of skepticism about savings and benefits will serve any traveller well. Weighing the pros and cons of going it alone versus with the help of a travel expert based on the points outlined in this article should increase the odds for travellers having a more enjoyable vacation and prepare them better for future ones!