April 12, 2009
What it is: The machine-washable polar fleece travel pillow, arm sling and blanket do what the name suggests: They make you downright cozy. The unusual part is the arm sling—or arm hammock, as the maker calls it—in which you can rest both arms in toasty comfort. This and other COZYTraveler products recently debuted in military exchanges, which make great sense. Although Marines in particular have been known to sleep sitting up when a shut-eye opportunity arises, this makes a comfy companion on military transports that most certainly were not built for passenger comfort.
The good: I tried this for a week on a commuter train, also seemingly not built for passenger comfort. What really makes the difference here is the arm sling. It's a large pouch that clips to the pillow. Pull the generous 56-by-36-inch blanket up to your shoulders, slip your arms into the sling and drift away. With this ensemble, sleeping in public has rarely been so comfortable. Dangling arms have always been a problem for me while trying to sleep in transit. You can fold them, but having them cradled in the hammock is much more relaxing. Previously, I would cross them and wedge my hands into my upper armholes inside my jacket to try to achieve the same thing. Although the pillow and blanket are comfortable, it's the sling that makes this work so well.
The bad: The pillow requires some breaking in. It's so firm that you really need to beat it into submission for the first few uses. But after some "conditioning," it offers perfect, supple support. It's not as easily packed as inflatable pillows, however.
Cost: $39.99 is the suggested retail, but you may find it cheaper in various places on the Internet.
Available from: cozytraveler.com