I've done a lot of traveling in my life, and I can tell you that the humble travel pillow has come a long way. Back when I was a kid, "travel" pillows were basically just tinier versions of regular pillows and they absolutely sucked giant donkey d**ks in terms of letting you get any sleep while in a seated position on a long car ride/flight.
Then there were those U-shaped things that are still pretty popular to this day. They were definitely an upgrade, but I for one still had a terrible time finding a restful position with them. There are fancier, memory foam versions available now that might be a bit better, but my problem was always the shape - it just didn't work for me.
I recently started a long train commute to work and I damn sure wasn't gonna stay awake for the whole ride, so I went searching for a better solution to all those other s***ty pillows. That's when I came across the very weird Trtl Pillow, which is basically the love child of half a neck brace
and a scarf.
It claimed to be scientifically proven to keep your head in a more optimal position when trying to sleep while seated upright, so I added it to my Amazon cart along with a few other pillows so I could test them all out and return the ones I hated. The Trtl Pillow was the one that I ended up keeping.
It's kinda weird at first, but it's pretty easy to use. You simply place the brace-y part between your jaw and shoulder, then wrap the scarf-y part around your neck and fasten with velcro.
Not gonna lie, my wife legitimately thought I'd sustained a neck injury the first time she saw me in it. It takes a little getting used to in terms of finding your perfect spot for it - I prefer having it slightly more under my chin than the photos on their website show, since I tend to lean slightly forward in my sleep when I'm sitting.
Once you find your perfect placement, though, lemme tell you - this thing is WORTH IT. Maybe other people on the train think I look weird when I'm using it, but the amount of f***s I give about that is exactly zero since I'm sleeping like a motherf***ing baby! Thanks to that extra hour of sleep every morning, I'm getting to the office well-rested with a bounce in my step. The pillow's slim profile is also a plus, since it takes up WAY less space in my bag than a regular travel pillow would.
The holidays are coming up, which means a lot of long trips to see various family members and/or go on vacation. Do yourself a favor and get one of these for yourself!