Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow Review – What Does “S3” Mean?

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Seat Strap System. That’s what the “S3” stands for in the Cabeau Evolution S3 travel pillow name.

This pillow is very similar to Cabeau’s original Evolution pillow (which I have also reviewed). The travel pillow has some nice upgrades and one standout feature: velcro straps that you can attach to the headrest of an airplane.

Frequent flyers may like this option a lot, especially those who like a supportive neck pillow to begin with.

What else should you know about the Evolution S3? Check out the review below before you take off on your next adventure.

Key Features

  • 9.5″ x 10″ x 5″
  • 11.6 ounces in weight
  • 100% polyurethane memory foam filling
  • 100% polyester cover
  • 360° neck and head support
  • Removable and washable cover
  • The cover comes in a variety of colors
  • Pocket for media device/accessories
  • Can be rolled to half of its size for compact travel
  • Comes with a travel case
  • The strap system is designed for use on airplanes (not cars)
  • $40 full price

Who Makes It?

The Evolution Pillow line (including the Classic, S3, and Cool) is made by Cabeau, a company whose products are designed to help make travel more comfortable.

One of the company’s goals is “transforming Coach-Class woes into a First-Class experience.”

The Evolution Pillow, which was created by CEO David Sternlight, debuted in 2009 and was the company’s first product. According to the website, Sternlight — a former professional basketball player who stands at 6’8” — was inspired to create the Evolution Pillow when he could not get comfortable while traveling.

You will probably see one of the Cabeau Evolution travel pillow varieties — the S3, Classic, or Cool — at an airport, train station, or rest stop off the highway. This is a super popular brand, and they’ve expanded from their original Evolution travel pillow to provide options that will suit specific traveling needs.

In addition to travel pillows, Cabeau also sells items such as socks, backpacks, travel adapters, and umbrellas.

See how the Evolution travel pillow fares in my best travel pillow comparison.

Pros

  • Works best for frequent flyers
  • The 360-degree support system keeps you comfortable at any angle
  • Pillow can stay anchored to your headrest or your neck
  • Supportive memory foam
  • Affordable
  • The cover is soft and easy to remove and clean
  • Easy to compact and place in the travel case

Cons

  • Made specifically for headrests that have extendable wings
  • Very strong “neck brace”-like support can overwhelm the head and neck in more petite people
  • May not be compatible with low-hanging earbuds or headphones

My Experience

The S3 pillow is designed with airplane travelers in mind. The S3 stands for Seat Strap System, and the velcro straps on the back are designed for the extendable wings on an airplane headrest. Note that some airplanes don’t have this type of headrest, while others do.

At its core, the Evolutions S3 is a supportive neck pillow. Its 5″ in height, so for the average person it’ll probably reach the bottom of your earlobes.

You can use a toggle to connect the ends of the pillow and adjust the tightness; this is where you’ll get the full supportive effect of the solid memory foam core.

The connecting toggle allows you to turn the pillow in any direction you want, so you can make it customizable in that sense. The straps on the headrest will also allow the pillow to stay in place if you get up to use the restroom or if you move around in your sleep.

It comes in several different colors. Each cover is removable and can be washed, which is great since many of us want to avoid travel germs as much as possible.

The pillow isn’t huge, but it could take up a decent amount of space in a carry-on. The pillow comes with a travel case and directions for how to compress and roll the travel pillow into half its original size so that you can throw it in a carry-on without losing too much room.

One thing I noticed about the pillow is that the sides of it touched the bottom of my earlobes and had the potential to interfere with any headphones that fall below your head (as opposed to wireless headphones or earbuds). Just something to keep in mind if you use more traditional headphones.

I like that you can absolutely use the Evolution S3 in other travel settings; you just won’t be able to take advantage of the strap system. It still operates like a standard memory foam neck pillow and has the toggle and additional accessory holder on the side.

Overall

Based on my experience with the Evolution S3, I think $40 for the pillow is reasonable and a good value for those looking for a memory foam neck pillow that has an attachment option.

I personally really like the flat back design, the connecting toggles, and the removable cover that you can easily wash.

Average and more petite individuals should remember that it’s going to feel like neck brace-level support with a lot of foam surrounding your neck. It may feel like too much for some individuals.

If you’re curious about other options, see my list of the best travel pillows.

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.

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