Trying to explain exactly what the Minion from Enlightened Gear is can be a bit of a challenge. After all, it is one of the most versatile pieces of gear you’ll ever come across. It was originally designed to be a pillow or pillowcase for camping, however, it quickly made sense to open the other end up and turn it into something more. As a result, the Minion can be used as a hand warmer, balaclava, hood, and a stuff sack that can accommodate quilts and hammocks. In addition, you can use it to sit or kneel on, and it can even be used as a food rehydration cozy. With all of these uses, I’m starting to think this thing could fils that gap on my trips when I’ve always said “I wish I had a _____ right about now…”
The design is intelligent in that that Minion is tough, yet still soft and lightweight. It measures 24×20 inches and is made of ultralight Phantom 10D fabric on one side and waterproof Silnylon on the other. Inside, it has Climaxshield Apex insulation in three options; 2, 4, and 6 oz/yd2. Enlightened Equipment recommends the 2 oz. option for stuff sack purposes, but you’ll need to toss something inside of it if you want to convert that version of the Minion into a pillow. The 4 and 6 oz. options have enough padding to be a standalone pillow, and can provide that extra warmth you need in colder environments.
Which brings us back to the orginal question. What exactly is the Minion? If you asked one of the reps from Enlightened Gear they would probably ecstatically reply “What isn’t it?!?” But all bad jokes aside, there’s been plenty of times that I’ve wished I had a small piece of waterproof material with a little bit of insulation along with me on my expeditions. Such an item could come in vary handy in a wide variety of situations The Minion fits those needs quite nicely and is definitely an impressively diverse piece of equipment that you’ll find a multitude of uses for.