Therm-a-Rest NeoAir AirTap Pump Kit
Where to Buy
A simple and effective, high-volume inflation device.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't remember, at a Norwegian retailer.
A simple and effective, high-volume inflation device. Overpriced for what it is, but cheaper than the alternatives.
- High volume, fast inflation
- Works with any plastic bag
- Can pop off if you squeeze too hard
- Won't fit Nemo valves
To put the device together you just poke a hole through the bag from the inside using the beveled end of the hard plastic piece, then slide the rubber tube over it from the outside so that the plastic bag is tightly sandwiched between the two pieces, giving a tight seal.
With a little practice you can fill a full length mattress in two to three fillings of the plastic bag. The tube can pop off if you squeeze too hard so you can't rush it, but I don't think it takes more than 30-60 seconds a round.
I accidentally punched a hole in the bag and patched it with duct tape on it to keep it going, but it would also be easy to replace it with another and possibly larger or smaller or lighter bag.
I guess the little cap is meant to close it off to hole air in while you close the mattress valve, but it can close inadvertently while you are inflating and so just gets in the way, so I cut it off. You only lose a little air while closing the valve, and you don't need much pressure in you mattress anyway. With that modification the whole setup weighs 53 g (a bit under 2 oz).
As another reviewer has noted it is a tight fit on Big Agnes valves but will work. It won't fit Nemo or Exped mattresses.
Although there are some other variations on this theme that may trap even more air, I think anything much bigger or longer would be hard to use inside a tent, but this one is fine.
$7 is pretty steep for a piece of molded plastic, a few inches of tubing, and a plastic bag, but still probably one of the cheapest inflaters around, aside form the homemade rubber band and plastic bag approach. REI doesn't carry these, at least online. You might conclude that they want you to buy one of the more expensive options...
Will fit Big Agnes valves. Makes inflating your mattress…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $10
Will fit Big Agnes valves. Makes inflating your mattress pad easy and quick.
- Works with Big Agnes valves, not just Therm-a-Rest
- Easy to use, saves time and huffing and puffing
- Keeps moist air out of your pad
- Heavy for its size
- Should come with adhesive or stick pads
I am happy to say that it fits the Big Agnes valve, but it is a tight fit (Therm-a-Rest valves are smaller). Plastic could be slightly thinner to save weight. Cost is high for a piece of plastic, two pieces of rubber, and a plastic bag. It should have included adhesive or stick pads, and maybe a plastic clip that could be used to clamp down on the rubber nozzle.
I bought this kit to use with my Big Agnes Q-Core pad, 25x78x3.5, after being inspired by the Schnozzel from Exped (I have that pad too, UL7 LW, and its inflation system is super easy to use). I have never slept so well while camping since getting my Q-Core pad. All that volume that makes it comfortable also means a lot of puffing to fill it so I bought the AirTap Kit which is meant for the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir. This also means it is unlikely to pop off during inflation.
I have used it in the summer and winter and it takes the same effort regardless of temperature. In reality it only takes 5-10 seconds to get it on the valve. Using seam-sealer I cut a circular hole, not the X the directions state, into a 33L lightweight dry sack. The kit does come with a large plastic sack that is reasonably thick, but it would eventually puncture and is louder.
Using a dry sack also make this setup multifunctional. By slipping the cap over the hole on the inside I can turn the sack into a pillow (it leaked out halfway through the night, but I don't know if it was through the cap or the rolled top), a bear bag, or a solar shower (I chose a black sack/would need to pinch the hose with something so the water would trickle out).
Overall I am very happy with the way my setup turned out. It takes about 5-6 bagfuls of air to fill my large pad (<3 minutes) and I am keeping my moist breath out of the pad at the same time. It cost me about $30 to make not including the seam sealer I already had. That is $10 more than the Big Agnes Pumphouse and the same as the NeoAir Pump, but mine is quicker and more versatile than either one of those since it is bigger and seals up on both ends.