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Inflating new Thermarest Neo Air

I don't have the time to order a  Thermarest Neo Air pump sack.

I was wondering in any one had any Proven tricks to inflating it. 

That won!t require a new set of lungs. 


The sack is unnecessary...any good size air-tight bag will work good enough (I use the bags I keep my clothes and insulation dry with). For the "gasket" I wrap the open end of the bag around the nozzle of the mattress and use my fingers like a hose-clamp and then squeeze the bag between my chest and arms. Works perfectly for me...but it takes a couple of small breaths to top a mattress off to its firmest (I like mine a bit under totally firm).

Yes, you can DIY a solution with many different types of bags. There is a small battery-operated pump called the Microburst that works great, if you're OK getting out on the far end of the trail-bling scale. Also a manual device called the Instaflator but I don't know that those are sold anymore.

Thank guys 

i just tried a glad white garbage bag ( duel purpose) and it did the trick. 

The NeoAir AirTap works for me. Probably a bit less finicky than the homemade solutions, but still pretty cheap and no batteries needed.

The Instaflator was originally designed to inflate pool toys. I don't remember when I first found out about them. They work very well and rapidly. They weigh just a few ounces. However, since the tube is a very thin plastic, it is easy to put a small hole in one, which lengthens the time to inflate from a minute or so.

The local pool stores around here stopped carrying them a year or 2 ago and sold off their supplies at 50 cents or so. I bought a half dozen of them and still use them a lot. I have used the in a wide range of temperatures. Some day, I will probably spring for the "official" pump sacks, since they are more durable than the Instaflators. Maybe I will try a white garbage bag.

My instaflator started getting too many holes. I removed the nozzle and reattached it to a garbage bag. Works great. Actually like it better as it is not such a long tube but a roundish bag now. Wish I had thought about it before, I would have swapped it out sooner.

Bill and Uncle, your posts about the Instaflator mirror my experience. Yes, originally for pool toys. One or two puffs from your mouth will cause the long tube to inflate (Venturi effect) and allows you to trap way more air than you puffed.

I found the Instaflator about 5 years ago, bought a couple, and have only been using one of them (the other still in storage). I cut about 2' off the tube to make it more manageable and it weighs 1.3 oz. It has gotten a few holes over the years but a simple pool toy patch or a small bit off the roll of Tenacious Tape in my repair kit keeps it in tip-top shape. The plastic "tube" is of a similar material to grocery store plastic bags.

It's not just that pool supply stores have stopped carrying it, apparently it isn't being made anymore -- their company's website has an "order" page that results in "page not found".

You could easily build one yourself with a garbage bag or stuff sack and a bit of tubing from the plumbing department at Home Depot, you just need a segment of tube that will fit on your pad's valve and another segment that will sit snug inside of the first that will trap and hold the end of your plastic bag.

I second or third the Instaflator recommendation, which is rather useless if they are not made any more. I bought three a couple of years ago and still am on the first one. The plastic is definitely thin and likely in need of repair on a longer trip. In preparation for a longer wet trip I have been working on a system that would allow me to stay under shelter while inflating. I have lately been dabbling with a tube fitting at the bottom corner of my trash compactor bag liner since I carry that anyway and it is heavier one short tube segment that fits my sleeping pad and a larger diameter one overlapping that from the inside and trapping the bag as JR describes. So far it worked on one test trip but I haven't really tested the waterproofness of the valve...I currently just fold it up but need a solid wet trip to test.

I have been using the Thermarest Neo Air for over a year now. I blow it up after having been bicycle touring all day and I am 61, it takes me about 20 breath's and 5 minutes maybe to inflate it, not that hard!

I deflate by while still laying on it morning, I just open the valve and in seconds its flat again.

For the record: I think it's OK to inflate NeoAirs with your breath because they have reflective insulation that is not compromised by moisture, but I would strongly recommend that you should never inflate a down or synthetic fill mattress by breath. The moisture will accumulate over time and ruin the insulation. That's speaking from experience, and because I don't really want moisture accumulating in my NeoAir I always use an inflator for that too, even though it may not be as badly affected. If you deflate while warm as Gary does that will help get the moisture out.

I suppose I could start a separate thread  about this under gear repair...

May 13, 2021
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