I happened across this impressive little nugget not long ago. The NeoAir MiniPump is basically a little fan, a flexible connection point for your mattress, and a set of two AAA batteries (not included) that’s designed to save you some lung work when it comes to setting up camp. MSRP is $39.99, and it weighs only 2.3 oz. I thought I would test it out, and see if it’s actually worth carrying into the backcountry. Here is a quick review.
What I liked
It’s a simple, light weight way to inflate your sleeping pad without passing out from oxygen deprivation. This is especially handy after a long trek at high altitude, or at base camp. To use it, simply open up the device, exposing the nozzle and the fan automatically starts up, filling your mattress with that lofty goodness we call air. You can walk away and continue setting up your camp while your pad inflates.
A fresh set of batteries will inflate most Thermarest pads, and pads of similar design and size, in just around 3 minutes. An extra 30 seconds or so produces a surprisingly firm pad.
It packs tiny and weighs very little (plus the batteries of choice).
What I didn’t like
It is extra weight to carry, although not very much.
The battery compartment is a bit of a pain to get on and off.
39.99 is a little steep for a tiny inflation device, but it’s not without its value.
If you hate pumping up your pad after a long backpacking trip, or simply want a faster more convenient way to pump up your pad, this is an interesting option. It’s affordable enough, and works surprisingly well. It’s certainly better than huffing and puffing.