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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pump Sack
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- Weight 2.7 oz / 77 g
- Width 13 in / 33 cm
- Height 27 in / 69 cm
- Volume 40 liters
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Quickly and easily fill your Therm-a-Rest mattress with clean, dry air (instead of moist, germy air from your lungs) with the help of the NeoAir Pump Sack. Simply wave this taped airtight sack to fill it with air, attach it to the valve on your mattress, and squeeze. In addition to acting as an ingenious (and extremely packable) pump, you can use the Pump Sack to turn your NeoAir mattress into a camp chair, and you can also use it as a stuff sack.
Color: Orange | Size: One
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My one concern is the valve material where the pad’s valve is inserted. I can see this as the weak point of the system. If it cracks or splits, the bag fails. It’s made from vinyl and it’s designed to stretch over the valave. Only time and use will tell.
Overall, it works
The reason for the extra size is probably tied to the bag's chair functionality. But the chair is not for me. For starters, its a little tricky and time consuming to make the chair (you've got to fill the air mattress about half way and orient it correctly)... to a point where one would never really consider constructing it except for overnight stops. Then, once the chair is setup, its neither supportive nor that comfortable. Its better than nothing, I suppose, but Thermarest has other mattress-based, chair-specific alternatives that weigh next to nothing, take up almost no space, and do the job better, in my opinion.
Bottom line, I like the Thermarest NeoAir Pump Sack. 5-stars, for me, would be a stuff-sack sized version of the exact same item that makes no effort at being a chair. But the ability to quickly, manually, inflate an air mattress with dry air while eliminating the huff-and-puff still makes this a very good product.
It's a big sack with a hole in the bottom that slips nicely over the inlet on the mattress and it seems to stay there. The sack is best used by attaching it and then using your hand to open the middle of the bag up, then quickly seal in the air by rumpling and rolling the sack up towards the inlet of the mattress. This collects the air well and quickly forces it into the mattress.
This action is fairly exhausting after two mattress and a full day of hiking, however it's still MUCH better then using your lungs! It's also MUCH faster then lung power (my wife and I had a race, her super lungs vs my super sack (heh) and I won handily) .
An issue with the huge pump sack is that it's impossible to use inside a backpacker's tent (bag and mattress and room for you to use are stacked end to end). This means that you and sack are outside of the tent in the dirt, blowing dust around and trying to keep everything clean.
As a seat (rolled up mattress inside it) it's only okay. It's a bit hard to gracefully stuff the mattress inside it and then get the right amount of air inside the mattress to make it stable and it never gets fully stable, so you end up sitting and balancing. That said, once you do get the air right, it makes a decent seat that I would not have with me otherwise. Once again however, your mattress and pump sack are in the dirt.
In the end you have a voluminous sack that serves more then one purpose, as long as your willing to be a little dirty and make some concessions.
I do like the fact that using this I can keep moisture out of my air mattresses when inflating them so they will last longer and I don't have to worry about mold, mildew, or bad smells being in the air mattresses. It's very light weight and compacts down to a very small size with nothing in it.
I do have a little concern with the plastic piece that fits over the air valve on Thermarest mattresses, and whether or not it will last a long time without getting stretched out to the point where it won't stay on the valve by itself any more, but time will tell. For now it stays on fine as long as you make sure to push it all the way down on the valve before starting.