Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mini Pump Review
September 9, 2014
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mini Pump is one of those ridiculous little items that no self respecting ultralight backpacker would ever carry. But, for minimalist car camping or a canoe/kayak trip its pretty brilliant. I recently went on a cross country road trip and packed this sucker so I didn’t need to get dizzy after blowing up multiple air mattresses at each stop. Read on to find out of this little pump was worth the hefty price tag associated with it.
First off lets consider when you would want one of these. Its obviously not going to be included in a minimalist, ultralight setup but for something like a multi-person canoe trip it fits the bill perfectly. You have a group of cub scouts with you and at the end of the day you will need to inflate 12 air mattresses. You can pack a lot into a canoe but no so much that you bring the full sized Coleman air mattress with 12 volt electric pump. Instead you bring your backpacking air mattresses and toss this little pump in. It takes roughly 2-3 minutes to inflate an average air mattress to the point where the pump no longer has enough power to continue to force air into the mattress. I like my air mattress firm so I put an extra breath or two into the mattress to top it off – not ideal but manually topping off 12 air mattresses sounds a lot better than fully inflating 12 air mattresses.
The nozzle is made to fit a traditional Therm-a-Rest valve but, as you can see below, it works on any air mattress that uses a similar style valve. The valve attachment is rubber so you can stretch it over the larger valves. You can make it work with other air mattress valve types but it’s not optimal.
The real drawback this pump has is the price. I can think of a lot of things I’d rather spend $40 on. I also don’t like that the pump turns on automatically when you open the valve door. This means the pump is on while you are trying to wiggle the pump onto your air mattress’s valve – mildly irritating.
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Mini Pump is one of those gadgets that you buy because you have money to burn. Does it work? Sure. Would you rather use it than manually inflate 12 air mattresses? Obviously. Do you need it? Nope.
Thermarest NeoAir Mini Pump