Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blow Up Your Sleeping Pad with One Breath!

Anyone who's ever used a non-self-inflating sleeping pad is probably familiar with this phenomenon:  after countless breathes, your pad still isn't inflated and you're dizzy and out of breath.  Do this at altitude and it's even worse.  But the Instaflator might just save you from collapsing from oxygen deprivation.



At only $3.99 and 1.5 oz., this could be just the ticket for those frustrated by having to manually blow up their sleeping pads.  While originally designed for pool floats, according to the company, the Instaflator works with all sleeping pads and lots of backpackers buy them.  What's your take?  Have you ever carried one? Would you carry one?

Special thanks to Gear Talk reader Kathy Handyside for sending this in.


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15 comments:

Heber said...

This is similar to the Big Agnes
Pumphouse which I use and really like. This looks like it would work even better for the same weight. However the pumphouse works as a stuff sack (Big Agnes claims it is a dry sack and it almost is but it's not quite a water-tight as a real dry sack). Because of it's smaller size the pumphouse must be rolled up a number of times to fill a pad rather than just once.

I might give this a try.

Izzy G. said...

Pakcanoes have been using this type of inflator for years.

Basti said...

Izzy G. is right. This inflator is similar to the dualuse packsack you get with some of the packrafts. But never thought about inflating a sleeping pad with it.

Anonymous said...

The real issue with blowing air into your sleeping mat is about condensation. In a cold environment this will degrade the performance of your mat. The colder, the more of a problem.

I've been looking for a compact and lightweight pump solution for sleeping mats for quite some time. This - or something similar home-brewed and downscaled - may just be it.

MostlyHarmless

Clio said...

I was literally laughing while watching the video. I can relate to the countless breathes which results to oxygen deprivation. lol! This is incredible. I never thought Instaflator really works for sleeping pad! :)

Jolly Green Giant said...

That's a very similar process on how to blow up winter air mattresses to avoid freezing condensation.

Kathy Handyside said...

I had read somewhere that Exped made the insulated air core pads for Big Agnes and I thought I could use one of Exped's mini pumps. However, Exped redisigned the valves on their 2010 models of sleeping pads and there mini pump wouldn't work on other brands of pads. I checked out the Big Agnes Pumphouse but I don't need another stuff sack and several people said that the pumphouse just wasn't big enough to be real effective. I just happen to stumble across the website for the Instaflator and thought it looked like it might be the ticket. Don't you just love looking at backpacking gear?? LOL

Scott said...

I like the idea, but REALLY . . . how long does it take to blow up your pad? Put your dinner on the stove and relax. It's not a race. I wouldn't carry it.

John Green said...

The breathless panicky feeling comes from over-breathing, not from lack of oxygen.

It's counter-intuitive, but you have to deliberately slow down your breathing to recover. If not, you can slide into a real panic attack.

As Scott said, take it easy and all will be well.

stick13 said...

I saw these a while back in a thread on Backpacker.com. They look ingenious! I will probably get around to getting one of these to use during the winter months simply to keep my moist breath out of the pads for reasons already stated. My only concern is how well they attach to the valve on the pads. I would love to see a video of someone actually using this with an Exped or a NeoAir.

Dan said...

I know that feeling and it is also weakening. Good thing there are already products to solve this problem. I salute everyone who addressed this issue. It makes camping a lot easier.

Art said...

Whatever it is that you wanted to say, inflation gears are good for a sleeping pad :) at least if you want to carry along with you a heavy material. If not, just sleep on your pad that way and you'll still be fine except for some cold feeling :D

Anonymous said...

I'm interested... but their website is amazingly devoid of useful information. What is it constructed of? What does the nozzle look like?

JoeS said...

I was concerned that condensation inside my inflatable pad would result in mildew. I though of carrying a CO2 inflator used for bycicle tires but it would not fit the valve. Has anyone used the Instaflator with an air pad? I am curious about how they fit those valves that seem to be designed to prevent using anything but breath to inflate.

Chris said...

Guaranteed to aggravate my carpal tunnel. I'll stick my mini-cell pad. No inflation required.