All the current super comfy and light weight sleeping pads on the market now require a pump bag to inflate (unless you have sufficient air remaining in your lungs after a day of skiing or climbing). I have used a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core pad for the past 3 years, but recently broke down and purchased a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xtherm to save space and weight. The “pump bag” supplied took many times to pump the mattress full. The supplied bag is also a heavier nylon bag and not of a size that I need to replace in my pack.
Then I got to thinking. I have been using a Integral Designs Silcoat Pack Liner to hold all my overnight gear and anything that I do not need immediate access to throughout the day. This bag in bigger than 50 liters and if fitted with Cascade Designs’ NeoAir AirTap Pump, I could save weight in my pack and save time at night when inflating my mattress So I parted with $9.95 and bought the AirTap.
I chose to install the AirTap on the side of my pack liner in order to reduce the area I needed to compress while inflating my mattress. The operation required cutting a hole in the fabric approximately ½ in in diameter, then using a small amount of tent seam sealer, the valve is glued to the fabric (Instructions on the AirTap are clear and the process is intuitive). I waited overnight for the glue to cure.
So how did it work? Testing in my living room only required 2 full pumps to fully inflate the mattress!
The AirTap also has a cap (on the inside of the pack liner). This allows the pack liner, when filled with gear, to be compressed and all air expelled to make a smaller bag to stuff in my pack. Be sure to open the valve prior to inflating your mattress and close it when done.