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Best Self Inflating Mattresses Reviewed in Australia (2022)
Camping outdoor requires a fair bit of equipment.But to transport that gear to the campsite, you need to fit it all in the car. That's why inflatable products such as an air mattress, blow up kayaks, inflatable paddleboards and pool toys are becoming increasingly popular.
An portable pump can inflate all those items in no time at all and there's nothing too complex about choosing which electric air pump to buy. The main thing you'll need to think about is whether you want a foot pump, a 12V electric air pump to run from your car's DC port, a 240v pump to run from the main power socket, or a rechargeable cordless air pump for convenience.
Even the best pump for your camping mattress will be reasonably cheap and save you plenty of time blowing up your air bed manually. As an added bonus, these pumps are the best way to get a campfire roaring and blowing dust, sand and grass off your tent!
In this article, I'll give you various options of what I consider to be the best air mattress pumps on the market and provide you with all the information you need to know in order to get the ideal one for your needs. Let’s dive in!
Best Air Pumps For Camping Compared
Best Air Mattress Pump
Flextailgear Max Pump 2020
If you’re looking for the convenience of a USB-powered air pump and anticipate doing a fair bit of inflating on your trip then consider the Flextailgear Max Pump 2020. It's smaller brother, the Tiny Pump is also capable of inflating everything from air beds to inflatable pillows but will run out of juice sooner and take slightly longer.
This model comes with a 3600 mAH battery instead of the smaller 1300 mAH of the Tiny Pump. Similarly, this model also has a higher flow rate of 300 L/min as opposed to the 180 L/min so you could expect to blow up your items almost twice as fast.
Like we mentioned in the Tiny Air Pump review, the combination of having a convenient USB-powered air pump and a camp light all in the one really is genius. You'll only use the pump during the set up of your camp and then usually keep it stored until next time. But with the light now built in to this pump you can keep getting use out of it for the entire duration of your trip. An air pump is no longer wasted space.
Using this option will save you the hassle of carrying batteries or needing wall outlets. You can easily charge the device from your laptop, power bank or phone charger with a USB cable.
Overall, this is my favourite general purpose air pump for my camping trips.
Small but powerful - Balances power, endurance and portability
Easily rechargeable - USB-C is common place and doesn't require a special cable.
Camp light - Use it as a long-lasting camp light after you've inflated all your gear
Flextailgear TinyPump Ultralight Air Pump
Innovation has touched all aspects of our lives and so it didn't surprise me much when I learnt about the advancements made to portable air bed pumps.
This tiny little model weighs in at a microscopic 90 grams, doubles as a camp light and the 1300 MaH battery is recharged through the provided USB-C cable. It will take around 2.5 hours from completely flat to fully charged.
Despite its minuscule size, it's still capable of inflating or deflating camping air mattresses, pillows and kayaks with a flow rate of 180L / min and when fully charged you can expect a runtime of around 15 minutes.
It comes with an assortment of nozzles for versatility and should fit most inflation valves. However, some didn't make a seal as tight as some of the other pumps I've owned but with some mindful positioning, it wasn't an issue at all.
When not inflating or deflating, you can hang the TinyPump and turn on the built-in light to brighten up your camping area at night. I've always found it annoying to bring a larger pump on a camping trip only to use it for a few short minutes, so the light is actually a great combination.
Flextailgear do make other models, some are capable of pumping up to 300 L/min, waterproof and have larger battery capacities so feel free to check them out too.
Affordable - Usually found under $40 AUD, this is insane value for money.
Portability - Smallest performant air pump I've ever used.
Recharge Through USB-C - I hate proprietary plugs on my tech, so I'm glad to see that I can charge this the same way as my power bank and phone.
Included light - Use as an extra camp light after you've inflated your air beds and pillows.
Flowrate - At 180 L/min there are faster air pumps out there, but the difference between 2 minutes and 4 minutes to pump a mattress isn't a deal breaker for most.
Zempire Supercell Air Tent Pump
Inflatable air tents have become increasingly popular over the years and Zempire has been one of the pioneers of that innovation. It's not surprising then that they also make an air pump capable of inflating and deflating these tents, as well as your other inflatable camping equipment.
The Supercell Pump is quite a bit more expensive and on the larger size than the other options available, but it does have some features which separate it from the crowd.
The built-in adjustable PSI gauge lets choose to pump at any pressure between 1 to 20 PSI. The unit i's powered by a 12V DC plug which will fit in your car's cigarette socket. The power cable is 3 m long and the unit has an additional 1.3 m hose, giving you a total range of about 4.5 m from the nearest power source.
Between the two supplied Boston and HR valves, you'll be able to attach this to a wide variety of pool toys, inflatable pillows, mattresses and more.
It's fairly weighty at 2.4 kg but is built to inflate tents and operate for long extended periods of time.
Overall, this unit really shines when putting it through its paces such as inflating a large Zempire Air Tent, or many air paddleboards and kayaks at once. Smaller units would burn out, struggle and run out of charge. However, if this isn't your typical use case, then you'd probably get more bang for your buck over the more portable units which have come to market over the last few years.
PSI Gauge - Set your PSI between 1 and 20 for a wide variety of uses.
Long cable - While not cordless, the combined length of the power chord and hose extends to 4.5 m.
Endurance - Able to run continuously for over 20 minutes. Smaller, portable air pumps would burn out.
Price - One of the more expensive pumps on the market
Heavy - At 2.4 kg, it's also one of the heavier air pumps on the market.
Coleman QuickPump Cordless Rechargeable Air Pump
Coleman makes various models that look similar, but this is the rechargeable 12V + 240V air pump model.
This popular cordless air pump has been tried and tested for years and is still a common purchase amongst Aussie campers. It may be a little higher in price than some of the other air pumps, but you'll rarely find something it can't do.
It has an inbuilt battery which you can recharge through your car's 12V DC cigarette socket, or through a normal 240V wall socket (both are regulated to 7.5V / 0.2A) using the adapters provided. While I haven't done an extensive test to see how long the battery lasts on a single charge, I would expect it to run for around 20 - 35 minutes on single charge which is plenty. You're unfortunately not able to pump up your mattress or kayak while charging the unit and being a lead battery it's recommended you fully charge the unit prior to your first use.
While you won't be pumping up car tyres with it because of its high volume, low-pressure design but it does come with two separate nozzles and I haven't had any trouble fitting them on different air mattresses, inflatable pool toys etc.
The Coleman QuickPump Rechargeable is also capable of deflating by attaching the nozzle to the inlet valve instead.
This is a really solid choice for a rechargeable and versatile air pump, however, competitors have overtaken the Coleman QuickPump in design and portability. If your needs don't stretch too far outside of inflating and deflating products and you've got the foresight to charge this before your camping trips, then I would say you can't go wrong with this air pump.
Design - Sturdy design that has stood the test of time.
Versatile - Comes with 2 different nozzles to fit most inflatable valves.
Noise - It can be a bit loud so be mindful of the time and proximity when using.
Dated - Innovation means there are other models on the market which offer much better value for money
Coleman 12V Air Pump
A lot of campers are looking for tools and machines that are powered by the cigarette lighter in their vehicles. The Coleman Inflate-All is a 12-volt air pump that does an excellent job at that, but wouldn't be our first choice for an air pump..
While it's quick at what it does, its still limited by having to turn the car on and be tethered to the 12V socket. If you find it on special, then sure go ahead and pick it up. But otherwise, you'd probably be better off with one of the newer USB-C rechargeable air pumps.
It comes with 3 different nozzle attachments to help you choose the one that suits your mattress with ease.
Long Cord - Comes with a very long cord to reach outside the car
Deflate and Inflate - Features a deflate function for a lightening-fast deflation
Needs a 12V socket - This is obvious, but requiring to have the car on and near to what you're inflating can be a little bit of a hassle.
Things To Consider When Buying Pumps For Air Mattresses
One of the most important aspects to consider while shopping for an inflatable mattress air pump is how you’re going to power it up.
Hand Powered Air Pumps:
Originally pumps were powered by foot pedals or by hand. You've probably used some a long time ago and they're not too different from the pumps you'd use for inflatable a soccer ball or a bicycle tyre. However, pumps for inflatable air mattresses usually require lower pressure and higher volume. Despite being more preferable to inflating your items with your lungs and getting light-headed, it wasn't long until electric pumps became more common.
Electric 12V and 240V Pumps:
Over time, these became powered electrically and the first electric pumps ran off 12V cigarette lighter sockets or a 240v wall socket from a powered camp site or generator for camping. These drastically reduced the effort required to set up camp especially if you owned a lot of inflatable camping gear.
They can inflate with flow rates up to 300 L/min but the designs were noisy and required you to be near a power source.
Cordless Air Pumps:
Coleman was one of the first to bring a cordless air pump to market and used a built-in rechargable lead battery to power itself. It could be recharged through a 12V or 240v socket but still retained its high noise profile and fairly bulky design.
Ultralight and Battery USB-C Portable Air Pumps:
Like everything else in our life though, the innovations of the electronic industry haven't left camping equipment untouched. Today, you'll find rechargeable USB-C powered air pumps for camping beginning to gain traction.
They offer the benefit of being powerful, ultra-lightweight and easily rechargeable. Of course, the other main benefit is that they are actually cheaper than a lot of the older, less ideal alternatives.
Unless you're planning to blow up an air tent, which would require more pressure than the USB-powered pumps can provide, I would strongly recommend seeing if one of the models would suit your needs.
Size of the Inflatable Mattress, Inflatable Canoe or Kayak and Air Pillows
A small, lightweight air pump is great and all but if it doesn't go the distance then you'll end up being out of breath when setting up camp regardless.
So estimate the amount of volume you'd need to inflate your camping gear and then add a little bit of extra for contingency.
Most models (and all the models we review) will provide their airflow rate. This typically ranges from 180 litres of air per minute up to around 300 L/min. Multiply this by the runtime and you'll find the total volume a pump can inflate before running out of juice.
For a typical camping set-up of 2 mattresses and 4 pillows, even the smaller air pump models would suffice. If you're in charge of providing the pump for a larger group, then perhaps look at the larger models with more capacity to be on the safe side.
There is some specific factor that can limit your choices to certain types. For example, if you’re okay with a machine that’s a bit loud, then an AC or battery-powered pump is ok.
If having a low-noise pump is a top priority, manual hand or leg pumps are your best bet with the newer USB-C rechargable pumps also being an option.