Here’s another EXPED “firstovation,” and it goes way back to when the original DownMat was introduced to the world in 2001 (yes, another firstovation!). It was then, and still is, a bag with an attachment valve that allows a sleeping mat to be inflated quickly and without using human lungs or a battery-powered device to do it. Over the years, it’s evolved to be higher in volume for quicker inflation, lighter, more compact and more versatile (EXPED’s signature tinkering-to-perfection in action). And because it can be used as an ultralight waterproof stuff sack (for clothing or sleeping bag) on the way to camp, its net weight is essentially zero. There are two ways to make a piece of gear lighter – build it out of light fabric and materials or design it to perform one or more functions. Schnozzel Pumpbag does both! And using a pump eliminates two unsavory things previously associated with sleeping mat inflation: having to use lung power to inflate and the resulting accumulation of moisture inside the mat from vapor-laden breath. The latter can encourage (in any air-holding gear) the process of hydrolysis to break down coatings and laminates on the inner walls, so it’s good to avoid blowing into mats.
Schnozzel Pumpbag is available in two different fabric styles and three sizes. The standard version is built with durable, 70-denier ripstop nylon, which will withstand a little more abuse than Schnozzel Pumpbag UL, which utilizes super lightweight, 20-denier fabric. The UL version is roughly half the weight and packed volume, so choose it if reducing gear weight is a priority. Small, medium and large sizes allow the pumpbag to be matched to the job at hand. For inflating just one mat, a small or medium size is going to work well. For situations where multiple mats need to be inflated, the size large makes the job quick and painless.
Like EXPED’s other inflation pumps, Schnozzel Pumpbag is equipped with its namesake Schnozzel tube to connect the inflation reservoir to the sleeping mat’s inflation valve. Once attached, the top edges of the bag’s opening are grasped with both hands. By lowering and then lifting the bag, air is scooped in, which can then be trapped by a light rolling of the top edges together. While holding the rolled top together, air can then be pushed out of the bag, through the Schnozzel tube and into the sleeping mat. Every EXPED mat inflate valve is equipped with a one-way flapper, which keeps air from escaping the mat once it’s been pumped in. A little bit of practice and it quickly becomes second nature, making mat inflation very fast, without the light-headedness of the mouth-to-valve lung inflation of olden days.
For detailed instructions, please refer to the product-use video here on this page.