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Marc Shea
(FlytePacker) - F

Locale: Cascades
Instaflators on 04/21/2011 20:45:12 MDT Print View

I have a case of Instaflators in stock if anyone is interested. We are selling them for $3.95 + $2.50 S&H for domestic orders only (international orders please email me). Link for purchase is or you can go to our website and purchase them there.

These are great lightweight items to inflate insulated air mattresses with to avoid getting condensation on the insulation. Also, they are compatible with our FlytePacker boats as well. 1.7oz each. Let me know if you have any questions.

Franco's video gives you an idea of what these look like and how they are used.

Christopher Holly
(climber72) - F

Locale: At my desk
SynMat inflation... on 04/21/2011 21:17:33 MDT Print View

I love the concept of the Istaflator, but is there a hack for filling the Exped SynMat UL?

If so, sign me up!

Marc Shea
(FlytePacker) - F

Locale: Cascades
Re: SynMat inflation... on 04/22/2011 00:45:25 MDT Print View

Chris, if I am not mistaken the Exped's use a proprietary valve. Instaflators have three adapters, but I don't think that they are compatible with the exped valves. I know that Exped makes a series of products designed for inflation.

Here is a pic of the Instaflator adapters.

Edited by FlytePacker on 04/22/2011 00:46:00 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Instaflators on 04/22/2011 16:54:30 MDT Print View

Exped have has used at least two if not three valve sizes.
The one I have is 20mm wide about the size of the outside of the clear adaptor.
Immerse the clear adaptor in hot water. Leave it there for a few minutes.
Pull out (I use pliers..) and stretch the rubber tube over the Exped valve.
Now insert the Instaflator into the clear plastic tube.
Instaflator adaptor

I have just done this , so I do not know if the clear tube will remain stretched enough to pull out and be inserted again or if I need to leave it attached to the Exped.
If it needs to stay on the Exped then I can shorten it a bit.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Instaflators on 04/24/2011 18:06:56 MDT Print View

My new Kooka-Bay pad arrived Friday and I decided to give it a spin yesterday but egad didn't have an inflater.

After googling instaflator which of course led me back to this blog but also brought up Jason Klass' video and also the video by Franco ( is that a bouganvillea in the background? ) I decided mother being the make one.

So I had a roll of cheap, light office/kitchen sized 13 gallon bags and some duct tape and some of those @ 8" x 1'2" velcro cinch straps and I made one using @ half the conch strap and the trash bag with a 1.5 x 1.5 inch square of duct tape near the bottom with crossed slits to let it pass over the valve. It's then secured around the valve stem by the velcro cinch strap.

I found out the biggest problem is closing the valve once the pad is full. If you use a tube over the valve from the bag like Franco's model or the commercial instaflator you can twist the valve shut while keeping steady pressure on the pad and maintain "Michelin man" inflation because you can twist the entire thing.air bag and all. With the simpler slot you have to:

1. Be careful to get the hole in the bag and the velcro cinch BELOW the valve stem threads so it doesn't impede the shutting of the valve
2. Shut the valve sort of "through" the air bag or reach inside the air bag to screw shut the valve so either way you loose a little pressure.

Since the weight of your body on the bag "blows it back up" and a really tightly inflated bag is from my experience not that necessary or comfortable (and I've had a Stephenson D.A.M. since 1974 so this ain't my first rodeo with air mats) This doesn't bother me........just sayin...... But if you could find a piece of @ 1.5 " light tubing project.....

Anyhow the 13 gal bag with the duct tape square and the 4" velcro strap weighs a little less than 6 grams. Took 2 bags full if you allowed the mattress to self inflate for around 15 minutes or 4 if you blew it up while it was still tight. I have a 60" x 2.5 x 25 kooka-bay pad.

On another note. I was told by the folks at Stephensons years ago (when Jack the guru was still running the show) that bacteria could degrade ( eat?) the (I guess) urethane coating....which seems plausible since after all it's a hydrocarbon and of organic origin. Any of the scientists on the blog heard of this or care to comment? Seems like another good reason not to blow into your air-mat..regardless of insulation. Makes you wonder if it'd be a good idea to mash the bag flat and close the valve....then fill a trash bag with lysol and attach it to the the valve and let the pad "inhale" a shot of lysol as preventive What next?

Christopher Holly
(climber72) - F

Locale: At my desk
Re: Re: SynMat inflation... on 04/24/2011 20:36:05 MDT Print View

Unfortunately, the SynMat I have has the newest valve on it which has no twisty knob sticking out. It's nice because it's a one way affair, but kind of a PITA as the Instaflator will not work. I will not be partaking in the spongy little pillow inflators Exped is so fond of!

I might just swoop on one just to see if I can hack it for my mat...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Instaflators on 04/24/2011 21:37:18 MDT Print View

> bacteria could degrade ( eat?) the (I guess) urethane coating.
I don't think that is quite what happens. My understanding is that water molecules get absorbed into the PU layer, where a chemical reaction happens leading to a breakdown of the PU polymer. It goes sticky, and cannot be rescued.

I can understand Jack's thinking it must be bacteria, because in those days the chemistry was not fully understood. Easier to blame the bugs.


obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Instaflators on 04/25/2011 12:09:53 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger. So are most currently currently manufactured inflatable pads, regardless of insulation; potentially subject to this problem? Do you think it's a marginal "iffy" type problem or is it more likely a matter of when, not if?

Anybody out there have a pad that just no longer holds air...without a specific repairable leak? Did you blow into it to fill it?

Or by the time you get this comprehensive failure the latest new pads are half the weight and twice the warmth and you're happy to move on. Unless it's a down air mat and then the technology hasn't really substantially advanced in 40 years. Amazing when you think of it.

Edited by obxcola on 04/25/2011 12:16:15 MDT.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Instaflators on 04/25/2011 15:35:45 MDT Print View

I just got back from a trip to Oregon visiting my son, and my instaflator and Vargo Y ti-stakes were in my mailbox from Marc. So in case you're wondering, he's great to work with and order from. He was quick responding to my emails and very helpful when I was asking about the ti-stakes.

dave p
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
Marc,do you have any left?thanks on 04/13/2012 19:13:07 MDT Print View

Marc,do you have any left?thanks

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Marc,do you have any left?thanks on 04/14/2012 08:06:14 MDT Print View

go to the address he gives in his post above and scroll down