Forum Index » GEAR » XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 03/29/2013 17:27:44 MDT Print View

I think there was a thread on this, but I can't seem to find it. I just picked up an XTherm and wonder if there's consensus on the best way to inflate it? Will moisture have any effect on the lamination, long-term?

Are there any other inflation-sacks that are better?

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
xtherm sack on 03/29/2013 18:36:28 MDT Print View

The X-therm stuff sack is utterly useless. I tried to inflate mine with it, but after 3 mins I gave up...it's way too small to be effective. I avoid lung inflation due to the risk of baffle delamination, as seen with the xlite. The instaflator works extremely well, is cheap ( i got mine off ebay), and works fast (2 rolls will inflate it).

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 03/29/2013 18:42:14 MDT Print View

I use the Microburst with mine. Like it quite a bit.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: xtherm sack on 03/29/2013 23:41:33 MDT Print View

I use an Instaflator too. I cut its length in half and removed the other valve options, so now it's down to just over an ounce.

Usually, I fill it up about halfway through the fifth time, and I find the shorter length makes it more manageable.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Store it right on 03/30/2013 05:29:57 MDT Print View

I used lungs on my old Thermarest for 6 months, no noticeable effect. I'm using lungs on my Xtherm. Just store it open and deflated and unrolled.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
lung power on 03/30/2013 07:12:39 MDT Print View

Max,
Your Xtherm is a completely different animal than your old thermarest. There's anecdotal evidence that moisture leads to delamination of the reflective baffles...something that is not present in your old self-inflating thermarest.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Really? on 03/30/2013 07:13:18 MDT Print View

I had the Neo-Air All-Season. Time to buy an instaflator?

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
delamination on 03/30/2013 07:19:45 MDT Print View

I didn't know u had an all-season. But yeah, it might have been delaminating...you just couldn't see it. When they introduced the xlite and the semi-transparent fabric, people could see the silver baffling peeling away. Thermarests remedy was to make the fabric opaque on their subsequent versions. I don't think there's proven direct correlation between loss of reflective baffling and loss of r-value, seeing as how the r-value is mainly achieved by the architecture of the baffles and not b/c of the materials, but I choose to be safe. Here's an interesting read:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=63495

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: delamination on 03/30/2013 08:33:59 MDT Print View

I was just about to post the same link... Based on what others have said about the "delaminating", I just decided to go ahead and use my lungs for my Xlite last year... especially considering that when I brought my instaflator on its first trip the thing was already defective.

I upgraded to the Xtherm this year and I see the same damn issue popping up again and am rethinking the entire thing... especially since Thermasrest sends you the "pump sack" along with the Xtherm, as opposed to the Xlite which just features a simple stuff sack.

Why do you suppose Thermarest made a "pump" for the Xtherm and not the Xlite? I feel as though I'm personally over thinking this.

(As a side note this has been my only frustration with these pads. They take the cake in all other ways IMO).

Edited by timdcy on 03/30/2013 08:36:15 MDT.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
xtherm pump sack on 03/30/2013 08:37:43 MDT Print View

Xtherm was intended to be a 4th season pad, meaning used in sub-freezing temps. The xlite was intended to be a 3-season pad. Moisture from your breath + sub freezing temps would mean frozen condensation/frost inside of your pad = colder sleep. That's my understanding why they encourage you to use alternative inflation via a pumpsack and not your lungs. Too bad the pump sack sucks royally.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: xtherm pump sack on 03/30/2013 08:43:31 MDT Print View

Intentions, intentions.

Thanks.

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
pump sack on 03/30/2013 08:54:13 MDT Print View

@Konrad "Too bad the pump sack sucks royally."
Yes it truly does, I tried it a couple times then bought an instaflator. I sleep really cold and the last thing I need is cold condensation in my xtherm, kind of defeats the purpose :-)

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 03/30/2013 09:43:54 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the good replies. I became frustrated with the TaR pump sack after a few tries.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 03/30/2013 13:54:16 MDT Print View

I just got my XTherm in the mail today, the pump works after a fashion. Takes quite a few minutes, still did not achieve full inflation. I'll try somemore later. I'll have to check out the above mentioned pump/sack.
Duane

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 03/30/2013 14:26:22 MDT Print View

Also just received my Xtherm. Pump sack is far from great, but it does work for me. Slow, small, and heavy, but works. Probably use instaflator instead for deep winter camping.

Rocco Speranza
(Mechrock)

Locale: Western NC Mtns
Xtherm inflator on 03/30/2013 21:27:46 MDT Print View

The inflator that came with the Xtherm seems to work fine for me.(Just wish it was lighter.) ~10-12 bag fulls blows up the pad. Requires a couple manual breaths to get the pressure I want afterwards.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Xtherm inflator on 03/30/2013 21:35:55 MDT Print View

You must be a pretty patient dude. Didn't work worth a damn for me. This really needs something like a bellows. You need high pressure and no back flow. Honestly, even blowing it up by lung power is a chore with this guy to me, although the only other inflatable I've got is a torso length Kookabay proto admittedly..

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Xtherm inflator on 03/30/2013 22:23:58 MDT Print View

Mine took tons of bag fulls. I even tried only unscrewing the valve cap one turn so air wouldn't escape around the valve, tried sealing the end of the bag good so air would not escape. Nothing helped. I have the regular. One good thing, it isn't as noisie as I thought it would be. It's just for winter trips and that season is about over, so I may not get to try it out this season.
Duane

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Instaflator on 03/30/2013 23:11:18 MDT Print View

"I use an Instaflator too. I cut its length in half and removed the other valve options, so now it's down to just over an ounce.

Usually, I fill it up about halfway through the fifth time, and I find the shorter length makes it more manageable."

Clayton, when I first read this I was wondering how little weight you could save by cutting the Instaflator in half. But you're probably right on the part about it being more manageable. I bought 2 because it had to be frail (you'd think) but I'm starting season 3 and still on the first one so I think I'll try cutting the original in half. I have a Kookabay DAM and it currently takes 1.5 rolls to fill it. 3 or 4 seems pretty good compared to the original gazillion with the BA Pumphouse.

I remember unraveling the thing on a trip with my friend who was laughing at what he saw as a toy. But he sure thought differently when he saw how easy and fast it filled the DAM.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 03/30/2013 23:32:21 MDT Print View

This is what I use and it rocks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ecMAIfkts

I'm guessing it could be modified to work with any pad. Or you could make your own. I also use mine as a stuff-sack for my sleeping bag.

Oh, and the Exped UL7 pad is frickin' sweet, too!

Edited by pitsy on 03/30/2013 23:42:36 MDT.

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
Exped Schnozzle on 03/31/2013 07:08:28 MDT Print View

Thanks for the link Daniel! I have a neo air all season and also hate the inflation bag. I have long wondered why there wasn't something similar to the Alpacka packraft inflation bag, but scaled down, for these lightweight cold-weather mats. This is what the Exped Schnozzle appears to be. The instaflator seems a fine alternative, but as exped shows, no need to involve batteries and moving parts.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Exped Schnozzle on 03/31/2013 08:03:25 MDT Print View

"The instaflator seems a fine alternative, but as exped shows, no need to involve batteries and moving parts."

James, the instaflator does not have batteries or moving parts. As a matter of fact, it's a very simplified version of the schnozzle. Are you confusing the camptek microburst with the instaflator? Keep in mind the schnozzle will likely not work with thermarests since exped uses its own proprietary nozzle.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Instaflator on 03/31/2013 08:23:28 MDT Print View

FYI, this is the link to buy the real Instaflator that Konrad is referring to.

http://www.celestaire.com/vmchk/Cool-Things/Instaflator/vmj_estore.tpl.html

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: Instaflator on 03/31/2013 08:31:56 MDT Print View

Randy,

I hope its the same one that I just bought off Amazon. They claim it to be the "new version". Whatever that means. The one I see in your link looks exactly like the one that I bought from Leslies Pool Supply last year.

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
Confused microburst w/instaflator on 03/31/2013 08:33:13 MDT Print View

Thanks Konrad! I was indeed thinking of the camptek microburst. And thanks for the link Randy. That instaflator bag looks larger than I hoped, but might do the trick.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Any secondary uses for the Instaflator? on 03/31/2013 16:48:43 MDT Print View

I know it's Hella light and all, but I'm always trying to avoid single-purpose items.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Any secondary uses for the Instaflator? on 03/31/2013 17:40:34 MDT Print View

Not much, but I use my Instaflator as a stuff sack to store the XTherm. I'm not really worried about wear from abrasion, but I try to baby my inflatables.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Instaflator on 03/31/2013 17:46:45 MDT Print View

>Clayton, when I first read this I was wondering how little weight you could save by
>cutting the Instaflator in half

If memory serves, I saved somewhere slightly more than half an ounce. It's really not much, but it just made the Instaflator simpler as well as easier to use.

I've saved enough weight that my priority these days is keeping my kit simple and easy to use. I've gained a few ounces on some things, saved a few on others, but my hiking has fewer parts than it used to.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Just use your pack liner? on 03/31/2013 17:50:08 MDT Print View

I haven't tried it yet, but I see no reason why my plastic pack liner couldn't work nearly as well as these pump sacks by cinching the top of the inflated pack liner around the pad nozzle with thumb and forefinger, or just as well with the simple addition of a nozzle to the bottom of it. Costs about a dollar and it's something I already carry with me.

For the instaflator: it seems you could customize the length of the device to suit the exact volume of your pad depending on how many separate fills of the instaflator you were willing to deal with to inflate your pad each night.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 03/31/2013 17:52:30 MDT.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Just use your pack liner? on 03/31/2013 19:33:47 MDT Print View

A pack liner would work. Just cut the corner, and the nozzle from an Instaflator would install easily. I'm sure you could work something up with other nozzles too.

I imagine the shape might be difficult to pump through. My sense is that the long narrow shape is ideal, and the much wider chape of a pack liner might be less so. But you could buy an instaflator and test out the nozzle with a pack liner. If you didn't like it, you could re-install it on the Instaflator easily.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 03/31/2013 19:36:37 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Just use your pack liner? on 03/31/2013 20:06:27 MDT Print View

"A pack liner would work. Just cut the corner, and the nozzle from an Instaflator would install easily. I'm sure you could work something up with other nozzles too."

Yeah, like the nozzle that already comes with the Xtherm pumpsack. Pull it off (removing it is simple and nondestructive) and attach to a Hefty bag. MYOG doesn't get much simpler. I am surprised folks are finding new reasons to buy more stuff. NOT!!

Edited by rmjapan on 03/31/2013 20:07:08 MDT.

Mike R
(redpoint) - F

Locale: British Columbia
I use the pump sack ... on 03/31/2013 21:39:40 MDT Print View

My Xtherm is a few months old and unless the pump sack design has changed, I find it to perform just fine. I can inflate the pad pretty quickly and I can keep warm, moist, bacteria ridden air out of the pad. Oral inflation never seemed to have any effect on any of my old foam-based Therm-a-rests, but the NeoAir mattresses are much lighter and delicate so I've switched to the pump sack and have zero issues.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: The Gore Range
Re: Re: Re: Just use your pack liner? on 04/01/2013 10:10:59 MDT Print View

"I am surprised folks are finding new reasons to buy more stuff. NOT!!"

I personally take great pride in seeing my $3 circulate through the U.S. economy.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Just use your pack liner? on 04/01/2013 10:24:19 MDT Print View

So I just looked at the XTherm stuff sack, and the valve is easily removable. So, if you already have the XTherm, I'd try that with a pack liner first.

Personally, I never bothered with it since I already had the Instaflator, and the pump sack was pretty obviously a pain to use. Good to know I have that option though.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 04/01/2013 11:12:03 MDT Print View

I bought a medium XTherm last summer and have been using it in warm and cold weather. I am 6' 1" and the medium is only 66" long, but it works for me since I am a scrunched up side sleeper. If I lay on it on flat on my back, my feet hang off the end, but I can't sleep in that position. Well I could, but then I would sound like a bull Elephant in heat.

I tried the stuff sack pump that came with it, but after 20 minutes of torture, I yelled pinche cabron and threw it against the wall where it slid into ignominious defeat behind the couch. I suppose it is still there.

Then I obtained an Instaflator, which was cheap and worked fine. Next I saw a comment from Ray Estrella touting the Microburst, and I thought, hmm not much heavier than the Instaflator, but totally decadent, just set it and forget it and if it's good enough for Ray, it's good enough for me. So I got one of those, it works fine, and I have been using it ever since, although some of my backpacking buddies ridicule me for being decadent, then they ask to borrow it.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Thanks for the laugh! on 04/01/2013 11:44:31 MDT Print View

John Coyle, I think you're the cleverest person on this forum.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
XTherm: use the included pump sack or lungs? on 04/01/2013 13:58:18 MDT Print View

Where does the air go? I'm wondering with the stock pump/stuff sack, where does all that air go that is trapped after you start rolling it up? Fabric too porous, leak out around the valve? Anyone check? Thoughts.
Duane