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Big Agnes Pumphouse Multi-Use Dry Sack and Pad Pump

in Miscellaneous Products

Average Rating
3.00 / 5 (4 reviews)

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Mary D
( hikinggranny )
Big Agnes Pumphouse Multi-Use Dry Sack and Pad Pump on 10/18/2008 14:54:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I purchased a Big Agnes Pumphouse soon after they came on the market in the summer of 2007. It is advertised on the BA web site as a "...pad pump, dry sack, stuff sack, pillow, water carrier, backcountry shower and more."

The Pumphouse does make an excellent pad pump. I bought it primarily because I was concerned about moisture from my breath degrading the insulation in my insulated air pad. In addition, blowing up pads (or balloons) makes me dizzy. I also wanted to use it as an inflatable pillow and as a dry sack to contain my sleeping bag.

To use the Pumphouse as a pump, you slip the nozzle end over the pad valve, tighten the cord, gently shake the Pumphouse so it's fully open and then roll up the dry-sack closure, forcing the air trapped in the Pumphouse into the pad. It takes several practice sessions to do this without having the nozzle pop off the pad's valve. I suggest several practice sessions at home before trying to pump up a pad in the field. Since I pump my 48" pad only about half full, it takes about 8-10 bagfuls of air to inflate. With practice, it's a lot easier than huffing and puffing.

The Pumphouse is fully compatible with my POE InsulMat Max Thermo as well as (obviously) with BA pads (I tried it on the Clearview). I have no experience with Exped pads so don't know if it's compatible with them.

The advertised weight of 1.5 oz. is the same as the weight on my scale.

Now the bad:

The Pumphouse fails completely as a dry sack and as an inflatable pillow. First, it's impossible to get the nozzle airtight with the drawstring cord. I had to use a rubber band with "candy cane" closure to seal the the nozzle. I then turned the bag inside out and filled it with water to simulate immersion. Immediately there was considerable leakage through pores in the fabric. The Pumphouse works fine as a stuff sack, but it definitely won't keep the contents dry in case of heavy rain or submersion in water. I therefore will not use the Pumphouse for my sleeping bag without some sort of backup--either a waterproof pack liner or a turkey roasting bag. I am still not decided whether the convenience of the pad pump is worth the extra 0.5 oz. weight of the turkey bag. A 13L Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack weighs exactly the same as the Pumphouse--1.5 oz.--and will keep the contents perfectly dry. But then I'd have to blow up my pad.

The same problem occurred when I tried using the Pumphouse as an inflatable pillow--within an hour, the air inside had disappeared. This, again, was with a rubber band closure to seal the otherwise leaky nozzle.

The Pumphouse will work as a somewhat leaky water bag and a trickly sort of shower, although I strongly question the compatibility of these uses with its primary use as a pad pump or sleeping bag stuff sack.

I recommend the Pumphouse only if you really want a pad pump and stuff sack, but use some other method of keeping your sleeping bag dry.

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/18/2008 14:57:48 MDT.

Shop Big Agnes, Dry, Exped, Max, USE products at GearBuyer
Joseph Scalia
( jscalia )

not really good at anything on 03/25/2009 08:13:39 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I agree with the previous reviews. This bag is only good for pumping up the pad with air (and even at that is not as effecient as blowing with your mouth). I dont think I will be keeping this item.

Tim Haynes
( timalan )

Mid Atlantic
Single function, but worth it for groups on 03/09/2011 10:48:35 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I agree with previous reviews that this bag only does one thing well -- put air in your sleeping pad. That said, I bring it along on most trips with friends, and it makes it easier for many people -- especially those without a lot of lung capacity or when hiking at high-altitude -- to blow up their own sleeping pads without getting light headed.

Perhaps the bigger advantage is that it also prevents the water vapor in your breath from condensing inside your sleeping pad. I wish I knew how much weight that could add over time so I could make a quantitative case for how many people it takes and under what conditions to make this the most weight effective...

But I've just decided that on trips with several people, bringing this is worth the 1.5oz.

That said, I'm not a super-ultralighter. Base packs for my wife and I with our current gear weigh somewhere between 12-15 pounds apiece for a 3-season trip of 2-7 days... we definitely include some luxury items, which is part of what I've found necessary to make the hiking experience fun and enjoyable for the BOTH of us.

Rick Blair
( rickinco123 )

Great multi purpose tool on 06/16/2014 20:44:33 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I use mine with an exped synmat UL 7. I had to make an adapter with a 3/4" piece of Pex tubing, I sanded the outside dimension to get a snug fit. Works like a bellows.

I use it as a stuff sack for my down quilt. It is totally water proof. Unlike others above, I was able to get an air tight seal as a pillow, I additionally stuff some extra clothes inside along with the air to make a very nice pillow.

Edited by rickinco123 on 06/16/2014 20:45:13 MDT.

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