Jan 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm #1254222
There are a number of Down Air Mats that are reasonably light, but a PITA to inflate. The BA Pumphouse and the Stephenson's Stuff Sack leave a lot to be desired, IMHO. The Exped internal is OK, but weighty.
What comes to mind is a "squeeze box" style bellows, made out of 6" dryer vent.
Add simple coffee-can style lids to each end.
Install "flapper valves" into one, and attach a "connection of your choice" to the other.
Add some sort of finger loops so you can pull it apart. Or a foot loop and a hand loop.
Pull and squeeze, pull and squeeze, pull…..
Other off-the-wall concepts, improvements, suggestions greatly appreciated.
Hold off on the nay-saying.
Offer whatever you can.
There has got to be a better way.
Thanks.Jan 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm #1563789
I have a Stephenson's DAM and have been blowing it up with a small balloon pump.Jan 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm #1563797
Bill, do you mean something like this;
How does it attach to the DAM?Jan 17, 2010 at 8:53 pm #1563802
I had to find a YouTube video before I understood how it worked. Looks good.
Did you just shorten the nozzle and pump direct, or did you fabricate a mating piece?
And I Know you know….the weight?
p.s. I'll be down for my Peace Prize shortly.Jan 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm #1563826
@aussiebushwalkerLocale: Macarthur, NSW, Australia
I've just gone through the same process with my BA Clearview and BA Insulated Air Core (IAC).
I've adapted a balloon pump (Like this one: http://www.buycostumes.com/Professional-Balloon-Pump/24508/ProductDetail.aspx) using a couple of pieces of plastic hose to fit the valve on the Clearview pad. Amazingly (as in disbelief) BA use different size valves on the Clearview and the IAC, with the IAC being smaller than the Clearview. After much fiddling around I was not able to get a piece of hose that fitted the IAC valve to my satisfaction as the IAC valve cap is in two sections (and I discovered the air flow in and out is better when they are aligned). In the end I wrapped the smaller IAC valve cap with some plumbers tape till it was thick enough to create a seal using the larger piece of tubing that fits the Clearview valve cap.
It's not pretty but it works.
Pump, tubing, left over roll of plumbers tape and stuff sack total weight approx 100g, or about 3-4ounces.
Another thing I found is the valve cap on the Clearview pad can be wound of the thread of the valve allowing air to leak out below the valve cap. Easy to overcome, undo the valve cap just enough to allow air flow. Less air loss means less pumping.
I hope this all makes sense and remember YMMV.
Michael.Jan 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm #1563828
To use the balloon pump on my Stephenson's DAM I just poke it into the valve and pump away.
I was able to reduce the weight of the Yellow Pump from 2.78 ounces to 1.72 ounces.Jan 18, 2010 at 6:41 am #1563850
Ah Bill –
Sometimes I wonder if you haven't addressed it all –
So, an arrow shaft with a duct taped end, with a ptex shim, serves as the plunger.
The chamber is sectioned so it nests inside itself. (How does it seal at full extension?)
Am I close?
Was the shaft modification the 1 ounce savings? Or are there other bits missing?
Looks like I'll have to order a couple, and then start hacking.
Thanks again.Jan 18, 2010 at 10:59 am #1563909
When I decided to get serious about bring the weight of my gear down into the "SUL" weight range, I looked at each item that I thought needed.
I set a goal to reduce the weight of each of those items by at least 50%. I took every item and worked at ways to accomplish this goal. Some items were really easy and a few took a bit more creative effort.
For mild weather hiking the "SUL" weight range was very easy to get to.
I have a thread that shows the Balloon Pump taken apart. I am posting this photos here. It shows the Balloon Pump taken apart:
The other photo's can be found here:
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