TINY PUMP 2X
(This review originally featured in Wild #187, Autumn 2023)
By James McCormack
This was a product I never expected I’d review: a rechargeable air pump. In fact, when first asked to review the Flextail Tiny Pump 2X, I reflexively said no. But then I thought I should learn a little about it before dismissing it entirely, and when I saw that it weighed just 96g, and that it doubled as a lantern, I relented. Still, it seemed gimmicky. Seriously, who needs a pump to inflate a Thermarest?
Then I remembered that my wife refuses to use a Thermarest when camping. This includes backpacking. Instead we lug around a 15cm-high double air bed. Yeah, it’s huge. Anyway, when the package arrived and I unboxed the Tiny Pump 2X (plus its accompanying range of nozzles), it was so small—about the size of one of those tiny tins of tomato paste—that I figured it’d be lucky to inflate a Thermarest on a single charge, so I tested it first on that. It did that so quickly, I thought I may as well try my packraft. I still expected it to fail, though; this thing is tiny. But when it did that, too, I moved onto the airbed, and—while still on that first charge—managed to inflate it two-and-a half times. 2.5 times! And that’s after the packraft and Thermarest.
But that’s not all I did on that first charge; it also has a deflate function. Who of us hasn’t struggled to squeeze—by folding, squishing, sitting, or kneeling on them—air out of our mattresses before stashing them in our packs? With the Flextail, it took just seconds for my Thermarest to be completely devoid of air.
But there’s one more thing I did on that first charge; I ran the lantern for a few hours. Honestly, this is the feature that will see it getting the most use, at least for me. Not only does it have a handle for hanging off your tent’s ceiling, it’s got a magnetised base, so it’s perfect for all kinds of odd jobs around the house. You get an hour at 400 lumens, and 10 hours at 40 lumens. There’s a soft-rubber light-diffusing lampshade for it as well, but it’s kinda useless; I wouldn’t bother with it. By the time the Tiny Pump 2X finally ran out of juice, I was asking myself what it couldn’t do. Was there a kitchen sink hidden in there too? Perhaps that‘s what we’ve got to look forward to when the Tiny Pump 3X gets released.
NEED TO KNOW
WEIGHT, AS TESTED:
LAMP RUN TIMES:
1 hour @ 400 lumens
2.5 hours @ 160 lumens
10 hours @ 40 lumens