Best Air Mattress Pump for Camping – 12v, Manual, Battery & Rechargeable

By | Last Updated December 3, 2020

Air mattresses offer a great way to get a comfortable night’s sleep out on the trail. But after a long day of hiking, manually inflating them with an inefficient air pump is arduous and boring. With the best air mattress pump for camping, you won’t have to waste precious time inflating your mattress – your bed will be ready in minutes!

Not sure which air mattress pump is right for you? In this guide, we have selected the top models on the market to help you find your ideal match.

Best Camping Air Mattress Pump

Best Air Mattress Pump for Camping

There are many different types of air mattress pumps: traditional manual pumps, electric pumps and battery-powered air mattress pumps.

The right choice for you will depend on your camping style. In our below reviews, we have included the best models across all types, so you’re sure to find the perfect option for you.

Coleman QuickPump

Coleman Rechargeable QuickPump

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The Coleman QuickPump is a popular, reliable model for getting your air mattress fully inflated.

Whether you’re tent camping off-grid or car camping, the QuickPump is available in a variety of different models to suit your needs. We recommend you focus on the rechargeable version, or the 12V model that is powered by your vehicle cigarette lighter port.

The rechargeable QuickPump can be used anywhere, which is great if you have parked up some distance from where you’re setting up camp. It also holds a charge for a long time, plenty enough to last several camping trips – simply charge it up at home using your standard power outlets.

Both models feature Fast Inflate and Fast Deflate technology, so you’ll be set up for a good night’s sleep in a flash. And when morning breaks, you won’t need to waste precious time waiting for your mattress to fully deflate either. The rechargeable version has an airflow rate of 23.78CFM, slightly lower than the 12V’s 26.01 CFM, but still very respectable.

Both models come complete with Boston and pinch valve adapters, making them suitable for all types of airbeds, both single and double height, as well as common inflatables. They are easy to carry with built-in carry handles and the 12V version weighs a mere one pound, with the rechargeable unit coming in at 3.39 pounds.

On the downside, there is no on-board storage for the nozzles or a storage bag, so make sure you store them somewhere safe. Also, these units are fairly loud, worth keeping in mind if you often arrive at your destination late at night. However, thanks to their speed, you shouldn’t disturb any neighbors for too long.

While there are cheaper air pumps available, the Coleman QuickPump is reasonably priced and also comes with a one-year limited warranty for added peace of mind. If you need a rapid, convenient pump for your next camping trip then we think the QuickPump is well worth considering.

Intex Quick-Fill Electric Air Pump

Intex Rechargeable Air Pump

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If you’re looking for an air pump that you can use pretty much anywhere, then check out the Quick-Fill Electric Air Pump by Intex.

Not only can you recharge its battery at home or in your vehicle for off-grid camping, but you can also use it when plugged in. So, even if you forget to charge it up before heading out, you won’t be caught short, although the handy built-in charging indicator should help protect against this eventuality.

This model both inflates and deflates, making it highly useful for setting up and packing away at speed. It has a respectable 23.0 CFM airflow rating, making it suitable for double height, as well as single height air mattresses. Just be aware that if you are camping as a family and have several air beds to inflate, you may not get them all inflated and deflated on one single charge.

The Quick-Fill comes complete with three interconnecting nozzles that are cleverly designed to stay attached to the connector, so there’s no risk you’ll lose them. Weighing in at 2.31 pounds, this lightweight air pump features a new stream-lined design with a built-in carry handle. We also like the automatic overcharge cut-out feature, that ensures this model is one of the safest to use.

While it’s not the fastest, nor the cheapest model, thanks to its rechargeable batteries that you can top up at home or from your truck, car or RV, the Intex Quick-Fill Air Pump is a highly convenient choice. Purchasing one of these models means that you’ll never have to worry about blowing up your airbed manually again.

Intex Double Quick III S Hand Pump

Intex Quick Hand Pump

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The Intel Double Quick III S is a hand-operated pump, so you can use it wherever you like and it makes hardly any noise.

While you’ll have to put in a fair bit of effort to get your air bed fully inflated, it’s most definitely worth having as a back-up, or to top up your mattress without having to get your vehicle close enough or recharging the batteries of your electric model.

This hand pump is much faster than standard versions thanks to its double action mechanism. It inflates, or deflates, on both the up and the down stroke, making it much easier and more effective to use. For this reason, if you need to blow up large inflatables on your camping trip, whether it’s your airbed, kayak or swimming accessories, it will get the job done and help you to get them deflated in record time afterwards.

With three nozzles included, a small pinch valve, a large pinch valve, as well as a Boston for your air mattress, this pump is a great choice for family camping – especially for the kids’ inflatables if you’re camping near a lake or there’s an on-site pool. As manually pumping can be a little tiring, the more of you to take turns, the better, and this model is definitely up to the job.

Weighing just 1.52 pounds, this is certainly a lightweight model; however, at just over 14 inches tall, it isn’t the most compact. Inexpensive, sturdy and silent, we think this hand pump is an ideal backup to stick in your trunk or RV for your next camping trip.

Etekcity Electric Air Pump

Etekcity Electric Air Pump

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If you’re looking for a rechargeable electric pump that holds a good charge and takes up a minimum of space, then this model by Etekcity is a top pick.

It features long-life, rechargeable batteries that can be charged using a regular power outlet, or your vehicle’s 12V cigarette lighter outlet. So, even if you forget to charge up before you hit the road, you can be ready to set up camp by the time you reach your destination.

Just one thing to note with this model is that it can only be used when it’s charged up, you cannot operate it directly when it is plugged in and on charge. A small detail but worth bearing in mind, especially if you need to use your air pump extensively when out RV or car camping.

This rechargeable air pump has two air ports for easy inflation and deflation, making packing away your air mattress at the end of your stay much faster than trying to evacuate all of the air manually. At 21.2 CFM this pump has a decent air flow for a battery-powered model and is suitable for all your large inflatables, coming complete with three different nozzles.

Weighing just 1.23 pounds and extremely compact in size, this air pump is a great space-saving choice compared to many other rechargeable models. It is, however, fairly loud, so maybe not the best choice if you often camp at developed sites in close proximity to others.

The Etekcity Electric Air Pump isn’t the lowest-priced option. However, it is fairly inexpensive for a rechargeable model. It also comes with a one-year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about any potential quality issues.

Dr Meter Battery Powered Air Pump

Dr Meter Battery Air Mattress Pump

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If you need a mini pump to blow up your single height, small air mattress, then this model by Dr Meter could be just what you’re looking for.

This highly portable air pump can be used plugged into your mains or shore power down the campsite, into your vehicle’s 12V port, or it can also run off eight standard AA batteries. Given its compact size and extra low weight, you could easily bring it along just as a backup, or take down to the lake for your inflatables.

With the capacity to both inflate and deflate, this air pump is extremely useful around camp, both setting up and packing away. However, it does have a very low airflow rating compared to other similar models, at just 200 l/min, which works out at 7.06CFM. For this reason, you may want to purchase it solely as a backup or an extra model for large family groups.

Weighing just under half a pound, this compact, feather-light model will hardly take up any space at all in your vehicle. It also comes with three nozzles included, so you can use it to inflate and deflate various other inflatable items.

While it is not expensive, for a pump this low powered it isn’t the best value for money. However, being able to run off standard-sized batteries does give it a good advantage and makes it a great backup to have around.

GoFloats Rapid Inflation Manual Air Pump

GoFloats Rapid Inflation Air Mattress Pump

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The GoFloats Rapid Inflation Manual Air Pump can be used wherever you decide to set up camp. Requiring no electrical hook-up or batteries, this hand-powered air pump makes a great choice for remote camping. As it is a dual action model, it inflates larger items much faster and more efficiently than your standard hand pump models.

Thanks to its dual inflation and deflation air ports, this air pump can also make packing back up your air mattress much simpler than trying to squeeze all of the air out of it by hand. However, it is, of course, much slower than an electric powered model, and it would take a fair bit of time and effort to blow up a double height air mattress with this pump.

This model comes complete with four nozzle attachments, so you’ll be able to use it for various other inflatables apart from just your camping air bed. Its handle and foot plate make inflation easier and faster than many other manual versions. However, at 17.5 inches high, it does take up a lot of space, and at two pounds there are lighter versions available.

For a manual air pump, this particular model is fairly expensive. It does, however, come with a one-year warranty for greater peace of mind. All in all, we think this is a solid choice if you’re looking for a hand-powered air pump for your airbed.

Airhead Bellows Action Foot Pump

Airhead Air Mattress Foot Pump

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This traditional style foot pump by Airhead is an excellent low-tech solution to inflating your camping air mattress. No need for any electricity or batteries that could run out, simply inflate your bed with your feet, wherever you choose.

The bellow design of this pump gives it an impressive 0.5L per stroke air flow. It can also be used to deflate as well as inflate, which makes packing up for the ride home considerably quicker. And thanks to its 54-inch hose, you won’t have to worry about your pump reaching the air valve on your mattress.

Lightweight and extremely compact, this air pump is a great option for wild camping after a long hike. It collapses for transportation and storage, so you can stow it away and keep it handy for any top-ups as required.

This air pump comes with three different adapter nozzles, making it suitable for inflating a variety of items. Although it will take you a while longer than using an electric pump, this foot pump is quiet and effective. It’s not the cheapest non-electric air pump, but it’s a great design that’s simple to use and stores away flat.

Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Air Mattress Pump for Camping

If you’re unsure which air mattress pump is the right one for your needs, take a read through our buying guide. We’ll take a look at the most popular types of mattress pump, as well as some essential features, so you’ll know just what to look out for when making your decision.

Price

Depending on the type of air mattress pump that you opt for, you’ll probably notice that the price will vary considerably. While no one wants to pay over the odds for an item, you don’t want to spend too little and end up with a low quality product that breaks shortly after purchase.

We recommend looking at a variety of air pumps around your budget, to see how the price difference relates to the product. You should be able to pick up a low-tech air pump, either a hand or foot-powered model for around half the price or less than an electric one. Battery-powered models tend to cost more, as they have extra elements, over and above your standard plug-in versions.

If you want to spend less, then opting for a high-quality, relatively more expensive manual pump is often better than a low quality electric one that won’t last. However, you also need to decide whether you would be better off increasing your budget to allow for a more powerful model if you have several air mattresses to blow up per trip, for example, if you are camping as a family.

Types of Air Mattress Pumps

Electric Air Pump – If you only ever camp in developed sites with an electric hookup, then you can safely opt for an electric air pump. However, this is likely to be a little too restrictive for most campers. Alternatively, if you often car camp or take your RV, then you could invest in an air mattress pump that has a 12V power lead for use with your vehicle’s cigarette lighter port.

Electric powered air pumps tend to provide more power, with a faster airflow rate. They will get your mattress inflated faster and you won’t have to worry about tiring yourself out after a long day’s driving. They are also more suitable for large groups, so if you have the whole family’s air beds to inflate, you won’t run the risk of running out of battery power, or straining your muscles.

On the other hand, electric powered air pumps can be rather noisy, so keep this in mind if you often arrive late at your destination and if you have small children, pets or neighbors who may become disturbed when you switch it on late at night.

Battery Powered Air Pump – If you’re not inflating a large number of air mattresses, then a battery powered air pump makes an excellent choice for your next camping trip. This is especially true if your campsite or chosen place to camp is situated a walk away from your vehicle and there are no hookups.

Today’s battery-powered air pumps provide decent air flow levels that will pump up even double height air mattresses, so you won’t have to worry about compromising on your comfort levels.

Easy to use and effective, you can use your battery powered air mattress pump wherever you like. However, just be sure that it is sufficiently charged before you set off. Some models can also charge off a 12V supply in your vehicle as well as at home.

For even greater flexibility, we recommend opting for a model that can also run off your 12V vehicle or campsite AC supply. This means that even when your battery is flat, if you can get your vehicle close enough to your tent, or if there are electrics available, you won’t have to wait hours while your pump charges.

Manual Air Pump – Foot and hand pumps are also great options for camping. While they do take a lot more effort, unless you have a really substantial air mattress or you’re a large group, then a manual air pump has plenty of advantages.

Firstly, you can use it anywhere and you don’t have to rely on batteries being fully charged or having access to your vehicle or shore power. Even if you intend on purchasing an electric pump, there’s no denying that a manual foot pump makes a great back up. If you arrive late at night and can’t get your bed inflated, then you’re really not going to enjoy your first night’s vacation.

Secondly, manual pumps are quiet. While they do take a considerably longer amount of time, they won’t disturb your neighbors like electric ones can, especially if you arrive late or are packing up early in the morning.

Lastly, manual pumps are often the cheapest option to go for. Good quality manual pumps can also outlast electric ones, particularly battery-powered models, by a considerable timespan.

If you’re thinking of opting for a manual pump, as a back-up or your main air mattress pump, we recommend opting for a model that has a double-action system. These types of manual pumps inflate or deflate on both the up and down strokes, saving you a huge amount of time and effort.

Weight and Size

While you may have plenty of space for all of your camping gear, no one likes lugging about oversized equipment.

If you regularly go car camping and have your vehicle to hand then weight is going to be less of an issue. However, a compact, lightweight air pump is always going to be preferable to a large, heavy one.

In order to pump air more effectively, you may find that manual hand powered models tend to have tall bodies that you may struggle to accommodate if you’re short of luggage space. Battery models also tend to be a little bulky, with electric powered ones being the most compact.

As always, consider where and how you camp, then decide if weight and portability are amongst your top priorities when choosing an air mattress pump.

Nozzle

Nearly all air pumps come with a selection of adapter nozzles.

For your large inflatables, including your air mattress, a Boston nozzle will be included with your pump. Other popular nozzles for small inflatables include large and small threaded hose nozzles that are compatible with standard pinch valves.

The more nozzles that are available with your air pump, the more potential other uses you may find for it. If you have a manual or battery powered model, you may also be able to use it down at the lake or river to blow up other inflatables such as kid’s toys or even inflatable kayaks.

If you need to inflate certain objects aside from your air mattress with your pump, it does no harm to double check before you purchase that your pump’s adapters are in fact compatible with those objects.

Power Source

When you purchase an electric air mattress pump, check carefully what type of power source it requires. Whether it’s a battery-powered model or a standard plug-in version, it’s important to get the right type for your needs.

As stated earlier, if possible, we recommend opting for a pump that you can also plug into your vehicle both to use and charge up, as well as standard AC power. The more power sources that are compatible with your pump, the more options you’ll have should an issue arise.

Some air pumps can also take standard batteries. Although they are not very powerful and won’t last long, it can be a good backup option in case of power outages or if you end up pulling over earlier than anticipated.

Speed and Airflow Capacity

Obviously, you’ll want to get your air mattress blown up and ready for use without any waiting around.

There’s the campfire to get burning, your camp kitchen to set up, without forgetting some well deserved relaxation enjoying the tranquility of the great outdoors. You don’t want to waste your time with an underpowered pump that seems to take forever while everyone else is getting ready to wind down and take it easy.

Airflow capacity is typically measured in CFM, cubic feet per minute. Some lower powered models may give you their figures in liters per minute or second, so be sure to convert them and compare rather than simply going with what sounds like the best figure.

Final Thoughts

When choosing an air pump for your air mattress, be sure to focus on the aspects that are most important to you and your camping style.

If you need a pump that you can use anywhere, or a backup model, then choose a manual pump such as the Intex Double III S. With its double pumping action, it’s a highly-efficient, hand-powered air pump. It’s also easy to transport and lightweight, as well as being a great value buy.

If you need a high-powered, rapid pump, then you’ll want to look at models like the Coleman QuickPump that are highly reliable and are suitable for even double height air mattresses. Available with a choice of power sources, you’re sure to find a QuickPump that suits your needs.

Alternatively, if you need a small, battery-powered air pump for your camping air mattress, that can run off your vehicle’s 12V outlet, as well as being charged up at home, then the Intex Quick-Fill is a must. It also has a great airflow rate and is a highly reliable model that will inflate even large air mattresses in next to no time.

These are just some of the great choices we have highlighted in our air mattress pump reviews. Whatever type of air pump you require, you’re sure to find the perfect model for your needs in our selection.