Which is Best? The FLEXTAIL Tiny Pump 2X vs. Zero Pump

Ace Curtis


Anyone who has ever strapped on a pack and walked uphill knows that the lighter your pack, the more enjoyable your trek is. I have my gear down to a pretty skinny list. I have all the things I absolutely need, like my shelter, quilt, kula cloth, spork, sunnies, water filters and stove. There are only a few small items I carry on my back that are not essentials, and a FLEXTAIL air pump for inflating my sleeping pad and pillow is one of them. 

There are two different versions of this product that I carry, depending on my needs. The first is FLEXTAIL’s Tiny Pump 2X, the second is their new Zero Pump.  

Why, you might ask, would I allocate precious pack space and weight to a FLEXTAIL pump? The answer lies in its remarkable blend of minimalism and efficiency. Weighing in at just a few ounces, these devices transform what is usually a tedious task — inflating a sleeping pad at the end of a long day — into a <60-second breeze, allowing me to use my rest time to rest, and protecting the inside of my air mattress from the moisture of my breath.

In an environment where every gram counts and every item in your pack must justify its presence, these pumps stand out for their utility. It's not just about the space saved by leaving behind a pump sack (which often takes forever to inflate an air mattress anyways) or sparing your lungs the exertion of inflating gear. These nifty devices are a symbol of changing times and smart packing, especially with the Tiny Pump 2X, which ensures that even your comfort item is multifunctional and as lightweight as possible.

With their compact designs and robust build, the FLEXTAIL pumps are a great example of the ingenuity that modern outdoor enthusiasts demand. They prove that even in the ruggedness of the wild, convenience and comfort have their place. 

Now, let's dive into the details of each...

Tiny Pump 2X 


This model is impressively compact. It's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, which means it nestles into your pack without taking up more space than a granola bar. Despite its small build, it feels sturdy and well-crafted. The materials used are both lightweight and durable, a crucial combination when every item you carry must withstand the wiggle and jiggle of a backpack or being dropped on a rock.

There is so much power packed into this little guy. With two quick pushes of a button, it breathes life into your sleeping pad, inflatable pillow, or whatever needs some air. The speed at which it works is so helpful when you're tired and just want to be horizontal.

My only gripe about this model is the high-pitched noise it makes as it’s running. It is not whisper quiet, and I imagine it would easily annoy any hiking partner who has never used one, or someone who is particularly old-school. This thing makes NOISE—it's mildly annoying, yes, but thankfully brief! It fills up my Therm-a-Rest NeoAir UberLite in just around 48 seconds, depending on how full I want it. The amount of time and energy it saves is well worth the annoying sound it makes while it runs… even if it does scare off every wild creature within a 100-yard radius.


Additional Features:

The FLEXTAIL Tiny Pump 2X can be used as a vacuum pump to deflate gear or vacuum bags and can even assist in making a fire by blowing oxygen to feed the flames. 

The best feature of this pump is the built-in light. This isn't just a token LED; it's a powerful beam that provides lots of illumination in dark conditions. There are three settings for the light: 40 lumens, 160 lumens, and 400 lumens. Using the light means you’re using the battery, though, so be sure to think about that if you’re on a long trek and want to use the air pump every night for your sleeping pad. The Flextail website notes that the light can last for up to 10 hours on its lowest setting. Whether you're setting up camp at dusk or need to navigate your way around a dark tent, this light is incredibly handy. It's these kinds of dual-purpose functionalities that make the FLEXTAIL Tiny Pump 2X worth its weight.

It also has a thin metal handle for hanging, which might seem like a minor addition, but in the backcountry, every feature counts. The handle allows you to hang the pump, keeping it off the ground and within easy reach. Whether you're hanging the light inside your tent or hanging the pump on a tree branch while inflating water toys by the river, the handle adds a layer of convenience.

Lastly, there is the ingenious addition of the magnet on the side opposite the light. This relatively powerful magnet allows you to attach the pump to any metal surface, keeping it secure and handy. I attached it to the side of my car when I was setting up camp last weekend, and it made things so much easier. It's these thoughtful, practical touches that set the FLEXTAIL Tiny Pump 2X apart.

Tiny Pump 2X Technical Specs:

    • Dimensions: 1.8"L x 1.7"W x 2.3"T
    • Battery Capacity: 1300mAh
    • Air Pressure: 4KPa (0.58PSI)
    • AirFlow: 180L/min
    • Ingress Protection Rating: IP44; protected against solid foreign objects of 1.0mm and greater, protected against water splashed from any direction
    • Run Time (pump mode): max 30min
    • Run Time (lantern mode): up to 10 hours at 40 lumens, 2.5h at 160 lumens, 1h at 400 lumens
    • Made in China
    • Weight: 3.38oz | 96g

I did an experiment where I fully charged my FLEXTAIL Tiny Pump 2X to full capacity, and tested how many times it would fill my Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad - by about 32 times, I lost my will to keep the experiment going. According to FLEXTAIL’s website, it can fill a sleeping pad (depending on the size) over 40 times on one charge. That is more than enough power for thru-hikers, backpackers, campers, and floaty-toy lake-goers alike. 

Zero Pump


The Zero Pump is the newest release from FLEXTAIL and comes with some attractive changes. It is the lightest and smallest outdoor pump on the market. FLEXTAIL eliminated the light, the metal handle, and the magnet, meaning this pump is just for pumping. In doing so, they made a sleek piece of equipment worthy of an ultralight hiker’s pack.

The Zero Pump is smaller than the Tiny Pump 2X, though slightly longer (still smaller than a Snickers bar though!). It features a rechargeable battery, so rather than plugging the entire device into a charger, you remove the battery and charge it separately. This design allows you to carry a spare battery if you want - but you might not need it since this pump filled my sleeping pad 25 times on one charged battery.


Despite its minimalistic design, the Zero Pump still delivers powerful performance. It can inflate your gear quickly and efficiently, making it a reliable choice for any backpacking trip. Plus, it’s slightly less noisy than the Tiny Pump 2X!

In terms of usability, the Zero Pump is just as easy to operate as the Tiny Pump 2X. Its streamlined design means fewer components that could potentially fail, making it feel a little more reliable in the field. The pump’s extra small size makes it even easier to pack and carry, but also perhaps easier to misplace?



Zero Pump Technical Specs:

    • Dimensions: 2.95"L x 1.02"W 
    • Battery Capacity: 650mAh
    • Max Air Pressure: 2.5kPa 
    • AirFlow: 180L/min
    • Run Time (pump mode): 25 min
    • Made in China
    • Total Weight: 2.2oz | 62g (includes pump, rechargeable battery, lanyard & nozzle) 


With impressive battery life and the ability to fill sleeping pads numerous times on a single charge, these are both invaluable tools for anyone who seeks comfort and efficiency during their outdoor escapades.

The Tiny Pump 2X is more for people who value tech with multiple uses, while the Zero Pump is more for those die-hard UL hikers who want to shave weight wherever they can.  

Both devices showcase the spirit of innovation in the outdoor industry, proving that even in the wild, modern technology can enhance the outdoor experience. So, whether you're embarking on a long hike or setting up camp in the dark, these small pumps are versatile and indispensable companions that deserve a place in your pack.


Ace Curtis is a plus-sized outdoor enthusiast who thrives in the rugged landscapes of Northern California, where she has lived most of her life. She plays a vital role in her community as an active member of the county's Search and Rescue Ground Team. Currently, Ace is expanding her expertise by attending EMT school, aiming to enhance her ability to provide critical care in emergency situations. You can check out her current ADHD fixation on Instagram @breakfastwithace.



FLEXTAIL on GGG Garage Grown Gear
Air Pumps by FLEXTAIL




Keith P Akins

Keith P Akins

It would be helpful to have the loudness of the units in dB. You can download to your phone a dB meter that will give loudness readings taken with your phone’s microphone.



The only thing that really matters here isn’t weight, it’s “Max Air Pressure”! I would love to love the Zero Pump, but I can’t. The single reason I upgraded to the Tiny Pump 2X (from the Tiny Pump) was for the simple fact that the Tiny Pump was incapable of inflating my sleeping pads to a usable level of firmness. Having to add a few breaths to firm it up was an option all along, but introducing moist air into a $200+ sleeping pad defeats the purpose of the pump altogether. Once I started using the Tiny Pump 2X, I was able to get the necessary firmness, without adding moist breaths. Jackpot! Then enter the Zero Pump… I was over the moon at it’s size and weight! It even takes rechargeable batteries I already own several of. I thought I was due another air pump upgrade, until I looked at the specs. The Tiny Pump puts out a Max Air Pressure of 2.5kPa. which is LESS than the Tiny Pump original! Turns out the Tiny Pump would be a huge DOWNgrade, requiring far more breaths of moist air to reach an acceptable firmness than even the original Tiny Pump. That’s a BIG FAIL in my book.

Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller

I purchased the zero pump what a truly amazing piece of gear light powerful gets the job done purchase one for yourself you won’t be disappointed



The Zero Pump is indeed quite nice and I just used it 3 days ago to inflate my S2S.
****However, what should be mentioned is that these pumps do not fit the valves on all mattresses.****

For example, I specifically bought my pump for my Zenbivy mattress. Alas, none of the adapters provided fit the valve on this mattress. Do your research before purchasing a pump to ensure it will work with your mattress.



Sounds like good pieces of kit for the long distance hiker – too bad they are made in red china…………….



These pumps are the greatest invention since sliced bread. Wouldn’t be without one.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published