Electric Air Pump, AGPtEK Portable Quick-Fill Air Pump with
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

This Versatile $25 Tool Makes Tent Camping So Much More Comfortable

I never hit the road without it.
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Like so many people fed up with being cooped up, I took up camping last summer to safely escape the confines of my apartment and enjoy the great outdoors. One weekend test run in a hand-me-down tent led to longer trips, gear upgrades, and a full-blown REI Co-op membership. By now, I consider myself a pretty competent camper

Among the many lessons I learned on my first trip out, none has proven more important than this: If you value comfort and a good night's sleep even just a little bit, do yourself a favor and bring along an air mattress — and whatever you do, don't forget the air pump.

To buy: amazon.com, $25

Upon reaching our campsite, my boyfriend and I realized we had forgotten to buy a pump to inflate our mattress with. What followed was one night spent sleeping (or trying to) on the hard ground, with only the thin nylon of our tent floor in between us and the dirt, followed by a night sleeping in the car with only marginally better results (and back pain that plagued us for the better part of a week). 

The moment we returned to civilization and internet, we placed an order for the Agptek Electric Air Pump, Amazon's best-selling pump for inflatable beds. It's now an item we double- and triple-check is on our packing list before we head out on any trip. 

Unlike other air pumps, the Agptek version features three nozzles, so it's compatible with multiple port sizes, plus two adapters, so you can use it with either a wall plug-in power source at home or a car power adapter on the go. Since it can deflate items as well as inflate them, packing up the air mattress at the end of a trip is quick and simple. And perhaps best of all, the pump is small, lightweight, and easy to pack, so it doesn't take up too much room in our camping supplies bin. 

We've found that the Agptek pump is useful for more than just air mattresses, too. We keep a few inflatable water floats in the back of our car, as well as an inflatable double kayak for spending time out on the water, both of which can be blown up in just a few minutes with minimal effort using the pump. 

Since buying the Agptek Electric Air Pump, it's made our camping trips exponentially more comfortable and enjoyable — and you can bet we've never forgotten it once. You can buy your own on Amazon for $25.

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