The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad. This is not self inflating, so I have to breathe in to the sleeping pad to inflate it.

Are there any precautions for storing the bag to avoid gnarly bacteria / mold from growing inside the sleeping pad since I'm inflating it with such moist air? Is it enough to just store it with the valve open?

share|improve this question
Good quetsion. I worry about this too. – Russell Steen Oct 9 '12 at 23:16
I thought about building an adapter for use with my bike pump in case I needed it, since most of my backpacking is really bikepacking... – Benzo Oct 12 '12 at 12:51
Also, there's an adapter to make any airtite bag a pump.… – Benzo Oct 12 '12 at 12:56
up vote 6 down vote accepted

No. It's a good thought, but I have had one that I have inflated by mouth for over 10 years. I usually store it valve open partially inflated. I live in Arizona and the temp in the shed can get to over 150 degrees F some days so valve closed would cause the bubble to pop. It has never given me trouble.

I have heard that this is an issue from people who have never owned one before, and usually as a selling point for solid mattresses. But I have never heard it as an issue from someone who owned one.

share|improve this answer

My understanding that the only time inflating a pad by breath is bad is when it will be used in sub-zero conditions, as the moisture can freeze inside the mattress.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.