Mini pumps are something you hope you don’t need, because if you do that means your ride just got tanked by a flat. Most people have a floor pump (or a compressor) or at least could find access to one if needed when they’re not out on the trail. Still, a mini pump is simply there in the event of an untimely flat on the trail or road when access to compressors or floor pumps is highly unlikely. And when that happens, the last thing you want to find out is that the pump you bought actually blows (but unfortunately not literally).
So, we’ve done the work for you! We have taken each mini pump that we offer here at Atlas Outdoors and have determined the best pump for different applications. So that when you need to use that pump you bought, you can be confident it is up to the task and will get you back riding again in as little time as possible!
Each pump was scored on the following criteria:
- Ease of Use
- Durability and Quality (look and feel primarily)
- Time from 0psi to 30psi
- Time from 30psi to 60psi
Having a guage was a bonus on these pumps, but a solid grip and feel was crucial. Heat build up is common, and while some did get hot, none of these pumps tested got so hot to be uncomfortable to hold.
Our rating system was highly scientific and should not be questioned (I’m writing this blog therefore I state my rating system is above reproach; Plus, I used a spreadsheet). Each category was given a rating out of 5 possible points, with the average totalled up to determine the winner.
Overall, all of the tested pumps rated quite well when compared to their price tags. But a few definitely stood out above the rest!
Lezyne Sport Drive HP ($29.95)
Starting at the lowest of the price tags we offer, what does $30 give you in a pump? The Sport Drive HP by Lezyne is a simple to use composite pump that will get you enough air so that you can still ride home and not walk. Switching between Presta and Schrader is simply a matter of threading on the hose appropriately. In addition, having a hose helps to avoid unnecessary stress on the valve stem as you pump up your tire.
This pump is very compact and lightweight, the most so out of the group, but that comes with the trade off being one of the longest times in our tests. Getting from 0-30 psi took over 2 minutes, and over 30 psi this pump struggled taking over 3 minutes and requiring “rest breaks”!
This pump is great if cost is a concern, but not recommended for tires over 2.3″ or anything required high pressures over 60psi. Overall, this pump rated 2.8 points out of 5.
Crankbrothers Gem ($29.95)
First of all, can we talk about the colour options of this mini pump? Seriously, if you want to add some bling to your bike, these Gem mini pumps by Crankbrothers give you options like most others will not. Not to mention how compact it is, this pump will look great on your bike. In addition, it is one of the easiest pumps in our test to use. The only drawback for the “ease of use” category is if you need to switch between Presta and Schrader, as this requires unscrewing the cap and swapping the internals (which has been standard on pump heads for a very long time, so nothing new here).
This was the only pump in our group that has the High Pressure/High Volume switch. During our 0-30 psi attempt (which took just over 2 minutes), it slowed down around 20psi and switching to the High Pressure setting allowed it to jump to 30 psi much easier. However, from 30 to 60 psi it took 4 minutes, the longest of any pump in the test. The connection was a solid, positive connection between pump and valve. However, we prefer a hose connection simply to avoid stress on the valve itself.
This composite/aluminum pump looks and feels great and is a very solid pump for the money. It’s a great optoin for any tire where 20-40psi is all that’s needed (or is enough to get you riding again). Overall, this pump rated 3.2 points out of 5.
Lezyne HP Drive ($45.95)
The HP Drive by Lezyne was one of the lower cost pumps that impressed me the most in this group. The aluminum body felt durable and as it was longer than the HP Sport, it delivered a much better air/pump ratio that resulted in faster times (0-30psi coming in at just 1.5 minutes and then 30-60psi at less than 2 minutes). It still boasts the same easy to use hose system allowing for quick changes between Presta and Schrader while not causing an extra stress to the valve stem during pumping.
The heat build up on this pump was the highest of all the pumps in this group, but as mentioned before, still not becoming too hot to make it uncomfortable to hold. However, the rubber plugs on each end make this a great option for a gravel bike or mountain bike where dirt, dust and mud might be a factor.
There was no gauge on this pump still, but it is an excellent choice for any bike that needs up to 60psi quickly and easily delivered for less than $50. Overall, this pump rated 3.8 points out of 5.
Crankbrothers Klic HP Gauge – $64.99
Crankbrothers know how to make an attractive product, and as weird as that is to say about a mini pump, this Klic HP is no exception to that rule! As far as mini pumps go, this is a good looking product! It feels solid, made with an aluminum body and composite ends. The ease of use is not as good as the other pumps simply because getting the rubber hose out of the pump body can be a tricky feat. The end screws onto the valve and then connects to the pump itself via a magnetic connection which has a nice solid “snap” when connected. It did come off once during the test, but for the most part it is a secure connection.
As with the Lezyne HP Drive, the longer body on this pump means faster times. 0-30psi in just over 1.5 minutes and 2 minutes to get from 30-60psi. Having a gauge is a big plus, but unfortunately the gauge on our test pump was intermittent so I still used a secondary gauge for the test purposes. However, on the road or trail this gauge would suffice to get you going again.
This is a great road or gravel bike pump option with it’s quality build, high pressure capabilities and good looks. However, the cost for the value caused it to drop in our rankings. Is having a gauge worth the extra cost to you? Overall, this pump rated 3.8 points out of 5.
Lezyne Pressure Drive ($72.99)
When high pressures are needed, the Pressure Drive from Lezyne is the pump you want to have with you. If you’re on a road bike, 30psi isn’t enough. You need to get to higher pressures, and this is the pump that will do it for you in the least amount of time. Add to that the CNC’d aluminum features and you’ve got a high quality, durable pump. They even added a core removal tool on the pump for an extra feature.
If it wasn’t for the higher cost, this pump would’ve ranked at the top of our list. For the majority of uses, the Grip Drive HV simply does everything this did at $20 less. However, if you need 50psi and higher, this is the pump for you. The heat build up was minimal, the feel was comfortable and the flex hose is a must have feature. The 0-30psi time was just 1.5 minutes and the 30-60psi was under 2 for a respectable speed.
If you want the pump that will get your high pressure tires up and running again, this is the one! Overall, this pump rated 4.2 points out of 5.
Lezyne Grip Drive HV ($49.99)
Lezyne’s Grip Drive HV was my favourite out of this test group by far. First of all, the price is great. Secondly, the aluminum build along with the bigger shaft for higher volume made this a very comfortable pump to grip. While the Lezyne Pressure Drive did better for higher pressures, for $20 less, this pump wins the contest. Also, in my opinion of course, it is the best looking Lezyne pump in this group and it worked really, really well. The flex hose was easy to use as it was with all the Lezyne pumps.
Still fairly lightweight, this pump delivered big air. The 0-30psi segment took just 1 minute, the fastest of all the pumps. 30-60psi was still just 2 minutes, but once I hit 50psi it definitely got pretty tough. I wouldn’t want to do much more than 60psi on this pump.
So while maybe not a recommended pump for a road tire, it is hands down the best option for gravel and mountain bike tires. Overall, this pump rated 4.2 points out of 5.