The best mini-pumps are easy to carry in a pack or on your frame but still pack a mighty blast of air for those trailside emergencies. Here's our pick of pumps...


Whether you run inner tubes or tubeless, dual ply casings or tyre inserts, it takes a brave mountain biker to venture out without the means to fix a puncture. And that means carrying some form of pump. Given the CO2 cartridges are expensive, and wasteful, most riders use a mini-pump, the benefits of which are that they take up minimal space and can even be attached to your frame.

But the difference between the best and the worst, in terms of durability and air volume shifted, can be vast, which is where this test comes in. Check out our alternative guide if you’re looking for the best tubeless inflator pumps for home use.

Topeak Mountain TT G mini pump

Topeak Mountain TT G mini pump

Topeak Mountain TT G

Best for high-speed inflation

Weight: 230g | Strokes: 50-4psi, 100-13psi, 200-27psi | Length: 25cm | Contact: | Rating: 10/10

Pros: Powerful and efficient. Comfortable to use.

Cons: Expensive. Gauge is not that accurate. Chunky.

Fat like a salami sausage, the Topeak Mountain TT G is a monster among mini-pumps, but it backs up that size with a powerful action. With a huge volume and a two-way action, that pumps air on both the pull and push stroke, it gets you back up and running in double quick time.

Topeak makes loads of mini pumps, but you could hardly call the Mountain TT-G mini – it’s a monster. The length is pretty similar to the other pumps here, but the girth is way bigger, and it has a huge volume. It also features Topeak’s ‘Twin Turbo’ technology which means it pushes air on both the pull and push strokes. 200 strokes gave us 27psi in our test tyre – easily the best on test.

It’s also really comfortable to use, there’s a handy thumb lock and it comes with a mounting bracket should you want to carry this beast on your bike. The gauge isn’t that accurate, but it’s better than nothing. The pump we’d want in our pack if we got a puncture on a rainy winter’s day.

Read our full review of the Topeak Mountain TT G pump

Lezyne Grip Drive HV mini pump

Lezyne Grip Drive HV mini pump

Lezyne Grip Drive HV

A quality pump with an efficient action at a good price

Weight: 125g | Strokes: 50-3.5psi, 100-11psi, 200-25psi | Length: 23cm | Contact: | Rating: 9/10

Pros: Well made. Grippy handle. Gets up to pressure quickly.

Cons: Handle is a bit short. Hose can leak air during installation/removal from valve.

With a high-quality alloy build and knurled handle the Lezyne Grip Drive HV is a pleasing product to handle and feels like it will last a lifetime. HV stands for High Volume, so it shifts a lot of air with each stroke – perfect for mountain bikes. 200 strokes gave us 25psi on our test tyre, which is about where we’d want it for most riding. The slippery shaft also made light work of getting to this pressure – even the last few strokes were fairly easy.

To inflate the tyre you attach a short hose (stored in the barrel) to the valve. This has a Schrader fitting on one end and Presta on the other. We’ve mixed feelings on the hose connection, as although it should put less stress on the valve, to install it you have to wind the whole pump on and it’s really easy to let air escape during this process. There’s a bleed valve should you actually over-inflate your tyre.

An absolute top-drawer mini pump, that has an effortless action, shifts a load of air and is also fully rebuildable.

Read our full review of the Leyne Grip Drive HV

Crankbrothers Gem Short mini pump

Crankbrothers Gem Short mini pump

Crankbrothers Gem Short

Small in stature but powerful in action

Weight: 136g | Strokes: 50-2psi, 100-10psi, 200-20psi | Length: 18cm  | Contact: | Rating: 9/10

Pros: Compact and easy to carry. Powerful for its size. Good value.

Cons: Not much to hold when pumping.

The Gem pump from Crankbrothers comes in two lengths, and this is the shorter model at just under 18cm. To make up for its dimensions, it boasts a dual-piston that works in both directions and also the company’s Air Switch feature, that allows you to toggle between high volume or high pressure using a dial on the end of the barrel.

When inflating our test tyre, we got to around 15psi before we had to flick it to the high pressure setting – this actually pushes less air into the tyre, so it took longer, but with less muscle.

To hold the pump on the tyre there’s a thumb lock, and this is useful because there’s not much to grip at the pump head itself. If space is at a premium, but you don’t want to compromise on pumping power, the Crankbrothers Gem Short is an excellent choice and great value.

Read our full review of the Crankbrothers Gem Short

Park Tool PMP 4.2 pump

The Park Tool PMP 4.2 is comfortable to use

Park Tool PMP 4.2

Best for secure valve connection

Weight: 133g  | Strokes: 50-1psi, 100-7.5psi, 200-18psi | Contact: | Rating: 8/10

Pros: Secure valve connection, easy to use, reasonably effective at inflating

Cons: Thumb-lock rattles and frame mount not the most secure

Park Tools is one of the most well-recognised and well-respected names in the world of bike maintenance and tools, though the PMP 4.2 is a bit of an old-school design. 

The fold-out T-handle fitted easily in our hand, but it felt a bit flexy and we really noticed that when trying to force out that last bit of air. That said, it did inflate the tyre well, it just needed another 50 or so strokes to get to our ideal riding pressure, which is more than some of the other pumps we tested. 

You can flip around the Presta and Schrader valve washers so it will work with both valve types, and it’s easy to do if you need to make the change trail-side. 

It comes with a plastic-bracket so you can carry it on your bike, but the rubber band isn’t that tight, and the thumb lock has an annoying rattle while riding. 

But overall there’s lots we love about this pump; it’s good value, lightweight, and it gets the job done. 

Read our full review of the Park Tool PMP 4.2 mini-pump

Birzman Infinite Snap-It pump

The Birzman Infinite Snap-It mini-pump offers high-quality construction and performance

Birzman Infinite Snap-It Apogee

Best for high-quality construction

Weight: 169g  | Strokes: 50-0.5psi, 100-7psi, 200-16.6psi | Contact: | Rating: 8/10

Pros:Top quality, smooth action, looks good, decent pumping performance

Cons: Twist-lock head can be temperamental

With its polished silver surface and anodised barrel, the Birzman Snap-It Apogee pump certainly stands out from the crowd. 

Those looks aren’t just for show, because we found that anodised barrel contributes to a super-smooth pump action which means you can easily push high pressures, even though it’s only a single direction pump. It’s not quite as efficient as the Topeak Mountain TT G or the Lezyne Grip Drive HV though. 

The hose for the pump is retractable, and it has Birzman’s Snap-It smart head with a twist-lock design that automatically adjusts to Presta or Schrader valve types. It goes on easily, but we found the locking mechanism can be a little temperamental, working loose occasionally and leaking air. 

It comes with a plastic frame clamp so you can attach it to your bike, and overall we really liked it. However, because of the Snap-It head, we’d suggest going for the cheaper Birzman Infinite MTB pump. 

Read our full review of the Birzman Infinite Snap-It Apogee mini-pump

Photo of the Truflow Mini/Shock suspension pump

Truflo Mini/Shock Pump

Best dual-purpose suspension and tyre pump

Weight: 176g | Contact: | Rating: 8/10

Pros: Presta adapter means this pump works on tyres and suspension, high pressure and high volume modes, neat design, frame clip included, compact size

Cons: Not comfortable to use, hose a little short

If you’re looking for one pump to fulfil two functions, then the Truflow mini/shock pump is just the ticket. It’s named the Mini/Shock because it can be used both to inflate mountain bike tyres and to add pressure to a mountain bike suspension shock. So if you’re looking to lower the amount of kit you carry when you ride, this is certainly a pump to consider.

It comes with a Presta valve so it can attach to tyre valves, plus high-pressure and high-volume modes which can be switched between using a dial on the handle. High-pressure deals with suspension pressure, and high-volume is for inflating tyres.

Because it’s still quite compact, we found that it does take a while to inflate a tyre but is great for suspension setup since you can use the high-volume setting to initially boost a load of air into your fork, then the high-pressure setting to fine-tune it. We managed to get about 70psi in 20 strokes.

On the downside the pump isn’t very comfortable to use since you have to grip around the gauge and the handle has quite a blunt shape.

Overall, it’s a great value do-it-all pump and a perfect size for stashing in a hip-pack or clipping onto your bike using the included frame clip. It performance was certainly good enough to make it into our list of the best mountain bike shock pumps.

Read our full test review of the Truflo Mini/Shock suspension pump

How we test

To gauge efficiency, we inflated a 2.6in Maxxis Minion DHR tyre using each pump and measured the pressure after 50 strokes, 100 strokes and 200 strokes. We also assessed how comfortable each pump is during use, because your arm will definitely start to burn after 200 strokes. We also weighed and measured every pump to see how much space they’d take up on the bike and when stashed in a pack.

We tested over 10 mini-pumps, and only the pumps rated 8/10 and over have been included in this list, with the score based on the above performance criteria and comparison between the pumps.

Look out For

Mini pumps have changed a lot over the last few years. Most now have a high-quality aluminium construction, anodised parts, extra grip handles, dual-valve compatibility and there are even some out there that you can put a tool inside. The upshot of all this development is that most modern mini pumps are more convenient but also more expensive.

What hasn’t changed is how you store them, which is either on the bike or on your person. Stashing them in a pack is recommended because the pump won’t get covered in dirt and grit and  is less likely to seize up when you actually come to use it.

Even though they’re described as mini, the size, or volume, of a pump does have a big effect on how much effort is required to inflate a mountain bike tyre. Compared to road bikes, MTB tyres have higher volume but running lower pressure, which means you need a pump with a large air chamber if you want to inflate them quickly. Sure, a high-pressure/low volume mini pump will also work, but it will just take longer to do the job.

Most of the mini pumps tested here are high volume and we’ve covered a spread of styles and prices.


Chances are you’ll be trying to inflate your tyre after refitting an inner tube and your hands will be slippery, so some form of grip is a must. The head and handle also need to be a decent size because you need to brace against them when inflating the tyre.

Mini pump thumb lock

Mountain bike product shot in the studio

Dual/Smart head

There are currently two valves in common use – Presta and Schrader. To work with both valves, some mini pumps use an insert that you flip over inside the head, but the best come with smart heads that automatically adjust without having to take anything apart. That said, as most MTBs use presta valves, you only need to do it once. Both solutions work, but you usually pay slightly more for the latter.

Thumb Lock

To ensure the pump doesn’t slip off the valve during vigorous pumping a lockable head is a good idea. This also stops air loss and leaks, which is good because you’ve usually killed your arm getting air in there.

Pull-out mini-pump hose

Pull-out mini-pump hose

Extension Hose

A flexible extension hose does allow you to smash out the strokes without stressing the delicate valve stem. On most pumps the hose is housed inside the shaft, and it can also be double ended – Presta on one end, Schrader on the other.

Frame Clip

To carry the pump on your bike you can use the supplied plastic snap-on clip, that usually mounts underneath your bottle cage. It needs to be offset to the side of the cage and come with a strap, so the pump doesn’t fall out on the first rough descent.

Co2 booster

Some pumps come with the facility to attach a Co2 cartridge – handy for emergency inflation, usually in a race situation.

Mini pump pressure gauge

Mini pump pressure gauge

Pressure Gauge

Helps give an idea of when to stop pumping. Some are more accurate than others, most add to the cost.