Specialized Air Tool Double Barrel Review
Cons: No flex fill hose, lacks versatility
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Double Barrel was a standout for quick inflation of mountain bike tires. It provides smooth pumping action with a dual chamber pump. It lacks some of the features of our top-rated mountain bike pump, but it is affordable, compact, and it get the job done.
Ease of Use
The Double Barrel uses a standard integrated pump head with a locking lever to obtain a tight seal on the valve stem. Pumping action is smooth and efficient, but the ergonomics are not as good as what you will find on the Lezyne Gauge Drive HV because it lacks a flexible fill hose. There is also more air loss when removing the pump from the valve due to the lack of an air bleed system.
This is a solid efficient pump for filling high volume tires. In our mountain bike tire test, the Double Barrel reached 33psi at 300 pump strokes. The Lezyne Gauge Drive HV is the only pump we tested that out-performed the Double Barrel, reaching 37psi. Specialized claims the max pressure rating to be 80psi, but we were unable to pump past 58psi in our road tire test.When we reached 114 pump strokes, it became nearly impossible to compress the pump during road tire testing. So, the Double Barrel is not a good choice for road tires and we are okay with that. It is a purpose-built mountain bike pump and when used for that purpose it is among the best available. For a road bike specific contender, consider the Editors' Choice award winning Lezyne Road Drive.
Looks and Design
This is a sharp looking pump; it is constructed of aluminum with a raw brushed finish. The locking lever is a simple stainless steel loop with a utilitarian look, and it works well. A rubber gasket inside the pump head is reversible for use on either Presta or Schrader valves. In order to access the gasket, you must unthread a metal ring on the pump head and flip the gasket over to change valve type. This design is not nearly as easy as the reversible hose design of the Lezyne Gauge Drive and the similar design found on the Pro Bike Tool High Pressure Pump. We also prefer the flexible hose design of the aforementioned pumps to the integrated head found on the Double Barrel.
Another nice feature found on the Double is the locking pump handle. When compressed the pump handle can be turned slightly to the right to lock it in the closed position. This prevents the pump from extending in a jersey pocket or hydration pack and eliminates any rattling.
This pump weighs 146 grams and measures 19cm in length; it fits nicely in a jersey pocket or hydration pack. The Lezyne Gauge Drive is 5cm longer and weighs 5 grams less for comparison. Depending on how you plan to carry your mini pump, the Double Barrel may be a better choice than the Gauge Drive. If you prefer to have your pump stowed in a jersey pocket, the Double Barrel is a better fit than the longer Gauge Drive. If you plan to mount the pump to your frame, the Double Barrel may fit better than the Gauge Drive. For hydration pack use, the length is not as much of an issue, putting the Gauge Drive and Double barrel on equal footing.
This contender durable during testing, providing reliable pumping performance. However, the thread on flexible fill hose design is less prone to wear over time with frequent use. The aluminum construction should yield many seasons of use.
The Double Barrel is best suited mountain bike use. It is a great pump if you need a dedicated mountain bike pump and is not a good choice for use on road or other high-pressure applications. For a contender that will excel in all metrics for your road biking needs, check out the Lezyne Road Drive. For a pump that will excel for use with your mountain bike, consider the Lezyne Gauge.
For $35, the Air Tool Double Barrel is a great pump and represents an excellent value. If you want to save $5, check out the Best Bang for Your Buck winner, the Pro Bike Tool.
This contender is an awesome mountain-bike-specific mini pump. It has a simple integrated pump head design and is a top performer for high volume applications.
— Curtis Smith