Vacuum chambers sputter-coated with a thin film (approx. 1.5 μm) of a getter material, and subsequently exposed to ambient air, have been found to recover a pumping action after 'in situ' bakeout. Coatings of Ti, Hf, Zr have been initially produced and studied, followed by their binary quasi-equiatomic alloys TiHf, HfZr, TiZr. All these coatings display activation at temperatures lower than 400°C, as observed by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron stimulated desorption (ESD), pumping speed and ultimate pressure measurements. The lowest activation onset temperature, about 200°C, has been measured for the quasi-equiatomic TiZr alloy. A further activation temperature decrease has been achieved for TiZr based ternary alloys/compounds, which are currently being investigated.