Finding the Perfect Inflatable Kayak Pump shouldn’t be hard, but with all the options available online this year (dang! it’s already 2017) it’s becoming a bit of challenge to choose the right one at an affordable price.
There is no doubt that kayaking is a great way to get some exercise, see some beautiful scenery, and just have a good time. Today’s inflatable kayaks make that adventure even better. An inflatable kayak is easy to store and will fit in even the smallest vehicle when it’s not inflated.
However, if you have an inflatable kayak, you’re definitely going to need to find the best inflatable kayak pump. Not just any pump will work, and some are probably better for your particular trips than others.
A single action hand pump is the style most people are familiar with and have seen around. These pumps only inflate on the down-stroke, however, so it will take more pumps to get to the proper inflation versus a double-action pump. The good thing about them, though, is that it is much easier to pump up to 10+PSI needed for most kayaks than it is with some other styles of pumps.
A kayaker does not need to use near as much muscle power to inflate the craft as may be the case with a double-action, for instance. So, while it may take more pumps to fully inflate the kayak with this pump, it will be easier overall to pump it up.
Double-action hand pumps are very popular boat pumps. They push air into the kayak on both the down-stroke and the up-stroke. This makes them faster than a single-action hand pump or a bellows foot pump. The issue some may have with a double-action hand pump is that it will take significantly more muscle to pump past 4 PSI. These pumps will do the job, but it will take some physical strength to get past that point.
Foot pumps are easier to use for many people. They do not require the user to bend or stoop to inflate the kayak. They also have a smaller profile than hand pumps, making them easier to store in smaller vehicles and taking up less space when heading out on a trip. These inflatable pumps only pump on the down-stroke, however, much like the single-action hand pump.
These pumps are, by far, the easiest to use. If you know you will always have access to your vehicle before heading out, these are sometimes the best inflatable kayak pumps to use. They make most of the inflation very easy. However, many of them do not have the power to fully inflate a kayak. You may need to top off the kayak with a foot or hand pump.
Each of these types of inflatable boat pumps has its advantages and disadvantages. Because everyone is different, each kayaker should weigh the pros and cons of each type before selecting one, or even two different, types. Keep in mind, too, the conditions where you are kayaking. Air and water temperature will make a difference. If you will be kayaking in full, strong sun all day, do not inflate the kayak too much!
The heat of the day will cause pressure to build. Conversely, cold water will cause the pressure inside the kayak to lessen, as cold air is more dense than warm air. Also, never leave an inflatable kayak in full sun for the day! Inflatable kayaks can and will pop if they are over inflated either by the kayaker or in the heat of the day.
Air pressure gauges are a good idea. The in-line variety is easiest to use. However, depending on the style of valve on your inflatable kayak, you may only be able to read the pressure while you are pumping air into the boat.
Alternatively, some more experienced kayakers know just by feel that the pressure is about where it needs to be, very firm, but not rock solid. The following are some good examples of popular units.
Check out the following inflatable kayak pump reviews and choose the right one for you:
While the main purpose for this pump is for stand-up paddle boards, they will work great for inflating kayaks as well. They will pump up to 12+PSI, which is perfect for a kayaker’s needs. It uses dual-action when pumping at lower PSI to help increase the speed of inflating, but then switches to a more manageable single-action inflation at higher PSI.
This pump comes with several fittings, so you should have no problems with any valves on an inflatable kayak. You will have the fitting you need for the valve on your kayak. It also has an option to change to single-action when the pressure starts getting higher. It will pump to 14 PSI. For less than $20, it is a solid choice in inflatable kayak pumps.
This foot pump has enough power to inflate a kayak and it compresses small enough to be stored in a very small space. For less than $10, this may be a great option for inflating a kayak when one leg of the trip will start at a remote camp, for instance.