Buying Guide & Review Of 5 Best Pump For Inflatable Kayak

by Ally Mash | Last Updated:   October 6th, 2021
Buying Guide & Review Of 5 Best Pump For Inflatable Kayak


Finding the ideal pump for your inflatable kayak can be quite a task. This is particularly true for people buying a pump for the first time?

But why is it so tricky finding the best pump?

The answer is simple. There are several products on the market with each of them having its unique features.

You may keep checking out different pumps online till you find the right one. Or better yet, you can read this article to the end to learn about the best pump for your inflatable kayak.

Not only will I be reviewing the very best products, but I will also be telling you the features to look for in a pump. Should you go for a hand pump or an electric pump? Find out in this article.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

The 5 Best Electric Pumps for Inflatable Kayaks

AGPtEK Portable Quick-Fill Electric Air Pump For SUP & kayak

APTGEK’s electric pump is a great pump to have whether you own a kayak or a SUP. Though it’s not one of the most powerful pumps on the market, it remains a popular choice due to its steady and reliable airflow. The package also comes with several accessories.

Weighing approximately one pound and very compact, you will find the unit to be very portable. So, you won’t have a problem carrying it to wherever you need to inflate your small boat. The air pump also uses both AC and DC power. This means that it can either be plugged into your vehicle or a regular power outlet.

Additionally, valve compatibility won’t be an issue as the package contains three sizes of nozzle adapters. But if you prefer using a custom adapter, the diameter of the main port is 1.37 inches. You will be pleased to know that the air pump works for both inflation and deflation.

The only downsides of using this product are that it can be quite slow and loud. But this is understandable when you consider how small the unit is. On the brighter side, you will be able to use the pump as soon as you get it. This is because the package comes with all the adapters and cables.

Pros
  • It is very portable
  • It supports AC and DC power
  • It comes with three nozzles
  • It has a deflation feature for easy pack up
Cons
  • It is slow
  • It is noisy

OutdoorMaster 20PSI High Pressure Air Pump – The Shark

When it comes to quality, only a few electric pumps can match OutdoorMaster’s Shark. Though it was originally designed for SUPs, it inflates kayaks excellently. The major reason why this pump is a good option for your inflatable kayak is that it’s very fast.

To ensure that your boat is filled quickly, it uses a combination of high pressure and high volume modes. The modes can be changed as you inflate your small boat to prevent it from slowing down. It doesn’t make a lot of noise and handles high pressure well.

Also, the pump comes with an inbuilt digital gauge that shows the PSI level. You will find this very useful when inflating at high pressure as it will prevent you from over-inflating your kayak. The auto shut function is another great feature. It will allow you to set a particular pressure at which the pump will be turned off.

In the package, you will find a full set of nozzles that guarantee the compatibility of the pump with most kayaks. The materials used in building the product are also eco-friendly. However, it comes at a high price due to its impressive capabilities. You will need a vehicle to operate it.

Pros
  • It is an environmentally friendly product
  • It features an automatic switch
  • It uses two different modes for rapid inflation
  • It comes with multiple nozzles
  • It doesn’t overheat
Cons
  • It is costly
  • It only operates with D/C

Etekcity Electric Air Pump

Whether you own an inflatable kayak or SUP, the incredible inflation speed and pressure of this pump make it a great choice for you. It also operates quietly unlike most of the pumps available today. There are even more impressive things about this powerful pump.

The motor size of the Etekcity pump may make it seem to be a bit heavier and bigger than most pumps. However, this doesn’t affect its usability in any way thanks to its well-designed handle. And when it comes to power supply, it runs on 120v AC so you will need a regular power outlet.

Additionally, the presence of a 250-watt motor means that the pump can deliver an impressive 200 liters of air per minute. So, even the largest boats do not stand a chance against this pump.

The pump supports up to 1.2 PSI. It also comes with two nozzles that will be compatible with the majority of valves. This will ensure that you can pump your kayak without fuss. However, the downside of using this pump is that it tends to overheat.

Pros
  • It can be used to deflate your kayak
  • It is noiseless
  • It provides super-fast inflation
  • It is versatile
Cons
  • It overheats

Seamax SUP20s Electric Air Pump

Are you searching for an advanced and highly functional electric air pump? If your answer is yes, then this is the product you should be looking at. It is an incredibly powerful pump that can support up to 20 PSI. Hence, it is the right choice for professional SUPs and kayaks. It also has a digital sensor for a high level of accuracy.

The casing of this kayak pump is built for comfort. It features a top handle that makes it easy to carry on one hand. The handle also serves as a control panel that will enable you to modify the pressure. There’s a small display too for you to monitor the process.

Though the pump is very powerful, it operates with a 12v plug. You will also find a cable in the package. However, you should note that this isn’t the fastest pump. Its airflow of 70 liters per minute means it will take longer to fill your kayak.

Despite its slow airflow, it remains a reliable kayak pump. The SUP20s is just about the only model that can work with both kayaks and SUPs. It is also worth its fairly high price when you consider its top-notch performance.

Pros
  • It has a highly impressive pressure support rate
  • The package includes 4 universal valve adaptors
  • It is covered by a warranty
  • It features a digital sensor
Cons
  • It only runs on DC
  • It is expensive

Ong Namo Electric Air Pump

If you are looking for a quality electric air pump on a tight budget, the Ong Namo pump is an excellent option. Despite coming at an affordable price, it has all your could need in a kayak pump. To start with, it is very lightweight and hence, portable.

It also has an impressive airflow that is unusual in electric pumps of this size. What’s more, it features both inflation and deflation modes. This means it will save you a great deal of time when setting up your kayak and when you are about to head home.

The design of the electric pump is similar to that of several pumps. However, what separates it from the competition is its 130-watt motor. On the downside, the electric pump operates on high voltage. As a result, you will need a 110v wall outlet to use it. It comes with an adapter.

Additionally, the pump is built to deliver a higher volume than pressure. When the largest nozzle is in use, it can produce up to 400 liters every minute. However, you will need to support this pump with a hand pump sometimes because it has a maximum pressure of just 0.58 PSI. Finally, it is safe to use and has excellent heat dispersion when in use.

Pros
  • Quick inflation and deflation
  • It provides exceptional airflow
  • It is low priced
  • It is lightweight
  • It is ETL certified
Cons
  • It can’t be used without a wall outlet
  • You can’t rely on this pump alone to make your kayak firm

Our Top choice

An electric pump will be an excellent investment for you as a kayaker. It will ease the process of setting up your inflatable watercraft significantly and also save you a good amount of energy. To put it simply, you are more likely to have a decent time on the water when you have an electric pump.

I’ve done my very best to point you in the direction of the best electric pump for your kayak. But if I were you, I’d go with APTGEK’s electric pump. There are various reasons for this.

The pump’s small size means it is unmatched when convenience and portability are considered. It takes up little to no space to allow you to travel light. Another great thing about the pump is that you can plug it into your car or a wall outlet. This is a feature that is quite rare in an electric pump.

Finally, there is the deflation feature. With this feature, you will be ready to pack as soon as you finish kayaking. All you will have to do is to connect your kayak to the deflation port and then, switch it on.

Why You Need an Electric Air Pump

Man outdoors in nature inflating green rubber boat

Inflatable kayaks have made kayaking more fun and enjoyable. They are very lightweight and can be carried around without a fuss.

The portability of inflatable kayaks is mainly because they are deflatable. However, this also means that they have to be inflated before they can be used.

For this reason, inflatable kayaks and pumps go hand in hand. If you purchase an inflatable kayak today, you will most likely get a hand pump in the package. But hand pumps come with a major disadvantage.

Since they are powered by human effort, inflating a kayak with a hand pump is usually time and energy-consuming. How do you plan to have a great time if you are already exhausted before going into your kayak?

Electric air pumps for inflatable kayaks solve this issue efficiently. When you have an electric pump, all you have to do is switch the device on and it will pump your kayak. As the name suggests, electric pumps run on electricity and inflate kayaks in just minutes.

How to Find the Best Pump for an Inflatable Kayak

Women inflating kayak on the beach near the camper

As I mentioned earlier, each electric pump has its own set of features that make it unique. Therefore, you need to know the right features to look out for in an electric air pump. This will make it easier for you to find a product that satisfies your needs.

Let’s discuss these features further down below:

Functionality

An electric pump can be designed to function as either a single-stage inflow pump or a two-stage inflow pump. The mechanism behind a single-stage electric pump is quite straightforward.

It will inflate your kayak at constant air pressure until the needed pressure is achieved. However, this mechanism isn’t the most efficient because the resistance will increase towards the end and slow the process down.

On the other hand, the mechanism of a two-stage electric air pump is more complicated. In the beginning, this air pump will inflate the kayak with a high inflow. But close to the end of the process, the mechanism will change from high inflow to high pressure.

As a result, a two-stage electric pump is the right choice for you if you want a fast pump. The only downside to this type of pump is that it is noisy.

Pressure Guage

The best electric pumps are designed to feature a built-in pressure gauge. With a pressure gauge, you will be able to monitor the process of inflating your kayak.

You can choose between the various types of pressure gauges when buying an electric pump. For example, you may choose an electric with an LCD or one with an analog display.

Additionally, you should get a pressure gauge that shuts down automatically upon the completion of the inflation. All you will have to do is to set the desired PSI and then you can enjoy unsupervised inflation. Without this feature, you will have to stay with your electric pump throughout the process.

Valve Compatibility

For you to carry out easy and efficient inflations, the electric air pump and your kayak or SUP have to be compatible. If not, the pump is going to end up being another piece of junk in your basement.

The majority of inflatable SUPs and kayaks feature the Halkey-Roberts Valve. Halkey-Roberts valves are a great choice because they are repairable and built for high-pressure inflation.

Other options available include Boston valves and military valves. Military valves also handle extreme air pressure excellently. To inflate these valves, you will need to make use of special valve adapters.

Hence, you will save yourself a lot of trouble by purchasing a compatible air pump immediately. Several brands of air pumps feature different valve adapters. So you should keep that in mind if you own a number of inflatable boats.

Furthermore, you should consider investing in a manual pump as a backup option. The importance of having a manual pump is that you can carry it with you in your inflatable kayak or USP.

Power Source

The major reason why inflatable kayaks were introduced was to ease transportation. Hence, your electric air pump has to be portable too.

Electric pumps require a power source to function. While most of them aren’t compatible with classic power outlets, you will have different options to choose from.

Some electric air pumps are designed to be powered via the cigarette lighter plug in vehicles. Also, there are some that you will have to connect directly to your car’s battery.

When using this type of air pump, always remember to keep the engine of your vehicle running. This way, you have efficient inflation and still have some power left in your car battery afterward.

Additionally, several models of air pumps for inflatable kayaks can be connected to regular power outlets. Though these pumps are known to be very powerful, they can only be used in areas with wall outlets. You should consider getting an electric air pump that is compatible with both car plugs and regular power outlets.

Pressure

Inflatable kayaks always come with a manual that contains vital information. Take a look at your kayak’s manual to see the recommended air pressure. You can then proceed to purchase an electric pump that can deliver it.

Ease of Use

A common characteristic of the best pumps for inflatable kayaks is that they are easy to use. For you to be able to carry your air pump around without fuss, it has to be lightweight and compact.

It will be even more convenient if you can get a package that includes a carry bag. The carry bag will ease the process of transporting your air pump, keep it clean, and prevent damage. You should also ensure that the pump comes with a strap so that you can carry it hands-free.

Finally, you may find your air pump difficult to use if the air hose and power cord aren’t long enough. So, you should ensure that they are of adequate length.

Inflation Speed

Some models of electric pumps are built to inflate kayaks faster than others. However, you may not have to bother about the speed of your pump if you will be inflating just one watercraft. Inflation speed becomes more vital when you are to inflate several watercraft. In such a situation, you should get a pump with a high CFM or liter per minute rating.

Noise

The amount of noise created by an electric pump doesn’t affect its performance in any way. However, a noisy pump can make people uncomfortable. There are also certain situations where a noiseless electric pump will be more beneficial. For example, a noisy pump could spook the wildlife in a quiet park and prevent you from getting a view.

The types of Air Pumps for Inflatable Kayaks

12-Volt Electric Pumps

If you don’t want to use up your energy in inflating your kayak, a 12-volt electric pump can be a good choice for you. This pump will require you to power it using your car. However, this type of air pump usually lacks enough power to inflate a kayak on its own. Hence, you will need to attain the ideal air pressure using a hand pump or foot pump.

Rechargeable 12-Volt Pumps

These are very portable pumps that make it very easy to inflate and deflate kayaks. Similar to 12-volt electric pumps, rechargeable pumps do not have the power needed to inflate a kayak completely. They are charged with USB ports.

12-Volt Electric Turbo Pumps

These are expensive air pumps that are powered via the power outlet or batteries of cars. You don’t have to put in a lot of effort when using this type of air pump. All you have to do is to set the desired pressure and let it inflate your kayak. A turbopump can reach between 15 to 20 PSI.

Single Action Hand Pumps

Single action hand pumps are one the most popular types of air pumps. When using one of these hand pumps, you will have to put in some effort to inflate to use. This is because they operate on the downstroke. However, a single-action hand pump is still easier to use than other air pumps. You should be able to reach the standard 10+PSI without draining yourself.

Double Action Hand Pumps

Double action hand pumps are widely used by both experienced and amateur anglers. This is because they inflate kayaks on both the upstroke and downstroke. However, the disadvantage of using a double-action hand pump is that it requires a great deal of muscle power. As a result, you should only opt for one if you are physically strong.

Bellows Foot Pumps

Bellows foot pumps are lightweight, compact, and small-sized. Using this type of air pump doesn’t require a lot of bending or force. They are also easy to carry around and only take up a little space.

Pumps that Shouldn’t Be Used for Inflatable Kayaks

Tire Pumps

This type of air pump was made specifically for tires on vehicles and bicycles. A tire pump won’t inflate your kayak because it won’t fit your kayak’s valves. Even if you get a connector, the time it will take to fill your kayak won’t be worth the trouble.

Air Compressor Pumps

Air compressor pumps are not suitable for inflatable kayaks due to their power. If you go ahead to use an air compressor pump, there is a good chance that you will end up overinflating your kayak. This would then cause damage to the air chambers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast can an electric pump inflate my kayak?

Two factors determine how fast your kayak will be inflated. They include the size of your watercraft and how powerful the pump is. However, electric pumps are expected to inflate kayaks in about 10 minutes. Averagely, electric air pumps release 1 PSI every minute. This is two times faster than manual pumps.

What is the right PSI for my paddleboard or kayak?

Every inflatable watercraft comes with a manual. In your watercraft’s manual, you will find the manufacturer’s instructions on the right PSI range for it. Averagely, the recommended PSI is usually between 10 to 15 PSI.

Most of the products in this review will meet this requirement and even go higher. The recommended PSI for any watercraft is much lesser than the PSI at which it will burst. However, you shouldn’t go ahead to overinflate your kayak for this reason as it won’t make your watercraft better in any way.

Should I deflate my kayak before storing it?

It is not a necessity that you deflate your kayak before storing it. However, it is much better to store it according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Your kayak will last much longer this way.

It is always a good idea to rinse and dry your watercraft every time you use it. If you will be storing it without deflating it, you shouldn’t do so with high PSI. You should also keep out of the sun and unfavorable conditions to protect its structure.

Can I deflate my kayak using an electric pump?

Inflatable boats can be deflated with the aid of electric pumps with the deflation feature. Not all pumps have this feature. A top-quality electric pump will be able to reverse the inflation process to get rid of air pockets without fuss. This will save you a lot of time and also enable you to save more space.

Is it possible to overinflate a kayak with an electric pump?

There is very little chance of this happening but it is not impossible. Inflatable boats are built to be highly durable and as a result, they can withstand much more pressure than what is stated in their manuals.

To further reduce the chances of overinflation, a good watercraft will have a pressure gauge and auto shut feature. These components will prevent you from exceeding the recommended PSI. Overinflation is more likely to occur when water toys are inflated with water.

Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.