Inflatable boats have the major benefit of easy transportation and storage when deflated. The drawback of this is that they will require inflation before use and this can be time-consuming without the correct air pump for inflatables.
The best pump for inflatables is the Two-Stage Electric Turbo Pump By Sea Eagle that has two different air pressure settings and other clever features.
It’s important to note that there is a range of air pumps that offer different pressures suited to certain applications i.e. inflatable dinghies to towable tubes. On top of this, there are both manual and electric air pumps but a combination is always best.
Table of Contents
Best Air Pump For Inflatables
|Air Pump||Type||Our Rating|
|Sea Eagle Turbo||Electric||4.9|
|AIRHEAD Kwik Tek||Electric||4.8|
|AGPTEK Portable Quick-Fill||Electric||4.7|
|AIRHEAD AHP-F1||Foot Pump||4.8|
|AIRHEAD Double Action||Hand Pump||4.8|
Using a range of cheaper adapters that connect with other air pumps is a waste of time and it’s highly recommended to buy a dedicated air pump for boats. Electric is the preferred option but having a manual air pump as a backup is always worthwhile.
There is a big jump in price when you move from a manual to an electric air pump but it is all down to how much you value your time and efforts inflating your boat.
Inflatable boats are great fun but only let down by the inflation process when you do not have the right tools. Below is a list of the best air pumps for inflatables that will provide efficient inflation of your boat and other inflatables.
#1 Sea Eagle Electric Turbo 12V
The Sea Eagle is a reputable brand with a range of air pumps but this is a 2 stage pump that has a low and high-pressure mode. It is a high-performance air pump that connects to a 12V battery with two alligator clips that are included with the pump.
Features of the Sea Eagle Electric Turbo 12V include:
- Able to inflate a boat in under 2 minutes depending upon the size
- Low and high-pressure turbine blower
- Automatic switch-off setting once inflated to requested PSI
- Includes adapters for SUPs, kayaks and other inflatables
- Uses a 6-foot hose
Overall, it is the best electric air pump for inflatable boats with the only drawback being the fact you cannot connect it to a cigarette lighter. However, the crocodile clips are easy to use for connection to a marine battery.
#2 AIRHEAD Kwik Tek AHP-120HP
AIRHEAD is one of the most popular brands when it comes to air pumps. The AHP-120HP model, in particular, is a high-pressure air pump that works from a 120V power source and includes 7 universal adapters to fit a range of inflatables.
Other features of the AIRHEAD Kwik Tek AHP-120HP pump include:
- 120-volt air pump for maximum performance
- Pressure release valve that limits pressure to 1.4 PSI
- 10-foot power cord
- Ergonomic carrying handle
- Adapters for kayaks, towables and much more
- The accordion-style hose that prevents bad connections
The AIRHEAD Kwik Tek AHP-120HP is the best cheap electric air pump for inflatable boats with its affordable price. Considering the low cost, it still has all the adapters required and even comes with a handle integrated into the design so that it is convenient to carry around.
#3 AGPTEK Portable Quick-Fill
The AGPTEK air pumps are so powerful that it can not only inflate items but also deflate products by sucking the air out.
Whether you need it indoors or outdoors, car power adapter and home power adapter are included, making it possible for indoor and outdoor use.
Other features of the AGPTEK Portable Quick-Fill electric air pump includes:
- Connects via a 12V DC car outlet or 110V AC household outlet
- 3 interconnected nozzle for multiple valve types
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Power: 50W
- Power cord length: 1.8M
Overall, it is a great all-rounder in terms of electric pumps but the Airhead and Sea Eagles are more dedicated towards inflatable boats. Not to say the AGPTEK is not capable but it won’t be as good as the others.
#4 AIRHEAD AHP-F1 Bellow Foot Air Pump
The issue with an electrical air pump is that you will require a source of power, which may not be available all the time. Therefore, using a manual pump such as the AIRHEAD AHP-F1 air pump is a great option, which uses your foot for inflation.
Features of the AIRHEAD AHP-F1 Bellow Foot Air Pump include:
- Displacement of 0.5 liters per stroke
- 54-inch long hose
- 3 adapters to fit a range of valves
- Easily collapses to fit under kayak or boat seats
- A maximum air pressure of 2 PSI
Overall, the AIRHEAD AHP-F1 Bellow Foot Pump is the best manual air pump for the money and will easily blow up the majority of inflatable boats.
#5 AIRHEAD Double Action Hand Air Pump
The Airhead hand pump is another form of manual inflation and this pump will push out 2 liters per stroke, which is 4 times the amount of a foot air pump. It is called a “double-action” pump because it will continuously pump air on both the push-down and pull up of the handle.
Other features of the AIRHEAD Double Action Pump includes:
- 5-foot long hose
- accordion style connection
- 4 universal valve fittings
- Peak pressure at 14 PSI
- Ergonomic handle for pumping
The AIRHEAD Double Action is the best hand air pump to buy that will inflate your boat with a bit of manual effort. Choosing between the hand and foot pump is purely a matter of personal preference and they will both inflate a boat at a similar pace.
Air Pump For Inflatables Buying Guide
Inflatable boats are great fun until it comes down to the inflation and deflation of the boat. Luckily, air pumps for boats have improved over the years so that you spend less time waiting for them to inflate and more importantly, less effort required too.
The main benefit of owning an inflatable boat is that you are able to deflate it in size so that it can be transported or stored more easily. For this reason alone, it is essential to own a pump to inflate it and there are some factors you should consider before purchasing.
The recommended air pumps for inflatable boats mentioned in this article are electric, foot and hand pumps. Electric pumps have the clear advantage of very little effort involved when inflating but they are more expensive to buy outright and you will require a power source.
Manual pumps obviously require some assistance and you may break a sweat but they have many benefits too. Firstly, they are so simple and there is not a lot to go wrong with them, they are easily stored when not in use i.e. inside the boat and of course, they are much cheaper.
A combination of both electric and manual air pumps is highly recommended. Electric is clearly quicker and more efficient but for some unexpected reason, you may be left without a power source thus the requirement for a manual backup is essential. They are cheap enough and are easily stored for when you need them.
Ease of Use
Ensuring the air pump you buy is intuitive and requires no additional hassle to inflate your boat is very important. Small things such as the length of the hose, having all of the adapters, tight connections from the hose to the boat and other factors.
It’s important to remember that there is not a universal fitting for a pump to work with all inflatables. There is a range of fittings or adapters that connect with your pump for use with a wide variety of inflatables.
On top of the adapters, you will want to check for various inflation modes. An air pump for an inflatable boat will require much more pressure than a small inflatable ring.
Not everyone will want to fork out the price of an electric air pump such as the Sea Eagle because they will only be using it a couple of times a year. For those that find themselves inflating their boat a lot, it is certainly a worthwhile investment.
Value your time and effort involved in inflating your boat and then decide on a budget. All air pumps are fairly durable and long-lasting, so you should see it as an investment in the long run.
Investing in a high-quality air pump for inflatables is a worthwhile investment because no one enjoys waiting around whilst your inflatable takes ages to inflate. The majority come with long warranties and will last many years too.
Depending on the type of inflatable that you intend on inflating will determine which type of pump is best for your requirements. If you need an air pump for an inflatable boat, a mixture of a high-pressure electric air pump and a manual pump is highly recommended.