best air pump for inflatable boat

5 Best Air Pumps For Inflatable Boats 2018

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 air pump for inflatables is the Two Stage Electric Turbo Pump By Sea Eagle that has two different air pressure settings and other clever features.

Its important to note that there is a range of air pumps that offer different pressures suited to certain applications i.e. inflatable dinghies to towables. On top of this, there is both manual and electric air pumps but a combination is always best.

Best Air Pump For Inflatables

Air PumpTypeOur Rating
Sea Eagle Turbo Electric4.9
AIRHEAD Kwik TekElectric4.8
Intex Quick-FillElectric4.7
AIRHEAD AHP-F1Foot Pump4.8
AIRHEAD Double ActionHand Pump4.8

Using a range of cheaper adapters that connect with other air pumps is a waste of time and its 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 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 an efficient inflation of your boat and more.

Sea Eagle Electric Turbo Pump


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.

Using the high pressure turbine blower, you could inflate an inflatable boat in less than 2 minutes (depending on size). The air pump itself is clever and will automatically switch off when it reaches the requested PSI.

The Sea Eagle BTP Mano comes with a range of adapters and will inflates SUPs, kayaks and other water applications. The bag comes with the pump and a 6 feet hose that is easily stored in or out of the boat.

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 crocodiles clips are easy to use and the majority of people will have a spare marine battery nearby.

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AIRHEAD Kwik Tek AHP-120HP


The AIRHEAD brand is with both manual and electric air pump that are very popular. The AHP-120HP is a high pressure air pump that works from a 120V power source and includes seven universal adapters to fit a range of inflatables.

For those that plan on inflating other water applications such as inflatable towable tube, there is a pressure release valve that prevents the air pump going above 1.4 PSI. Other clever features include accordion style hoses that prevent bad connections.

The AIRHEAD Kwik Tek AHP-120HP is the best cheap electric air pump for inflatable boats with its reasonable price. Considering the low cost, it still has all the connectors required and even comes with a handle integrated into the design so that it is convenient to carry around.

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Intex Quick-Fill Electric Pump


The Intext Quick Fill is an electric air pump that connects to a vehicle cigarette lighter as well as a household outlet. It has 2 speed and consists of 3 nozzles for multiple valve types. It is a simple electric air pump and can blow up a range of inflatables.

It is a fast and efficient air pump that has a max air flow of 14.1 CFM and can blow up pretty much everything from a basketball to an inflatable boat.

Overall, it is a great all rounder in terms of electric air pumps but the Airhead and Sea Eagles are more dedicated towards inflatable boats. Not to say the Intex is not capable but it won’t be as good as the others.

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AIRHEAD AHP-F1 Bellow Foot Pump


Many inflatable boat owners may be completely against having an electric air pump and would prefer a good old fashioned manual air pump. The Airhead AHP-F1 has an air displacement of 0.5 Liters per stroke and uses a 54 inch long hose to connect to the inflatable from wherever you plan to pump it from.

The main advantage of a foot air pump is the simplicity and lack of components required. Once you have blown up the dinghy, you can simply leave it under a seat or similar and forget about it until you require it again.

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. Of course, it is not going to be as effortless as an electric alternative but its much cheaper way of inflating it.

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AIRHEAD Double Action Hand 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.

As with the other Airhead models, this hand pump comes equipped with a 5 foot long hose, universal adapters and an accordion style connection. Using this air pump, you can achieve peak pressure at 14 PSI, which is more than enough.

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.

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Air Pump For Inflables 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 an air pump to inflate it and there are some factors you should consider before purchasing.

inflatable boat pump

Type of Air Pump

The recommended air pumps for inflatable boats mentioned in this article are electric, foot and hand pumps. Electric air 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.

air pump for inflatables

Ease of Use

Ensuring the air pump you buy is intuitive and require no additional hassle to inflate your boat is very important. Small thing such as the length of the hose, having all of the adapters, tight connections from the hose to the boat and other factors.

 

Compatibility

Its important to remember that there is not a universal fitting for an air pump to work with all inflatables. There is a range of fittings or adapters that connect with your air 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.

Price

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.

Conclusion

Investing into 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.

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