The best kayak pumps are quick and easy to use, so you can unfold, inflate and float your boat or board in no time...


Some of the best collapsible kayaks on the market are inflatable craft, and if you have one of these models, every paddling experience you have will begin with the blowing up of your boat. And if that becomes a hassle or an overly arduous thing to do, then it will act as a barrier to going out on the water, so getting one of the best kayak pumps available is absolutely crucial.

Many inflatable boats and stand-up paddleboards come with a pack pump, but very often these are not the highest quality, and if you find that to be the case, then it’s well worth investing in a proper pump.

They’re never going to be the sexiest piece of kit in your garage, but the best kayaking pumps are an excellent investment, making inflation feel almost effortless. There are several types of kayaking pump, from the reasonable cheap and cheerful stirrup-style hand and foot pumps, through to more sophisticated powered pumps that can be operated from a battery pack, mains, or the 12V outlet in your vehicle.

Here we take a look at the best kayaking pumps for you, no matter what kind of inflatable craft you tend to paddle.

Best hand kayak pumps

Warm up your core with a little pre-paddle pumping work out

NRS Super 2 High Pressure Pump

A powerful stirrup-style hand pump that inflates boats and boards to high pressure


• Design: Floor pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 25psi/1.7 bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Leafield C7 & D7 valve adapter, Halkey-Roberts New Short/Summit 2 valve adapter
• Size: 56 x 11.5cm / 22 x 4.5in
• Weight: 1,814g / 4lb

Reasons to buy: inflates to very high pressure; easy to toggle between single and double action pump modes; no need for plug-in, so it can be used anywhere; sturdy build quality; long hose

Reasons to avoid: heavy and cumbersome to carry; danger of over pressurising craft; effort required

This versatile and very powerful kayak pump requires no electricity and can be taken anywhere – from beach to riverbank – when you need to get your craft inflated to the maximum advised pressure.

Aimed primarily at people with inflatable kayaks that require high levels of psi (such as performance SUP boards) it’s possible to switch between double and single action pumping with the click of the ‘Air Max’ button, so you can start off with high output pump strokes and then drop down to shorter, easier strokes as the pressure builds.

The integrated gauge enables you to judge the inflation levels correctly, but there is no obvious red zone marked on the dial and you must be very careful not to exceed the recommended pressure as advised by the boat or board manufacturer (15psi is typically adequate).

Never over-inflate a board or boat otherwise you will damage it, and potentially injure yourself, and this is definitely a possibility with the extremely powerful Super 2. This pump has a long (122cm/48in) hose and comes with a range of nozzles.

Buy the NRS Super 2 High Pressure Pump at REI

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Jobe 2023 Double Action Hand Pump

A use-anywhere, very versatile double-action kayak pump that requires no electricity, just a bit of grunt


• Design:Stirrup-style hand pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 14.5psi / 1 Bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Bayonet + 5 alternative nozzles
• Size: 48 x 23 x 11.5cm / 19 x 9 x 4.5in
• Weight: 1kg

Reasons to buy: double action makes inflation quick; can be used anywhere; quiet; multiple nozzles included for maximum versatility; cheap

Reasons to avoid: Requires effort; large to carry and store

The beauty of a stirrup-style hand pump is that it can be used anywhere, with no plugs or electricity needed. The downside, of course, is that you have to supply all the power yourself, but using this 2023 Jobe model, with a double-action design, you can get the job done and be out on the water very quickly.

Air is pumped into the boat (or board, or indeed inflatable bed) during both the down and up strokes, so there is no wasted effort whatsoever. Besides the standard bayonet valve, this pump comes with five other nozzles, which means it can be used to inflate everything from kayaks and SUP boards, to blow-up camping beds and pool/beach toys.

Buy it now on Amazon

Aquaglide Kayak Hand 10 Pump

A sturdy, stirrup-style hand pump with single and double action output options


• Design: Floor pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 10psi / 0.7 bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Halkey Roberts, Boston and stem
• Size: 46 x 15 x 10cm / 18 x 6 x 4in
• Weight: 794g / 1lb 12oz

Reasons to buy: single- and double-action pump modes available; robust build; built-in pressure; gauge; quiet

Reasons to avoid: lower max psi/bar than some others; cumbersome to carry; pumping requires effort

Made with an aluminium shaft, this floor-based hand pump has a sturdy build quality and offers simple, fuss-free functionality for those times when you just want to get your boat or board inflated and out on the water.

With no requirement for plug in you can use it at the beach, on the riverbank or beside the lake no matter how remote your put-in point is.

Of course it requires you to put in the effort, but this model has single and double action modes to make inflation as easy as possible (switch to single when the pressure starts getting higher to make pumping less strenuous). It has an integrated pressure gauge and 4ft hose with several nozzle options.

Buy the Aquaglide Kayak Hand 10 Pump from REI

Itiwit Double Action Kayak Hand pump

A good budget option, which offers double-action pumping performance to get your boat or board inflated quickly and efficiently


• Design: Stirrup-style floor pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 10psi / 0.7 bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Mini Boston, Boston and 4 universal nozzles
• Size: 57 x 22.5 x 10.5cm / 22.5 x 9 x 4in
• Weight: 1.4kg / 3lb 1.4oz

Reasons to buy: excellent price for dual action pump; deflates as well as inflates; quiet

Reasons to avoid: requires effort; only inflates to 10psi; no option to switch to single-action pumping

Sensibly priced and simple to use, this Decathlon own-brand stirrup-style floor-based manual model offers double-action pumping performance, so you can quickly get your kayak or board up to the pressure you want it at.

However, you can’t switch to single-action pumping once the boat/board is partially inflated, which makes the final stages of the assembly much easier. It has an integrated gauge, so you can see how much pressure you’ve put in, and there is a deflate option too, for quick and efficient post-paddle packdown performance.

This pump comes with a range of nozzles and can be used to inflate kayaks, boards and wings (as well as air beds and beach toys). While many kayaks can operate at 10psi, some SUPs work best at 15psi, which is beyond the range of this model, but for an extra £10 you can get a similar-sized but more powerful Itiwit pump that has a max capacity of 20psi.

Buy the Itiwit Double Action Canoe/Kayak Hand pump from Decathlon


Bravo 6 Stirrup Pump Inc. Gauge

A simple stirrup-style floor pump


• Design: Floor pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 8.7psi / 0.6 bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Universal valve adaptors
• Size: 48 x 23 x 11.5cm / 19 x 9 x 4.5in
• Weight: 1,005g / 2lb 3.5oz

Reasons to buy: can be used anywhere; sturdy ABS body; kink-free hose; quiet

Reasons to avoid: comparatively low max pressure output; requires effort; large to carry and store

Made in Italy, this stirrup-style, simple floor-based hand pump offers two-way and one-way pumping action options, so you can start with high output and then reduce the effort required as you near maximum inflation by turning a button.

It comes complete with a gauge, but the maximum pressure is only 8.7psi / 0.6 bar, which is low for performance orientated kayaks and inadequate for SUPs, so this is best for leisure and fun craft such as kids’ kayaks and dinghies.

It boasts a robust build quality, with an ABS body and a non-kink hose, and comes with three nozzle options.

Buy it now from Amazon

Best electric kayak pumps

Plug in, pump up and start paddling


OutdoorMaster The Shark II

A sophisticated and versatile 12v pump capable of quickly inflating several boats and boards


• Design: 12v electric pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 20 psi / 1.38 bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Boston, C7, H3, Pinch, 805
• Size: Compact
• Weight: 1,531g / 3.6lb

Reasons to buy: quick and efficient; deflate option; digital gauge; possible to preset pressure; easy to carry and store; 3m cord provides flexibility

Reasons to avoid: requires power, so you need to be near vehicle; not silent; expensive

Suitable for kayaks and SUP (as well as myriad other inflatables, including air beds) the Shark II can blow up boats and boards super quickly, getting you on the water within 10 minutes of arrival at your put in.

It also boasts a deflate option, removing all the air from an average-sized SUP board in 3 minutes, and allowing to make the most of your paddle time (and then to store your packed-down craft neatly and efficiently).

The 3m/9ft power cable and 1.5m/4.5ft hose gives you some flexibility over where you inflate your craft, but of course you do need to be within fairly close proximity to a vehicle. The compact unit has a cooler, a digital gauge that you can use to preset pressure, and an automatic shut-off feature so the pump stops when it reaches the requisite psi.

Inflation happens in two stages, with the initial high flow forcing 350L of air per minute into the boat/board in the first stage, before the rate drops to 70L per minute in the second stage, to allow the precise psi to be achieved. The Shark II comes with a range of nozzles and will fit most kayaks and virtually every SUP on the market.

Buy the OutdoorMaster The Shark II from Outdoor Master


Aquaglide Accelerator 12V High-Pressure Pump

A compact but powerful 12v pump, ideal for inflating kayaks and SUPs when you’re around a vehicle


• Design: 12v electric pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 20psi / 1.38 bar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Boston, Stem and Halkey Roberts
• Size: 26.5 x 18.5 x 16.5cm / 10.4 x 7.3 x 6.5in
• Weight: 1,700g / 3lb 12oz

Reasons to buy: powerful; inflates and deflates kayaks and boards quickly; easy to store in a vehicle; effortless to use; integrated digital gauge

Reasons to avoid: requires power (from vehicle); a little noisy; hose could be longer; expensive

This nifty 12v pump is ideal for inflating boats and boards to a really firm level for high-performance paddling. Simply plug it in, set the requisite PSI and press the switch – it couldn’t be much easier or effortless to use.

So long as you’re near a vehicle, of course – unfortunately this model can’t be charged up for more remote use, but besides that it’s excellent.

It also has a deflate setting, to suck the air right back out and allow you to fold, transport and store your craft in the most time and space efficient way possible. The Accelerator comes with several valve options.

Buy the Aquaglide Accelerator 12V High-Pressure Pump at REI


Sevylor 15PSI Pump 12V

A hassle-free, versatile electric pump available with various charging options


• Design: 12v electric pump
• Max PSI/Bar: 15 / 1.000mBar
• Pressure unit selection: psi
• Valve attachments included: Boston / Double Lock / Mini Double Lock / Pinch
• Size: 19.7 x 18.6cm

Reasons to buy: versatile; quick and easy to use; programmable

Reasons to avoid: noisier than non-electric pumps; some boats/boards will need to be topped up with a stirrup pump; non rechargeable version can only be used near vehicle/home

A medium-power electric pump by inflatable-specialist brand Sevylor, which can be operated with a 12v socket found in vehicles.

This model is also available in a mains plug version (£40) so you can inflate your craft at home, and there is also a rechargeable version (£60) that can be used by the river bank or on the beach, when you can’t drive close enough for a 12v feed to be useful (the latter can be charged with a 12v and/or a 230v mains socket – which makes this a particularly versatile and useful pump).

A display screen informs users how inflated the boat or board is, and you can preset how PSI/Bar you want it to go to, and the pump will automatically cut out once it reaches the requisite pressure. The hose comes with multiple low-pressure adapters, including Boston, Double Lock, Mini Double Lock and Pinch valves.

Buy the Sevylor 15PSI Pump 12V from Sevylor

How to choose the best kayak pump for you

Kayak pumps come in various designs, each offering different features that will be more or less useful to you, depending on what sort of inflatable boat or board you have, and where you most often use it. Following are some factors that it’s well worth weighing up before you make a purchase.


There is no point having a pump than can only be operated with a 12v plug, for example, if you tend to launch from places far from parking spots, where a hand or foot pump will be much more useful, or an electric model than can be charged up prior to use.


If maximising your time on the water is the most important thing to you, then a powerful electric pump is the best option, with most models offering quick inflation and deflation. If you tend to use remote put-in points, however, or want a cheaper option, then go for a stirrup-style hand pump that offers dual-action pumping output, which means air is pushed into the boat/board with every down and up stroke.


As handy and quick as 12v electric pumps are, they’re quite noisy, which can be annoying for people who live near popular put-in points if you arrive early in the morning. Life is nicer for everyone if you’re considerate about such things. Hand pumps are comparatively quiet.


The obvious downside to hand pumps is that you have to supply all the energy required to operate the pump. You don’t have to look at this as a negative, though – think of it as a pre-paddle warm up and a work out for your abdominal, leg and arm muscles. To be a good paddler you need a strong core – regular pumping will help with this.

Versatility and valve attachments

There are myriad adapters and valves out there, and it can be a bit baffling. The more valves a pump comes with the greater chance there is that one of them will fit your kayak – but don’t assume this will be the case, check first.

If you have a fleet of boats, boards and kites, you’ll want a versatile pump with lots of nozzles, which can inflate craft to a reasonable psi (inflatable SUPs need to be firmer than most kayaks to operate well). Many boats and boards have Halkey Roberts (HR) twist-lock valves, or threaded Boston valves.

Weight and portability

Stirrup-style hand pumps are typically pretty lightweight, because they’re relatively simple devices, but they are also quite large and cumbersome to cart around. You can use them anywhere, though, without any requirement to be close to an electrical socket or vehicle. Powered pumps are often compact, but quite heavy, and obviously need access to electricity. Some can be precharged.

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