10 Best Kayak Bilge Pumps

10 Best Kayak Bilge Pumps
Best Manual Pump
Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Non-Automatic Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Ponds, Pools, Spas Silent, Boat Caravan RV Submersible
Best Automatic Pump
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
MAXZONE Submersible Non-Automatic Kayak Bilge Water Pump
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump With Electronic Reed Sensor System
Product Details
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Power Source: Wind, Battery
  • Max Flow Rate: 1100 Gallons Per Hour
  • Voltage Draw: 12 V (DC)
  • Head: 13 Ft (4mts),
  • Outlet Diameter: 1-1/8" (29mm)
Pros
  • High efficiency with a flow rate of 1,100 gallons per hour
  • Perfect for water sporters on a budget
  • Tough performance even in rough conditions
  • The engine is water-cooled for long-lasting performance
Cons
  • Generates loud and unwanted noise
Product Details
  • Manufacturer: Saiflo
  • Material: Plastic
  • Operating Style: Automatic; Battery Powered
  • Self-Weight: 1.21 Pounds
  • Maximum Flow Rate ‎18.33 Gallons Per Minute
  • Dimensions: ‎6.42 x 4.69 x 3.7 inches
  • Flow Rate: 1100 Gallon Per Minute
  • Flow Head: 3.0M
  • Volt: 12V; Current(A): 3.8A
  • Outlet Diameter: 29mm/ 1.14 Inch (1-1/8"); Width: Approx. 81mm
Pros
  • Water cooled, long-lasting performance
  • No power use until the pump is triggered by the float switch
  • The electronic sensor system enacts full auto-operation
  • Well-detailed user manual containing mounting and maintenance instructions
Cons
  • Float switch activation often takes time
Best Manual Pump
Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Non-Automatic Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Ponds, Pools, Spas Silent, Boat Caravan RV Submersible
MAXZONE Submersible Non-Automatic Kayak Bilge Water Pump
Product Details
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Power Source: Wind, Battery
  • Max Flow Rate: 1100 Gallons Per Hour
  • Voltage Draw: 12 V (DC)
  • Head: 13 Ft (4mts),
  • Outlet Diameter: 1-1/8" (29mm)
Pros
  • High efficiency with a flow rate of 1,100 gallons per hour
  • Perfect for water sporters on a budget
  • Tough performance even in rough conditions
  • The engine is water-cooled for long-lasting performance
Cons
  • Generates loud and unwanted noise
Best Automatic Pump
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump 12v 1100gph Auto with Float Switch (Blue - Automatic)
MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump With Electronic Reed Sensor System
Product Details
  • Manufacturer: Saiflo
  • Material: Plastic
  • Operating Style: Automatic; Battery Powered
  • Self-Weight: 1.21 Pounds
  • Maximum Flow Rate ‎18.33 Gallons Per Minute
  • Dimensions: ‎6.42 x 4.69 x 3.7 inches
  • Flow Rate: 1100 Gallon Per Minute
  • Flow Head: 3.0M
  • Volt: 12V; Current(A): 3.8A
  • Outlet Diameter: 29mm/ 1.14 Inch (1-1/8"); Width: Approx. 81mm
Pros
  • Water cooled, long-lasting performance
  • No power use until the pump is triggered by the float switch
  • The electronic sensor system enacts full auto-operation
  • Well-detailed user manual containing mounting and maintenance instructions
Cons
  • Float switch activation often takes time
Table of Contents
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    How to Choose a Kayak Bilge Pump: A Buyer’s Guide

    Going on a water adventure can be fun at any time of the year and paddlers often go prepared for the best experience. 

    While it’s advisable to go as light as possible to the shores, more important is the need to go with safety gear whether you eventually get to use them or not. 

    Some of the gear kayakers carry include PFDs (personal floatation devices), lights, emergency whistles, and kayak bilge pumps.

    Oftentimes while you paddle on the water, water finds its way in whether you’re on slow, calm water, or a fast-moving one full of waves. 

    Or it could be that you flip and the kayak bends to take water in. Whatever the case, you will need to get the water out as quickly as possible to avoid capsizing. The safety device that you’ll need for this task is the bilge pump.

    Our Top 10 Picks at a Glance

    5 Best Manual Hand Kayak Bilge Pumps

    1. MAXZONE Submersible Non-Automatic Kayak Bilge Water Pump

    MAXZONE Submersible Non-Automatic Kayak Bilge Water Pump

    Product Details

    • Material: Stainless Steel, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
    • Power Source: Wind, Battery
    • Max Flow Rate: 1100 Gallons Per Hour
    • Voltage Draw: 12 V (DC)
    • Head: 13 Ft (4mts),
    • Outlet Diameter: 1-1/8″ (29mm)

    This bilge pump model is one of the most impressive options on the market. It is affordable and a perfect choice for kayakers who’re budget-conscious. Despite its affordability, it does not dwindle in performance and functionality. It is suitable for use in kayaks, small boats, yachts, etc.

    In the roughest water environment, it boasts an excellent flow rate of 1,100 gallons per hour and coughs it out at a head of 13 feet, reducing the chances of water returning to the hull. And it performs at a low current draw.

    It works with high efficiency without consuming the battery quickly. Being a submersible pump, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down. 

    As a matter of fact, this 12V pump is water-cooled. The body is made of durable stainless steel and it has waterproof seals for protection against water damage.

    On the negative side, the pump does not work in silence during operation. It produces a loud and unwanted noise that may distract you from enjoying the best time on the water.

    Pros

    • High efficiency with a flow rate of 1,100 gallons per hour
    • Perfect for water sporters on a budget
    • Tough performance even in rough conditions
    • The engine is water-cooled for long-lasting performance

    Cons

    • Generates loud and unwanted noise

    2. SeaSense Hand Kayak Bilge Pump

    SeaSense Hand Kayak Bilge Pump

    Product Details

    • Design Material: Plastic
    • Operating Style: Manual; Hand Operated
    • Item Dimensions: 3.5 x 4.5 x 20.75 inches
    • Size: 18″ x 20″
    • Self-Weight: ‎0.62 Kilograms
    • Warranty Description ‎12 months

    This version of the kayak pump was developed by Seasense to provide what an ordinary manual pump can’t in evacuating unwanted water from kayaks, small boats, canoes, and any other vessel prone to water collection. 

    It features a top-grade plunger washer which effectively pushes water through the outlet. The unique design allows the pump to easily get to small, intricate areas in your vessel.

    The push-pull handle provides an ergonomic grip for easy use and the removable hose for convenient storage.

    Whether you choose to go out on a hot day or on a day filled with prickly showering rain the pump is at full capacity to provide all your needs. 

    Not only does it give you rest of mind and does its job with high efficiency, but it also comes at an inexpensive cost with high-quality assurance and a warranty of 12 months.

    It is constructed using a leak-proof, anti-corrosion plastic that lasts several years of rigorous usage. On the negative side, the hose can be a problem to use. Many users report that it breaks away and is easily lost because it’s removable.

    But if you carefully handle it, you may be able to turn the hose to your advantage. What more do you need to have the most fun on the water than this product that makes sense?

    Pros

    • The presence of an adjustable hose allows for easy evacuation of water

    Cons

    • High potentiality for the hose to crack and break away
    • A little more expensive than basic pumps

    3. ECO-WORTHY Submersible Non-Automatic 1100GPH 12V Marine Electric Bilge Pump for Kayak

    Product Details

    • Material: Plastic
    • Dimensions: ‎4.72 x 4.02 x 3.66 inches
    • Operating Style: Submersible Electric; non-automatic
    • Power Source: Battery, Wind
    • Self-Weight: 0.71 Pounds
    • Flow Rate: 1100 gallons per hour
    • Voltage: 12 V (DC)
    • Current Draw: 3 Amp
    • Head: 13 Ft
    • Outlet Dia. 1-1/8″ (29mm)

    The ECO-WORTHY Kayak Bilge Pump is a good choice if you seek to experience excellent water expulsion from your vessel. It is a perfect companion for water removal in kayaks, boats, runabouts, yachts, etc. 

    It is a compact, electric non-automatic pump with high efficiency, used in a line to be fed by gravity. It is completely submersible and protected against shock, rust, and corrosion.

    As a submersible strong pump, it is built for tough marine environments, capable of withstanding the roughest of conditions. It features a stainless-steel shaft, unique water-tight seals, and easy-clean snap lock strainers. 

    Moreso, it runs a silent and vibrationless operation, has ignition protection and anti-airlock protection, and experiences no burn-out when it runs dry.

    What’s more, it is durable and efficient with a flow rate of 1100 gallons per hour and a head of 13 feet. And with a self-weight of just 11.4 ounces, it is one of the lightest and most portable you’ll find around. What’s most amazing is that you can either power it up by battery or wind!

    Pros

    • High-quality performance with anti-rust and anti-corrosion protection
    • Anti-airlock protection
    • It is a manual pump, but can be turned to automatic by adding float switch

    4. Seattle Sports Paddlers Bilge Hand Pump for Kayaks and Small Boats

    Seattle Sports Paddlers Bilge Hand Pump for Kayaks and Small Boats

    Product Details

    • Material: ‎Synthetic
    • Item Dimensions ‎21 x 1.75 x 1 inches
    • Operating Style: Manual; ‎Manpower
    • Item Weight: ‎0.36 Kilograms
    • Package Weight ‎0.41 Kilograms

    Keep your vessel dry on the water with one of the most sought-after kayak bilge pumps on the market, the Seattle Sports Paddlers’. 

    The pump is lightweight, compact, budget-friendly, and comes with a rubber molded handle for easy grabbing when wet, and a comfortable grip during pumping. It also features a highly visible, Neon yellow stock for added recovery and safety.

    The pump provides you with everything you need to move water out of your kayak like the foam collar that helps to enhance its buoyancy and make you recover it quickly, should you mistakenly drop it overboard. 

    Moreso, you can pass a 1-inch internal diameter hose to the output valve to further help keep your bilge dry. Although this hose is not included and not necessarily needed.

    In addition, the pump is highly efficient and easy to use. It is classified as high capacity because you get to expend less energy to remove much water, that is, you do less to get a big result.

    The only notable downside of this pump is that mentioned above- the absence of a hose. But this may not be necessarily needed considering the pressure under which it works. 

    If, however, you feel the need to use a hose, you can visit a store and get a solid one and have the pump run it for you.

    Pros

    • Super-comfortable, easy-grip, over-molded rubber handle
    • Room for 1-inch diameter external hose in the output valve
    • Highly visible neon yellow stock
    • Easy storage; no needless additional parts

    Cons

    • Limited features; absence of hose
    • Requires that you take your hands off paddles to use
    • Control can be challenging

    5. Better Boat Kayak Bilge Pump

    Better Boat Kayak Bilge Pump

    Product Details

    • Material: Plastic
    • Self-Weight: ‎1.1 Pounds
    • Dimensions: 16.5 x 3 x 3 inches
    • Operating Style: Manual; ‎Hand Powered
    • Max Flow Rate: ‎25 Gallons Per Minute
    • Max Lifting Height‎: 32 Inches

    The name “Better” sticks to this beast of a pump not just for fun but for the great performance it displays and the large range of premium quality products Better Boats is known for.

    The hand pump comes with a lightweight and compact design that makes it easy to store and use during emergencies without the need for a power source. 

    It has a no-clog system that helps keep efficiency at the top level. The system features a filtered nozzle whose primary purpose is to prevent leaves, sticks, debris, and waterweed from blocking the water pathway. 

    Moreso, a premium anti-leak seal is fitted to ensure that the pump maintains maximum suction pressure, consequently increasing the water removal rate.

    Also included are: a long hose of 39 inches for easy reach and discharge into deep areas; a 1-inch intake nozzle; a 14-inch chamber; and a 1.25-inch diameter hose for easy removal of water from your vessels. 

    And it does not only remove water but it does from places difficult to reach without requiring electric power for operation.

    Furthermore, this marine-grade pump remains one of the best in the market for its ergonomic handle design and water removal rate. It can pump out up to 25 gallons per minute, which is approximately 1 gallon in 2-3 pumps. 

    And its efficiency does not dwindle even in hard times. On the downside, the pump requires more than one person for maximum functionality. 

    It has been reported by many users to have a kink in the hose that makes it challenging for one person to operate, thereby requiring more than one person for maximum functionality.

    However, overall, the better bilge pump is a perfect friend for emergency water removal with many promises of satisfaction. Considering all the amazing features, Better can be your Best.

    Pros

    • Lightweight, compact, easy to store
    • Easy to use
    • Highly efficient
    • Comfortable handling
    • Long hose with anti-clog filter

    Cons

    • Does not float on water
    • Kink in the hose

    5 Best Automatic Kayak Bilge Pumps

    1. MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump With Electronic Reed Sensor System

    MAXZONE Automatic Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump With Electronic Reed Sensor System

    Product Details

    • Manufacturer: Saiflo
    • Material: Plastic
    • Operating Style: Automatic; Battery Powered
    • Self-Weight: 1.21 Pounds
    • Maximum Flow Rate ‎18.33 Gallons Per Minute
    • Dimensions: ‎6.42 x 4.69 x 3.7 inches
    • Flow Rate: 1100 Gallon Per Minute
    • Flow Head: 3.0M
    • Volt: 12V; Current(A): 3.8A
    • Outlet Diameter: 29mm/ 1.14 Inch (1-1/8″); Width: Approx. 81mm

    The Maxzone automatic submersible bilge pump is a highly effective one with loads of amazing features. The idea of the design was to provide you with a pump that can evacuate water from your boat at the fastest possible rate without interfering with your paddling experience.

    The pump is relatively lightweight, compact, fully immersive, and equipped with a built-in electronic reed sensor for the ultimate achievement of its automatic operation.

    The sensor ensures that no power is expended until it senses a rise in the water level of the kayak and the internal float switch is activated.

    Moreover, the pump features a stainless shaft, a durable plastic housing, an efficient low current of 3.8A, and a quick-release strainer for strain-less maintenance.

    To enhance its long-lasting performance and its protection against damage, the pump is equipped with anti-airlock protection, ignition protection against high current, a water-tight seal, and a built-in float switch TEST button.

    Furthermore, it is rust and corrosion resistant, water-cooled; it does not burn when it’s dry, it can be manually overridden using the switch panel, it includes a well-detailed user manual, and with a flow rate of 1100 gallons per hour, and a head of 3M, it proves its efficient worth.

    Pros

    • Water cooled, long-lasting performance
    • No power use until the pump is triggered by the float switch
    • The electronic sensor system enacts full auto-operation
    • Well-detailed user manual containing mounting and maintenance instructions

    Cons

    • Float switch activation often takes time

    2. Shoreline Automatic Marine Bilge Pump

    Shoreline Automatic Marine Bilge Pump

    Product Details

    • Material: Blend
    • Self-Weight: ‎0.6 Pounds
    • Dimensions: ‎8.19 x 5.67 x 3.39 inches
    • Flow Rate: 800 Gallons Per Hour
    • Voltage: 12V (DC)

    The Shoreline Marine 800 GPH 12 Volt Bilge Pump is a compact, lightweight, and reliable pump designed by one of the most trusted brands on the market. Completely submersible, it has an ergonomic design with a secure clip that makes its installation easy and its use effortless. 

    The installation and inspection are made easy by a universal mounting bracket notwithstanding your position or orientation.

    Like every other Shoreline Marine product, this submersible auto pump is made of a durable plastic housing that ensures that it withstands the roughest of marine conditions.

    The propeller shaft is made of tough stainless steel and the wiring is marine grade for reliable and long-lasting performance.

    Notable beyond its ruggedness is its safety. There is an ignition protection inclusion against electrical problems. Its operation is also carried out with a very low amp draw, prolonging the battery life.

    You can wire it to an on/off switch or to an auto float switch. Furthermore, the pump is equipped with a 3-way switch for choosing different power options.

    While its performance qualifies it as one of the best options out there, the pump has a drawback. It has a very low head. This means that the water leaving the pump into the river does not travel from the place it accumulates thereby mostly returning to the kayak.

    Pros

    • Tough construction for long-lasting use
    • Detachable design for easy cleaning
    • Ergonomic design with secure clip for easy installation
    • Universal mounting bracket for effortless mounting

    Cons

    • Relatively low-pressure head

    3. Attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump

    Attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump

    Product Details

    • Material: Other
    • Style S500
    • Item Dimensions: 7.37 x 7.75 x 8.12 inches
    • Power Source/DC
    • Voltage:12 V
    • Current Draw: 1.5 Amp

    This compact auto-pump from Attwood is a great option for when speed and high power are priorities to remove wanted from your kayak. It comes in three different power supply options. 

    The lowest run has a flow rate of 500 GPH, the next 750 GPH, and the highest has 1100 GPH. With their high capacity, they can easily pump water out of your kayak very quickly with little or no effort required from you. 

    All you should need to do is correctly mount anyone you choose on your vessel and paddle on it as it performs its wonder of removing all the water that fills your kayak.

    Moreover, this Attwood Sahara Automatic model comes with speed selection options which means that you can determine how fast you want water out of your vessel by reducing or increasing the power.

    The prices of each power option are slightly different from one another, but none is unreasonably expensive for the performance it delivers. 

    If you prefer to paddle on slow, calm water, where you’ll only experience occasional splashes of water into your kayak, buying the least power pump will be fine. 

    But if you like to paddle through challenging waters like the sea, where you’ll need to constantly remove water, we’d suggest you go for the biggest power option.

    One setback that is commonly reported by users about this model is that the triggering float switch that is supposed to activate the pump when it senses water rise sometimes fails to come on which consequently causes panic especially when it’s an emergency.

    Pros

    • Quick, and easy removal of water
    • Three varying excellent power options
    • Ergonomic, efficient, and reliable to use
    • Speed control; multiple options

    Cons

    • Occasional failure to come on when needed
    • Prone to a quick breakdown

    4. Dontmiss Automatic Submersible Small Boat Bilge Pump

    Dontmiss Automatic Submersible Small Boat Bilge Pump

    Product Details:

    • Dimensions: ‎6.22 x 4.57 x 3.66 inches
    • Manufacturer: Onechoices
    • Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
    • Power Source: Battery
    • Self-Weight: 1.2 Pounds
    • Flow Rate: 750 gallons per hour
    • Volt: 12V; Current(A): 3A
    • Head(M): 3.0M
    • Outlet Diameter: 19mm/ 3/4″

    If you’re a water sports enthusiast and you’re interested in a strong bilge pump with so many amazing features, you have it in the Dontmiss Submersible Bilge pump. 

    The automatic electric pump provides you with an effortless experience throughout your adventure, oozing out every form of ease every moment of the day. It is compact and excellent in performance.

    It features a built-in electronic controlled reed sensor system for maximum auto-operation. There’s an internal float switch that triggers the pump to start work whenever it senses a rise in the water level of your kayak. 

    The sensor ensures there is no power use until there’s a need, and the pump is turned on by the switch. Despite being an automatic electronic controlled pump, it also contains features that make it suitable for non-automatic use.

    The highly durable plastic housing ensures that it takes on as much impact as possible when it is submerged underwater. 

    It has ignition protection against the high current, rust, and corrosion-proof steel shaft, water-tight seals, anti-airlock protection, a quick-release maintenance strainer, and a float switch TEST button.

    It runs silently without vibration and will not burn out when run dry. To top it all, a detailed user manual is included in the package with installation and maintenance instructions.

    Pros

    • Highly efficient with a low current draw for prolonged performance
    • Ignition protection to protect the pump against high current
    • Water-cooled with moisture-tight seals for better durability
    • Silent and vibrationless operation
    • Anti-airlock protection
    • The motor will not burn out when dry

    Cons

    • Absence of check valve
    • Trusting the product may be difficult cause it’s not from a popular brand

    5. Aurelio Tech 12V Marine Electric Automatic Bilge Pump

    Aurelio Tech 12V Marine Electric Automatic Bilge Pump

    Product Details

    • Material: Plastic, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
    • Operating Style: Submersible automatic
    • Power Source: Battery
    • Max Flow Rate: 1100 Gallons Per Hour

    The Aurelio Tech Submersible Marine Pump is a high-quality pump with a great turn of performance. It is small and compact yet runs out water from your kayak powerfully at the rate of 1100 gallons per hour. 

    The compactness combined with the presence of universal mounting brackets allows for quick installation. It is submersible yet efficient and relatively inexpensive, costing almost like a manual pump.

    The housing of the pump is constructed using Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). The material is chosen because of its durability and waterproof protection. 

    For further protection, the wiring terminals are covered with high-quality sealants and are located far away from the highest possible water level. The latter is ensured by fastening wires and terminals with insulated staples or straps.

    Also included is a user manual that contains instructions on how to use the pump to achieve optimum output and efficiency for long-term use.

    Moreso, the pump has a wide range of applications. It is suitable for use on kayaks, fishing boats, runabouts, fountains, aquariums, and other vessels to drain unwanted water.

    The pump almost has no negative side, however, users complain about the difficulty in knowing if it is working or not. Just ensure that you test if it is functional before taking it out on the water, to avoid disappointment.

    Pros

    • High power efficiency
    • Extremely affordable
    • Submersible yet efficient
    • Excellent flow rate
    • Electric shock-protected

    Cons

    • Knowing if and how it works can be confusing
    • Installation can be difficult without the user’s manual

    What is a Bilge Pump?

    Bilge simply refers to the lowest part of your kayak. Ideally, the bilge should always be dry but the water often finds its way in several ways. And that is where the pump comes in. 

    A bilge pump, therefore, is the safety device that is used to remove unwanted water from inside the kayak back overboard into the river. It is an essential safety device that comes in handy in case of emergency and prevents you from potentially capsizing.

    One interesting thing about bilge pumps is that some people have them but don’t use them, and you might never have to use them too. But that doesn’t mean they’re not important. They are safety devices just like life vests.

    They’re generally easy to use. All you have to do is grab yours, set it into the water and start to pump out the water.

    There are lots of bilge pump brands out there but knowing which is best for you and selecting it might be a little challenging, that is why we have curated a list containing 10 of the best available options currently on the market for you. But first, what are the things you need to know?

    Why Should You Get A Bilge Pump For Your Kayak?

    It is recorded that about 55% of canoe and kayak accidents primarily result from capsizing. A Bilge pump is a sure way of removing excess water that might find its way into your kayak, especially when the current is high.

    Types Of Bilge Pumps

    All Bilge Pumps fall under two major categories. Although these two have different operating mechanisms, they’re designed to achieve the same result. They are:

    • Manually Operated Bilge Pumps
    • Automatically Operated Bilge Pumps

    Manual/Non-Automatic Bilge Pumps

    Manually powered bilge pumps are the most commonly used of the two types. They’re made of lightweight, plastic narrow tubes between 18 and 24 inches long. 

    At the rear end is a mounted handle, usually an easy grip, for pumping the water by pushing and pulling it repeatedly. 

    The other end goes below the water. When you pull the handle towards yourself, water is drawn up into the pump, and when you push down the handle the sucked water is spouted out the top or side of the pump overboard.

    They’re an excellent option to carry about when you believe that you won’t be taking too much water into your kayak. 

    They are also perfect for small kayaks with limited space due to their lightweight and compact design. Moreso, they’re inexpensive and require no electric power source to perform.

    Automatic Bilge Pumps

    Automatic Bilge pumps are larger, more complex, systems than manual ones. They’re installed at the lower part of the bilge and are powered by an electric power source, usually a battery, with a motor. 

    They’re different from the manual because you do not need to do any work, they run most of the work for you. They are powerful and are built for large vessels like boats. They are also ideal for situations when you know that you will be dealing with a lot of water in your kayak.

    You do not have to take your hands off the paddles or get distracted by the amount of water in your vessel. All you have to do is punch the switch on.

    Some bilge pump options come with built-in float switches that activate the pump when it senses the water level is getting too high while others require that you fix them separately.

    However, there are drawbacks to these pumps, especially for users with small kayaks. The major one is that electric bilge kayaks are bulkier than their manual counterparts and require more space. 

    They also require a constant supply of electricity to keep running and often come at the risk of dead batteries, punctured hoses, or clogged pumps. 

    In addition to that, they require a lot of effort to install, and in most cases, you may need to drill holes and make other adjustments to your kayak to create room for them.

    Buying Guide for Purchasing a Kayak Bilge Pump

    Electric Pump Power Source and Installation

    If what you’re looking for is a manual bilge pump, you may not need to worry about getting an electric power source for your pump.

    Ideally, kayaks do not come with electrical systems but some people manage to modify and squiz in portable, compact, rechargeable battery solutions. 

    If you fall under this category of people, then you may consider the electric option, but you need to ensure that the voltage from the source matches what the pump requires and that the battery is always charged.

    The next problem to solve would be that of storage location as electric pumps are made to be attached permanently to the bilge through a mounting plate.

    It’s not a must if you go through all this stress except, of course, you have other needs for the battery source like powering your fish finders.

    Floating Ability

    To maintain rest of mind, the kayak bilge pump you purchase must be able to float. In the case it drops overboard, you should be able to recover it easily. The buoyancy in most plastic options is enhanced by the addition of a foam sleeve.

    Extra Hose

    An extra hose allows you to run the pump into the body of water. However, the length of the hose that usually comes with manual boat pumps creates difficulty to use for kayaks.

    Since they’re generally designed for larger vessels, you may find them hard to use in the tight confinement of your kayak’s cockpit.

    Capacity

    The capacity rating of hand pumps is simple to determine. It is done by knowing how many pumps are required to remove one gallon of water.

    On the other hand, the capacity of an electric bilge pump is rated by using the quantity of water- in gallons- it can remove per hour. 

    The ratings on pumps are often more approximate than actual but they allow for easy classification into 3 ranges viz; low, medium, and high capacity.

    Knowing the capacity of your pump helps to know whether it will be fit for the type of adventure you’re going for, or not.

    Efficiency

    While capacity talks about the quantity of water your pump can move, efficiency explains the rate at which it can do this, without breaking down.

    One way you can know the efficiency of your pump is by observing the speed at which it carries out the removal. 

    The measurement for its efficiency is gallons per minute. If your pump evacuates at a speed above 4gpm, it can be considered quick and efficient.

    Size and Shape

    Although the size of a bilge pump is often overlooked and deemed unimportant, it is worth looking into, especially the size in length.

    When the kayak bilge pump is too large, it takes up much space and becomes harder to store in the kayak. Bilge pumps with a length of 24 inches and over may be powerful but fit for kayak use because they’re designed for larger vessels.

    We recommend that you go for pumps that come with compact dimensions that will work even if you have a kayak with a small hull. The best ones are around the length of 18 inches.

    Weight

    This feature plays a big role in how often you carry your safety bilge pump along with you whenever you go on your adventure. And you need to consider it. 

    The pump you go for should be portable, and should not be too heavy for your kayak to carry alongside other gear and accessories. Many of the available pumps come with a weight of 1 pound or less, while some are way more.

    Design Material

    What differentiates kayak bilge pumps in terms of material is not the type but rather the quality of the material. There are no other materials used in the construction of kayak pumps than plastic and foam.

    The pump, tube and handle section are all made of plastic while foam collars are added to the majority of the available pumps to provide extra buoyancy when they drop into the water.

    Durability

    A good kayak bilge pump must be able to run a tough life. It must be able to withstand rough impacts and bumps, and little beatings by the sun. 

    Generally, plastic pumps designed for kayaking have been impressively durable but the ones made for other forms of boating are not so strong because they’re only used once in a while and may never even experience any usage.

    Handling

    A bilge pump with the wrong handle can discourage you and consequently cause a lot of havoc especially if you’re to pump water away from an entire vessel. 

    In essence, make sure the handle of the pump is ergonomic. Make sure your hand feels comfortable to pull and push before putting your money on it.

    Pump Storage

    As a safety device, your bilge pump should always come in handy whenever you need it. The best bilge pump options are those with compact designs. 

    It must be small enough to be tied firm under straps or a cord or fit into the cockpit of your kayak. It must also be able to float in case it goes overboard.

    Price

    Bilge pumps don’t have to come at a high cost. To get an excellent kayak bilge pump that will pass many years of tough usage, you may have to pay between $20 and $40, which is a worthy investment.

    Safety

    The most important thing to look out for whenever you’re on the water is your safety. 

    And even if you get the best kayak bilge pump available on the market to remove water from your vessel, you should always have your portable communication radio and a whistle with you for communication with other adventurers on and around the water in case of emergency. 

    And don’t forget to always be in a type of personal floatation device whenever you’re going on a kayak trip.

    Other Use of Kayak Bilge Pumps: Rinsing your kayak

    Bilge pumps are primarily designed to remove excess, unwanted, water that might find its way into your kayak but there are other uses. A kayak pump can also be used to bring clean water into your kayak after usage to help rinse it.

    Since you will find many uses for your pump, we recommend that you go for the best quality, even if you’ll have to spend a little more. It’s worth it.

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