Pump it up – air beds or boats, our recommended air pumps

November 15, 2018

A decent air pump is always handy, from inflating air beds, to inflating boats. But which one is reliable? Here we cover what’s worked well for us, and should prove reliable for you too.

Coleman Electric Air Pump

Not the most exciting bit of kit, but an air pump is a handy bit of kit, and a real pain if you leave it behind, as I found to my cost on a recent camp.

Coleman QuickPump Review – Recommended Electric Air Pump for Camping

For inflating air beds and our boat we have been successfully using a 12V Coleman QuickPump for a number of years. Simply plug into the car’s 12V supply and inflate…or deflate, as a pump is useful in getting all the air out of your airbed, helping you pack it away without it taking up too much space.

It has a number of adapters, so it not only works on our Campingaz QuickBeds (see review here), but also on our youngest’s ready bed (by attaching the hose that came with the bed to the pump) when travelling, or his kids air bed.

I know other campers have bought pumps that don’t last, but this has been very reliable, and has rescued other campers whose pump failed.

Sevylor Hand Pump Review – Recommended Hand Pump

Pumping up the Hudson

We do also have a hand pump, the Sevylor 2X2L Hand Pump.

This is quite a large pump but useful for inflating the boat at the water’s edge, and great for when you have to walk to your launching point and can’t use the electric pump.

But for some items an electric pump is a no-no. Pumping up your inflatable canoes for example. It’s easy to leave an electric pump to do it’s thing, and then you’ll over-inflate your canoe, causing it damage.

When your pumping by hand, you won’t over inflate – believe me, you are checking each pump towards the end, thinking “aren’t we done yet?!?” 😉

This pump has also proved useful when camping too, as a few campsites we’ve been to you can’t park your car near the tent, so the hand pump is useful for pumping up the air beds then…and also when it’s raining. With the 12V pump you’ll often be pumping outside. With the hand pump you can get the job done in the tent.

As with the Coleman electric QuickPump, the Sevylor hand pump has a number of nozzle sizes, and can deflate as well as inflate.

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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  1. can I use the coleman pump to inflate a kayak?

    • Technically manufacturers don’t like electric pumps as it is too easy to over inflate. We have used this pump though on a large inflatable dinghy and it has worked well.

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