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Thread: Hand Pumps

  1. #1
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Hand Pumps

    Hey, what kind of pumps do you guys recommend? I've got a 12 volt that works great for the majority of the work, but I've just been using a cheap Coleman dual action to top-off and it's on it's last legs. What do you all think about the high-end AIRE pumps and the K-Series pumps? I want something I can use to completely inflate the raft on fly-outs as well, and if I'm going to spend a couple hundred bucks on the thing, I want something that will last, with a good warranty.

    Thanks in advance,

    Scott

  2. #2

    Default raft pumps

    Hey scott- Just got in my order of 10 commercial grade foot pumps today. They are with out a doubt the best on the market. Small, light weight and best of all do not break!! Have one in my rental fleet over 15 yrs old. If interested give me a call or e-mail.
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER
    345-4308
    soraralaska@yahoo.com

  3. #3
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Get one from Goo. I just ordered the same/similar foot pump. It is built like a brick s*** house. Very nice. I also have a K-? pump. I got the next to largest size, but can't remember the name. Nice pump, but takes a while to inflate the raft. I plan to use the foot pump to inflate the raft and then the K? for a top off pump. But the K? I got is big enough to use as a primary if needed (back up). Link below to the pump I bought and a pic below that...

    http://www.clavey.com/product_info.p...products_id=83


    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 07-14-2009 at 21:34.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  4. #4

    Default pump

    Hey Scott- Had a typo on my ez-mail--- Its sotaralaska@yahoo.com--duh!!
    Goo

  5. #5
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default pump

    At a 120.oo it ought to blow a lot of things of all by it self!!!

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I agree, but...

    when you get dropped off a few hundred miles out in the middle of nowhere, do your really want a $18 Bravo pump? Months of planning, the cost of getting out there, and all the bounty of Alaska at your fingertips. A week or two floating a remote river with nothing but flora and fauna ahead of you. All of this relying on a cheapo pump working? Nope. But I am with you man, these pumps are pricey. But only once
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  7. #7

    Default Best pump?

    I've got 4 pumps: an LVM 12 volt which is small and amazingly fast at inflating and deflating my raft. The only negative issue with the pump is its level of noise. I actually try to remember to bring earplugs with me when I'm going to use it. The noise is piercing when its deflating...not much better when inflating. Regarding deflation; I love a pump that can be used to suck the last air out of a raft. Besides the fact that removing nearly all of the air makes the raft much, much easier to roll-up, I don't have to flop and slide around the raft attempting to squish the air out. Despite the noise, its too bad 12V batteries are so heavy as it would be great to take to the bush for the initial inflation and eventual deflation. Maybe some day...

    My second pump is a 4" Carlson barrel pump. I'm quite pleased with it as I've never had an issue with it, and I generally use it top-off the raft after inflating with the LVM (when I have access to 12V). The downside of my Carlson is that it fairly heavy at 7.3 pounds, and it only inflates (no deflation which is extremely handy when the trip is done). My Carlson pump is built well enough that I would feel fairly confident with it in a remote situation as my only pump. My memory recalls a price around $175 which is pricey (to me).

    My remaining two pumps are "Airhead" Double Action pumps. Because they're double action they can pump air on the up and down stroke or only the downstroke (which is best for topping off). I believe I paid about $25 for each, and I didn't purchase them at the same time. In fact I purchased my initial Airhead as a back-up pump. After receiving it I wasn't overly impressed with its looks as it looks...well cheap. It didn't take long to win me over though. The weight of the Airhead is great at 1.8 pounds. I've actually tested the inflation ability of one of my Airhead pumps against my Carlson on a raft thwart. When pumping only on the downstroke the Airhead required twice the strokes as my Carlson, but when using the Airhead in the up and down stroke inflation, the number of actual strokes was nearly the same between the Carlson and the Airhead. Because the Airhead's are lightweight, have no significant difference in inflation time (compared to my Carlson), and because the Airhead can also be used to deflate, I'm taking two Airhead's with me on this year's float hunt. They're not a Carlson, but I'm confident that my Airheads will do the job even though they look like something a kid would use on an inflatable mattress.

    For what its worth.

    WhiteFish

  8. #8

    Default pumps

    Why a quality pump? My thoughts are a raft, regardless of what it is made of, is only as good as the air that is inside it. I once had the misfortune of having to blow up a 14' SOTAR on a remote river in Siberia with a hose and my lungs, Due to the cold temperature, the shaft on the "economy" pump broke. After my return home to Alaska i bought the best pump i could find!! This was 1989 and i am still using the same pump. Best i can figure thats about $5.00 a year. This is the reason i sell them now.
    safe boating-- Goo

  9. #9

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    In my mind the Carlson barrel pump has been the industry standard for 20 years. It can be taken apart and serviced in the field (spare O ring stored inside), lubed with just about anything, (sun block, bacon grease, etc), and is virtually indistructable.

    I have a shed full of cheap foot pumps that just do not seem to be able to get enough air pressure to top off or enough air volume to inflate. I have a K pump but don't use it much. It looked like a good idea when traveling alone for some of my older valves that do not twist/lock, but it takes more work, than the Carlson.

  10. #10

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    You are right about Bob Carlson's pump. It is a very good pump, just big!! I made a 4" pump much like it back in the 70's when i owned MADDOG RIVERWORKS in Montana. He is a friend of mine and we have worked together sharing information about designs. When i started my guide business up here i found myself in super cubs, which did not have much space for gear, one of the main reasons i went to foot pumps, much lighter and smaller and work just as well. For what its worth the same company that is now building Carlson pumps also builds my BIG FOOT pumps.
    Goo Vogt
    ALASKA WILDWATER

  11. #11
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Cold Weather and Gallons per

    Sounds like the bigfoot is a great pump but for some reason I'm a little leery of foot pumps. Maybe I've seen too many cheap air matress pumps fall apart. I like the idea of not having to deal with a hose at all. Anyone have any experience with the K-400? Supposedly it will transfer 1.3 gallons of air per stroke and weighs just over 5 lbs. A twist of the handle turns it into a top-off pump to inflate rafts to 3 psi. Down side; the raft sells for $175.00!

  12. #12
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Want a quick rafting newbie opinion? ha ha.. Why not, right? The cheap foot pumps you mention rule the market. Many of the ones I have seen are pure junk. The Big Foot pump is a totally different animal. All parts are of the highest quality. As for pumping, we used our K pump as a primary one time to see how it worked. Nearly stroked out (me). Took a lot of effort to pump up the raft. That is when I decided it would be a top off (and back up) pump. I used Goo's foot pump on my first trip. He sold me my raft and sent up a frame/oars/pump/etc.. for me to use on my first trip out of Kotz last Sept. That foot pump was ten times faster than the hand pump. We learned that very quickly. A cheap plastic foot pump, especially on a gravel bar, would be a pain I suspect. The Big Foot pump is a different pump to say the least. Fast to pump up the raft and the action of your foot is much less tiring than a hand pump. At least the smaller volume hand pumps. I know the large Carlson barrel pumps are hand pumps and they have a great reputation. But they are huge. With that said, if not interested in the Big Foot, Carlson would be my next choice. I can't stomach the idea of relying on a cheap pump whether it be a hand pump or foot pump. Not the place I am going to try to save money. Many other less critical areas where this can be done. Not on the pump though. The more remote the trip, the more it would matter of course.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  13. #13
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    I've had my foot pump that I bought from Goo for almost 14 years... it is the older design ... definitely the pinnacle of the K.I.S.S principal and it's reliability and durability are unquestioned..
    I have a K 200 which I use to top off and keep in my rafts when on the water due to it's size... but in silty rivers it tends to coat the inside and the plunger/O ring will roll off easily, you'll have to take it apart and clean then reseat the Oring and after a few strokes the ring will coat with silt and roll off again... quite a pain...
    danattherock was right on in his descriptions and opinion, especially in regards to the critical nature and need...
    get your K400 and it's complicated design and parts... while you're busy messing with your pump and trying to top off your boat, we'll all be downstream at the first hole catching fish...
    ;-)
    just MY opinion...

  14. #14
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default one of each-

    I take two pumps on every trip (in case of mechanical failure, etc.). One is a foot pump and the other a barrel pump. I like the barrel pumps because I can pump in standing water (the intake is on the handle). Also, my barrel pump has the ability to suck remaining air out of the boat, which, as another poster said, makes folding it for flyout MUCH easier. Note that you should not suck all the air out of your boat for storage; it will cause creases to form, and your fabric can eventually crack.

    My barrel pump is the Super Six, and the foot pump is a Bravo II (I think). I have several of them, and have never had a failure. Still, it does happen and you should always have a backup.

    I haven't used Goo's pump, but it looks bombproof.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  15. #15
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    Thumbs up anything less than the best...

    I'd say I use a 5 pump arsenal from shop work to out in the field.

    Most of my pump requirements really need to be at the ultra-reliable, commercial end of things.

    First --- Two things to address Bravo 2 (economy foot) and wonder pumps (economy dual actions) are pretty much the unreliable, junker end of the spectrum. Folks that buy or rent these pumps quite simply risk breakage. Try to take extra care with these and they may in fact last for a long time especially for the 1 person cats, kayaks and so on. A dependable 'RAFT' pump they are not!

    My pumps -

    In the shop, I use a Hurricane 195mph electric leaf blower for very fast inflation. It is best to produce lots of volume in a hurry (nothing is faster) yet not to any top-off pressures. I can deflate a boat in seconds as well.

    In the shop, I'll also use a small shop vac... but only to deflate (think vacuum pack) or remove condensation. Most folks leave dust or hairs and such-like in the vac or filter... I care not to introduce that to the insides of my boat.

    The battery powered pump I prefer is the new style Blast from NRS. These are nice for getting the boat to shape (still need to top-off), are reliable, handy, and have one of the best dirt/gravel screens to protect inner workings.

    The Bad Boy of the bunch is the biggest Carlson. It's certainly one of the best of the big barrel pumps, super reliable and has the best components that add to its dependability. *As Mike said, I also feel it is important to be able to inflate or top-off in standing water if needed.
    ** Another poster commented on creative lubes... that's not correct!!! Certain lubes are bad for this pumps components, really bad in cold water/weather, and can be harmful to your boat!!! I'd also not introduce any flavors or scents that will be tougher than you'd ever imagined to get out that encourage problems with wildlife.

    The NRS Barrel pump is also a good one... a compromise to the Carlson in many respects... yet an excellent, reliable pump.

    I do use an older-style K-Pump - It is what it is - mainly a walk around top off - not nearly as well made or dependable as a Carlson or NRS barrel, but O 'K'

    The foot pumps I've had back in the day by AVON, ZODIAC, (higher-end) were all pretty darn good. The Italian made Bravo 10 is pretty good (no resemblance to the junker Bravo 2) that's what I've been using in my rentals.
    *** Goo has two of my new foot pumps in (BIG-FOOTS) - just gotta pick 'em up... These are the best and only reliable foot pumps available that I'd consider looking long term. He said he made a big order on them. They are my choice in a foot pump.

    You really get what you pay for in a reliable pump. As Goo more or less related... why have an $4000-$8500 raft package, a $1500-$5000 float trip, and be heading on out to the great beyond with anything less than the best pump you can possibly afford.

  16. #16
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Sounds like I need a bigfoot for now and a Carlson Barrel pump at some point in the future.

    Thanks for the help everyone.

  17. #17

    Default

    I've been using a $20 wet/dry car vacuum that has an hose outlet on the exhaust side. It really works great to mostly inflate the boat. Then I use a dual action pump to tighten things up. I always take my "hog pump" (old Zodiac foot pump) when I go off the road system.
    I've used a couple of other electric pumps and that 12v vacuum works the best to get the air in.

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