Therefore, the best kayak bilge pump should be a model that is easy to use and stow. However, good water pumps are hard to find and the venture might take your valuable time. That’s why we’ve sifted through multiple kayak bilge pump reviews to list 7 of the best kayak bilge pumps in 2020 along with a handy buyer’s guide.
Top 7 Best Kayak Bilge Pump Reviewed
- Marine Reversible Attaches Portable – Best Overall
- SeaSense Hand Bilge Pump Hose – Best Value
- Attwood 4505-7 Automatic Interior Diameter – Editor’s Choice
- IUMÉ Generic Automatic Submersible 12V
- My sport Kayak Hand Pump
- Amarine made Kayak Hand Pump Floating Hand Bilge
- NRS Kayak Bilge Pump
#1. Marine Reversible Attaches Portable – Best Overall
- Flow Rate: Six strokes a gallon
- Weight: 1.2 lbs.
- Dimensions: 18.0 x 2.5 inches
- Included Hose: 2 ft.
No matter your kayaking skills, this kayak bilge pump by Best Marine is designed for outdoor enthusiasts. It is particularly great if you frequently take your kayak to the water and need quick help to expel water from your bilge. Available in an 18-inch long design, the Best Marine Kayak Bilge Pump is very easy to store.
You do not have to struggle with where to direct the flow of water. There’s a complimentary two-foot-long hose that increases the pump’s reachability. Best Marine uses a high-quality piston for this bilge pump.
It means the hand pump will move with less effort to build the right pressure for bilge water evacuation. The one-pound pump will fit almost anywhere on your kayak. You’ll love the foam construction that keeps the pump afloat should it fall on the water.
|Lightweight and portable construction||Hard-to-see colors in dark areas|
|Compact model for easy storage|
|Modern design with a free hose|
|High-end foam for floatability|
#2. SeaSense Hand Bilge Pump Hose – Best Value
- Flow Rate: Six strokes a gallon
- Weight: 1.45 lbs.
- Dimensions: 24.0 x 2.0 inches
- Included Hose: 2 ft.
If you have a small water vessel such as a canoe or kayak, get this Hand Bilge Pump by SeaSense and rest easy knowing you are covered in those turbulent times on the water. It is particularly convenient if you capsize or come up against heavy rains that fill your deck with water. With a pumping capacity of six strokes per gallon, this hand pump offers high-performance water evacuation on the go.
You may also want to get SeaSense’s bilge pump for your bigger boats. It does a great job of expelling water from hard-to-reach areas. The detachable hose allows for easy, abrasion-free storage. And with an overall weight of one and a half pounds, it is the perfect companion for kayaking adventures.
The large, easy-grip handle is a nice addition too. For extra reachability, there’s a free 36-inch hose to complement the 24-inch long pump. This Hand Bilge Pump Hose from SeaSense is the best kayak bilge pump for budget shoppers.
|Ergonomic handle with easy-grip||The hose connection often leaks|
|Includes a detachable hose||Low-quality hose|
#3. Attwood 4505 7 Automatic Interior Diameter – Editor’s Choice
- Flow Rate: 500 GPH
- Weight: 0.8 lbs.
- Dimensions: 7.37 x 7.75 x 8.12 inches
- Included Hose: N/A
The Attwood Sahara S500 is built with high-quality materials and offers high efficiency. With a 500 GPH, the twelve-volt electric-run pump will draw 1.5-Amps from the mains. This rating is a powerful rating for fast water evacuation from your kayak. To allow for easy installation, the package includes a twenty-nine-inch, sixteen-gauge tinned copper cable. The wire is highly insulated to guard against water leakages that can result in electric shocks.
This is not your ordinary bilge pump for kayaking. It has an integrated flood switch that activates the pump when the water rises to a particular point. The automatic-starting pump will keep pumping the water out of your bilge until it reaches the normal level.
Weighing only 0.8 pounds, the lightweight model makes for the best kayak bilge pump. It uses a three-quarter-inch wide hose connection. While you’ll have to buy the hose separately, it’s a standard hose that’s widely available. For easy mounting, the Attwood-4505-7-Automatic-Interior-Diameter comes with two mounting holes.
With a convenient test switch that keeps the air-packed pump afloat, the Attwood Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump is our unchallenged premium pick. The reliable bilge pump is a perfect choice for any boat size, including those with rooms for sleeping. Also, it uses a highly vivid color for easy identification in case it falls on the water after your vessel capsizes.
|It can work with all boats regardless of size||The pump’s float level is too low|
|Extremely durable construction||No provision for a water hose|
|Includes high-quality wiring||Non-adjustable float level|
|Convenient testing switch|
- Flow Rate: 1100 GPH
- Weight: 1.2 lbs.
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.7 x 3.6 inches
- Included Hose: N/A
With outstanding resistance to corrosion and rust, this submersible IUMÉ Boat Bilge Water Pump comes with waterproof seals. The diaphragm-based electrical pump can run dry without damaging the motor. For effective flood triggers, the piece integrates a float switch. This means you don’t have to purchase a float switch separately.
You’ll also love that this pump offers a simple automatic operation thanks to the inbuilt electronic controlled reed sensor mechanism. It means the 12V and 3.8-Amp motor won’t draw power until it is triggered by the flood sensor after the water levels have risen. With the above electrical specs, you can expect a powerful flow rate of 1100 GPH.
This IUMÉ Boat Bilge Water Pump comes with a compact, effective, and durable motor, thanks to the stainless steel shaft. For enhanced longevity, the piece is housed in a hard-wearing, blue and white plastic that’s easy to see even in dark places. To provide you with easy maintenance, the pump includes a quick-release strainer.
|Accommodates switch panels for overriding manually||There’s no provision for a matching water hose|
|Impervious to water and moisture||It doesn’t have a warranty|
|Internal high current protection|
|Built-in float switch test knob|
- Flow Rate: 0.4 liters per stroke
- Weight: 0.77 lbs.
- Dimensions: 18.1 x 1.69 inches
- Included Hose: 23 inches
The Kayak Hand Pump from MYSPORT_6 makes for a great safety device. You can paddle hard knowing you’re covered in case of any eventualities. When in danger of flooding or capsizing, simply pull out this compact hand pump and start expelling the excess water from your bilge.
Moreover, at only 0.77 pounds, the pump is ultra-lightweight and easy to carry. Measuring a little over eighteen inches long, it is compact enough for your water excursions. You can pack it with other kayaking gear for a complete setup.
Unlike most hand pumps, this model can be extended from 18.1 inches to 28.74 inches. This, together with a twenty-three-inch long hose, the bilge pump delivers excellent reachability. Evacuating water from hard-to-reach areas in your hatch will be a breeze.
For long-life service, the pump features high-strength TPU construction with anti-aging properties. Also, to keep it afloat in case it falls on the water, the outer layer consists of a skid-resistance EVA material. Its dual-drainage ability gives the pump up to 0.4 liters discharge per stroke.
|The waterproof and buoyant outer layer||No warranty for the pump|
|Extremely lightweight and compact||Low-quality hose|
|Exceptional expandable design|
|It comes with a discharge hose|
- Flow Rate: 8 gallons a minute
- Weight: 1.1 lbs.
- Dimensions: 16.54 x 2.62 inches
- Included Hose: N/A
The Kayak Hand Pump Floating Hand Bilge by Amarine Made is engineered to remove water using both downward and upward strokes. This goes a long way to guarantee maximum efficiency while causing minimum fatigue. It is a must-have piece of equipment for those who need a hand-operated bilge pump.
For an easy grip and high-impact strokes, the Kayak Hand Pump features an extra-large ergonomic handle with non-slip contours for your fingers. To prevent water inlet leakages, the pump uses a removable gasket. This makes it a high-performance water evacuating device for kayak rescues.
The simple hand pump can withstand the corrosive effect of saltwater thanks to its durable, synthetic polypropylene body. And for floatability, Amarine Made employs an EVA-based outer wrapping. Overall, it is a decent safety equipment for a self-rescue when capsizing or flooding.
|An ergonomic, large, easy-grip handle for maximum impact||An unreliable rubber-based one-way valve|
|Ultra-lightweight, compact, and portable||It doesn’t come with a hose|
|Available in a convenient floating design|
|Durable, corrosion-proof material|
- Flow Rate: 8 gallons a minute
- Weight: 1.2 lbs.
- Dimensions: 18.0 x 2.5 inches
- Included Hose: Hose-free design
NRS is one of the widely respected small boat and kayak equipment manufacturers. As with other amazing lines of products from NRS, this Kayak Bilge Pump delivers exceptional value for a low price tag. It is a great choice if you want to keep your vessel clean and dry on the water.
Most hand bilge pumps for kayak require an additional hose to evacuate the water from your deck effectively. However, this is not your standard hand pump as you won’t be needing any hose. It features a unique design that allows the water to spout out over the side of your boat. Rated for eight gallons per minute, the NRS bilge pump uses a bright color for easy detection.
|Easy-to-spot vivid color||Low reachability for hard-to-reach areas|
|It works without a hose||There’s no product warranty|
|An affordable model|
|Excellent flow rate|
|A floatable piece|
Top Pick – Best Overall Kayak Bilge Pump
Best Marine ensures your safety and peace of mind with their 18-inch long kayak bilge pump. To enhance reachability, you’ll get a 61-centimeter hose to attach on either side of your pump. Weighing only one pound and a diameter of 2.5 inches, this pump gives the best portability properties.
It has a large ergonomic handle for easy gripping and high-impact pumping. Water adventures should offer an exciting experience. With this pump, you can rest assured of a fast and simple way of expelling water in inclement weather and rough waters.
The Best Marine Kayak Bilge Pump will be excellent for sailing, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Going for less than $31, this hand pump offers the best value for your money. And it undoubtedly deserves our best overall spot.
Kayak Bilge Pump Brands
Best Marine and Outdoors
Best Marine and Outdoors isn’t one of the oldest brands in the market. Barely five years into the industry and this company is already edging out some of the longest players in the industry. Founded in 2016 by Kevin & Mark, brothers with a rich history of fishing, swimming, and boating, the company has transformed into one of the most popular brands for outdoor adventures. The quality of their products embodies the brand’s solid reputation. Today, the Massachusetts-based firm is among the top manufacturers and suppliers of kayaking accessories throughout the US, Australia, and Europe.
It is not for nothing that SeaSense is a vibrant and well-known company as far as marine accessories go. The brand takes pride in highly innovative pieces at competitive rates. SeaSense’s high-appeal is partly because they cater to the needs of experienced buyers and one-off shoppers alike. As a corporation, they promise to prioritize customers’ needs before anything they do. From the exceptional packaging to the simple product instructions, the company endeavors to save you time by simplifying individual customer experiences. To demonstrate its wide acceptance in the industry, the brand has created solid partnerships with over two thousand wholesalers.
For more than 100 years, Attwood Corporation has been the pioneer in designing, testing, and producing premium marine products. Their work has won them many awards throughout the years. Apart from bilge pumps, the company has a wide selection of accessories for marine adventures. As one of the popular go-to marine equipment brands, Attwood promises to provide safe and reliable fuel systems, seating and pedestals, tailored upholstery, water systems, lighting, swim ladders, and general marine products. All their products offer easy installation while complying with all regulatory requirements.
Understanding Kayak Bilge Pumps
Trying to get the best kayak bilge pump before hitting the waters? As an experienced kayaker, you often see unwanted water on your vessel’s deck. But you do not want it to ruin your experience on the next paddling excursion.
A bilge pump offers the simplest way to get rid of the unwanted waters. It can effectively draw away the water filling your bilge or getting on top of the deck. In this way, you can save your kayak from capsizing or wrecking in inclement weather. This also goes for other vessels like canoes because you can evacuate the water from the bilge to the outside.
The lowest section of your kayak, boat, or canoe is called the bilge. Every avid paddler knows you’ll want anything but water in that compartment. But if the bilge is filling with water, you’ll want to remove it as quickly as you can. While there might be multiple reasons behind the water in there, removing it should be your major concern.
We’ve grown up knowing water in the kayak isn’t a good thing. It should always be outside your boat. Bad for us, the bilge stays below the water surface, which prevents the water inside from draining out. And that’s where the best kayak bilge pump comes in to help you get rid of the water.
Types of Bilge Pumps for Kayak
There are different categories of bilge pumps out there. The key element here is knowing what exactly you need for your kayak. Your specific requirements may include the flow rate, capacity, and pump storage. To choose your ideal bilge pump for kayaking, it is vital to understand the basics of a bilge pump. There are two main types of bilge pumps based on:
- Pumping mechanism
- Hand-Operated bilge pumps
- Electrical bilge pumps
- Power source
- Electric-run pumps
- Battery-powered pumps
Hand-Operated Bilge Pumps
There are many kayak bilge pumps that do not run on electricity. They are known as manual or hand-operated bilge pumps. If you decide to get this model, you will be using your hand to expel water. It works similarly to manually-operated system air pumps that we often use on inflatable items.
Electrical Bilge Pumps
Some pumps require electrical power to remove the water from inside your bilge. These electrical bilge pumps fall under various categories.
Diaphragm electric pump
Just as the name suggests, this pump has a vacuum to ‘suck’ the hatch water out. One of the best things about a diaphragm pump is that it’s self-priming. It is designed to offer superior performance for pushing water uphill. Although it’s a bit hard to maintain and offers limited portability, the diaphragm pump can run dry without risking any damages.
Centrifugal electric pump
All centrifuges rely on kinetic energy to function and the same goes for this type of pump. The rotating turbine provides the kinetic energy that is used to move water from your bilge. Centrifugal pumps are an inexpensive option for your kayaking setup. Moreover, they have a high water flow capacity. And you’ll love them for easy maintenance and long-term storage without issues.
Still, electricity-powered can be classified as manual and automatic.
Manual Electricity-powered Pumps
You must start the pump manually so it can draw water from your bilge.
Automatic Electricity-powered Pumps
The pump starts itself without your help. It comes with sensors to detect water in your kayak’s bilge and automatically starts the engine.
Some pumps only run on high-voltage electric power. It requires tapping into the electrical supply system of your boat’s engine.
The fun part about kayaking is that you are the power source that drives the vessel. Without a boat engine, there’s nowhere to plug an electric-run bilge pump on your kayak. Good for us, some brands are already producing electric bilge pumps that run on batteries. In this way, you can install an electricity-powered bilge pump on small vessels like canoes and kayaks.
Kayak Bilge Pump Maintenance
Most kayak bilge pumps are easy to install and use. But now let’s look at some important details about keeping its performance at optimum. Different bilge pumps for kayaks have different maintenance requirements. However, the following tips should cut across all kinds of pumps.
- Always keep the pump in a place free of dirt and waste. They can get inside your pump and clog or damage critical components.
- If you have a diaphragm bilge pump, remember to clean it regularly so it doesn’t clog. A clogged diaphragm can stop the pump from working when you need it most.
- Be sure to clean the screen of your kayak bilge pump. It is one of the most essential parts of the pump.
- Check the electrical connection at all times before starting an electricity-run bilge pump.
- Check the manufacturer’s manual for model-specific maintenance details.
Maintenance is key to your pump’s durability. With proper care, even the most basic kayak bilge pumps can give you reliable service for a long time.
Kayak Bilge Pump Installation Tips
One of the best things about hand-operated kayak bilge pumps is that they don’t need any installation. They are sold ready for use. Although electric bilge pumps are more reliable, they are a bit complicated to install.
- Read the manual that came with your pump to find details about its installation.
- Checking the electrical connection is very important. And it’s best to find a trained technician to help you get it right if you are not sure.
- Avoid using a crumpled hose at all costs as they can be perilous. Instead, get a smooth hose and you’ll forget about kinking.
How To Choose The Best Kayak Bilge Pump – Buyer’s Guide
The best kayak bilge pump is not easy to find, especially if you don’t know how they work. This is a must-have accessory for canoe, boat, or kayak users. If you are in the market for a new vessel, we recommend purchasing a bilge pump too. It will help expel unwanted water from your kayak. Although the market is brimming with tons of bilge pumps, your primary concern should be to secure the best kayak bilge pump.
The best bilge pump for your kayak will depend on various factors. Your ideal choice will vary based on the size of your kayak as well as the type of waters you want to adventure. Apart from those, there are more things you should keep in mind when choosing a bilge pump. Here are other crucial considerations for shopping for the right pump for your boat.
Kayak bilge pumps come with different water pumping capacities or flow rate, measured in gallons per minute or GPM. Since kayaks are pretty small vessels, the best water pump should have a minimum pumping capacity of eight gallons per minute. Not only is it the least capacity for a small kayak, but for paddling flatwater too.
But keep in mind that the higher flow rates correspond with better performance. So, you don’t have to get the least recommended specs if your budget can allow for a bilge pump with a higher capacity for pumping water. Consider something that can quickly get you out of a sticky situation.
Getting the best kayak bilge pump starts with knowing which type of pump is perfect for your kayaking needs. Based on the power source, you can choose between hand-operated and electricity-run bilge pumps. Electric pumps can be centrifugal or diaphragm depending on the engine mechanism.
Moreover, they can be classified into manual and automatic electricity-powered pumps, according to how they start. There are also electric-only pumps while others integrate the ability to draw electric power from batteries. Having checked the various types of bilge pumps, you’ll want to compare with your kayak size to make an educated decision.
Sturdiness is one vital element to consider while shopping for the best kayak bilge pump. You want to invest in a pump that will withstand the most extreme weather elements on your excursions. So, the best kayak bilge pump should be constructed with top-grade plastic and stainless steel components.
This will go a long way to ensure your machine is corrosion-proof and shock-resistant. While the majority of bilge pumps have a solid design, some of the products out there come with lousy durability. Try to avoid very cheap bilge pumps because these are often low-quality products. Instead, we recommend getting a moderately priced bilge pump with decent durability.
Everyone knows that a kayak is anything but spacious. With limited storage on the deck, the size of the hand pump you should get is a vital consideration. We recommend shopping for a compact-sized bilge pump that will fit perfectly in your vessel.
All the bilge pumps on our list are compact enough to save space. Besides, if you are like most kayakers, you probably travel with your kayaking setup. Therefore, it will be easier for you to stow the bilge pump with other kayaking gears.
When shopping for a manually–operated hand pump, one of the most important things to check for is the handle. You do not want a bilge pump that will slip even if your palms are slippery and wet. And your hands are bound to get wet when battling rough waters filling up your kayak.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good grasp of the handle. For that reason, you’ll want to ensure the bilge pump’s handle offers an excellent grip. This will allow you to pump the water out of your vessel quickly and without straining.
You never know when you’ll come up against storms and other harsh water conditions. And should your vessel capsize, your bilge pump is likely to fall on the water. Also, canoeing and kayaking are physically involving activities, where it’s very easy to drop your bilge pump on the water.
A floatable bilge pump will remain on the water surface. This will allow you to reach for it and quickly initiate a self-rescue. It is the reason most manufacturers make bilge pumps that can float. Moreover, being able to salvage your pump after a capsize can save you the cost of replacing it.
Being particular about the kayak bilge pump color might seem rather preposterous. But it’s not. If anything, it can make the difference between a marvelous, or frustrating and perilous kayaking adventure. It’s not uncommon to panic in stormy weather that forces water into your bilge. It’s even worse if your boat capsizes and the pump falls on the water. How easily can you locate it?
Choosing highly visible colors for your bilge pump can save the day. Luckily, most manufacturers produce bilge pumps with bright colors such as blue, red, or yellow. Better still, some brands are producing bilge pumps with fluorescent colors. This allows them to glow in poorly lit areas or at night.
Source of Power
You’ll have to choose between an automatic electric bilge pump and a hand-operated bilge pump. This choice will depend on the size of your kayak and the type of waters you are paddling.
There’s no point in spending a fortune on an electric water pump for a small kayak or flat water kayaking. Instead, the manual hand pump would suffice. But in rough weather or whitewater kayaking, you will need the electric-powered kayak pump due to water getting into your boat continuously.
After reading our best kayak bilge pump product reviews plus bonus tips and details, you can now see that it is crucial to purchase the right bilge pump for your kayak.
The bilge pump, whether a hand-operated or electric-run, is a vital piece of kayaking gear. It’s even more important that you stow the best kayak bilge pump in an easy-to-reach area.
Preferably, you can store it near the cockpit seat. Also, keep in mind its maintenance and be sure to check the manufacturer’s manual for installation, use, and safety tips. You’ll want the machine installed properly so it functions correctly. In this way, you’ll always have successful kayaking adventures.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do you need a bilge pump if your vessel has kayak plugs?
Yes. While kayaking or canoeing, it’s common for water to infiltrate your vessel. Having a scupper plug can stop the water from getting into your kayak from below. However, stormy weather can still cause water to get into your boat. Besides, the paddle can add to the volume of water getting in from above. Without a bilge pump, eliminating the excess water from your cockpit can be very frustrating.
Can a kayak use a boat bilge pump?
All bilge pumps work similarly. They simply draw water from the inside to the outside of your water vessel. So, a boat bilge pump will replicate the same functions, even if it were fitted in your kayak. But there’s a catch. The pump should be compact enough to fit perfectly in your kayak. You shouldn’t have any issues with a manual pump provided it fits. On the other hand, you must first uninstall an automatic bilge pump from your boat before installing it in your kayak. Also, keep in mind that you can’t rely on battery-run pumps to remove small volumes of water from your bilge.
How do you use a manual kayak bilge pump?
Direct the intake into the water in your kayak while keeping the bilge pump handle at the top. After that, make sure the pump’s outlet is pointing on either side of your kayak. You can now start lifting the handle up and down. Each lift on the handle draws up the water via your pump. And applying a downward force pushes the water out through an attached hose or the spout.
Can you get a bilge pump for kayaks to use for a Livewell?
Yes. Bilge pumps will still function in a Livewell set up as they have similar impellers and motors you’ll find in centrifugal Livewell pumps. However, pump boxes offer the most effective solution in this area. So, you might want to get a good pump box for the installation of your Livewell pump.