7 Best Kayak Bilge Pump: The Essential Guide to Staying Dry

by | Last updated Jul 7, 2024

Best Overall Beckson Thirsty
Beckson Thirsty

Lightweight (8oz), reliable, and affordable, pumping 1.5 gallons per minute with a simple push-pull action.

Best Value Harmony Gear
Harmony Gear

Budget-friendly and lightweight (6oz), this no-frills manual pump moves 1.5 gallons per minute and gets the job done.

Most Featured NRS Bilge
NRS Bilge

High-performance with a comfortable grip, this workhorse pumps 3 gallons per minute, making it ideal for larger.

Kayak Bilge Pump

Are you tired of kayaking adventures turning into unintentional swims? A swamped kayak isn’t just uncomfortable; it’s dangerous.

But don’t worry! A trusty kayak bilge pump keeps you high and dry, whisking away unwanted water. In this guide, we’ll break down the different types and features and reveal our top picks for the best bilge pumps on the market.

Let’s make your next kayaking trip all smooth sailing!

What is the Best Kayak Bilge Pump?

Don’t let a little (or a lot) of water ruin your kayaking adventure. The right bilge pump is your secret weapon against a swamped boat. With a variety of options on the market, choosing the best one can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched for you!

1. Beckson Thirsty

This little pump is a kayaking classic for a reason. Compact, reliable, and efficient – it’s the trusty sidekick you want in your kayak.

Beckson Thirsty

Our Take

0out of 10

The Beckson Thirsty-Mate is a tried-and-true bilge pump that's hard to beat for its simplicity, efficiency, and affordability. While it lacks a hose for reaching tight spots, its overall performance and reliability make it a top choice for most kayakers.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) per minute
  • Ease of Use: Simple push-pull operation, even with cold hands
  • Durability: Tough plastic construction
  • Size and Weight: 14 inches long, weighs only 8 ounces
  • Floatation: Floats with included foam collar
  • Hose Length: N/A (designed for direct pumping)
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Best Features:

  • Self-priming: Starts pumping immediately, no fussing around.
  • Versatile: Can also be used for other water removal tasks (like bailing out your tent!).
  • Affordable: A great value for its performance.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $46.13
Beckson Thirsty

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use and reliable
  • Great for tight spaces
  • Pumps surprisingly fast

Cons

  • No hose for reaching far corners
  • Requires some arm strength for extended use

2. NRS Bilge

Ready for some serious pumping power? The NRS Kayak Bilge Pump is the workhorse of the bilge pump world, perfect for larger kayaks or those facing bigger waves.

NRS Bilge

Our Take

0out of 10

The NRS Kayak Bilge Pump is the top choice for those who need a high-performance bilge pump that can handle anything you throw at it. While its size and weight might be a drawback for some, its power and efficiency are unmatched.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 3 gallons (11.4 liters) per minute
  • Ease of Use: Double-action pumping (both push and pull) for efficiency
  • Durability: Reinforced fiberglass shaft and durable plastic body
  • Size and Weight: 24 inches long, weighs 14 ounces
  • Floatation: Floats with included foam grip
  • Hose Length: N/A (designed for direct pumping)
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Best Features:

  • High-volume pumping: Moves water out fast, even in challenging conditions
  • Ergonomic grip: Comfortable to hold, even during extended use
  • Self-priming: No need to wait for it to start working.

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $22.95
NRS Bilge

Pros

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Bulkier design may be difficult to store in smaller kayaks

3. Seattle Sports

Innovative and versatile, the PaddleBoy is a unique bilge pump that attaches directly to your kayak paddle. It's perfect for minimalist paddlers who want to save space and weight.

Seattle Sports

Our Take

0out of 10

The Seattle Sports PaddleBoy is a clever and innovative bilge pump that's perfect for recreational kayakers who prioritize convenience and space-saving.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) per minute
  • Ease of Use: Attaches to your paddle shaft, pump with one hand
  • Durability: Made from durable plastic
  • Size and Weight: 10.5 inches long, weighs 7 ounces
  • Floatation: Floats
  • Hose Length: N/A (pump directly from the paddle)
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Best Features:

  • Space-saving: Eliminates the need for a separate bilge pump
  • Convenient: Always within reach on your paddle
  • Affordable: A great value for its unique design

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $27.80
Seattle Sports

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and compact
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lower pumping capacity than some other models
  • May not be ideal for larger kayaks or rough conditions

4. Rule LoPro 900

This automatic bilge pump is a game-changer for those seeking hands-free water removal. Set it and forget it, and let the Rule LoPro 900 take care of the rest.

Rule LoPro 900

Our Take

0out of 10

The Rule LoPro 900 is a top-notch automatic bilge pump that offers peace of mind for kayakers who want to focus on paddling, not pumping. While its price might be higher, its convenience and efficiency are well worth the investment.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 900 gallons (3407 liters) per hour
  • Ease of Use: Automatic operation, no manual pumping required
  • Durability: Corrosion-resistant materials
  • Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design
  • Floatation: N/A (not designed to float)
  • Hose Length: Varies depending on installation
  • Warranty: 3-year warranty

Best Features:

  • Automatic operation: Pumps water out continuously without your intervention
  • High capacity: Can handle large volumes of water quickly
  • Compact design: Fits easily in most kayaks

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $79.99
Rule LoPro 900

Pros

  • Hands-free operation
  • High pumping capacity
  • Reliable and durable

Cons

  • Requires battery power
  • More expensive than manual bilge pumps

5. Harmony Gear

Simplicity and affordability meet in the Harmony Gear Kayak Bilge Pump. This no-frills option gets the job done without breaking the bank.

Harmony Gear

Our Take

0out of 10

The Harmony Gear Kayak Bilge Pump is a solid choice for beginners or budget-minded paddlers who need a reliable bilge pump without all the bells and whistles.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) per minute
  • Ease of Use: Straightforward push-pull operation
  • Durability: Plastic construction
  • Size and Weight: 15 inches long, weighs 6 ounces
  • Floatation: Floats
  • Hose Length: N/A (designed for direct pumping)
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Best Features:

  • Lightweight and compact: Easy to store and carry
  • Budget-friendly: A great option for casual kayakers
  • Reliable performance: Gets the water out consistently

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $45.96
Harmony Gear

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Lightweight and easy to pack
  • Surprisingly effective for its price

Cons

  • Not as durable as higher-end models
  • Lower pumping capacity than some other options

6. Attwood Tsunami

The Attwood Tsunami Manual Bilge Pump stands out with its telescopic design, extending to reach those hard-to-access areas of your kayak.

Attwood Tsunami

Our Take

0out of 10

The Attwood Tsunami Manual Bilge Pump is a versatile option that offers extended reach and comfortable operation.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 1.25 gallons (4.7 liters) per minute
  • Ease of Use: Telescoping handle for extended reach
  • Durability: Corrosion-resistant materials
  • Size and Weight: 15-26 inches long (telescoping), weighs 11 ounces
  • Floatation: Floats
  • Hose Length: N/A (designed for direct pumping)
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Best Features:

  • Telescoping handle: Extends for easy pumping from any position
  • Comfortable grip: Ergonomic design for reduced hand fatigue
  • Durable construction: Built to withstand regular use

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $28.41
Attwood Tsunami

Pros

  • Extended reach for hard-to-reach areas
  • Comfortable to use, even for long periods
  • Durable and reliable

Cons

  • Slightly lower pumping capacity than some models
  • Telescoping handle might feel a bit flimsy to some

7. Johnson Pump

Small but mighty, the Johnson Pump Aqua Jet Bilge Pump is a compact and powerful option that packs a punch for its size.

Johnson Pump

Our Take

0out of 10

The Johnson Pump Aqua Jet Bilge Pump is a reliable and efficient option that's perfect for recreational kayakers who want a compact and powerful bilge pump.

Key Benefits

  • Pumping Capacity: 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) per minute
  • Ease of Use: Simple twist-and-pump operation
  • Durability: Constructed from corrosion-resistant materials
  • Size and Weight: 9 inches long, weighs 6 ounces
  • Floatation: Floats
  • Hose Length: N/A (designed for direct pumping)
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Best Features:

  • Compact and lightweight: Easily fits in tight spaces
  • Powerful for its size: Pumps a surprising amount of water
  • Simple to use: Twist the handle to pump

Pricing

  • Price: Starting at $34.77
Johnson Pump

Pros

  • Compact and easy to store
  • Efficient pumping action
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Requires a bit more effort to operate than some models
  • May not be ideal for larger kayaks or heavy water inflow

What to Look for in a Kayak Bilge Pump?

  • Pumping Capacity: How much water can it remove per stroke/minute?
  • Ease of Use: Can you operate it quickly and efficiently in a stressful situation?
  • Durability: Will it withstand regular use and potential abuse?
  • Size and Weight: Is it compact and lightweight enough for your kayak?
  • Floatation: Does it float if dropped in the water?
  • Hose Length (if applicable): Is the hose long enough to reach all areas of your kayak?
  • Price: Does it fit your budget?

Remember, the best kayak bilge pump is the one that best suits your individual needs and kayak type.

How Can a Kayak Bilge Pump Benefit You?

Picture this: You're cruising in your kayak or canoe, taking in the scenery, when a rogue wave crashes over the side. Suddenly, you're paddling in a pool of water!

kayak bilge pump

A bilge pump is your quick fix to regain control and stability. It's not just for emergencies, though. Even a little water can slow you down or make your vessel tippy.

Bilge pumps, especially powerful options like the NRS bilge pump, make quick work of clearing out unwanted water, making your kayaking adventures safer and more enjoyable.

And if you're after ultimate convenience, consider an electric bilge pump. It works for you so that you can focus on the fun stuff.

Buyer's Guide

When doing our research to find the best kayak bilge pumps, we evaluated each product using the following factors:

kayak bilge pump

Pricing: We considered the price of each bilge pump to determine its value and affordability.

Pumping Capacity & Design: We looked at the pumping capacity of each pump, whether it was a manual hand pump or electric, and other design features like a full-length foam float or telescopic handle.

Features: We identified the unique features of each pump, such as self-priming capabilities, stainless steel screws or components, ergonomic handles, and double-action pumping.

Materials: We assessed the materials used in each pump's construction, like stainless steel or durable plastic, to determine its durability and longevity.

Length Foam Float Ensures: We checked if the pump had a floatation device and, if so, ensured it was long enough to keep the entire pump afloat if dropped in the water.

Warranty and Support: We investigated the warranty and customer support offered by each manufacturer to ensure buyers have adequate protection and assistance if needed.

By considering these factors, we were able to identify the best kayak bilge pumps on the market that offer a combination of performance, reliability, and value.

Wrapping Up

Don't let a swamped craft ruin your kayaking adventure. A reliable bilge pump, like the trusty NRS bilge pump, makes all the difference between a soggy mess and smooth sailing.

kayak bilge pump

Remember, whether you choose an electric bilge pump for hands-free convenience or a manual pump for its simplicity, the most important thing is that it works efficiently and is built to last.

Look for durable materials like stainless steel to avoid rust build-up and ensure your pump serves you for years to come.

With the right bilge pump by your side, you can confidently explore the waterways, knowing you're prepared for whatever splashes your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a kayak bilge pump?

Yes, even a small amount of water can affect your kayak's stability and maneuverability. A bilge pump ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience on the water.

What's the difference between manual and electric bilge pumps?

Manual pumps require physical effort to operate, while electric bilge pumps do the work for you, powered by a battery. Electric pumps are convenient but can fail if the battery dies. Manual pumps are reliable but require more effort to use.

How does a bilge pump works?

A bilge pump creates suction to draw water out of your kayak. Manual pumps typically use a push-pull or twist action, while electric pumps have a motor that powers the suction.

Can I use a bilge pump in an open boat?

Yes, you can use a bilge pump in an open boat, like a canoe or inflatable kayak. Could you make sure the pump is positioned to remove water from the bottom of the boat effectively?

What if my bilge pump fails in dim lighting or darkness?

It's a good idea to carry a backup manual pump in case your electric bilge pump fails or if you're paddling in low-light conditions. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with its operation beforehand so that it can be quick emptying and easily used in an emergency.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder

Author

An avid kayaker & fisherman, explores waterways globally, sharing his passion for water sports and conservation through captivating stories and tips.

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