Pumping up your inflatable or personal pontoon boat doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you own a fit for purpose piece of kit that will do the job properly and in quick time.
But which are the best inflatable pontoon boat pumps on the market?
Well, it boils down to a number of different factors, primarily focused on where you will be inflating your personal pontoon, how much work you want to do, and how portable you want your pump to be.
Here are my recommended options for the three different pump and inflator types; electric portables ones, hand pumps, and foot pumps. I will start off with the high-pressure electrical one and then move onto the foot and hand options.
The Best Electric Pump for an Inflatable Boat
For ease of use and quick results, I would recommend a high-pressure electric pump. It will certainly save you energy, and it’s something you can leave running for a couple of minutes. They are simple to use and can be hooked up to a power supply or even your car battery.
The one I use is from Sea Eagle, a brand name that should be familiar already with many pontooners due to their stunning inflatable pontoon range.
The exact product is the Sea Eagle BP12 on Amazon. It is powered from a 12v power source, plus comes with various adaptors meaning you can use it on other inflatable products too, not just your boat. It’s the best cheap electric pump for inflatable pontoons, being lightweight, portable, and quick to inflate.
It also comes with alligator clips, letting you pop the hood of your car up, connect the wires, and get inflating.
With ranges of 1 to 14.5 psi of pressure, it should inflate a typical 9-foot inflatable pontoon in less than 60 seconds – you can see an example of an inflatable dinghy being inflated in the video below.
You Might Want to Purchase a Battery
If you don’t want to inflate your pontoon from your car, you will need to purchase a separate battery for this electric pump (like the Minn Kota). Similarly, if you can’t access your car battery connectors, you will need to purchase a separate battery, or connect to your boat battery instead.
If you want something really, really cheap then you could consider the X-Lounger Portable Air Pump. It’s not as good as the Sea Eagle, certainly not as powerful and will take a lot longer to inflate.
But the plus point is that it comes with a re-chargeable battery as part of the unit meaning you don’t need to connect to a battery or power source. You could probably inflate a 9-foot single-man pontoon with single charge but could struggle for anything larger than that.
The Best Inflatable Pontoon Boat Hand Pump
I would also recommend that you purchase a hand pump if you choose an electric one. Why? Because you don’t know when you’re going to need something to do a quick inflate when you’re out on the water.
In the last couple of years, I’ve snagged by pontoons on rocks, and had to do a quick repair job on a tear. I always carry a portable hand pump with me, it saves a lot of hassle in the long run believe me – plus you never know when you might not have battery power to use your electrical model.
The best in my view is the AirHead Watersports hand pump. I’ve been buying AirHead accessories for my full-size aluminum pontoon for years now, and they have never let me down, this hand pump included.
It’s the perfect inflatable pontoon boat pump when you need something small and effective that will fit in your bag or wire basket on board.
With peak pressure of 14 psi and 2 liters of volume with every down stroke, it will properly pump your personal pontoon boat up… but will take some elbow grease and time to do so and I would estimate around 10 to 15 minutes. That’s no more than any other competitive pump on the market though.
The Best Inflatable Boat Foot Pump
And finally, my recommended inflatable boat foot pump choice. It’s another AirHead product – trust me, they are excellent so go take a look at the AirHead AHP-1 on Amazon to view the latest prices.
But why choose a foot pump over an electrical or hand pump? Well, for me it’s all about the ease of use, simplicity, and components. You can have this in your garage or car, use it, and probably not get a back-ache like you can get with inflatable boat hand pumps. I am sure you know what I mean!
You can stand up straight, and pump your pontoons until your heart is content, without the strain and effort that comes with using a hand pump product.
And compared to electrical pumps, you don’t need a battery, can leave it under your boat seat, and don’t need to worry about it getting wet.
In terms of value for money, this is a winner. Whilst it will require more effort than an electrical pump, it’s a far cheaper way of doing so…. But, obviously will take a lot longer to inflate you boat compared to the two previous recommendations.
Conclusion on Inflatable Pontoon Boat Pumps
You’ve got a few considerations here:
If you want simplicity, speed, and an easy solution then choose electrical. But, it’s not going to be as portable as a manual pump and won’t be something you would want to take on-board your inflatable pontoon when on the water.
If you just want a manual pump, opt for a hand operated model, as you will inflate your personal pontoon quicker than a foot pump… but it will be more uncomfortable than a foot-operated model.
Whatever you do decide to do, always buy a manual pump in addition to your electrical model. You will need to have something on board with you in case of any little tears, rips, and deflations that could occur whilst on the water or lake.