Top 3 Electric Pumps For Inflatable SUP

inflating SUP with electric pump
Many of the hand pumps that come with inflatable stand-up paddleboards when you buy them are quite good.

When just inflating my own board, I don’t really mind doing it manually by hand and I can get my board inflated in about five minutes.

Some hand pumps are better than others but in general they work quite well.

However if you have more than one board to inflate or if you really just don’t want to have to break a sweat before you even get on the water then an electric pump is the answer.

ISUP’s can hold quite a bit of air pressure – far more than an inflatable kayak.  Most ISUP’s can be inflated up to 15 PSI and some even higher.

As many of us know, it does take a bit of work to inflate your board up to 15 PSI.  the first couple minutes of pumping are no big deal but the last few minutes get harder and you can count on being a little out of breath by the time you are done.

I use the hand pumps when reviewing a new board so I can test out the pump and see how well it works.  Therefore I manually inflate a lot of boards.

However for my personal outings I always use an electric pump, especially when not alone and there are two boards to inflate.

It is not so much the time saver that I am concerned about because I don’t find the inflation time to be that dramatically different than when using a manual pump.

It is more the fact that I’d rather not exert myself too much before I start paddling.  Truthfully I’ve gotten spoiled.  Once you try an electric pump, it’s hard to go back to a hand pump.

Sheer laziness kicks in and I have no problem admitting that I am much happier connecting my electric pump to my car battery, sitting back and letting it do the work for me.

I much prefer saving my energy for paddling. I am sure there are others who feel the same way and feel it’s worth the extra cost for the electric pump.

So with that being said let’s take a look at the three best electric pumps on the market right now for an inflatable SUP.

Electric Pump Options

I’ve tried several different pump options and I’ve even tried to make some work that quite obviously were not even remotely made for paddle boards.  In my experience most don’t work that well and even the one’s made specifically for ISUP’s are not perfect.

There are three that I have found to work the best and that are worth using.  These three come with the proper valve attachment for a SUP valve.

  • Bravo BTP Two Stage 12V Electric Turbo Pump – Most expensive option but good if you want to be able to use it for larger boats as well as your SUP.  It can inflate up to 14.5 PSI.
  • Bravo BP12 Single Stage Electric Pump – Can inflate up to 14.5 PSI.  I personally think this pump gives you the most bang for your buck.  It is not perfect but the price is good and it does the job well.  The best deal for the Bravo BP12 Pump is at Amazon.com.
  • Airhead SUP High-Pressure 12V Electric Pump – This one is quieter than the other two and can inflate to 20 PSI but it is really quite slow and not as powerful.  If you have the patience to wait it still works well.

More Pump Details

I have used all three of these pumps for several years now and have really learned the pros and cons of each. Read below to find more details and which one will suit you best.

1. Bravo BTP Two-Stage 12V Electric Turbo Pump

Bravo two-stage 12V electric turbo pump

You can get this pump with or without a battery pack. Without the battery pack you would need to use the alligator clips to attach the pump to your car battery.

With the battery pack you can inflate your board close to the water or anywhere you want for that matter.

This was the first electric pump I owned and I still use it. It is a little noisy but works really well and inflates the boards quickly.

You can set the PSI level and watch the progress. It will shut off automatically when it reaches the right air pressure. This pump is able to inflate up to 15 PSI.

It has two inflation stages:

  1. Stage one is the low pressure/high volume turbine blower. This stage will inflate your board until it takes shape. Then it switches to stage 2.
  2. Stage two is a little noisier but also more powerful using the high-pressure piston for higher PSI.

I would say this is one of the faster electric pumps I’ve tried. It comes with an 8’6” long cable and alligator clips, a 6’ inflation hose and all the common valve adapters including one that works well with ISUP valves.

It weighs 5 lbs. and can be used not only for an inflatable paddle board but also on inflatable kayaks, inflatable pontoon boats and yacht tenders.

This pump comes with a carry case with three separate zippered compartments that holds all the parts.

With Or Without Battery Pack?

I have the battery pack that is an available option with this pump. The battery is really handy to be able to inflate your board anywhere you like.

However these days I find I often don’t use it as I am able to park my car fairly close to the waters edge.  So more often than not I simply use the alligator clips with my car battery.

However it is nice to have the option of using the battery… but it will cost you quite a bit more to get the battery pack. So you will need to weigh whether it is worth it for you or not.

With a full battery charge you can inflate an inflatable SUP several times over.

The BTP 2-Stage 12V pump is available at Amazon.com as well as at Sea Eagle.com.

2. Bravo BP12 Single-Stage Electric Pump

BP12 Electric Pump

I also own this Bravo 12V Single-Stage electric pump. Considering this pump is at least $50 less than the 2-Stage pump, I have to say I like it almost as much.

The more expensive two-stage version is great for SUP’s, kayaks and larger boats. Whereas this single-stage option is better suited just for inflatable SUP’s and inflatable kayaks – not larger boats.

So if you mostly plan to use this pump for your ISUP only it works just fine and you really don’t need to spend the extra cash on the more powerful two-stage pump.

This pump is a little smaller than the two-stage pump and weighs half the weight… only 2.6 lbs.

Besides the fact that it is a single stage pump the only other major difference is that you can’t see the inflation progress on the dial.

You can still set your desired PSI level and it will still automatically shut off when it reaches that level.

However the dial does not show you where it is at while inflating the board like the two-stage pump does.

The first time I used this pump I found it vaguely annoying that I could not tell how far along the inflation process was because I was used to watching it on the other pump.

However truthfully it doesn’t really matter. Just attach the hose, set the PSI level, let it do its job and it will shut off when done. You really don’t need to watch it go from 2 PSI to 3 PSI to 6 PSI and so on.

You can set the PSI level up to 14.5 PSI, which is what I always inflate my boards to.

What’s Included

The BP12 Single Stage Pump comes with:

  • A carry case with shoulder strap and all the proper valve attachments.
  • An 8’6″ long cable with alligator clips and a 6′ long inflation hose.

Best Option For The Price

I personally think for the price this single-stage electric pump is the best option. I have recommended the Bravo BP12 to a lot of my friends.

It is worth noting that they do burn out after awhile. Mine died on me after three years of use. I think mine got overused and abused however as I use it several times a week often with multiple boards at a time.

They seem to last longer if you only inflate one board each time out or if you wait a few minutes in between inflating multiple boards. It gets hot and I think needs the time to cool down.

The best deal for the Bravo BP12 Single Stage Electric Pump is at Amazon.com.

3. Airhead SUP High-Pressure 12V Electric Pump

Airhead high pressure 12V electric pump

This Airhead pump is the third option and the only other electric pump I’ve tried that works efficiently with inflatable paddle boards.

There are pros and cons to this pump.

Pros

First big pro is that it is able to inflate up to 20 PSI.  Before the Bravo BP12 came out with its newest model, this was the only electric pump that could go that high.

It has a simple dial that lets you set your desired PSI level and it will shut off automatically when it reaches that level so there is no risk of over inflation.

It comes with alligator clips to attach to your car battery and a 10’ inflation hose giving you lots of room to maneuver.

It comes with H-Valve and Boston Valve adapters and easily secures to the valves on most inflatable SUP’s.

I also like that this pump is slightly quieter than the other two. However that is possibly because it is not quite as powerful bringing us to the cons.

Cons

The downside is that it does not come with a carry bag so you will have to keep all the parts in a separate bag or keep the box it comes in.

Also I find this pump to be a lot slower to inflate one board. It is definitely not as powerful as the other two mentioned.

There have been many people who have reviewed this pump who say it takes a long time to inflatable their paddle boards.  I have to agree.

It may be able to reach 20 PSI but it will take quite awhile to get there and you will need to wait patiently for it to finish the job.  We have gotten tired of waiting before and just finished off the job with the manual hand pump.

It can also burn out over time.  This seems to be an issue with all ISUP electric pumps.  They are not perfect, but thankfully they are improving albeit slowly considering how rapidly the paddle board industry is growing.

You can find this Airhead electric pump at Amazon.com.  It has some definite positives and I have used this pump extensively but for the price I personally think the better deal is for the above Brave BP12 pump, especially with the new and improved version.

Other Electric Pump Options

Be careful with other electric pumps on the market that are not specifically designed for paddle boards.  I have wasted my money on several that simply don’t work.

The Coleman pumps that you find often in the camping section do not do the trick. Not even the powerful ones.

They are either not powerful enough or else they don’t have the right valve adapters.

Once while on vacation I  even tried adapting one myself to fit my SUP valve.  It didn’t work.

For these reasons I would say either stick with your hand pump, use the K-Pump or go for one of the electric pumps mentioned above as they really do work the best.

If you have tried other electric pump options that have worked for you please leave a comment below.  I would love to know of others that have worked well.

Comments

  1. Jessica Harlan says:

    I have a Sea Eagle Longboard and my husband bought me that Bravo 2-stage pump. It frustrates me that they do not include an adaptor to connect the pump with the valve! Instead, it comes with a set of adaptors, and when I called to ask for help setting it up, the guy on the phone had some crazy jerry-rigging instructions that involved scuffing up the adaptor so that it will not slip out of the valve. When I reach a certain level of PSI it often pops out, and sometimes I’ve gotten the adaptor stuck in my valve.

    Have you found an adaptor that has the little pegs that fit into the valve, similar to the hand-pump hose?

    • I agree a specific SUP valve adapter would be nice. I actually thought I might write to the Bravo company and suggest it. However I don’t have much trouble with the little white plastic adapters that are included. There’s one that fits the valve of the Longboard quite well. I do have to hold the hose by the valve the whole time it’s inflating instead of just securing it and leaving it and I’ve had the adapter get stuck before too… I am extra careful to make sure I pull the adapter out and not just the hose when inflation stops. It’s not perfect but it’s still the best I’ve tried so far and ultimately it still works fairly well. I tried once securing my own valve adapter to the hose but it didn’t fit the hose properly. What did work was attaching the electric pump hose to the hose of my manual pump that had the proper valve… makes for an extra long hose. Works really well but makes inflation slower so I usually don’t bother with that. I will definitely let you know if I find or figure out a more convenient option.

  2. Hi Allison, thanks for the review. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on the two stage, and was hoping you’d have a review on the new single stage pump. Sounds like it’s more than adequate for the needlenose SUP, and more affordable. I think I’ll pick one up soon.

  3. Do you know if all the aforementioned pump models will work with Aqua Marina? I just bought an enormous Aqua Marina Super Trip SUP (needed the extra stability since I’ll be towing my two kids <5 onboard) — and I'm dreading using the hand pump to fill this bubba. I've seen two offerings by Aqua Marina- 1- the "SUPER PUMP" http://www.aquamarina.com/h-pd-50-0_312.html?keyword=super it looks alot like the above #3 airhead— do you think its the same thing- just with a different label? The second option I found was on amazon 2- http://www.amazon.com/Electric-Inflatable-Paddle-Board-Kayak/dp/B00YYV2RCK/ref=sr_1_38?srs=8110903011&ie=UTF8&qid=1459382052&sr=8-38 I've seen this model with and without the cig charger. I would DEF need the cig charger, or a battery pack– as the 12V hood lift charge would be burdensome enough without little ones running about. Perhaps most concerning though, is the valve fitting — Searching amazon i came across several posters you stating the valve fitting was not appropriate for their Aqua Marina SUPS—- They said they inflate using the electric pump holding the fitting in place. Geez- If that's the case, I might as well use the hand pump. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • I don’t have much experience with the Aqua Marina boards so I am not 100% sure of their valve fitting. I am fairly sure the ‘super pump’ they offer is the same as the Airhead one. I have seen this one used by several different companies, just the colour and logo change. It works well but is a little slower than other electric pumps I have tried. I’m not sure about the second link you mentioned. It is one of my great frustrations that although most inflatable SUP’s use the same type of valve they seem to vary in size and consequently many of them need a different valve attachment to fit. I would suggest going with the electric pump they offer to be on the safe side. I have had to hold the fitting in place while using my electric pump on certain boards and it is NOT fun. Go with one that you know fits for sure. Sorry I couldn’t help you more, good luck!

    • Michael says:

      I’m in the same boat. I’d like to get the pump for my aqua marina monster but I’m not sure if the valve is compatible. Any updates on this?

      Thanks

  4. Antonello says:

    Hi gays, anyone has tried the black & decker ASI500?

    • Allison says:

      Haven’t tried it. It doesn’t look like it has the right valve attachment for an inflatable SUP but possibly one could be added on separately.

  5. Tim Moss says:

    It appears the Black and Decker has no high volume pump guage and there is no indication of maximum pressure on that function. Probably woudl have to fix an in-line manometer.

    The 2 stage is great but I find it auto cuts off well shy of maximum pressure – Im getting 12 psi as measured by other manometers. I have fettled/hacked it though so it is giving 15psi now. Let me know if you would like to know how I did it!

    • Hey Tim, I’m having similar issues with my board. When I set my pump to 14 or 15 psi, it manually shuts off around 11/12 psi thinking it has reached the correct inflation.

      You mind passing along how you were able to get around this?

      Thanks!

  6. Jamie McVicar says:

    I have the Bravo BP 12. Burnt out the piston twice before the distributor apparently fixed it. These are not robust pieces of equipment. Make sure to rest it before filling a second board. Also, I don’t trust any of the gauges on manual or electric pumps. I have a separate expensive gauge that shows all other pumps consistently overmeasure pressure. When they say it’s 15 psi it’s only 12-13. Food for thought.

  7. Allison – I have the Isle Explorer 11″ and am thinking about getting one of the Bravo pumps. Can you tell me if the 2 stage pump is faster than the single stage and if so how much faster? It seems like it should do a quicker and better job at getting the high pressure. Some of the reviews of the single stage on Amazon say they have to use the hand pump to get the last few psi. I’m trying to figure out if the extra $60 is worth it. Thanks

    • I have both… I don’t actually find the dual stage electric pump much faster at all than the single stage to be honest. I prefer the dual stage only because I can see the progress on the PSI dial. However they both have problems at reaching the last couple PSI. That being said I use them all the time and if it inflates my board to only 13 or 14 PSI it is totally fine, it is always rigid enough. I have been told that there is going to be an upgraded version of this pump coming out eventually that addresses this issue, although I have yet to see it and have no idea when it will be on the market. I would suggest go for the single stage for now and maybe upgrade down the road if the ‘new and improved’ pump ever arrives.

  8. Niki Acosta says:

    Following this thread!

    Just bought two Red Paddle Explorer 13’2s. They’re awesome… they’ve replaced the Lahui Kai racing boards and the SUP ATX Sierra with the displacement hull as our favorites. But pumping… whoa. Texas heat and pumping (even with the awesome dual chamber Titan pump) give me quite the workout before I hit the water.
    Speaking of – do any of your find you lose pressure on your inflatable SUPs? Just got two Red Paddle Explorers– maybe it’s because they’re new or something, but one lost about 3 PSI overnight and the other lost 7. I’m doing as Red Paddle suggests – storing at 15 PSI or less. Hoping it’s because they’re new.

    Thanks for the great review!

    • Allison says:

      Hey NIki, Yes I can totally relate to pumping the boards in the heat… Although I am sure it is not nearly as hot here as in Texas! The Red 13’2″ Explorer ISUP’s are awesome, great choice! To tell you the truth I usually deflate my boards after each use. The odd time I have left them inflated over night I do normally have to add a little air pressure before hitting the water again. However losing 7 psi overnight seems like a lot. Keep an eye on it and if it keeps happening I would contact Red Paddle Co sooner than later and see what they say. Good luck!

    • Keep in mind that temperature will affect your pressure quite a bit. If you pump up your board in the heat and then put it in cool water, or if you store it in your air conditioned house, that’s going to make a difference in what pressure you’re getting. I’d say it’s completely likely to be a difference of 3psi… 7 seems like a stretch. But losing that much air in one night, you’d definitely see the bubbles from the leak in the water if you look…

  9. Drew Garner says:

    Do any of these pumps come with Standard 2 or 3 prong wall plug and car adapters or just jumper cable?

    I am health and PE teacher and we have 5 inflatable SUP for swim and PE classes… So we don’t have access to a car battery in the pool area.

    AC for Pool and car adapter when I use them outside of the school

    • Hi Drew, I love that you have inflatable SUP’s as part of your swim and PE classes! Unfortunately these electric pumps don’t come with a wall plug or car adapters. You would need to get a pump with a battery pack to be able to use it away from a vehicle. It costs more to get the battery pack but they work great and you can recharge the battery pack by plugging it into the wall before use.

      • Can you direct me as to what to look for to serve as a battery pack for the Bravo BP12 Single-Stage Electric Pump? I don’t really like the idea of having to pop my hood and connect directly to my car battery, but I’m having trouble understanding or finding what I’m supposed to get… Thanks.

        • This is the battery you would need at Amazon.com. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be in stock but you might be able to find it elsewhere. It’s not cheap, it will likely cost as much as the pump did but it is definitely handy to have. If you haven’t already bought the pump you might be able to find a package deal. I did a little searching and for some reason I don’t see many out there at all. I think the company has been working on improving the pump so maybe the new battery packs haven’t hit the market yet. If all else fails try contacting Bravo Pumps. Good luck!!

  10. I ordered a Bravo High Pressure 12 Volt Pump and a SUP valve attachment to use for my two inflatable paddleboards. It works great (so much better than hand pump, and quickly inflates to the PSI we need), but every time I use it there is some air that escapes as the PSI gets higher (I was thinking of maybe using some electrical tape to help with this?), but when I detach the pump at the desired PSI, air shoots out of the paddleboard causing me to have to re-inflate. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to fix this? I don’t know why it is deflating when I take off the pump – I’m not pressing the button down!

    • Hi Lisa, Before you start inflating do you press the SUP valve tip in and twist so that it is in the ‘popped up’ position? If the valve is popped up no air should escape when you detach the pump. If the valve is in the ‘up’ position and it is still doing that then I would think you have a valve issue and need to contact the manufacturer. I do have to hold the pump valve attachment tightly to the SUP valve sometimes with certain electric pumps so that it stays attached while inflating however even if it pops off no air should escape the board if the SUP valve is ‘up’. Hope that makes sense. Also do you have the same issue with the hand pump or just when using the electric pump?

Speak Your Mind

*