A bilge pump is a worthy accessory to carry with you every time you go out kayaking. Bilge pumps are used to remove any water that gets into your kayak’s cockpit either from waves, paddling, or in case your boat rolls over.
Finding the best bilge pump requires research and trial and error, which can be expensive and time-consuming, but you don’t have to go through all that. We did the work for you and came up with a list of the best bilge pumps in the market today. We have also compiled a buying guide that will help you know what to look for in a good bilge pump and a section that answers any questions you might have. Please stick with us to the end for some useful information.
Our Top Choices For Best Kayak Bilge Pump 2021
This list features the best bilge pumps in the market that have stood the test of time. The pumps are easy to use and stow and can be used on any kayak. Looking through this list will help you find a bilge pump that suits your needs best and is within your budget. Below is a buying guide that will help you know what to look for in a bilge pump.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Bilge Pump (Buying Guide)
The best bilge pump for your kayak varies depending on different factors such as the size of your kayak and the type of water you are venturing into; other than these; there are more considerations to have in mind when choosing a bilge pump. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a bilge pump for your vessel.
1. Floatation/ Buoyancy
If you capsize or your bilge pump falls off the boat, sinking is the last thing you might want to happen, so choosing a floatable bilge pump is quite sensible.
Most manufacturers make buoyant bilge pumps that are coated with foam material for easier floating. You should also consider getting a leash for attaching the bilge pump to your kayak so that it is not taken away by the current if it ends up in the water.
You have the option to choose between an automatic bilge pump and a manual one. The choice will mostly be determined by the size of your kayak and the type of water you paddle in. for a small kayak and flatwater kayaking, a manual pump will act the part. Still, for larger kayaks and in rough waters, an electric bilge pump will be best because there will be lots of water getting into your boat.
Automatic bilge pumps are more expensive to buy and install but work much easier than manual pumps. When choosing an electric bilge pump, you need to consider whether you can have a power source onboard or the cost of recharging batteries.
3. Size Of The Pump
The size of the pump will be determined by the amount of water you will need to get rid of and the size of your watercraft. The bigger the pump, the more water it can draw in a single move, but you also don’t want a pump that will be too cumbersome for your vessel. Ensure you choose a pump that you can store within reach, such as on the deck, without being in the way of your strokes.
4. Sturdiness And Durability Of The Pump
When choosing a kayak bilge pump, you want to go for one that withstands extreme conditions in your adventures. Choose a pump with durable construction and solid design. The best bilge pump should be shock-resistant and rust-proof. We recommend choosing a bilge pump made from stainless steel components and top-grade plastic since they have proven to be the most durable.
5. Water Pumping Capacity
The water pumping capacity or flow rate of a bilge pump is measured in gallons per minute. The higher the capacity, the more water the pump can take in, thus better performance. The best bilge pump should have a minimum flow rate of eight gallons per minute, but the more, the better.
Comparing The Best Kayak Bilge Pumps
Below is a table showing how the top kayak bilge pumps compare in size, material, and color.
|Kayak Bilge Pump||Size||Material||Color||Weight|
|SeaSense Hand Bilge Pump||3.5 x 4.5 x 20.75 inches;||Plastic||Red with grey hose||1.37 pounds|
|Seattle Sports Paddler's Bilge Hand Pump||21 x 1.75 x 1 inches||Synthetic||Neon yellow||0.75 pounds|
|Attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump||7.37 x 7.75 x 8.12 inches||Stainless steel+ plastic||Brilliant white||0.8 pounds|
|Best Marine Bilge Pump||19 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches||Plastic and foam||Black and dark grey||1 pound|
|Better boat bilge pump||16.5 x 3 x 3 inches;||Plastic||White and blue||1.1 pound|
|Pelican Boats - Paddlers Bilge Floating Hand Pump||21 in. X 4 in. X 2. 75 in||Plastic||Black and grey||0.76 pounds|
|Attwood 11596-2 Hand-Operated Bilge Pump||28.2 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches;||Plastic||White||1.35 pounds|
|Amarine Made Bilge Pump||19.89 * 5.31 * 2.44in||Polypropylene + EVA||Red and grey||380 g|
|Rule 25S-Marine 500 Automatic Marine Bilge Pump||7 x 6 x 3 inches||Stainless steel||Red/white/ blue||4.64 ounces|
|SAILFLO Kayak Bilge Pump||16.81 x 4.33 x 2.8 inches||Plastic+ foam||Luminous pink||1.01 pounds|
1. SeaSense Hand Bilge Pump
This manual hand bilge pump tops our list for its versatility and affordability. The pump is used to get rid of water in your vessel manually and comes with a hose for directing water over the side of your kayak. It comes in three different sizes, but we recommend the 18 inch one for a kayak due to its storage and the ability to reach tight areas easily. This pump is made from plastic, thus making it corrosion-resistant and ideal for adventures in saltwater.
1. Anti-Leak Design – designed in a way that it doesn’t leak when pumping. This makes the pump work fast and efficiently to eliminate all the water getting into your watercraft.
2. Has A Removable Hose– the removable hose makes storage effortless; the hose is available in different sizes for you to select the right size for your vessel.
3. Corrosion-Resistant And Durable Construction- the pump is made of plastic which is strong and resistant to rust. You can use the bilge pump even in saltwater without worry.
|Color||Red with grey hose|
|Dimensions||3.5 x 4.5 x 20.75 inches|
We love this bilge pump for its versatility and quality while still being budget-friendly. If you want an affordable pump that will be compact enough for a kayak and of great quality to last for years, then this is the one to go for.
2. Seattle Sports Paddler’s Bilge Hand Pump
This hand bilge pump is the most popular among kayakers because of how easy it is to use. The pump has an ergonomic handle made of easy-grip rubber that is comfortable to hold when wet. This pump’s color is also a major reason why it is popular; it has a neon yellow color that’s highly visible in case it drops on the water. What stood out to us about this bilge pump by Seattle sports is its palatability. It has a foam collar that adds to its buoyancy, making it hard to lose the pump if it falls on the water.
1. Efficiency– this bilge pump is easy to use and has an ergonomic handle that is super comfortable and easy to grip even when your hands are wet. It also has an output valve that can be used together with a hose to route water away from your kayak.
2. Visibility– Seattle sports made this bilge pump in a neon yellow color that is highly visible. This color makes it easy to retrieve the pump in the event of an emergency.
3. Buoyancy has a foam collar that enhances its floatability, thus ensuring the pump doesn’t sink and gets lost in the water in case of an emergency.
|Dimensions||21 x 1.75 x 1 inches|
3. Attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump
If you want to upgrade from a manual bilge pump to an electric one, this Attwood 4505-7 will work excellently for you. This pump is easy to install since it has two mounting holes. It is high efficiency with a flow rate of 500 GPH without consuming much power. The best part about this pump is that it can be used on any vessel regardless of size and removes water quickly. This pump has an activated flood switch that automatically turns on the pump when water levels rise to a certain point. The pump then removes water from your bilge until it reaches a normal level.
1. Well-Insulated To Protect It From Leakages – this kayak bilge pump comes with a copper cable for easy installation. The cable is insulated to keep it away from any water leakage, resulting in an electric shock.
2. Lightweight And Easy To Install– the pump weighs 0.8 pounds, meaning it won’t add substantial weight to your vessel. Mounting it won’t be much of an issue because it is straightforward and has two mounting holes.
3. Buoyant And Easily Visible– this pump is air-packed and has a test switch to keep it afloat. It also has a vivid and bright color that makes it easy to spot if it drops on the water or your vessel capsizes.
|Flow rate||500 GPS|
|Dimensions||7.75 x 8.12 inches|
This automatic bilge pump works excellently and is affordable and durable. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a hose, but it uses a 3-quarter inch wide hose widely available and easy to find in any store.
4. Best Marine Bilge Pump
This bilge pump by Best Marine is another favorite when it comes to manual pumps. It is easy to use regardless of your skill level and removes water from your vessel quickly and efficiently. Its minimal design makes it easy to store and carry along with you on any kayaking trip. It features an 18-inch-long hose that makes it easy to direct water flow and increases the pump’s reachability. This bilge pump has a high-quality piston that moves with ease creating the optimal pressure for removing the water.
1. Buoyancy– the pump has high-quality foam that helps it remain afloat even when dropped on the water. Its lightweight also contributes to the pump’s floatability.
2. Compact Size For Ease Of Storage– this bilge pump has a minimal design and compact size that makes it easy to store and carry around since it takes up minimal space.
|Dimensions||19 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches|
|color||Black and dark grey|
5. Better Boat Bilge Pump
If you are on the lookout for a bilge pump that works well even in emergencies, look no further than this. This bilge pump by better boat features an anti-clog filter nozzle that prevents debris, seaweeds, and other substances from clogging the siphon pump. It also has a premium rubber seal that is watertight, thus allowing for maximum suction and discharge. The seal doesn’t leak or come loose, thus allowing speedy water removal. The pump has a compact design with 39 inches in length and 1.25 inches wide, making it able to reach tight spots such as the bottom of your boat effortlessly.
1. Durable Construction– made from premium quality plastic that makes the pump strong and durable enough to last hundreds of kayak adventures.
2. Lightweight And Easy To Handle– the pump weighs one pound, which is lightweight enough to carry everywhere and also store.
3. Long Hose For Fast And Easy Water Removal– the pump has a 39-inch-long hose that makes reaching the bottom of your vessel easier.
|Dimensions||16.5 x 3 x 3 inches|
|Maximum flow rate||gallons per minute|
6. Pelican Boats – Paddlers Bilge Floating Hand Pump
This pelican boats bilge pump has an extra tough but lightweight construction resistant to water, corrosion, and shock. It offers an ergonomic grip thanks to its foam sleeves that also help it float when it falls in the water. You can use this pump without a hose because it shoots water far enough over the edge of the kayak. This pump is very easy to operate and removes a substantial amount of water in record time. It also has a compact size, so portability and storage will not stress you up.
1. Floatability- this pump has a foam sleeve that makes it buoyant when it falls on the water to ensure you don’t lose your pump. The foam sleeve also makes the pump comfortable to grip even when your hands are wet.
2. Lightweight But Extra-Tough Construction – the pump is made from a strong plastic material that is lightweight and highly resistant to corrosion and shock.
3. Affordable – with this pelican boats pump, you don’t have to break the bank to afford it. It costs less than $25 depending on where you buy it and works excellently. You have no excuse not to own this pump
|Dimensions||21 in. X 4 in. X 2. 75 in|
7. Attwood 11596-2 Hand-Operated Bilge Pump
The At wood bilge pump gives you quality on a budget and is a perfect manual pump for backup. The pump is 24 inches long with a 32-inch hose that is detachable; if you are looking to save on storage space on your vessel, you can remove the hose, and the pump will still work excellently. The pump has a comfortable grip handle that makes it float in case it falls on water. The plastic material makes it durable and resistant to corrosion. This makes the pump ideal for all water types, including the ocean.
1. Waterproof And Buoyant– the pump has a waterproof design that makes it easy to use even when wet. It is also buoyant thanks to its lightweight and foam handle that keeps it afloat when it drops on the water.
2. It Comes With A Detachable Hose– if you’ve owned a pump before, you will appreciate one that comes with a hose attached. The hose is detachable for those moments when you need extra space in your kayak.
|Dimensions||28.2 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches;|
8. Amarine Made Bilge Pump
This bilge pump by Amarine is designed for maximum efficiency since it removes water with both upward and downward strokes. With this hand pump, the user experiences no fatigue since water is pumped out quite fast. The pump also has ergonomic handles with non-slip contours for your fingers, making for an easy grip. It has an EVA-based wrapping that makes it floatable, and it is also resistant to corrosion.
1. Anti-leak Design – this pump has a removable gasket that helps prevent leakages from the water inlet, thus making it easy and fast to remove water from your vessel.
2. Has An Outer EVA Wrapping – this makes the pump buoyant and easy to grip and work with since it is antiskid
|Material||Polypropylene + EVA|
|Dimensions||5.31 * 2.44in|
9. Rule 25S-Marine 500 Automatic Marine Bilge Pump
Finding a good automatic bilge pump for kayaks or small boats can be such a task, but this rule 25s marine bilge pump is the real deal. The pump requires the electrical installation and needs 12 volts of power supply. It has in-built sensors that detect when there’s water in your vessel and starts pumping it out automatically. It also shuts off by itself when the water level goes down. It is ideal for rough sea conditions and on whitewater when you can’t remove the water manually.
1. Operates Automatically – you don’t require an external switch for this pump since it has an electronic sensor that starts the pump when the water level goes up and stops it when the water level in your vessel drops.
2. Minimal Power Use– you don’t require a lot of power, especially when the pump is in checking mode.
|Dimensions||7 x 6 x 3 inches|
10. SAILFLO Kayak Bilge Pump
This SAILFLO bilge pump is another affordable and easy-to-carry pump on our list. It is compact and lightweight, making it portable and ideal for the smallest kayaks. The pump is easy to use and has an ergonomic handle that provides an excellent grip even when wet. This pump also has a bright luminous pink color that makes it easily visible if it falls on the water.
1. Floatable And Easily Visible – it has a foam collar that ensures it remains buoyant when it goes overboard. The pump also has a bright pink color that makes it easy to spot it on the water or in case it falls on seaweeds.
2. Easy And Fast Pumping– this SAILFLO pump has a T-handle that makes pumping easy. It can pump up to 6GPM without strain.
|Dimensions||16.81 x 4.33 x 2.8 inches|
Frequently Asked Questions On Best Kayak Bilge Pumps
This section provides answers to some common questions regarding kayak bilge pumps. We hope to answer any question you might be having that has not been addressed in the article.
1. Do I Need A Bilge Pump If My Kayak Has Scupper Plugs?
Yes. Scupper plugs work well to stop water from getting into your kayak below, but water can still get in from above when paddling or in rough conditions. You need a bilge pump to effectively remove water from the cockpit since removing it can be a bit frustrating.
2. How Do I Use A Manual Bilge Pump?
Hold the bilge pump upright with the handle at the top and intake it into the cockpit or where you want to draw water from. Ensure the pump’s outlet is pointing on the side of your kayak and start lifting the handle up and down. When you lift the handle, your pump draws water, and when you apply a downward force, water comes out through the spout or hose.
3. Can A Kayak Use A Boat Bilge Pump?
Yes, all bilge pumps work similarly to draw water from the inside of your vessel. A boat bilge pump will work as well as one meant for a kayak. Just ensure the pump fits properly in your kayak, and you’re good to go.
4. Do bilge pumps come on automatically?
Yes, most automatic bilge pumps have an automatic float switch designed to turn the bilge pump on when the water levels in the bilge go up.
NUS is a kayaking enthusiast who has been kayaking with a local group for the last five years. He loves using kayaks while out on outings on the water or camping when the friends want to have a BBQ party somewhere on the bank of a local lake.
Based on his experiences with the different types of kayaks, he is sharing his opinion about kayaking tricks and required gears so that a beginner can get started right away.
Find his team on Twitter here. Happy reading!
Last update on 2021-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API