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Kayak Bilge Pumps – Complete Guide for 2021

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As you paddle your kayak, some water is going to get into your yak due to waves or the paddling process. Usually, the amount of water that gets into your vessel is small, isn’t a cause for concern, and can be easily removed through scupper holes. But if you intend to paddle far away from shore or on whitewater, your kayak can begin to get filled with water at a very fast rate.

You may also fall out of your kayak or your kayak capsizes. In all of the scenarios I described above, you’ll need a kayak bilge pump to efficiently and quickly remove water from your vessel.

As per usual, I carried out extensive research and testing to compile a list of the best kayak bilge pumps available on the market. Below, you’ll find the best kayak bilge pumps on the market, their pros, cons, and a buying guide to help you choose the best pump for your kayak.

The 7 Best Kayak Bilge Pumps for 2021

Best Marine Bilge Pump

Best Marine Kayak Bilge Pump Accessory for Kayaks, Canoe and Boats. 17 Inch Manual Hand Water Pumps with 2 Ft Reversible Hose Attaches to Either End. Portable Fishing Boat Accessories (Black/Grey)

$39.99
$28.99
 in stock
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

The Kayak Bilge Pump by Best Marine is designed for kayak enthusiasts. No matter how great you think your kayaking skills are, you might at one time or the other find water in your kayak, then you are badly in need of a bilge pump. Here is where the Best Marine bilge pump comes in handy for you.

With this bilge pump, riding your bilge of water is done in no time. It is easily done. The pump comes with a top-quality piston, which enables the pump to move quickly with little effort needed to attain the pressure required to siphon water out of your kayak. This pump offers you more value for your money, as it can be used on other water vessels other than your kayak.

The pump is lightweight. It barely weighs a pound. You need not worry about it be an extra weight on your kayak. Also, it is designed in such a way that it floats. This gives the Best Marine Bilge Pump an edge over many other brands out there. Even when the pump mistakenly falls into your lake, you need not worry, as it can be easily retrieved back into your kayak.

 Specifications

  • Type: Manual
  • Size: (17 x 3 x 3) in / (43.2 x 7.6 x 7.6) cm
  • Weight: 1 lbs / 454 g
  • Material: Plastic and foam

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable and compact, for easy storage
  • It floats
  • Versatility

Cons

  • Might not be easily seen in dark conditions

Other Buying Options:

Seattle Sports Bilge PumpOur Top Pick

Seattle Sports Paddler's Bilge Hand Pump for Kayaks and Small Boats

$29.95
$25.45
 in stock
11 new from $19.95
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

The Seattle Sports Bilge pump is one of the best bilge pumps out there, be it for a kayak used in fishing or just for an adventure into the outdoor, this bilge pump is a nice accessory you need to have with you on your kayak. It offers you comfort thanks to its easily gripped rubber handle, which makes handling it pretty easy.

With this bilge pump, you need not worry about finding it in dark conditions. As it is easily spotted, thanks to the high visibility neon yellow stock.
Like the previous bilge pump discussed, the Seattle Sports pump is also made of foam collar that gives it buoyancy in water, ensuring that it floats, should it drop into your lake.

This pump is lightweight. It weighs less than a pound. With your Seattle Sports bilge pump, you need not worry about an extra weight been on your kayak.
Using this bilge pump is pretty easy. You can attach a hose to it, to assist in direct the water you pump out of your kayak.

 Specifications

  • Type: Manual
  • Size: (21 x 1.75 x 1) in / (53.34 x 4.45 x 2.54) cm
  • Weight: 75 lbs / 340 g
  • Material: Plastic and foam

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portability
  • It floats
  • Easily seen, thanks to its bright yellow color.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Pelican Bilge Pump

Pelican Boats - Paddlers Bilge Floating Hand Pump – PS1374-2 - Kayak/Canoe/Boat Water Hose Evacuation, Black/Grey

$24.99
$21.70
 in stock
4 new from $21.70
1 used from $18.72
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

The Bilge pump by Pelican is a compact and portable one. It is a very effective pump suitable for ridding your bilge of water, as it can remove the water quickly with ease. Like most other pumps, it is a versatile one. It can be used on various other watercrafts other than your kayak.

The materials used in the manufacture are lightweight, weighing less than half a kilo. Meaning no worry of an extra weight to be added to your kayak. Though the materials are lightweight, they are extra tough and resistant to rusting, ensuring durability.

Has a good and comfortable grip, thanks to the grip padded with foam. Other than the comfort in grip the foam-padded grip provides, it also ensures that like many other top bilge pumps, the Pelican Bilge pump is a floatable one. Easily picked when it falls off your kayak into the surrounding water.

 Specifications

  • Type: Manual
  • Size: (21 x 2.75 x 4.13) in / (53.34 x 7 x 10.5) cm
  • Weight:75 lb / 340 g
  • Material: Plastic and foam

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Comfortable grip
  • Floats

Cons

  • Might not be easily seen in dark conditions due to the black color of the pump.

Other Buying Options:

SeaSense Bilge Pump

SeaSense Hand Bilge Pump Hose (24- Inch X 36- Inch)

$28.56  in stock
20 new from $28.22
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

The SeaSense kayak bilge pump is suitable for use in any form of watercraft, be it a large vessel or a miniature one. It is capable of getting the job done. Water is easily expelled from your vessel with this hand pump. Thanks to the long detachable hose, it can evacuate water from tight places that may be hard to reach by some other bilge pumps.

The SeaSense bilge pump is a high-performance pump. It has a pumping capacity of six strokes per gallon. Even with all these great qualities you get from using this bilge pump, it comes with a lightweight pump, weighing about half a pound. Thanks to its detachable hose, it can easily fit anywhere you decide to put it on your kayak.

If you are in the market for a pocket-friendly bilge pump, the SeaSense bilge pump is the one for you. It comes at a very affordable price, yet offering you value for your money.

 Specifications

  • Type: Manual
  • Size: (3.5 x 4.5 x 20.75) in / (8.9 x 11.4 x 52.7) cm
  • Weight:34lb / 620 g
  • Material: Plastic

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • The detachable hose makes storage easy.
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Able to reach compact and tight areas easily

Cons

  • Risk of leakage at the point of connecting the hose.

Other Buying Options:

Harmony Gear Bilge Pump

Harmony Gear High Volume Bilge Pump for Kayaks - Handheld Bilge Pump

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

The Harmony Gear bilge pump is a high-volume pump. It can evacuate a large volume of water from your kayak bilge with less effort needed. Able to expel up to a gallon of water after about 13 to 14 pumps, with less effort required.

With this bilge pump, ridding your kayak of unwanted water wouldn’t be a problem. It is a high-efficiency bilge pump. Water is removed from your bilge on both the Howard and downward stroke of your bilge pump.

Like some other bilge pumps discussed earlier, this bilge pump has a comfortable grip, it doesn’t slip off when in use. The handle is padded with foams, which also permits the buoyancy of the bilge pump in water. It floats.

The materials used in the manufacture of this pump are corrosion resistant. Even when in contact with salt water, you are assured that it would not rust.

 Specifications

  • Type: Manual
  • Size: (21.02 x 5.47 x 2.6)in (53.4 x 13.9 x 6.6) cm
  • Weight:7 lb / 312 g
  • Material: Plastic and foam

Pros

  • High-efficiency, less effort needed.
  • Durable
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Light weight

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Aurelio Tech Electric Bilge Pump

AURELIO TECH 1100Gph 12V Submersible Marine Electric Bilge Water Pump for Boat Caravan RV

$15.99
$14.99
 in stock
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

Unlike the previous bilge pumps discussed, the Aurelio Tech isn’t a manual bilge pump. It is an electrical device. The pump bilge uses a pump motor to rid the bilge of unwanted water. The motor is a high-quality one with greater efficiency compared to the manual bilge pump. It can pump up to 1100 gallons per hour.

The Aurelio Tech Bilge pump is made from top-quality material that ensures its durability as well as its corrosion resistance. The bilge pump is made from ABS material. All the wirings are shielded, insulated tapes or plastic wraps are used to ensure they are protected from getting in contact with water.

Being an electrical device as opposed to the others earlier discussed, the bilge pump needs to be installed, which is usually done in little or no time with ease. Also, there is a need to clean this pump from time to time, which isn’t stressful in any way. Also, it’s pretty easy to do.

With this big pump part of your kayaking accessories, you would have provided for yourself a versatile pump. As it can be used on other water vehicles, like your boats and canoes. You could also use them in your aquarium, even in your fountain roundabouts. Anywhere you need to drain water, the Aurelio Bilge Pump is suitable for use.

 Specifications

  • Type: Electric (automatic)
  • Size: (4.7 x 4 x 3.6) in (12 x 10 x 9) cm
  • Weight:85 lb / 386 g
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • High efficiency
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Large water outlet
  • Versatility
  • Quick and easy installation

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Onechoices Automatic Bilge Pump

Onechoices Automatic Submersible small Boat Bilge Pump 12v 750gph Auto with Float Switch 3/4 inch (19mm) Outlet Dia, bilge pumps for boats

$26.05  in stock
1 used from $22.29
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of July 26, 2021 10:11 pm

The Bilge Pump from OneChoices is another automatic type. It is an electronic device that uses a reed sensor for its water evacuation activity. It is a compact and portable bilge pump, weighing a little over a pound.

It is a high-efficiency bilge pump. Able to pump out water at a speed rate of 12.5 gallons in a minute. Also, it floats. It has no separate switch needed to cause it to float, for it comes with a built-in float switch.

This OneChoices Bilge pump is a durable one, made from Stainless steel, a corrosion-resistant material. Also, the motor with which it can pump out its water from your bilge is sure going to last you for a long long time.

Attached to the package of this Bilge Pump is a well-detailed user’s manual, which also comes with a set of instructions on how to go about the installation of this device as well as how to go about the wiring.

 Specifications

  • Type: Electric (automatic)
  • Size: (6.22 x 4.57 x 3.66) in (15.8 x 11.6 x 9.3) cm
  • Weight:2 lb / 544 g
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • High efficiency
  • Rustproof and corrosion resistant
  • Built-in flat switch
  • Durable

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Other Buying Options:

Best Kayak Bilge Pumps – The Guide 

Now that we have seen what are the best manual and automatic pumps available, let’s see what you need to know about them:

Do I Need a Bilge Pump For My Kayak (Even if My Kayak Has Plugs)?

A kayak bilge pump is designed to remove water from your kayak. Water is going to get inside your kayak majorly through waves and sloppy paddling. Even if your kayak comes with a plug, you’ll still need a bilge pump especially if you are well offshore or in the middle of a lake.

The scupper hole isn’t going to remove water as efficiently as a bilge pump. And should you fall out of your vessel or your kayak capsizes, your best bet to get rid of the unwanted water is by using a bilge pump.

When paddling on whitewater, the rate at which your kayaks gets filled up may far exceed the rate at which the scupper hole removes water making bilge pumps a necessity in such situations.

Note that it’s important you practice kayak rescues which involves turning your boat back over and then lifting yourself back inside if you’ll be paddling far offshore or in an environment where it’s difficult to drag or walk your vessel back to shore.

How To Use a Bilge Pump?

A kayak bilge pump is a long and narrow piece of equipment that reaches the bottom of your vehicle for seek and expel the suctioned water over the top. You’ll notice small puddles forming in the lower areas of your vessel as you suction water out of it. To efficiently remove almost all the water, move the bottom of the bilge pump around to the pool of water.
kayak bilge pumps - guide

Manual vs. Automatic Pumps

There are two types of bilge pump namely manual and automatic bilge pumps. Manual pumps are operated by the paddler to remove water out of the vessel. Automatic pumps, on the other hand, automatically remove water from your kayak. This type of bilge pump will require a power source to automatically detect water in the vessel and expel it.

Convenience is the major advantage of automatic pumps over the manual models. However, the installation of automatic pumps is a bit more complex and may be challenging for someone with no DIY projects experience.

How To Install An Automatic Bilge Pump?

There’s a bit of installation to do as far as automatic binge pumps are concerned. The first thing to do is to read the installation manual included in the package.

However, the general procedure of installing an automatic bilge pump goes as thus:

Firstly, you need to figure out where to mount the pump. Depending on your kayak, the front bulkhead might be a good place to mount the pump. You may also want to mount your pump longitudinally as the sensor would work better in this position.

The next step is to figure out how to mount the pump and the battery. A marine-grade sealant will help attach the pump to the floor of your kayak. Put the battery in a spot where it won’t be in your way as you paddle or carry out other activities.

You’ll also need to choose a location for the Thru-Hull fitting. This location has to be above where the waterline of the kayak will be fully loaded. You’ll have to drill a 1″ hole at this sport. Note that this spot also has to be flat but angle away from the kayak.

The next part is the wiring which is really simple. Make sure all the wiring isn’t in your way and do a test run to make sure everything works.

How to Choose Your Kayak Bilge Pump?

Below are factors to take into consideration when buying a kayak bilge pump:

Size / Length

Your kayak doesn’t have unlimited space. As a result, you should buy a bilge pumps that will easily fit into your vessel. This means you should be on the market for a compact and lightweight pump.

Apart from occupying less space on your vessel, you’ll be able to comfortably transport your pump alongside other gear comfortably.

Materials & Corrosion Resistance

Most bilge pumps are made of top-grade plastic and stainless steel components which makes them sturdy and durable. However, you must pay extra attention to the materials of the bilge pump if you intend to use it on saltwater. In this situation, you’ll need a corrosion-resistant pump and the good news is that there are corrosion resistant pumps on the market. You’ll find the some of them on this list.

Buoyancy

What if your pumps fall off your kayak? No worries as the pump is going to float on water as most manufacturers coat their products with foam to make them buoyant.

Even if your pump is buoyant, it’s possible for it to flow away. And this is why some paddlers attach leashes to their pumps to prevent them from straying away.

Handle Design

This applies to manually–operated pumps as they will still be able firmly grip the pump even when the handle is slippery and wet. As a result, it’ll be a lot easier to use the pump and consequently get water out of your vessel.

Maintenance

Bilge pumps don’t require a lot of maintenance and this is why you should always keep the pump in a place free of dirt and waste. You’ll also have to clean the screen of your pump as it’s one of the most important part. And if you are using an automatic pump, you’ll have to periodically inspect the electrical connection.

Final Thoughts

A bilge pump quickly becomes an essential kayaking gear if you intend to paddle far away from shore or on whitewater. There’s a high tendency of your vessel quickly filling with water in these situations and you will need a pump to remove water from your vessel.

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