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Inflatable boat pump: how to choose the right inflator

Inflating a boat in the right way allows you to fully enjoy the navigation experience.

For pleasure, sporting activities and even simple seaside tourism: the dinghy is a very versatile and flexible choice for any type of activity on the water. Since it is not bulky and it is easily manageable, it is often preferred to boats because the user experience is simpler but equally fun. Once deflated, in fact, it folds up into a small space inside the garage of the house and, basically, there is no need of maintenance.

How to inflate a dinghy

In order to navigate in a proper way, the dinghy must be inflated to the right point. Inflating the dinghy can be underestimated when purchasing. There are those who start with a manual or foot pump and then move on to the electric pump.

Come si gonfia il gommone

Types of inflators for dinghies

There are three kind of inflators: foot or pedal, manual or electric.

  • Foot pump for inflatable boats
    The pedal inflator is inexpensive, very little cluttered and is known to all: in various models it is also used to inflate beach toys. The foot pump is a bellow-type inflator and has two valves: one for air intake and the other for inflation and is activated by pushing the foot.
    However, inflating an inflatable boat is a very different thing compared to an airbed. It must be said that inflating a dinghy with a foot pump takes a long time because the pump is unable to produce high air volume and, in the long run, the movement can cause back pain. There are also foot pump models that allow deflation.

  • Manual inflator
    Even the manual inflator is cheap and affordable for everyone. For this type of application, the pump suitable for demanding applications, such as an inflatable boat, provides dual flow pumps to reduce inflation times, also equipped with the deflation function. A pressure gauge installed on the pump itself allows you to check the pressure.
  • Electric inflator
    Zero effort. The main plus of this product is that it does everything by itself, a particularly convenient feature when dealing with an inflatable boat. The electric pump can reach high pressures and depending on the model can be equipped with instantaneous or programmed measuring instruments. The cost, compared to the hand or pedal models is higher and an electrical source is required: usually, it is the car (you can connect to the cigarette lighter or directly to the car battery via cables), a portable battery or even there are pumps with built-in rechargeable battery.

How to choose the pump for the inflatable boat

There is no right or wrong solution when choosing equipment. Considering the three types that I have just described to you, what makes the difference is the use you make of them. Keep in mind this to arrive at your own conclusions.

  • How many times does the dinghy need to be inflated and deflated? If use is frequent, you may get tired of inflating the boat by hand or by pedal.
  • How much time do you have? Inflation by hand and by pedal takes quite a long time so you will have to consider, in addition to the activity time, also the time for inflating and deflation of the dinghy. With the electric pump you can do other things like prepare equipment, change yourself, define the itinerary..
  • How hard do you want to work? Hand or pedal inflation requires physical effort at approximately 156 heartbeats per minute. It is practically a "cardio" session. If this effort is added to a sporting activity (for example you use the dinghy to go swimming or diving) be prepared to manage your strength also for inflation and deflation.

Come scegliere la pompa per il gommone

Brands: made in Italy vs Rest of the world

A final consideration goes to the benchmarks between brands. During the purchase phase, you have the option of choosing made in Italy and sustainable products.

If you are sensitive to this issue, watch this video:


Look here the features of our inflators https://www.scoprega.it/en/products/inflators/