1st time Kayak owner (Advanced Elements inflatable). Air pump..carry in the kayak or leave behind?

Hi all

Still awaiting paddles/PFD so haven’t taken this out to my local river yet. Question…
Am I to carry the air pump on my trip or leave the pump in my truck? It’s a foot pump so not exactly small either. My trips would be typically 2-4hrs incl return to docks.

This is my 1st IK so not sure if others tend to carry the pump or leave it behind. I checked the AE user manual and under the safety section, no mention whether to carry the pump or not.


Not an owner of an inflatable, but I’d always carry a pump along with some way to make at least a temporary repair. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it stranding you a couple of hours from the launch site…


Do you carry a spare tire in your vehicle?

Well the same here as the others since I’ve never owned an inflatable but I wouldn’t leave the shore without some sort of repair equipment. I know there are specific types of patch kits for these, but at the least maybe gorila tape? After the repair, are you going to be able to fill it without the pump? If not the included pump you need something or any damage will be the end of the paddling.
The actual decision tree for what you bring depends on your trip. Can you get back to your truck if you puncture the kayak? If you are on a small river and can walk a couple miles back to the truck from where you would have pulled over to repair, you can get by without it.
Personally, weather I’m going away for a few days or paddling for a couple hours after work I always have all of my safety gear. Good habits prevent disaster.

1 Like

Passing along a recommendation to me (from @@willowleaf) for a Pakboat plastic hand pump to carry with, around $20 they said :slight_smile:

This is my first year with an AE inflatable - the ultralite. I have the double action hand pump and I always bring it with me, along with a patch kit. I put it under the bungees on the back of the boat.

I would definitely carry a pump of some sort and a good repair kit. I had a failure 30 miles from nowhere , went to patch it and the crappy tube of adhesive that came in the repair kit solidified as soon as it was exposed to air. That left me down to having to get assistance from another passing boat, so I never leave the put in without my repair bag that consists of sufficient patching material to fit a good size tear, a small can of adhesive (I use Clifton), a small container of MEK, some rags, a couple of disposable plumbers flux brushes and a pump capable of inflating the tubes. If you poke a hole in a drop stitch floor, chances are you can’t fix it well enough to hold 8 or 10 pounds of pressure anyway out in the wild, so a pump that can fill to 3 lbs is fine. I carry a small K Pump for that.

I have owned an Innova inflatable for about 5 years. It has three major flotation compartments and three minor ones. I only use it for day tripping - about two hours is probably average. Once on a class 1/2 river. I have never carried a pump and my repair kit is a roll of Gorilla tape. I figure it’s safe due to the type of use and the multiple flotation chambers.

It would be very inconvenient to puncture a major chamber but, as a previous poster says, by then the glue may have dried or other problem intervene. Balancing the inconvenience of years of packing a pump and fairly substantial repair kit against the (fairly unlikely) inconvenience of a puncture in a remote location is an analysis each user needs to make.

Being the owner of an inflatable, I’ll say this…absolutely bring a pump and absolutely bring a patch kit of some form. The reason being that you never really know just how things are gonna happen. One minute you’re cruising along , the next you snag something sharp and have a leak. Or worse… They don’t take up much room either so better safe than swimming.

I paddle my folding kayaks about half the time (have rigid types for the other half) and they have inflatable sponson tubes that are a necessary part of the structure that tensions the skins. I always carry a light and compact hand pump (bought from Pakboat). It’s more for other reasons than a possible puncture (though I do carry a patch kit as well). But if I stop for a lunch break or to explore on shore on a hot day I always relieve some of the pressure in the tubes before leaving the boat out of the water. I have previously ruptured a glued sponson seam by failing to do that one summer when I left a boat on my roof rack for a few hours in a parking lot. I was able to patch it but it was a pain. So I want to have the pump with me to boost up the pressure again before relaunching.

And at the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, if you launch into colder water, the air pressure in the tubes can drop as it cools and you may find you want to pull over to the shore and top it off.

another vote for carrying a k-pump, every inflatable I’ve ever owned started leaking at some point but I’m a whitewater person so abuse is a given.

Good point bringing up the possible need to relieve or top up the pressure mid-trip. I am very thankful to the employee at the launch point I went to my second time out with my inflatable. He told me that once he saw an inflatable burst its seams while he was standing there talking with the paddler. On a hot day I will often leave my boat inflated for a bit after getting out of the water because the fabric dries super quickly that way. But now I know to deflate it partially first, and also to keep an eye on the inflation levels if I stop for a break on land mid-paddle.