I’m new to kayaking so any help is really appreciated! I just bought a Stearns IK116 inflatable kayak and I’m not sure which pump & PFD to buy. I’ve read that a bellows foot pump that can top off would be a good choice but I’m not sure. Do I need a special adapter for a Boston valve? How about the 12 volt electrics? For a PFD I don’t need a really serious one, I’m only going on flatwater not rivers or rapids. Thanks for your input!
Any pump will do, but buy a good PFD
I recently purchased a mid-priced barrel pump for my two inflatables after blowing out two of the cheaper foot pumps with two years of use. The foot pumps are fine for the smaller inflatables like the Stearns, and in fact require less effort to float your boat. Have to say though that after two trips, I’ve found that I get better inflation with the barrel pump, though it requires more work and is harder to stow. Most pumps will come with an assortment of adapters that will work with Boston valves. If you received a replacement valve with the boat, take it to the store to be sure. If you buy an electric pump, you will still need to get a manual one to carry with you along with a patch kit if you plan to go any distance.
As far as PFDs, I recommend getting the best one you can afford. Also get one that fits you and is comfortable. If it’s not comfortable, you probably won’t wear it. I can personaly recommend the Extrasport Retroglide.
Sevylor Foot Pumps
I find the foot pumps much easier on my back than barrel pumps. Sevylor makes a good one. A large one for about $20 and a smaller one for about $10. Much better than the cheaper ones, and some that cost more.
I use the larger one to pump up the boat. It is really all you need for a Sterns. I have a couple of them.
I carry a smaller on and a patch kit along with me.
What do you use to inflate the Inflatable pump?? L
Thanks for the suggestions!
Thanks for your input and Wedge that was extremely corny but I think I have you beat.
Q: What do you call cheese that belongs to someone else?
A: Nacho cheese! LOL
Most West Marines will carry the
Bravo II foot pump for ~$35 and it is a definite step up from the cheap ones. Should last longer than the boat. I don’t think the cheap hand pumps will last much more than a season if you use your boat much. But then at $20, no big deal. They seem to pump more air than the Bravo, but are more tiring. You have to be careful about getting water into the hand pumps as you will lose the seal. I’ve always wanted to buy one of the nice hand pumps, but no way could justify the premium they carry. WWW.Theboatpeople.com has some good reviews on pumps.