Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Afsar

Heading out on a kayak? It’s a blast, right? But let’s be real; it’s not quite as fun when you’re knee-deep in water because you’ve taken on a bit more of the sea than you bargained for. That’s when a trusty bilge pump turns from a ‘nice-to-have’ into a ‘thank-goodness-I-got-it.’ It keeps your kayak water-free and gives you some peace of mind. You might be thinking, “Sure, I need one, but how do I pick the best from all the options out there?” Don’t sweat it! We’ve done the hard yards for you, paddling through all sorts of bilge pumps, checking out their performance, how long they last, how easy they are to use, and whether they’re worth your hard-earned cash. Our guide will show you the best of the best, helping you pick the bilge pump that fits your kayaking vibe perfectly. Whether you’re just starting to find your paddling groove or have more sea miles under your belt than you can count, this guide is your go-to for a dryer, safer, and all-around better time out on the water. So let’s dive in!

Best Bilge Pumps for Kayak 2024

NRS Kayak Bilge Pump

Meet the NRS Kayak Bilge Pump! Forget about turning your kayak into a portable bathtub because, with this handy tool, a flooded boat is a thing of the past. This floatable lifesaver, coming in at a length of 21″, is ready to rescue both you and your boat from any unwanted soggy situations.Got some unexpected water onboard? No problem! The NRS bilge pump is designed to make it super easy to get rid of it, no matter the type of open boat you’re in. Plus, you can forget about fiddling with a hose – this pump is designed to spray the water right over the side of your kayak or canoe.

Worried about dropping it in the water during the commotion? Don’t be! Its full-length foam float means it’s not going anywhere but the surface, even if it takes an unexpected dip. Need to empty your boat in a jiffy? This pump’s got your back with a rate of 8 gallons per minute. You’ll be high and dry before you know it.

And if you’re out for an evening paddle or it’s a bit gloomy, its bright color makes it easy to spot. But what about longevity, you ask? With stainless steel screws, this pump’s built to resist annoying rust build-up, promising you a trusty companion for your many kayaking adventures.

Let’s dive into its specs a little more: Dimensions: It’s 21″ long. Category: It falls under Bilge Pumps & Parts. Features: Comes with a full-length float, pumps 8 gallons per minute, and is built with rust-resistant stainless steel hardware. So if you’re looking for a reliable, efficient, and user-friendly bilge pump, the NRS Kayak Bilge Pump could be your perfect match!

  • Floats on water
  • Can pump 8 gallons per minute
  • Bright color for easy detection
  • You don’t need a hose to use this bilge pump
  • Reasonable price
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Seattle Sports Paddlers Bilge Pump

Finding a high-quality bilge pump for your kayak can be difficult if you do not consider the paddlers bilge pump from Seattle Sports. This bilge pump is made specifically for small boats and kayaks. It has a rubber over-molded handle that is comfortable and easy to grip. The highly visible neo yellow colour allows it to be quickly and easily identified. The bilge pump itself weighs only 12 ounces. It is 21 inches long and has a diameter of 1.75 inches. Because of its small size, this bilge pump is simple to use and store. Keeping your kayak dry has never been easier, thanks to Seattle sports paddlers bilge pump.

  • Highly visible colors
  • Easy grip rubber handle
  • Comfortable
  • Reasonable price
  • Compact design

Perception Kayak Bilge Pump for kayaks

Besides making incredible kayaks, Perception Kayak also produces quality bilge pumps for kayaks. This bilge pump comes at a decent price for you to keep your kayak dry. You can use this bilge pump to keep unwanted waters out of your kayaks.  Both the upward and downward strokes will expel the water out of your kayak. Thus, you can get to have the maximum efficiency with less fatigue. Its ribbed output nozzle offers an attachment for an external hose. This bilge pump comes with a foam padded handgrip to allow you have a better grip. It makes it non-slip and provides the necessary buoyancy you need. The synthetic body and the shaft can withstand the corrosive power of the salt water.

  • Green vivid colors
  • Non-slip foam padded handgrip
  • Ribbed output nozzle
  • Can expel water both upward and downward
  • A synthetic body which withstands the corrosive salt water

kayak hand bilge pump

17-Inch LINGVUM Bilge Pump for Kayak, Canoe, and Boat

Lingvum’s 17-inch manual bilge pump for kayaks is a great option if you’re looking for a hand bilge pump for sale. This manual bilge pump measures 16.5″ in length. The maximum unfolded length is 25.5″, with a 23.3″ long hose that makes life so much easier by easily reaching the bottom of your kayak. 

This hand kayak pump has a 1.14″ water-absorbing post and a 1.18″ diameter hose, with a maximum discharge of 0.4L and a pull and push action. This hand bilge pump comes with two water inlets and a long hose that can be attached to either end while removing the water very quickly without making you tired.

On top of all the cool features, this hand bilge is also extremely portable, thanks to its ultra-lightweight design that makes it weigh only .78 pounds. This is the best kayak hand bilge pump on the market, and we wholeheartedly recommend it.

  • Manual bilge pump
  • Pump length 16.5″
  • 23.3″ long hose
  • Two water inlets and a long hose removes water quickly with less energy
  • Highly portable: weighs only 0.78 pounds
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Pelican Boats - Paddlers Bilge Floating Hand Pump – PS1374-2

Pelican Boats Floating Manual Bilge for Kayak & Canoe

Finding a manual bilge pump for kayak is not easy, and it becomes harder if you are looking for a bilge pump that floats! Pelican boats PS1374-2 is a great floating bilge pump that is extra tough but lightweight. Despite its compact design, it is considered to be one of the toughest bilge pumps to evacuate water out of your kayak or canoe quickly. It is equipped with a comfortable foam sleeve that allows better grip and flotation.

  • Compact design
  • Powerful
  • Easily evacuate water out of a small water vessel
  • Foam sleeve helps with the grip and flotation
  • Corrosion & shock resistance
  • Lightweight
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Shoreline Marine Bilge Pump 600 GPH

Shoreline Marine makes some of the best bilge pumps on the market. Despite its small size, this bilge pump has a capacity of 600 gallons per hour. Unlike most bilge pumps, this one is relatively simple to install. When you connect this bilge pump to your boat’s battery, it will begin pumping water out of your kayak through a 34-inch hose.

  • You will be glad to know that the marine grade wiring makes it possible to work the thing very quickly and without any modification. Yes, it needs no modification to work. It also comes with a mounting bracket and stainless steel hardware. Despite all the cool features, it comes at a very reasonable price. You won’t find such a manual electric bilge pump at this price.

    • Easy and quick installatiom
    • Powerful: Gallon per hour is 600
    • No modification needed
    • Cheap price
    • Marine grade wiring used
    • Universal mounting
    • Mounting bracket and stainless steel hardware is included

    Sea Eagle High-Volume Manual Bilge Pump

    If you’ve been kayaking for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Sea Eagle. Sea Eagle is a well-known manufacturer of kayak accessories. This manual bilge pump from Sea Eagle was designed for small watercraft such as a kayak or canoes. This powerful bilge pump can quickly remove water from the kayak’s bottom or deck. Sea Eagle used a corrosion-resistant plastic material with a convenient hose to push water out of your kayak.

    • High-volume bilge pump
    • Corrosion-proof plastic material
    • Can pump water quickly
    • Cheap price

    Aqua Bound Kayak/Canoe Bilge Pump

    Aqua bound’s bilge pump can be used for kayak, canoe, and small boats. This highly visible kayak bilge pump comes with a comfortable T-grip handle. The design of the bilge pump focuses on an ergonomic shape to offer better usability. The body length of the bilge pump is 17″. It also comes with a stainless steel piston rod. Aqua bond used high-density foam sleeve to make it floatable if you accidentally drop it in the water. It has 7.5 strokes per gallon which is designed for optimum water displacement. What’s more, the spout size snugly size fits a standard diameter water hose.

    • Comfortable T-grip handle
    • Ergonomic shape
    • Highly visible color
    • Reasonable pricing
    • 7.5 strokes per gallon
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    How to choose the best bilge pump for your kayak

    Bilge pumps are critical pieces of equipment for anyone who loves to venture out onto the water in a kayak. They provide an effective and efficient way to remove unwanted water from your kayak, keeping you safe and dry. However, choosing the right one can be challenging with the various types and models available in the market. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the best bilge pump for your kayak.

    Pumping Capacity: An In-depth Look

    Pumping capacity is essentially the volume of water a bilge pump can expel within a given time, typically measured in gallons per minute (GPM). It’s a pivotal factor to consider when selecting a bilge pump because it determines how quickly you can remove water from your kayak.

    A pump with a lower GPM might suffice in calm conditions, where your kayak isn’t likely to take on much water. However, if you frequent choppy waters, kayak in heavy rain, or tackle fast-paced white-water scenarios, your kayak is more likely to take on water, necessitating a pump with higher GPM.

    However, there’s a trade-off to consider. Pumps with higher capacities (higher GPM) tend to be larger and heavier to accommodate the increased functionality. This might not pose an issue for larger kayaks, but the added size and weight can be problematic for smaller kayaks. More sizeable pumps can be cumbersome to handle and store, and their weight might impact the kayak’s balance and your energy levels during paddling.

    To find the optimal pumping capacity for your needs, assessing your typical kayaking conditions and balancing them against the potential drawbacks of larger, heavier pumps is essential.

    Pump Size and Weight: Understanding Their Importance

    Regarding kayaking, every inch of space and ounce of weight matters. Kayaks have limited storage space and are directly affected by the weight they carry. This is why your bilge pump’s physical dimensions and weight are crucial factors to consider.

    The physical size of the pump should be such that it fits comfortably within your kayak’s available storage without compromising space for other essential gear or your comfort. A too large pump might be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, reducing your ability to expel water quickly in emergencies. Smaller, compact pumps are typically preferred because they are easier to store and handle.

    Weight is another essential consideration. The more weight you add to your kayak, the harder it is to maneuver and paddle. Excess weight can also lower your kayak’s waterline, making it less stable and more susceptible to waves. While bilge pumps aren’t typically heavy, each piece of equipment adds up, and minimizing weight where possible can significantly enhance your kayaking experience.

    A lightweight, compact bilge pump becomes even more critical if you plan to kayak for extended periods or over long distances. The less energy you need to paddle and manage your gear, the further and longer you can travel. Therefore, aim for the lightest and most compact pump that satisfies your pumping capacity and durability requirements.

    Durability: The Key to Long-lasting Performance

    Durability is critical when selecting a bilge pump for your kayak, as it often directly translates to the pump’s lifespan and overall performance. Kayaking exposes your equipment to various challenging conditions, including salt water, UV radiation, physical impacts, and potential drops. Your bilge pump must be robust enough to withstand these conditions and continue to operate effectively.

    The material from which the pump is constructed significantly impacts its durability. High-quality, corrosion-resistant materials like marine-grade plastics, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum often provide better longevity and performance in harsh marine environments. Corrosion resistance is particularly crucial if you kayak in saltwater, which can rapidly degrade less robust materials.

    The pump’s construction should also be sturdy. Check for well-built housing, firm and smooth pump action, and secure, water-tight seals. Pumps with loose or wobbly parts may not last as long and could fail when you need them most.

    Customer reviews and product ratings can be a great resource for assessing a pump’s durability. These can provide insights into how the pump performs in real-world conditions and over time. Remember that while more durable pumps may cost a bit more upfront, they could save you money in the long run by reducing the need for replacements.

    Ease of Use: Ensuring Quick and Efficient Water Removal

    The ease of use of your bilge pump is another crucial consideration. A difficult or cumbersome pump can slow you down in situations where every second counts. Therefore, the pump design should enable quick and easy operation, ideally with just one hand.

    A bilge pump with an ergonomic handle and a firm grip can make pumping easier and more efficient. This design allows you to maintain control of the pump even in wet conditions or when wearing gloves. The action of the pump should also be smooth and require minimal effort.

    The orientation and accessibility of the pump’s intake and outflow ports can also impact ease of use. They should be positioned so that they can easily be directed over the side of the kayak to remove water without spilling it back inside.

    A pump’s ease of use can directly impact its effectiveness in emergency situations. A quick and easy pump can drastically reduce the time it takes to remove water from your kayak, potentially preventing dangerous situations. So, don’t underestimate the importance of an ergonomic, user-friendly design when selecting your bilge pump.

    Manual vs. Electric Pumps: Weighing Your Options

    Bilge pumps for kayaks come in two main types: manual and electric. Each type has its advantages and drawbacks, and the best one for you will depend on your kayaking conditions, personal preferences, and budget.

    Manual bilge pumps are popular among kayakers due to their simplicity and reliability. They use a simple hand-powered pumping action to draw water from the kayak. The lack of electronic or moving parts in manual pumps makes them less prone to malfunction or damage, and they can be used anytime, anywhere, regardless of power availability.

    On the other hand, electric bilge pumps offer the convenience of automatic operation. They can generally pump water out of your kayak faster and require less physical effort than manual pumps. This can be beneficial when large amounts of water must be removed quickly.

    However, the convenience of electric pumps comes at the cost of requiring a power source. Most electric bilge pumps run on batteries, and you’ll need to ensure that you have a reliable and sufficient power supply for your pump. If you’re planning a long kayaking trip or a multi-day expedition, you’ll need to consider the battery life and have backup power options. Furthermore, electric pumps typically have more complex mechanisms and are more prone to malfunction than their manual counterparts.

    When deciding between a manual and an electric pump, assess your usual kayaking conditions, the effort you’re willing to exert in removing water, and the reliability of your power source. Your personal preferences and budget will also play significant roles in your decision.

    Price: Balancing Cost with Quality and Performance

    When it comes to choosing a bilge pump, the price is always a factor to consider. As with most products, bilge pumps come in a range of prices, and the key is to find the right balance between cost and quality.

    While opting for the cheapest pump available might be tempting, remember that you often get what you pay for. Lower-priced pumps may not offer the durability, efficiency, or ease of use that a slightly more expensive pump might provide. They could also cost more in the long run if they were replaced frequently due to poor quality or performance.

    At the same time, the most expensive pumps are not necessarily the best ones for your needs. High-priced pumps often come with additional features or specifications that might be unnecessary for your typical kayaking conditions.

    To get the best value for your money, focus on the pump’s essential features, like its pumping capacity, durability, ease of use, and weight, and select a pump that offers the best combination of these features within your budget. Customer reviews and ratings can provide valuable insights into the actual performance and durability of the pumps in different price ranges, helping you make a more informed decision.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I need a bilge pump for my kayak?

    A bilge pump is not strictly necessary for a kayak, but it can be a useful safety item if the kayak takes on water. A bilge pump allows you to remove water that has entered the kayak, which can help prevent the kayak from capsizing or becoming too heavy to paddle. If you plan on kayaking in open water or in conditions prone to capsizing, having a bilge pump on board is a good idea. Several different types of bilge pumps are designed for kayaks, such as manual and battery-powered pumps. It’s important to select a pump that is the right size and type for your kayak and ensure you know how to use it before you go kayaking.

    What is the best kayak bilge pump?

    I am a huge fan of the NRS bilge pump, which has been used by thousands of kayakers and received positive feedback. I also recommend Seattle Sports pup, and Pelican pumps if you are looking for the best manual kayak bilge pump. 

    How do you use a bilge pump on a kayak?

    Using a bilge pump on a kayak is a relatively simple process, but the specifics can vary depending on your pump type. Here’s a general overview of the steps involved in using a manual bilge pump:1. Locate the pump: Bilge pumps are typically mounted near the stern (rear) of the kayak, but the exact location can vary depending on the design of your kayak.2. Remove the plug or cover: Many kayak bilge pumps have a removable plug or cover that needs to be taken off before the pump can be used.3. Insert the pump into the water: Insert the pump’s inlet end into the accumulated water in the kayak. You should avoid pumping the water back into the kayak to avoid adding more water.4. Begin pumping: Use the pump’s handle to start pumping the water out of the kayak. Keep pumping until most of the water has been removed.5. Re-install the plug or cover: Once you have finished pumping, re-install the plug or cover to keep water from entering the kayak again. Battery-powered pumps have a similar process, but you don’t need to pump manually. Instead, you turn it on by clicking on a button. However, make sure you have the batteries with you. It’s a good idea to practice using your bilge pump before you go kayaking so that you are familiar with it and can use it quickly and efficiently if needed. And make sure to check if your pump is functioning well before going kayaking.

    Why do I need a kayak water pump?

    A kayak water pump is useful to have on board if your kayak takes on water. Kayaks can take on water in various ways, such as through a hole in the hull, an open hatch, or waves splashing over the sides. Water accumulating in the kayak can make it more difficult to paddle and even cause it to capsize. A kayak water pump allows you to remove the water that has entered the kayak, which can help prevent the kayak from capsizing and becoming too heavy to paddle. Additionally, having a water pump can also be helpful if you accidentally swamp or capsize your kayak. A water pump can be used to remove water from inside the kayak quickly and efficiently, making it easier to get back in. Kayak water pumps can help you save the kayak, your gear, and yourself. It is also worth mentioning that bilge pumps are not only designed for kayaks but also for other small watercraft, such as canoes, rowboats, or even for some types of fishing boats as well.