The increased popularity of high-pressure inflatables – and the increased pressure needed for inflatable paddle boards – has launched a quest for easy inflation. Almost daily, we field calls from people who want easier and quicker pump options, so they can spend less time on the beach, and more on the water.
A while ago, we published our popular Guide to High Pressure Inflatable Pumps. Since then, more options have become available.
Recently we received our first shipment of Aquaglide’s 12-Volt 2-Stage Turbo HP Pumps, which bills itself as capable of inflating from 1 to 20 PSI. The Turbo HP is a fairly diminutive size, measuring 12 x 5 x 6 inches and weighing in at 3 lbs 5 oz. The pump includes a 4 foot long, rugged, non-kink hose with two adaptors – an HR-style military adaptor and a screw-on adaptor.
As most of our inflatable kayaks run 1 to 6 PSI, and our inflatable paddle boards run 12 to 18 PSI, this seemed a good option. Best of all, it works off a car power point-cigarette lighter, but also includes alligator clips for direct connection to car or boat battery.
Using the AquaGlide 12V Turbo HP Pump
As our previous tests were done with a Red Paddle 18-PSI Surfer 10’0″, we opted for a Red Paddle Ride 9-8 which we had in our boat building – a pretty similar size and volume of 196 liters.
Instructions are pretty basic. First, connect the HR-adaptor to the hose end, and screw the hose onto the pump. Initially, it was tough to couple as the o-ring material is stiff. We pushed hard and were able to make the connection. Turn on the car battery (not the motor) and plug the connector into the car power point. Dial in the desired PSI – in this case we opted for 18 PSI, and hit the on button.
The initial (first) stage was fairly quiet. By one minute, the board was totally unfurled, then it jumped to Turbo mode (2nd stage) and became louder. We timed the inflation. At 3 minutes the board was at 5 PSI, 4 minutes to 7 PSI, 6 minutes to 11 PSI, 8 minutes to 14 PSI, 9 minutes to 15 PSI. At 10 minutes, 29 seconds, the motor shut off after reaching 18 PSI.
We tried to carefully twist off the hose, and it nearly blew us off. We managed to re-make the connection, and re-pumped it to 15 PSI. Through trial and error, we found that slowly twisting off the hose would lose air. If we quickly pulled off the hose – by pushing/twisting and popping off – it came off easily. So practice a little first. We did use a K-Pump quick check valve. We inflated the board to 11 PSI, lost a little air twisting it off, and read 10 PSI with the Kwik-Chek – so running fairly close.
We re-read our initial review on the Ride 9-8, and found it took us just over 200 pumps and roughly 5 minutes to manually reach 15 PSI with a hand pump. All-in-all, not bad!
The military valve adaptor couples with Halkey-Roberts valves, which are utilized by many board and kayak manufacturers. This will fit on Red Paddle Boards, C4-Waterman, Mistral, JP Australia, Advanced Elements boards, Airis and of course, AquaGlide. Since the end of the hose uses a pin system, you can use other proprietary adaptors, as long as your fitting will slip onto the pump hose end. Innova kayaks come with an adaptor that friction fits onto a Boston valve adaptor. This comes standard on many of the hand/foot pumps. As long as you can attach the Boston valve (BV) adaptor to the hose end with the pin/slot system, you can use any adaptor that friction fits onto a BV adaptor.
The screw-on adaptor is also pretty nifty. It works with all the Advanced Elements screw-on military valves, as well as the AquaGlide kayaks utilizing Boston valves – by opening the top cap, the adaptor screws onto the Boston valve base.
For those without power points, or who wish to use a marine battery, the pump comes with a fitting that slides over the power point connector. The other end has alligator clips for connecting directly to a battery.
The instructions state that the pump should not be used for more than 20 minutes continuously with a rest period of 10 minutes inbetween for cool-down.
We decided to give the AquaGlide Turbo HP the acid test.
This past week, we received our first shipment of AquaGlide’s new Blackfoot Angler Tandem – a near 15-foot behemoth with 36+ inches of width, a 6-inch thickness and nearly 300 liters.. We had manually pumped up the prototype version last year – and to only 10 PSI – and were not looking forward to the workout as the current temperature was in the 90’s F.
As the Blackfoot Angler Tandem is rated at 15 PSI, we dialed in the pump, plugged in the cord and let her rip. Then we sat down in the shade.
By 2 minutes 37 seconds, the 2nd stage kicked in. At 6.5 minutes we were at 5 PSI, at 9 minutes it had climbed to 7.5 PSI. At 12.5 minutes we were at 10 PSI, 14 minutes to 12 PSI, 17 minutes to 13.5 PSI. At 19 minutes and 25 seconds, the motor shut off – it had reached 15 PSI. We did hear some leakage from the pump/hose side of the connection (possibly it had loosened up a little) but the adaptor came off easily.
Bottom line on the AquaGlide 12V Electric Turbo HP pump:
This is now my “when I’m in a hurry or feeling lazy” go-to pump. It’s simple, pretty lightweight and has a fairly small footprint. Additionally, it is MUCH simpler to plug into a cigarette lighter/power point, than connecting directly to the car battery. And it’s slightly less noisy. This is a great option – particularly for those with both inflatable kayaks and boards – who need to reach a wide range of pressures (1 to 20 PSI) and who want it to be easy and fairly quick. It’s also a great choice for paddlers who may have physical disabilities and are unable to manually pump for long periods of time. And at a street value of $139, it is less expensive – and more reliable – than some other 12V pumps on the market.
To see more info or to purchase, visit the AquaGlide 12V 2-Stage Turbo HP pump product page on our website at AirKayaks.com.