Because kayaks sit low in the water, they are bound to take on water when kayaking. With the best kayak bilge pump, ejecting the water back out is easy and quick. All you have to do is drop the end of the pump in the water, push, and eject gallons of water every minute. When kayaking in whitewater or in rough waters, an automatic bilge pump can take care of the water getting in without requiring you to stop paddling.

A bilge pump is an essential kayaking accessory. It can save you a lot of hassle by enabling you to remove water from every nook and cranny without having to get out of your kayak or tip it. To help you find the best bilge pump for kayak, below are ten options that pump water out fast and are the perfect size for kayaks.

How To Choose A Kayak Bilge Pump – Buying Guide


The best bilge pump for kayak will depend on the size of your kayak  and the type of waters you kayak in. When you’re choosing a kayak pump, here is what to pay attention to so as to determine what will suit you and your kayak best:


How many gallons of water does the pump eject per minute? For a small kayak or flatwater paddling, a small bilge pump with a capacity of 8 gallons per minute is sufficient. This translates to about eight strokes to pump out one gallon. For a larger, tandem kayak or sea kayak, you need a larger capacity. Electric bilge pumps are powerful and have high capacities such as 500, 800, and 1200 gallons per hour.


Just like your kayak is bright and highly visible, choose a kayak pump in a high visibility hue not necessarily to match your vessel but most importantly to keep it visible if it falls on water. Manufacturers coat manual pumps with a brightly colored foam in hues like red, neon yellow or blue.


The best kayak bilge pumps are made of a strong type of plastic so they are lightweight and floatable but not at the expense of quality and durability. The metal parts are usually stainless steel so as to resist corrosion. The electrical components in electric bilge pumps should be fully sealed within the plastic housing.


There is limited storage space on a kayak so a small bilge pump is ideal. If you have a small kayak or paddle in flatwater, a short and slender pump will fit in your kayak easily and will also be sufficient since you won’t be needing to pump out a lot of water. If you kayak in whitewater or have an ocean kayak, consider compact battery powered bilge pumps that are powerful and can eject the water out automatically without requiring you to stop paddling.


Given that you’re going to be handling your bilge pump in wet conditions, the handle should offer a secure, non-slip grip so you will be able to pump without it slipping, even if your hands are wet and slippery.


In rough water conditions, in the event of a capsize, or when reaching for it, there are moments when your bilge pump will fall on the water. You will want it to float so you can retrieve it easily. Many manual bilge pumps are covered with foam to give them buoyancy. You may also want to go a step farther and attach your manual pump to your kayak. This will ensure that it isn’t swept away by currents. If you have an automatic bilge pump, you don’t have to worry about it sinking since it is attached securely to your kayak.

Power Source

If you paddle a small kayak or are kayaking on flatwater, a hand bilge pump that is manually powered will be sufficient. In rough waters, whitewater or in the surf where a lot of water will get into your kayak and it sloshes in continuously, you will need an automatic electric bilge pump that is battery powered to pump it out as it gets in without taking your hands off the kayak paddle. It is still wise to have a manual pump for backup.



Q: Why Do I Need A Bilge Pump For My Kayak?


When kayaking it is inevitable that water will get into your kayak. Even if you have a scupper plug to stop water from getting in from below, water can still get in from waves and drip in from the paddle. You need a way to get the water back out. Using a bilge pump is the easiest, fastest and most efficient way to get rid of the water. Without a bilge pump kayak accessory, you will find yourself frantically trying to sponge it all out or scoop it out with an old tin or with your bare hands or having to get out of your kayak and tip it over.

A kayak bilge pump is an important kayaking essential for all kayakers, and a must-have in whitewater, surf, ocean, and touring kayaks or for extended kayak camping trips. It can be a lifesaver. If water accumulates in your kayak, it can make your kayak unstable and at risk of capsizing. Together with a paddle float and life jacket for kayaking, a bilge pump is an important safety accessory for kayak self-rescue.

Q: Can I Use My Boat Bilge Pump?


If you have a compact boat bilge pump that will fit easily in your kayak, you can use it as a kayak water pump. If you have an automatic boat bilge pump, you will have to uninstall it from your boat and install it in your kayak. Also, battery powered bilge pumps may not be able to expel small amounts of water from your kayak.

Q: How To Use A Hand Bilge Pump?


With the handle at the top and the intake in the water, point the outlet of the pump over the side of the kayak. Lift the handle up and down to draw the water up through the pump and out through the spout or through a hose if you have attached one.

Globo Surf Overview

A bilge pump is an essential kayaking accessory and it is important to have the best kayak bilge pump stowed in an easily accessible place near your kayak seat. If you have a kayak electric bilge pump, follow the included instructions to ensure that you install it correctly so it works properly.

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How about you?  Which bilge pump for kayak is your personal favorite?  Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below!

Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!