Imagine trying to blow air into a pool float or air mattress until it becomes fully inflated. Not only is this taxing but it can also motivate you to look for a tool to help you achieve the same task with less effort. That tool is referred to as an air pump.
Top 5 Electric Inflator Air Pump Reviews
If you’re looking to purchase the best portable air pump for inflatables, here’s an in-depth guide that highlights some of the best air pumps on the market.
Best Pump for Inflatable Boats & Kayaks
With many pumps on the market different sizes and power make them suitable for different uses, these pumps packages a punch making them ideal for larger inflatable.
AGPTEK Electric Air Pump
The Electric Air Pump by AGPTEK is one of our favorites because it strikes a good balance between pricing and features. It’s low-priced and yet it has so many of the features you’d look for in an air pump.
Compatible with a 12V direct current (DC) or 110V alternating current (AC), this tool is so versatile that it can be used for most inflatables. Use it to inflate an air mattress, air bed, air boats, swimming rings and more.
Another reason why we love this air pump is because it’s easy to use. All you need to do is place the inflatable item’s head at the filling hold and click on switch. If you want to deflate, put the item’s head in the vent hole instead and press the ‘deflate’ switch.
Furthermore, this a very lightweight tool, offering the flexibility to take it with you anywhere. It weighs about 15 ounces and comes in a compact design making it convenient to carry and store.
The electric air pump comes with 3 universal nozzles for different uses. The small nozzle is suitable for inflating toys and a swimming ring. The medium-sized one can inflate a small hole airbed and an inflatable pool float or seat.
The larger one is meant to inflate air mattresses and inflatable pools and boats. That said, the manufacturer warns against using the air pump to inflate high-pressure tools like tyres, balloons and sports products.
- It’s versatile
- Compatible with direct and alternating current power sources
- Comes with different nozzle sizes for specific uses
- Package includes a car power adapter, home power adapter and a user manual
- Cannot be used to inflate high-pressure items like a basketball
X-Lounger Quick Inflate Deflate Electric Pump
When you’re camping, the last thing you want is to spend half an hour or more trying to deflate your air mattress.
Similarly, it’s never fun having to manually pump air into your beach lounger or mattress, which is where the X-Lounger Electric Pump comes in. This pump is designed to inflate within 2 to 3 minutes or so the manufacturer claims.AirBeds
While it’s a little pricier than our top pick, there are a few areas where it’s superior. For instance, it’s lighter than the AGPTEK Pump.
Tipping the scales at 4.7 ounces, this is certainly one of the lightest air pumps. Better yet, it’s very compact measuring 3 x 2 inches. To put this into perspective, this pump is smaller than an iPhone 6, and this makes for easy portability and storage.
Being an electric air pump, this tool features an automatic operation. Simply insert the nozzle into the air valve, click on the switch and wait for the magic to happen! The X-Lounger is just as easy to deflate as it is to inflate. It has a quick deflate feature that saves you time when it comes to deflating.
This air pump is powered using a built-in lithium battery with a capacity of 3600mAh. What we like about this USB-rechargeable battery is that when you charge it once, it can be used to inflate a mattress at least 20 times on that single charge.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Quick and easy to inflate and deflate
- Comes with money-back guarantee
- Uses a powerful and rechargeable battery
- It’s not designed to handle any weight on it as this can damage the plastic
Best Air Pump for Inflatable Toys
For a smaller pump for inflatable toys and pool floats these are ideal.
Are you big on purchasing from renowned brands? If you are, Coleman is a company that has built a good reputation for itself. Thus, you can rely on their 12-Volt DC QuickPump.
This tool is described as a high volume pump, meaning it can be used to inflate and deflate several things from beach toys to air beds and more. Even better, it’s compatible with just about any power supply. It can be plugged into any standard auto cigarette lighter or power outlet.
There is nothing as frustrating as purchasing an item that does not incorporate the essential tools required to use it. A good example is when some air pump brands fail to incorporate the necessary valves for ease of use.
Luckily, Coleman considers this an integral factor, which is why they’ve provided a wide range of adapters for the most common valves. The pump can be used with the Coleman Double-Lock Valve, pinch valves and the Boston valve.
- Sports a lightweight and durable design
- Comes in one of two colors- red or black
- Can be connected to any standard outlet
- Ideal for inflating beach toys and airbeds
- Takes a rather long time to start inflating
TorrX Smart Ball Handheld Pump
If you’re looking for an easily portable pump, the TorrX Smart is an excellent choice. This is a little pricier than your average air pump but is one of the best portable air pumps for inflatables.
For instance, it sports both an automatic and manual mode of operation. In the “auto” setting, it inflates and deflates the item in question up to the preset target pressure. Since it has a LED digital gauge, you can monitor the exact pressure it achieves after the inflation.
Powered using lithium ion battery, the TorrX is mainly designed for inflating sports balls. Good news is, it’s versatile enough to be used on any type of ball be it soccer, volleyball, basketball, handball or water polo.
For optimal durability, this air pump comes with a protective cap to secure the needle when it’s not being used. This needle is the element used to channel air pressure to the inflatable object.
The air pump is both compact and light. It weighs a measly 12.5 ounces, which is light enough that you can store in your backpack, ball bag or glovebox.
- Equipped with a protective cap for the needle
- Offers both automatic and manual modes
- Lightweight design
- Can be used to inflate any sports ball
- Best air pump for inflatable toys
Chamvis Electric Air Pump for Inflatables
One of the challenges of using any air pump is the level of noise it generates. Some manufacturers equip these tools with rubber feet so as to minimize the noise levels. The chamvis Electric Air Pump is a good example of an air pump that has an ultra-quiet operation.
The manufacturer achieves this by incorporating a sound insulation board in the air pump. The purpose of this is to decrease the spread of noise generated during operation.
The built-in ball bearing is another excellent addition you’ll find in this pump. Its function is to ensure that the engine runs smoothly; hence prevent the temperature from getting too high. Ultimately, this results in a safer inflation process.
Another aspect that sets this pump is its exceptional high-pressure design. This enables it to fill faster compared to other AC air pumps. According to the manufacturer, this pump will take half the time to fill a queen- or king-size air mattress it would take if you were using a traditional manually-operated pump.
We also like that the manufacturer has incorporated an array of accessories with the air pump. These include 5 nozzle heads that offer flexibility when it comes to the item that can be inflated or deflated.
Thus, it’s suitable for inflating boating rafts, pool toys, inflatable donuts and more. In fact, the air pump is compatible with most inflatable items designed by other brands such as Coleman, Intex and Etekcity.
There’s also a detailed user manual, which is particularly helpful to individuals who may be using the pump for their first time.
- Comes with a user manual
- Equipped with 5 Universal nozzles
- 1-year warranty provided
- Portable and lightweight
- Has a sound insulation board to reduce noise
- Has a rather short hose
How Do Air Pumps Work?
Put simply; an air pump is an apparatus that gets rid of gas molecules from a sealed space or chamber with the aim of creating a partial vacuum. The process of eliminating gas molecules from a chamber causes pressure reduction inside that chamber. The reason why this happens is because there are fewer gas molecules hitting the chamber’s walls, creating less pressure.
Air pumps are also referred to as vacuum pumps. Often, two or more vacuum pumps are used in conjunction with each other – either parallel or in a series- to generate a high level of vacuum.
What To Consider Before Buying an Air Pump for Inflatable
If you’ve decided to purchase an electric air pump, then you need to ensure that you get a tool that meets your needs. A majority of the high-end pumps are packaged with extensions, which make it easy to attach the hose and connect it to any type of nozzle.
However, there are a couple of specialized pumps that aren’t compatible with standard nozzles. You can assess whether an air pump is compatible by going through its description.
Depending on where you plan to use the air pump, you should check what kind of power supply it runs on. Is it powered using batteries, outlet power or some form of rechargeable power source? As an example,if you’re purchasing an air pump that will be solely used in the car, then it should be able to charge by plugging into your car’s 12-V socket.
On the other hand, if you intend to use the air pump primarily for outdoor excursions, you’ll want to invest in a model that doesn’t rely on electricity. It should be powered using either a long-lasting rechargeable battery or disposable batteries that are easy to replace.
If you’ve opted for an air pump that operates exclusively on outlet power, pay attention to the length of the length of the power cord. A longer power cable is a wise investment as it will give you the flexibility to move to your swimming pool and inflate your float. The higher the number of applications, the longer the hose should be.
Another crucial factor to consider is the weight of the air pump. Determine whether you’ll use the tool when it’s positioned at a stationary spot or on the go. If the air pump will mainly be stationed in your outdoor shed from where you can inflate your bicycle tires, pool float or other inflatable item, then you can opt for a bulky but powerful air pump.
But if you’re an outdoorsy person and plan to use this tool for your camping air mattresses, it’s vital that the air pump be as light as possible. Other than weight, portable air pumps also need to be compact so that they’re easy to store.
Inbuilt Pressure Gauge
Even though this is not incorporated in all air pumps, it’s an important element. The purpose of the gauge is to prevent overinflation and hence enhance your safety. With the inbuilt pressure gauge, you’ll be able to monitor the pressure in real time. Better yet, this component automatically brings the inflation process to a stop once it reaches the maximum set limit.
The amount of atmospheric pressure in an air pump is measured by pounds per square inch or PSI. Most of these pumps require a minimum of 90 PSI to operate efficiently.
You may also come across certain air pumps that employ a two-stage process. What this means is that they accumulate pressure to about 90 PSI in the first stage. In the second stage, this increases to 175 PSI.
But if you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive air pump, then one that utilizes a single stage mechanism will suffice.
Air Pump FAQs
How can I determine whether an air pump has sufficient power to inflate a particular item?
The answer to this question lies in understanding the battery capacity. Essentially, all you need to do is check the pump’s description and establish the power and grade of the power. Next, you can check whether the manufacturer has provided a list of items that that the air pump is designed for. If the item you were planning to inflate is not listed, it’s wise to inquire from the manufacturer before proceeding. If you’re given the green light, you can proceed to inflate it.
Should an air pump be charged before use?
This depends on the type of air pump in question. I understand that this is not the straightforward answer that you might have been looking for but hear me out. There are three main kinds of air pumps: manual, electric and portable.
Manual and electric varieties don’t have to be charged beforehand. However, you’ll have to plug in electrical air pumps to an outlet for them to operate. The portable models may require some form of charging before use. Good news is, these units are quite versatile so you can even charge them by plugging into your car.
History of an Air Pump
The mastermind behind this handy invention is Otto von Guericke, who was a German engineer, physicist and natural philosopher. In 1650, Guericke used a hollow copper sphere and the air pump he’d invented to illustrate that to create a partial vacuum, one had to pump air out of the sphere.
He was also able to verify that any air left in the sphere ended up being distributed uniformly throughout the chamber.
In 1663, Guericke was invited by Emperor Ferdinand III to demonstrate the power of a vacuum using his Magdeburg hemispheres. In the publicly-done experiment, teams of horses tried to pull the hemispheres apart using the air pump. The hemispheres were held together using the force created by atmospheric pressure.
The fact that the horses couldn’t pull the vacuums apart proved just how powerful the force of pressure is. This also helped to show that an air pump was a vital tool. In the years that followed, the air pump was improved several times to become the tool that we use in a wide range of applications today.
Air pumps are vital tools that enable you to inflate an array of items without tiring your lungs and lips. That said, it’s vital that you use the air pump as instructed by the manufacturer. Some models aren’t designed to be used with high-pressure inflatables.
If you’re looking to invest in a quality air pump that’s not too expensive, the AGPTEK Electric Air Pump is a great choice. It’s easy to use and very lightweight that it can be carried with ease for outdoor applications. Plus, it comes with three different nozzles, enabling you to use the perfect tool for each inflatable item.
About the author: Chris loves the outdoors and has developed a love of gadgets and inflatable toys, from kayaking and paddle boarding to relaxing in his hot tub at home. The founder of WhichInflatable and has been the editor for 7 years.