Who loves pumping up kites? Anyone? Us neither. Whether you call it lazy or a convenience, it definitely is a luxury to not have to pump up your kite before you ride. We got our hands on two new portable electric kite pumps, one from Windchaser Sports and the other from Wind Toys. Here’s what we think.
Hand-pumping inflatable kites, especially for those that live in light wind places where big kites are utilized, can be a real deterrent to kiteboarding. Even hand-pumping inflatable kites in snow is often an arduous task. Those that live in light wind places like San Diego know that they often have a very small window of time to get to the beach, pump up their 16-17m kites, and hit the water before the wind dies. We found that these high-pressure portable kite pumps greatly expedite the setup process and get people on the water (or the snow) faster and with much less effort, saving more time and calories for the water! This pump will go up to 12psi and comes with a carrying bag, built-in 12v sealed lead acid battery, 110/240v travel charger, smart charger: red light for charging and green light for fully charged, 8ft extension power leads to connect on another external battery (ie. car/boat battery), carabineer connected to bag to clip onto the leading edge of the kite, 6 foot flex hose with 3 different nozzles for kite inflation, and 8 adaptors for raft inflation, and one NARU valve with 2 silicone gaskets for inflatable boats. Weight: 12.1 lbs, Dimensions: 7″ x 13″ x 8″
MSRP: $229.99 plus $19.99 for sand filter | Warranty: 30 days from purchase date
At first we were a little hesitant to test this unit on our kites as we did not know if the auto shut off feature would work as promised and did not want to blow out a bladder. The unit worked like a charm, outputting at near full capacity until pressure reached about 3 PSI, at which time the pump switched over to a low volume, high pressure piston pump until it reached the exact PSI set.
We tested the pump on a 12m single inflation kite and time ranged from 1:42 to 2:21 before it reached our desired setting of 8 PSI. One time the hose popped off at 6PSI but we just reattached it and it kept pumping until it reached our desired pressure. We pumped up our 12m kite about 7 times before we felt like the unit was running out of juice. The importer of this unit lives in San Diego where light wind is king and says he can get blow up about 4-5 17m plus sizes kites on one charge (unit must rest every 15 minutes and has auto shut off feature if overheats).
- Digital gauge automatically pumps to exact PSI desired so you can do other things like lay out your lines or put on your gear
- Unit comes with lots of accessories for other inflatables
- Flex hose is long providing flexibility to use pump on other inflatables
- On/Off button is at the bottom of unit in bag so you can’t see it. It is easy to find and reach as the button is on the right hand side of the unit but it would have been nicer if it was near the top.
- Sand filter is not included in cost of unit but is sold as an accessory.
- Get the optional sand filter if you are going to be using this unit at the beach
Wind Toys Says:
This is a super high quality electric battery that is patented and specially designed for Kiteboarding and Snow Kiting Kites. Just hook up the hose, press ‘On’ and a fully inflated kite can be waiting for you in less than a minute. One of the key unique factors to this pump is its ability to automatically fill a kite to any set pressure up to 12psi (800mbar) –this is done with a patented two stage system, where stage one quickly fills volume via the turbine/fan, and stage two finishes to precision higher pressure via the piston pump, then automatically shuts down when pressure is achieved. Pump comes with 12v sealed gel rechargeable battery, padded carry case w/ shoulder strap and storage pocket, secondary protective sealed liner/bag, heavy duty hose plus two fittings for range of valve sizes, 12v auto cigarette lighter charger, and a 120vac USA compatible wall charger. Weight: 11.1 lbs, Dimensions: 7″ x 12.5″ x 7″
MSRP: $269 | Warranty: Two years
Changing out a leading edge bladder on a single inflation kite is not very much fun so testing a new electric pump with an auto shut off feature was interesting but left us with a little trepidation to try out. We set the unit to 8 PSI and it worked flawlessly as promised, for the most part.
The pump was tested on a 12m single inflation kite and time ranged from 1:43 to 3:27 to reach our desired PSI. The longer times were due to the unit shutting off and having to start it over again. We believe this was caused by the kite’s pea valve inflation point which caused some back pressure which triggered the pump to change to the final high pressure stage too early. This was easily resolved by using the dump valve as the inflation point for the kite.
- Manual gauge allows you to set unit to desired PSI and walk away. Can set gauge to higher PSI when completed if you want to top off for a little extra pressure.
- Comes with two year warranty
- Sand filter integrated into unit
- Pea valve inflation point sometimes caused the unit to register it had reached desired PSI when it had not, due to back pressure
- Only comes with two nozzles
- If you have a pea valve inflation point(s), you may want to inflate using your deflate valve instead