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Old 04-03-2013   #1
Little Rock, Arkansas
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 61
Hand pumps: DRE vs NRS vs Carlson

Is the extra cost of the Carlson worth it compared to DRE? looking at 5". DRE's is about $50 cheaper. NRS is about $25 cheaper.

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Old 04-03-2013   #2
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
I have a NRS barrel pump. It works great. It came with an extra o ring inside the pump so you could change it out if the ring broke. All you need is a phillups screw driver to swap out o rings. IDK know if carlson or dre does that if they don't, buy an extra o ring when you buy your pump and put it in the pump. O, the dark pvc pipe on the NRS showed sings of fading in 1 owyhee trip. I now make sure to keep it out of the sun. I have no experience with Carlson or dre but hear great things about them.

Bound is boatless man
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Old 04-03-2013   #3
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 494
We have a 6'' Blackrocks Dory Works (out of Pocatello) barrel pump we're very happy with the way it work. We've had it a while, but I think it was much cheaper than Carlson. We bought it from Walton Marine in SLC.
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Old 04-03-2013   #4
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Down River has a 4" and a 6". The Down River is made in house, gives local employees a job in the winter, has an extra O ring, is easy to service (though you wont need to for a long time) and lasts forever. I have one that was passed down to me, god only knows how old it is. Awesome pump. NRS is made in china. Carlsons are great pumps. I dont think you'll be unhappy with the Down River.
zach baird
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Old 04-03-2013   #5
bigwatertoby's Avatar
Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 54
Another vote for DRE. Mine is over 6 years old and never missed a beat.
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Old 04-03-2013   #6
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 129
NRS 5in Barrel Pump | plus 20% off
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Old 04-03-2013   #7
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 390
Carlson hands down.

I have the DRE and it does the trick, but doesn't seal as well and thus doesn't pump nearly as much volume as the Carlson.

I've used and broken many an NRS pump. The upside is they do have an excellent warranty.
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Old 04-03-2013   #8
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365

big barrels are great for that 18' AIRE Cougar. But a k-pump is easy to carry on the water unlike the big pumps.

there's another outfit called class V pumps -- anyone got any experience with them?
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Old 04-03-2013   #9
Ashlandistan, Oregon
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 64
Carlson 4" made in USA and Bob does an awesome job at making pumps as well as customer service. 10 year warranty. Have used a few DRE's and they are ok. I would not recommend the NRS as they break in all kinds of ways.
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Old 04-03-2013   #10
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Have an Nrs pump and find myself using it less and less. At putin the bulk of the work is done using a little red 12v interdynamics inflator.

Just bring a k-100 as a topoff pump. Most of our day runs are along a highway and if i ever pop a tube (havent yet knock on wood) my day will be over and i'm hitching back to the car so i can do proper repairs in my garage --- not on a river somewhere waiting for glue to dry. Better yet I'm sending my tube to Aire to get rewelded free.

On a long multiday, just going to bring the K-100 cause I'll have 12v and solar to get me 90% there on the damaged tube

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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