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Rolled through Aztec NM last week and bought a Culebra (Jack's Plastic Welding's answer to the Shredder).

I haven't purchased a pump yet and as I'm new to inflatables (dolls excluded) I'm not sure what size, style, and brand of barrel pump to get.

Basically I want to pump to be large enough to do the job, but small enough to store on this smaller craft.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Carlson, AIRE?

I'm not planning on getting a "top-off" pump (ie EZ pump or K pump) unless it is recommended.

I'm also open to advice on t-grip rafting paddles. Since I intend to check my Culebra on as luggage I'd like to find a break down paddle that is easier to check than the standard 5 foot Carlisle Outfitter paddle.

The only one I can find is the Caviness JP series paddle. I like that it breaks down, but I'm worried it is too cheap and would get destroyed in whitewater.
CavinessPaddles - Caviness® Synthetic Paddles
I hear aquabound makes a breakdown t grip but they are pricey.

Any R2ers have any thoughts? Thanks

Geoff
 

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I have a 13' raft, and I bought the 31" Wild Water Aqua Lung top-off pump. They sell a slightly smaller one, as well. I think these are cheaper than the Carlson or Aire pumps, and every bit as good.

Wild Water Pumps | Our Products

While I generally use a zinger to inflate my raft, I have pumped up the whole deal with just this pump. It takes some time (20 minutes) but isn't too bad. I would think that the Culebra is probably smaller than a 13' raft, and wouldn't take that long to inflate even with just the top off pump. If you are planning on travelling with the Culebra, you will want a pump that is small enough to pack and carry. I think that a full-on barrel pump would be overkill.
 

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Buy 3 pumps

1: cheap electric pump for air mattresses to blow it up at home
2: cheap barrel pump of a smaller size for use on river (ie ozark trail double action pump)
3: Nice NRS or Carlson Barrel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Brendodendo
Thanks for the info. Good call on getting a cheap electric pump for house. You don't see need for a top off if you get a small barrel like cuzin mentions?
Either way I'm looking for something light an portable and easy to pack.
Cuzin. Thanks for the intro to wild water pumps. Looks like solid stuff.
Geoff
 

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My 13ft came with a wonder pump. It works great for topping off the raft at the put in or on multi day trips. I usually roll with the raft on a trailer or on top of the truck for local runs and this works great. At times, I don't want to travel with the boat inflated, and the wonder pump SUCKED (winded and back hurts before your on the river) for inflating the boat. I got the NRS pump and have never looked back. It is probably my least used pump, but when I need it, I am glad to have it. I used a "clean" shop vac for many years at the house. Last summer I bought a $50 12v/120v little jobbie with high volume/ low pressure and low volume / high pressure. It has it's place both at home and on the road. As I said, You'll have more than one pump to serve you needs, so just plan on having three.
 

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I have a power pack that I use and a cheap air matress pump then I top off my cataraft [hysides answer to the shedder]with the K pump . the power pack is handy if you don't have a car near by . I also have the more expensive nrs 12 v pumps but the cheap air mattress pumps work just as well for the littler rafts for my culebra grandas I use the nrs
 

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You will want a few pumps, I have an electric that runs off my car battery which is great for everyday, then i use a 4" barrel pump, I would suggest the DRE pump because I like the metal nozzle which stays in the valve better.

For travelling I have used the wonder pump, it will get your boat from rolled to tight in about 20 minutes.

I have heard really good things about the k pump, which you can use that and an electric and you will be set.

Paddles are a bit trickier, I modified a Lendal 4 piece kayak paddle.
Find a solid four piece paddle with the largest blade they make, trim the blade to look more like a canoe paddle.

Next trim down the shaft to your desirable length, take into account the t-grip as part of that overall size.

I made my own t-grip out of wood, or you could take your favorite raft paddle and pull the t-grip and epoxy inside your new paddle.

Good luck and hit me up if you have questions about the paddle.
 

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I would suggest just one pump, the 4" Carlson, with a nice, easy to rig, storage bag. You can rig it in the Culebra for trips away from the road, you can fill the Culebra with it in a few minutes, and it will last forever.

I wouldn't buy two pumps just to have a slightly smaller one for on the boat when the Carlson is all you'll need.
 

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I would suggest just one pump, the 4" Carlson, with a nice, easy to rig, storage bag. You can rig it in the Culebra for trips away from the road, you can fill the Culebra with it in a few minutes, and it will last forever.

I wouldn't buy two pumps just to have a slightly smaller one for on the boat when the Carlson is all you'll need.
I second that motion. That boat is so low volume that it shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to fully inflate.
 

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Not to knock the Wonder Pump, but the Wonder Pump sucks balls. Ok, I guess I'm knocking the Wonder Pump.

It's great for pool toys and maybe a beach ball, but for inflating rafts or topping off, it's a total waste of money. It will break, you will use duct tape to try to fix air leaks, you won't get your Culebra as tight as you want it, you will be jealous of people who bought pumps that don't suck, and people who have real pumps will laugh at you at put ins. Spend the extra money now for a real pump and you will be glad you did.
 

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avoid the wonder pump broke on me in the first month, replaced it with a dre barrel pump i love it. i use a coleman electric pump to inflate the boat and top it off with the dre. i am lazy so i let the car do most of the work. my electric pump might be slow but saves my energy for river fun, especialy because i cant transport my boat inflated any more (no good tiedowns on the new car).
 
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