Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What's everyone using these days for quick inflation (Edit: in the field, not at home, bonus for cordless)? I've seen people with cordless leaf blowers. DeWalt had a sale on a high volume inflator at Home Depot at one point, and I've seen a Ryobi that looked like a drill, but had an inflation nozzle on it. I was wondering if anyone has tried any of these space age technologies, and would love to hear how well they work, or if you burn them out the first try on a real raft that isn't a rubber alligator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
I've got a small shop vac that plugs into my truck bed outlet (Tacoma). Cheap, brings the 14er to shape quickly, but certainly low pressure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Here’s a Bosch. I used a dishwasher hose adapter with a male thread x barb fitting to attach it to the blower tube. Fits the leafield valve perfect. I can blow my minimax about 3 minutes. Version 2 will have something to push the valve open when inflating.
 

·
Renaissance *******
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
Harbor Freight leaf blower for about 40$ probably cheaper with a coupon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I've got a Milwaukee 18V cordless blower. It works OK, but I usually take the 18V cordless vacuum instead because it reverses to a blower and gets higher pressure in the raft. I would pack the blower on the river, but the vacuum is a little bigger and stays in the truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
I have the ryobi one you're talking about. I already have a bunch of the batteries and it was cheap.

It works awesome, but it's not high pressure. You need to open your valves and fill to light pressure and then top off by hand.

I used it last weekend and filled a 16 footer and a 13 footer, and also deflated them at takeout, all on 1 x 2ah battery and we didn't even kill the battery.

And it's small and light.

I can recommend it without hesitation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,996 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I use a small 1 gallon DeWalt shop vac. Don’t have the model number, but it’s the model that can be plugged in using a cord or run on an 18v or 20v battery. Works great.

I use the bottom of the vac as storage to hold a spare electrical cord, roll of electrical tape, and 20v battery. I also rigged a leafield adapter/connector to the end of the hose for solid connection to valves on raft. ‘Blow’ mode inflates, ‘suck’ mode deflates like a vacuum sealer. Although I never deflate.

I’ve found this to be a very mobile system that runs on multiple power sources depending on power availability. This will get it pretty well inflated, then top off with K-Pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
I picked up a Dewalt 20V cordless "compact jobsite blower", dce100b. It has worked very well. I already had an assortment of 20v Dewalt batteries and chargers.

https://www.dewalt.com/products/outdoor/blowers/20v-max-compact-jobsite-blower/dce100b

An adapter comes with it that takes the tube adapter to Leafield valves perfectly. We use it for an Aire Outfitter 2 IK; its 12 feet long, about like a small raft. The Dewalt replaced a blower that came with an air mattress, which was more compact, but relatively weak and needed the valves open to get air in. With the Dewalt low/high button in the high position, it will get air past a closed Leafield valve, and also another valve type that is on the Aire foot brace. And its super fast.

With the Leafield adapter, the unit is about 17" long; could be more compact if it was purpose-built, but its easy to loan to others at the putin, then we just leave it in the car, for day trips. We still top off with a Kpump, after getting the boat in the water. A small 1.5Ah battery lasted a few days last week, pumping up two twelve foot IKs a couple times a day. Then I switched to a 4Ah battery on the last day of the trip. This unit should work well for rafts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I have the ryobi one you're talking about. I already have a bunch of the batteries and it was cheap.

It works awesome, but it's not high pressure. You need to open your valves and fill to light pressure and then top off by hand.

I used it last weekend and filled a 16 footer and a 13 footer, and also deflated them at takeout, all on 1 x 2ah battery and we didn't even kill the battery.

And it's small and light.

I can recommend it without hesitation.
I have the same unit and agree with cupido on all counts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I use the Airhead that goes for about $11 at Amazon, connected to my little Li-ion jump starter battery. Cut the cord on the airhead and put an RC5 connector on, which plugs into the battery. Will do several rafts on a charge, a few minutes per raft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
I have the Milwaukee M18 blower but wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't already had the Milwaukee battery platform, found the blower cheap as stand alone tool on ebay for about $45. Will inflate my packraft in about 45 seconds and the 5.0 battery will last a few weeks if just inflating my packraft and sleeping pad. Only thing compared to other inflators others have mentioned is that it only inflates, will not reverse and deflate. Used it on a West Water trip last fall and it easily inflated 40 plus packrafts over 2 days and still had 3 bars after.

Also have the small hand held inflator/deflator that Kokopelli raft sells and it honestly is not worth the money, can buy the same thing on Amazon cheaper without their brand name on it. Works ok on a packraft, will inflate and deflate, easy to charge via usb c connected to wall outlet or via a small portable solar panel. Nice thing is that is is very small and compact and can easily fit in a small dry bag for multi day trips.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I use a Coleman air mattress inflator, about $15 I think, plugs into the cigarette lighter on the car. Surely not as fast as the other options mentioned and doesn't do any sucking to deflate, but gets the job done and doesn't take too long. Blows my 14er up just fine to a soft level, top off by hand pump that goes on the river.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ok, so I'm no Stephen Hawking, but the DeWalt inflator is about 15 CFM, and the blower is 100 CFM. The difference is the inflator is designed for inflating stuff. So do the leaf blowers really blow up the boat 10ish times faster, or is it apples to oranges?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,743 Posts
Ok, so I'm no Stephen Hawking, but the DeWalt inflator is about 15 CFM, and the blower is 100 CFM. The difference is the inflator is designed for inflating stuff. So do the leaf blowers really blow up the boat 10ish times faster, or is it apples to oranges?
The inflator is for high pressure low volume applications and the blower is for low pressure high volume applications.

I watched some fire fighters try to use one of their high pressure oxygen tanks that they use to breath in fires (similiar to a scuba tank) to inflate their raft on the Salt this year and it didn't work very well since its similar to the inflator. Works great for relative small things that need to get up to high pressures but doesn't fill large low pressure spaces very well.

There were some tubers at the Canon City takeout that were trying to use a tire inflator to fill their tubes and it was taking forever. I watched a guy do it for 10 minutes and he only filled it up about an 1/8th to 1/4 of the way in that time. I felt sorry for him since the kids were getting bored and sitting in the sun, so I let him use my Makita leaf blower and he filled 4 of the tubes up in about 5 minutes.

So yes....my makita blower will fill 10 times faster then an inflator...but it will probably only get it to about .5 psi or less. That is why everyone says fill it most of the way with the blower and then top it off with a hand pump. It takes about 30 pumps per chamber with my 4" DRE hand pump to get it up to pressure after filling it most of the way with the blower. I've had to blow rafts up with just a hand pump and it takes hundreds of pumps per chamber so its definitely worth having a blower.

There are some blowers like the Big Red Blower and some other ones, but they are 120v. The 12v pumps you hook up to your car can go higher pressure but don't seem to fill as quickly and you have to get your vehicle close to the boat. Not the end of the world, but its nice to walk around with a battery operated blower and do a bunch of boats.

I definitely think there is room for a battery operated blower that can get up to the recommended 2lbs. that most raft manufacturers recommend. I've been meaning to look into and see what it takes. The Big Red does it by just having a huge high speed blower but I bet its pretty high amperage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
I picked up this sweet gadget for inflating my inflatables...it's called a barrel pump. Cordless, easy to repair in field, water resistant, works on all valve types...and you get a free workout. My 7 chanber 14' DIB takes about 10 mins, it would be less if it weren't for the mil valves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
After I blow my 14er to shape with a shop-vac, it doesn't really take that many strokes on the hand pump to get it to 2.5 psi or so. I bet I save 90% of the strokes by using a blower. And you could never accidentally blow a baffle with a low pressure blower.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top