Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Westernmost
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lets start this off by saying, my wife is an angel who bought me my first raft for Christmas!

Up to this point I have been paddling an inflatable Kayak, but the goal was someday a raft for the family. The raft itself is a 10.5 RMR storm that with the Leafield D7 valves. I've always read about how Leafield makes the primo-valve in the industry, but up to this point I have had zero experience with them considering my kayaks had the Halkey-Robert valves; I've found these to be super easy to use as when you disconnect the pump the valve automatically shuts prevent air from escaping.

I'm having trouble understanding the Leafields, and I'm fairly certain it's all user error and that I'll feel pretty dumb after figuring it out. However, when testing/inflating the raft and becoming familiar with it, It seems to me that rather than the valve "auto shutting", I have to get my thumb in and twist the valve shut as quickly as I can before the raft deflates too much.

I must be doing something wrong here. Or is this working as intended and I need to become faster with the thumb?

Is there a special adapter that I am missing that does what I am hoping to achieve? I see NRS makes an adapter for D7s, but its not clear to me if they keep the valve open while inflating, and shut when disconnecting, or if they're intent is to just hold and keep the tubes connected to the valve during inflation.

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
AIRE 156R
Joined
·
168 Posts
I’m not familiar with the D7 valves but are probably similar to the C7 ones. But basically, if you push in the stem and turn 90 degrees one way, the stem should stay open. To close, push in the stem and turn the opposite way. You do not need to push in the stem to inflate. The pressure from your device should be enough to push the valve in temporarily and close up when you are onto your next pump. Hopefully that makes sense.
 

·
Westernmost
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m not familiar with the D7 valves but are probably similar to the C7 ones. But basically, if you push in the stem and turn 90 degrees one way, the stem should stay open. To close, push in the stem and turn the opposite way. You do not need to push in the stem to inflate. The pressure from your device should be enough to push the valve in temporarily and close up when you are onto your next pump. Hopefully that makes sense.
Thanks for the info! The pump I was using was just a small foot pump that likely didn't have enough pressure. I'll have to try again with my larger one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,022 Posts
There definitely has to be enough pressure to push the valve open. I use a Makita leaf blower to inflate my raft to 90% and its not strong enough to defeat the valve so you have to open it for that and do the "pull out and close" maneuver (giggity). I've found I can kind of use my thumb as a stopper and turn the valve stem with minimal air loss. Once its at 90% I used either my small EZ Pump or a nice 4" Barrel Pump to inflate to full pressure. Both of the options push past the valve, which shuts after the pressure goes down.

I suppose there is a possibiilty that there is something that is making it stick...but if they release well when you turn the valve stem then it should open when you pump pressure.
 

·
Westernmost
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There definitely has to be enough pressure to push the valve open. I use a Makita leaf blower to inflate my raft to 90% and its not strong enough to defeat the valve so you have to open it for that and do the "pull out and close" maneuver (giggity). I've found I can kind of use my thumb as a stopper and turn the valve stem with minimal air loss. Once its at 90% I used either my small EZ Pump or a nice 4" Barrel Pump to inflate to full pressure. Both of the options push past the valve, which shuts after the pressure goes down.

I suppose there is a possibiilty that there is something that is making it stick...but if they release well when you turn the valve stem then it should open when you pump pressure.
Ya I wasn't aware that they were designed to for the pump pressure to just push the air in. I've got a good electric pump that should do the job. I had planned on getting something like a k-pump to keep on overnights; I'll probably be using it to top off as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,895 Posts
Get the K-pump. You won’t regret it.
Right up until you get a hole in your boat, and realize that you'll have to actually inflate the boat with the K Pump...
 
  • Like
Reactions: NoCo

·
My name isn't Will
Joined
·
343 Posts
When it's top-off time, push the valve in for a fraction of a second so any debris gets blasted out before you push it inside the tubes or floor. If your boat lives on a trailer, you can do this any time you add air. If you store rolled, just make sure it's clean and dry before deflating completely and rolling, and keep it some place clean to keep the valves clean which keeps the inside of the tubes clean.

Do a quick valve purge with your presta valves on your bike tires when you add air to them, too. And purge your SCUBA bottle before putting the regulator on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,022 Posts
Product recommendations? Was looking at the NRS wonder pump 6
The Wonderpump seems great till you use one. It'll get the job done, but its not much better then a K-pump as far as pushing air. Build quality reflects the price.

I tried a bunch of pumps and ended up going with the Downriver 4" Barrel pump. Pushes a lot of air but is still easy to pump with, is well made and durable and along with Carlson pumps is basically the industry standard. You can find them rebranded for Aire and others too. Its definitely a "buy once cry once" situation with their $200 price tag but it is honestly worth it.

I think the K-pumps are fine for their intended use of topping off rafts and inflating smaller crafts. I think its good to have at least one bigger barrel pump on a trip though. Even better...I'm increasingly seeing the battery leaf blowers going in peoples repair box. They are compact enough where its not too big a deal and they really expedite things and have some other uses around camp too. Even with a nice barrel pump it takes a while to inflate a raft manually.... so getting most of the work done by pulling the trigger on a blower is nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
Carlson 4". My first one with the leather washer lasted 30 years and I sold it for $100. I replaced it with the newer version with the poly washer that will outlast me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,895 Posts
I think they named it the "Wonderpump" cause it's a wonder it gets any air into the boat ... :sneaky:
 

·
Westernmost
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Wonderpump seems great till you use one. It'll get the job done, but its not much better then a K-pump as far as pushing air. Build quality reflects the price.

I tried a bunch of pumps and ended up going with the Downriver 4" Barrel pump. Pushes a lot of air but is still easy to pump with, is well made and durable and along with Carlson pumps is basically the industry standard. You can find them rebranded for Aire and others too. Its definitely a "buy once cry once" situation with their $200 price tag but it is honestly worth it.

I think the K-pumps are fine for their intended use of topping off rafts and inflating smaller crafts. I think its good to have at least one bigger barrel pump on a trip though. Even better...I'm increasingly seeing the battery leaf blowers going in peoples repair box. They are compact enough where its not too big a deal and they really expedite things and have some other uses around camp too. Even with a nice barrel pump it takes a while to inflate a raft manually.... so getting most of the work done by pulling the trigger on a blower is nice.
Thanks for the recommendations
 

·
My name isn't Will
Joined
·
343 Posts
That is a hell of a trip... Rafting, Biking, and a Scuba tank...sounds like a good time.
Well, if it's all going to be the same trip.... the bike would be to run shuttle, and the air bottle would be to go get the truck keys that your friend dropped to the bottom of the river....

Part of me wants to row over to Klovdahl Bay and dive over there (Waldo Lake). I probably will never do it. I bet my fins would disturb the sediment even from 20' above the bottom.

To get back on topic; a 100 cubic food SCUBA bottle is far from sufficient to fill a raft; you'll definitely want a pump. At a half gallon per stroke, yeah, my K-100 would be a real pain to use to fill from deflated. If my basic math is right (20" tubes, 15' long, about 3' wide at bow and stern), there's almost 300 cubic feet of air in my boat. Over 2000 gallons. That's four thousand strokes of a K-pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,022 Posts
To get back on topic; a 100 cubic food SCUBA bottle is far from sufficient to fill a raft; you'll definitely want a pump. At a half gallon per stroke, yeah, my K-100 would be a real pain to use to fill from deflated. If my basic math is right (20" tubes, 15' long, about 3' wide at bow and stern), there's almost 300 cubic feet of air in my boat. Over 2000 gallons. That's four thousand strokes of a K-pump.
I watched some firefighters try to fill a raft with one of their compressed air tanks and it was only minimaly noticeable that it had even filled it a little bit. I think he would have been better off getting an air powered blower i.e. a little fan that is powered by air. Suffice to say...I let him use my Makita blower and barrel pump.

I did a Lodore trip where we had 4 boats and no one thought to bring a blower or electric inflator...so we spent over an hour just pumping boats up. We only had one nice barrel pump and a couple k-pumps...so it was slow going.

I'd love to figure out how to get the little leaf blowers to push more pressure for the end. It would be sweet to basically have a battery powered version of the big red blower pumps. Feels like you could increase the tolerance between the blower blades and the housing and may get more pressure....but a 18-20v motor may not be capable of much more too.
 

·
Registered
AIRE 156R
Joined
·
168 Posts
This Ryobi pump is pretty sweet. Pretty dang quick for its size. Also, if you run Ryobi tools, you don’t need to buy an additional battery. It doesn’t get you all the way there but close enough where a hand pump will work.

61501



Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Cordless High Volume Power Inflator

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
The "Big Red" (Mastercraft) blowers only put out 1.5 psi - the dog groomer hair dryers (aka "Blow-Pro") claim 3 psi but I haven't verified. Man of Rubber used to make an electric blower that definitely put out close to 3 psi, haven't checked to see if they still sell it (came with an option to run two hoses off one pump, useful on snout trips...).
A (wo)man is only as good as her/his tool... I have several k-pumps, and they're great for intended purpose (top off). And for sceptics who talk about inflating after a patch - that's usually only one chamber, not a whole boat... Still might take few hundred strokes, but if you have to, you have to.
40 years ago in Moab, running a charity daily for Jerry's kids (Muscular Dystrophy?), took the boats out to put-in (Onion Creek) the night before. Local HS kids were celebrating something, up all night partying/making amends for LDS upbringing, discovered the boats in wee hours of morning and let air out of 'em... We rolled in to make ready before the bus with the kids, found the boats and some of the miscreants. Gave them the option of inflating by mouth or meeting the county gendarmes... took about 30 minutes per chamber amongst 4 teenagers to get semi-hard (matching their world-view...) and we let them huff and puff for an hour before breaking out the barrel pump.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top