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6 inch Carlson, NRS or DRE barrel pump. They ain't cheap, but worth every penny.
KJ
 

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I've seen NRS and DRE pumps break on more than one occasion. I have never seen a Carlson have problems, even the 400 year old pump we use at work!
 

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ewww, inflate a 16 footer with a hand pump? I wouldn't want to do that with Randaddy's arms. if your gonna drop $250+ on that Carlson, drop another $15 on a cheap 12v air mattress pump to get 'er most of the way. (or even a battery/rechargable one)

you're a rafter, it's ok to be lazy
 

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DRE 4" or 6"...

For the price the DRE is awesome, also has back up seal rings included in a stash place bottom of pump. American made and they back there pump up if there are any problems. Carlson is a sweet pump as well, very durable, bit of cash, USA made. Not sure anything that is NRS branded is made in the USA......

TMCK

Keep The Hairy Side UP...
 

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While we have a smaller barrel pump, it has not left the shed in 2 years and is actually moved to the way back of the boating gear, even behind the groover (which gets used more). We trailer our boat always except for multidays. We have a 2 stage Kpump, which we use for topping off all the time. It goes on every trip. Also on multidays, there's usually someone that agrees with most others on this thread, and carries a Carlson, but we've never had to borrow it (crossing our fingers because the Kpump would suck to inflate a flat chamber after an on-river repair). It ends up a pretty good fit, many people grab our K pump for topping off on multidays instead of dragging out their Carlson.
 

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ewww, inflate a 16 footer with a hand pump? I wouldn't want to do that with Randaddy's arms. if your gonna drop $250+ on that Carlson, drop another $15 on a cheap 12v air mattress pump to get 'er most of the way. (or even a battery/rechargable one)

you're a rafter, it's ok to be lazy
We do a late season fly-in trip on the Middle Fork every year. I can tell you from first hand experience that inflating a 16 ft. raft and two 14 ft. Cats by hand pump is not all that much fun. But it's a lot easier with a 6 inch Carlson, than with a cheapo pump.
KJ
 

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Ihowemt - Sounds like you like the two stage K-pump? I have a single stage model, and was thinking of either an upgrade, or maybe the 4 inch DRE shorty.
My rafting partner carries a 6 inch Carlson, and my other pump is a double action cheapo that has somehow held up for 8 years. My friend calls my double action "The back beater pump.":cool:
KJ
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have the cheap 12v pump just not sure if I need the 6" barrel pump or the k pump. I have to make some adjustment to make the raft fit the trailer, rigged so wondering which investment is better. I've also heard the cheap double action pumps can work fine as well
 

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If you had to make an on river repair and then re-inflate a boat, you would be hating life with just a K-pump.....even a two stage. We don't call my cheapo double action pump the "Back Beater" for nothing. At least one person on every trip should have 6 inch barrel pump. IMHO.
KJ
 

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lhowemt,
Which 2 stage K-pump do you have? K-40 or K-400?
KJ
 

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Just a note...DRE barrel pumps have an aluminum tip at the end of the hose, so ususally you need a partner. The Carlson has a rubber end that sticks in, allowing you to pump solo. Why has DRE not thought about that? Carlson 2 thumbs up
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't have a k pump yet, just bought the raft and working on rigging it. And trying to decide on pumps for starters
 

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Just a note...DRE barrel pumps have an aluminum tip at the end of the hose, so ususally you need a partner. The Carlson has a rubber end that sticks in, allowing you to pump solo. Why has DRE not thought about that? Carlson 2 thumbs up
If you wrap a small piece of athletic tape around the metal tip it helps it stick in, allowing for single person inflation.
 

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Carlson 4 inch for me. And yes I have blown the whole boat many times with it. It fits in a lot more places easier than than the six.

Going on 13 yrs and I think I have lubed it about 4 times and changed the o-ring once.
 

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I have three pumps:

cheap walmart electric - gets used on every inflatable I own
4 inch carlson - for topping off big boat
k pump - for topping off little boat and cataraft

Ideally, everyone should have at least two pumps...one for volume and one for pressure.

I always start out with my communist electric, which happens to be an ass kicker. My K100 is a great pump and gets used a lot more than my Carlson. It is also easier to stow and goes down the river with me on every trip. However, for my big boat I use the Carlson because just topping off that pig is a chore. As someone mentioned, if you are on a multiday trip, the Carlson is where it's at.

I have inflated my big boat using just my Carlson(no electric) and it is a workout. But, if you only buy one pump, get a Carlson. Or better yet, if you have friends who know how, have them help you build your own pump. My brother once dismantled a Carlson, studied it, and built his own and it works great.

For a big 16 ft raft, you should at least have some kind of electric pump from walmart, amazon, etc. They are very inexpensive and work great. But if you only bought one pump, the 6 inch Carlson is the best I have used.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks got the cheap electric and I dont need another project just more time on the river. Advice taken gratefully
 
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