K-Pump 220 Review

The technology and quality of inflatable stand up paddle boards has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Board stiffness in particular has improved markedly. Inflatable SUP’s which were once known for being soft and squishy, now give hard boards a run for their money. It would make sense that as board stiffness increases, the need for pumps that generate high pressure would increase as well. The K-220 is one of the only pumps on the market that does not rely on electricity, and provides both high volume action, as well as high pressure. It in fact, provides so much pressure (and is so easy to pump), that most users will have the problem of over inflating their board, as opposed to not getting it stiff enough. It truly offers the best of both worlds, with only one drawback…price. But, you get what you pay for. This ain’t no freebie, included with your SUP wonder pump…

Specs:

K_Pump_220_Review_Specs

Although this information is for the K Pump 20, it applies to the 220 as well.
**Using proper pumping technique is very important. SUP valves close each time you finish a pump. The more pressure that is in the board, the more pressure there is against the valve. When pumping, take quick, aggressive strokes. This will get more air in the board.**

Pros:

  • FOOTPRINT:The K-220 does not take up much space, especially when you consider that it is 2 pumps in one (low pressure volume pump, and high pressure top off). You can easily bring it with you on trips.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Bag_Pump.jp

    The K Pump 220 is a small footprint in comparison to it’s power. It comes with it’s own bag as well.

  • SIMPLICITY:This pump is extremely easy to use. As previously mentioned, it is so easy to use, the paddler must be aware of board pressure, and make sure not to over inflate (use a Qwik Check gauge). To fill up your board, twist the handle to “low pressure” mode (written into the handle) and pump board up to about 6-8 psi. The first thing that you will notice is that the length of the K-220 will allow you to pump the board from a comfortable standing position. You do not have to arch over into an awkward stance. Low volume mode will top off at about 6-7 psi, and now it is time to twist the dial to “high pressure” mode. With a quick flick of the wrist, you are now ready to pump up the board to 12-15 psi. 15 strokes equates to about 1 psi in high pressure mode. This pump is capable of generating A LOT of pressure with very little effort due to it’s design (narrow diameter). If you have had troubles in the past topping off your board with the included  floor pump, you will be amazed with this pump.

    K_Pump_220_Review_2_Way_Pump

    Twist the dial left or right depending on if you want high or low pressure.

    K_Pump_220_Review_High_Volume_Mode

    Low pressure (high volume) mode.

    K_Pump_220_Review_High_Pressure_Mode

    The high pressure chamber is narrower than the low pressure chamber. The narrower the gauge of the pump, the higher the pressure.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Clever_Pump_Valve

    Close up view of both chambers and the pump handle.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Quick_Check_Gauge

    The K Pump brand Qwik Check Gauge inserts into the SUP valve, and gives an accurate psi reading. This gauge is especially important when you use a K Pump, because there is always the chance of over inflating your board.

  • DURABLE:All K-Pumps are built to last. They are constructed out of commercial duty PVC tubes, and are made in the USA.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Tough

    Driving over your K Pump is not recommended.

  • MADE IN THE USA: All K-Pumps are fabricated in Hood River, OR. USA production = quality control. Not only are the pumps made in the states, they are assembled at a facility called Opportunity Connections. This company employs individuals with disabilities to assemble the pumps. Pretty cool.
  • VERSATILE:The K-Pump 220 was built specifically for SUP inflation. It comes with 1 adapter and will fit many different types of valves. At first we wondered why the pump did not come with multiple attachments. We figured that in order to be able to inflate the multitude of iSUP’s on the market, the pump must need to come with a few adapters. This is not the case. Again, K-Pump provides simplicity wherever applicable. The pump comes with one nozzle  already attached. It works on H-R valves(C4 Waterman, Starboard, Boardworks and many others). There is also an adapter that works with Leafield C-7 valves (NRS). The nozzles are very easy to swap out, and work with most popular brands of SUP.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Universal_Tip

    The included nozzle. It works with Boardworks, Starboard, C4 Waterman and more.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Leafield_C7_Valve

    The Universal nozzle. It will fit on most valves because of the way the head flares out.

  • CUSTOMER SERVICE:K-Pump is an owner operated company. They provide customer service on par with brands like Kokatat and NRS. I called the company with a few questions for this review, and Jim, the owner of the company picked up the phone. There’s no better person to help you out with your K-Pump related question than the owner and founder of the company, right?
  • EASE OF MAINTENANCE:Use the included lube, and your K-Pump will work for a long, long time. It also comes with a spare gasket. If you need anything besides that to keep it running, give your local K-Pump retailer a call, and they will take care of you.

    K_Pump_220_Review_Pump_Lube

    The K-220 comes with a little bit of pump lube. This will ensure that maximum pumping efficiency is achieved.

Cons:

  • PRICE:The K-220 costs $149. Yes, you can buy a Wonder Pump for 1/5 as much, but is does not act as both a volume and high pressure pump. So when you think about it, the 220 is quite a deal because you are really getting a high quality volume pump, as well as a high pressure top off pump.

The Verdict:

If you own an inflatable SUP and are looking for a pump that satisfies the requirements of a volume pump, as well as a high pressure top off pump, the K-Pump 220 is the best in it’s class. K Pump makes quite a few styles of pump, and the 220 is built specifically for inflatable paddle boards. It’s small, light weight, and extremely durable. We have been selling K-Pumps for a few years now, and have never seen one return. Is the K-220 worth $149? We think so.

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