The new Salamander 4 Inch Short Barrel Raft Hand Pump is a very well made, super high-value cylinder unit similar to the Carlson shorty. It is a size that travels well downriver even in a small raft or cat, and the snap strap at the top holds the handle in place for easy transport.
Salamander 4 Inch Short Barrel Raft Hand Pump Specifications
The Salamander Shorty weighs under seven pounds, and is 23” tall overall – which is about 4” to 5” more than a typical “wonder” style pump. That extra height means you won’t be hunching over as much when operating it compared to a wonder pump, so less back strain along with less resistance on the down stroke. There is no “up-stroke” because this is not a double-action unit, nor are any of the hand made cylinder barrel pumps.
The cylinder itself is 19.5” long, and there is a spare O-ring inside the body. The price is far lower than the short Carlson 4” (which we are not currently stocking), then again the warranty is not as long either. Barrel pump warranties don’t really cover broken handles, which is the one thing that is difficult for the end user to remedy. Most other issues are simple to fix, and broken handles are easy to prevent – just lay the pump down on its side when not in use. Handles break when cylinder pumps tip over on hard surfaces if one hand grip hits the ground straight-on.
The hose tip is the typical section of Tygon tube, and it will fit into many valves as-is. For others, if the tip is just a little too big in diameter, you can taper it very slightly with sandpaper. Should your boat have valves that usually require a twist-in adapter, that can simply be pushed into the Tygon tip. The one exception is the newer grey Italian made Innova kayak valves, but the tip fits perfectly into those without the adapter – you just need a second person to hold the hose or it’s own weight will pull it out of the valve.
TIPS for Salamander 4 Inch Short Barrel Raft Hand Pump
All cylinder pumps require grease, and you will only make your job harder by not maintaining the interior of the barrel. We mentioned this is a good size to take down the river, and it is, but in big waves water will enter the barrel & congeal the grease. This also increases the possibility of blowing water inside your boat so always be careful or put the pump in its own bag. When water has been inside, all you need to do to re-grease the pump is to remove one set screw on the top cap, and tap the cap off like any Carlson or K-Pump. Axle grease can be used, but white lithium or silicon based greases work better since they are less viscous.
As long as the pump never gets wet inside, lubing it once per year should be enough for busy boaters, and if you go less often, then every other year should be sufficient.
The ship weight is more than double the real amount due to the ridiculous “dimensional weight” policies put into place by UPS in January of 2015, and now followed by every other shipper. We often have to use a new 10” square by 24” tall box (billed at 15 pounds by UPS) for these, and those run about $3 each by the time we get them here, so we are not only not making money on the shipping, we are actually losing money.
Although this is a new item the good folks at Salamander have always produced quality products, and this looks like a winner inside & out. We also have a new hand held top-off model from Salamander listed separately in this section of our site.