Foot pumps group test

16 Oct, 2012 3:15pm Jamie Fretwell

A traditional foot pump can still do the job, and is a vital piece of kit for an emergency. We pick from 20

Keep a foot pump in your car, and you’ll always be prepared for a flat tyre.

While some drivers prefer the convenience of a 12-volt air compressor, a traditional foot pump only needs leg, rather than electric, power. Plus, many come with accessories, allowing you to blow up a camp bed or child’s toy when you’re on holiday.

But which is the best? We test 10 single barrel and 10 double barrel pumps.

How we tested them

We rated each foot pump’s comfort, build and stability by pumping up a tyre on a concrete garage floor.

Hose lengths were measured to ensure they’d reach an 18-inch tyre with the valve at the top of the rim. Points were awarded for clear displays and psi and Bar readings, plus for gauges that let you store a preferred pressure on the bezel.

As you’d expect, accuracy was central to this test, with the dial readings at 30psi compared to our favourite digital gauge. (It’s always worth checking the pressure against a digital gauge.) To rate efficiency, we judged how much air each product added with 20 pumps to a tyre at 30psi.

Comfort was also assessed – those with large footrests scored well – plus we liked mechanisms that kept the pump closed when stored. Our final criteria was price.


This test developed into a straight battle between Michelin and Ring. The former’s 12202 double barrel pump is the best here; although it’s expensive, it edged the RFP2 into second among the double barrels.

The Ring RFP1 is the most accurate and efficient single barrel, ahead of the Michelin 12200, and takes second overall from its RFP2 stablemate.

1. Michelin 12202 Double Barrel
2. Ring RFP1 Single Barrel
3. Ring RFP2 Double Barrel

Also tested

Your garage doesn’t have room for 20 foot pumps, and neither does our test. Listed below are the eight products that we also assessed, along with their price and the rating we gave them.

Double barrel pumps

Sealey FP4, £23.94 ★★
Clarke FP300, £15.59 ★★
Halfords 970095, £19.99 ★★
RAC HP148, £17.99 ★

Single barrel pumps

StreetWize SWFPHP2, £17.99 ★★
Argos Value Range, £4.99 ★★
PCL FP4, £15.58 ★★
Draper DIY-FP, £5.35 ★