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Soccer balls are known to lose their air pressure over time, and that has a number of negative implications for the world’s most popular sport.
Now, I won’t list all the downsides but I will mention that soccer balls without enough air pressure don’t bounce as well or move as fast in the air and along the ground as those that do.
This is why soccer ball pumps were created.
Utilising them allows players optimal use of their own soccer balls, which subsequently makes competitive games, training sessions and casual kickabouts much more enjoyable spectacles.
So, in today’s product roundup article I’ll be looking at the best soccer ball pumps and judging them against a specific set of criteria that I shall outline later on.
But before I take the deep dive, I always start with a quick highlight of the top recommendations which covers the best overall option, the best value option, the best budget one along with one or two additional picks.
Here’s the list:
Franklin Sports Ball Pump
SPORTBIT Ball Pump
Uhlsport Ball Pump
Mitre Double Action Ball Pump
Nike Essential Ball Pump
The Franklin Sports Ball Pump wins here, as it comes with a pressure gauge, an extension hose that’s fully flexible along with internal needle storage, unlike some of the other options I’ve reviewed. What’s more is that it is an insanely popular pump with tens of thousands of happy customers attesting to its quality.
With that broad overview complete, let’s dissect things a little further.
- 1. Franklin Sports Ball Pump
- 2. SPORTBIT Ball Pump
- 3. Uhlsport Ball Pump
- 4. Mitre Double Action Entry Ball Pump
- 5. Nike Essential Ball Pump
- Other honourable mentions
- Things to look for in a good soccer ball pump
- What’s the best soccer ball pump?
1. Franklin Sports Ball Pump
- Complete pump kit: includes a 7.5” pump with flexible extension hose, inflation needles and inflation gauge along with a carrying case to keep all components organized
- Inflation gauge: The heavy duty pressure gauge measures psi to make sure you are inflating to the perfect pressure
- Needles included: Includes 3 needles for pumping up all sizes of soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, playground balls and other inflatables. This pump is not recommended as a bicycle tire pump
Most soccer fans reading this are unlikely to be aware of the Franklin Sports brand, particularly those located outside of the United States.
And that’s why I love writing up these articles because I’m able to enlighten my readership through sharing immense amounts of knowledge with different demographics of people.
For starters, the company that makes this soccer ball pump was founded not too far back in the year 1946.
It began as a regional brand of sporting goods before venturing into affiliations with numerous world class athletes such as Barry Bonds and Sugar Ray Leonard.
In the present-day Franklin Sports is widely regarded as a manufacturing powerhouse within America; collaborating with some major sporting competitions like:
- Major League Soccer (MLS)
- The National Football League (NFL)
- The PGA Tour
- The National Hockey League (NHL)
Anyway, that’s enough said about the brand.
I’ll now move on to the product itself.
To begin with, the 7.5-inch Franklin Sports Ball Pump comes in a striking red colourway that looks very easy on the eye.
You also get the sense that the construction is sturdy and robust enough for the job of manually pumping up soccer balls.
Let’s discuss the headline features…
Flexible extension hose
Average quality pumps tend to leave little margin for error as they don’t usually include an extension hose.
You see, this piece of pipe affords the user more room to manoeuvre the needle whilst they try and inflate the ball.
Without one, the needle is capable of bending, snapping or getting caught inside the soccer ball valve opening as there is close to zero room for movement when the pumping process commences.
Having this extension hose connected to the needle and then inserted into the ball places less strain on the needle itself and it can be easily removed without damage after the inflation is complete.
Internal needle storage
One of the most impressive design features of this soccer ball pump is the compartment for needle storage that’s been incorporated.
Most companies won’t take this extra step and will simply include a small plastic carrier bag within the packaging for users to store the needles.
So, I’m pretty pleased to see that they’ve created a circular opening on the underside of the pump handle for storing the 3 metal needles that come with the gear.
Top marks here for Franklin Sports!
Dynamic pressure gauge
Next up we have the heavy-duty pressure gauge.
It looks similar to a tape measure but it gives the user all the information they need to know about just how much air pressure is within each soccer ball that’s pumped.
All you have to do is attach the needle with the gauge, insert the former into the soccer ball and wait for the pounds per square inch (PSI) reading to match the ball’s recommended air pressure level.
I managed to find a short unboxing video that illustrates exactly how the product is packaged as well as how it functions.
Take a look below:
- Weight – 136 grams
- Dimensions – 0.07 cm x 0.21 cm x 0.07 cm
2. SPORTBIT Ball Pump
The second product we have is the SPORTBIT Ball Pump.
I would say that the company brand isn’t as established as Franklin Sports.
You can tell that they’re one of the smaller players in this market sector as this product was initially made available on Amazon in December 2016.
But nonetheless, there’s still a lot to like about this pump and I’ll now explain why.
For starters, SPORTBIT have catered for customer comfort through ergonomic design.
The pump’s handling area is fitted with some sort of soft mould and tiny gripping spots that cushion the user’s hand whilst he or she holds it.
You can’t overlook something like this because if you’re met with an emergency situation where you’re needed to pump up a large volume of soccer balls in quick succession, you’ll need to protect your hands and arms from sprains and pains.
Push-pull air delivery
Secondly, has been made to function through a push and pull air delivery sequence.
What this means is that when a user pushes down on the pump, it inflates the ball and even when the user recoils backwards via a pulling motion, the ball still receives a little extra air pressure in the process.
Ultimately, that soccer ball is getting pumped up to its recommended level regardless of whether you push the pump or pull it.
Soft needle plug system
I talked about this in the previous product review up above and it’s such an important factor that you can see SPORTBIT have also decided to do something about it.
As needles are capable of bending during the pumping process, the company has put together a soft needle plug system to prevent damage to the needles used and thereby prolong the useful life of the pump itself.
It’s good to see the product in action so I’ve also included a brief video which illustrates how this soccer ball pump works.
Check it out:
- Weight – 140 grams
- Extra components – 5 metal needles
- Material – plastic and rubber
3. Uhlsport Ball Pump
Product image unavailable. Refer to comparison table at top for product listing appearance.
Uhlsport has been around for quite a number of years.
Founded in 1948 by Karl Uhl, the company’s history is said to have begun in the Southwest of Germany within a small town called Balingen.
Fast forward to the present day and they are widely recognised for specialising in goalkeeper apparel and other sorts of soccer accessories.
Now I’ll move onto what they bring to the table.
The pump itself comes in a sleek-looking black colour, with the company logo neatly painted on the body of the structure in a clean white font.
Its minimalistic design means that users don’t need to mount separate parts – like an extension hose – on it as it also designed to work with just the insertion needle.
Additionally, the high-quality valve construction ensures that pretty much all of the air that’s inserted via manual pumping makes its way into the soccer ball without leakage.
The most annoying thing to experience with a soccer ball pump is buying one takes an inordinate amount of time to get the ball fully pressurised.
- Material composition – plastic
- Weight – 90+ grams depending on the size ordered (i.e. small or large)
4. Mitre Double Action Entry Ball Pump
- Mitre’s first double-action ball pump - ideal for inflating a couple of balls quickly
- Compact, durable and easy to store
- Includes a standard Euro needle for instant use - and we stock replacements just in case
Here we have another giant soccer gear manufacturer in Mitre!
They are well known for their quality soccer ball range and they have played a part in the exponential growth that the soccer industry has had over the last couple of decades.
It’s certainly not out of the realms of possibility that they’d succeed at manufacturing a good soccer ball pump, and they’ve done exactly that here.
The Mitre Double Action Pump definitely holds up fairly well in terms of performance when I compare it against some of the earlier reviewed options.
Read on to find out more about what it has to offer!
To begin right off the bat, I’d like to say that the colour choice that Mitre have gone for here is spectacular.
An electric cyan blue shade makes it look quite appealing and it would most likely be an eye grabber if you came across it within a physical retail store.
It comes equipped with a standard Euro needle that makes it ideal for inflating any sort of sports ball.
This extra versatility is great especially for users who don’t just have soccer balls stored at home.
More so, the plastic carry case that accompanies it allows for easy transportation.
There will be times when your soccer games are scheduled to take place a couple of miles away, and being able to safely take the pump with you is a great plus point.
Lastly, the icing on the cake is the dual-pumping functionality which inflates the ball in both push and pull instances.
That’s extra efficiency when stacked up against a standard pump as no air or human effort goes to waste.
You need to see for yourself just how beautiful this pump looks!
The video below goes through an unboxing and showcases the inflation process as well:
- Weight – 30 grams
- Package dimensions – 26 cm x 8 cm x 3 cm
You might also be interested in checking out Mitre’s Stirrup Ball Pump as it’s a decent looking alternative.
5. Nike Essential Ball Pump
- Compact design with attached hose for easy transportation
- Efficient pump compresses air for fast filling
- Box contents: 1 x needle
Finally, we have the Nike Essential Ball Pump.
With Nike being one of the biggest sports brands in the world, you are likely to think that all their products are of the highest possible quality.
This is largely true but I’ve found that in some cases you are actually better off going for the more unknown brands, particularly when it comes to accessories such as these.
Now you might think that I’m going all in and bashing Nike but I believe that they should also receive some fair criticism which pushes them to do better.
Nevertheless, they’ve got a solid soccer ball pump here and I’ll briefly mention what it’s about.
At a glance, you’re met with three distinct colourways on the Amazon product page:
- Black and white
- Red and blue
- Volt and black
The red and blue type may actually appeal to Barcelona fans as the colours match that of the club crest quite a bit.
More so, the swoosh logo is boldly centred which is a nice trademark touch.
What’s also interesting about this pump is that the extension hose already comes attached to it, so a user doesn’t have to fiddle about trying to connect the two different components together.
On matters of air delivery, this pump is said to compress air for faster soccer ball filling, which makes the inflation process more effective by cutting the time and energy needed for full pressurisation.
Lastly, the compact design makes it a snug fit in a backpack, and that ensures it can be taken anywhere on the go.
- Material composition – 83% acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) copolymer, 8% rubber, 5% thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), 3% zinc alloy, 1% nylon
- Weight – 130 grams
Other honourable mentions
This product roundup would not be complete if I never mentioned two other soccer ball pumps.
What I’ve covered so far are pumps that work by manually forcing the air into the ball via pushing and pulling motions.
Now there are also electric soccer ball pumps that require less human input.
The first one I’d like to reveal is the Morpilot Smart Electric Ball Pump which comes with an intelligent pressure detection mechanism, a visual LED screen and USB charging capability.
And if you wanted to go all out on a mains-powered soccer ball pump, then the Mitre Electric Pro Inflator Pump is a perfect fit.
Things to look for in a good soccer ball pump
Now before I wrap things up, I’d like to take a little bit more of your screen time by sharing with you the factors to consider when shopping for a soccer ball pump.
A soccer ball pump needs to be compact enough to carry around, especially due to the fact that players usually travel to different locations for training sessions and matches.
There would be no use purchasing a pump that is too heavy and large to fit in a backpack, for example.
Dual-action air delivery
I’d ay efficiency plays a big role in separating the best soccer ball pumps from the rest.
You see in the world that we live in today, people are always looking to save time or money with the products that they buy.
Having a pump that delivers on the former is a very good start, as being built with push and pull air flow mechanisms means that soccer balls get inflated faster.
This in itself translates into having fully pumped soccer balls available for use in a shorter setup time, which even allows players to take to the field and play for longer periods.
Accurate pressure gauge
Soccer balls usually come with manufacturer-recommended air pressure levels.
And being able to rely on pressure gauge technology as opposed to one’s own intuition on how the object feels allows players to inflate soccer balls with the correct amount of air.
A good pump will come fitted with either a digital or analogue air pressure reader.
You can use our soccer ball pressure guide if you’re having trouble figuring out just how much air you need to fill your ball up with.
Extension hose add-on
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that the pump you choose has an accompanying hose add-on.
Needles are very prone to bending or snapping and the extension simply allows the needle to have a greater range of flexible movement within the valve opening as air is delivered.
What’s the best soccer ball pump?
With all that out of the way I can leave you with a few final remarks.
It’s my considered opinion that the Franklin Sports Ball Pump is the best out of all the options reviewed. It excels air delivery, comes with a good pressure gauge, a flexible hose extension, storage space for the needles as well as having thousands of positive feedback comments from satisfied customers.
You can’t go wrong there unless you happen to receive a faulty unit!