In today’s enticing market for inflatable waterborne vessels, you might find it overwhelming to find the best inflatable boat that fits your budget and needs. Manufacturers are introducing new and even more promising products regularly, and that might as well pile up your confusion even more.
That is why we wrote this article to help you find the best inflatable boat that will suit your preference and meet your every need. You will find various types of inflatable pontoon boats, inflatable dinghy, and styles of blow-up boats in our extensive list of recommendations.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Boat in 2021
Picking the best product is a subjective matter. It all comes down to matching the features in an inflatable boat to what you need it to do. While it is still true that the more you spend on an inflatable boat, the better quality you will get, spending a lot of money doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be getting all the features that you need.
You can ask yourself several questions to help narrow down your options and make the best investment for your own inflatable boat.
Considering the type of boating activity that you will do helps minimize your options as there are various types of inflatable boats, dinghies, inflatable kayaks, and rafts which are all designed for a specific use case scenario. Here are several most common inflatable boat use cases out there:
- Recreational boating: If you’re the type to enjoy the occasional summertime boating activities every few months or so, an entry-level inflatable boat will do just fine.
- River boating: Rivers can be little to quite challenging depending on their current. Generally, you’ll want to look at the capacity and durability of the boat. You’ll likely be needing equipment and would require a solid material to prevent punctures during your water adventures.
- Fishing: An inflatable boat for fishing should have a larger space and load capacity as you will be taking your gears along with you. Choosing an inflatable boat with a motor is also a good idea since you’ll be focusing more on exploring potential casting spots.
- Whitewater: Whitewater rafting requires a specially designed boat that can withstand sharp rocks and rough currents. If you’re planning on doing this type of activity, you should be looking at higher-end inflatable boats.
The Best Inflatable Boats You Can Buy in 2021
These are our recommendations for the best inflatable boats you can buy in 2021:
1. Intex Excursion 5 Inflatable Boat
The Intex Excursion 5 inflatable boat is a 5-person boat that can hold up to 1300 pounds of weight, making it a perfect choice for recreational boating with your family and friends. Aside from that, this boat is also well-equipped for fishing purposes since it has a fitting for a motor mount, as well as, two fishing rod holders on either side of the deck.
This boat comes with everything you’ll need to get on the water: 54-inch aluminum oars, a high-output pump, a repair patch kit, and a carrying bag. This inflatable boat is made from heavy-duty and puncture-resistant vinyl with three separate air chambers — making it a very safe water vessel to bring your loved ones to the lake or mild rivers.
2. Intex 68370EP Challenger 3 Inflatable Boat
The Intex Challenger 3 is an inflatable raft boat that is a perfect choice for a 3-person fun boating adventure. Whether you want to go on recreational rowing on the lake, relax with your friends, or catch some fish, this boat has all you need. Like all other boats from Intex, this inflatable boat sports a heavy-duty and puncture-resistant vinyl that ensures its durability on the water.
The Intex Challenger 3 is U.S Coast Guard NMMA certified, which means it meets all the U.S. industry standards for safety in the water. It also comes with two 48-inch aluminum oars and Intex’s signature high-output pump to get you on the water in a blink of an eye.
3. Intex Mariner 3 Inflatable Boat
Intex populates the top three spots for this article because they make high-quality inflatable boats at affordable prices. Among the best products that they have is the Intex Mariner 3 inflatable boat.
This inflatable boat can fit up to three passengers with its super-tough materials, consisting of two 30-gauge PVC outer layers. The Intex Mariner 3 also comes with a mounting kit at the stem, which allows you to attach a trolling or outboard motor — so if you’re not into paddling, you’re all set with this boat. This inflatable boat also comes with two aluminum oars, fishing rod holders, oar holders, and rotational oar locks available at your convenience.
4. AIRHEAD Agler Bay 6 Inflatable Boat
The AIRHEAD Angler inflatable boat comes in three different capacity sizes: 3-person, 4-person, and 6-person. The 6-person AIRHEAD Angler inflatable boat is, by far, the most popular among the three variations.
This inflatable boat is designed for fishing and comfort, and there are features tailored for those things. There are multiple drink holders, two fishing rod holders, four drain plugs, and a battery storage bag. If you’re looking for a boat that can carry you and your group of friends on the water without much hassle, then this one is the perfect choice for you.
5. Intex Seahawk 4 Inflatable Boat
The Intex Seahawk 4 is a 4-person blow-up boat designed with heavy-duty and puncture-resistant PVC, which gives it top-notch durability for its price. The boat has three air chambers, including an inner auxiliary chamber inside the main hull so you can still float even if one of the chambers is punctured.
This inflatable boat is also suitable for fishing since it has two built-in fishing rod holders and motor mount fittings. It also comes with a gear pouch, so you don’t have to worry about getting another one for your fishing kit.
6. BRIS 9.8ft Inflatable Boat
The BRIS inflatable boat is a dinghy-style blow-up water vessel made with high-quality material that can easily resist tearing, tension, and breaking. All the seams in this boat are heat-welded, making it a nigh-impenetrable boat whether you use it on freshwater or saltwater — even at the highest humidity.
It comes with a PVC hull, aluminum floor panels, two aluminum bench seats, a repair kit, a foot pump, and two aluminum oars to get you on the water quickly. While the BRIS 9.8ft inflatable boat is slightly on the heavier side of inflatable boats, it makes up for its comfort and stability while on the water.
Inflatable boats are becoming popular as more and more people are starting to be interested and get into this hobby. If you’re in the market for one, it might be challenging to find the best inflatable boat that suits your needs — but we hope that our above recommendations have helped you narrow down your options significantly.