Today’s inflatable watercraft market offers thousands of great products that make it overwhelming to choose the best inflatable boat out there. For starters, one of the most suitable types of rubber boats to use is an inflatable raft. An excellent inflatable raft is the one that can serve its essential purpose: being a water-borne vessel.
Blow-up rafts are without a doubt, one of the most affordable options if you are still starting new. However, choosing the right inflatable raft can be incredibly difficult for newcomers as the options reach far and wide.
But hey, worry no more! In this article, we’re going to introduce to you several of the best inflatable boats that you can get at an affordable price.
Choosing The Best Inflatable Raft in 2021
By definition, a raft is the most basic form of an inflatable boat. As long as it can carry you on a body of water, you can call it a raft. In this day and age, blow-up rafts are an excellent solution for both recreational or other purposes. Let’s start looking at our recommendation of the best inflatable rafts in 2021.
1. Intex Excursion 5 Inflatable Raft
The Intex Excursion 5-Person rubber raft is a terrific option for a durable yet affordable water vehicle. It offers a 1,300-pound carrying capacity that provides sufficient headroom to bring along five passengers plus some gears and supplies.
This inflatable raft is NMMA and U.S. Coast Guard certified so it has met and passed all the safety standards set by the government. It’s also rated to handle lakes and mild rivers – but not whitewater.
The Intex Excursion 5-Person inflatable raft comes with two inflatable seats with backrests, ensuring that you can have a comfortable position even when you’re paddling for hours. You can also mount a motor on the motor fitting pre-installed at the stern of the boat – but it’s worth noting that the motor mount and motor are sold separately. This boat comes with an easy-store carrying bag, 54-inch aluminum oars, a high-output pump, and a repair patch kit.
2. Intex Mariner 4 Inflatable Raft
The Intex Mariner 4 is a high-quality inflatable raft known for its practicality, performance, and durability. You can find in this inflatable raft all the features that you’d need for a relaxing fishing trip or leisure paddling on the lake.
The Mariner 4 model is one of the most affordable products from Intex, but that doesn’t mean that it is not an excellent inflatable raft. It offers all the durability and high-material construction that Intex products are known for. It also has very high portability and versatility thanks to its easy assembly process.
The PVC materials used to build this inflatable raft are designed to withstand UV rays, abrasions, and even exposures to chemicals and gas while on the water. Another fantastic feature about the PVC material is that it has a slow-air passing rate that allows the boat to stay inflated for a more extended period.
3. Inflatable Bay Breeze Boat
This 6-person inflatable raft from SunPleasure is one of the best inflatable rafts to have some fun with on the water with your friends and family. It features a lounge-style design that allows all the passengers to relax, making it a perfect mini-party boat.
The massive design provided with this rubber raft allows all passengers to have their relaxing spots. What’s more interesting about this inflatable raft is that it is an inflatable pool float – that’s shaped like a raft.
There’s an inflatable step-up platform on the back of the raft that you can use to get in and out of the boat. This inflatable raft’s ‘nose’ is also very spacious, making it even more spacious for relaxation.
4. Bestway 65049E Hydro-Force Mirovia
The Bestway HydroForce Mirovia is a 130″ inflatable raft that offers the best value for money. The HydroForce Mirovia is made from terylene-supported PVC that comprises four air chambers. To withstand the air pressure, the PVC is coated with sunlight-resistant materials that also enhances its durability.
Although it comes at a very budget-friendly price, the Bestway HydroForce Mirovia has aluminum alloy floorboards that make it very stable to use, even on open water. It’s also quite large at 10 feet, and 10 inches long with a maximum carry capacity of 1411 pounds (including motors and other equipment). However, the space on the boat itself is only enough for 3-4 people.
The inflatable boat comes with a tow rope, a pair of aluminum oars, an inflator pump, a pressure gauge, a carrying bag, and a repair kit – which means you’ll be able to get on the water as soon as it arrives. Although it doesn’t come with a motor – which is understandable given its price – it has a molded metal motor mount at the stern of the boat. You can use up to 15HP motor without any problem, but it’s highly advised to stay within that limitation.
Although this rubber raft sounds promising, one of the drawbacks of Bestway’s product is that it’s challenging to find any details online.
5. NRS PackRaft
The NRS PackRaft is the best inflatable raft when it comes to portability. It offers a fun, stable, and convenient boating experience for newcomers and enthusiasts alike. Its small and lightweight build is slightly misleading since it still provides a reasonably durable material – but not quite comparable to other more expensive products.
The tubes of the NRS PackRaft are constructed of 70D polyurethane nylon, while the floor is made of the 210D variant of the same materials. Although the most durable boat is by no means, it provides a decent resistance to scratches and punctures.
The company that makes the PackRaft, Northwest River Supplies (NRS), is well known for its top-tier watercraft gear. In other words, we have our confidence in this plain-looking inflatable raft as one of the best value for money options.
One of the most intriguing features of the NRS PackRaft is its mind-boggling 5.7-pound weight and therefore has extreme portability. You can carry the entire inflatable raft with one hand, no problem – so storage and travel are very doable.
It comes with a convenient storage bag and a repair kit – which means you’ll need to get your oars and pump before you are ready to paddle. The NRS PackRaft is also on the smaller side of the inflatable raft at only 6’10” in length and a 400-pound carrying capacity.
With the wide variety of inflatable boats in the market, it’s no surprise that you’ll end up having a difficult time to choose which one suits you best. But with our detailed review here, we hope that this article can give you a helpful insight on the best inflatable rafts that you should check out in 2021. We guarantee you, all of these options are of great value for your money. Now go, take your pick!