Best Inflatable Boat Reviews 2018

Are you a beach bunny, fishing fanatic, or water sports enthusiast looking for an inflatable boat? Are you confused by the vast selection of inflatable boats on the market and have no clue where to start? We’ve researched five of the best inflatable boat brands on the market, showcasing a boat from each to help you find one that best meets your boating needs. Depending upon what you’re looking for, you may also want to check out our inflatable kayak review for even more great options.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Designed For
Capacity
Material(s)
Size(s)
Accessories
Our Top Choice
Sea Eagle 9 Inflatable Boat
Sea Eagle Boats Inc. was founded in 1968. The company is a family-owned and operated business that manufactures fishing and inflatable boats, canoes, waves and kayaks.
Lightweight, durable and ready for the water in about 15 minutes. Mount for electric or gas motor, or use oars.Comes with several accessories and a three-year warranty.
It’s too weighty to be used by one person.
Fishing/rafting/yachting/rowing
4 adults - 1200 pounds
38 mil polykrylar (K80 PVC)
11 x 4 x 8 inches/105 pounds
Motormount, oars, carry bag, pump
Best Value
Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
Airhead is a brand with a focus on manufacturing floats, waterproof electronics and bags, snow and water sports products, and related accessories such as boats, kayaks, boards and skis.
It’s portable, affordable, durable, lightweight and ideal for slow-moving streams and lakes.
It isn’t ideal for fast-moving streams with high tides.
Fishing primarily
6 people - 900 pounds
Heavy-duty vinyl, K80 PVC
12 x 23 x 26 inches/11.3 pounds
Rod holders, drink holders, seat
Classic Accessories Inflatable Pontoon Boat
Founded in 1983, Classic Accessories started out as an auto-accessory manufacturer. The firm has grown over the last three decades with increased investment in product R&D.
It’s portable, durable, easy to use and a high-end product with the most features.
Maximum weight load less than some other one-person boats.
Fishing primarily
1 person - 400 pounds
Powder-coated steel, PVC
108 x 56 x 26 inches/77 pounds
Motor mount, transport wheel, bag
Bestway HydroForce Caspian Inflatable Boat
Inspired by consumer, employee and environmental happiness, Bestway is a brand with a focus on developing premium, innovative products for leisure and sports.
Lightweight and portable, safe, easy to use, reasonable priced and of high quality. The boat is also resistant to abrasion pollutants and UV degradation.
It’s not ideal for more than two people.
Sporting or fishing boat
2 adults - 568 pounds
Plywood transom, PVC
91 x 51 x 13 inches/51 pounds
Tow ring, oar locks, grab ropes
Intex Excursion 5 Inflatable Boat Set
Founded in 1975, Intex Recreation Corporation designs high-quality airbeds, pools, spas, furniture, boats and toys for safety, comfort and endless fun.
It’s comfortable, durable, affordable, lightweight and accommodates up to five people.
It’s not ideal for use in pool because of size.
Excursion boat
5 people -1000 pounds
PVC vinyl
24 x 12 x 22 inches/ 40 pounds
Grab line, 2 oar locks, 2 seats

(Updated )
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Watch Our Inflatable Boat Review

How Do I Choose the Best Inflatable Boat?

If you’re part mermaid or simply a huge fan of water fun, and enjoy all things water-related like fishing, water cruising, or partaking in waterside relaxation with friends and family, chances are you’ll need a watercraft. Buying a boat is an expensive affair and transporting the boat back and forth is physically taxing. Without a doubt, the answer to these issues is the inflatable boat. Essentially, these boats are giant tubes that are inflated with air when required, then deflated when the boat is no longer needed.

Inflatable boats are designed to support various water activities such as sports, fishing and excursions. They come in varying sizes, brands, materials and capacities, and come with many additional accessories. While some inflatable boats can only carry a single person, others are designed to accommodate up to six people with varying maximum load capacities.

Included with every boat package is an air pump for on-the-spot inflation. Higher-quality boats are fully inflated within just a few minutes. These boats allow you to partake in all the water activities you have your heart set on, just like a regular plastic or fiberglass boat. However, unlike a regular boat or canoe, an inflatable boat is highly portable. Since it is lightweight and compact when not inflated, it is easy to transport and can be folded up to fit into a bag. Lucky for you, there’s no need to hitch a boat trailer to transport an inflatable boat!

Most inflatable boats can easily fit in the trunk of your car or be securely attached to a roof rack. As these boats are filled with air, it is also highly buoyant. Another benefit of having an inflatable boat is that it’s so light to carry, one single person can manage on their own. When it comes to stability, an inflatable boat doesn’t disappoint, unlike what many people would think, as it has high innate stability since it’s filled with air.

A good quality inflatable boat can be purchased in different weight capacities as to accommodate the number of people it will be required to transport. Additionally, it can also carry necessary gear such as a boat hook or a boat storage for fishing. Since you’re looking to float in the water and not sink, you’ll want an inflatable boat that is made of strong, durable materials. Whether it’s sunbathing or lake fishing, you’ll need to make sure you pick a boat that includes the right accessories. Lastly, look out for warranties and maximum-load capacities.

There are some boat models that are comprised of several compartments which need to be filled with air. This makes the boat safer because it can continue to float should a compartment become punctured, unlike a regular boat which would easily sink.
Price
Inflatable boats are generally pricey items, mostly because of the workmanship required in producing a boat that’s highly functional and safe in water. The materials used in the construction of a boat and the features you get determines its price.

There are cheap inflatable boats on the market that might be tempting, especially for first time buyers. However, they should be avoided because they might not last very long, cruise well in water, or be reliable in salt water. A basic single-user inflatable boat can cost as low as $50 while a high-end model with a capacity of about four people can cost about $1000 or more.
Features
There are many features to look out for in an inflatable boat but the most important of all is security. You want to be safe when you are out in the middle of the lake fishing or relaxing with your friends and family. You should also ensure your boat is properly accessorized with the right amenities you’ll need while out in the waters. Buy from a popular brand known to offer the best inflatable boats.

Here are some of the features to look out for in an Inflatable Boat:
  • Materials used in the construction of the boat
  • Certification from the necessary associations to guarantee safety
  • Capacity of the boat
  • Self-bailing valves or plugs
  • Capability to repair and repair kit
  • Storage bags and inflatable seats
  • Strakes to protect the keel
  • Capability to use a motor on the boat
With the right inflatable boat, you can quietly cruise around on your own, or, with bigger capacity inflatables, have fun with friends and family.
Construction and Design
Type

There are different types of inflatable boats, the most common being roll-up and rigid-hulled inflatable boats. A rigid-hulled inflatable boat has a rigid floor and a solid hull. The solid hull cuts through the water and the waves, easily making this boat a high-performance boat.

The rigid floor of the boat ensures the tube doesn’t sink when you step on the floor. This increases the stability of the boat and makes it highly comfortable. The structure of the boat also makes it capable for the boat to hold a strong and heavy motor, enhancing the performance of the boat. Considered to be the best type of inflatable boat, they also include steering and a full cabin.

The roll-up boats, on the other hand, are not as high performance as the rigid hulled inflatable boats. These are made mostly for people who are not looking for high performance or as yacht tenders for those without big space on their yacht. These boats easily deflate and roll up into a box, making them highly portable and easy to carry. These boats are good for people looking for a multipurpose craft. They don’t come with engines but can manage to carry small motors.

Capacity

Inflatable boats come in different capacities which determines how many passengers it can carry and if it can support the weight of an engine. When shopping for a boat, one of the most important things to do is to check the boat load capacity. Otherwise, if you overload it, you can cause undue stress on the boat, causing it to deflate or capsize. The rigid-hull boats can carry many passengers or loads while the roll-ups have a limited capacity, which is typically four passengers.

Materials

The materials used in construction of inflatable boats are significant because they determine the stability and durability of the boat. PVC is one of the most commonly used materials because it’s readily available and affordable. The other material used is Hypalon; and it’s more durable and of a higher performance grade than PVC. Inflatable boats are made as a mixture of materials, including aluminum and wood.

Sizes

Inflatable boats are available in different sizes that are usually measured in terms of length and width. The size of the boat determines how comfortably it can hold the passengers, luggage, or load. For instance, if you’re looking for a craft that can hold an entire family for a fishing trip, you’ll most likely need one of the larger, maximum capacity inflatable boats.

Accessories

The boat comes with some accessories that make it convenient and comfy for users. Needless to say, it should come with paddles, especially those that do not include an engine. Accessories often include a repair kit, storage bags, seats and tables that are also inflatable. Before purchasing the boat, consider which accessories are an absolute necessity for your particular use.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most inflatable boats can be filled up with air in just a matter of minutes and have special tube valves that retain their air, even when under high levels of pressure. In the event that a rupture should occur, they’re easily repairable thanks to their included repair kit. Ultimately, inflatable boats work just as well as non-inflatable boats under similar water conditions.

Once you’ve concluded your water activities, clean the boat with fresh water and store it completely covered once it’s dry. Should there be any oil spills on the boat material, wipe them off immediately to maintain its material durability. By adhering to a cleaning regiment, you’ll ensure that your boat is ready to rock whenever you feel like rocking the waters for some aqua fun. The great thing is, if you take care of your nifty new craft, it’ll serve you for a very long time!

What is the Best Inflatable Boat?

Choose an inflatable boat that's the right type for your particular water activities. Consider its size, capacity and manufacturing materials, and carefully consider any additional boat accessories that are included. Check out if one of our recommended inflatable boats is what you need.
Our Top Choice
The Sea Eagle 9 Inflatable Boat is designed to accommodate up to four adults, with a maximum capacity of 1200 lbs. Designed for fishing, the inflatable boat comes with a high-pressure floor and raised seats for comfortable seating. If you are looking for a smaller, one-person boat, the Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Boat comes in a frameless design. This is a high-end boat with lots of great features and a weight capacity of 450 pounds.
Sea Eagle SE9 Inflatable Motormount Boat - Fisherman's Dream Package

Sea Eagle Inflatable Boat SE-9FD


Features
Sea Eagle is committed to manufacturing high-quality inflatable boats, kayaks and stand up paddleboards. The company tests each product for safety and premium quality before releasing them into the market. What’s more, it’s a popular and reputable brand you can trust for your inflated boating or kayaking needs.

The Sea Eagle 9 Inflatable Boat is designed for fishing purposes. It comes with an inflatable floor, a hull, a motor mount, a carry bag, a foot pump, four rowing seats, one fishing inflatable seat, an instruction manual, and a small repair kit. It also features an oar set and comes with a three-year warranty.

Not exactly what you wanted? Here are a few other Sea Eagle products you might like:
  • Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
  • Sea Eagle SE330 Inflatable Sports Kayak Pro Solo Package
  • Sea Eagle Sun and Rain Canopy for Inflatable Boats
  • Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker STS10 Frameless Fishing Boat
The Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat is a high-capacity, nine-foot boat designed to accommodate one person at a maximum capacity of 400 lbs. It comes with various accessories such as customizable storage, with up to 20 pockets and two insulated drink holders to support your fishing adventures. Don’t need as many features or on a tighter budget? The “non XT” version of the Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat is a great choice if you are good with only t8 mesh and no drink holders.
Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount – Available in 2 Colors

Classic Accessories Inflatable Boat 697 - Pumpkin


Features
Highly rated Classic Accessories designs inflatable boats that you can use in rivers, lakes or even ponds. Today, Classic Accessories boasts a diverse range of cover products for motorcycles, cars, patio furniture, RVs, scooters, boats, grills, power equipment, PWCs, snowmobiles, generators, side by sides, ATVs and golf carts. The company designs all its products for convenience, functionality and to ensure you have the best experience using them.

The Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat has a maximum capacity of 400 lbs and comes with flexible options for storage. It has built-in transport wheels and features removable gear bags with straps, two insulated drink holders and 20 customizable pockets for extra storage. Heavy-duty pontoons with PVC-coated bottoms for resistance to abrasion and sturdy nylon tops make up the boat’s sturdy construction.

The boat also comes with brass oar locks, HD vinyl bladders (resistant to heat and cold), a steel tube frame coated with strong powder and two seven-foot aluminum oars for boat rowing. It also comes with wire rear storage, a weatherproof two-position motor mount, a battery platform, two removable foam fly patches, a detachable stripping basket for lap or side mounting, an adjustable deluxe cushioned seat, a rod holder with many positions, and a retention cord.

The boat’s anchor system comes with a cleat, a fillable mesh bag and a pulley system for anchor routing on any one side of the boat. The boat is ABYC safety standard compliant, featuring higher rides for enhanced visibility, tow rings, quick fill/deflation valves, a dual-sided stripping apron, non-slip footrests and a fish ruler for unclipping-free fish entry and exit. This boat also comes with a two-year warranty. This inflatable boat is available in sage/grey and pumpkin colors.

Here are a two other Classic Accessories inflatable boat for your consideration:
  • Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Pontoon Boat
  • Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Fishing Inflatable Pontoon Boat with Swivel Seat
The Bestway HydroForce Sport Range boats are designed for safe coverage in all waters, ranging from ponds to pools, and from fast-moving streams to open-water bodies. These high-quality inflatable boats are well-tested for your safety. Need something bigger? The Bestway HydroForce Voyager Inflatable Raft comes with a slightly higher capacity to accommodate one child at a maximum capacity of 594 lbs. Opt for this inflatable product if you prefer a raft to a boat of a slightly larger capacity, but cheaper cost.
Bestway Caspian Inflatable Boat - HydroForce Boats Sport Range Available in 2 Different Sizes

Bestway Inflatable Boat 65046 – Caspian 91”


Features
Begin your fishing trips or lake exploration cruises with the Bestway range of sports inflatable boats. Bestway attributes its success to high employee retention, material recycling, solar sustainability and broad assortment of products, ranging from surf boards, pools, spas and inflatable air mattresses to inflatable boats and other inflatable swimming products. The company believes that effective products lead to consumer satisfaction and thus long-term brand sustainability.

The Bestway HydroForce Boats Sport Range comes in two PVC chambers with built-in drain valves. Marine-grade plywood is used to make the rigid floorboards for increased stability, yet easy and light to roll-up. Oar locks for use in all directions, metal steel tow ring, tough strakes (for friction and impact protection) and safety grab ropes are also featured.

The model pictured, the Caspian 91” is available with a load capacity of two people at a maximum capacity of 586 lbs, this inflatable boat is powered by a 3hp outboard motor. It also comes with an air hammer inflation pump, pressure gauge and a 33’ tow rope. The Caspian Pro is a larger version that can hold up to three adults and one child.

Here are other related Bestway products you might like:
  • Bestway Hot Wheels Speed Boat
  • Bestway HydroForce Inflatable Raft
  • Bestway HydroForce Marine Pro Inflatable Raft
  • Bestway HydroForce Sunsaille Inflatable Boat
The Intex Excursion 5 Boat Set is designed for water exploration. With a five-person capacity at a maximum of 1000 lbs, this heavy-duty inflatable boat is ideal for all your fishing, paddling and excursion needs. Need something smaller or less expensive? The highly affordable Intex Explorer 200 is a two-person inflatable boat designed for use in calm waters such as pools. It has a max load capacity of 200 pounds and features two safety air chambers, a rigid and comfortable inflatable floor, a repair patch and mini air pump.
Intex Excursion 5-Person Inflatable Boat Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump (Latest Model)

Intex Inflatable Boat 68325EP


Features
Intex has been in business since 1975 and has won the hearts of many as a trusted, reliable, recognizable and innovative brand. The company tests all completed products to ensure they meet the minimum standards for safety, quality and value in the industry. For improved sustainability and safety, the company has been reducing its carbon footprint over the last decade.

The Intex Excursion 5 Boat Set is made of heavy-duty PVC vinyl that’s resistant to puncture. It comes with two inflatable seats, an I-beam floor, middle seat and backrests for comfortable seating. It also features four built-in fishing rod holders, three air chambers, motor mount fittings, a Boston valve, a wraparound grab line and a gear pouch. The pump it comes with supports easy inflation and deflation. The oar locks and holders and two aluminum oars also come in handing for your rowing needs.

Here are a few other Intex inflatable boats to consider:
  • Intex Explorer 300 - 3-Person Inflatable Boat Set with French Oars and High Output Air Pump
  • Intex Seahawk 4 - 4-Person Inflatable Boat Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
  • Intex Challenger 2 - 2-Person Inflatable Boat Set with French Oars and High Output Air Pump
  • Intex Excursion 4 - 4-Person Inflatable Boat Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

Get the Best Inflatable Boat of 2018!

Whether you’re going fishing, enjoying a water excursion, taking part in a water sports activity, or simply wanting to take in the cool offshore breeze, there’s an inflatable boat out there to meet your unique boating needs. We hope that our review of five of the top inflatable boats has lead you to your new boat!

Our Top Choice
Sea Eagle 9 Inflatable Boat
Best Value
Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
Classic Accessories Inflatable Pontoon Boat
Bestway HydroForce Caspian Inflatable Boat
Intex Excursion 5 Inflatable Boat Set