Written By
Published May. 27, 2021

When preparing for a big day on the water, you have to have all the essentials packed: swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, plenty of water, and, of course, a hat. However, there’s one thing you may have forgotten that, once you have one, will become an essential piece to pack for any trip: your very own personal float tube.

When you’re out on the water, being able to lay out and float endlessly on your very own inflatable tube will be absolute bliss. No one will be able to bother you and say, “Excuse me, are you done with that?” or worse, yelling, “You’re hogging the floaties!” when you’ve been extremely clever and brought your own from home. 

The right shape, size, and support mean you can float for hours and simply melt into the moment. The best float tube is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing pool day, trip out to a lake, or a more sporty adventure down the river. No matter what water activity you’re after, there is an inflatable tube that will float your boat. Turn off your cell phone, grab a snack, and get floating—you will truly be unreachable as you chill on the water. 

Why do you need a sturdy float tube?

It’s time to retire the cheap bits of plastic you’ve fumbled onto in your pool last summer. Gone are the days of getting ready to lay out on the pool only to flip over into the water as your tube shoots out like a rocket from underneath you. You can have a sturdy and long-lasting floatable tube that will allow you to make the pool your newest lounging spot. Not only will you have a reliable pool toy, but the best float tubes can also be used out on a lake. When out on a river or lake you don’t want to mess around with a float tube that pops, barely keeps you above water, or lets tons of water in while you’re floating. This can be pretty scary when you’re drifting away from land. Invest in a quality floatable tube, and you can rest assured you will be kept afloat.

Features to consider when shopping for the best float tube

When picking the best float tube for your individual needs, think about the activity it will be used for. The thickness of the inflatable tube will indicate whether it’s built for intensive water sports or for use as a simple pool toy. If you want to lay down and soak in the sun, you may want to get a longer tube that lays like a bed. Better yet, one that has a cup holder (or even two) is ideal for lounging around. If you’re looking to bring fishing gear, you’ll need something reliable and with additional storage.

Our guide will help you pick the best float tube for those sunny days on the water. 

Best float tube for fishing: Goplus Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

Sturdy and Sporty

Get the catch of the day with this performance float tube.
Goplus

Check Price

If you’re looking for a successful day out fishing, then you’re going to need to be kitted out. A solid rod, good tackle, and bait are essentials, but what you may not have invested in is an inflatable fishing float tube—it’ll help you access deeper waters than you did by land and be comfortable while doing it. You’ll get great buoyancy with the ability to hold up to 350 pounds. It comes with a pump that inflates the tube in just a few minutes, and it has storage pockets for your phone or fishing materials. An adjustable shoulder strap makes it super convenient to carry, and its waterproof polyester construction means you will be able to fish on this float tube for years to come. Here comes the big fish!

Best float tube for the pool: Aqua 4-in-1 Monterey Hammock Inflatable Pool Float

Easily Adjustable

You’ll be relaxing in the pool for hours with this multi-use float tube.
Aqua LEISURE

Check Price

This quality pool float can be used as a fully extended hammock for those days when you just want to soak in the sun. It’s built to be extremely buoyant due to its thick material build. For those looking to exercise in the pool, you can use it as a saddle that frees up your legs and arms. Throw it in front of you and it’s a drifter great for a lazy river. We love that it’s inflatable—meaning you can pack it in a bag for any adventure. Trust us, when you’re getting ready for the beach and have an absolutely packed trunk, you will be grateful for this slim pack design. 

Best float tube for multiple people: CoolerZ Rapid Inflatable

Loads of Space

A full-on floating party that has seats for four.
Bestway

Check Price

With two built-in coolers, this option is ready for a floating party. Groups of four can have a backrest and a slot for a drink while enjoying the water. There’s a grab rope along the side of the tube for added support in case it gets a little bumpy. It’s made from durable PVC, which means it will be puncture resistant when brushing up alongside rough edges. Perfect for days out on the lake or even in the pool, there are fewer things that are this fun on a hot summer’s day. 

Best float tube for river riding: Intex River Lounge Inflatable Diameter

Sturdy Construction

This durable float tube will allow you to relax in rough waters.
Intex

Check Price

Intex’s Red River Run float tube has ropes that can connect if you’re looking to pair up with someone else’s tube. Two convenient cupholders and strong handles are included. The bottom of the tube is covered with a mesh bottom, making it one of the comfiest river float tubes you’ll find. The tube is a truly versatile pick, and it’s a great quality option for those looking for an action packed day on the water.

Best float tube on a budget: Intex Pack Transparent Tubes Colors

Multiple Colors

A simple but fun option for the pool.
Intex

Check Price

When you’re entertaining a pool of kids for a birthday party, you’ll be in dire need of as many pool toys as possible. That’s where Intex’s great floats will offer you a helping hand: available in blue, green, and pink, there’s a tube for everyone. If you want an inflatable tube to casually lounge around or a good option for the kids in a pool then this Intex pack of three will be a great option. 

FAQs

Q: Are float tubes safe?

Not all float tubes are built the same. When looking for the safest float tube, you will want to pick one made of a sturdy PVC or thicker material—it’ll be especially crucial if you’re going to be going down river.

Q: Are all floats able to go on rivers?

Not exactly. If you buy a pool toy made of thin plastic you are likely to face disaster when on the river, as it could easily snag on a rock and deflate. You don’t want to mess with mother nature, so if you’re heading down the river, make sure you’re getting a river float tube made of safe and secure material. It should contain some kind of roping and/or handles so you can stay safely in place.

Q: What features should I look for in the best float tube?

You want to think about the ways you’re hoping to use this float tube. If you’re looking to casually lounge in the pool, consider a hammock float tube. If you want to go fishing, then you’ll need something of more serious quality and build. And if you want to share the tube with others, consider a tube specifically made to be enjoyed by two to four people.

Float your boat with the best float tube out there

When looking for the best float tube, you need to imagine the activity you see yourself using it and then buy accordingly. Tubes for relaxing, like lake floats or river tubes, versus watersports, will have different functionalities, so make sure you use our list to buy the right one to enjoy the right way.

There is the perfect float option for every occasion on the market. Whether you are planning for your next long pool Saturday or a fishing trip with friends, it’s time to buy your own and keep it in the car or your sports bag. 

MORE TO READ