Best Inflatable Boats – The Top Rated For Boating!

Considering buying a new inflatable boat and don’t know what to choose? No worries, you have landed in the right place. Here, you’ll find a list of the best inflatable boats and a buying guide so that you can find the right boat for your needs.

Today’s inflatable boats offer an impressive balance of portability, durability, and performance. Modern materials and advanced designs make these boats much more than just pool toys – they are reliable and functional watercraft.

However, before starting your search for an inflatable boat, there are several factors you should consider, such as the number of passengers, type of activity, and price. So, let’s dive into it right now and discover the best options available.

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1. Intex Mariner 4 Inflatable Boat

Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5

As you hit the water with the Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat, you’ll appreciate its strong molecular structure, making it highly resistant to abrasion, impact, and sunlight damage. This durability ensures your boat remains in great shape for longer, allowing you to indulge in your water adventures with confidence.

In this Intex Mariner model, you’ll quickly notice the convenience of having four Boston valves on the main hull chamber. These valves enable quick-filling and fast-deflating, ensuring you don’t waste any time preparing for your trip or packing up afterward. Plus, its inflatable keel design significantly improves the handling and control of the boat and also provides more stability.

The Intex Mariner offers numerous features that make your boating experience more enjoyable. The heavy-duty plastic flooring provides a comfortable and stable surface to stand on while fishing. The welded-on rotational oar locks and included 54-inch aluminum oars ensure smooth and effortless rowing, while the motor mount fittings allow adding a motor for more power and speed.

Onboard, you’ll find multiple conveniences, such as fishing rod holders, gear pouches, and a battery pouch, making your time on the water more organized and efficient. Additionally, the grab handles on both ends and sides make it easy to move and secure this boat, providing an extra layer of safety.

However, some users may find the boat a bit heavy when attempting a single-person setup. To alleviate this, consider inflating the boat near the water. It’s also worth noting that the Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat might be challenging to handle in strong currents, so it’s recommended to stay in calm, protected areas when venturing out.

Overall, the Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat is an excellent option for those searching for a sturdy and feature-packed boat for their water adventures. With its high resistance to damage, improved control and handling, and numerous helpful features, you’re likely to enjoy your time on the water even more.


  • Highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact, and sunlight
  • Quick-filling and fast-deflating with four Boston valves
  • Improved control and handling with an inflatable keel
  • Spacious
  • Great value for the price


  • Some users reported carrying the boat and keel in one bag felt heavy.
  • Several customers found the floor flimsy.
  • A few reviewers said the air chambers started leaking after using the boat the second time.


  • Brand: Intex
  • Material: Heavy Duty PVC Vinyl
  • Weight Item: 74.6 pounds
  • Item Dimensions: ‎129 x 57 x 19 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 880 LBS
  • Size: 4-Person
  • Warranty: 90 Days


2. Intex Excursion 5 Inflatable Boat

Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5


  • Super-strong, puncture-resistant polypropylene material
  • Spacious 
  • Great for the price
  • Extra storage and rod holders for gear
  • Perform well on calm, protected waters.


  • Several customers reported that it’s heavy to carry when deflated.
  • Some users find it thought to row the boat due to its size.
  • A few people said the oars were cheap quality.


  • Brand: Intex
  • Material: Heavy Duty PVC Vinyl
  • Weight Item: 25 KG
  • Item Dimensions: 144 x 66 x 17 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 1100 LB
  • Size: 5-Person
  • Warranty: 90 Days

3. Intex Seahawk 3 Inflatable Boat

Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5

As you venture out into the water with the Intex Seahawk Inflatable Boat, the first thing you’ll appreciate is its superior strength and durability, thanks to the SuperStrong enhanced Polyvinyl Chloride PVC. This ensures high impact, and abrasion resistance, making you feel confident while enjoying your activity.

A cool feature that Seahawk offer is an I-beam inflatable floor to make you feel more stable. Although it’s not very hard, it still adds some stability.
The Seahawk features three air chambers and an inner auxiliary chamber for extra safety, allowing you to stay afloat even in unexpected scenarios.

The boat’s inflation and deflation are easy with two quick-fill Boston valves. You’ll also enjoy the convenience of the included High-output hand pump. Again, it could be better quality, but if you got it for free, use it.

You’ll love how the Intex Seahawk 3 comes with handy accessories like the 54-inch aluminum French oars for easy paddling and the fishing rod holders to help you land the catch of the day! Plus, the motor mount fitting allows you to attach a compatible motor for a different boating experience.

While users loved how easy the Seahawk 3 was to set up, they noted that it could be heavy to carry around when deflated. Additionally, some found the welded-on oar holders to feel flimsy, potentially causing issues during rowing.

Lastly, the boat may be comfortable for two adults, but fitting three might be a bit of a squeeze.

Overall, the Intex Seahawk Inflatable Boat Series Seahawk 3 Boat Set is a great choice for fishing, boating, or simply enjoying a day on the water. Its durable material, easy inflation, and handy accessories make it an excellent and affordable choice for any water enthusiast.


  • Exceptional durability with SuperStrong PVC material
  • Triple air chambers for added safety and easy inflation
  • Convenient accessories like aluminum oars, fishing rod holders, and motor mount fitting
  • Very well priced


  • Some reviewers find it heavy to carry when deflated
  • Several customers said the oar holders feel flimsy and the oars are too short.
  • A few users reported the boat leaked through the seams.


  • Brand: Intex
  • Item Weight: 31.7 Pounds (14.483)
  • Weight Capacity: 790 lbs
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride(PVC)
  • Model: 3-person
  • Dimensions: 116 x 54 x 17″

4. Intex Challenger 3 Inflatable Raft Boat

Average Rank: 4.4 out of 5

This Intex Challenger 3 Inflatable Raft Boat Set offers you an enjoyable and comfortable boating experience, whether it’s for leisure or fishing trips. With its heavy-duty vinyl material, you won’t have to worry about rocks and other underwater hazards damaging your boat.

The super-tough construction ensures it remains resistant to abrasion, impact, and sunlight.

The boat’s multiple air chambers provide added safety, ensuring it stays afloat even if one chamber gets punctured. However, you might need to refill the air occasionally to maintain optimum firmness, but that’s not a big deal, as it comes with a high-output pump that makes inflating and deflating a breeze.

Designed for your convenience, the Challenger 3 set includes two comfortable inflatable cushions, an all-around grab line, and oar holders. The built-in motor mount fittings give you the option to add an electric motor if you want added power and speed during your water adventures.

The boat comes with two 48-inch aluminum oars, which might be a bit short for some users but are still functional and easy to maneuver. You’ll appreciate the boat’s spaciousness and ability to seat two adults and one child comfortably.

In conclusion, the Intex Challenger 3 Inflatable Raft Boat Set is perfect if you want a high-quality, affordable, and convenient inflatable boat for a fun and memorable experience on the water.


  • Great value for the money
  • Excellent quality and heavy-duty vinyl material
  • Perform well on calm waters
  • Inflates and deflates fast.
  • Stable on the water.


  • Some users found the oars too short for their liking.
  • Several reviewers reported the Inflatable floors felt less rigid.


  • Brand: Intex
  • Material: Abrasion Resistant Vinyl
  • Model: 3-person
  • Item Weight: 24lbs (11KG)
  • Weight Capacity: 560lbs (255kg)
  • Boat Dimensions: 116 in x 54 in x 17in (295 cm x 137cm x 43cm)

5. Bestway Hydro-Force Treck X3 Inflatable Raft

Average Rank: 4.6 out of 5

This Bestway Hydro-Force Treck X3 inflatable 3-person water raft is an excellent choice for your next adventure on the lake, beach, or river. The boat is constructed from high-quality, puncture-proof Polyvinyl Chloride material that adds durability to your water rides.

As you step onto this inflatable boat, you’ll notice how comfortable it feels. The inflatable seats and floor provide good support, ensuring that you and your friends have an enjoyable time. Moreover, the sturdy oarlocks make rowing easy and strain-free.

If fishing is your go-to activity on the water, you will appreciate the built-in fishing rod holders. The raft also features a gear pouch for keeping your belongings secure while you focus on reeling in your catch.

This makes the Bestway Hydro-Force Treck X3 ideal for both boating and fishing enthusiasts. To make your water adventures hassle-free, this inflatable raft comes with a convenient carry bag, repair patch kit, and grab rope. People rave about the interlocking quick-rise valves that allow swift inflation and deflation.

Although the raft includes oars, users reported that they could easily purchase higher-quality aluminum oars.

Overall, the Bestway Hydro-Force Treck X3 is an excellent choice for a friendly and durable inflatable boat that caters to various water activities. With its comfy design, functional features, and easy transportation, you’ll be eager to set sail on your next adventure.


  • Durable and puncture-proof Polyvinyl Chloride material
  • Comfortable inflatable seats and floor
  • Convenient built-in fishing rod holders and gear pouch
  • Attractive price
  • Easy to inflate and deflate.


  • Several users said the zipper of the storage bag broke after the first use.
  • Some people wished they could use this boat for extreme water sports.


  • Brand: Bestway
  • Material: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Model: 3-person
  • Package Weight: 23lbs (10.34KG)
  • Weight Capacity: 594lbs (269kg)
  • Boat Dimensions: 121 x 49 x 15.35 inches

Inflatable Boat Buying Guide

Choosing the proper inflatable boat is essential when getting out on the water. There are different types of inflatables with various features and accessories, and knowing them will help you make the best choice. So below, you’ll find an in-depth guide so that you can make the best decision.


When looking for the best inflatable boat, it’s essential to consider the construction materials. There are generally two types of fabric used: PVC and Hypalon. PVC is a more affordable option, lightweight, and easy to repair. On the other hand, Hypalon is more durable and resistant to UV rays and chemicals, but it’s more expensive. Examine the seams, too, as they should be either glued or welded for maximum strength and durability.


Capacity is a crucial factor when purchasing an inflatable boat. You need to think about how many people you usually go boating with and how much gear you typically carry. Inflatable boats come in various sizes and capacities, so ensure you choose one that meets your specific requirements.


Consider the storage features of the inflatable boat before purchasing. Look for boats with built-in storage compartments, cargo nets, and attachment points for additional gear. Having proper storage options will make your boating experience more organized and enjoyable.

Weight & Portability

One of the significant advantages of inflatable boats is their portability. Check the weight of the boat and think about how often you will transport it. Ensure it is easy to carry and can fit into your vehicle when deflated. Lighter boats are more comfortable to transport, while heavier ones offer better stability.

Several Air Chambers

Your safety on the water depends on the boat’s reliability, so look for inflatable boats that have multiple air chambers. Several air chambers minimize the risk of the boat sinking in case one chamber gets punctured. The more air chambers, the more reliable your boat will be in case of damage.


Stability is an essential factor in choosing an inflatable boat. Look for a boat with a wide beam and stable hull design, which will provide better stability on the water. Some inflatable boats have inflatable keels, which offer better tracking and maneuverability.

Boat Floor Materials

In the world of inflatable boats, there are mainly two types of boat floor materials: inflatable and hard floors. Understanding the differences between these floors can help you make the right decision when buying an inflatable boat. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

Inflatable Floor

An inflatable floor, also known as an air deck, offers you unmatched convenience and portability. Here are some of the advantages of an inflatable floor:

  • Lightweight: You’ll appreciate the low weight, making it easier to transport and handle your boat.
  • Easy setup: Setting up an inflatable floor is quick and hassle-free. All you need to do is inflate it!
  • Cushioned surface: The air-filled chambers provide a comfortable surface to sit or kneel on, which can be great for long trips.
  • Compact storage: When you’re not using the boat, you can simply deflate the floor and store the boat in a small space, like the trunk of your car.

However, there are a few disadvantages to consider as well:

  • Less rigid: An inflatable floor may be less stable than a hard floor, especially in rough waters.
  • Puncture risk: While the material is durable, it is still susceptible to punctures from sharp objects such as hooks or rocks.

Hard Floor

Hard floor materials, such as aluminum or plywood, are another option for inflatable boats. Some advantages of a hard floor include:

  • Sturdiness: Hard floors provide a more stable and rigid platform, giving you greater confidence while navigating choppy waters.
  • Better performance: With a hard floor, your boat will generally have a better planning ability, which means it can reach higher speeds.
  • Durability: Hard floors are less prone to punctures, extending the lifespan of your boat.

However, a hard floor has its drawbacks too:

  • Heavier: Hard floors are heavier than inflatable floors, making transportation and setup more challenging.
  • Time-consuming setup: Compared to inflatable floors, setting up a hard floor takes longer, and you may need additional tools.

Note that most classic inflatable boats, like those listed in the article, don’t have any hard floors. Many users install plywood on their inflatable vessels to add more stability.

Boat Inflatable Hull Shapes

Flat Hull Shape

Flat hull boats are the simplest shape with their flat bottom surface. These boats are great for calm water activities as they provide good stability. The flat hull design allows you to maneuver easily in shallow waters, making them perfect for fishing and sightseeing in protected bays and lakes.

However, flat-hull boats are not ideal for rough water conditions. Their lack of a V-shape makes handling waves and choppy waters challenging, so caution is advised if you plan on taking a flat-hull boat out in unpredictable conditions.

V Hull Shape

V hull boats have a V-shaped bottom, which provides better performance and handling in moderate water conditions. They can handle larger waves and choppy waters, making them more versatile than flat-hull boats.

The V-shaped hull allows for better tracking and responsiveness while on the water. You’ll find that these boats are efficient for various water sports and fishing activities. Despite their better handling, V hull boats may lack stability at rest compared to flat hull boats, especially during activities that require constant shifting of weight, like fishing.

Deep V Hull Shape

Deep V hull boats are designed on RIBs and are built of either aluminum or fiberglass. Boats with a V hull shape perform best in rough water conditions. Thanks to their sharp V-shaped bottom, they easily cut through waves, providing extra control and stability when riding the boat. They are ideal for offshore activities, high-speed water sports, and long-distance cruising.

While these boats do an excellent job cutting big waves, they can become unstable, especially when there is wind or when they stay still. 

With or Without Keel?

Inflatable Boat With A Keel

When you choose an inflatable boat with a keel, you’ll experience better tracking and stability on the water. The keel provides a rigid structure beneath the boat, making it more resistant to environmental factors like wind, waves, and currents.

  • Improved tracking: The keel helps the boat maintain a straight course, making it easier to navigate.
  • Enhanced stability: A rigid keel adds stability, preventing the boat from rolling or tipping as easily.

However, having a keel also comes with its own set of challenges:

  • Increased weight: Keels can add significant weight to the boat, making it harder to transport and store.
  • Higher costs: Boats with keels tend to be more expensive than those without.

Inflatable Boat Without a Keel

Opting for an inflatable boat without a keel may be a better choice if you prioritize ease of transport and affordability.

  • Lightweight: Without the added weight of a keel, these boats are easier to carry, store, and transport.
  • Lower cost: Generally, boats without keels are more affordable, making them a budget-friendly option.

However, certain drawbacks should be considered:

  • Reduced stability: A boat without a keel may be more susceptible to rolling or tipping in challenging water conditions.
  • Less accurate tracking: Maneuvering may be more difficult as the boat is more prone to drifting off course.

Types of Inflatable Boats

There are various types of inflatable boats, such as rafts, RIBs, kayaks, dinghies, and pontoons. So let’s take a look at what each of them offers.


Inflatable rafts are popular among outdoor enthusiasts as they’re light, portable, and easy to store. These boats are perfect for recreational activities like white water rafting, fishing, and leisurely paddling on calm waters.

  • Durability: Most inflatable rafts are made from rigid materials like PVC or Hypalon, making them resistant to punctures and abrasions.
  • Weight capacity: Rafts come in various sizes, so you can choose one that accommodates your group and gear.
Raft inflatable boat

RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats)

RIBs combine the best features of inflatable boats and traditional hard-shell boats. They feature a solid hull with inflatable side tubes. Thanks to their keel, they cut rough waves exceptionally well but lack stability with the wind or when they stay still.

  • Excellent performance: RIBs offer a smoother ride, especially at high speeds. They suit various activities, including diving, fishing, or racing. Since they are durable and perform well in rough waters, the military often uses them for rescue.
  • Capacity: RIBs are available in a range of sizes, accommodating up to 10 people.
Rib Inflatable boat


Inflatable kayaks are perfect if you’re into solo adventures or exploring with a companion. They offer a fun way to navigate lakes, rivers, and coastlines.

  • Portability: Inflatable kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport, perfect for camping trips or other outdoor excursions.
  • Stability: They have a relatively wide base, which provides stability and makes them suitable for beginners.
Kayak inflatable boat


Inflatable dinghies are versatile boats that can take you and your crew on remarkable adventures. These are often towed by bigger boats and used as a tender.

  • Performance: Dinghies are easy to maneuver, enabling you to access tight spaces, explore caves, and have fun on the water.
  • Variety: They come in various sizes and materials. Some models can be equipped with an outboard motor for added speed and power.
Inghy inflatable boat


Inflatable pontoon boats are popular among anglers for their stability, capacity, and customizable features. They have two hulls, making them super stable and safe.

  • Fishing platform: Pontoon boats often have built-in fishing rod holders, tackle storage, and swivel seats for comfortable fishing sessions.
  • Stability: Pantoon inflatable boats have two hulls, providing excellent stability for casting a line or reeling in a big catch.
Pontoon inflatable boat

Questions People Often Ask

Q: Are inflatables safe at sea?

It depends on the type of inflatable boat. For instance, RIBs perform exceptionally well, even in rough seas. Classic inflatable boats like those listed in the article are great for calm, protected waters.

Q: How long do inflatable boats last?

Generally, inflatable boats can last between 10 to 15 years and sometimes even longer, depending on how well they are maintained.

Q: How to store an inflatable boat?

An inflatable that is not stored correctly can get damaged. So, it’s crucial that you use the proper storage technique to keep your inflatable boat in good condition. You may want to check the article on how to store an inflatable boat when inflated or deflated.

Q: How to anchor an inflatable boat?

Anchors aren’t required by law, but if you want to catch some fish or go onshore, you’ll need one and know how to use it. In this article, you’ll find all the steps to anchor your inflatable boat properly.

Q: How to clean an inflatable boat

There are several factors to consider and steps to follow when cleaning an inflatable. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know to help you clean your inflatable without damaging it.

Q: Can I leave an inflatable boat inflated

Yes, and it’s even recommended to leave them inflated, as this preserves their shape and keeps them in good condition. Plus, there is no need to deal with inflating and deflating the boat.

Final Words!

With this list of inflatable boats and buying guide, you can’t go wrong, as they are the best you can find on the market right now. Remember to consider the activities you want to participate in before purchasing your inflatable boat. This way, you’ll have a far more enjoyable time on the water. Happy boating!

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4 thoughts on “Best Inflatable Boats – The Top Rated For Boating!”

  1. Such a thorough article about the Best & Top Rated Inflatable Boats for Boating!

    The Intex Mariner 4 sounds like the one for me!

    I’m really into fishing on lakes, ponds and rivers in Michigan, what inflatable boat would You recommend for me?

    I’m also not a light person, so I need a very sturdy option……..

    I also absolutely love that You included other items at the end of this article, they reminded me what else to purchase.

    Thank You again as this article has really helped me,


    • Hi Tony,

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m glad to hear that you found my article to be thorough and informative. The Intex Mariner 4 is a great choice, especially if you’re into fishing on lakes, ponds, and rivers in Michigan.

      If you’re looking for a more sturdy option that can support a heavier weight, I would recommend the Intex Excursion 5. Both of these inflatable boats have a higher weight capacity and are made with more durable materials, making them a great option for heavier individuals.

      I’m also happy to hear that you found the additional items at the end of the article to be helpful in reminding you of what else you need to purchase. Thank you again for your feedback, and I wish you all the best in your future boating and fishing adventures!

  2. Thank you for this list of ideas when it comes to buying an inflatable boat. I like that you can see the pros and cons so that you can weight them up easily against the price tag of the boat.

    The Intex definitely looks the most hardy of the lot, and should be a great buy for a family who is going to use it a lot. However I am looking more for a durable light weight boat for one person that isn’t to heavy for a woman to handle.

    • Hi Michel,

      You’re welcome! I’m glad that you found the list informative and helpful. It’s great that you are considering the pros and cons before making a decision. If you’re looking for a durable, lightweight boat for one person, you might want to consider the Bestway Hydro-Force Teck X 3. It’s lightweight and easy to handle, and it’s also durable and reliable. I hope this helps!


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