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Published Sep. 29, 2021

For some, there’s nothing better than a warm day spent out on a boat. When water-related activities are thrown in the mix, it’s sure to be a fun day. If water skiing isn’t quite your thing, you might want to consider tubing. Boat tubing is an entry-level water sport that can be enjoyed by everyone and anyone. Plus, you can tow a tube with nearly any type of boat, and boat tubes can be used on different bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers. 

First and foremost, the best boat tubes are not only super fun to ride but also offer safety features to ensure no one goes flying off (unless you want to!). Durability for long-lasting use is also important and can be determined by the materials used and the tube’s construction. For our selection of the best boat tubes, read on.

How We Picked the Best Towable Tubes

Methodology

In order to select the five best boat tubes, we considered 10 companies and 12 products. The most important factor was safety. Will this product give you a fun ride but also keep you on board? (That is, unless you want to fly off, which can be pretty fun too.) Even though we selected safe options, it should be said that a life jacket should always be worn when tubing. 

We also considered boat tubes that used durable, high-quality materials and had a sturdy construction. As boat tubes can be on the pricier side, we looked for selections that could be enjoyed year to year. User-friendly options were important, especially when it came to the valve, which can often be a headache on inflatable devices, and connecting the tube to the boat. We wanted to offer a variety of sizes and shapes to provide options for different numbers of riders as well as the type of ride.

The Best Towable Tubes: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: SereneLife Heavy-Duty Inflatable Towable Booster Tube

A Comfortable Ride

A durable and comfortable boat tube can also be used as a floating lounge chair. SereneLife

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Why It Made The Cut: Secure enough for young and adult riders, the SereneLife Heavy Duty Inflatable Towable Booster Tube has a backrest with air cushioned stabilizer walls, and the wide seating area allows for up to three riders.

Specs:   

  • Material: PVC, nylon, PU, EVA foam, neoprene 
  • Capacity: Three riders
  • Dimensions: 75.98 inches x 85.04 inches x 33.86 inches (inflated)

Pros:

  • Rolls up for easy storage
  • Provides backrest with air-cushioned walls
  • Features front and back tow points 

Cons:

  • Must be pulled by boat, not a jet ski

Looking for a fun group activity on the water? The SereneLife Heavy-Duty Inflatable Towable Booster Tube accommodates up to three riders, providing stability and balance for kids and adults alike. Perfect for a day on the lake, river, or beach, this boat tube features a unique backrest with air-cushioned stabilizer walls to ensure a safe ride. It’s also designed with back and front tow points, so you can choose how you want to ride based on what’s more comfortable for you. 

This boat tube is constructed with nylon and PU (polyurethane) coating to resist fading and dirt. Plus, the ten handles are made from nylon with neoprene knuckle guards. It’s easily inflatable and deflatable with a speed safety valve and can be rolled for storage. Additional safety and comfort features include an anti-leakage air bladder, PVC air chamber, and EVA foam seat pads. This boat tube also comes with a nylon cover for protection when not in use. Due to its large size, this tube is best suited to be pulled by a boat rather than a jet ski. 

Best Value: Airhead Blast Towable Tube

Affordable Fun

This one-person boat tube features Kwik-Connect, Airhead’s one-of-a-kind tow system that allows a quick and easy connection to the rope. Airhead

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Why It Made The Cut: The Airhead Blast Towable Tube has features such as a PVC bladder that has electronically welded seams that make it a super durable option.

Specs:

  • Material: PVC, nylon, neoprene 
  • Capacity: One rider 
  • Dimensions: 86 inches x 58 inches (deflated) 

Pros:

  • Self-draining floor 
  • Speed safety valve for quick inflation and deflation
  • Kwik-Connect system for easy towrope connection

Cons: 

  • One-person capacity 

The Airhead Blast Towable Tube brings affordable fun to summer days at the lake. While this tube is for one rider, it is also available for two, three, or four riders for an additional cost. Super durable for long-lasting use, this tube features a tropical-themed double-stitched partial nylon cover with two self-draining vents at the floor of the tube. Additionally, the 30-gauge virgin PVC bladder has electronically welded seams. 

Airhead’s signature Speed Safety Valve makes for simple and quick inflation and deflation, and the design minimizes the risk of air leaks. To easily connect to any boat’s towrope, this tube features a unique Kwik-Connect design. For added security, stability, and comfort, there are four nonslip, foam-filled, nylon-wrapped cushioned handles with neoprene knuckle guards. Finally, the positioning of the handles allows you to choose how you’d like to sit in the tube. 

Best Boat Tube for Multiple Riders: Island Hopper Banana Boat Towable Tube

For the Gang

Made for commercial beach operations and summer camps, this is a durable option for thrilling rides. Island Hopper

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Why It Made The Cut: This is the only boat tube on our list that can comfortably accommodate six riders, making this the ultimate choice for family-and-friends fun on the water. 

Specs: 

  • Material: UV-resistant PVC, nylon, steel
  • Capacity: Six riders
  • Dimensions: 19 feet x 4 feet 5 inches (inflated)

Pros:

  • Accommodates six riders/1200 pounds
  • Includes nylon storage bag
  • UV-resistant

Cons 

  • Expensive 

The commercial-grade Island Hopper Banana Boat Towable Tube is made from heavy-duty UV- and puncture-resistant PVC. It accommodates six riders and up to 1,200 pounds. With a welded nose and seams and double reinforcement in high-stress, hard=use areas (seats, handles, footings), this boat tube is durable and sure to last year after year. It has stainless steel pull rings and an extended D-ring tow harness with steel toggles and the seats are double-reinforced seats, handles, and footings for safety. 

Included in the purchase are a nylon storage and carry bag, a foot pump for easy inflation, and a repair kit. While this boat tube is pretty expensive, it does fit a small group and uses quality, durable materials. Many reviewers noted that it was easy and quick to fill and one of the best inflatables they have ever purchased. 

Best Boat Tube for Kids: SportsStuff Chariot Warbird Towable Tube

Safe and Fun

This boat tube has a high backrest and multiple handles for a safe and secure ride for one or two riders. SportsStuff

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Why It Made The Cut: This towing tube is a great option for kids because it has a high backrest, multiple handles, and dual tow points for different riding experiences. 

Specs: 

  • Material: PVC, nylon, EVA foam, neoprene
  • Capacity: Two riders
  • Dimensions: 82 inches x 92 inches (inflated)

Pros

  • Fully covered with nylon cover
  • Speed Safety Valve for quick inflation and deflation
  • Kwik-Connect system for easy towrope connection

Cons 

  • Only has drain holes in back part of tube

The SportsStuff Chariot Warbird Towing Tube from Airhead is great for kids due to its sturdy and comfortable construction. This boat tube features high-back recumbent seating, multiple double webbing foam handles, and EVA-foam knee and knuckle guards to keep riders in place. The wide stabilizer walls allow for tight turns, so while your kids are having the time of their lives, you can rest assured knowing they will stay on board safely. With two tow points, there are options for completely different rides, depending on comfort levels or preference. 

This tube boat is fully covered with a heavy duty nylon cover with a zipper. For easy and quick inflation and deflation, there is the patented Speed Safety Valve, which allows for one-way inflation so you don’t lose any air when closing the cap. The double safety valve locks the valve into place to maintain the air until you’re ready to deflate. This boat tube also features the Kwik-Connect system for easy towrope connection. 

Best Boat Deck Tube: WOW Big Bazooka Inflatable Towable Deck Tube

Switch It Up

This wide, steerable boat tube allows for multiple riders to sit, stand, kneel, or lie down. WOW Sports

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Specs: 

  • Material: PVC, nylon, EVA foam
  • Capacity: Four riders
  • Dimensions: 74 inches x 70 inches (inflated)

Why It Made The Cut: You can bring a small group of four onto this deck tube, which also lets you move around and steer yourself.

Pros: 

  • Speed valve
  • Full size EVA foam pads
  • Multifunctional use 

Cons: 

  • Must be stored correctly

The WOW Sports Big Bazooka Inflatable Towable Deck Tube accommodates up to four riders and allows you to do more than traditional deck tubes. On the Big Bazooka, you have the option of sitting, lying down, standing, or kneeling. With 10 double webbing handles with knuckle guards and full-size EVA foam pads, you can ride safely and comfortably. One unique feature of this tube is the patent-pending Flex Wing system, which allows you to take control and steer the tube by yourself or with your fellow riders.

This deck tube features a full nylon cover with zippers, a heavy-duty PVC bladder, and a speed valve for fast inflation and deflation. The valves are also covered for added protection and safety.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Boat Tube

Number of Riders and Shape

To determine the type of boat tube you should get, you should first consider how many riders there will be. Boat tubes designed for one rider versus multiple users will have slightly different features, so it’s best to know what you need before making a final decision. No matter what the size, it’s a good idea to ensure there are comfortable handles to hold on to. There are also a number of shapes to choose from—round, rectangular, and square tubes with wings. 

Budget

While boat tubes tend to be on the more expensive side, there are factors you can consider to save some money. First of all, tubes that accommodate one rider versus multiple riders will be less expensive. Additionally, tubes made with UV-resistant materials can bring the price up because they are designed to last longer. If you’re looking for an affordable boat tube to last one season, you don’t have to empty your wallet. However, if you purchase a higher-quality tube, you may end up saving in the long run.

FAQs

Q: How long do boat tubes last?

Boat tubes can last between two and 25 years, depending on the material and how they are taken care of. There are two primary materials used in boat tubes: PVC and CSM (Hypalon). Although more affordable, PVC boat tubes will last between two and 10 years depending on manufacturer, care, and use, while Hypalon boat tubes typically last seven to 15 years but can last as many as 20 due to their UV-resistant qualities.

Q: How far should a tube be behind a boat?

At a minimum, the tube should be about 100 feet behind the boat. This is so that if a rider falls off the tube, there will be enough room for him or her to tumble across the water without coming into contact with the boat.

Q: What kinds of boats can pull tubes?

You can essentially use any type of boat, from bowriders to deck boats,ski boats, Jet Skis, and cruisers. Just be sure you have the right type of tow rope; for boat tubes, towropes  are sold based on the number of people you’re going to tow.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best boat tube is an exciting decision to make. Once you’ve narrowed down how many riders it needs to accommodate and any preferences when it comes to shape, size, number of handles, materials, valves, and any added fun features, you are one click away from having the best day on the water.

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