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5 Best Inflatable Boats for Lakes Reviewed in 2020 (UK & USA)

By Callum,
23rd May 2018 | Updated: 30th April 2020

What is the best inflatable boat to buy? Our team have tested and reviewed the best inflatable boats on the market

5 Best Inflatable Boats for Lakes Reviewed in 2020 (UK & USA)

What is the best inflatable boat to buy? Our team have tested and reviewed the best inflatable boats on the market

Last updated on 23rd May 2018 by Callum

Quick Comparison

Product reviews of the best inflatable boats

We spent 45-hours researching and testing 10 popular inflatable boats on the UK market.

We then compared the boats according to their dimensions, material, capacity, and ideal use patterns.

Only five were able to pass our expectations and make the list of best inflatable boats.

The best among the bunch is the Bestway 2.91 Hydro-Force Marine Pro because you can use it for both fishing and recreation.

For its price, it offers above-average attachments and it is also durable.

Read the full list of comparisons and best inflatable boats reviews below.

  1. 1
    92%
    92%

    Bestway 2.91m Hydro-Force Marine Pro Review

    The Marine Pro has a round tail design which make it easy to stow.

    This portable boat can fit two adults and one child, making it ideal for a small family boating trip.

    It features four inflatable air chambers and a comfortable inflatable floor to bring some extra buoyancy on the water.

    This inflatable dinghy is easy to roll up and lightweight to carry.

    It includes two seat cushions and two fishing rod holders joined up for convenient fishing trips.

    The two aluminum oars that come with the package feature omnidirectional oarlocks which can move the oars a full 360-degrees when rowing.

    The Good
    • Integrated rod holders
    • Aluminum oars that can turn a full 360 degrees
    • Lightweight and portable
    • Has a good balance and buoyancy on water
    • For an inflatable, the floor is quite solid and thick
    The Bad
    • The pump that comes with the boat is manual
    • It would have been perfect if it included an inflation scale
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  2. 2
    92%
    92%

    Intex Seahawk 4 Boat Set Review

    The Seahawk 4 is large enough inflatable boat which can accommodate four people.

    It includes two aluminum oars and a very efficient pump.

    It features two fish rod holders for your fishing expeditions and two inflatable seat cushions for comfort.

    Its floor is also inflatable for extra cushion and buoyancy.

    This rubber boat is approved by the US Coast Guard, which means that it’s guaranteed to be safe and sturdy.

    It takes only five to seven minutes to inflate this boat, and it deflates as quickly as well.

    It features three chambers- the one you sit on, the outer side, and the one in the center.

    The Good
    • Includes durable aluminum oars
    • Certified by the NMMA, GS, and TUV
    • Made of durable vinyl
    • Easy to inflate and deflate
    • Has a very good price
    The Bad
    • The seats are a bit shallow
    • Quite impossible to row with two persons because of the oar hole position
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  3. 3
    90%
    90%

    Sevylor KK65 Caravelle Inflatable Boat Review

    The KK65 Caravelle is a blow up boat with Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation.

    This sturdy inflatable dinghy is made to accommodate two persons sailing on a pool or beach.

    For accurate inflation, this unit also includes a pressure gauge.

    This boat uses tough PVC in its construction and has a reinforced bumper to further steady it.

    It has four chambers: the main, two on the floors, and another for safety.

    Then there are the two paddles; the first of which is a foot pump and the second a carry bag to carry it anywhere.

    The Good
    • Built with a pressure gauge for precise inflation
    • Includes a bag for portability
    • Easy to inflate and deflate
    • The four air chambers give good buoyancy
    • For the money, it comes with the necessary attachments
    The Bad
    • Not for heavy-duty use
    • The oar locks are a bit flimsy
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  4. 4
    86%
    86%

    Intex Excursion 5 Boat Set Review

    The Excursion 5 is a large inflatable boat that is useful on lakes and calm rivers.

    Its two seat cushions have backrests for added comfort and its two aluminum oars are stable to use.

    It’s made with built-in motor mount fittings so you can put your own motor mount-bracket.

    This boat also comes with a high output pump to inflate and deflate it quickly.

    Thanks to its spacious size, this can carry up to five people, however, if you want all the passengers to be comfortable, four people are enough.

    The Good
    • Has a large capacity
    • Easy to assemble and store
    • Great for a lake and river adventures
    • Very comfortable for four or even five people
    The Bad
    • Easily punctures on the water
    • The oars can easily come apart or worse even break
    Check price on amazon

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    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

  5. 5
    84%
    84%

    Hydro-Force Caspian PRO Review

    The Caspian PRO is an inflatable boat which is adequate for two-person rides.

    Its package includes a towrope, aluminum oars that can be removed for portability, an air-hammer inflation pump, a fixed buckle oil for oil box, and a repair kit.

    It’s made of sunlight-resistant PVC and contains four air chambers to keep you and the boat afloat on the water.

    The floorboards are made of marine-grade aluminum alloy, making this boat very durable.

    Together with the bench seats, they’re easy to put together.

    The Good
    • The floor is stable and solid
    • The oarlocks are omnidirectional meaning that it can turn 360 degrees
    • Easy to inflate and deflate
    • Built with a drain valve for easy draining
    • The materials are quality tested
    The Bad
    • Assembly isn’t easy
    • Expensive
    Check price on amazon

    We earn commission fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
    However, this will not increase the prices you pay for products.

Side-by-side

Bestway 2.91m Hydro-Force Marine Pro Review

  • Integrated rod holders
  • Aluminum oars that can turn a full 360 degrees
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Has a good balance and buoyancy on water
  • For an inflatable, the floor is quite solid and thick
Check price  on amazon

Intex Seahawk 4 Boat Set Review

  • Includes durable aluminum oars
  • Certified by the NMMA, GS, and TUV
  • Made of durable vinyl
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Has a very good price
Check price  on amazon

Sevylor KK65 Caravelle Inflatable Boat Review

  • Built with a pressure gauge for precise inflation
  • Includes a bag for portability
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • The four air chambers give good buoyancy
  • For the money, it comes with the necessary attachments
Check price  on amazon

Intex Excursion 5 Boat Set Review

  • Has a large capacity
  • Easy to assemble and store
  • Great for a lake and river adventures
  • Very comfortable for four or even five people
Check price  on amazon

Hydro-Force Caspian PRO Review

  • The floor is stable and solid
  • The oarlocks are omnidirectional meaning that it can turn 360 degrees
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • Built with a drain valve for easy draining
  • The materials are quality tested
Check price  on amazon

Frequently asked questions

What are Inflatable Boats?

Inflatable boats are constructed of flexible gas pressurized tubes,which allow the boat to float in water while also making it lightweight to pack.

They are available in several varieties including canoe-types, kayak, and rafts.

An inflatable kayak is perhaps the smallest and most agile boat. An inflatable canoe is good to accommodate one to two persons.

This type might not be as compact and agile as a kayak but it provides more storage space for your traveling gear.

An inflatable raft is the largest of all and can accommodate up to six people or more.

Most of them feature extra features, like cup holders and coolers, making them a good option for recreational use.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Inflatable Boats?

Advantages

  • They are flexible, boast a big loading capacity, and are multi-functional as well.
  • These boats can be inflated and deflated quickly making them ideal for backpackers and car owners.
  • With most boats, they serve one purpose (like fishing or sailing) but with inflatables, you can use them from a little white-water action to fishing and cruising.
  • The buoyancy of the boat can accommodate more weight than you think. Even if its hull is filled up with water, it will still float thanks to the buoyancy of the air chambers.

Disadvantages

  • Inflatable motors containing a motor are hard to lift for those with back problems since they are weighed down by their battery.
  • The inflatable chambers are also vulnerable to damage so you need to keep a steady eye to check for any problem.

What’s the approximate price range for Inflatable Boats?

Inflatable boats can cost as low as £100 to as high £1,000 depending on their quality.

What should I look for when choosing an Inflatable Boats?

When selecting an inflatable boat, look for the material.

There are three materials available: neoprene, PVC, and polyurethane.

Neoprene is more abrasion resistant than PVC but it is also more expensive.

PVC is the most affordable option but it deteriorates over time.

As for Polyurethane, it is the most abrasion and puncture resistant but the most expensive among the bunch.

The decking material is another thing to consider.

Look for aluminum planks to provide more durability.

For the heaviest loads, look for a dinghy style inflatable boat.

An inflatable raft style boat is ideal for a group adventure at a reasonable price.

What are the best inflatable boats for fishing? Why is it the best?

The best inflatable fishing boats are Intex SeahawkHydro-Force Caspian PRO, and Bestway 2.91m Hydro-Force Marine Pro.

They’re the best because they offer great convenience and portability.

Also, both Seahawk and Marine Pro feature two fishing rod holders while the Hydro-force features multi-directional oarlocks which allow it to turn 360-degrees.

Are inflatable boats safe on the ocean?

Yes, inflatable boats are safe on the ocean and may even be safer than traditional boats (like row boat and bass boat).

That is, because, inflatable boats are almost unsinkable.

The air tubes are separated so in case one gets punctured, the boat still floats.

The inflatable boats have very large inflatable tubes, making them more buoyant on the water and very hard to capsize.

When you try to reboard from the water, you won’t have a hard time climbing into an inflatable boat than a hard rowboat.

How strong are inflatable boats?

The best inflatable boots might be stronger than their inexpensive counterparts, but even them are not indestructible.

The expensive ones are very durable and most of them have several chambers so even if one gets punctured, the others would still work to keep your boat afloat.

The best ones, meanwhile, which are constructed with military grade materials and drop stitches, are extra-durable.

Which rigid inflatable boat is the best? Why is it the best?

The Bestway 2.91m Hydro-Force Marine Pro is the best rigid inflatable boat because it’s comfortable, durable, and very stable thanks to its very thick base.

What’s the difference between inflatable boats vs aluminum boats?

Aluminum boats have rigid tenders that can’t be easily broken, but once they do, it’s difficult to repair because you need to weld and do other techniques.

With inflatable boats, you can just glue a piece of patch on a small leak or hole.

How long do inflatable boats last?

The high-quality inflatable boats can last for many years if you use them with utmost care and keep up with their maintenance.

How safe are inflatable boats?

Gauge the level of safety provided by inflatable boots from the fact that even the coast guards and the military are using them for rescue operations.

These inflatables are usually called the Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft or the zodiac boat.

What’s the best inflatable pontoon boat? Why is it the best?

One of the best inflatable pontoon boats is the Classic Accessories Colorado XTS because its 20 storage pockets impart it with a huge storage capacity.

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