Summer is right around the corner! One of our favorite warm weather pastimes is being out on the water. Float tubes are a great summer recreation activity for many different types of people and age groups. Some people like to float lazily in a pool or down a river in groups. Others seek adventure while fishing out on the lake or in rougher water. This article will take a look at many different types of float tubes available to help you pick one that suits your style and needs.

About Float Tubes

No one knows for sure who the first person to use a float tube was. There is a good chance it was someone from a farm who used an old tractor inter tube. As their popularity grew manufacturers began making specialty float tubes for many different activities. Since its humble beginnings float tubing has developed into a very popular outdoor activity for many people. Their most popular uses are for lounging in the pool and floating down “lazy rivers” at water parks. People get together in groups and even take guided tours down rivers over long distances. They are also very popular with outdoorsmen and fishermen. They allow access to the best fishing spots and places that would otherwise not be available.

Why is a Specialized Float Tube Better Than a Tractor Tube?

There are many reasons to choose a specialized float tube over an old tractor tube. Safety is the most important thing to consider when being out on the water. Old tractor tubes were not designed with safety in mind. This is very important if you want to use your tube to float down rivers. They also have no features for comfort and relaxation. The different companies who make specialized tubes put a lot of time and effort into designing a product with important features for both safety and comfort. The construction and materials used to make them is also much higher quality. Don’t trust your safety to an old tractor tube.

Why Choosing the Right Float Tube is Important

There are a wide variety of float tubes available for different types of activities. Choosing the correct style of tube is very important for safety out on the water. For example, you would not want to use a simple tube without safety features while fishing out on an open lake. Rugged construction is important when dealing with the possibility of hitting snags. Likewise, you would not want to purchase a heavy duty and bulky fishing tube for use in your backyard pool. The following information will run down some of the best tubes available for any occasion.

Intex River Run I Sport Lounge

Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
  • Have fun floating in the pool or at the lake with the Index River run I
  • Designed with a built-in backrest for easy cruising and a mesh bottom that keeps you cool
  • An all around grab rope is included for ease of use

This is a great all around float tube. It is extremely durable and made from quality materials. The size and design are simple enough for use in the pool with multiple cup holders and mesh bottom to keep cool. Its added features like heavy duty handles, backrest, large 53″ diameter, and grab rope allow you to float comfortably out on the open lake or in a slow river too.

PROS

  • Simple and comfortable design with multiple smart features.
  • Works in your backyard pool or out on a calm river.

CONS

  • No protective covering and not well suited for use on rough water or in rivers with potential snags.

Intex River Run II Sport Lounge

Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float,...
  • Designed with two lounges that are interconnected and a large built in cooler with lid, this lounge is perfect to float...
  • The built in backrests provide easy cruising and a mesh bottom keeps you cool
  • This fun lounger has five air chambers for added safety, and two built in cup holders to keep your refreshments nearby...

This durable tube is designed with two connected lounges and is the perfect tube for couples, friends, and large groups. It has all the same great features as the Intex River Run I and added features like a cooler to keep refreshments on hand, extra air chambers for safety, and the ability to connect it to other River Run float tubes if you are in a large group. It handles rough and calm water with ease. Many people like float tubing in groups and this is a great choice for keeping everyone together.

PROS

  • Two seats and a cooler for extra fun.
  • Perfect for a lazy day floating down the river.
  • Added safety features for increased weight load.

CONS

  • Not for single person use.

Sevylor Covered River Tube

Sevylor Inflatable SNO Tube Deluxe
  • Speedy inflatable snow tube with unique pear-shaped design
  • Elongated front end for more comfortable seating and added buoyancy
  • Made of cold weather-resistant PVC; smooth bottom for faster ride

This is another great all around tube that will last for many seasons. It is designed for heavy duty lake and river use with PVC construction, multiple air chambers, and nylon covering to prevent leaks and damage. This would work well on the longer trips down the river. It is also simple enough to work just as well in the backyard pool with its 47″ inch inflated diameter. Like the Intex River Run tubes, this has the ability to be connected to other Sevylor tubes and a cup holder to keep your drink close by. When the weather changes to cold some people even use this as a sled!

PROS

  • Lots of added safety features for extra durability.
  • Can withstand rougher water and situations.

CONS

  • It does not have as many comfort based features.

Classic Accessories Teton Float Tube

Classic Accessories Teton Inflatable Fishing Float Tube
  • Made of highest quality material;Manufacturer: Classic Accessories
  • Assembled size: 42.5 inch L 40 inch W 18.5 inch H
  • Classic Accessories teton float tube

This particular tube is a bit different than the first three tubes described. It is suited especially for fishing and other more intense outdoor activities with a rod holder, stripping apron and fish ruler, multiple zipping storage pockets, and D-rings for attaching other gear. The hydrodynamic hull shape allows for great steering and tracking. The heavy duty construction allows you to safely get to where boats cannot easily go. This provides a huge advantage for the serious fisherman.

PROS

  • Very heavy duty with lots of features geared towards the fisherman.
  • Good handling in open lakes and rougher water.

CONS

  • Not a great design for use in the backyard pool

Caddis Sports Nevada Float Tube

Caddis Sports Nevada Float Tube
  • 46"x20"x42"
  • Double Stitched on Critical Seams
  • Heavy duty rip stop material

This is another tube geared towards fishing and adventurous use. It has almost all of the same features as The Teton Float tube in a simple and sleek design. The outer shell of the tube is made with double-stitched rip stop nylon for added durability. It is lightweight and features carry handles for easy transportation. The U-shape design provides safety and stability in the open water and rivers. Fluorescent safety accents and a stabilizer bar round out this simple and well designed item.

PROS

  • Nylon cover and other added safety features for maximum durability.
  • Great for fishing and other more adventurous outdoor use.

CONS

  • 225 weight limit with gear.

Thanks for looking at the best river float tubes. Hopefully the information provided will help you make the right decision and keep you having fun out on the water all summer long! Check out some of our fun lawn games as well.

Featured Image via Pixabay