8 Best Float Tubes of 2021: Round, Pontoon & More
Float tubes are inflatable fishing crafts that are characterized by being small and lightweight. They are mostly made for single person use and come in different shapes such as U, V, round, etc.
With such a craft, you don’t need to carry a lot of gear with you. Therefore, if you enjoy fishing and want to go on a simple expedition (especially as a beginner), we have some recommendations. Scroll through to find the best float tubes to buy in the market.
8 Best Float Tubes – Review
1. Classic Accessories Cumberland (Best Overall)
2. Classic Accessories Cumberland (Best Budget)
3. Classic Accessories Teton (Best Lightweight)
4. Caddis Nevada (Best U-Shaped)
5. Goplus Float Tube (Best Camo)
6. Wistar with Inflatable Seat (Comfortable)
7. Classic Accessories Togiak (With a Stadium Seat)
8. Classic Accessories Bighorn (With Multiple Pockets)
1. Classic Accessories Cumberland
2. Classic Accessories Cumberland
3. Classic Accessories Teton
4. Caddis Nevada
5. Goplus Float Tube
6. Wistar with Inflatable Seat
7. Classic Accessories Togiak
(With a Stadium Seat)
8. Classic Accessories Bighorn
(With Multiple Pockets)
1. Best Overall Float Tube: Wistar with Aluminum Oars
- Weight Capacity: 380 lbs.
- Materials: PVC
- Dimensions: 76 x 39 x 12 inches
- Weight: 27.1 lbs.
Leading the pack is this floating tube from Wistar, which is built using heavy-duty PVC pontoons. This material is abrasion-resistant for maximum durability while the pontoons form a hydrodynamic hull shape for superior steering and tracking performance.
Overall, this design has a high maximum weight capacity of 380 lbs., which means you can fit an overweight person onboard plus heavy fish.
An inflatable and removable seat is included with an adjustable backrest to improve comfort. You also get paddle holders are built into the pontoons to hold the two included aluminum oars within close reach.
More features include a high output air pump to inflate the tube and seat, a mesh storage platform, two removable cargo pockets, and a mesh stripping apron with a fish ruler to measure the size of your game.
The only issue is that the unit is very heavy but it has adjustable shoulder straps underneath for easy carrying to and from the lake/river.
2. Best Budget Float Tube: Classic Accessories Cumberland
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
- Materials: PVC
- Dimensions: 56 x 44 x 19 inches
- Weight: 14 lbs.
Classic Accessories’ Cumberland is sensibly priced for the features that you get. These include black and grey fins, which are included as accessories for diving while in the middle of the lake.
These have a slim profile with a vented fin blade for quick thrusting on every kick and they have a quick-release heel strap for easy adjustment/removing.
As for the float tube, it consists of two pontoons that are made using abrasion-resistant PVC for enhanced durability. These two are arranged in a hull shape, which gives the boat a hydrodynamic advantage for easy tracking and steering.
A thickly padded seat with an adjustable headrest is included for comfortable use during long fishing days while a fish ruler on the stripping apron lets you measure how big your catch is.
Other features include two zippered cargo pockets, two rod-holders, two cup holders, and a mesh stuff pocket for keeping your equipment at hand, shoulder straps for easy carrying, and a 350-lb weight capacity.
On the downside, you don’t get an air pump to inflate the tube and no paddle holders are built-in for holding your oars.
3. Best Lightweight Float Tube: Classic Accessories Teton
- Weight Capacity: 250 lbs.
- Materials: Synthetic
- Dimensions: 42.5 x 40 x 18.5 inches
- Weight: 8.5 lbs.
Weighing in at only 8.5 lbs., Classic Accessories’ Teton is the most lightweight float tube in this review, which means it is very easy to carry. Additionally, it has carrying handles on the sides for easy transportation.
Aside from that, the float tube has a hydrodynamic hull shape for better tracking and steering. Multiple storage compartments are built into the armrest for organized storage while a stripping apron with a fish ruler enables you to measure how good your catch is.
You also get a comfortable backrest to enhance comfort, a horizontal rod holder, and a back storage pocket for better organization of your gear.
However, the boat lacks an abrasion-resistant PVC bottom for enhanced durability and the seat is not padded.
4. Best U-Shaped Float Tube: Caddis Nevada
- Weight Capacity: 225 lbs.
- Materials: Rip Stop, Vinyl, Nylon
- Dimensions: 46 x 20 x 42 inches
Caddis’ Nevada has a unique U-shape design that has a wide surface area to enhance stability. Additionally, it has a padded stabilizer bar for better steadiness. That said, this design does not sacrifice maneuverability, which means the craft is easy to steer.
Apart from that, the unit is built using heavy-duty ripstop material with double stitches on the critical seams for maximum durability. However, the U-shape bladder is made using vinyl and this also forms the seat’s backrest.
On the other end is a wide nylon-coated mesh working apron is built-in for stripping your fly line on and this section has a ruler printed on for measuring the size of your fish.
More features include 2 armrest zippered pockets, reflective fluorescent accents for safety in the dark, a front rod holder, carrying handles, a comfortable oversized seat, and multiple D-rings for attaching extras.
However, the craft’s weight capacity is very low (225 lbs.) and no air pump is included.
5. Best Camo Float Tube: Goplus Float Tube
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
- Materials: PVC, 600D Polyester
- Dimensions: 53.5 x 41.5 x 21 inches
- Weight: 12.5 lbs.
If you prefer having a float tube with a more tactical look and feel, we recommend Goplus’ craft. This is because it has a camouflaged military-style exterior.
The tube is not all looks; it is built using high-quality 600D polyester with an abrasion-resistant PVC backing for enhanced durability. This gives it a high load-bearing capacity of up to 350 lbs. with great buoyancy.
Velcro straps are attached at the rear of the pontoons for securing fishing rods while a fish ruler on the apron enables you to measure the size of your catch. You also get 2 straps on either side of the seat for holding you in and 2 adjustable shoulder straps for easy transportation.
Other features include 2 zippered storage bags, a comfortable padded seat, an air pump, and two repair packages. However, you don’t get cup-and-paddle holders.
6. Comfortable Float Tube: Wistar with Inflatable Seat
- Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
- Materials: Cordura, 600D Polyester
- Dimensions: 55.1 x 43.3 x 13.8 inches
- Weight: 12.35 lbs.
This watercraft features an extra comfortable inflatable seat that is elevated for better visibility as well as warmer and dryer fishing. On top of this, it has a high adjustable backrest to provide better support during long fishing days.
A foot pump is included in the set to help you inflate both the tube and seat easily. Once inflated, the tube takes on a hydrodynamic hull shape that gives better performance when tracking and steering.
The unit is built using high-quality 600D polyester material that is reinforced using Cordura for maximum durability. However, in case of any puncturing, a repair kit is included to help you mend it and get back on the water.
More features are two zippered side pockets for keeping extra gear, a fish ruler for measuring the size of your catch, and shoulder straps for easy transportation. However, no cup holders are built in to keep your drinks.
7. Float Tube with a Stadium Seat: Classic Accessories Togiak
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
- Materials: Polyester
- Dimensions: 55.25 x 47 x 19 inches
- Weight: 15 lbs.
Classic Accessories’ Togiak is equipped with a unique high-back stadium seat that has an adjustable backrest for improving support and comfort. Comfort is further enhanced by roomy armrests, which double up as reel, gear, mesh, and flat zippered pockets.
The tube has a hull shape with a hydrodynamic advantage for better stability, buoyancy, steering, and tracking. This design is capable of holding up to 300 lbs. in weight, which is quite a lot.
Other features include a rear mesh storage platform, a horizontal rod holder, and a stripping apron with a fishing ruler. On the downside, the stadium seat is not padded and the unit is very expensive.
8. Float Tube with Multiple Pockets: Classic Accessories Bighorn
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
- Materials: Polyester
- Dimensions: 54 x 50 x 27 inches
- Weight: 11 lbs.
With its roomy armrests, Classic Accessories’ Bighorn hosts multiple pockets such as reel, small mesh, flat zip, and gear pockets. Additionally, there are rear and exterior mesh pockets. All these give you enough space to keep all your essential equipment on board.
That said, the armrests also give you a comfortable and extra-wide surface to place your hands on.
Apart from that, the boat is built using polyester and it has a hull-shaped design that is very hydrodynamic. Essentially, this makes tracking and steering very easy.
You also get a striping apron with a fish ruler, large backrests for comfort, and a horizontal rod holder. However, the seat is not padded and there are no shoulder straps for easy carrying.
How to Buy the Best Float Tubes
These are the traditional types of float tubes and are rarely used nowadays. They are not easily maneuverable and were used to determine improvements that led to the newer U/V and pontoon types.
U and V
U and V-shaped float tubes are very similar with the only difference being the shape. U tubes have a smoothly rounded front while V tubes have a pointy front. Both are somewhat close to round tubes but are a bit larger with an open space for your legs.
Pontoon types consist of two tubes joined together to form a hull-shaped design. They are more like boats and have larger, higher seats for comfortable use and better visibility.
Buying Guide: Overall, Pontoon float tubes are better because their hull-shaped design gives them a hydrodynamic advantage, which means steering and tracking them on the water is easier. If you want one, be sure to check out Wistar’s watercraft.
2. Weight Capacity
This determines how much weight the tube can carry while remaining buoyant. Ultimately, the higher the weight capacity, the better the craft because it can carry most adults plus heavy fish. That said, with a 380-lb maximum capacity, Wistar’s watercraft has an edge over the rest.
A float tube's durability is determined by the material used to build it. First and foremost, it should be built using waterproof materials like polyester, ripstop, nylon, etc.
On top of this, the boat should be backed by an abrasion-resistant surface made of PVC. This will ensure it remains intact for a long time.
Since you might be spending a long day fishing, it is important to consider the comfort factor and with this, you should check the seat’s quality.
For inflatable ones, the air cushion makes them comfortable to sit on. However, for non-inflatable ones, ensure they are well padded for cushioned sitting. It would also help if the seat is elevated so that you sit at a high vantage point for better visibility all around.
Other than that, the backrest should be high enough and well padded for better back support while the armrests should be wide enough to hold your arms. All these can be found in Wistar’s inflatable-seat float tube.
While fishing, you need to carry other gear like reels as well as things like keys and other personal effects. As such, it would be very practical to have a float tube with multiple pockets (zippered and mesh) for organizing all these.
Other important features to have are cup holders for your drinks, rod holders, and paddle holders.
To conclude, we recommend Wistar’s watercraft as the overall best float tube because it has a heavy-duty PVC construction and a high 380-lb weight capacity. The unit also comes with two aluminum paddles and an air pump as accessories.
However, if you don’t have enough muscle to carry a heavy piece to the water, you should check out Classic Accessories’ Teton because it weighs only 8.5 lbs. Combined with its side carrying handle, the unit is very easy to transport.
If you prefer the stability offered by U-shape float tubes though, consider buying Caddis’ Nevada. It is very steady and easily maneuverable on water.
- 8 Best Float Tubes – Review
- 1. Best Overall Float Tube: Wistar with Aluminum Oars
- 2. Best Budget Float Tube: Classic Accessories Cumberland
- 3. Best Lightweight Float Tube: Classic Accessories Teton
- 4. Best U-Shaped Float Tube: Caddis Nevada
- 5. Best Camo Float Tube: Goplus Float Tube
- 6. Comfortable Float Tube: Wistar with Inflatable Seat
- 7. Float Tube with a Stadium Seat: Classic Accessories Togiak
- 8. Float Tube with Multiple Pockets: Classic Accessories Bighorn
- How to Buy the Best Float Tubes