Inflatable pontoon boats have transformed the way we exercise, vacation, and have fun outdoors.
For years kayaks were thought of as the ultimate recreation boat, but the top spot has been challenged by inflatable boats which are preferred by a lot of families. If you love the outdoors, these boats have lots to offer campers, RV enthusiasts, families and thrill seekers over the more traditional kayak.
This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
What makes inflatable pontoon boats popular?
They’re sturdy, strong, lightweight and easily transportable.
Inflatable pontoon boats are often referred to as ‘pack boats’. What does this mean? They’re designed to be very lightweight and portable, with the pontoon sections easily and effortlessly fitting into a pack (about the size of a medium bag) for simple transportation.
Of course weight depends on the overall size of the boat. You can get one man inflatables if you plan to take off a do a little fishing by yourself, 2 person inflatable fishing pontoons, or a boat large enough for the family.
Keen hikers can fit the inflatable sections into a carry pack, while campers will usually have no trouble adding the floats and frame into the back of the car or RV.
At a time when more and more of us are choosing to go ‘glamping’ instead of camping and wanting to take along a whole host of clever gadgets that transform camping into a luxury experience, space is everything!
A small, compact pontoon is an attractive option when space is an issue.
Their lightweight nature allows these boats to be used for a variety of purposes, and gives you more options than a regular kayak. In more isolated locations, for example, and for exhilarating watersports.
- The heavy duty Ocean 380 will carry 5 people with a maximum loading of1211lbs
For me the beauty of camping is setting up the campsite and not having to hop into the car every day. With inflatable pontoon boats, you don’t need a trailer or truck to haul them around. Inflatable pontoons make camping easier, simpler, and more fun with the kids.
Is it safe?
A common concern, especially among those thinking about switching from a traditional kayak to an inflatable pontoon – is that the ‘blow-up’ lightweight nature of the boat will affect durability.
‘Is it safe?’ If you look at the inflatable pontoon, you’ll notice that the floats are connected via metal frames that provide structure and offer safe and secure boating. While the main purpose of inflatable pontoon boats is fishing, the strong structure makes them great for many other types of outdoor recreation.
In fact, inflatable pontoons are regularly called ‘play boats’, ‘thrill boats’, or ‘exercise boats’ because they’re especially good for sightseeing, relaxing, or riding the rapids.
I’m seeing them used more and more on the beach for lifesavers and marshalling kayak competitions. And on our local river coaches use them to motor alongside their rowing teams and ‘coach on the go’.
Despite the metal frame, putting together inflatable pontoon boats is remarkably easy. In fact, if you’ve got a picture in your head of spending a whole day outdoors, bottle of beer in one hand and the assembly instructions in the other, you’re going to be disappointed! There’s nothing exciting about putting together an inflatable pontoon – on most models there’s not even any screws or bolts! Usually, it’s simply a case of connected sliding bars so that they interlock.
This is what makes them so incredible for recreation. You can be ready to go at a moments notice making the most of your precious vacation time.
Versatility & Flexibility
Kayaks are great but, let’s be honest, they’re not for everyone. If your activity levels are low or your health isn’t as great as it once was, operating a kayak can take its toll.
I think one of the main advantages of inflatable pontoon boats is that they’re much more flexible than traditional kayaks, making it easy for more people to get out on the water without pushing themselves beyond what they’re capable of. While rowing is the standard, many models can be upgraded to add a motor so whatever your activity level, whatever your purpose, and whatever your personal preferences you can go boating in your own way. An option we simply don’t have with kayaks.
Best for Recreation
Their lightweight design, built to the highest construction standards, durability, stability, versatility and flexibility make them excellent choices for campers. While kayaks have their own benefits, more and more outdoor enthusiasts are citing inflatable pontoons as the ultimate recreation boat.
These boats can really transform your camping experience, giving you and your family a vacation you’ll remember.
last updated June 2020