Ever needed more legroom on your boat?
What about a way to keep water toys, kayaks and jet skis from floating away?
An inflatable dock platform is a great way to add extra space or anchorage options to your aquatic arsenal.
While they can’t replace an actual dock, inflatable docks make the perfect “add-on.” A bonus of sorts.
They’re smaller (typical size is 7 x 7 or 10 x 10) than the dock you use to tie up your boat. But… the inflatable factor makes them super handy and compact to take out on the boat with you. All you have to do is inflate and float.
Benefits of Inflatable Docks
From extra storage space and convenience to low upkeep and easy storage, the best inflatable docks offer a boatload of benefits.
Avoid sanding, staining or getting splinters with an inflatable dock. Polyethylene can be wiped down with soapy water.
When boating with kids or pets, it’s always nice to have extra space. The best inflatable docks can be used as swim platforms, giving you more dry space to rest and relax. Tie it up alongside your boat or traditional dock.
Extra Storage Space
Inflatable docks are a great temporary way to secure small watercraft like jet skis. You can also put wakeboards, waterskis, floats, tubes and pool noodles on them when not in use.
Convenient and Transportable
Deflate your inflatable dock to store flat and compact enough to stow in a boathouse, a dock box or on your boat. Inflate it when you anchor out and when you’re done, simply retrieve it from the water and deflate. Inflatable docks are not meant to be towed (like a tube), but they provide extra space at the lake, on the river or alongside your pontoon boat or trawler.
Everyday Uses for Inflatable Docks
- Anchor kayaks, jet skis and water toys
- Tie several together for an extra-large floating party platform
- Lounging and swim platform
- Pet pier
- Tie off on your pontoon boat for more space
- Wakeboard and waterski launching
- Yoga platform for on-water yoga sessions
Features of the Best Inflatable Docks
In addition to a handy flat platform, the best inflatable docks have a variety of features to make your day on the water fun and stress-free.
- Anchor Points — Tie off on the dock or tie other items (such as water toys or jet skis) to the inflatable dock.
- Webbed loops — This allows you to anchor the inflatable dock in case you’re using it on its own (without a boat).
- Heavy-duty Construction — PVC coating and double-stitch seams are a must if you want your inflatable dock to be sturdy enough for deck chairs, extra guests and pets.
- Soft BVA Deck Pad — The best inflatable docks are heat-sealed to whisk away water, have traction for no slipping and cushioning for comfort.
- Grab Handles — Built-in handles make boarding easy and provide stability while on board.
- D-rings — D-rings (and lots of ‘em) are great for attaching coolers, floats and other items.
- High Pressure Valve — Easy inflation and deflation is a must when dealing with inflatable items. High pressure valves make this an easy process.
Get Pumped up to Discover the 6 Best Inflatable Docks
Now that you know a bit about why you might want to consider an inflatable dock and what features are preferable, let’s take a look at a couple of my favorites.
BOTE Inflatable Floating Dock
The BOTE 7 x 7 ft Inflatable Floating Dock is a sturdy and stable platform for swimming, lounging or fishing.
Inflate it quickly by hand or with a high-pressure pump and unfold some deck chairs or even stand on its soft deck pad and rigid core.
Grab handles offer for a more secure boarding and overall stability once you’re on board. It even has fishing rod holders. You can even grab a few more BOTE docks to strap together by the side handles for even more space.
It comes with a burrito-style wrap that can be carried by one person. All you have to do is unfold it and use the inflation valve to pump it up.
For perspective purposes, it can hold two deck chairs, two fishermen, three bait buckets, four fishing rods, one cooler and one dog. Throw in four bags of ice and you’ve got a party. This one gets my vote for good looks and all-around comfort factor.
Driftsun Mesa Inflatable Floating Dock
The Driftsun Mesa is a great choice for an inflatable dock and activity platform.
Use it for yoga, swimming and snorkeling or as a dock for a kayak. You could even use if for doing exterior work on your boat.
Made of UV resistant high-pressure layered PVC drop stitch, it’s six inches thick and holds up to 600 pounds.
It has D-rings, neoprene handles on all four sides and dual valves that quickly inflate.
ARCADIAW E Style Inflatable Air Floating Dock
The ARCADIAW E Style is an excellent choice for jet skis, tenders and dinghies. Shaped like a capital E, you simply pull your jet ski, tender or kayak in like a traditional dock. Or it can be tied off to a regular dock or your boat.
It’s made of reinforced double-wall fabric and three-ply PVC.
Plus, it comes with a convenient carrying bag, a repair kit and an electric pump.
I’m partial to this one simply because of the unique shape and jet-ski/kayak friendly design.
Island Hopper Patio Dock Inflatable Swim Platform
At 15 feet in length, the Island Hopper Patio Dock is a true party pad!
It’s a great extension for a pontoon boat or to anchor out as a swim platform. Set up an umbrella and you’re good to go.
Made of durable EVA foam, this inflatable dock can withstand a 2,000-pound weight capacity.
The non-slip surface is soft to the touch for a day of lounging in the sun. It has 11 stainless steel D-rings on the sides, six carrying handles and 24 top and bottom web loops for anchoring and holding accessories like coolers or chairs.
It comes with a 15 PSI portable power inflator with a power port plug and a double-action hand pump.
Solstice Inflatable Floating Dock
The Solstice Inflatable Floating Dock is made of durable 1,000 denier three-ply PVC reinforced fabric. It’s six inches thick and can hold eight to 10 people.
It comes with a carrying bag and has four stainless heavy-duty corner D-rings and two center D-rings for attaching to a cooler or chair.
For the price, this is a great choice for a heavy-duty inflatable dock that’s easy to transport.
Tower Inflatable Dock Water Lounge
The Tower Paddle Boards Inflatable Floating Dock is six inches thick and super durable for lakes, rivers and bays.
Made of drop-stitched and double reinforced seams, this inflatable dock holds up to 900 pounds.
Get on the water pronto with dual high-pressure valves that provide quick inflation time, as well as a pump and two storage straps.
Use it for yoga, as a swim platform or tie it up to the boat dock and enjoy the scenery.
Inflate Your Dock Today!
Ready to step up your boating game with an inflatable dock?
Hopefully this breakdown and amazing product list give you some helpful advice and ideas for choosing the best inflatable dock for you.
See ya on the water!
Sandy Allen is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia. Her specialties range from hotels, islands and yacht charters to theme parks and family fun. She enjoys boating, snorkeling and jet-skiing along the waterways of Virginia, Florida and North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Follow her adventures at Somewhere in the Sand.