inflatable water toys

Pump It Up: The Absolute Best Inflatable Water Toys

Are you looking for some new ways to enjoy the water when you’re out on the boat?

Maybe you’re tired of that floating water mat you’ve had for years. Or maybe you’re just tired of lugging around big and bulky gear like water skis, wakeboards and all the stuff that goes along with them?

Well, maybe it’s time to take a look at inflatable water toys. From towables and floatables to game sets and watersports equipment, there are lots of choices when it comes to inflatable water toys. Plus, you can inflate and deflate as you like for on-board storage and passenger space.

Read on for some ideas on what you can add to your boating toy box.

Features of Inflatable Water Toys

Aside from just searching for the coolest looking or fastest water toy on the market, you’ll want to take into consideration things like the fabric, seam construction and the inflation process.

Fabric

Inflatable water toys are typically made out of plastic, vinyl or rubber.

Depending upon its use, you’ll want a material suited to the toy. A towable tube needs to be made out of a durable fabric like vinyl.

On the other hand, a floating unicorn (yes, they exist) can be plastic since it’s not likely going to be towed behind a boat.

Inflation

In days of yore, we had to use lung power to blow up inflatable water toys.

Thank you for innovation! Inflatables today have hand pumps, foot pumps and even built-in pumps.

Dual Air Chambers

Dual air chambers are separate “channels” that inflate and deflate independently of each other. This can be easily seen in those “lounge-pads” often found in pools. A lot of sturdy towables have this feature as well.

This set-up also works as a safety precaution. If there’s an air leak, the whole thing doesn’t collapse on the rider or lounger.

Double Laminated Seams

Double laminated seams have an extra layer of protection to prevent rips and tears.

This is a real benefit when the towables fly across the water.

One-Way Valves

One-way valves let the air inside while preventing it from leaking before the water toy is fully inflated. If you’ve ever had a nearly-inflated water toy escape your grasp and go swirling all over the place, you’ll appreciate this feature.

Safety Precautions When Using Inflatable Water Toys

  • They are not life preservers
  • Users need to wear life jackets when being towed
  • Be aware of surroundings and other boaters when towing or otherwise

Care of Inflatable Water Toys

To keep inflatable water toys looking and performing their best, there are a few simple steps to follow. This process definitely needs to be done at the end of the season, but it should also be followed to a degree throughout the season.

  • Deflate and allow to dry after use
  • Clean with a bleach/water mix: 1 tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water
  • Store in a mildew-resistant area. Hanging is best but make sure the item is completely dry before folding to store in a dry box or shed over the winter

The Best Inflatable Water Toys for Floating and Splashing

Preview
Greenco Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Pool Float with Connectors with Cup Holders - 2 Pack
Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop Set by FLOAT-EEZ - 2020 Edition - Inflatable Hoop with Ball Included - Perfect for Competitive Water Play and Trick Shots - Ultimate Summer Toy (Orange)
YAMADIE Inflatable Swimming Pool Unicorn Float PVC Inflatable Water Toy Can Be Loaded for 6 Adults Summer Beach Adult Children's Toys
Island Hopper 17' Bounce N Splash Padded Water Bouncer
Uenjoy 10' Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) Non-Slip Deck Adjustable Paddle Backpack,Pump, Repairing kit, Red
Item
Greenco Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Float
Hoop Shark Inflatable Basketball Set
Yamadie Inflatable Unicorn
Island Hopper 17’ Bounce-N-Splash Bouncer
Uenjoy Inflatable SUP
Preview
Greenco Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Pool Float with Connectors with Cup Holders - 2 Pack
Item
Greenco Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Float
Check Price
Preview
Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop Set by FLOAT-EEZ - 2020 Edition - Inflatable Hoop with Ball Included - Perfect for Competitive Water Play and Trick Shots - Ultimate Summer Toy (Orange)
Item
Hoop Shark Inflatable Basketball Set
Check Price
Preview
YAMADIE Inflatable Swimming Pool Unicorn Float PVC Inflatable Water Toy Can Be Loaded for 6 Adults Summer Beach Adult Children's Toys
Item
Yamadie Inflatable Unicorn
Check Price
Preview
Island Hopper 17' Bounce N Splash Padded Water Bouncer
Item
Island Hopper 17’ Bounce-N-Splash Bouncer
Check Price
Preview
Uenjoy 10' Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) Non-Slip Deck Adjustable Paddle Backpack,Pump, Repairing kit, Red
Item
Uenjoy Inflatable SUP
Check Price

Greenco Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Float

Check price on Amazon

Greenco Giant Inflatable Pizza Slice Pool Float with Connectors with Cup Holders - 2 Pack
  • Huge inflatable floating pizza made of high quality heavy duty vinyl material.
  • Enjoyed by kids and adult alike. Great for pool play, lounging, pool decoration and pool parties.
  • Easy to inflate and deflate, repair patch kit included for extended life.
  • Features bungee connectors to connect more pizza floats and 2 cup holder on each side. Recommended for kids ages 6 and up with adult supervision.
  • Approximate dimensions when inflated 75 inches long and 61 inches wide on the widest side.

It’s made of heavy-duty vinyl material, has two cup holders and bungee straps on the sides.

You can hook up to eight together for a whole pizza party on the water. It also comes with a convenient repair patch kit.

  • Recommended Age: Ages six and up
  • Inflated Dimensions: 75″ L x 61″ W (at the widest point)

Hoop Shark Inflatable Basketball Set

Check price on Amazon

Hoop Shark Swimming Pool Basketball Hoop Set by FLOAT-EEZ - 2020 Edition - Inflatable Hoop with Ball Included - Perfect for Competitive Water Play and Trick Shots - Ultimate Summer Toy (Orange)
  • AMAZING VALUE: Experience why our customers rave about the quality and value of our Pool Hoop Set
  • TOTAL PACKAGE: The included basketball will have you playing pool games in no time
  • HIGH QUALITY AND DURABLE: Stronger material and improved geometry makes this the best pool hoop EVER
  • PORTABLE: Large bore valves allow for quicker inflation and deflation; perfect for traveling
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Any concerns? Contact us directly and receive a response within 24 hours

Take the court to the coast. This water-based basketball set is made of thick material with reinforced seams and a textured surface.

It has large bore valves for quick inflation and deflation. You might want to hook it to the boat if you’re out on the lake to keep it from floating away. The basketball is included.

  • Recommended Age: Kids and adults
  • Inflated Dimensions: 40” tall with a 46-inch bottom diameter

Yamadie Inflatable Unicorn

Check price on Amazon

YAMADIE Inflatable Swimming Pool Unicorn Float PVC Inflatable Water Toy Can Be Loaded for 6 Adults Summer Beach Adult Children's Toys
  • Giant Color Rainbow Rainbow Bird Floating Island Unicorn Pool - Relive the rainbow unicorn childhood dream of this inflatable unicorn floating!
  • This unicorn float features a white body with bright iridescent mane, wings and tails to create an appealing piece that can be seen even in the distance.
  • Adults and children love to use this striking giant unicorn floating island. Capacity for up to 6 people - in this giant unicorn floating.
  • Enjoy a sunny day at the beach, pool or lake. Large enough to accommodate up to 6 people, perfect for a private swim party between friends or family.
  • The large space of this adult unicorn float gives you plenty of room so you don't have to push others aside. The big seats also let everyone relax.

What could possibly be more fun than a floating unicorn with rainbow wings? When it has cup holders, that’s when!

I love seeing these floats out on the water. This cute and sturdy PVC unicorn seats six people for your own little party hut.

There’s also a handy inflation nozzle.

  • Recommended Age: Kids and adults
  • Inflated Dimensions: Approximately 15’ x 14.5’ x 7’

Island Hopper 17’ Bounce-N-Splash Bouncer

Check price on Amazon

Island Hopper 17' Bounce N Splash Padded Water Bouncer
  • 17 ft Water Bouncer only. 5 YEAR Limited Warranty.
  • Water bouncer / swimming platform - Spring-less, interlaced nylon webbing mat
  • Material: Heavy duty reenforced 1,000-denier PVC
  • Protective 0.5-inch foam perimeter padding (Exclusive on Island Hopper Water Bouncers)
  • Inflated product dimensions: 17 ft. diameter x 36 inches high. 13 ft. diameter jump surface.

Bouncing on the water is just plain fun.

The Bounce-N-Splash is 17 feet long and made of heavy-duty reinforced 1,000 denier PVC.

It has an interlaced nylon webbing mat with a protective half-inch foam padding around the perimeter.

The jumping surface is within a 13-foot diameter. It uses tube flex features to get great bouncing action, but you won’t fly into the air like on a traditional trampoline.

It has six anchor-tie D-rings and comes with a repair kit, a storage/carrying case and a six-step ladder for easy access. It works with most any air inflator. This water bouncer has a 5-year seam, no blow-out limited warranty.

  • Maximum Weight: Five kids or 1,000 lbs
  • Inflated dimensions: 36 inches tall with and 17 feet in diameter

Uenjoy Inflatable SUP

Check price on Amazon

Uenjoy 10' Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) Non-Slip Deck Adjustable Paddle Backpack,Pump, Repairing kit, Red
  • Extra Wide: This inflatable SUP board is 30” width perfect for beginners(Newbie) keeping stability and balance. It is also a suitable size when from beginner to advance. So it is a board that last long. User Weight: 242 Lbs. If you're over 242 It might increase water resistance.
  • Good quality: Featured thickened military grade PVC on the top and bottom: creates a stiff, rigid and sturdy board. Also decrease the water resistance. This is the most solid beginners's board. Durable enough to last for year.
  • Non-slip: Non-slip handle design ensures stable running, non-slip deck is suitable for beginners and can reduce accidents
  • Full Accessories: It comes with everything you need to get start Pump, Three Fins, back pack , Length adjustable Paddle, Patch kit for emergency, Quick inflation and deflation air valve.
  • All Around Board: This sup is suitable for Yoga on water, Fishing, carrying kids and pets together or just touring. This is good for all you have!

An inflatable stand-up paddleboard? Yes, it really exists!

The Uenjoy SUP is both portable and storable. It’s 30 inches wide, which gives you great stability whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

There are tie-down bungee cords on the top front, a non-slip carrying handle, an ankle leash D-ring and three bottom fins for steering, speed and maneuverability. It’s made of military-grade PVC on the top and bottom for a sturdy and slip-proof standing surface.

There’s a large air valve for easy inflation. It comes with a repair kit, an adjustable paddle, a storage bag and an air pump.

  • Weight Limit: 242 lbs
  • Inflated Dimensions: 11’ L x 30” W x 6” thick

The Best Inflatable Water Toys for Towing

Preview
Sportsstuff Big Mable | 1-2 Rider Towable Tube for Boating
O'Brien Super Screamer , Yellow , 70 Inches
Island Hopper 5 Passenger Inline Elite Class Heavy Recreational Banana Boat Towable Boat Tube
Item
SportsStuff Big Mable Towable Tube
O’Brien Super Screamer
Island Hopper 5-Passenger Banana Towable
Preview
Sportsstuff Big Mable | 1-2 Rider Towable Tube for Boating
Item
SportsStuff Big Mable Towable Tube
Check Price
Preview
O'Brien Super Screamer , Yellow , 70 Inches
Item
O’Brien Super Screamer
Check Price
Preview
Island Hopper 5 Passenger Inline Elite Class Heavy Recreational Banana Boat Towable Boat Tube
Item
Island Hopper 5-Passenger Banana Towable
Check Price

SportsStuff Big Mable Towable Tube

Check price on Amazon

Sportsstuff Big Mable | 1-2 Rider Towable Tube for Boating
  • 1-2 rider tube for boating & watersports
  • Dual Tow Points - Tow from different points for unique riding experiences
  • Fully Covered - Heavy-duty full nylon cover
  • Speed Safety Valve - For fast and easy inflating and deflating

This super fun tube can hold up to two riders. Dual tow points allow you to hook up to different points for a variety of riding experiences. Riders can sit facing forward (with the tube attached at the front), or they can kneel (with the tube attached at the back).

It has a full nylon cover to protect the air bladders and a speed safety valve for quick inflation and deflation.

It also comes with a Kwik-Connect for easy rope connection. EVA foam seating pads, foam handles and air-cushioned side walls help keep riders from getting tossed off.

  • Weight Limit: 340 lbs
  • Inflated Dimensions: 66” x 69”

O’Brien Super Screamer

Check price on Amazon

Sale
O'Brien Super Screamer , Yellow , 70 Inches
  • Maximum capacity – Up to 2 riders or 340 lbs.
  • Quick Connect Tow System – Effortlessly connect the tube to the rope
  • Lightning Valve – Allows for rapid inflation and deflation
  • 26 Gauge PVC constructed bladder fully covered with 420-denier nylon for maximum durability
  • 2 Soft, oversized EVA deck pads and 6 handles with EVA knuckle guards for comfort

Up to two riders lay or kneel on this round tube for a super screamin’ good time.

It uses a quick-connect tow system for easy attaching and detaching. A lightning valve provides quick inflation and deflation. It’s made of 26-gauge PVC with a 420-denier nylon cover to protect the air bladders.

There are two soft EVA deck pads and six handles with EVA knuckle guards for those white-knuckle moments. One awesome feature is pull-up straps that allow you to pull yourself up and out of the water after you’ve fallen off.

  • Weight Limit: 340 lbs
  • Inflated Dimensions: 70” Diameter

Island Hopper 5-Passenger Banana Towable

Check price on Amazon

Island Hopper 5 Passenger Inline Elite Class Heavy Recreational Banana Boat Towable Boat Tube
  • Load 5 people onto a banana boat and we dare them not to smile!
  • Material: Heavy duty UV resistent reinforced 1000 denier 30 oz PVC
  • Elite Class = Welded seams for durability and longivity. Stainless steel pull rings, tow harness with steel toggle
  • Dimensions inflated: 17' x 4' 3". Max Load: 5 riders - 1020lbs
  • Includes: nylon storage bag, foot pump, and operation instructions. Double boxed for safe delivery

Go bananas on the water!

This super fun to ride (and watch) towable holds five riders. It’s made of UV-resistant reinforced 1000-denier 30-ounce PVC. It has durable welded seams, stainless steel pull rings and a steel toggle on the tow harness.

It also comes with a convenient nylon storage bag, a foot pump, a repair kit and operating instructions.

  • Weight Limit: 1,020 lbs
  • Inflated Dimensions: 17’ x 4’ 3”

The Best Inflatable Water Toy Accessories

Preview
AIRHEAD BOB Booster Ball
AIRHEAD AHKC-1 KWIK-CONNECT Tube Rope Connector
Airhead Tow Rope | 1-2 Rider Rope for Towable Tubes
Item
Airhead BOB Booster Ball
Airhead Kwik-Connect Rope
Airhead 2-Rider Tube Tow Rope
Preview
AIRHEAD BOB Booster Ball
Item
Airhead BOB Booster Ball
Check Price
Preview
AIRHEAD AHKC-1 KWIK-CONNECT Tube Rope Connector
Item
Airhead Kwik-Connect Rope
Check Price
Preview
Airhead Tow Rope | 1-2 Rider Rope for Towable Tubes
Item
Airhead 2-Rider Tube Tow Rope
Check Price

Airhead BOB Booster Ball

Check price on Amazon

Sale
AIRHEAD BOB Booster Ball
  • 4 rider tow rope with inflatable buoy in the middle to boost towable performance
  • Keeps the rope out of the water while towing-reduces drag, rope spray, and submarining
  • 60 foot long advanced towing system (including ball) has a 4,100 pound break strength
  • Features a heavy-duty full nylon cover, self bailing drain vent
  • Patented Speed Safety Valve for fast and easy inflation and deflation

I’ve recommended this before, and I’ll recommend it again. It’s such a great product to keep the tow line out of the water. It reduces drag as well as water splashing in the faces of the riders.

Airhead Kwik-Connect Rope

Check price on Amazon

The Kwik-Connect Rope lets you quickly and easily switch from one towable to another. It works as a sort of a “neutral party” between the towable and the rope.

Attach the prong end to the rope that’s connected to the boat, then attach the other end to the towable. This eliminates having to tie and untie the rope from the towable when you’re done or want to switch to a different towable. Simply unhook it.

Airhead 2-Rider Tube Tow Rope

Check price on Amazon

Sale
Airhead Tow Rope | 1-2 Rider Rope for Towable Tubes
  • The Airhead AHTR-60 tow rope has a 2,375 pound tensile strength and is suitable for 1-2 person towable tubes
  • Measures 60 feet long with a 6-inch loop at each end
  • Multiple colors for increased visibility
  • Exceeds WSIA recommendations for 1-4 rider towable tubes
  • Rope Keeper included for easy organization and storage

Designed for one and two-rider tubes, the tow rope is durable and sturdy for all types of tube towing. Made of 16-strand braided polypropylene, it’s rated at 2,375 pounds tensile strength.

There’s a six-inch spliced loop at each end. A rope keeper keeps it all tangle-free for storage. The floating factor makes it easy to find if dropped.

 

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on what to add to your boating toy box.

Whether you’re towing, floating, bouncing or splashing, inflatable water toys can spice up your day out on the boat. You can even tow with a jet ski. So don’t let the fact that you don’t own a boat stop you from enjoying all the fun water toys out there.


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.