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Best Inner Tube for River Floating

Best inner tube for river floating

When the weather is warm, floating inner river tubes are a great way to have fun outdoors – especially in summer. You can use them to relax lazily on a river, or you can cruise through a river at high speeds. The adrenaline is addictive, and you will have to try it to believe it.

All of the best Inner tubes for river floating are created with comfort and safety in mind. This is the time to enjoy yourself after hours of work, and you want the best inner tube on the market. An inner tube that tears easily can be disastrous and ruin your trip – you also may get injured. The river when raging devours those who go near it; that is why you need an inner tube that you can maneuver easily.

Selecting the correct tube can be a formidable task with all of the varieties available in the market. This is why we have taken the liberty to research and give you a list of some of the best inner tubes for river tubes.

Best Inner Tubes for River Floating for 1 person

Intex River Run 1 Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53” Diameter

Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter

This is an ideal floating tube to use when you plan to go cruising on the river or simply relaxing with a cold drink when the weather is warm. The floater is for singles and comes in an innovative shape.

The inter-sport lounge is created with comfort in mind, and that is why it has a comfy built-in backrest and a mesh bottom that will keep you cool and let you get a feel for the water.

The 53” diameter circle is large enough for you, and it comes with an all-round robe for that you can hold on to when you are cruising. You can also interconnect the tube with other tubes and have some group fun.

The handles are durable and comfortable to hold on to.

Saving the best for last, you get two cup holders for that chilled beverage during your adventure/relaxation time. As you can see, this one of the best inner tubes for river floating.

Pros

  • Large 53” diameter circle
  • Durable heavy duty handles
  • 2 cup holders
  • Comfy backrest
  • Mesh bottom that keeps you cool

Cons

  • May not fit two people
  • May tear in rivers with very sharp rocks

Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Water Float

Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"

This is a comfortable floating tube with a mesh bottom to keep you cool. The extra cup holders are ideal for keeping your refreshments intact as you cruise through the river. You can rest easily on the built-in backrest, or you can fasten the floater to other river runs and have some group fun.

Two air chambers are added for your safety. The floater is made from durable material that does not tear easily. The handy handles are good when cruising down a river.

It has a diameter of 51” which is large enough for any single person.

Pros

  • Built-in cup holders
  • Comfortable backrest
  • Cool mesh bottom
  • Can be fastened to other river runs

Cons

  • Not suitable for a river with sharp rocks

Intex Red River Run 1 Fire Edition Sport Lounge

Intex Red River Run 1 Fire Edition Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter

This is a special version of the River Run 1 Sport Lounge. This special edition float is a floater that combines the thrill of the classic tube and the convenience and safety of the modern ones. It comes with a backrest, cupholders, a mesh seat, and handles. Yet, the experience is amazing and unrestrained.

You can relax on it with your drink, all the while enjoying the cool water running under your body. The backrest enhances comfort. The grab rope and handles are used to move it about easily. You can also connect it to other floats via cable to form a group.

It is made of strong PVC that makes it significantly resistant to rocks and bumps.  The 53-inch diameter makes it big enough to handle taller and heavier folks

Pros

  • It has a double valve system to prevent air from unnecessarily escaping.
  • It is very durable.
  • It is easy to store.

Cons

  • Not compatible with older generations of Intex products

GoFloats Unicorn party Tube Inflatable Float

GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float Party Tube – Inflatable Rafts, Kids & Adults

Looking for something fun to show around? If yes, this unicorn shaped floating tube is very ideal for that summer party. The tube is large and can accommodate swimmers of up to 500 pounds. Measuring 45 inches wide and 3 feet tall this unicorn floater ensures that you fully enjoy summer time.

The unicorn is not only beautifully designed, it is durable as well; with premium, UV treated vinyl material that is 25 times thicker than competitors. Additionally, a rapid valve inflation which inflates at ten times competition – 2 minutes versus 20 minutes. You should be having fun in minutes; no delays.

Outdoor activities are times to share memories with family and friends.  The unicorn float tube is not only an excellent floater, but you can snap some really fun photos with it.

Pros

  • UV treated raft grade
  • Rapid valve inflation
  • It is huge and rated at over 500 pounds
  • Beautiful design for summer fun

Cons

  • Not ideal for fast cruising

Comparison Table

Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
Intex Red River Run 1 Fire Edition Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float Party Tube – Inflatable Rafts, Kids & Adults
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
Intex Red River Run 1 Fire Edition Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float Party Tube – Inflatable Rafts, Kids & Adults
2 cupholders
1 cupholder
2 cupholders
-
-
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
2 cupholders
-
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
1 cupholder
Intex Red River Run 1 Fire Edition Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex Red River Run 1 Fire Edition Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
2 cupholders
GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float Party Tube – Inflatable Rafts, Kids & Adults
GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float Party Tube – Inflatable Rafts, Kids & Adults
-

Best Inner Tubes for River Floating for 2 persons

Intex River Run II

Intex River Run II

This floater comes with two lounges and is ideal for couples or a pair of friends. You can share the laughter while you cruise on the backrest seats. The mesh bottom ensures you are cool during the ride.

The two-seater is also ideal if you have children.

The river run II comes with a built-in lid for storing your beverages and with extra cup holders for extra storage. The river II is very comfortable with five air chambers which puts your safety first.

In the case you have a group party, you can interconnect your floater with others and share the fun. This is the best inner tube for river floating for those who plan to take a leisurely cruise on the river.

Pros

  • Mesh’s bottom keeps you cool
  • Can be interconnected to other runs
  • Comfortable backrest
  • Extra lid for beverages

Cons

  • Not suitable for singles

Intex River II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float

Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"

If you are thinking of going river cruising in twos, then this is the ideal river floating tube for you. This floater has two linked lounges with a big built cooler to store those soft drinks. It lets you have fun with a close friend or if you come as a couple.

The sport lounge is built with comfort in mind and comes with backrest for relaxed cruising and mesh bottom that keeps you cool. That’s not all – it has five air chambers that make a valiant effort to ensure you will be safe during your cruise.

With a large built-in cooler that can hold up to 24 cans – you will not run out of refreshments. Besides the sizeable built-in cooler, you get two additional cup holders for extra refreshments. You can have more fun with other friends with easy to use connectors; which you fasten to other floaters.

Pros

  • Five air chambers for added security
  • Two interconnected lounges
  • Large built-in cooler with lid
  • Two cup holders
  • Fasteners to other floaters

Cons

  • Not suitable for single persons

Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube 58854EP (2 Pack)

Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube 58854EP (2 Pack)

It’s the beginning of summer and you’d like to enjoy the time at that lake or river close to you or perhaps even in your pool, the Intex River Run  Connect Lounge allows you the most fun you can get. It’s inflatable and made with durable material. More so, you don’t have to enjoy the time alone! It conmes in a 2 pack, so invite your friend! And by the way, you don’t have to get this for your kids alone, it’s design such that even adults can fit into it and have some fun time!

The Connect Loung Intex product is not only highly functional and performance loaded, it’s just as safe. The curved edge of the design makes you comfortable and you can freely move your arms or legs while in it. With this product, you don’t have to worry about getting a tube rash because of the matirial. It is also easy to set up and pack; you can have it deflated and packed up in under a minute. You can also set the firmness to your preference as the air chamber is design separately, rest you back and enjoy a drink with the cupholder. You can also connect an inflatable cooler.

Pros

  • Perfect for kids and adults
  • Great ergonomics which allows maximum comfort
  • It doesn’t irritate your skin or cause a tube rash
  • In built backrest, separate air chambers and mesh bottom features give you maximum fun time and comfortabiity!
  • The handles are heavy duty which assures durability nd supports your weight without hassles (up to 240lbs).
  • It is easy to deflate and can withstand rough handling.

Cons

  • Nozzle design may be to difficult to pump tube by mouth
  • Don’t self inflate

Comparison Table

Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Intex River Run II
Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube 58854EP (2 Pack)
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Intex River Run II
Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube 58854EP (2 Pack)
Seat
2
2
2
-
-
-
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Seat
2
-
Intex River Run II
Intex River Run II
Seat
2
-
Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube 58854EP (2 Pack)
Intex River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube 58854EP (2 Pack)
Seat
2
-

Factors to Look for When Buying an Inner Tube River Floater

Inner tubes for river floating are a great way to spend your summer with family and friends. They allow you to cruise through the river or just relax and enjoy the sunshine. They come in different designs – some come single while others can carry up to six people.

Whether you are buying new one or you plan on getting one for hire; you need to check out the following factors before getting the best inner tube for river floating.

Durability

The last thing anyone wants on a hot sunny day (or any day) is for their floating tube to be compromised. Before you purchase an inner tube, you need to consider the material that it is made from.  Any tiny sharp object in the river can quickly deflate a standard tube.

Most river tubes nowadays come with a canvas poly-bottom. The canvas bottom will protect the tube from sharp objects on the river bed.

You should look for river tubes made of heavier materials. The risk of the tube getting deflated, especially when you are cruising at high speed is very high.

There are commercial inner tubes that are made of heavy-duty polyester covers. These are ideal for those going for cruising in jungle-like rivers; where the water is rushing very fast. They are also UV resistant and do not fade easily.

Weight

You will need to ask yourself – how many people are going for the trip? Their river tubes that are suitable for singles, doubles and some that can carry up to six people.

A good river floater should be able to hold your weight without sinking. The handles should be hard enough to hold you when you are cruising down a river; without you falling.

Check how the valves handle the floater pressure. They should reach the maximum pressure without leaking.

Most of the inner tubes come with the recommended carry weight; this can be found in the product leaflet.

Comfort

There are river tubes that come with extras to increase your comfort. Modern river tubes come with comfortable backrest chairs that enable you to relax while you enjoy the sunshine.

You can get extra cooler lids for refreshments. Depending on whose coming with you, you can have large coolers that can store up to 24 beers.

Mesh floors are great and allow you to rest your feet, as the water cools you. Some have fasteners that you can attach to other river tubes; which enables you to have a group party.

If you plan on just relaxing on the river while having a beer or two, an inner tube with a mesh floor will come in handy. You will love the feeling of the cool water hitting your feet on that hot summer day.

When having a group party then you need to get a tube with fasteners that you can easily connect with other tubes. This will be great when you are relaxing and sunbathing in the warm sunshine.

Inflation

You should be having fun not spending all your time inflating the river tube. A good river tube should be able to inflate in minutes – the faster, the better.

Ensure that the river tube floater is well inflated before getting into the water. Less inflated floaters are uncomfortable as they absorb less shock.

A great feature on some inner tubes is having easy to access valves to deflate when you are done having fun. It should fold easily for storage.

The purpose for floating inner tube

The type of tube that you buy will largely depend on what you intend to use it in/for. If it’s for relaxing on the lake; then comfort should be your primary consideration. Look for an inner tube that can accommodate the whole party. You can include extras like comfy seats and large coolers to fit all your refreshments. You may also need extra cup holders and pockets for storing phones.

However, if you are looking for some adrenaline action – then you need something with a durable bottom. This is because you will be cruising down a steep river with sharp rocks – a puncture will send you spiraling down the river. One made of canvas will be able to handle all the pressure.

If you are planning on tubing using a speedboat, then you will put into consideration the inner tube floating aerodynamics. I would not recommend any of the above tubes for that purpose as you might find yourself swimming more than floating. Nevertheless, I have created an article on finding a great pull behind tube for boats here.

Some of the heavy duty tubes are made from vinyl with an extra layer of polyester. This double coating makes the heavy duty tubes ideal for river floating.

Steering

When you are going river tubing, the tube should have handy handles that you can use to navigate sharp corners. The rapids can be very high, and if you do not have a firm grip on the handle, you will be thrown off the tube. Inner tubes for river floating offer the best maneuverability when navigating rivers.

The handle should also be comfortable enough not to cause blisters. You can wear gloves if you plan to do some extensive floating.

How to Protect Your Inner Tube

When it comes to inner tubes, the thing that will spoil all the fun is a puncture. You can decide to carry an air pump and mending materials but, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of your getting a puncture.

  • Do not over-inflate the tube. Use an air pump meter for the right readings – you can check maximum pressure from the manufacture’s leaflet.
  • Fill the tube till you do not see any wrinkles or dead spots.
  • Avoid corners with sharp tree branches
  • Do not store the inner tube floater where there is direct sunlight – this can cause polyvinyl to expand.
  • When sledding with a floating inner tube, sit inside rather than lie on top
  • When you are done with the inner tube, wipe any excess grass and debris as they can cause long-term damage

A Quick Guide to River Tubing

River tubing is thrilling and is a fun way to share memories with family and friends. But, the river can be dangerous and turn against you if you are not prepared. You will need to check the weather for any storms coming your way – otherwise, it might not be that fun in the rain.

You can rent river tubes, or you can purchase your own. How long you plan to use it will determine your decision.

The time of the year will determine how rough the rapids can be. When the river is smoother you can engage in some lazy river tubing but when rapids are high; you can engage in some adrenaline tubing.

River tubing is fun, and you should carry along a waterproof camera to take in those memories with family and friends.

We have come up with a guide to help you along the way.

  1. Select the best inner tube for river floating that suits your specific needs. The tube should have a hardy bottom to resist sharp rocks and thorns. You can choose one with a canvas or polyester covering. Depending on how many people are tucking along, you can get a single or double tube.
  2. Carry a life jacket with you. The rushing water can push you over the tube, and a life jacket may as well save your life – take some swimming lessons as well. There some trendy life jackets available in the market today with extra pockets.
  3. Carry a GPS and learn your river route. It may be wise to talk to locals and find out any dangers in the river. Are there alligators or other wild animals that will interrupt your trip?
  4. Carry your phone for any emergencies. Do not forget to carry a first aid kit. It may be wise to learn same emergency procedures in case someone gets hurt. A dry bag can be very useful for this.
  5. Lift your bottom up when you are going over rapids. These ensure that you do not get stuck.
  6. Plan to get to the river before 12 am. This is when the sun is the hottest and the best time to do some sunbathing. Just don’t forget your sun screen!
  7. It is true that you are going to have fun but do not get there when you are totally drink in moderation because the river – when raging – can be very dangerous. Two, you may miss out on a lot of the fun.
  8. Carry some sunscreen and glasses for your eyes. You can carry some bug repellant if you suspect that the river banks maybe marshy.
  9. Wear light clothing like shorts and saddles.
  10. Pack some snacks and refreshments. You may not find any convenience store where you are going.
  11. Some river counties charge a fee for river tubing so carry some extra cash. You will also need to be acquainted with the rules set out.
  12. If you have younger children then consider getting a snuggle tune – has two seats.
  13. Stay clear off waterfalls, unless you have been there before.

For more, check out my article on 15 tips for river floating.

Advantages of Having a Heavy Duty River Float Tube

River floaters are great when you are having fun outdoors, especially during summer. Rubber floaters come in all sizes and they are made with different materials; selecting one is not easy.

Inner tubes have one problem – they are easily deflated. The river is a jungle with sharp rocks and pointed thorns. When any comes in contact with your tube, then your trip will come to an abrupt stop.

This is the reason heavy duty river tube floaters are preferred. But, what makes them different from the rest?

  1. They have double protection. Some are made with vinyl then a heavy-duty polyester covering is added. This gives it durability and protects the tube from sharp objects. To prevent deflation, some heavy duty tubes come with a 600 denier canvas bottom.
  2. Inner tubes get damaged when exposed to sunlight. Heavy duty floaters and made from strong material that protects the tube from UV light.
  3. Heavy duty floaters have strong handles that are easy to steer across sharp bends in the river.
  4. They do not fade easily, even after continued use and exposure to sunlight.
  5. They are large enough to hold weight, while at the same time maintaining great
  6. You can use heavy duty inner tubes cover a wide range of rugged terrain including snow and rapid rivers.
  7. Because they are made of hard materials they do not tip easily if when going rough terrain on the river. Smaller inner tube boats can cause injuries in dangerous rivers.

Inner tubes come in different shapes and the purpose that you are using the floater will determine which one you choose. While heavy-duty floaters are ideal for river floating because of their durability most of them lack the comfort features of smaller floaters that are used for relaxing.

Which Inner Tube should you choose?

When picking a floater, some factors to consider besides materials are the exact activities you might be needing the floater for. You should also consider how many people might be sharing with you. Using a raft or floater alone, sharing with a friend or more people means that you need different floaters.

For singles, the Intex River Run 1 Sport Lounge is great for you. It is cheap, sturdy, and practical enough. The fire edition and River Run Connect were considered, but the simplicity, cost, and practicality makes River Run 1 Sport Lounge the clear winner.

For doubles, Intex River Run 2 Lounge is a product You will love. In addition, you can fill up the cooler with drinks to share with your loved ones. The River Run Connect Lounge Inflatable Floating Water Tube (2 pack) is suitable if sometimes you want to enjoy the river alone and other times, you’d like to be with someone. It comes in 2 packs and you barely need extra accessories so you can always just use one or both of the packs.

For groups and Families, inflatable floating island likes Best way Hydro Force Floating Island is perfect for you. It can contain the average family; it can withstand rough treatment. It is simply big, strong, and functional. If you want more on this type, here we have hand-picked 5 great inflatable islands in this post.

Floaters are a simple and generally safe way to add excitement to your life. If you know what you want to use a floater for and the people who are likely to share it with you, you can make a choice and create great experiences.

Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4 replies
  1. admin
    admin says:

    Hi Jodi,

    I have a nephew nearing 7 years old (boy) and he would probably like one of the following you can search on Amazon:

    40″ tube in the box
    Intex River Rat Swim Tube
    Intex Red River Run 1
    GoFloats Dragon Party Tube
    GoFloats ‘Great White Bite’ Shark Party Tube

    Hope this help!
    -Rob

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I have never done a river float before. I really want to experience it but my weight has always held me back from trying it.
    What tube would you recommend for a heavier person?

    Reply
    • admin
      admin says:

      Hi Sarah,

      I wouldn’t let that hold you back, river tubing a very fun and relaxing experience! I’d recommend the following tubes which you can search on Amazon for:

      Intex River Run I Inflatable Water Lounge Tube 1-Person, Pink. – Customer reviews say this tube can hold a 215lb male and his daughter.
      Tube In a Box the Original Swim and Snow Tube, 45″ XL. – Up to 280lbs per the manufacturer.
      Classic Accessories Teton Inflatable Fishing Float Tube (I know it’s not a river tube but it should do the trick…)

      Hope this help!
      -Rob

      Reply

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