If you really want to increase your luck while fishing, then you will need a boat. Inflatable fishing boats are the most convenient solution for all kinds of fishers. They can be folded up and packed away when not in use, they are easy to manage, suitable for a wide range of environments, and are relatively affordable.
An inflatable fishing boat is versatile, practical, and loads of fun to own. These boats can suit all types of people and places, and will vastly improve your fishing experience. Follow our complete guide below to better understand these boats, and how to choose the best one for your next fishing trip.
What Is An Inflatable Fishing Boat?
As you can probably guess from the name, these are relatively small boats that need to be inflated for use. Inflatable fishing boats are made from durable air compartments and tubes. When pumped up, the air compartments form into the shape of a boat. When deflated, you can fold up the material and easily store it away.
They differ from a regular hardshell fishing boat that is generally more durable and performs a bit better in fast-moving waters. Inflatable fishing boats are designed to provide a comfortable, stable platform for fishing on lakes and rivers. They are not always the first choice for speed, oceans, or white water rafting.
What To Look Out For When Buying An Inflatable Fishing Boat
Inflatable fishing boats come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. There is not necessarily a “best” inflatable fishing boat, but rather the right one for your specific needs. Here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when looking for an inflatable fishing boat.
Size & Weight Capacity
The first consideration should be how big the boat is and how much weight it can take. You can get inflatable fishing boats that are only designed for a single person, and you can get boats made for groups of adults.
When it comes to the size of the boat, make sure that it is big enough for the number of people that will be fishing as well as all of your gear. You will need space for your tackle box, fishing rods, food, and drink, etc. If you plan on enjoying longer fishing sessions, you will need enough room for a comfortable experience.
The best boats will have adjustable inflatable seats and plenty of legroom. Then there is the weight capacity of the boat. Of course, you will need to make sure that the boat can comfortably carry your expected load.
Shape & Design
There are various inflatable boat styles to consider. The typical inflatable fishing boat has the shape of a regular dinghy or large kayak. You can also get inflatable pontoon fishing boats and compact float tubes designed for easy tracking. The typical boat shape is best for carrying groups of people and more versatile use. Some other shapes are more specifically designed for high-performance fishing.
Being inflatable, you will need to make sure that the boat is as durable as possible to avoid punctures. Most inflatable boats are made from PVC material, but some are thicker and more resistant than others. The material should be designed for heavy-duty use, and feature protection against UV rays and abrasion.
Like with inflatable life vests the main performance factor of an inflatable boat is its buoyancy. Once inflated, the vessel should be solid and stable. Especially when fishing, you don’t want the boat to rock or shake when in use. The best boats will have a very stable floor and a rigid design.
You also want to pay attention to the air pockets. Having multiple air chambers helps to minimize the risk of sinking in case there is a puncture. However, more air chambers also means a bit more effort when inflating the boat.
There are various additional features that can completely enhance your experience with the boat. This can include storage compartments, fishing rod holders, drink holders, oar holders, ropes, adjustable seats, fish measurement rulers, and so on. Often, it is these smaller features that can really shape your entire fishing experience, so they are important to consider.
The Best Inflatable Fishing Boats
With many different products, brands, and styles to choose from, choosing the best inflatable fishing boat can be tricky. We have rounded up the seven best options available to help make your search easier.
Intex Excursion Inflatable Boat
- Inflatable I-beam floor for more rigidity and comfort
- Includes two large inflatable seats
- Motor mount fitting and aluminum oars
- 3 air chambers with maximum buoyancy
This large and comfortable inflatable boat by Intex is ideal for any keen fishermen. The boat features two bench-style inflatable seats facing each other, with plenty of space in between them. This gives you enough room for preparing your lines, keeping your fishing gear, and stretching out. The boat is seriously buoyant with its three air chambers, including an auxiliary chamber in the hull. There is also an inflatable l-beam floor for added rigidity.
You have the option to add an outboard motor to this inflatable fishing boat with the motor mount fitting included. Otherwise, the vessel comes with durable and effective aluminum oars. The boat features four fishing rod holders and can carry a maximum capacity of 600kg. For easier boarding and handling, there is a grab line wrapping around the entire boat.
Alomejor Inflatable Raft
- A high-quality and extremely durable inflatable boat
- Suitable for three adults
- Includes two inflatable seats
- Spacious and comfortable
The inflatable boat raft by Alomejor has got to be included on this list for its simple, durable, comfortable design. This is the perfect inflatable fishing boat for taking along on trips due to its super compact and lightweight design when deflated. The boat packs up into a convenient bag when not in use, and it inflates quickly and easily.
This is also a particularly durable inflatable fishing boat. It is made from a sturdy PVC material that is highly resistant to wear and tear. The boat is impact and sunlight resistant to provide it with a longer lifespan. The boat comes with two aluminum oars which can be locked in place with the paddle holders when not in use. This fishing boat has two inflatable seats and can carry three adults.
Colorado Pontoon Boat
- A heavy-duty pontoon boat
- High storage capacity
- High riding for better visibility
- Has a powder-coated steel tube frame
This pontoon boat is the ultimate choice for any serious fisherman. The boat only has a single seat that is raised high for better visibility. This is certainly not the most versatile boat, but if you are just looking for a fishing craft, then this option is ideal. This is a highly durable watercraft with a powder-coated steel tube frame.
The pontoon has an abrasion-resistant PVC bottom and a tough nylon top. There are also bronze oarlocks, cold and heat-resistant bladders, and aluminum oars. This boat is also a great choice for all its storage space. There are various zippered compartments, two insulated drinks holders, and a metal storage basket.
The boat includes a dual-side stripping apron with a fish ruler, non-slip footrests, and tow rings. This boat is not that fast, and it can only hold one person, but it is strong, comfortable, and masterfully designed for a successful fishing experience.
Yocalo Inflatable Boat
- Can hold 3 adults and 1 child
- Seriously durable, environmentally-friendly PVC construction
- 4 Independent air chambers with Boston valves
- Easy to assemble
The Yocalo inflatable fishing boat is about as straightforward as it gets. This boat has no seats and no storage compartments. Instead, you get a comfortable, durable, and spacious boat that offers good value for money. The boat can hold three adults and one child, although it would be most comfortable to just have two adults on board while fishing.
This inflatable boat has four independent air chambers controlled by Boston valves. The boat is made from 0.6mm environmentally-friendly PVC material. The design includes motor mount fittings and two oars. When inflated, the boat is stable and comfortable for a day of fishing. It has anti-freeze properties for cold weather and can resist sunlight and UV rays.
Cumberland Float Tube
- Hydrodynamic hull shape for improved tracking
- Extra high padded seat
- Plenty of storage options
- Durable PVC construction
If you are after a compact, performance-driven fishing vessel, then this is a great choice. The Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube provides just enough space for one person to enjoy a comfortable day fishing. This inflatable fishing boat has a fully adjustable padded seat for maximum comfort. There are various double zipper cargo pockets for safe storage, as well as cup holders. This boat has an improved hydrodynamic hull shape that offers better tracking and steering than most other boats.
For a greater advantage while fishing, there is a mesh stripping apron with a fish ruler. The seat is also raised for greater visibility and staying dry while fishing. The fully inflatable boat is made from rugged abrasion-resistant PVC to avoid any damage while on the water.
Wistar Inflatable Fishing Boat
- High load capacity and great buoyancy
- High-quality abrasion-resistant 600D Oxford fabric
- Equipped with large storage side bags
- Easily adjustable, comfortable backrest
This fishing float tube looks just like the Cumberland float tube by Classic Accessories. It features many of the same design elements, and it is significantly cheaper. This makes it an excellent choice for fishermen wanting a well-designed float tube at an affordable price. The inflatable boat has a high load capacity and great buoyancy for a single person. The well-supported seat is fully adjustable for a comfortable day on the lake.
Some of the highlights of this vessel include its incredibly durable construction, its large storage side bags, and useful fish measurement ruler. This float tube is quick and easy to inflate and deflate, and it offers the perfect platform for comfortable solo fishing.
Excursion Pro Narrow Inflatable Fishing Boat
- Lightweight and highly resistant material
- Two integrated fishing rod holders
- Two adjustable inflatable seats
- Storage space in bow and stern
This narrow inflatable fishing boat by Intex offers everything you need for reeling in your next big catch. There are recessed fishing rod holders, fully adjustable bucket seats, and even mounting space for a fish finder, swivel rod holder, and GPS. With mounted footrests and plenty of storage space, fishing trips couldn’t get any more comfortable.
This inflatable kayak is also particularly durable. Its 3-ply super tough construction is designed to resist abrasion, sunlight, impact, gasoline, oil, and saltwater. This vessel is tough, comfortable, easily maneuverable, and it features all the accessories you need for a great fishing trip.
Where Can You Buy Inflatable Fishing Boats
Basic inflatable fishing boats should be available at most good fishing, sports, and watersports stores. However, you may struggle to find a wide variety of these boats in shops. This is why we recommend shopping for inflatable boats online. This way, you get the most variety and can choose the perfect fishing boat to meet your needs.
An inflatable fishing boat offers a whole new world of opportunity when casting your line. You can easily reach the best spots, cast further into the water, and target the exact place where you think you will find fish. These boats are also easy to transport, simple to maneuver, and plenty of fun to paddle around in.
You can get inflatable fishing boats with motors and ones that are powered by oars. You can get boats for multiple people or boats designed for solo fishing adventures. Whatever your needs may be, having an inflatable boat for fishing is guaranteed to completely transform your luck on the water!
Why are inflatable boats a good choice for fishing?
One of the main benefits of using inflatable boats for fishing is that they are much quieter than hardshell boats on the water. Generally, these boats dont use motors which can often scare away the fish. Inflatable boats are also very versatile, easy to use, store, and easy to transport. Often, these boats are also more affordable.
Can inflatable boats sink?
It is incredibly unlikely for an inflatable boat to sink. It is possible to get a puncture and deflate an air chamber of an inflatable boat. The PVC material will still float on top of the water, and be supported by other air chambers. Most boats have multiple air chambers to keep you floating in case one deflates.
How long do inflatable boats last?
This depends on the material used, how it is welded, and how often the boat is used. If a boat is durable and well cared for, it can last for about 10 to 15 years.