We’re looking at the best inflatable stand up paddle boards today, offering full reviews of the top models on the market today and looking at some of the vital aspects of a reliable, good quality SUP. We’ve got information and comparisons based on their stability, how they perform on the water, size and ease of transporting and how easy they are to inflate and get up and running, which is truly vital when it comes to the inflatable models. Finding the best model for your own needs will require you to consider first what you are looking for and which combination of these features is the most important for you.
What to Look for in the Best Inflatable SUPs
The whole point in many peoples opinion is that these types of paddleboard are easy to get around. The chances are you want something that it is really easy to chuck in the back of a car and take to the beach or lake, not something that you’ve got to lug around with difficulty. This should be super simple, and the best paddleboards even come with cases and backpacks which make it really easy to get from A to B.
Many of the models you can roll up, which of course saves a huge amount of space, and some have different bits you can take off, which can be great for saving space, but can be a pain to actually do. It isn’t just how portable they are, but how easy they are to transport that we’re looking at.
Ease of Inflation
Of course, inflation is pretty important here. There are a few different aspects to look at including the connector to the pump, whether it comes with the pump as most of them do, and how reliably the models stay inflated. Some of the models can be quite slow to inflate, and the best features include a fast inflation so you can just quickly get your SUP out and get going. Instructions on exactly how to inflate vary from model to model, and some even come with a video showing the process.
The glide performance is something that is compromised with the inflatable models of paddleboard as opposed to those which aren’t inflatable, but naturally some are better than others. We’ve taken a look at how well they glide and included them in our product reviews. A good quality glide is essential for many reasons, but most of all it is needed for being able to cope with choppy waters or windy conditions, and in certain countries, and most places you’ll want to take your paddle board, you’re going to need something that can glide well.
These products aren’t cheap, and though they’re generally very well made, some offer more value than others. Some of the best value models aren’t necessarily the cheapest, but the best quality and those which are likely to last longer. Value for money is a combination of features and price.
Of course this is totally vital! Each paddle board will likely come with the paddle, and it needs to be good quality. A paddle board is pretty useless if you’re using it with a plank of wood, and a high-tech, reliable paddle will vastly improve your experience. They’re pretty heavy but they are also very durable and made to adjust to your height and needs. At the higher end of the market you can also find paddles made of carbon fiber which are exceptionally good quality and lightweight, but they’re going to set you back a bit, so it depends on what your budget is and how cheap you want to get your paddle board setup.
Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable SUP
Undeniably, this is one of the top Stand up paddle boards on the market with a huge amount of sales. It isn’t the most expensive, and offers good value for money, and a quick look at the reviews out there on Amazon and elsewhere show what people think of this product, with many 5 star reviews.
Tower are one of the most well known companies in this space, and gained a huge amount of popularity when they appeared on Shark Tank and gained investment from Mark Cuban.
Starting with possibly the most impressive aspect of this, it is extremely rigid considering it is an inflatable. The product description shows that it is durable enough for someone to run over and even shows pictures of a car resting on top of it, not even compromising the board.
In spite of being so tough and durable, it is also easy to store and carry and even fits under some peoples arm. It can be slung in the back of a car and taken for a day out without any great difficulty. The inflation time is just a few minutes so it is really easy to turn from folded up and small to big, rigid and ready to use. Of course, another excellent advantage of it becoming so small when not in use is for going on the plane and taking it on holiday with you, and can save you the expense of renting a board when you’re away.
The weight limit of 350 lbs means that larger users can get away with using the paddle board, but also that often you can take a passenger or get a couple of people on there!
The Tower Adventurer is really stable and glides very well making it a good option for beginners and people of all different skill levels, so you can get going straight away even if you’re pretty new to the sport. It is also sold as a package so you don’t need to worry about buying anything extra if you don’t want to, you get the pump with it as well as the paddle of course, so it is very much a package deal.
Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard Review
I wanted to include a more affordable SUP in this list, which still holds its own in the world of paddle boarding. In general these aren’t a low ticket price item, but relatively speaking, this is possibly the best ‘cheap’ inflatable SUP that is currently on the market, with the reviews to back it up. Of course, if you spend a little less money, the chances are the end product will have some form of compromise, but this is still a very good product.
The kit comes with everything you need to get started, the board itself, a pressure gauge and of course the pump to get you inflated and on the water. One more real positive is the carry bag which comes included with the package and makes it super easy and portable to take from A to B.
The Solstice Bali takes just a few minutes to pump up to its full rigid state and it is impressively solid. Of course it has its limits but users weighing over 220 lbs have reported that it supports their weight with relative ease. It isn’t as stable as some of the more expensive models out there, but that is to be expected. Sometimes it can feel as if the middle area of the board is starting to go a bit flat on some models, but that isn’t the case here and it stays firm even after long periods of use. You’ll forget that it is inflatable!
The one word of warning I’ve seen from consumers is to ensure that the fins are properly attached and do not end up falling off and causing you a lot of issues down the line. Check that they’re firm and that you’ve followed the instructions when you attach them!
The reviews for this product are extremely high and the Solstice Bali ISUP is a great budget model! We definitely think it is a decent place to get started if you just want to buy a board that is a bit of fun and to play around on the water for the first time, but don’t want to spend thousands. This is arguably the best inflatable stand up paddle board for under $500, making it a good choice for those of us watching the pennies.
iRocker 11′ Infatable Paddle Boards Reviewed
iRocker is a product which is comparable to the Tower model in terms of price, and the two are hard to split in terms of quality, but the iRocker is a truly impressive range, offering 10′ and 11′ inflatable SUPs among other boards among their brand, which is growing hugely in the world of watersports and outdoor activities!
The iRocker is probably the best inflatable paddle board in our opinion, for a few reasons:
- It can handle up to 385 lbs on top of the board, meaning that on many occasions it can carry two people on top. They’re definitely long enough to do so, you can take it in terms with your partner to paddle and to chill!
- The product listing claims military grade durability, which is quite impressive. In their own words, you can run it right into the rocks or even run it over with a vehicle and the SUP will likely be absolutely fine afterwards. All this from a model which can deflate and happily sit in the back of your car or truck without taking up a lot of space.
- This is a full kit, so you won’t have to buy anything separately, and all of the different aspects; carry case, paddle, the board itself and the pump, are all made with excellent care and exceptional quality.
- The paddle is adjustable, so it allows us to change the length to suit your own height or personal preferences, it is easy to change between lengths and is durable and long-lasting at any length.
This is the top inflatable board we’ve had the pleasure of using, but you don’t have to take our word for it, the reviews on Amazon are truly exceptional, as people have discussed their own experiences with the paddle board. Most of the reviews have talked about how remarkably solid this is for an inflatable model, and the manufacturers have clearly thought a lot about making this durable. Many have described their long-term use of the product and the fact that it doesn’t seem to wear or get worse with age in any way, shape or form, which is really what we all want from a product like this. The two year manufacturer warranty shows just how well built the iRocker boards are.
Choosing an Inflatable SUP for Your Needs
The above listings and reviews are there to steer you in the right direction (no pun intended) but you need to consider your own needs, including how much use you intend to get out of it, the kind of conditions you’ll be using your board in, how long you need it to last and what sort of budget and price range you’re looking at. Spending a little more can really pay off in the long run and ensure that quality doesn’t become an issue. Paddleboards don’t tend to be a small investment for most of us, so you want to know that you’re buying the best inflatable SUP you can.
Inflatable Paddle Board Accessories
As already mentioned, a lot of these come in packs which include everything you need to get started, but that isn’t the be all and end all, you may want to purchase more accessories. SUPs aren’t something you can buy alone, and you need some more kit to get up and running.
- Life Jackets – this is not optional! You need to be safe and respect the water you’re on, however deep or shallow, wearing a life jacket is essential. Fortunately, they don’t cost a lot of money, especially compared to the expense of some of the other accessories.
- The Paddle – this is an interesting area, some paddles are a lot better than others as some are adjustable and some aren’t, plus they’re often made of different materials which can affect the way they’re used and how effective they can be.
- Pumps – this is essential too, and while most come with pumps, it is important to pay attention to what they are like and how they can perform. The PSI settings of the paddle boards will all be different and you need something that can reliably reach and gauge this.
The three brands mentioned are all very good options, and the inflatable stand up paddleboard reviews should show you that they’re all viable options for both beginners and more experienced paddleboarders.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a relatively new concept and is growing all the time as more and more people take to the water, whether it is a tropical sea or a local lake.