Keep it Dry – The 4 Best Dry Bags for Kayaks, Boating, Surfing and More

kayak dry bagDry bags have always been an important piece of kit for those of us who take part in any sort of water sport. If there is any chance of coming into contact with water, then you need one of the best dry bags to ensure that the contents don’t get wet, or worse, damaged. Our devices have become an integral part of everyday life. The chances are, you’ll want to take something electronic, whether that is a specific water sports device such as a fishfinder to take out on the sea, or is just something as simple (but important) as a cell phone. Whether you need a dry bag for fishing, kayaking, boating or scuba diving, we have some options included within this article.

Choosing a Dry Bag

The process certainly isn’t as simple as just grabbing the first dry bag you see. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to buying a dry bag. Your own individual needs are vital, too. Giving a little thought to the circumstances in which the bag will be used can help you make the right call. There are certain criteria by which we judge the best models of backpack or waterproof bag.

Material. The material that a dry bag is made of is key to its effectiveness. The two most common types of material we see are vinyl and nylon. Vinyl tends to be used for smaller items and holders for devices such as phones and tablets, though some of the bigger models are vinyl. Nylon is the most popular, as well as being lighter weight and very durable. The density of the nylon can be measured so if you need a tougher bag you can judge by the “D” value in the description of the bag.

Size. Naturally, as with any bag, you need to think about the size you need before buying. You may just need to take a few items out and can get a five liter bag or smaller, or you may need to think about the best option for sleeping bags, changes of clothing and more. Dry bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with 20 liter, 30 liter, or even 40 liter models not uncommon.

Durability. Most of us expect these items to get beat up a little when we take them out with us. Nobody goes on a kayaking trip without expecting to take a few bumps. The bags all need to be pretty durable in order to make sure they don’t rip and expose whats inside or not give enough protection to the contents.

Straps: Dry bags vary a great deal in which type of straps they have. You can have a duffel type which goes over the shoulder, or backpack straps, and some even have replaceable or changeable straps. As more companies innovate, more types of strap become available and the one to suit your needs is easier to find.

D-Rings: This is one of the more unique features we see over and over again in dry bags. D-rings are of course a D shape and are attached to the bag, they then make it easy to string the boats up either to the side of a boat or elsewhere. This makes it a lot easier if a boat or kayak should capsize, and will be easy to grab the bags rather than looking around in the water for them.

So, the criteria have been set out. Time for a dry bag review or three!

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

The first review is a dry bag that has truly taken the market by storm, and received endorsements from some really big names. The Earth Pak brand has a lot to offer, and seem to have thought of everything in designing their waterproof dry bag.

Features of the Dry Bag Include:

  • Durability and protection. These are designed to be waterproof even in the most testing conditions, and are built to last for a long time.
  • A single shoulder strap design, adjustable from 24-42 inches. They also come with backpack style straps and a sternum strap.
  • Comes with a certified waterproof phone case designed to fit pretty much any phone you can imagine. They work with phones up to 6.5 inches in size.
  • Available in sizes including 10L, 20L, 30L and even a massive 40L, one of the biggest dry bags you can imagine.
  • Comes with sturdy D-rings for strapping to the side of boats or elsewhere.
  • A roll top and buckle closure system means this is totally air tight and water tight.
  • Padded shoulder straps for your comfort.
  • Can even be used as a camping pillow and are designed to be comfortable when used as such.

The Earth Pak team have really thought of everything when it comes to these dry bags, and in our opinion they are definitely worth considering. The fact that they come in different sizes means they fit a variety of needs including fishing, kayaking and more. Convenient, durable, flexible and easy to use, it is easy to see why these have become one of the most popular models.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, either. The vast majority of reviews on amazon and elsewhere on the internet are not just positive, but glowing. Not only are these such high quality, they are good value too. The price is far from extortionate, especially when you consider the fact they are built to last years rather than months.

Odyssey Waterproof Dry Bag

Another good option for fishing, camping or other outdoor or watersport activities. The Odyssey waterproof dry bag also comes with a phone container to keep your smartphone from damage, and has some similar features to the Earth Pak.

These are made of 500D PVC, in their words “the toughest waterproof material known to man”. There’s little denying that these bags are protective and they even have heat resistant, stain resistant and temperature resistant qualities. It is almost impossible to tear and easy to lead, with easy to use straps. A cheap option perhaps, these certainly don’t cost the earth, and though the only model we’ve seen is a 10l, this is a good option for those who don’t need massive capacity.

Såk Gear Premium Waterproof Dry Bag

Okay, so looks certainly aren’t the priority, and they’re not something we are judging the top dry bags on. However, if you do want something that stands out a bit in terms of aesthetics, the Såk gear waterproof dry bag could be for you. It has a reflective trim for high visibility, very cool branding, and is available in loads of different colors. This has a functional benefit too, if more than one of you are buying the bag, you can ensure you have different designs to not get them mixed up.

Besides the awesome look and feel of this dry bag, the features are good too.

  • Available in both 10l and 20l sizes
  • Protective in all sorts of weather and immensely strong material to ensure it is watertight to keep your equipment and clothing dry.
  • An outer pocket for quick access items such as identification or money.
  • Reflective to help with visibility, good for not only whoever is wearing it, but for finding it should it go overboard.
  • Removable shoulder strap. Choose whether you want to put it over your shoulder or just use the attached handle.

Best Small Dry Bag

Binmer Sports Waterproof Dry Bag

We wanted to include a smaller option within our list of top dry bags. The Binmer is available in multiple sizes, but they tend to be a little smaller, and perfect for day trips and those who don’t need to carry a lot of stuff.

This comes in 2 liter, 5 liter and 10 liter sizes. It may not have all the features of some of the models already mentioned above, however it is a decent option, especially if you want something small. The PVC material is pretty durable, and though this may not be the most professional, all singing, all dancing model some of us need, for a beginner or hobbyist who just wants to take a few items out with them then this might fit the bill. The Binmer dry bag reviews elsewhere online are pretty positive, and it is worth a look.

Conclusion

We all want our dry bags for different reasons. People from motorcyclists to fishermen, swimmers to surfers and kayakers all have some need for a dry bag. As such, there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. This article is designed to be a guide, and assist in working out which is the best for you, and all of the models of waterproof dry bag mentioned are commendable. If we had to pick one ‘best’ option, the Earth Pak brand fits the bill in so many ways, and the brand have thought of everything.

Choosing a dry bag can be an important choice, and can save a lot of hassle and even expense in the long run by preventing damage to your treasured items.

 

Cover it Up! 5 of the Best Boat Covers

boat coversUsing a cover for your boat is one of the best ways you can delay the natural effects of wear and tear on your pride and joy; your boat. On a daily basis, your boat is likely affected by a cycle of temperature and condition changes as the weather and even time of day changes. This daily routine often leads to expansion and contraction which is not the best for wood and takes a toll on the gel coating and wooden materials from which the majority of boats are made. Covers are useful for protection from the air, pollution, dirt, rodents, birds, adverse weather, and just about any of the situations that could risk the condition of a boat that you have probably paid a lot of money for.

Of course, investing in a good boat cover isn’t likely to be a bad idea given the important role it plays in protecting your boat from fading or becoming damaged. However, there is another benefit often overlooked. A boat cover can also be useful for the covering of valuable equipment you may keep on board, and that may not be easy to remove.

There are many different types and designs of boat, and this is something to consider when you are taking the plunge and buying a cover for your boat. Fortunately, the covers are quite flexible. Some of the types of boat you can get specific covers for include:

  • V-Hull Boats
  • Runabout Boats
  • Tri-Hull Boats
  • Fishing Boats
  • Bass Boats
  • Ski Boats

In order for you to have a better understanding of why it is so wise to invest in the best boat covers you can for your boat, we share with you some of the benefits of boat covers, what makes a quality boat cover, and even a selection of individual reviews of the top covers you can currently find for all different sorts of boats.

The Many Benefits of Boat Covers

The following are some of the benefits you will get from investing in a boat cover.

  • Protects your boat: Cover boats provide good protection for your anchored boat, at the dock or when stored on a trailer. There are different types of cover for different scenarios (more on this later).
  • Makes your boat durable: Covering your boats helps to mimimize the risk of damage from natural conditions such as the weather, rodents and other animals.
  • It protects your equipment: Cover boats protect the equipment within from prying eyes. Out of site, they say, is out of mind.

What Makes a Good Boat Cover? Our Criteria

Boat covers come with different materials and in different shapes and sizes too. It is easy to think that a cover is a cover, but this is not the case, and there are other variations. So, to choose the best boat cover for your boat, you need to be armed with the right information as to what makes the right cover boat for your individual needs. The following are some of the factors you should look for when next you’re shopping for a boat cover.

Storage vs. Trailer: These are two main types of cover. Storage covers fit the boat with a bit of give and aren’t the most tight or ‘custom’ fitting covers. They’re often more like a tarp or canopy that can quickly cover a boat while it is moored or stored somewhere. A trailer cover, as the name suggests, has been made for protecting the boat whilst it is being transported so will be hard wearing and more tight-fitting to the boat.

Materials: The material with which a boat cover is made is truly vital to determining its usefulness. The fabrics of your boat cover must be of the right combination in order to ensure that there is some ventilation as well as water repellency to stop the rain getting in. You may think that boats can handle water, and though the exterior is designed to handle water, the materials in the inside (the area being covered) are often not waterproof. A top-quality synthetic fabric is often used, great for durability and functionality.

Colors: Dark color materials are most suitable for a boat cover due to the fact that they provide great UV resistance from the sun and in turn contribute to boat longevity.

Size: Buying the right size of boat cover is also important when shopping for one. An oversized boat cover will sag under the weight of rain water, which collects and can be very awkward. Oversized covers can also get damaged when under serious windy conditions. On the other hand, if the boat cover is too tight, the seams and fabric could be stretched and are prone to tearing.

Reviews

In order to help you make an informed decision when choosing your boat cover, we have selected some of the top boat covers for you. Read on to see our review of these products.

RockyMRanger Heavy Duty Boat Cover

The RockyMRanger is one in a large range of covers for all sorts of products from BBQs to boats. This is a trailer design cover so can be used when you’re transporting your boat from A to B. The brand is known for its durability and some very positive reviews elsewhere on the internet back this up. as it is between 17′ and 19′ it has been a popular choice for sports and fishing boats and can cover a motor too. 8 hard wearing straps and one extra long strap as well as an elasticated bottom for the cover mean that you can adjust it and wrap it closely to the boat and avoid any issues with it coming loose.

Budge 600 Denier Boat Cover

The Budge 600 boat cover is a larger sized boat cover suitable for the V-hull boat with a T-top or hard top and cabin. This boat cover comes in five different sizes so is suitable for a huge amount of boats all the way from 16′ up to 26′. It is UV protective and has a lot of straps and ties to closely attach it to your boat and avoid it coming loose. Great protection from all of life’s awkward enemies for boats!

Yescom 600D V-Hull Ski Boat Cover

The Yescom boat cover is a relatively affordable choice that is a good option if you’re on a budget. Easily attached to your boat with a lot of clips and of course it is UV protective. It is designed to be a sort of ‘middle ground’ which can be good for short term trailerable use (transporting) or longer term storage. It also comes in three different colors and has a convenient storage bag for when it isn’t in use.

Classic Accessories StormPro Boat Cover

The Classic Accessories StormPro is a heavy duty boat cover that has become a popular choice for bass boats and V boats. It comes with a pole, which stops the cover from sagging so water can build up. The StormPro has given a lot of thought to the weather (as the name suggests) so it doesn’t allow rain or snow to build up, good for trailer transport. Made with quality materials and this even has an amazing five year warranty so you can tell that the manufacturer has full faith in it.

Komo Heavy Duty Trailerable Boat Cover

The Komo model is another trailerable boat cover suitable for most mid-sized boats with a V Hull design. It comes with a carry bag. The Komo boat cover is double stitched with an elastic material making it fit your boat ideally. However, it also comes in a lot of different sizes so all boats from 12′ up to 24′ are likely to be compatible with some version of this cover. The low price is actually pretty surprising considering the quality and this is available in two colors as well as the aforementioned sizes. This has definitely earned its place on our list of the best boat covers.

Conclusion

No doubt, a boat cover provides both protective and maintenance functions for your boat. It also safeguards the rest of your boating equipment, thereby, helping you to save money in the long run. It isn’t the most glamorous aspect of boating, but it is an important one, and taking the time to pick a boat cover for your runabout, ski boat, fishing boat or other boat can be well worth it in the long run and make sure you don’t do any unnecessary damage.

Best Life Jackets and Life Vests for Dogs

hungarian-viszla-658007_640We normally think of our canine friends as good little swimmers, but just like humans, dogs are susceptible to the water, they can get tired and fall foul of choppy waters just like us, and some dogs aren’t even that good in the water to start with. Taking your dog to the beach, on boating trips, in a kayak, out fishing or any of these fun activities is very rewarding and can be a great way to spend time with your pooch, but making sure you have the best life jacket for dogs can be a wise move to make sure tragedy doesn’t strike, you never know when a lake, the sea, a river or even a pool is going to prove tough for your four legged friend. Safety first is always our motto here at the watersporter, and that is why we’ve put together a list of the best live vests and life jackets for dogs.

What Makes a Good Life Jacket for Your Dog?

Size/Fit – Something which will comfortably fit your doggy friend is perfect for your needs. Many of them come in different sizes to suit different breeds of dog, so paying a little attention to the sizings and whether it is suitable for your breed of dog, plus the build quality and materials, can ensure that your pooch doesn’t mind wearing the jacket and is perfectly comfy.

Buoyancy – You want something which will adequately help your pet to float in the water. They have different flotation pouches and areas which are buoyant depending on which model you buy, some are just around the sides and top, some have a belly float too. Looking at dog life jacket reviews can give you an indication of where the floats are and whether it will be sufficient for your dog. If you have a heavy dog, there’s no point in just having a couple of little tiny air pockets which will do very little good, so you need something buoyant enough to support them.

Handles – Of course if disaster strikes or even if your dog gets in a little bit of trouble across the water, you need to be able to quickly and adequately pull them out of it, which means handles. Most of these products have handles of some description but you need something sturdy that means you can grip the dog properly without causing discomfort but remaining sturdy.

Bright and Fluorescent Colors – This can be extremely helpful. Bright colors can help should your dog need to be located in the water, and also means that in busy lakes or waters people can stay out of the way if needs be. It adds another level of security to the jacket.

Price – When buying a product for safety, price shouldn’t be the first thing you think about, but it may play a part, looking for the best value for money is just good common sense and affordability is something we’re looking out for.

Paws Aboard Double Designer Doggy Life Jacket

This is one of the best selling dog life jackets we’ve found. Paws Aboard are made by Fido pet products and a lot of thought has clearly gone into this particular product. It is hi vis and comes in a bright yellow color as standard, though there are other colors and even patterns available. The jacket really stands out and ensures visibility for your pet in the water.

Designed to be breathable underneath your dog, it allows for quick drying so the dog doesn’t stay soggy for a long time after being in the water, this can be a problem with many life jackets which tend to seal in the moisture, never good with an active dog!

This has six sizes and which one you need will depend on the size and weight of your dog. They have a little give and are slightly adjustable so as long as you get in the right ballpark you should be able to create a comfy fit for your little pal. At the moment, the package even includes a novelty ski rope leash for your dog which is both funny and functional! Attached to your dog with a life vest or jacket on he or she will look utterly adorable too, which is a plus. You don’t have to spend a great deal to get your hands on one of these, it is a relatively affordable product, though the price may vary slightly depending on which size you need to buy. It has enough buoyancy and is extremely well reviewed, which means it gets the paws up from us!

Outward Hound Ripstop Adjustable Dog Life Jacket

The main benefit of the outward hound model we are now going to review is how adjustable it is. Obviously, dogs come in all different shapes and sizes dependent on breed among other things. There isn’t a one size fits all option for dogs, not when it comes to a product they need to wear. As well as coming in an impressive six different sizes, this is a totally adjustable model, allowing you to tighten and loosen within that size to make the fit perfect for your dog. You do need to ensure you’re getting roughly the correct size to start with, but their handy size guide should help with this.

Another very cool feature of the Outward Hound dog life jacket is the fact that it has an inflatable at the front designed to keep your dog’s head above water. If your dog does lose control in the water, the head can be the most distressing area to be submerged, so this ensures they can see above water and helps then with their swimming. Made largely out of neoprene, the Ripstop is designed for comfort and should mean your dog is pretty snug and happy wearing the jacket. Lots of dogs won’t be used to any sort of clothing so a life jacket can be tough to get used to if it isn’t comfy. The grab handles make for an easy rescue should you need to get your dog out of a tight spot, and the bright colors increase visibility.

This may well be the best selling life jacket on the market for dogs, and it isn’t too hard to see why, as well as being very well designed and fitting the bill in terms of hi visibility and ease of use, this is actually not the most expensive, and is on the cheap end of the market for doggy accessories at the time of writing. Ensure you get the right fit with the sizing chart, based on weight and chest size of the dog, and then you can adjust from there to make sure you’re getting the right fit for your pup.

A quick look at the reviews on Amazon and elsewhere online show that this is a well respected product which a huge amount of people have invested in, and found themselves very happy with. You can enjoy water based activities with your dog with peace of mind with a high quality vest like this one.

Vivaglory Dog Life Jacket Life Saver Model

Another option worthy of a mention is the Vivaglory life saver model of doggy life jacket. It does a good job and also has a focus on the comfort of your dog, so can be good if your dog is new to wearing things.

  • Comes in five different sizes, and a convenient chart lets you choose the correct size.
  • Available in lots of different colors, all of which are bright and reflective, not all of these products have a lot of different colors so for the fashion conscious, this can be a cool little feature.
  • This is a very safe and heavy duty product, and has a front float just like some of the competitors to help keep the head above water, this is removable should you so wish.
  • The Vivaglory has a clever and convenient design, you can grab the handle just like with the other products mentioned here, and you can also attach the D-Ring to a leash if you need to. The nylon straps are adjustable so you can make sure the fit is just right for your dog.

Conclusion

There are a number of models out there which will do a good job for your pet. You need to decide which features you are looking for, and if things like the color are important to you, before making a choice. There are so many consumer reviews available on the online retailers such as Amazon which are selling these products, which will all tell you something slightly different, and can let you look into which may be better for specific breeds of dog, and which size you’re going to opt for. Investing a bit of money in buying a life jacket for your dog can make all the difference, and ensure safety going out on the water with your pet.

Choosing the Best Inflatable Boats for Fishing, Rafting and Fun

best inflatable boats marinerInflatable boats. I can’t speak highly enough of them. Having an inflatable boat adds a huge amount of fun to any trip to a river, lake or beach and is amazing whether you’re on your own, going as a couple, out with friends or as a family. The technology behind inflatables has improved greatly in recent years and it means that the best models of inflatable boat on the market are incredibly sturdy. Fears of punctures can be minimized by choosing the best and ensuring that your boat is properly maintained. Of course, you can still go for the cheap option, but there are a lot of boats out there which can only last a few trips and are likely to be punctured and rendered pretty useless if you hit a rock or even just snag the boat on something. We’re not going to be focusing on the ‘cheap and cheerful’ models here and are only wanting to discuss the best inflatable boats whether you’re taking them out for a chill out on the water or you want to use them for fishing.

What Are You Looking For? What Makes a Good Inflatable Boat?

There are of course certain criteria for what quantifies something being quality. Before you purchase one of the models we are going to recommend in our many boat reviews below, you should establish what exactly you are looking for.

  • How many people will be using the boat at a time? Do you need space for four people to go out on your boat or will you be able to make do with something smaller?
  • How hard-wearing it needs to be. What sort of conditions do you plan to take the boat out in, and how sturdy does it need to be to avoid getting damaged?
  • Do I need a boat that can be rowed or does it need a motor to be attached?
  • How often will the inflatable be deflated and put away for storage? How far do you need to take it and does it need to regularly go in your car, SUV or truck on your trips to the coast or to the nearest lake or river?
  • Do I need to use it for fishing? Is there somewhere to put my equipment and does the boat lend itself to the hobby?

So, as you can see there are many different options out there, and already just from looking at those you may have some idea of exactly what you want to get from your boat. The way they are made and how easy they are to inflate and get out on the water are crucial!

Seaming is a very big deal in the world of inflatable boats. Each of the models we’re going to look at will have seams in different places on the boat designed to keep it airtight. Some seams are what we call ‘butted’ and some are ‘overlapped’. They will likely be glued together. Butted seams are generally regarded as the ones on the higher end of the market, both in cost and quality, they’re harder to make but also harder to break.

A double taped, well-made seam is what you need, whether you’re looking for fishing use or just a dinghy to take out for a bit of fun. If you’ve got a boat made of good materials but the seam isn’t put together right, you’ll quickly be in trouble.

Many of these boats will have quite a rigid hull. This is designed to make the structure more sturdy and to make it simple to inflate as only certain areas (the tubes) are being inflated, not the whole boat. The more rigidity it has can make it a bit more difficult to transport as it doesn’t deflate to such a small size, but it is often worth it for ease of use and of course for quality.

Prices of Inflatable Boats

This is a really important, but also really varied area. The price. Inflatable boats don’t really have one set price, and the fact that they are made out of so many different materials and made in such different ways, designed to be used just for a few days or to last decades, the price can vary a huge amount. At the cheap end of the market, you can buy something to fit the basic boating and fun needs for under $50. If you’re looking for something with a more professional edge and you’re wanting to use it for fishing or on a regular basis, you may want to spend a little more. These models can even go up to just under $1000, or even more if you go to the very elite end of the market. Our boat reviews below will explore some options all across the board.

Inflatable Boat Reviews

On to the recommendations and the best models we think are worth considering on the market today. We haven’t mentioned kayaks in this particular article as we have a whole section looking at our recommended kayaks. The brand names below are ones you will likely recognize, and there are some exceptional boats which made the cut, and some decent ones that aren’t mentioned here too as we look for the creme de la creme.

Intex Mariner 4 Inflatable 4 Person Boat

Intex are one of the most prolific brands of manufacturers of inflatables, and one of the best known brands out there in this space. Their Mariner 4 four person boat is one we’ve picked out as worth considering.

This is far from the cheapest boat Intex offer, but in terms of the wider market, this is pretty good value. This is extremely well built and designed for four people, with a capacity for the weight of around 880 lbs sitting on top with no issues, great for a family!

This is an excellent boat for fishing and even comes ready with two holders for fishing rods and plenty of space for the rest of your fishing equipment.

The oar locks and holders make it very easy to row, but this is also designed with capacity for a motor if that is how you want to do things.

This is advertised as a ‘kit’ so it has everything you need to get started including a very easy to use pump and a patching kit should you get any unfortunate cuts or punctures in your boat. The fact of the matter is that this is a very hard-wearing and tough model. It is lined all the way around the outside in order to protect the material should you hit any rocks or scrape the boat on anything else. This model combines the durability we all want with the ease-of-use you expect from something inflatable. You truly can just throw it in the back of an SUV or truck and take it on your trips. Suitable for the whole family, this has an unbelievably high rate of five star reviews on Amazon and other online retailers. Most of the reviews of the Intex Mariner 4 speak so highly about it, and this one is no different as this model comes with our top recommendation.

Intex Explorer 200 and Explorer 300 Review

The cheap end of the market! For those of us just wanting something for a quick mess around and not wanting to spend a lot of money, Intex also offer some real value with their Explorer 200 and 300 models. I’m putting both of them in the same review, as they’re very similar apart from their size, which differs purely based on whether two or three people are going to be using it. the Explorer 200 is suitable for two people, the 300 is suitable for three, but you should also think about how spacious you want it to be and if you’re going to be taking a picnic or fishing gear out on the inflatable boat.

Realistically, this is designed for pools, rivers and lakes, but could be taken out for a quick paddle elsewhere. It is great for kids, and while it is something of a ‘no frills’ model, it offers a few decent features:

  • The floor is inflatable and it provides a lot of comfort as well as staying firm for sitting on.
  • Comes with oar locks and a grab rope holder so you can be dragged around and towed.
  • Has a repair patch if you have any mishaps
  • Weight capacity 210 lb for the 200, 410 lb for the 300, which also comes with 48 inch oars and a pump which makes inflating easy.

If I’m being honest, the Intex Explorer 300 is far superior, even if you do just want two people to go out on it. 210 lb is fine for kids but isn’t a lot of weight capacity for adults if you plan to use this yourself. The quality oars and pump which come with the explorer 300 are worth the extra cash, and the price difference isn’t too much. These are truly cheap inflatable boats when compared to the others on the market, but that doesn’t automatically make them bad, and for many of us they will do a decent job. They’re not going to offer the features of a $500 boat, but they’re good fun.

A few top tips we found from other consumer reviews are that you should always ensure you thoroughly pump it up, when it feels fully pumped, keep going for another 30 seconds just to ensure it is as rigid as can be. Another tip is that if you’re sat on the back it can start to tip a bit, but if you’re taking a fishing box or ice box out with you, you can put this in the front in order to balance it out a bit.

Intex truly offer something for everyone, regardless of budget, and for a fun model which you don’t expect to last too many years, the 200 and 300 models of the Explorer are worth a look.

Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Dinghy Boat

This really is a beast. If the previous models were the ‘low end’ of the market, this is the high end. Once on the water, it doesn’t look or feel inflatable at all, but the Newport Vessels Dana is a real space saver. It works best, in our opinion, with a motor attached, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it without as this is down to personal preference.

The price may be off-putting, but it is an impressive Dinghy boat and can be used on the sea, lakes and rivers with very few problems and make your trips out on it feel luxurious. Great for the serious fisherman or hobby rafter.

This is designed for both 15 inch and 20 inch shaft outboards, but is recommended to be used with 15″, it also has the capacity to handle both 2 stroke or 4 stroke motors. The paperwork you need to register it is included with it and the boats are such high quality the manufacturer is willing to give a two year warranty on the Dana.

One of the real USPs of the product is the hard floor, which gives more control when you’re steering as well as a nicer feel when you’re riding the boat. The PVC which is used to make this is high tech, and the risk of punctures is kept to a minimum. A quick look at people reviewing this product elsewhere online or on the consumer reviews on online retailers, will show you everything you need to know about how sturdy and rigid this is.

I have described it as expensive, but truth be told, you can buy inflatable boats which are almost twice the size and not get as many great features, and certainly not such a smooth, easy-to-control ride when you’re on the boat. Hook up a motor and get on your way.

Best Inflatable Fishing Boats

Many of the people who are looking for an inflatable boat are doing so because they want to take it fishing. The truth is, most of the models of inflatable boats are designed with fisherman in mind. While some are better than others, a search for inflatable fishing boats won’t return much that is specific to fishing, instead, the models we’ve mentioned, and many others, have been built with fishing in mind.

You need to think carefully when you’re buying a boat. There are a few choices to make, for instance, do you want something that is super speedy, or are you looking for something that is sturdy and provides a smooth ride. To be honest, I think it is likely that looking for a fishing boat you’re going to want something with a motor in order to keep your hands as free as possible. You want plenty of space to store your fishing gear, and some even come with fishing rod holders which is definitely helpful!

Recommended Model: Bestway Trophy Runner 2 Person

Just from a quick look at this boat you can tell it has fisherman in mind. The camo design is a cool addition, and it looks and feels both comfortable and sturdy. It has rod holders and plenty of space for your fishing equipment. Though designed for two people the weight capacity is over 600 lbs meaning you’re probably got some space to play with to bring everything you could need out on the water.

Conclusion

To be honest, the fact that Intex offer so much in this space, and have such a huge amount of high quality boats and other inflatables, I could’ve reviewed a few more models in this article, and it is likely that you will find many more Intex inflatable boat reviews in the future here on The Water Sporter. The models we’ve mentioned above all have a huge amount of five star reviews and it is very unlikely that should you buy them you’re going to be disappointed.

The benefits of an inflatable boat have always been there. They’re portable, which is great for holidaymakers and people who go on trips regularly, especially those which center around water sports. As the technology driving the boats has improved and the materials used to make them have become a lot tougher, the benefits are even more. They’re great for kids and adults, fishermen and hobbyists, and if you plan to use it regularly, investing in a good quality boat can prove a long term investment.

Inflatable boats are available for up to four, possibly six or maybe even eight people if you’re wanting something to be reliable. We’re going to be looking at other models here on the site such as towable tubes, tow boats and kayaks which are other options, but for something you can attach a motor to, or of course, row yourself along a river or lake, these are great options.

Of course, with all water sports, you need to be cautious and wear a lifejacket. Especially if you’re going into any sort of deep water. Stick to the rules and regulations in your local area and above all, stay safe and respect the water.