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The 10 Best Tubes in 2023 [Floating and Towable]

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Amar Hussain

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Whether you are dreaming about lounging around in the pool or a high-octane ride on rapid waters, floating tubes are easy to inflate, highly portable, and tons of fun!

For even more extreme adventures, a towable tube can be hitched to the back of a boat, letting you bounce and jump in their wake for hours of smiles all around.

Things To Consider With Tubes

The type of water you are heading to, as well as the number of riders and the overall size, all make a difference when it comes to the best type of tube for you to buy. Before you commit, consider the following:

Floating Tubes

Floating tubes are great for chilling in a pool or on a lake. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Jump in your tube and take to the water for lazy afternoons chilling in the pool or out on the lake. Floating tubes are made from high-quality vinyl material and are available in sizes that can carry between 1 and 4 riders, depending on the design.

Most floating tubes come in doughnut or lounge-style designs and are available in a wide range of sizes to suit all riders.

Bottom Line: With grab handles and ropes that make it easy to haul your tube in and out of the water, as well as cup holders and colorful patterns, floating tubes are easy to use, quick to inflate, and made for fun.

Towable Tubes

A towable tube can be attached to a boat that pulls you along at higher speeds if you want to power up your fun out on the water.

Designed to keep a safe distance away from the back of the boat, these tubes come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used by small groups of people to cut through the water and bounce over the waves.

Not for the faint of heart, towable tubes need to have skin-friendly surfaces to prevent chafing as you bounce around, and they come with strong and comfortable handles for you to grab hold of as the excitement ramps up.

Material

Most tubes are made from strong and durable vinyl material. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Most tubes are made from strong and durable vinyl material and have smooth seams that are designed not to rub against the skin when wet.

They often come with a durable nylon covering that increases user comfort and adds strength while out on the water, and many are designed with hi-viz patterns and coloring to ensure that you can easily be seen.

Shape

While most water lovers are happy enough for the humble tube to come in the traditional doughnut style, there are other shapes and sizes out there that are just as aerodynamic out on the water. Deck tubes are flat and easy to sit or lie on, while the good old banana boat-style seats the riders in a row.

Bottom Line: With so many different shapes and designs to choose from, your main priority when choosing the right ride for you and your crew is that the shape is able to cut through at speed for maximum enjoyment at all times.

Size

Inflatable tubes come in all shapes and sizes. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

From solo riders to groups of 3 or 4, there are a wide variety of different-size tubes to choose from. Single tubes are usually spacious enough to comfortably seat a full-size adult, even those on the larger side, and multi-rider towable tubes will have plenty of space and a selection of grab handles, making them suitable for several riders at a time.

Bladder

The bladder of your ride-on is the inflatable PVC inner part of the tube that holds the air. Obviously, you will want your tube to stay firm and well-inflated out on the water, and the larger your tube is, the thicker you will want the bladder to be.

Investigate the size of the bladder before you buy, as this is an essential element in keeping your tube fully inflated on the water for longer.

Valves

The valves in your tube allow air to go in and come out for fast and efficient inflation. There are 3 main types of valves used on tubes: Boston valves that let the air in quickly without letting it escape, lightning valves that have a wider opening for faster inflation, or eco valves that are fuss-free and effective for keeping the air in.

Smaller tubes are easy to inflate, but if you are going for something larger, be sure that the valve allows for fast inflation without unwanted air loss on the water.

Tube Covers

The cover on your tube is there not only to feel more comfortable against your skin but also to help prevent damage to the bladder. Covers may vary in strength, but they are usually made from dense nylon material that is hardwearing and incredibly protective.

The 10 Best Tubes

From solo float tubes to 4-person towables, these are some of the best tubes your money can buy.

1. 2-Seater Tube for Fun With a Friend

BEST OVERALL: Intex River Run II Sport Lounge
This fun, 2-person float has an integrated sharing cooler in the middle. The backrests provide good support, and the mesh-lined bottom keeps you cool. It includes the safety of 5 air chambers and the comfort of 2 built-in cup holders.

Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge

This brilliant 2-seater sports lounger is perfect for use in the pool, out on the lake, or even in the ocean. Designed for floating with your favorite person, it comes with 2 interconnected seats and a built-in cooler, as well as molded cup holders for lazy days out on the water.

With 5 air chambers for increased safety and improved performance, this model features leak-free valves for quick and easy inflation, and the dedicated air pump will have you out on the water in no time.

The innovative mesh bottom design will help to keep you nice and cool while you float around, and with heavy-duty grab handles and a hand-friendly rope, this tube is easy to take in and out of the water.

What We Like

  • This double tube is spacious and comfortable.

What We Don’t Like

  • The single-tube version feels a bit more durable.

2. High-speed Towable for Double the Fun

DISCOUNT: 44%
UPGRADE PICK: Airhead Mach Towable Boating Tube
2,337 Reviews
UPGRADE PICK: Airhead Mach Towable Boating Tube
An exciting ride that can fit up to 2 people and is partially covered by a durable, heavy-duty nylon top. The speed safety valve and non-slip padded handles add to the convenience and security of this choice.

Airhead Mach Towable Tube for Boating

Suitable for 1 or 2 riders, this awesome towable tube is perfect for high-octane fun on the water. Made from heavy-duty vinyl materials, it features a heavy-duty partial nylon cover to offer increased strength and comfort, and with a padded, non-slip cushioned handle, you can enjoy a secure and comfortable grip, no matter how rough it gets out there.

Featuring the Airhead Kwik-Connect system, you can easily attach this tube to further tubes in the same ranges, and with a super-speedy safety valve, this tube will inflate and deflate super quickly every time.

What We Like

  • This towable feels steady on the water and is super fun to ride in.

What We Don’t Like

  • The seats are a little thin on the bottom.

3. Character Tube for a More Amusing Ride

DISCOUNT: 43%
Airhead Hot Dog
1,149 Reviews
Airhead Hot Dog
This entertaining choice can fit up to 3 people and includes the patented Kwik Connect technique for easy rope connection between floats. The EVA-padded handles and the heavy-duty nylon cover make this a practical option.

Airhead Hot Dog Towable Tube

Turn heads on the water with this one-of-a-kind hot dog towable. Made from high-quality vinyl with a full nylon cover, this towable is super comfortable, and the EVA padding has been designed to help reduce the risk of chafing while you ride.

With padded handles and a non-slip grip, you can hold on tight without having to worry about pain or discomfort in your hands, and the Kwik-Connect system makes it easy to attach this pocket rocket to a boat in no time at all. With its colorful design and eye-catching markings, this awesome inflatable is suitable for use by up to 3 people at a time.

What We Like

  • The hot dog design is super cute.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can sag a bit with 3 full-sized adults on it.

4. Multi-pack of Pool Tubes

Intex Pack of 3 Transparent Tubes
These colorful options with comfortable, smooth inner seams are a great choice for kids. They are suitable for ages 9 and up but adults can fit in them, too. An excellent option for relaxation.

Intex Pack of 3 36″ Transparent Tubes

This set of 3 pretty pastel tubes is perfect for floating around in the pool on hot days. Share with friends and soak up the sun as you let the float take your weight in the water. Made from high-quality vinyl, these tubes have smooth inner seams that won’t rub against the skin, and the easy-to-use fast inflation valve lets you get them out on the water in minutes.

With a 36-inch diameter, each tube is large enough to support most fully-sized adults, and the sturdy and reliable design is suitable for water lovers ages 9 years and over.

What We Like

  • The tubes have pretty patterns and a fuss-free design.

What We Don’t Like

  • They are not as sturdy as some of the tubes designed for use in choppy water.

5. Brightest Deck Tube for Faster Towing

DISCOUNT: 31%
WOW Watersports Thrilled Deck
This inflatable towable tube can fit up to 2 people. Made from heavy-duty nylon, heavy-gauge PVC, EVA foam pad, and double-webbed handles for carrying convenience. Including a speed valve for quick setup.

WOW Watersports Thriller Deck Tube Water Towable

This impressive towable is suitable for 1 or 2 riders, and the supercool hi-viz design will ensure that you are always easy to find on the water. Featuring a Tuff Shell nylon cover, it has smooth seams that won’t rub against the skin, and with a heavy gauge PVC bladder and speed valve for fast inflation, this towable tube has been built to last.

With double webbing foam handles that come with built-in knuckle guards, you can hold on without hurting your hands, and the generous 66 x 62-inch dimensions ensure that this supercute towable is suitable for adult riders of all sizes.

What We Like

  • This deck float is great fun to ride.

What We Don’t Like

  • You need to hold on tight in choppy conditions.

6. Towable for Superfast Rides Without the Drag

DISCOUNT: 20%
Sportsstuff Poparazzi
An exciting design that can fit up to 3 people and includes easy rope connection via the patented Kwik Connect technology. It includes a heavy-duty nylon cover, a speed safety valve for quick setup, and EVA padding on the handles for a more comfortable experience.

Sportsstuff Poparazzi Towable Tube for Boating

Featuring an innovative high-winged shape with a rocker bottom, this incredible towable tube will have you bouncing across the waves in no time.

It is designed to carve into the wake and glide across the water with minimal drag, has an eye-catching design, and has Kwik-Connect tow points for fast and easy hookups.

With foam-filled nylon handles and knock guards, you can hold on tight without hurting your hands, and the heavy-duty PVC bladder and speed safety valve make for safe and superfast inflation when you reach the beach. Suitable for 2 riders at a time, this is an awesome choice for those who like to enjoy high-octane fun out on the water.

What We Like

  • The unusual shape really does cut through the water.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite easy to flip over on the water.

7. Lounging Tubes for a More Relaxed Ride

DISCOUNT: 17%
Intex River Run 1 Floating Water Lounge
This 1-person option is great for those looking to be cool and relaxed in the water. The setup is easy due to the safety air valve and convenient double-welded seams. It features 2 cup holders and 2 handles and is sold as a pack of 2.

Intex River Run 1 1-Person Inflatable Floating Water Lounger

These supercute little sole high-back lounge tubes are suitable for use in the ocean, out on the lake, or back at home in the pool.

Featuring 2 tubes in 1 pack, they are made from 18-gauge vinyl and come with a safety air valve and double-welded seams for quick and easy inflation. With a mesh bottom to keep you cool and a built-in backrest for more comfortable lounging, you can enjoy the ultimate in personal R & R, and the built-in cup holder lets you keep your drink close at hand at all times.

With dual handles to hold on to, they are easy to get in and out of the water, and with a repair patch included, these supercool personal tubes will offer many hours of leisurely enjoyment.

What We Like

  • The lounger is really spacious and incredibly durable.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can be tricky to paddle around in.

8. For Those Who Like High Speed

Sportsstuff Turbo Towable Tube
This option can be used for up to 2 riders. It includes a partial heavy-duty nylon cover, padded handles for a convenient grip, and a speed safety valve for quick inflation and deflation so that you can have more time on the water.

Sportsstuff Turbo Towable Tube for Boating

Suitable for up to 2 riders at a time, this beautifully colored and cleverly designed tube is a great choice for use on the ocean, out on the lake, or in the pool.

Featuring the patented Kwik-Connect system, this tube can quickly and easily be attached by a rope, and the high-speed safety valve ensures that it inflates in just a matter of minutes.

With padded, non-slip cushioned handles to grab hold of as you cut through the waves and a partial nylon cover, this is superstrong and incredibly comfortable towable. Spacious enough to hold up to 2 full-size adults at a time, this tube has an aerodynamic deck design for faster fun in the water every time.

What We Like

  • This tube is sturdy and well-made.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s very bouncy.

9. Best Big Rubber Duck You’ll Ever Ride On

DISCOUNT: 9%
WOW Big Ducky Inflatable Tube
This fun option can fit up to 2 people and includes EVA foam seat padding for maximum comfort. While the riders are seated, other people can use the winged deck as a lounge. The sturdy construction will keep you safe while having fun.

WOW World of Watersports Big Ducky

You definitely won’t get lost on the water with this giant duck-size towable. Suitable for 2 to 3 riders at a time, it comes with an EVA foam padded seat and a soft tail for a more secure ride, and the side bumper system has been designed to keep the rider on the tube, even on the roughest of rides.

Sit, stand, kneel or lay down on this super unique-looking water float, and enjoy the superior stability that the heavy-duty nylon construction offers during even the toughest of rides.

With a built-in molded EZ-Tow connector, you can be fastened up and out on the water in an instant, and the quirky hi-viz duck design will bring a smile to your face before you’ve even hit the water.

What We Like

  • You have a choice to ride it standing up or sitting down.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can be a little tricky to inflate.

10. Big Towable for 4-Person Fun

DISCOUNT: 24%
Airhead Great Big Mable
A fun sharing float that can fit up to 4 people. It includes 2 towing points and has a full heavy-duty nylon cover. The speed safety valve and the patented Kwik Connect technology make this a convenient experience as well as a fun one.

Airhead Great Big Mable

Spacious enough to comfortably cope with up to 4 riders at a time, Mable is an impressive companion out on the water.

With multiple padded handles and air-cushioned stabilizer walls, you can ride the waves with confidence, and with dual tow points, this float offers a variety of towing options.

With a heavy-duty full nylon cover, this float feels comfortable against the skin and is very high quality, and by using the Airhead’s patented speed safety valve, it can be inflated and out on the water in an instant.

Brightly colored, well-made, and with plenty of room for you and your crew, Mable offers hours of fun out on the ocean.

What We Like

  • This tube is huge.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is quite heavy to pull in and out of the water.

Final Thoughts

From simple doughnut tubes for fuss-free floating through to big rides that carve up the water, having your own inflatable tubes to take with you on vacation will really notch things up a gear.

Affordable, easy to inflate, and compact enough to carry when folded, a tube will add a whole extra dimension to your family fun.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few things you should look for in a towable tube. First, make sure it is made from strong and durable vinyl with a nylon covering. If you’re after speed, check to see how aerodynamic it will be. The valves will determine how quickly it inflates, and you should also check how many riders the tube can hold.

Keeping a reasonable distance between you and the tube you are towing is essential. You want at least 100 feet of rope at a minimum. It might be tempting to use a ski rope you already own, but these are usually less than 100 feet.

For tubing, a swimsuit is all you need. For added protection, a swim shirt or rash guard will help you cover up from the sun. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, too.

You can tie tubes together by simply passing a rope through the holes and securing with an overhand knot. However, it would be better to buy a tube that comes with a connection system. Intex manufactures tubes that connect with others in its range, including a floating cooler tube.

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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