Best River Float Tubes 2020 – Review & Buying Guide

Since the weather’s warming up, we’re all ready for some fun on the water under the bright sun. A fun addition to the pool is a good old tube for floating in the pool or down the river. The best floating tubes are versatile, durable and comfortable. They can even be used on lake lounging, pools, oceans, and river runs as well, and maybe even snow.

 

Best River Float Tube Reviews 2020

The right floats could make all that difference, from having fun and without the worry about sinking down to the pool. They make great accessories for people who might not have good swimming skills.  Here are some of our River Float Tube picks; you’ll find styles to suit all tastes.

#1. Heavy Duty River Tube Cover from Bradley

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Described here is the cover meant for use with the Intex River Run & Most 53″ Inflatable River Tubes. A quality builds that’s made to last and prolongs the life of your river float tube, and buyers often combine it with the Intex river tubes. It even features a Quick Connect rope-clip system, so you can link tubes together.

The heavy-duty construction is 57 inches in diameter and allows 100% full inflation of any tubes you put inside it, even after it been exposed to the sun. Made with 1000 denier Micro Mesh, the cover provides superior protection from rocks, tree branches, and other debris and is coated with 1100 denier vinyl-coated canvas. The total inflated diameter is 50 inches, but the company advises on inflating the river tube while it is inside the cover till both have a snug fit.

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  • Universal fit on 53-inch tubes,
  • superior 1000 and 1100 denier fabrics,
  • additional Quick Connect rope-clip

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  • Easy to mix up installation instructions,
  • the green fabric doesn’t go under the tube

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Value for Money:

Works very well for the build and price, and ideally fits a 250 lbs. the cover really does help a lot when you need to drag the float over rocks, or to the poolsides. As mentioned, it is a good fit for Intex tubes, and the only way to get it to fit properly is to inflate the tube fully.

The design is such that it will prevent punctures as it goes under the bottom and sides and so it works great to prevent damages when being pulled around or when floating on the water surfaces. It is a bit on the expensive side but is definitely worth it only because of these features and the fit.

If you find that the cover isn’t fitting properly, follow the directions for fitting it on. This best River Float Tubes is because it has a shorter side on the inside, and this has to go on the back of the tube. Other than this one setback, it fits perfectly, and every single rope tie sticks out where it should. But once it is on, it easy to use and work great too and is even suitable for Class III, rocky white water as well. We only wished that the green fabric went all the way underneath the tube, but the mesh is pretty sturdy and actually stronger than the mesh given on most Intex tubes.

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#2. River Run I Inflatable Water Floating Tubes from INTEX

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Time spent in the pool or at the lake is made more fun with this Intex River Run I inflatable water tube. The built-in backrest provides easy cruising and the mesh bottom will keep you cool. For safety, it has been constructed with five air chambers, an attached all-around grab or tug rope and safety handles for added grip.

One built-in cup holder to keep your refreshments nearby as you relax in the water and easy to use connectors are included for fastening it to other Intex River Runs.

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  • Comfortable backrests and mesh bottom,
  • All-around grab robe,
  • 2 durable grab handles,
  • 2 built-in cup holders, 5 five air chambers,
  • Featuring the Connect ‘n Float System,
  • Approximate deflated size: 95.5in x 62in, Includes repair batch

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  • easy to confuse the inflation/deflation valves

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Value for Money:

This best River Float tube is suited for kids and for pool/waterpark-type of places that don’t have fast rough rivers. You’ll appreciate the mesh bottom, as kids aren’t likely to fall through and the handles ensure that they don’t float too far away.

It has this inflation/deflation valve that has two parts that screw on/off. It’s easy to confuse them, where you could end up trying to fill the tube through the deflation valve. If you have problems inflating the tube, then check that it is being done right.

Floating over branches, smoothened out rocks may feel bumpy, but you never have to worry about tearing. The good news is that you can even buy the float in double or triple units as well.

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#3. 53-inch Rapid Rider Inflatable River Tube by Bestway

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Now you can enjoy rolling down a river or floating in the pool with this CoolerZ Rapid Rider Inflatable Tube. Made using the best, durable, high-gauge PVC, this float-tube is both comfortable and safe on the water.

It comes with a built-in backrest for comfort and support, woven mesh seating and 2 cup holders. For added for safety for use with kids, it’s even got side handles and an all-around grab rope making carrying or mounting so much easier.

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  • 53″ diameter tube with backrest,
  • Sturdy pre-tested vinyl, Two cup holders and heavy-duty handles,
  • Cool mesh bottom, All around grab rope with built-in grommets,
  • better for use in the pool

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  • restricted to use on slow rivers only,
  • fill tube located on the bottom,
  • narrow beverage holders

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Value for Money

We’ll agree that the construction of this thing is very good when compared with other tubes in the same range. Whether you use it a lot or a little, you’ll notice that it works just fine. We would rate it higher if not for the fill plug – this is because its located on the bottom of the tube where it can easily be hit by rocks. Adding to that, it’s also one of those push plugs and not the typical screw valve and this has us thinking how long it will last on longer rides.

If you buy this for your kids, you don’t have to worry about them struggling like they would with a regular tube. This one has the mesh bottom and the headrest is just right and the rope ties are in perfect locations too. The tube is easy to inflate and deflate, and the tube holds up pretty well, but you should stay clear of sharp stick/rock otherwise it could get punctured, but this can be resolved with a cover.

Our only complaint is that the beverage holders will barely squeeze in a normal can, let alone bigger glasses. Do not use these to go tube sledding in the snow because they will pop, they’re better for rivers under the assumption that you can manage low waters, and they’re good for the pool too.

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#4. REALTREE MAX-5 Lake Runner X Inflatable Tube by Bestway

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The Bestway Realtree Max-5 Lake RunnerX Inflatable Lounge is the right choice for relaxing, lounging around in the pool, lakes or rivers. Made using tough, top quality high-gauge PVC it both durable as it is functional. The features that it comes with include built-in backrest for comfort and support, 2 cup holders and a woven mesh seating.

Mounting the float, setting it on the pool is easier now that you have the heavy-duty handles and the all-around grab rope. These double as safety and grip guards.

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  • Premium construction with backrest,
  • Sturdy pre-tested vinyl featuring Realtree photorealistic graphics,
  • Two cup holders, heavy-duty handles and all-around grab rope,
  • Cool mesh bottom

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  • cup holders tend to tip inward when you’re seated in the tube,
  • fabric mesh bottom can rip when used in low water,
  • tough to inflate manually.

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Value for Money

This is a nice, large float that seems to hold up pretty well, and can go down rocky rivers. The only thing here is that the cup holders tipped inward when you get into the tube. This tube can fit someone who’s 6’2 and works great on lakes as well. The other issue is that it takes lots of effort to inflate so it’s better to keep a pump or compressor ready.

Some users described seeing small rips and tears when running the tube on shallow water, or after some uses, but these had been sewn back up. Decent quality, but the float could have used those Quick Connect clips that you find on a lot of other floats. The valves could have been placed on top so that they don’t hit the rocks when floating around.

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#5. Loungin’ Log Raft River Tube from BigMouth Inc

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Big Mouth Inc is known for their fun float design, this one is shaped like a square log raft that’s 4 feet wide and are made of ultra-thick, heavy-duty vinyl construction for the best durability. It inflates with ease. Comforts include a solid cup holder that prevents cups from tipping over or getting crushed. Then there’s a mesh seat that protects you from shallow, rocky water. You can link up multiple Big Mouth Inc floats using the Grab n’ Latch rope around the tube.

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  • Comfy mesh drop seat, grab n’ latch rope,
  • and built-in cup holder,
  • Durable 18 gauge vinyl, 2-In-1 safety air valve for easy inflate/deflate and leak protection,
  • Multiple chambers for added stability

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  • drink holder might tilt over

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Value for Money

You will love the design of this ‘log raft’ that’s big enough to hold two kids or someone who’s 6 feet easily. It is simple to blow up thanks to the valves on each valve stem so that leaves out the need to pinch it to keep air from coming back out. There is a rope around it for making it easier to grab in the pool, but the drink holder has been placed in an awkward position where it could tilt over.

All said and done, its durable and is made out of quality plastic and is just an awesome float in addition to just being fun. With this float, you don’t have to worry about size as it fits everyone easily as it was so roomy and is actually much bigger than the round ones. Then, the netting, plastic all seems sturdy and holds up even on river rocks – the same goes for that rope locking system. The only change we would make is a deeper cup holder and up towards the shoulder instead of the areas where your knees are at.

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#6. Orange 48″ Premium River Tube with Handles from Tube Pro

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Tube Pro is known for making some of the best quality tubes for use in water parks, snow, rivers, and towable boats – for both home use and for tubing resorts, canoe livery outfitters, amusement parks and recreational boaters as well.

This 48-inch orange river tube is one of their simpler designs for home use and is made using extra heavy-duty 30-gauge blue PVC vinyl. Meant for a single rider, it has two air chambers – the safety chamber and the main chamber with the Boston valve.Then it also has 2 large support handles and a 16″ (40 cm) inner diameter hole.

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  • 48″ (120 cm) inflated outer diameter,
  • 52″ (130 cm) deflated outer diameter,
  • Heavy Duty 30-gauge PVC vinyl, 2 air chambers,
  • 2 large support handles

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  • tough manual inflation,

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Value for Money

We’ve got nothing but good things to say about this tube, but if you’re buying this then go for the bigger, thicker ones. This has to be the thickest vinyl ever and we’re sure it can withstand trees, sticks, and being dragged over stumps or rocks easily. It even features a patch kit in case of punctures, and also a small emergency bladder you inflate first and the main chamber.

The valves handle all seem pretty well built for this price and do last you a very long time. You could buy a canvas cover to use with it, although it really doesn’t need it. The only problem is that you’ll have a hard time finding an air pump that fits the inflation valve yet and blowing it up manually seems to take forever. After that however, the tube works great and is easy to mount even if you’re open water and not able to stand.

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#7. Huge River Tube and Cover from ClearCreekTubes

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This is the most popular tube from the ClearCreekTubes line and is made from the 600 Denier Canvas material that covers the top and the bottom. This is made stronger with the heavy-duty butyl rubber inner tube that makes this specifically designed for river and snow tubing. This guarantees a better life and durability of the tube.

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  • 44″ cover and 8.25r20 innertube included,
  • Reinforced Handles,
  • River,
  • Lake and Pool

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  • missing valve and valve stem cap

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Value for Money

Both the tube and the cover are super heavy-duty, but you do have to inflate the tube a whole lot more to get it to fill up the cover, but after that it all smooth rafting. Some water does enter the bottom of the raft but not a lot so you can store some a few cans there. But there is one odd thing – where the valve and valve stem cap are missing.

For this, you may need to use an air pump, but other than this the tube looks great, it has handles, the cover protects the inner tube. It is also very durable and easy to inflate.

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#8. 41 Inches Super Heavy Duty River Tube Raft with Hot Air Welding Inner Tube from HIWENA

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The 41 inches is all the space required for the kids on their favorite water sports. The tube has only the best high-quality materials that are just 0.75 mm. Towable using a rope and some handles so they are always in a safe distance. The high-humidity hot air welder technology used on the inner tube is manually inflated. It prevents the outer tube from popping easily and even if it does get ripped you have the repair patch kit.

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  • good water sports,
  • includes towing rope,
  • heightening handles,
  • Hot Air Welding Technology,
  • repair patch kit

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  • not water vehicle towable

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Value for Money:

This is one of the more durable kids’ tubes and can even fit some medium adult people too! It has handles on it so it can be used on slightly wilder waves. The float is sturdy, great and made using some really good materials. It comes with extra fixing patches and is very easy to inflate and use.

For the kids, this tube is nice and large and has good safety features such as the two safety handles, quality build thanks to the Hot Air Welding Process and the 0.75 mm materials.

It also comes with rope buckles and extra rope for hanging up, lugging it around and towing it across the water – although you can only tow by hand, not with vehicles. The special air valve means faster inflation/deflation. The company advises against using it with water vehicles, as a life-saving device or on strong currents.

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#9. The Eager Beaver River Tube from Big Mouth Inc

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The BigMouth Inc. brand is known for its outrageous lifestyle products and offers a wide range of tubes and other inflatables for pools, rivers, and snow. The Eager Beaver river tube is over four feet wide and can seat an adult easily. Made from 16-gauge vinyl, the tube features a cup holder, a drop seat and a mesh bottom. A grab and latch rope all around the tube ensures that you can climb in or out of the tube, use it as a safety handle, pull it on or off the car and latch it to something so that you don’t float away.

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  • Comfy mesh drop seat, grab n’ latch rope,
  • and built-in cup holder, Durable 18-gauge vinyl,
  • 2-In-1 safety air valve for easy inflate/deflate and leak protection,
  • Multiple chambers for added stability

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  • heavy when inflated and deflated,
  • shallow cup holder,
  • no handles on either side

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Value for Money

Just like the other BigMouth Inc. float, this best River Float Tube is awesome too. It is very sturdy, well made and easy to inflate, but it might get heavy once it has been inflated and kids may not be able to manage. Still, that’s an indication of how safe it will be once it dunked in the pool or rivers.Then, each stem valve has a valve on it, so you don’t have to hold one side constantly to prevent air from escaping. You needn’t be worried about the size, as it fits an adult easily.

But while it can fit two smaller people easily, there are no handles on either side and if the river flow is a little fast, then you could tip over.

The plastic is thick, and the netting sturdy and can be used on rocky rivers. The side ropes can be connected with other Big Mount products or tubes. The cup holder could be a bit deeper though because if you try to move with a cup inside the holder, you could tip the glass over.

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#10. Heavy-Duty Inflatable Towable Booster Tube from SereneLife

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This Best Inflatable Towable Boat comes with a much better backrest, that’s even fitted with air-filled cushioned stabilizer walls and is comfortable for both young and old people. The tube is slightly broader and can accommodate one to two people. The tubes also have a towing point that’s on the front and are shaped like a boat that makes it much more stable. And with that, the full-size EVA foam seat pad, floors can be inflated as well, for super comfy seating.

Constructed using only the best PVC, nylon and PU coatings that not only lasts forever but resist dirt and fading. In this model, the company Serene Life introduces the deluxe nylon handles, complete with neoprene knuckle guards. With this tube, you also get a heavy-duty full nylon cover with zipper for added security.

Inflation/deflation is easier and quicker thanks to the speed safety valve and rolls up flat for easier storage or carrying.Designed with an anti-leakage air bladder, PVC air chamber making it ideal for use on multiple surfaces like lakes, oceans, pools, ponds, rivers, bayous, beaches,and even water sports.

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  • Unique and large backrest,
  • front tow point, multiple grab handles,
  • safety valve, for all age groups

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  • no towing rope or pumps,
  • not recommend for towing kids

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Value for Money

This tube is good for all ages and can be towed at higher speeds without falling off. The design needs work though because it does toss you out at high towing speeds and the ride is rough at times, for this reason, it might not be safe for kids. Still, it is super durable and well built and might be better for someone who loves water sports and or can manage rougher waters.

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Final Words  :

Different sizes, shapes and colors, one of these tubes is not like the other and might just be the one that makes it to your pool, or lakeside so you can enjoy summer months floating around care-free. Choose from one of these best River Float Tubes editorial picks for yourself, friends or family so they can enjoy their water centric vacations as well.

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