Best Towable Tubes
It is common for anglers and their family members to participate in water sports. It is a part of their culture. However, most beginner or newbie riders are not familiar with the towable tube brands out there. You will find this post helpful if you are looking for a towable tube for yourself or your family.
I have reviewed tubes made by reputed American manufacturers who are in the business for decades. In the latter portion of this post, I have also touched on some frequently asked questions. Let's dive into the best tubes on the market.
Best Towable Tubes
SportsStuff is famous for its inflatable tubes for towing and other water sports. Over the years, they have introduced some of the most fun, reliable, and comfortable boating equipment. Super Mable towable tube from SportsStuff is meant for those who wish to take their family for a weekend getaway. The tube is capable of bearing 600 lbs of load.
You, your partner, and a teenage kid can sit comfortably without any issues. Some watersports enthusiasts have used this tube with three well-built adults. It holds perfectly. If you have three adults in your family, each weighs about 200 lbs, and you can go for this tube without questioning its weight capacity.
The bladder of the Super Mable towable tube is constructed with heavy-duty K80 PVC material. For your safety and protection, the manufacturer has had the full nylon cover double-stitched with the latest machinery. However, if water does seep inside the tube, the drain vent will push it out without you having to deflate the tube. The Super Mable is also equipped with self-bailing drain vents.
The manufacturer does not recommend it, but you can have a kid or an older teenager stand on the deck. Some people do it for the fun and thrill of water sports. However, it is perfectly fine if you had to accommodate an extra person on the deck. If you feel like the tube is overloaded, ask the boat operator to sail in cruise mode. This way, there won't be any sharp turns.
Furthermore, the tube also possess dual tow points. If you wish to face the wind and splashing water without any obstruction, connect it on the hook located on the front of the tube. Likewise, you can join the line on the rear hook if you want a barrier between the wind and the splashing water. Both configurations are equally safe, except the difference is in the level of thrill you experience.
SportsStuff Super Mable Towable Tube is Suitable For:Super Mable from SportsStuff is one of the best rated towable tubes on the market. This impact-resistant tube is designed for those who wish to take their family out for some water sports. The 3 riders towable tube can also accommodate a kid. You don't have to worry about accidentally rubbing your skin on the surface material, it is skin-friendly.
Hot Dog 1-5 Rider towable tube for boating is a US-made product. Due to its unusual shape and design, it is also called "water weenie" in the watersports community. This product is made to the high standards of Airhead. The riders are exposed to the wind and water without any obstruction or shied in front of them. You and your fellow passengers can sit in a row, the same way you sit and balance in a horse saddle.
To keep yourself from falling off the tube, you can either sit tucked between two riders or simply hold the deluxe nylon-wrapped handles with neoprene knuckle guards. This tube may not be intended to offer a rider comfort during the ride, but it does come with neoprene seat pads. The product is available in three sizes: 1-2 rider, 1-3 rider, and 1-5 rider. All three have similar features except the number of riders they can accommodate.
Also, the heavy-duty Kwik-Connect makes tow rope hook-ups easy as pie. The Kwik connect system is employed by almost all major watersports equipment manufacturers. The system is tried and true. The frame consists of three 30-gauge vinyl air chambers. The three chambers are fully covered by a double-stitched 840-denier nylon cover.
If the unexpected is to happen and once the chamber gets ruptured, the other two are perfectly capable of keeping the tube afloat. You can safely get inside the towing boat without any mishaps. Watersports are fun and exciting, but it does come with some dangers that you should be aware of. The manufacturer has designed this tube in a way to prevent the commonly occurring accidents and mishaps beforehand.
Airhead Hot Dog 1-5 Rider Towable Tubes for Boating is Suitable For:
The Hot Dog towable tube from Airhead suits best for those who desire more thrill and excitement. This may not be the best towable tube for beginners. Also, you do need to have excellent swimming skills, in case you need to rescue someone who fell off the tube. Needless to say, accidents are only possible at extremely high speeds.
The tube is easy to transport. When deflated, it is 102-inches long and 44-inches wide. The nylon tube can be folded and placed in a carry bag.
Island Hopper is a California-based watersports equipment manufacturer. The banana boat is built to withstand the elements of wind, water, and changing temperatures. The puncture-resistant material is made from heavy-duty reinforced 1100 denier 40 lbs PVC. For the added safety of the riders, the manufacturer has reinforced the areas subject to high stress.
Moreover, this elite class banana boat lasts longer than any other tube on the market. During the offseason, you can simply place it in a cool and dry place. The seams are welded together, so there is no chance of material disintegration due to heat or extreme cold. For those residing in California's state, Island Hopper promises same-day delivery if ordered on a business day.
The package includes a nylon storage bag, an instructional manual, and a foot pump. The package arrives double-boxed to make sure the contents inside are safe and unharmed. When inflated, the boat measures 19-feet in length and 4.5-feet in width. It can bear 1200 lbs of load. The boat is meant for six well-built adult riders, but you can easily squeeze in another person.
Island Hopper 6 Passenger Inline Towable Tube is Suitable For:The Island Hopper six-person banana boat is popularly used in camps, commercial beach operations, and resorts worldwide. The boat also comes with a foot pump, but you can use any general air compressor to pump to speed up the inflation. The package arrives the same day you order, you don't have to wait longer. This banana boat can make your last-minute vacation plans work.
Airhead Mach is built for comfort and convenience. This US-made inflatable boat is available in three sizes: 1 rider, 1-2 rider, and 1-3 riders. It also comes with a patented speed safety valve for rapid inflation and deflation. The boat has a separate compartment for every rider. The inflated floors make a comfortable seat. The space in the compartment is large enough to accommodate a well-built adult.
This boat is generally preferred by parents who are concerned about the safety and protection of their kids. The compartment is cushioned with inflated tubes. Even if the tube is to strike another tube or a boat, the rider remains unharmed. The Airhead Mach towable tube is constructed with a heavy-gauge PVC bladder. The bladder is coated with a durable double-stitched nylon cover.
Moreover, the 2-rider towable tube has a load-bearing capacity of 340 lbs. Some riders have exceeded the weight rating by 50 lbs and had no problems with the tube whatsoever. Having said that, one must be cautious when riding on full capacity at high speeds. The heavier the tube, the more stress the rope or the line has to incur. The stress on the rope should always be maintained within permissible limits.
If you are thinking about going for a 2-rider Mach, make sure your partner (or the riders you are planning to gift this product) is of more or less the same size and shape. If one rider is heavier than the other, the lighter rider will bounce a lot in the seat (and feel uncomfortable throughout the ride). This is one of the shortcomings of the Airheads Mach series of tubes.
This may not be an issue when traveling straight, but the turns are going to be longer. To conclude this point, by adding more weight, you compromise on the maneuverability of the towable tube.
Airhead Mach 1-3 Rider Towable Tube for Boating is Suitable For:It is suitable for two grown riders who are roughly of the same weight. On the other hand, there is no lower weight restriction on this boat. Two lightweight kids can safely and comfortably ride this tube.
Super Screamer from O-Brien is a towable deck for two riders. The weight rating, according to the manual provided by the manufacturer, is 340 lbs. Although, if one of the riders (both) are well-built, you can exceed the weight rating by 40-50 lbs. The 26 heavy gauge PVC bladder is capable of bearing extra weight.
The bladder is covered with 420-denier nylon. The material is soft and skin-friendly. Note that this towable deck does not come with compartments or a saddle-like seat. You and your partner are supposed to lie on the deck, belly down. The deck is fitted with handles with EVA knuckle guards. No matter what direction you lay in, you will always have something to hold on to.
The knuckle guards can also be used for locking your feet in one position, especially during high-speed rides. You will also be glad to know that the deck does not have any sharp edges on it. With cheap towable decks, you always have to be careful about incurring skin injuries (like scratches, cuts, lesions, etc.). Such is not the case with O'Brien's Super Screamer towable deck for two-people.
This product is an upgraded version. It has new and improved features. For instance, the Super Screamer comes with a lightning valve (older models came with a Boston valve). It inflates and deflates the tube 57 percent faster than the previous model. You don't have to worry about the cap coming off in between a ride. It has a flap beneath to prevent the air from escaping.
Although it does not come with a hand or foot pump, it fits well with almost all popular pumps available on the market. If the pump present at your home is incompatible with the nozzle, you can get an air pump nozzle adapter, readily available in the market.
O'Brien Super Screamer is Suitable For:This product is user-friendly and customizable. It is suitable for both kids and adults. This product is the best towable decks for those who seek thrill, fun, and excitement. You don't need to be an aquatics expert.
Airhead Super Slice is the best 1-3 rider towable tube for boating and watersports. This towable tube is popular among riders who like quick and easy installation. Airhead's patented Kwik-Connect tow hook makes attaching the tube to the rope easy and effortless. To connect this tube to a speed boat with average speeds, you simply have to hook the rope to the back of the pole.
The arrangement is a bit different from a pontoon boat. It is safe to connect the rope to the back of the loop or a sidebar. Similarly, you can also hook up this tube to a jet ski. Moreover, this towable tube has a load-bearing capacity of 300 lbs. A three-rider Airhead Super Slice tube can handle two well-built adults and a kid. The air chambers are protected by a double-stitched full nylon cover.
The nylon cover is smooth in texture. Riders with sensitive skin do not have to worry about bruises or chaffing. You will also be glad to know that a part of the nylon cover is protected by a tapered gusset. In case you didn't know, a gusset is a piece of material sewn into the cover to strengthen it. It also connects the two or more pieces of the cover together. In addition to this, it also provides better towing characteristics.
For added comfort, the base of this towable tube is padded with EVA foam pads. Even the non-slip handles are sufficiently padded.
Airhead Super Slice 1-3 Riders Towable Tube for Boating is Suitable For:The manufacturer claims that the Super Slice towable tube can bear three people's weight, but it may not be the case for well-built adults. This towable tube is perfect for one adult and two kids or two adults and one kid. Further, there is no lower weight limit, so its structure remains stable even when ridden by one person.
SportsStuff Poparazzi is one of the rare towable tubes that offers maneuverability. You can ride this tube in more than one position. This tube is more prevalent among kids than adults. Although the package does not include a tow rope and a hand pump, you can buy them online for cheap. A rope with one-inch thickness would do just fine. And, an Airhead pump is recommended for this product.
The K80 heavy gauge PVC bladder is coated with heavy-duty nylon cover. For efficient storage, you can easily separate the tube and the cover. The cover comes with a zipper. Once you inflate the tube, you don't have to worry about leakages as the nozzle is equipped with a speed safety valve. It is safe for the riders to stand, sit, lay in different positions.
SportsStuff is also known for providing better customer service. You will be glad to know that the outer nylon cover and the bladder are replaceable. If any of the two parts incur damages while the product is still under warranty, SportsStuff will replace the damaged part. No questions asked. Besides, the two parts mentioned above are also available on some websites.
This towable tube needs to be ridden under parental supervision. The front portions of the tube sink a bit when the boat's propulsion power is suddenly reduced. Kids are advised to lay back during this period. Highly maneuverable tubes do come with similar shortcomings. Apart from that, the Poparazzi towable tube is safe. SportsStuff has 20+ years of experience in this business. You can rely on them for your children's safety.
SportsStuff Poparazzi 1-3 Rider Towable Tube for Boating is Suitable For:As I mentioned earlier, this towable tube is designed for kids under age 12. The less weight the tube carries, the better it floats. It has a load-bearing capacity of around 300 lbs. Some parents have also tried letting five kids use this tube at the same time. It holds well under pressure. Ideally, three kids between 60-70 pounds would be ideal for this tube.
Are you looking for a safe and secure towable tube for you and your family?
G-Force from Airhead is one of the best towable tubes for adults who wish to bring their kids on board. To keep the riders safe while tubing, G-Force is equipped with bolster fins. The material and the quality of the accessories are quite similar to other tubes from Airhead. Although this product does have some enhancements.
Instead of a plain tube, it comes with a tough 30-gauge virgin PVC bladder. The bladder is encased inside an 840-denier double-stitched nylon cover. As stated by the manufacturer, this tube defies centrifugal force arising from the body's inertia. Riding on this tube is like floating on a cloud. The turn is smooth and less jerky. This product is designed for comfort and leisure.
Furthermore, this towable tube is also quite easy to install. All you need is a thick (1-inch) tow rope and hand pump. The tube is incorporated with a ready to connect tow on its edge. Once you inflate the tube, you can attach it to the rope with the help of Kwik-Connect tow hook. Unlike other tube manufacturers, Airhead does not use a Boston valve. G-Force comes with a new and advanced safety valve.
Airhead products are always well-packaged. The product arrives in a small box with the cover and bladder. Airhead does not provide a rope and hand pump. Further, both the nylon cover and the PVC bladder can be stored on a shelf for months. They do not form mold or mildew. However, after usage, it is always good to disinfect and dry the tube entirely.
Airhead has 25+ years of experience in the manufacturing of towable tubes. The products are tested for safety and reliability before dispatch. Once you purchase an Airhead towable tube, you can find Airhead-manufactured accessories like jackets, pumps, sleds, and toys that go well with this product.
Airhead G-Force 1-4 Rider Towable Tube for Boating is Suitable For:The Airhead G-Force towable tube is suitable for a small family. Two adults and two kids can ride this tube without any problems.
SportsStuff Stunt Flyer is a towable tube designed for a couple. You can include a kid along, but only if you plan to ride at slow or medium speed. This tow tube measures 64-inch in length when inflated and 7-inch when deflated. You do not need a special rope for this tube, a 1-inch thick tow rope would do just fine. You can connect the rope with the aluminum quick connect tow system.
You will be glad to know that this towable tube can also be used in a swimming pool. If you plan on using this tube in a pool, you can definitely add more weight to it. Although, make sure the riders are good swimmers. Or you can make it mandatory for the riders to wear a lifejacket. This is a typical flyer deck tube, you can stand, sit, or lay without any issues.
To protect your knees and elbows from chaffing, the tube is equipped with two large EVA foam body pads. Further, the nylon cover is made with premium material. Deck tubes need to be sturdier and durable than a regular towable tube. Hence, for the construction of the bladder, SportsStuff has used high gauge PVC material.
Just like Poparazzi, this towable tube can be used for riding in a variety of positions. The double webbing foam handles with knuckle guards keep you and the other rider safe and contained during quick turns. Further, to inflate the tow tube, you can use an Airhead hand pump. The nozzle comes with self-bailing drain vents, so you and your partner can ride safely at high speeds.
SporstStuff Stunt Flyer 1-2 Rider Boating Tubes is Suitable For:This towable boatingtube is perfect for an adventure-loving couple. Unlike other small-sized towable tubes, this one does not submerge when the propulsion of the boat is lowered. Also, you and your partner can perform a breath-taking stunt safely. Just make sure the tube is inflated to its full capacity. As I mentioned earlier, this tube can also be used for floating in a pool. This is aone of the good towable tubes for boating.
The Sports Bingo towable tube from Wow is available in three sizes: 1-2 rider, 1-3 rider, and 1-4 rider. The tube has a one-of-a-kind design with bright orange and yellow colors. It is perfect for those looking for safety and comfort. The tube has a deep secure cockpit. The hull of the tube is designed to reduce the drag on the boat. Hence, the boat will consume less fuel per mile.
You will be glad to know that the bottom portion of the towable tube is padded. Like many other towable tubes, you won't be sitting on a flat piece of nylon material. The bottom air chamber is not as thick as the ones on the side, but it provided a decent level of comfort. For better stability, you can fill up the bottom air chamber to its full capacity.
Also, as the drag on the boat is lesser, you can hook up this towable tube with a fishing sailboat. You will be surprised to know that a 120 hp motor pontoon boat can tow this tube with three teens on board. The manufacturer has used high-grade material for the construction of this towable tube. You can ride it at high speeds without worrying about any accidents due to bladder failure.
Wow Sports Bingo Inflatable Towable Tube is Suitable For:
The Sports Bingo towable tube is suitable for both small and big families. You can comfortably ride with your partner and 2-3 kids (under age 12). This tube can be used for both slow and fast rides. The deep cockpit style seating ensures the safety and comfort of all the riders.Wow is relatively new to the market and is coming up with new and exciting products in the watersports space. You can go for this towable tube if you are bored with a conventional towable tube.
Buyers Guide - How to Choose the Best Towable Tubes
Before buying towable tubes for boating, you must know the options available in the market. Generally, you will find towable tubes that are meant for a leisure ride or high-intensity watersports. The leisure ride tubes are larger and more comfortable. It is also quite spacious compared to the watersports tubes. Further, towable tubes come in a variety of sizes. They can be used by a single person to a family of four.
Take the following factors into consideration before choosing a towable tubes for boating:
1. Make Sure the Tube is Equipped With a Boston Valve
A Boston valve is a three-part two-port check valve used in most inflatable tow tubes. The primary purpose of this valve is to keep the tube from bursting in between a ride. This valve also helps you inflate and deflate the tube without the occurrence of accidents or mishaps.
Most towable tube manufacturers include a valve in the package. If not, then check for valve compatibility so you can purchase a spare one. There is no international standard for Boston valve sizing. Size, shape, and color vary from brand to brand. Always buy towable tubes from top brands such as Airhead.
2. Make Sure the Tube is Equipped With Kwik Connect Mechanism
A towable tube is attached to the stern of a speed boat via a 1-2 inch thick rope. The rope generally comes with a pre-tied loop at both ends. The rope is to be locked into the Kwik Connect attached to the towable tube. The locking mechanism varies from brand to brand.
For instance, SportsStuff Super Mable towable tube comes with an anchor-shaped Kwik connect. First, you need to feed the loop end of the rope into the slot to lock the rope into the system. Next, pull it back, open the loop and tighten it over the forks.
3. Take into Account the Needs of Your Fellow Riders
If you are planning to buy a 3 person or 4 person towable tube, make sure to first consult your fellow riders. Someone with a physical injury or fear of falling into the water would want a cozy and shielded tube. Some tubes also come with a well-designed well to sit in. You will also find cushioned handles on the rim of most tubes. Riders can grip the handles during quick turns and shaky moments.
4. Check if the Tube Can Be Upgraded
Manufacturers such as Airhead and SportsStuff also sell spare parts on their individual websites and walk-in stores. You don't need to buy a new tube if you lose a Boston valve or rip off a handle. Simply order the part that needs to be replaced. This way, you can save money and keep the riders from using a fault or deformed tube. If the spare part is not available on the manufacturer's website, check out Craigslist for used parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Makes the Best Towable Tubes?
Airhead is a Denver, Colorado-based watersports equipment manufacturer. It is a parent organization with popular and noteworthy brands such as SportsStuff, Yukon Charlie's, Dry Pak, and Watermat. Airhead has been in the business for about three decades. The towable tubes under this brand are safety tested by experts. Models like Airhead G-Force and Airhead Hot Dog are quite popular in the global watersports community.
What is the Best 2 Person Towable Tube?
SportsStuff Stunt Flyer is one of the best 2-person towable tubes on the market. Stunt Flyer is a deck tube. The deck is constructed with two large EPA pads. It is circular in shape and has a well in between.
Although Airhead has provided the facility to strap yourself with a safety belt, this tow tube is meant for those who seek adventure and thrill. Moreover, it is equipped with non-slip cushioned handles all over the rim. The best part of this 2 person towable tube is, it can also fit three small people.
How Do You Tow Inflatables?
From the context of watersports, towing involves pulling a skii or a tube with a speed boat. Needless to say, watersports involve a lot of risks. Hence, you must take all the precautions before a session.
If you are going to tow an inflatable with a boat, you must spend at least 10 minutes setting up the boat on the dock. Make sure the rearview mirrors are correctly adjusted. Also, switch on the GPS navigation device.
When you are towing someone, do not let other passengers or an electronic gadget distract you. Focus on the path, and always keep an eye on the rider. Some states mandate you to have a passenger on board so they can signal the rider with a rider-down flag. Hence, check out the watersports rules and regulations website.
Make sure that you are clear about the reason behind buying a towable tube. For instance, a parent wanting to gift their children a towable tube should look for safety, reliability, and comfort. Compromising on the factors mentioned above would result in a fatal accident.
Unless you are planning to skii at slow speed (2-3 mph), do not compromise on price. There is no shortage of cheap or knock-off tubes in the market.From the list of towable tubes, I would pick SportsStuff Super Mable as the best towable tube. It is a combination of a towable tube and a deck tube. The backrest also acts as a shield against wind and splashing water. Finally, it is an Airhead product, one of the most reputed watersports equipment companies in the world.
Last Updated on September 8th, 2020