If you’re in the market for a water sports activity that is fun for the whole family and doesn’t necessarily require any athletic ability – then towable tubes are the best product for you. The only ability you need to know is how to hold on (and swim, in case you get flung off). In comparison to wakesurfing or water skiing, a towable tube is an easier option to enjoy water sports.
The 9 best towable tubes for boats in 2020:
- 1. Sports Stuff Super Mable Tow Tube
- 2. Airhead Hot Dog Boat Towable Tube
- 3. WOW Sports Macho 2-Person Towable Tube
- 4. Sports Stuff Chariot Warbird 2
- 5. Sports Stuff Poparazzi Tow Tube For Boat
- 6. Airhead Slash II Boat Tube
- 7. Airhead Switchback 4 Rider Tube For Boating
- 8. WOW Sports Big Bubba Hi-Visibility Towable Deck Seat
- 9. WOW Sports Big Ducky 1 to 3 Person Towable Tube
Everything from the materials and build quality to the shape of the tube can affect how you use it and how much fun you have. So, with the sheer number of products currently on the market, we understand that it can be hard to know which ones are better. In our best towable tubes review we’ve compiled a list of the nine best towable tubes. Along with that, we’ve included a buying guide and FAQ section that is sure to help you find the best tube for your adventures.
Best Towable Tubes Reviews
1. Sports Stuff Super Mable Tow Tube
The checkered flag on the Sports Stuff Super Mable Tube speaks for itself when it screams for speed. The tube has a backrest, so you can be sure that riders won’t be flung into the water as soon as the boat accelerates. The bright orange of the tube allows it to stand out in the water while it is being towed, thus increasing the safety factor. There is a tow point it from the front or the back to get different experiences.
The 3-person Sports Stuff Super Mable Tow Tube allows riders to ride in multiple positions as well have handles to hold onto. It’s made with heavy-duty K80 PVC bladder and nylon covered, double stitched cover that’s complete with self-bailing drain vents. It’s good for children and adults, as the tube offers a comfortable backrest, grab handles and spaciousness.
2. Airhead Hot Dog Boat Towable Tube
Airhead’s Hot Dog has the ability to allow three riders at a time, with each having separate handles and seats to hold onto. It’s towable by boat through the heavy-duty Kwik Connect, which makes connecting the tube to the boat very easy. The three 30-gauge vinyl chambers are protected through an 840 denier, double stitched nylon cover.
Airhead also makes a two-rider version of this model, however, this model will be best if you’re looking to ride two adults. The Hot Dog TowTube comes with a one-year limited warranty, which gives you the peace of mind in case anything happens. This tube is perfect for providing hours of fun for children and adults. The good design layout along with the use of high-quality materials is sure to provide hours of entertainment out on the water.
3. WOW Sports Macho 2-Person Towable Tube
World of Water (WOW) Sport’s Macho 2-Person Tube allows up to two riders to sit, kneel, or lay in the cockpit. The design of the cockpit features a heavy-duty, UV protected Flex-Sit material which allows it to be ultra-comfortable and form-fitting. The fitting on the seat keeps the riders from hitting the water. The tow rope is attached to the front which ensures the safety and stability of the rider(s).
The Macho 2-Person by WOW Sports includes with a full nylon cover along with a heavy-duty zipper and 12 double foam handles. These handles ensure that riders are able to use various seating methods to fully enjoy their time out on the water. The speed valve ensures that you have a faster inflation and deflation so that you can spend more time on the water.
4. Sports Stuff Chariot Warbird 2
The Sports Stuff Chariot Warbird 2 is constructed with a heavy-gauge PVC bladder. It also comes complete with two tow points, with one in the front and the other in the back. The aluminum quick connect tow point system allows you an easy setup. The heavy-duty nylon cover is sure to last you a few summers. The design of the wingspan is purposely kept wide so that the rider has more stability and capability of meeting tighter turns.
The high back design of the seating on Sports Stuff Chariot Warbird 2 Inflatable ensures that the rider(s) will be comfortable while cruising behind the boat. With the tube featuring a typical chariot design, the riders will have a blast with the different seating possibilities. The double webbing foam handles, including the knuckle pads, ensure the comfort of the rider(s).
5. Sports Stuff Poparazzi Tow Tube For Boat
If you’re looking for a ‘cool’ water tube, then the Sports Stuff Poparazzi Inflatable Tube is a great option. It comes with the Sports Stuff patented aluminum quick connect two system that gets you out on the water fast. Their patented safety valve ensures that you won’t spend too long inflating and deflating the tube. The knuckle guards are made of foam filled, heavy duty, nylon-wrapped handles around a neoprene base. The foam knee and knuckle guards ensure that the riders are able to stay comfortable for longer – which means a longer time out with each ride.
The Sports Stuff Poparazzi Tube is perfect for children and adults of all ages. If you really try, you could even have up to six kids (roughly 3rd graders) on here, but be advised, the recommended number of riders is three. It’s hard to perform tricks on this tube due to the sheer size of it, but it allows more people to be out together and can be great for a leisure ride around the water.
6. Airhead Slash II Boat Tube
Built for two riders, the Airhead Slash II is the perfect option for carving turns. The semi-cockpit design is able to protect the rider(s) from falling into the water. The aerodynamic design is what sets it apart from other products. It features plastic fins that are sewed onto the sides of the cover. The design is also great as it allows you easily re-enter the tube from the back, allowing you to simply get back in anytime you fall out – prolonging the fun.
The vibrant and bright colors along with exotic design are something that makes the Airhead Slash II stand out from the crowd. The 840 denier, double stitched nylon is fairly durable. The reinforced fabric works to keep the tube strong and durable. It’s a great choice for calmer lake waters, rather than anything rough.
7. Airhead Switchback 4 Rider Tube For Boating
As a renowned company, Airhead did not disappoint with this Switchback 4 Rider. The construction is sure to help take your enjoyment to new levels. It’s built with Four riders are able to ride this at one time, with two kneeling at the back and two sitting in the front. Regardless of which way you choose to ride this, you’re sure to enjoy your time out with friends and family.
Due to the nylon material construction and double stitching, you’re sure to get a durable product that will last you a while. The quick connect and speed safety valves ensure that your enjoyment will be at max level. The design of the tube also features multiple boarding straps that make re-entering the tube easy. In addition to that, the side panels and comfortable backrest will help to keep you in place.
8. WOW Sports Big Bubba Hi-Visibility Towable Deck Seat
WOW Sport’s Big Bubba Hi-Visibility Deck Seat is the perfect starter towable tube for the family. It’s great for just about anybody to ride on. The tube comes with a flat base that allows a smooth and minimal drag ride. The flat base is also great for going fast on the water. It features secure deck seating that includes a very high backrest along with sidewalls that help keep the rider safe and secure.
The Big Bubba Hi-Visibility Deck Seat includes tow points in the front and the back so you have the option to ride chariot-style (kneeling), laying down, or just sitting. The construction includes EVA foam knee pads and seats along with the eight doubled webbed foam handles and four flat handles. After you’re done speeding through the water, you can use this as a relaxing floating water couch.
9. WOW Sports Big Ducky 1 to 3 Person Towable Tube
This WOW Sport’s Big Ducky 3-Person Tube is constructed with a soft, custom tail shape that secures the saddle seating. The side bumper system keeps riders on the tube even if/when the ride gets extreme. The three-point, wide webbed, heavy duty tow system gives riders different riding styles. It also features double webbed foam handles along with the knuckle guards that ensure comfortability for the rider(s).
The Big Ducky comes complete with a full nylon, heavy-duty cover that has heavy-duty zippers. It ensures that the heavy-duty, PVC bladders and the speed valves for fast inflating and deflating are zippered and padded. The large, winged deck area is a great space for riders to lay, kneel, stand, or sit down. Similar to other products on this list, this product is also backed by a year by the manufacturer.
Just like any other product, there are various factors and features that you should consider before you purchase your first or upgrade towable tube. If you simply just walk into a sporting goods store or you pick out the cheapest one that you can find, it could mean that you don’t have as much fun on the water. Not to mention that it could be quite dangerous in terms of the quality of a product. You should expect to invest a bit of money into your towable tube so that it can meet expectations and last you for a while.
So, let’s get into the factors that you should consider when trying to buy the best towable tube.
How Many People Can Be Towed?
All tubes come with a set number of riders that it can safely carry. This can be anywhere from 1-2 to 3-4 riders on one tube at a time. If you’re buying this for use by a family, then it’s important to think about how many people will generally be on the trip with you. If you’ve got children, they are also likely to bring their friends.
However, on the other side of that, the 1-2 rider tube will be smaller than the 3-4 rider tube. This means that it’s easier to pack away and bring on shorter trips that not a lot of people are going on. The larger tubes are able to build up speed quite quickly and get out of hand just as quickly, which will be something that the driver would need to keep in mind.
Quality of Build
This might be one of the most important aspects of your tube. If it is not of a high standard, then it could malfunction while you’re on the water, which could injure your loved ones. A towable tube that has been built properly and efficiently should last you family years to come.
The standard material that you’ll find in most is high-quality nylon that covers a high gauge bladder. Generally, for a solid construction, you’ll find 420 denier nylon is used. This material is great for protecting the bladder, but also to still feel comfortable while you are perched on. The best material possible is the 840 denier nylon.
The PVC bladder is normally a one-chamber 26 gauge PVC bladder chamber. They can get up to three chambers of 30 gauge. The high number ones are generally for the larger tubes so that the air is distributed throughout the towable tube. A single chambered bladder usually has a quick inflation and deflation feature that allows you to get on the water faster. As bladders are made of PVC bladder material, they usually have welded seams.
This feature allows you to have a lengthier and more enjoyable time without having to worry about your hands getting sore or painful after a while. This piece of equipment has padding on the inner part of the handles to protect your hands from bashing the body of the inflatable. If these were absent, you could end up with scrapes or bashed knuckles.
This generally is a standard piece of equipment that comes in most, if not all, floatables. The EVA padding in the towable tubes makes your ride a bit more comfortable than if they were not there. It’s bound to get bumpy while you’re on the water, but strategically placing padding will ensure that you don’t even notice it there. Many companies test out where people’s knees or elbows usually rest on a towable. Using that data, they add pads to these areas to make the ride more safe and comfortable.
This has to be one of the most overlooked aspects of an inflatable. Most do not come with or have PSI indicators to tell how much air you need to put into the tube. Factors like cold or hot days can play a part in air retainment through the day. You should always make sure that you have properly inflated the tube using an electric pump. If it doesn’t skim over the water, then it is probably underinflated. If that is the case, it can appear sluggish and take more effort to pull, which might cause further damage.
By ensuring that the cover of the tube does not have wrinkles in it, that should signify that it has enough air. Ensure to do this before you are on the water as it’s easier to take the excess air out, then to add more in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When you’re thinking about getting a towable tube, you might find yourself asking some questions. They could be anything from confusion about terminology or what the best features to have are. Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q: What Material Is Often Used To Make These Towable Tubes?
A. Generally, towable tubes are made from anywhere between 600 Denier polyester to 1000 denier polyester, along with 26 oz. to 28 oz. UV protected PVC. This is the same material that you’ll find in inflatable military boats and ocean-going inflatables. Every single seam in the construction would have been heat-welded to offer you with the most durability possible. Some might have even been double welded at key stress points.
Q: What Is Neoprene? Why Is It Used?
A. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber and is used to cover knuckle guards and handles to provide users with a more comfortable and protected grip. The higher the rider capacity of an inflatable tube, the more handles will be required. It is also used for knee pads to protect the knees of the riders from chaffing.
Q: What Do I Need To Know About 30 Gauge Versus 60 Gauge Bladder?
A. The gauge of a bladder refers to the thickness inside of the tube. The higher the number, the thicker the inner tube.
Q: Can I Use My Towable Tube In Salt Water?
A. Towable tubes are made for use in fresh and saltwater. However, if you are using the tube in saltwater for longer periods of time, then you should remember to rinse and dry it thoroughly before putting it away.
Always remember water sports can be dangerous and to be safe and wear a life vest.