A man riding on the back of a boat in the water

Buying Guide for a Worthwhile River Float Tube

April 2, 2018

Nothing beats the summer heat better than getting wet on a fun outdoor activity, say, river tubing, for instance. Whether it is floating lazily over a calm stream or tagging behind a motorboat at a high speed, a river float tube has become an increasingly popular tool during the summer.

With the advancements in its fun uses from simple cruises around the water back then to exhilarating extreme sports now; river float tubes have also undergone some structural advancements. Other factors such as hi-tech material, tube technology, and new designs river float tubes have become more and more advanced to increase the water tubing experience. It is, therefore, essential that you consider these factors that best suit your water tubing desires before you get to pick which one to launch this summer.

A group of people riding on the back of a boat in the water


The material used in the design and creation of the float tube you choose forms the fundamental aspect of the tube’s functionality. Factors such as the number of riders the float tube is designed for, the durability, resistance, not forgetting the expense of the tube should be implied on a float tubes material. Common material includes:

  • Nylon; which is the most commonly used material for float tubes. Its sturdiness is measured in weight and thickness referred to as denier. The higher the denier number, the more durable, resistant, and expensive the float tube is. Higher denier nylon float tubes are a preferred choice in the design of 2 person river tube.
  • Polyester; which is another common one is usually coated with PVC to strengthen its material making it a sturdier alternative to high denier nylon. It also boasts of non-fading properties with resistance from the sun and high durability.
  • Neoprene; a common wetsuit material that entails a four-way nylon or polyester material stretch that covers a soft foam layer. This material is liked for its comfort given that it prevents skin chaffing during moments of high friction which also makes it relatively expensive.


Different float tubes are designed for different ranges of performances. Considering that you would not want to break the bank for a high-performance extreme float tube yet you are a float and chill kind of guy you would want to consider the options of having an affordable river float tube that suits your float tubing concept. However, at the right price, you can get a more unique, high performing extreme float tube with extra features say a person river tube.


Float tubes of the modern day have been designed with varying shapes which determine their unique performances specialized to these shapes. With the numerous shape options, you need to know which shape qualifies for your river float tubing endeavors and get one that performs to achieve this. The common shapes on the market include:

  • Round donut; being the original float tube shape this one is quite affordable used preferably as a lay-on-top kind of float tube.
  • Ride in; which come with inflated floors or seats which make them quite comfortable for the rider. Their structure makes them quite comfortable and more ideal for younger riders making them relatively expensive.
  • Deck tubes; these are flat lay-on-top kind of float tubes which can carry multiple numbers of riders simultaneously. Their flat exposed surface, however, makes the deck tube prone to flipping.
  • Rocker; which is quite comfortable known for fewer spills yet more thrill. The rocker shape allows the rider to lay or sit on the float tube accompanied with tremendous stability that prevents it from rolling over.

With this information, you can now comfortably go float tube shopping with the knowledge of what you want based on river float tubing preferences. However, remember if you want a high-quality float, it will cost you a little extra.

A group of people on a boat

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