8 Best Inflatable Dinghies of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

If you’ve ever been sailing, you’re probably familiar with the term dinghy, a loanword from the Bengali ḍiṅgi. If not, you’ve definitely seen one before. These small, inflatable boats are usually seen trailing behind larger boats and are often used as a lifeboat. In this way, dinghies are extremely valuable to anyone who loves to sail and do so safely.

Because drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, it’s even more important to make sure the product you’re buying is worthwhile. Check out our website to see our interactive resource for U.S. Drowning Statistics and Worldwide Drowning Statistics and Drowning Prevention.

When it comes to water recreation, inflatable dinghies are pretty versatile. They can also be used for cruising with friends and family members, too.

That being said, we’ve taken the time to sort through a plethora of brands and dinghy types to handpick the best inflatable dinghies available in 2021. In addition to that, we’ve also taken the liberty to build this thorough buyers guide for those looking for the perfect dinghy for their weekend sailing trips.

In addition to our reviews, our comprehensive buyers’ guide will cover all the topics you’ll need to know about the best inflatable dinghies of 2021 — from advantages and drawbacks to maintenance and safety tips. Start by checking out our insightful inflatable dinghy reviews below. Happy sailing!
(You might be interested in reading about Best Rigid Inflatable Boats)

[Product Table]

The Best Inflatable Dinghies Reviews (Editor’s Picks)  

So without further ado, here are our top picks for the best-ever inflatable dinghies, in no particular order. 

1. Tangkula New Inflatable Boat Tender Raft Dinghy

The New Inflatable Boat Tender Raft Dinghy from Tangkula is an all-around, quality inflatable boat with plenty of handy features. It can fit up to five people in its small, compact size and is an excellent choice for camping trips or fishing on the lake.

This dinghy option is very portable, one of the main reasons we think it’s a perfect addition to a weekend camping getaway. The D-ring made of stainless steel and built-in oarlocks make the Tangkula easy to haul. It’s also affordable, which is a huge plus.

You’ll be shocked at just how easy it is to pack up your inflatable dinghy when it’s time to head out. Just one person can pack up this inflatable boat in a matter of minutes, which can’t be said for all dinghies.

Of course, if you want more impressive speed, you’ll have to purchase a motor. But there are oars included with the purchase of a Tangkula dinghy, so you’ll be able to get where you’re going without the power of a motor.

Pros:

  • The Tangkula Inflatable Tender Dinghy can fit a maximum of five people — perfect for a family outing.
  • The built-in oarlock facilitates smooth rowing and the oars are included.
  • This dinghy is very portable and can effortlessly be folded up and stored at home when not in use.
  • Its stainless steel D-rings make towing this dinghy easy.
  • The convenient size makes it ideal for fishing outings as it’s also lightweight. 

Cons:

  • Although it can fit a maximum of five people, it won’t fit more than three adults, so the other two would have to be children.
  • This boat doesn’t come with any certificate, so it can’t be registered properly through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in some U.S. states.
  • There’s not much space for cargo.

(You should also check other river rafts at Best Inflatable River Rafts)

2. Saturn SD290 Inflatable Dinghy Boat

This inflatable boat from Saturn is ideal for a person or a couple who likes to be out on the lake. It’s also great for those who would like a life raft, just in case.

The dinghy is made of solid, heavy-duty materials, like 100 denier Korean PCV fabric with polyester support. This makes this inflatable boat resistant to pesky obstacles like tension, tearing and breaking, while also being more sturdy than the 1000D PCV options.

When inflated, this boat is rigid and ready to go. The Saturn SD290 Inflatable Dinghy Boat has a motor mount and can take a short shaft outboard motor of up to 10 horsepower (HP). With such an engine, it can run at up to 20 miles per hour.

However, it can also be easily deflated, making it a great foldable option for weekend trips. You’ll be able to store the SD290 in your apartment’s closet or even in the trunk of your car. This makes it perfectly portable and easy for one person to transport.

For those who like to go fishing, you’ll be able to stand up on the air floor without feeling unsteady. 

Although it can carry up to four people, the SD290 is small in size, so it fits two people most comfortably, including cargo. 

Pros:

  • This dinghy option is very lightweight, coming in at just 85 pounds.
  • Some of the included accessories we love are the pair of aluminum oars, the seat bench, carry bag, high-volume hand pump, and the repair kit.
  • The splash guard is convenient, keeping water outside of the inflatable boat.
  • The Saturn SD290 Inflatable Dinghy Boat also comes with lightweight, aluminum seat benches that are also completely removable.
  • There’s also a safety valve for the sole purpose of preventing over-inflation. 

Cons:

  • The seams are glued, making the Saturn SD290 Inflatable Dinghy Boat less sturdy than heat-welded seam options.
  • This dinghy is dull in comparison to other inflatable boats with more upgraded features.
  • It’s relatively small, so this option isn’t good for families or more than a few people.

(If you love to be with your family and friends in water, you should rather try reading Best Inflatable Islands)

3. BRIS 9.8-Feet Inflatable Dinghy

One of the best things about the BRIS Inflatable Dinghy is that its seams are heat welded, unlike other inflatable boat options. So long as you take care of it, these heat-welded seams should have a better lifespan than some of the alternatives out there. These sturdy seams also make the BRIS dinghy more able to function in both fresh and saltwater, and in high-humidity environments.

This model has bench seats, a pair of oars, and aluminum floor panels, too. The carrying case it comes with makes it a little easier to transport. However, it has a whole host of features that are worth mentioning.

The BRIS Inflatable Dinghy also uses anti-splash guards on the transom. This will prevent excess water from finding its way into the boat while you’re rowing. 

It’s also exceptionally sturdy. The aluminum floorboards won’t bend or flex when weight is applied. They’re also stable enough that if you stand on one side, the whole dinghy won’t flip — an obvious plus.

Pros:

  • The materials used make this inflatable boat more heavy-duty and resistant to tension, breaking, and tearing.
  • The aluminum floor is essentially corrosion-proof.
  • This dinghy has a three-year manufacturer warranty.
  • Because the seams are heat welded, they’ll last longer in both fresh and saltwater as well as in extremely humid areas.
  • There’s a 30-day, money-back guarantee, making this option a more risk-free purchase.

Cons:

  • The carrying case isn’t as durable as it could be.
  • This model doesn’t have a double layer of fabric under the tubes like other BRIS models.
  • It’s also heavier than other dinghy options.

4. Seamax Ocean320 Heavy Duty Inflatable Dinghy Boat

The Seamax Ocean320 Heavy Duty Inflatable Dinghy Boat is one of the best options for a fair price. 

This inflatable dinghy is built to last. It’s primarily made out of Marine-grade PVC. It has one keel chamber and three pontoon chambers with an overlapped seam. On the outer and inner sides of the dinghy, there are also safety grab lines, which are useful if you’re ever caught off balance (the sectional aluminum floor is non-skid and also helps with this).

It comes with a few different accessories, too. When you purchase the Seamax Ocean320, you’ll also receive two aluminum oars, a foot pump, a carrying case, a front towing cable, a repair kit, a bench seat, and of course, a bag with spare parts included. 

The Seamax Ocean320 is also very stable. Because of its low center of gravity, it’s nearly impossible to capsize it, whether the boat is stationary or cruising along. Due to its stability, it makes a great family dinghy if you have children.

Four people can comfortably fit in this boat. However, because of this, this option is on the heavier side at about 140 pounds.

On a final note, Seamax brand dinghies are also recognized by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the U.S. Coast Guard. The warranty includes five years for the fabric, three years for the seam, and one year for full coverage — possibly the best warranty you could get for a dinghy. 

Pros:

  • Unlike a majority of options, you’ll be able to choose your boat’s color — either red or grey.
  • The aluminum floor is non-skid, so you’re less likely to take a spill during your trip. 
  • This dinghy is made of durable, heavy-duty materials so you can rest assured knowing it’ll last.
  • It comes with a multitude of accessories, ranging from a bench seat, a pair of oars, foot pump, towing cable, boat repair kit, and a kit with spare parts.
  • The Seamax Ocean320 is also davit-system supported.

Cons:

  • It’s pretty heavy and can be difficult to carry if you’re not used to heavy lifting.
  • There’s a motor power limit of 15 horsepower (HP).
  • The Seamax Ocean320 Heavy Duty Inflatable Dinghy Boat is also relatively large, even deflated. 

5. Sports Boat Inflatable Manta Ray 8.8’

The Inflatable Manta Ray from Sports Boat is an excellent contender for an inflatable dinghy. Because of the sturdy heat-welded seams, it’s perfect for both saltwater and freshwater environments. In fact, it’s built durable enough that it can withstand emergencies and rough ocean water, as well as a calm lake setting. 

Like other options, it has a motor mount and can be powered manually or via a motor. The inflatable boat’s design is also elegant and attractive, making it more aesthetically pleasing than some of the duller options. The white color also prevents the dinghy from getting too hot from the sunlight. 

This is also the most environmentally-friendly option on our list, as it doesn’t use the problematic nose cones or glue. 

Sports Boat is a U.S.-based company, and customer support is unparalleled. It also has a three-year limited warranty, so you can feel confident purchasing this inflatable dinghy. 

Pros:

  • The materials are also UV, puncture, and oil stain resistant, for a longer dinghy lifespan.
  • Every seam is heat welded, so it should last longer in fresh and saltwater, as well as extremely humid environments. 
  • The accessories included are all handy, such as the carrying bag, foot pump, repair patches, carrying handles, bench seats, oars, and additional handles. 
  • It’s U.S. Coast Guard-approved with a three-year manufacturer limited warranty.
  • This option is aesthetically pleasing, with a sleek, contoured design. 

Cons:

  • Because the boat is white, scuff marks and other stains are easily visible. 
  • It takes a little longer than most options to deflate and pack away.
  • This option is also on the heavier side, coming in at 132 pounds.

6. Newport Vessels Seascape Inflatable Tender Dinghy

This dinghy from Newport is a reliable option for those looking for a new dinghy. When it’s USCG rated, you know it’ll be a good purchase. 

We’d recommend this portable product to anyone who loves short trips, be it camping, fishing, or just a weekend getaway since the Seascape is so compact and lightweight. It’s ideal for those who are new to inflatable boats but are eager to plan a few short trips and take her in the water.

The inflatable dinghy also comes with handy items, like a pump and repair kit, a bag, and a drop-stitch air floor. The purchase also includes two aluminum oars if you’re not planning on using a motor and an aluminum bench seat, too.

It’s incredibly sturdy thanks to the materials it’s made out of. As such, the materials used to make the Newport Vessels Seascape Inflatable Tender Dinghy are worth praising. The majority, if not all of the boat’s materials, are protective against destructive elements like sun, corrosion, and salt. This is especially helpful if you’re looking to use your inflatable boat in different environments like in lakes and ocean water. 

Pros:

  • Newport Vessels use high-quality materials, and this option uses three layers of U.S. Coast Guard-rated 1100D UV-coated PVC fabric that’s also anti-corrosive.
  • It can fit two adults comfortably.
  • This inflatable boat comes with a 30-day guarantee as well as a two-year manufacturer warranty.
  • The California-based customer support team is easy to reach via phone or via the website.
  • This dinghy comes with everything you’d need: a foot pump, a carrying bag, an aluminum bench seat, oars, additional topside D-rings, and a PCV hull.

Cons:

  • The Newport Vessels Seascape Inflatable Tender Dinghy is prone to wear and tear if not stored properly
  • This option is on the smaller side and as such, can only hold a maximum of two passengers.
  • It could have better seating options.

7. Hydroforce Caspian Pro Inflatable Dinghy Boat 

You can rest easy knowing this dinghy has not only sturdy PVC chambers but also high-density nylon that helps reinforce them — a unique feature to the Hydroforce Caspian Pro. The bench seats and floorboards are easy to put together so that you won’t need any special tools. Simply assemble those two parts, and you’re ready to get out on the water.

Although it weighs about 100 pounds, it can carry a weight of up to 1,058 pounds — perfect for a family of three adults and a child.

As a family dinghy, it also has some critical features. For starters, the safety grab ropes definitely come in handy. There’s also carrying handles and a metal tow ring, making transport a bit easier. There’s a drain valve built in that prevents water accumulation, too. 

You can thank its rigid floorboard and high-pressure, inflatable keel for the Caspian Pro’s stable performance on the water. It also has a motor mount for a motor of up to 10 horsepower (HP). If you’re not looking to travel quickly on this inflatable boat, you can also use the included pair of oars to move.

Aside from the actual dinghy, you’ll also get a 33-feet towing rope, a pressure gauge, a carrying back and an air hammer hand inflation pump. 

Pros:

  • The floorboards and bench seats are incredibly easy to assemble, so you won’t need any special tools to set it up.
  • It has better buoyancy with four-chamber construction, including an inflatable, high-pressure keel.
  • It’s a cheap, affordable option for the quality of the inflatable boat. 
  • The Hydroforce Caspian Pro also has a Marine-grade plywood transom.
  • This option can also fit three adults and one child easily.

Cons:

  • The instructions that come with the inflatable boat can be challenging to understand.
  • The glue has a tendency to come undone if not cared for properly.
  • The included patch kit doesn’t come with any extra glue.

8. Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Sport Tender Dinghy

The Newport Vessels Dana is an incredible inflatable boat that’s made of premium, high-grade materials. The dinghy has 1100D PVC fabric — some of the highest quality Korean PVC available — as well as 18-inch tubes to give users unrivaled stability in the water. It can also go over 20 miles per hour. 

This boat can carry up to three people and is easy to deflate and pack up for the next trip. Its portability and compact size make it perfect for a couple’s weekend. All the seams are hot-air welded, and the company’s strict quality control ensures customers get a reliable product that they’ll enjoy for years to come. Newport Vessels inflatables are put through strict inflation and air retention tests, including additional quality checks, before they’re packed and shipped, meaning you’ll receive a product that’s been tested through and through.

Newport Vessels also tests its products with leak, pressure, UV, and stretch tests while the product is constructed. The company’s designs are always improving, and that’s evident through the Newport Vessels 8-feet, 10-inch Dana Sport Tender Dinghy Boat.

This option also has a hard bottom made of marine wood floors. There’s also a customer service team based out of California, so if you ever have any questions, you can rest assured knowing there’s a team of people to help. 

Pros:

  • This dinghy has 18-inch tubes that provide users with excellent stability during any and all turns.
  • It’s made of premium, high-quality materials like UV-coated PVC and marine wood floors.
  • This option also includes three bow D-rings made of stainless steel for towing.
  • The sturdy carrying handles make it easy to transfer this boat into the water.
  • This dinghy option comes with a 30-day guarantee as well as a two-year manufacturer warranty.

Cons:

  • The UV-resistant cover tends to tear if you’re not careful. 
  • The wood flooring can be a bit high-maintenance to take care of if you haven’t had a dinghy with wood floors before.
  • Years of wear-and-tear can take its toll if not adequately cared for.

Inflatable Dinghies Buyers Guide – (Your guide to selecting the best product)

With all the inflatable dinghies out there crowding the market, it can be challenging knowing what product you should choose and why. That’s why we made this all-encompassing guide — to help our readers select the best inflatable dinghy for their lifestyle. 

If you’re in that boat, keep reading to find out about the benefits and disadvantages of dinghies, maintenance, and safety tips.

Benefits of Using an Inflatable Dinghy

In comparison to more traditional hard-hull boats, inflatable dinghies have a plethora of advantages and benefits specific to rigid, inflatable boats. We’re talking about their versatility, efficiency, and maneuverability, among other great benefits.

Versatility 

Arguably the best thing about inflatable dinghies is how incredibly versatile they are. Although lots of recreational boaters use them, they’re also used in other marine sectors. 

The U.S. Coast Guard, Army, and Navy often use these types of rigid, inflatable boats for tactile operations or rescue missions. These specialty dinghies can carry loads of gear, soldiers, or other such cargo with ease.

Similarly, these inflatable boats are also used by first responders and law enforcement. Both utilize these types of boats for their precision and performance. They’re sturdy and perfect for any kind of mission concerning citizen safety.

Commercial passenger boats and workboats also use rigid, inflatable boats for various reasons. It doesn’t matter if they’re exploring a lake on a sunny day or taking customers out on the ocean to watch for dolphins — dinghies are a perfectly viable option for them too. 

Lightweight

Inflatable dinghies are made to be lightweight, and that’s one of their most significant advantages to other types of boats. Because these dinghies are inflatable, they’re already much lighter than the alternatives. Being so lightweight increases both the boat’s carrying capacity and its fuel efficiency.

As a recreational boater, you’ll be able to load your dinghy full of whatever items you need while not having to worry about the inflatable boat capsizing or being too heavy to even transport to the water.

Efficiency

Dinghies are also pretty efficient, especially when it comes to fuel. Compared to traditional vessels, it doesn’t take as much power to increase the speed, so you’re getting more work down with the same amount of fuel.

This can be especially helpful if you have a business or use your dinghy for commercial purposes, like water tours or dolphin watching. Fuel is a considerable expense for boating businesses, so if you can use a dinghy, you’re already cutting down on your costs.

Maneuverability

If your boat doesn’t have a hard V-hull, it might be more challenging to maneuver. Luckily, dinghies that do have the hard V-hull can move easily.

These types of boats are also lighter than traditional vessels, making them even easier to steer and navigate. Dinghies can actually go around other boats and in and out of tight spaces due to their excellent maneuverability. Docking won’t be a problem either.

Stability

Due to its inflatability and hard hull, dinghies are also incredibly stable. Because they’re so buoyant, they’re much less likely to sink and more stable on the water. Dinghies also operate at a certain speed, so you won’t have to worry about having stability issues there since you won’t be traveling at speeds over 50 miles per hour, most likely.

Safety

Of course, dinghies are also known for their safety capabilities. Because they’re inflatable and easy to maneuver, they’re often easier to control than traditional vessels.

Inflatable boats are sturdy and virtually unsinkable, even when taking on water. These dinghies were originally designed for rescue missions, and their safety components are valid today.

Drawbacks of Inflatable Dinghies

Like anything else, dinghies do have some disadvantages. However, these are more general drawbacks, and some of them can even be avoided, depending on the type of inflatable boat you select. 

Dinghies can be quite expensive, depending on the brand and specifications. 

Despite being inflatable, these can also be heavy depending on the materials used. This might make them more challenging to bring ashore or launch into the water than others. 

Inflatable boats must also be stored properly to fend off wear and tear. 

Caring for Your Inflatable Dinghy

In order to keep your inflatable dinghy shipshape, you’ll have to learn how to care for it properly. Luckily, it’s not too complicated. There are only a few essential things to keep in mind when caring for your inflatable boat. 

Storage

First and foremost, never store your inflatable dinghy while it’s wet. Water will encourage mildew and mold growth, which will rot the fabric and weaken your dinghy overall. Always store your boat dry.

Whenever you’re folding and putting your dinghy away in its storage bag, make sure there’s no detectable moisture that could cause mold and mildew issues. 

In a similar vein, you’ll need to remember that the sun can also damage even the most quality inflatable dinghy (yes, even UV-resistant inflatable boats). Long-term sunlight exposure can dry out the fabric, making it brittle and more prone to tears. 

If you’re really committed to your dinghy’s protection, consider purchasing a UV protectant for inflatable boats. You can apply this protectant about once a year. 

Cleaning

Of course, you’ll also want to keep your inflatable dinghy clean. Although you don’t necessarily have to hose the dinghy down after every fishing adventure, it’s still critical to keep it clean. If you notice it’s a little dirty, clean it. Over time, grime and dirt can actually stain the fabric of your dinghy and can even encourage wear and tear damage. 

It’s especially important to clean your inflatable boat before storing it as dirt and grime can build up after a few weeks in storage.

If you already have stains on your dinghy, whether it’s scuff marks, blood, or bird poop, don’t worry. You can purchase some marine cleaner that will remove boat stains from a local marine supply store.

Safety Tips 

Whether you’re a dinghy expert or new to recreational boating, it’s always important to put safe inflatable boat habits into practice. 

Boarding

Disembarking can be tricky for novices and experienced boaters alike. Make sure you have a safe place to board your dinghy, whether your boat has built-in steps or you’re using a platform. 

Life Jackets

Even though dinghies are often used as a life raft, it’s essential to keep life jackets in your inflatable boat, too. It’s always a great idea to have backup life jackets, and it’s an even better idea to always wear a life jacket when you’re in your dinghy.
(You can check here the different suitable Best Life Jackets)

Oars

You should also always keep oars in your inflatable dinghy, even if you have a motor. You never know when you might need them. 

Other Handy Items

Lastly, try to keep essential items you might need in your dinghy at all times, such as:

  • A bailing bucket
  • A whistle
  • A sponge
  • An anchor

Best Inflatable Dinghies Comparison Chart

Product NamePriceSize in ft (LxW)Weight capacity (Pounds)Distinct Features
Tangkula New Inflatable Boat Tender Raft Dinghy$$$10.5'x4.9'880Very portable & can effortlessly be folded up and stored at home when not in use
Saturn SD290 Inflatable Dinghy Boat$$$9.6'x5.4992Has pair of aluminum oars, the seat bench, carry bag, high-volume hand pump and the repair kit
BRIS 9.8-Feet Inflatable Dinghy$$$9.8'x5'1102Its aluminum floor is essentially corrosion-proof and This dinghy has a three-year manufacturer warranty
Seamax Ocean320 Heavy Duty Inflatable Dinghy Boat$$$10.5'x5'870It is davit-system supported and its aluminum floor is non-skid
Sports Boat Inflatable Manta Ray 8.8’$$$8.7'x2.2'870It’s US Coast Guard Approved with a three-year manufacturer limited warranty
Newport Vessels Seascape Inflatable Tender Dinghy$$$8.8'x5'1070Also has a foot pump, a carrying bag, an aluminum bench seat, oars, additional topside D-rings, and a PCV hull.
Hydroforce Caspian Pro Inflatable Dinghy Boat $$$9.8'x5'1058Has better buoyancy with four-chamber construction, including an inflatable, high-pressure keel.
Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Sport Tender Dinghy$$$10.6'x5'1248Has 18-inch tubes that provide users with excellent stability during any and all turns.

Wrap Up

Inflatable dinghies are an excellent purchase that you won’t soon regret. 

They’re perfect for recreational boaters, and for people who like camping, fishing, or just spending time outdoors. Having an inflatable boat can spruce up your weekend trips with friends and family members, too. 

Don’t let the ocean of options overwhelm you; purchasing an inflatable dinghy after reading our comprehensive buyers guide should be a cinch. 

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