Best Kids Inflatable Boats of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

The best kids inflatable boats are excellent toys for your child to enjoy while they’re splashing around in the pool. Like all pool toys for your children, it’s essential to be confident that your kids’ inflatable boat is safe and durable. 

That’s why we’ve assembled a bunch of kids inflatable boat reviews so that you’ll know which boats are fun pool toys and which inflatable boats are better off left on land and away from your pool. 

Product Table

The Best Kids Inflatable Boat Reviews (Editor’s Picks)

Here are our top picks for the best kids inflatable boats, in no particular order.

1. Intex 59380EP The Wet Set Inflatable Pool Cruiser

Intex’s inflatable kids’ boat is the prototypical inflatable raft for children, complete with a comfortable seat, attractive designs, and easy inflation for parents. With this inflatable boat, your child will enjoy floating on the surface of the pool so long as they’re lighter than 50 lbs. 

If you have more than one child, you can switch out the design so that each child has a unique inflatable boat to call their own. 

It’s important to remember that this inflatable boat isn’t intended for use on the open water, as there aren’t any ways to anchor it or hold onto it if you are the adult who is supervising the play session. 

The one downside of the Intex is that it isn’t very durable. The plastic is relatively thin, which makes it easy to puncture if you accidentally let a young child test their teeth on it. 

Pros:

  • Cute selection of different designs
  • Great for younger children who will be supervised in the pool
  • Comfortable seating for one child
  • Easy to inflate without specialized hardware
  • Phthalate-free for added safety

Cons:

  • Hard to dry if water gets inside
  • Not very durable
  • No handles for parents to grab

2. H2OGO! Happy Crustacean Junior Inflatable Pool Boat

H2OGO!’s inflatable kids boat is cheerful, efficient, and it has all of the features that you’d want from a pool boat. With this inflatable kids boat, you’ll get two dragging handles for maneuvering in the water, a long string for towing, and a highly buoyant and fun package overall.

Your child will find that this kid-sized inflatable boat is very comfortable when they are playing in the pool. You should still supervise your child while you’re using this boat, however. 

There aren’t any major issues with this inflatable boat. The only thing to be aware of is that the plastic handles are hard, so if your child falls on them awkwardly while mounting or dismounting the inflatable boat, it might hurt them.  

Pros:

  • Includes two easy-grab handles
  • Oval size for children with long legs
  • Easy to drag with strap
  • Collapses into a compact footprint
  • Cheerful aesthetic

Cons:

  • Takes a while to inflate due to extra space
  • Handles may be falling hazard in some situations
  • No warranty

3. Sieco Design AQUAVUE Voyager, Clear Bottom Inflatable Raft

Seico’s AQUAVUE Voyager is a unique inflatable boat for kids that is notable because of its clear bottom. With the clear bottom, your child can see the bottom of the pool and appreciate the beauty of the watery depths. 

Aside from the transparent bottom, this raft is fully-featured and totally capable. Older children will enjoy it just as much as younger children, and the sky’s the limit in terms of the pool games your family can invent with the help of the clear bottom and side handles. 

If you have oars, you can use the raft as a dinghy. The only downside of this inflatable boat is that it is difficult to inflate if you don’t have a bicycle pump or an electric pump. 

Pros:

  • Includes awesome clear bottom for examining wildlife or pool toys
  • Large size makes it great for older children
  • Stable enough to support more than one sitting position
  • Includes oar locks and safety handles
  • Rapid deflation features

Cons:

  • Challenging to inflate without an electric pump
  • Boring aesthetics
  • Difficult to use in smaller pools

4. Big Summer Inflatable Pirate Boat Pool Float for Kids with Built-in Squirt Gun

Big Summer’s Inflatable Pirate Boat is a wonderful inflatable boat for kids thanks to its built-in squirt gun and pirate aesthetics. Once you thread the tube from the squirt gun into the pool, your child can blast anyone they want with the squirt gun mounted on the front of the inflatable boat.

While the squirt gun doesn’t have a long range, it’s a great addition for anyone who loves playing pirates on the high seas of your family’s pool. Your child will need to sit inside the inflatable boat in a particular condition with this boat, however, so antsy children may not appreciate it. 

Similarly, the more energetic your child is, the more careful they will need to be with whipping the squirt gun around. If they twist the squirt gun too quickly, it can cause damaging friction around the ring where the weapon meets the rest of the plastic of the raft.

Pros:

  • Includes a built-in squirt gun with unlimited water
  • Great for pirate enthusiasts
  • Easy to inflate
  • Comfortable for kids up to age seven
  • Includes a repair patch for any unforeseen problems

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable to sit inside for long periods
  • Only one sitting orientation is possible thanks to the placement of the leg holes
  • Aggressive squirt gun twisting can cause rips or leaks

5. Poolmaster 87320 Swimming Pool and Lake Inflatable Boat

The Poolmaster kids inflatable boat is a capable unit that’s intended for older children who might be interested in paddling around with oars or their hands while they’re in the pool.

With the Poolmaster, you’ll get a comfortable and elongated inflatable boat that you can easily maneuver with the help of the built-in handles. The boat is easy to inflate by breath, and there are a handful of different visual designs you can pick. 

Unfortunately, none of the visual designs are particularly compelling for children, and the boat doesn’t include oars in the default package. 

Pros:

  • Roomy for older children
  • Great for paddling around the pool
  • Several aesthetic choices
  • Easy-tow rope for parents

Cons:

  • Large footprint when deflated
  • Doesn’t include oars
  • Most of the aesthetic choices are boring

6. JOYIN Giant Inflatable Boat Pool Float with Reinforced Cooler

This JOYIN inflatable boat for kids is a great choice for older children or for families who want multi-use inflatable boats. In the ship, you’ll get an area reserved just for carrying drinks or toys as well as a large platform where adults can comfortably recline. 

This isn’t an inflatable boat for the youngest children, as they may easily fall off of the boat’s sides. However, you could potentially leave your small child in the front of the boat while you are in the main passenger area. 

There aren’t any major problems with this boat except that the smallest of children will need careful supervision when they are on this raft. 

Pros:

  • Huge size
  • Great for adults who like to join their children on the inflatable boat
  • Convenient carrying area
  • Fun speedboat aesthetic
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Not for the smallest children
  • Takes a long time to inflate regardless of the method
  • Headrest isn’t comfortable

7. Intex Wave Rider Ride-On

With the Intex Wave Rider, your child will love the feeling of jetting across the pool on a high-powered jet ski. The Wave Rider is a highly stable and fun inflatable boat for kids, especially kids that are very young. Children as young as three can safely use this inflatable boat.

You’ll find that the Wave Rider is easy to inflate, but hard to move through the water if you want your child to feel the acceleration of the waves. The handle is awkwardly placed if you’re going to pull it because it’s positioned exactly where your child is inclined to hold on to the boat. 

The only other issue is that you will need to help your child mount the inflatable boat because it may be difficult for them when they are already in the water. 

Pros:

  • Sleek jet ski aesthetic
  • Comfortable saddle area
  • Perfect for the youngest children
  • Stable

Cons:

  • Difficult to mount from the water
  • Handle is awkwardly placed and doesn’t add much
  • No ability to move through the water

Kids Inflatable Boat Buyers’ Guide (Knowing What To Look For)

Here’s what to consider when it comes to buying an inflatable boat for kids.

Best Kids Inflatable Boat Features

When you’re looking for an inflatable boat for your kid, you should keep your eyes out for the following features:

  • Safety
  • Durability
  • Ease of inflation
  • Aesthetics
  • Add-ons

We’ll go over each of these features in greater detail shortly, but first, it’s important to think about how you should be shopping for a kids’ inflatable boat. 

Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind while you are shopping for your child’s inflatable boat is that your child is the one who will be playing in the boat, not you. Be sure to defer to your child’s aesthetic and thematic choices for the inflatable boat. 

You will also need to pick an inflatable boat that is the right size for your child. If your child is older than age eight, you should probably consider purchasing an adolescent or adult-size inflatable boat for the pool rather than a size intended for infants.

When you are shopping for your child’s inflatable boat, you should also remember that you will be a partner in your child’s play efforts in the pool. 

Try to think of games your child would like to play with the inflatable boat and envision how you might help them to have fun with each option as you consider it.  

Safety

The safety of your kids inflatable boat is the most important thing. Nearly all kids inflatable boats are safe, but you should be on the lookout for a few features that may make them less safe.

In particular, you should watch out for strings or pull cords that might get tangled around your child. Likewise, you should look for inflatable boats that are constructed with non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials to make sure that they are safe for your child. 

Most kids inflatable boats are also lightweight enough that your child will be able to move them out of the way if they get trapped underneath it somehow. 

Durability

Most inflatable boats built for children are not the most durable toys because they are made of thin plastic to remain lightweight. 

The best kids inflatable boats will try to compensate for this by using a tougher and slightly heavier material. Others will include patch kits that will let you repair damage caused by tearing or punctures. 

Ease of inflation

Inflatable boats for kids are notoriously difficult to inflate. Many are not compatible with common pumps, and few include the specific pump that would make the job easy. This means that for the most part, you’ll be obligated to inflate your child’s inflatable boat with your lungs. 

Expect to be winded after inflating your child’s inflatable boat, especially if they have a larger model. Also, you should be aware that any extra inflatable pieces like flags will make more work for you when it’s time to inflate the boat. 

Aesthetics

Your child needs to appreciate the look of their inflatable boat if you want them to enjoy using the tool in the pool. On the other hand, the design choices of the manufacturer can change how much air is required to inflate the inflatable boat. 

In other words, you should pick an inflatable boat that doesn’t have too much extra material to inflate but that still looks good. 

Add-ons

Many inflatable boats for kids have a variety of add-on features that you may be interested in. These add-ons include squirt guns, coolers, handles, flags, and cup holders.

These add-on features are bonuses that should not majorly influence your decision unless your child wants explicitly them. The important thing to remember is that most add-on features are not the main focus of the inflatable boat, and so they won’t be as durable or as high-quality. 

Perhaps the most common set of add-on features for inflatable boats are oars. Oars help your child to move the inflatable boat around the pool by rowing. This means that they can get more exercise and more speed while they are in the pool.  

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Kids Inflatable Boats

Kids inflatable boats have a few advantages over other pool toys. First, they allow your child to float on top of the water consistently, unlike toys like foam tubes. This means that there are different opportunities for play than with these other toys. 

Second, kids inflatable boats are a great way to help your child feel more independent when they are in the pool. With the inflatable boat, your child is not entirely reliant on you to hold them up. Instead, they understand that they have a vehicle that they can move for fun. 

Third, inflatable boats are excellent choices for pool toys because they’re inexpensive, lightweight, quick to inflate, and visually appealing. 

There are a couple of drawbacks with kids inflatable boats, however. Specifically, kids inflatable boats are rarely acceptable for your child to use alone. Second, kids inflatable boats are less durable than more serious pool toys as well as simpler pool toys. 

In other words, you should expect your kid’s inflatable boat to break if it sees heavy use. 

Finally, inflatable boats for kids are easy for your child to outgrow. Most kids inflatable boats are targeted at a narrow age range, and they aren’t comfortable for children outside of that age range to be playing in. 

When your child is too old for their inflatable boat, their weight may cause the boat to sink. Alternatively, their legs may be uncomfortably tucked inside the boat or hanging over the side. 

Using an inflatable boat of the wrong size for your child is less safe than using one that’s the correct size, so you should be aware of the boat’s suggested age range and try to stick to it. 

How To Use Kids Inflatable Boats

It’s easy to get your child’s inflatable boats ready for fun in the pool. First, inflate the inflatable boat by blowing into the inflation gauge. Then, make sure that the boat is fully inflated and that there are no leaks. 

Next, place the inflatable boat in the pool. If your child can get into the boat on their own, allow them to do so, but you will probably need to help your child mount the vessel for the first few times until they figure it out. 

The role of the adult is frequently to move the child around in the inflatable boat. You can invent a variety of different games involving the child’s boat and your participation. 

Finally, stay near your child as they are playing around in their inflatable boat. The inflatable boats are not likely to suddenly deflate, but you need to be vigilant in case it does happen. 

Once your child is done playing with the inflatable boat in the pool, you should fish it out and deflate it. After deflating the inflatable boat, you should let it air dry before storing it somewhere safe. 

Inflatable Boat Maintenance

There isn’t much that you need to do if you want to keep your kids inflatable boat in peak operating condition. The single biggest thing you can do to increase the lifespan of your kids inflatable boat is to keep the inflatable ship clean. 

When the inflatable boat is exposed to the cleaning chemicals in your pool, the chemicals can reside on the plastic and degrade the material. Wash the inflatable boat off with a hose before storing it. 

Similarly, you should keep your child’s inflatable boat dry when you store it. If the boat isn’t dry when you put it away, sometimes there can be mold or algae that grows in the wet and dark areas. 

Other than basic cleaning as part of the maintenance, you may also want to apply patch kits to areas of the inflatable boat that are worn. 

To apply a patch kit, the first thing you should do is locate the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them carefully. In general, the patch kit will require the boat to be deflated, inverted so that the inside and outside are both accessible, and dry. 

Then, you’ll get the patch and situate it on top of the worn or ripped area. Afterward, you’ll need to stitch the piece over the distressed area. 

Inflatable Boat Safety Tips

In general, kids inflatable boats are safe to use when there is adult supervision. 

However, there are still a handful of specific safety tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Use an inflatable boat that is the right size for your child
  • Clip any strings or cords that may coil around your child
  • Only allow your child to use the inflatable boat when it is fully inflated
  • Younger children will need additional floatation assistance when they are using the inflatable boat
  • Don’t use kids inflatable boats on the open water or anywhere that there are rough seas

Very few children drown as a result of improperly using their inflatable boat, so you don’t need to worry excessively. Especially if you keep a close watch on your child and help them to properly use their inflatable boat, they will be completely safe. 

If you want to learn more about the risk of drowning, our website has an interactive resource where you can examine statistics regarding drowning deaths in the US and worldwide

Best Kids Inflatable Boats Comparison Chart

Product NamePriceSize in Inches (LxW)Perfect ForDistinct Features
Intex 59380EP The Wet Set Inflatable Pool Cruiser$
117''x114''
1-3 yearsFor more than one child, it has switching facility of unique inflatable boat for them
H2OGO! Happy Crustacean Junior Inflatable Pool Boat$
49''x30''1-2 years
Oval size for children with long legs and has two easy grab handles
Sieco Design AQUAVUE Voyager, Clear Bottom Inflatable Raft$
62''x40''
8-18 YearsSuitable for both younger as well as older children
Big Summer Inflatable Pirate Boat Pool Float for Kids with Built-in Squirt Gun$
50''x35''
6-15 yearsIncludes a built-in squirt gun with unlimited water and has a repair patch too
Poolmaster 87320 Swimming Pool and Lake Inflatable Boat$
59''x39''
8-19 YearsHas easy tow rope for parents and roomy for older children
JOYIN Giant Inflatable Boat Pool Float with Reinforced Cooler$
69''x29.5''
3-6 YearsSuitable for adults who like to join their children on the inflatable boat
Intex Wave Rider Ride-On$
46''x30''1-3 yearsComfortable saddle area and has sleek jet ski aesthetic

Sailing Away

Now that you know everything there is to know about the best kids inflatable boats, you’re ready to pick an inflatable boat for your family to use in your pool or pond. 

Remember to always supervise your child while they are in the pool whether or not they have an inflatable boat to keep them company. Likewise, the most fun your child will have with the inflatable boat will be when you are right by their side. 

Plan a fun day at the pool, and help your child sail the seas with their kids’ inflatable boat. 

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