The variety of inflatable docks has increased considerably over the last decade.
Matter of fact, the whole inflatable industry has been an increasing trend for a good reason – It’s fun like nothing else!
Inflatable Dock = Swim Platform = Inflatable Raft
See also – 44 Best SUP Brands Compared
See also – Best Multi-Person SUPs (for 4-10 people)
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Forget the inflatable mattresses, which are not built to be used in the water anyway!
Yes – They can do the trick, but if you’d really want a product that lasts a great amount of time and can hold up to multiple persons standing on it – your best bet would be getting an inflatable platform.
As time has gone by, more and more families and individuals are looking to max out their holiday time, and it’s no surprise that we are all attracted to the water! Whether you own a boat, a backyard pool, or simply drive up to the coast for well-deserved holiday time – most of us are looking into alternative ways to spend time away from the land.
Best features a good-quality inflatable platform should have
- Compact – Allows carrying the dock with you anywhere you go. Packs small to your car/boat
- Rigid construction & feel
- You can easily bring pets on the platform and not worry about puncturing the platform
- Tie-down knots for anchoring
- Carry handles
Down here I’ve listed some of the most popular and durable inflatable platforms, which are awesome alternatives to rigid docks
Reasons to get an inflatable platform
- Fishing platform (take caution with the hooks though!)
- Swim deck
- Inflatable boat platform
- Party raft, inflatable island
- A water-level platform for paddleboards, kayaks, jet skis
1. SOLSTICE – Inflatable Dock
A ton of variations & good quality
Raft / Floating resort / Swim deck / Yoga deck / Sun deck / Boat-cleaning platform / Boat swim platform extension
6′ x 5′ – 1.8m x 1.5m
8′ x 5′ – 2.4m x 1.5m
10′ x 8′ – 3m x 2.4m
10′ x 10′ – 3m x 3m
Inflate between 7-10 PSI
Takes about 10-15 minutes
- Inflatable platform
- Repair kit
- Super-rigid, high-pressure, drop-stitch construction
- Assisted handles on the sides – to climb up to the platform
- 6 stainless steel D-ring tie-downs
- H3 high-pressure valve for quick inflation/deflation
- Supports 3-5 standing adults with ease.
- Can be anchored using the D rings
- A known brand that produces a wide variety of inflatable water-sport accessories
- Heavy-duty and stable construction
- Packs up small
2. PADDLE NORTH – Utility Dock XL
Best quality platform
Sun deck / Leisure platform / Tow behind a boat / Pet’s swim platform / Launch point for kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis
A premium product with premium features.
(L)12′ x (W) 6′ x 6″ (T)
Max load capacity: 2000lbs
Holds up to 18psi
Inflation time: 15 minutes
- XL Utility Dock
- Carry bag with roller wheels
- Mooring bungee (for tethering/anchoring the dock)
- High volume, dual-action pump
- Repair Kit
- User manual
- 2-year comprehensive warranty
- 3-layer seam joining system for world-class rigidity
- 8 anchor points for overnight storage
- 30-day money-back trial period + a 2-year comprehensive pop & puncture guarantee
- Extreme rigidity and buoyancy – made from the highest grade (1.2mm) drop-stitch PVC
- Compact when deflated – Packs way smaller in size compared to other foam mats on the market.
- Overinflation limiter – Equipped wit a regulator, or the bleeder valve
“This is especially important in warm weather environments where intense sunlight can increase pressure quickly when pulled out of the water”
- Universal valve – Halkey-Roberts valves allow any type of air compressor or heavy-duty electric pump to be used with a readily available fitting or adapter. They also self-seal, so there’s no race to close it.
3. WOW – World of Watersports
A budget swim platform with an availability to add as many rafts together as possible
Floating island on the water / Leisure / Sundeck / Lounging on the water / Inflatable swim raft / Inflatable Floating Water Walkway
10′ x 6′ – 3m x 1.8m
Capacity: 6 people
- Connecting zipper system of this inflatable lounger allows connect as many as you like, make 6 x 10 feet, 6 x 30 feet, 6 x 50 feet walking island on the water
- Grommets on each end to tie off to a boat (Includes 2 pieces of 6-foot rope)
- Connecting zipper system allows connecting as many platforms together as you’d like
- Heavy-duty PVC construction
- Vertical I-beams for extra strength and stability
- Dries very quickly which allows for quick and easy packing after use
4. JACK PINE – Cottage Floating Dock
Includes an electric inflation pump & air compressor valve
5 / 5 out of 9+ ratings
Swim platform / Floating raft / Platform island / Budget inflatable leisure mat / Lounger
10′ x 8′ x 6″
Max capacity: 1,300 lbs
- Military grade PVC, 3 ply
- Drop-stitch material for extreme durability
- Multiple D-Ring attachment points for coolers and other gear
- Center PVC insert for umbrella or flags!
Perfect for launching or landing a SUP, kayak, jet-ski, or use it as a lounging swim platform. What’s great about is the all-inclusive package and comes with a great discount, too!
It’s rugged enough to bring your family on board as it can hold up to 1,300lbs!
5. MISSION – Reef Inflatable Mat
Best variety & accessories
REEF 048 – 8′ x 6′ (Rectangle)
REEF 085 – 13′ x 6.5′ (Rectangle)
REEF 112 – 13′ x 11.5′ (HEX – pictured)
REEF 123 – 19 x 6.5′ (Rectangle)
REEF 129 – 25′ x 5′ (Rectangle)
REEF’s rigid construction won’t bend, flip, or submerge – which means it can handle whatever brand of fun you throw at it. REEF is incredibly stable when inflated but easily packs down into most boat storage lockers.
REEF inflatable platforms are NOT designed for towing
- REEF Inflatable platform
- Double-action pump (REEF 129 includes a 120v electric pump)
- Storage bag (excluding the REEF 112 HEX and REEF 129)
- Repair kit
- 1000D Nylon – the same material used in highly demanding naval applications – and utilizes drop-stitch construction with double-reinforced seams for added durability.
- At four inches thick, you can stand, jump, climb, and play around on it all day long without worrying that it’s going to sink or deflate
- Packs down to fit in most boat lockers
- The included storage bag helps to protect and transport the mat when it’s not in use
- Comes equipped with a stainless steel D-ring for quick and easy tethering to any dock, boat, or anchor.
6. DRIFSTUN – Mesa
Specialized brand with a wide variety of platforms
Inflatable dock / Swim-up deck / Water-level platform for kayaks, SUPs Jet Ski’s, etc
8′ x 6′ x 6″ (Pictured)
Inflation time: 6 mins
Holds up to 600lbs
- Dual High-pressure valves for quick and easy inflation
- Packed dimensions: 36” x 11” x 11”
- Super rigid and stable
- UV Resistant High Pressure Layered PVC Drop Stitch
- Reinforced anchor D-rings
- Soft neoprene handles on all sides
- Convenient Carry Strap
7. FREEIN 8’2”Air Floor
Best inflatable mat for pools
Inflatable yoga mat / Leisure inflatable for pool / Sun deck / Balance training / Water-level launch point for kayaks, SUP’s – you name it!
Size: 8’2″ x 34″ – 249 x 86cm
Weight limit: 220lbs
Inflate up to: As long as it’s sturdy and doesn’t “taco”
- Inflatable platform
- Carry bag
- Multiple handles on the side
- D-rings for tie-down
- Diamond groove EVA deck pad
- Bungee cord for storage
- Double-wall fabric using 3D weaving technology
The Freein iPhone looking swim platform is an awesome way to take your time off and simply lounge on it. You can use it in a pool, at a lake, beach, and why not paddle down the river.
Best Electric Pumps For Inflatable Platforms
What to look for when you need an electric pump for your inflatable dock/platform?
- Check out the owner’s manual for max/recommended pressure
- Make sure there’s a PSI limiter on the pump
- Plenty of valves to fit the platform and other accessories around in the future/on the household
OUTDOORMASTER – Shark
20PSI electric pump – Great for larger or high-pressure platforms
One of the first options that pop up when you’d be looking for an electric pump for inflatable mattresses, paddleboards, kayaks, and platforms. The OutdoorMaster electric pump has a score of 4/5 out of 90+ ratings.
- Display – great to set up preferred pressure
- Auto-off function
- 12V DC Car connector
- 12V Fuse for safety
- Plenty of different valves
- Active Cooling System
SEVYLOR – 12V/15PSI
A popular choice among inflatable water-sport enthusiasts. A handy tool to keep in the boat/truck
- Adjustable auto-shutoff stops the pump once the selected pressure is re
- Low-pressure extension hose and adapters included for low-pressure inflatables
- The unit select button lets you choose from PSI, kPa, and bar.
Watch out for:
- Sharp objects in the water – to avoid punctures
- Don’t jump from the platforms into the unknown water (Especially head first)
- Keep an eye on kids – as the unlimited amount of fun can easily get out of hands
- Platforms get slipper – And nobody likes to hurt themselves
- Avoid leaving the platform on the sun for longer periods – As the UV-rays can damage the PVC in the long run
How much pressure to inflate the platform?
Check out the manual for the recommended pressure range. Generally, inflatable platforms have to be rigid and not wrinkle, or “taco” when walking on it.
How to maintain the inflatable platform?
When you want to get the best life-expectancy out of your swim platform, it’s advised to
Can I leave the raft inflated overnight?
Inflatable platforms are built to be inflated and carry weight on the water, so there’s nothing wrong with keeping them inflated. If you are not going to use it for let’s say for a week – it’s best to carry the platform out of direct sunlight, or anywhere where the hot air can increase the pressure inside the
How to pump pressure in the inflatable dock?
The best way to inflatable an inflatable platform is to use an electric pump. Although most inflatable platforms in this list don’t come with a pump, you can check out the variety of electric pumps above to find the best-suited model for you!
Does the package come with a pump?
See what each platform includes, as most of them don’t come with a pump. There’s a LOT of air that’s going in at high pressure, so it’s highly recommended to use a proper high-pressure pump instead of a hand-pump!
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