Best Towable Tubes

Lake Rats Swear by the Best Towable Tubes for Water Tubing

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Summer is almost here, which means it's the time of the year when you a) float down a river in a relaxing tube ride or b) get thrown off tubes from a wild (but safe!) towable tubing ride. The best towable tubes are made from heavy-duty material, are budget-friendly, and take on just about any riding experience — but they're best for attaching to a boat and taking to the river for a unique adventure.

Tube Types — And Which One Is Best For You

There are many types of tubes — but for this article, we're focusing on flat tubes, high-walled tubes, and one very unique shape. Flat tubes are used for lying down on your stomach — so if you go that route, you should be familiar with tubing (this one's not for beginners) and love a fast-paced ride with lots of thrill. There are also tubes designed with high walls and seats for sitting on your bottom or knees — those tubes are perfect for kids or for anyone who wants a more relaxed ride. And finally, the hot dog tube might sound funny, but these odd-shaped tubes allow for more riders (typically up to five riders), so it's perfect for big groups. No matter what kind of tube you go with, be sure everyone can swim and everyone is wearing life jackets. If you're practicing water safety, this is a great activity for all. This summer, schedule a lake day with a tube and get ready for an unforgettable water day — here are six of the best towable tubes that tubers swear by:

1. Best Flat-Deck Tube

Airhead G-Force Towable Tube - Amazon, $187.39

Up to three people can ride on this tow tube from Airhead. The one-of-a-kind tow system easily connects the tube to the rope, and the six deluxe nylon-wrapped handles with neoprene knuckle guards are definitely a plus — having non-slip handles is essential for staying on the tube as long as possible. The bolster fins help keep riders on the tube, even during the most high-speed thrilling rides, and there's a patented speed safety valve for quick and easy inflating and deflating, making this a hassle-free inflatable towing tube. When shopping for tubes, know you can never go wrong with Airhead.

Read More: The Best Water Guns for Water Warfare With the Family

2. Best High-Walled Tube

Airhead Mach | Towable Tube - Amazon, $179.99

We love this option for kids. When water lovers get comfy with the water, they'll want to tube in different riding positions, but for little ones, let's keep it safe (but still fun) with a tube that allows them to sit down. The side walls will give kids a sense of security as they're tubing. This pick is for 1-2 riders and is also from Airhead — so it has the same specs as above, like the quick-to-connect technology and speed safety valve for easy inflating and deflating.A customer said it's a great pick for kids who are scared of flat-topped tubes. One reviewer wrote: "This was the best tubing for our family! We have kids aged 18months-9 and all were able to ride on this tube without a panic of slipping off and it's got a deeper "seat" area that is very comfortable."

3. Best High-Walled Option for the Thrill-Seeker

We love the second option for kids since the seated area provides more security. However, we like this seated option for all levels of riders. It offers more flexibility for bigger riders — and reviewers say it gets lots of air — but still allows riders to feel safe as they sit down and ride. This is perfect for someone who wants a little bit of adventure but aren't comfortable trying a flat tube.

4. Most Unique Tube

This is too funny — and kids of all ages are going to love this unique tube. The design is something else but still meets our standards for a high-quality tube — it has EVA foam-filled, nylon-wrapped handles for a secure ride, and the entire tube is covered with a double-stitched nylon cover. There are size options, too: some that can fit up to five people at once. One reviewer writes: "We've had our kids out all summer on this and they love it. They weren't too keen on the flat inner tube type, because they are not the type who want to be hanging on for their lives. They want a fun ride, but don't want to go flying. The Hot Dog is exciting and bouncy, it doesn't go outside the wake but gives a bit of a trampoline effect if you get into some waves."

5. Best Versatile Option

Wow Sports 14-1070 Bingo 3 - Walmart, $409

WOW World of Water Sports is another top-rated brand for tubing. When tubers get acquainted with water tubing, they'll want to try tubing in different positions other than sitting. That's where this tube becomes your new best friend — since you can ride on your knees or sit down and relax. Hey, you might start the afternoon wanting to go super fast, then wind down by just sitting on the tube — that's what makes this tube great. Whether you decide to sit up or sit down, riders will have great visibility on the water. The tube comes with a free 11 4K EZ tow connector which makes it simple to switch tow points even while on the water. It also has a full nylon cover, heavy-duty PVC bladder, double webbing foam handles with knuckle guards, and EVA foam pads for a comfy seat. There's also a speed valve for fast inflation and deflation.

6. Best Budget-Friendly Flat Tube

RAVE Sports Diablo II Boat Towable Tube - Amazon, $88.99

If you're trying to keep your budget under $200, consider this affordable option, which is still one of the best towable tubes you can find. It's perfect for 1-2 riders who want to ride on their bellies. The tapered shape provides extra stability, and riders are kept in place by the foam-filled centrifugal force deterrents on the back. (Leg bumpers are so helpful.) There are also foam-filled handles that are set into reinforced neoprene patches to prevent knuckle chaffing. The tube is made of heavy-duty 24-gauge PVC material with a commercial-grade air valve that's covered with durable 420D nylon. The Quick Connect tow point is simple — no knots! Just loop, swoop and pull for a secure connection from the tube to the tow rope. It's one of the best towable tubes under $100.

This post was originally published on July 16, 2020.