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Best Inflatable Pontoon Boats 2019: Review And Buying Guide

Best Overall Choice
Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Best Budget Choice
Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Fishing Boat

Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Best Premium Choice
Sea Eagle 375fc FoldCat Inflatable Fishing Pontoon

Sea Eagle 375fc FoldCat Inflatable Fishing Boat

 by Updated on November 19, 2019. In Reviews

Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat

An inflatable pontoon boat is a must-have accessory for avid anglers, waterway explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts. They’re more durable than your basic inflatable and they come without the hassle of a full-size boat. What’s more, they’re relatively inexpensive, easily portable, and incredibly versatile. But which one should you buy?

Inflatable pontoon boats come in a wide range of sizes, with different designs and features, geared towards very specific tasks. The vast majority of these inflatable boats are designed for fisherman, with comfortable seats for long hours of fishing, rod holders, and ample stowage space. Some are designed to accommodate an outboard motor, others have oars. So which one do you need?

We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best inflatable pontoon boat rigs on the market, ranging from small and compact models for putting around the lake to large-capacity vessels that can accommodate two people and handle choppier conditions. Hopefully, something on this list catches your eye—but stick around for our buying guide and FAQ below if you’re still in need of some pontoon-related advice!

Best Overall Choice

1 Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Classic Accessories is a great go-to brand for outdoor vehicles and recreation equipment, and though the brand is more famously known for their outdoor furniture covers, they know a thing or two about manufacturing tough and durable pontoon boats. One of the best options in their range is the Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat.

Designed for solo fishing trips, the Colorado has everything you need, including ample storage space with a plethora of mesh pockets, adaptable rod holder mounts, a sophisticated anchor system, detachable patches, a foldable padded seat, comfortable foot rests, and a motor mount with two positions to make the most of your trolling motor.

Built from 9 ft pontoons, this single-seater watercraft has a 400lb capacity and more than enough space for casual trips. The frame is a constructed from powder-coated steel tubing, and the pontoons are built out of heavy-duty abrasion-resistant PVC and Nylon. The oar locks are made from bronze, and the 7’ oars are made out of aluminum. The boat’s total dimensions are 108” long, 56” wide, and 26” high, with an overall weight of 71.5 lbs.

This boat is ideal for avid fishermen who want a sturdy and reliable inflatable pontoon boat that sits high in the water and comes with a reasonable price tag.

Pros

Quick inflation/deflation valves

2 year warranty

Adjustable seat and footrests

River Rating: Class 1

Best Budget Choice

2 Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Fishing Boat

Next, we have a more compact inflatable fishing pontoon boat from Classic Accessories. This is the Roanoke model, a small and lightweight 8 ft pontoon boat made from strong and sturdy materials and equipped with a no-nonsense attitude. It’s at the budget end of the spectrum, but you get a lot for your money.

Based around a powder-coated steel frame and supported by two PCV and Nylon pontoons that can withstand high heat and extreme cold, this compact pontoon boat has everything you need. Apart from the molded plastic foldable seat, the Roanoke also boasts armrest storage, zippered pockets, a rear storage platform, a mesh apron, adjustable non-slip footrests, and two 6’ two-piece aluminum oars.

The Roanoke has a 350lb capacity, and measures 96” in length, 55” in width, and a total of 29” in height, with a total weight of 43 lbs. It rides high in the water for added visibility, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a comfortable ride with a high vantage point—all at an incredibly low price point.

Pros

Quick inflation/deflation valves

1 year warranty

Ample storage space

River Rating: Class 1

3 Outcast Fish Cat 13 Pontoon Boat

Outcast Fish Cat 13

The Outcast Fish Cat 13 is an excellent inflatable pontoon boat for two people. It’s a premium product, but the price is right for the quality of the product that you get. This two-manned vessel is tougher and more durable than many others on the market, suitable for more dangerous conditions and stronger currents.

Built on top of a robust aluminum frame that’s supported by heavy-duty PVC pontoons, this inflatable fishing boat can carry a maximum weight capacity of 750 lbs, with ample room for storage. What’s more, the frame can also be disassembled to transform the boat into a spacious one-man expedition vessel for those who need more space on the water.

Each pontoon measures 13’ in length, with the whole rig measuring over 5’ in width. It’s a big pontoon boat, but it is ideal for those looking to tackle more adventurous waters. Other cool features include a motor mount, optional oar types, and a swivel chair. All in, this pontoon boat weighs a total of 170 lbs. It’s heavier and more expensive than other pontoon boats on the market, but it’s definitely worth the money if white water action is your thing.

Pros

White water tested

Adaptable 2-seater watercraft

5 year warranty

Summit II Valves

4 Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Swivel Seat

Colorado XTS Pontoon Boat with Swivel Seat

Here’s one more from Classic Accessories: the Colorado XTS Swivel Seat. In short, this is the premium version of the already successful Colorado model that we mentioned above. The two boats share the same DNA, but the XTS has so much more to offer, and the price reflects the difference. It’s not a particularly cheap option, but the price increase includes some excellent additions.

This high-capacity pontoon boat features two 9’ pontoons held in place with a strong tubular steel frame. The actual pontoons are manufactured from PVC and Nylon, with rot resistant threads and reinforced critical seams. They’re both abrasion-resistant and heat and cold-resistant too.

What makes this boat special is the abundance of special features. These include 20 pockets or storage, drink holders, a six-way-mountable rod holder, a two position integrated anchor system, removable storage and gear bags, a stowable transport wheel, bladder repair kits, brass oar locks, a two-position motor mount, and a padded swivel chair.

All in, the assembled size is 108” long, 56” wide, 28” high, with an overall weight of 80 lbs. This is a premium product, but a great option for those who want a practical, versatile, and long-lasting inflatable pontoon boat.

Pros

Three oar lock positions

2 year warranty

Easy disassembly

Adjustable seat mount and foot rests

5 Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon Boat Pro

Sea Eagle 285 Frameless Fishing Pontoon

Arguably one of the best inflatable pontoon boats on the market is the Sea Eagle 285 Frameless Pro. It’s different from other pontoon boats in the fact that it doesn’t come with a metal frame. Instead, the boat features a U-shaped pontoon with a fabric floor. The lack of a frame makes this pontoon boat incredibly light and easy to transport. It’s only 42 lbs in weight, and it can easily fit in the back of a car!

The clever hull design allows the boat to have a maximum capacity of 450 lbs. It’s only a one-man boat, but while there’s no provision for a passenger, you can store a load of gear on board. The Frameless Pro features a 360-degree swivel seat, two rod holders and mounts, raised oar locks, and a motor mount that can accommodate engines of up to 3 horsepower.

In total, the Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Pro measures 9’ in length and 4’ in width. There’s an optional wooden floor attachment too, for those who require added stability on the water.

Pros

NOMA Certified

Quadruple overlapping glued seams

5 minute inflation and deflation

3 year warranty

6 Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

Technically, this isn’t a pontoon boat in the conventional sense of the word. It’s a fishing float tube. However, it shares a lot of DNA with other items on this list, and it’s a great alternative for those who want all the comforts of an inflatable pontoon boat, but need the compact action and affordability of a smaller vessel. This is the Cumberland Fishing Float Tube from Classic Accessories.

The Cumberland Float Tube is a compact tube that consists of a hydrodynamic shaped hull made out of a U-shaped pontoon. It features a high chair for improved visibility and comfortable boating, and a wide range of comfort and fishing accessories, including zippered cargo pockets, drinks holders, two rod holders, a seat-back pocket, and a large mesh storage platform.

Manufactured from a strong PVC and mesh material, the Float Tube is tough enough for most types of casual fishing and moderate weather conditions. When assembled, it’s 56” in length, 44” wide, and 19” high. Altogether, it weighs only 14 lbs. It’s excellent for easy storage and transportation, and for those on a budget.

Pros

Light and compact design

Strong PVC construction

Thick padded seat

1 year warranty

Best Premium Choice

7 Sea Eagle 375fc FoldCat Inflatable Fishing Boat

Sea Eagle 375fc FoldCat Inflatable Fishing Pontoon

Our next offering is another product from Sea Eagle. This inflatable pontoon fishing boat is a deluxe model kitted out for two-people. Featuring two swivel chairs, a motor mount, a folding frame design, and bucket loads of storage space, it’s the ideal choice for those looking for a fun day out on the lake in comfort and style.

Manufactured from 1000 Denier reinforced PVC and held together by a unique and patented folding aluminum frame arrangement, which is strong enough to carry up to 650 lbs and provide more than enough stability for standing or sitting. Equipped with a casting bar, raised oar locks, four rod holders, and carry handles, this could be the king of all pontoon boats.

In total, the Sea Eagle 375fc FoldCat Inflatable Fishing Boat is 12’ 4” in length, 4’ 6” in width, and weighs a total of 75 lbs. It can accommodate a 3 horsepower gas engine for those who require motor-assisted power, and the whole thing can be assembled in just under 10 minutes.

If you’re a serious fisherman who enjoys stealthily traveling the waterways, then this could be the boat for you. It’s not suited to white water conditions though.

Pros

Spacious inflatable fishing boat

4 rod holders and mounts

2x padded swivel chairs

3 year warranty

8 Orvis Fish Cat 10-IR

Orvis Fish Cat 10-IR

The Orvis Fish Cat 10-IR is a more unorthodox model on this list. It’s an inflatable pontoon boat like the others, but it’s for standing fisherman. If you’re into fly fishing, then this may be the boat for you. It’s specially designed for angler’s to stand up and cast, with excellent stability for a more natural fishing experience.

Manufactured from a strong and durable blend of PVC materials, with AireCell vinyl, the Fish Cat 10-IR weighs in at only 68 lbs but has a maximum load capacity of up to 450 lbs. The standing area is constructing from a 12-piece steel frame that feature a small chair and a lean bar for casting whilst standing.

The Fish Cat 10-IR comes equipped with a motor mount, an anchor system, and two 7’ 2-piece oars. When fully assembled, it’s 10’ in length and 56” wide, which makes it quite a spacious option that should be particularly attractive to fly fishers!

Pros

5 year warranty

Summit II valves

Solid sewn seam construction

Unique lean bar on the casting deck

9 Bucks Bags High Adventure 9-Foot Pontoon Boat

Bucks Bags High Adventure 9-Foot Pontoon Boat

The Bucks Bags brand name has been developing quality outdoor products since 1979. It’s a brand name that you can trust. Bucks Bags have got a number of excellent inflatable pontoon boats in their collection but we like their High Adventure 9-foot model best. It’s easily one of the best inflatable pontoon boat rigs for sale.

The High Adventure features a strong powder-coated steel frame that’s secured to two heavy-duty pontoons made from 18oz PVC coated polyester, and strong internal vinyl bladders. The spacious cargo deck houses a battery well, a dual anchor system, and motor mount, with plenty of room for all of your equipment and gear. All in all, it can accommodate a hefty maximum load of 375 lbs.

Aside from the adjustable chair and foot rests, the High Adventure also feature a stripping apron, 6’ collapsible oars, storage pockets, and a lightweight carry weight of only 60 lbs, making it a practical and versatile inflatable pontoon boat. With dimensions of 96” long and 55” wide, this is an excellent option for those looking for a compact but comfortable pontoon fishing boat with motor mount features.

Pros

Raised oar locks

Line-Lock anchor release/retrieval system

Rotary welded seams

2 year warranty

10 Aquos PF380 FISHME Heavy Duty Inflatable Pontoon

Aquos PF380 FISHME Heavy Duty Inflatable Pontoon

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty, large-platform fishing pontoon boat that can handle choppy conditions and still have an affordable price tag then this could be of interest to you. This is the Aquos P380 FISHME, a spacious inflatable pontoon boat built for ultimate durability.

Featuring two large pontoons with four individual air chambers, manufactured from thermo-bonded PVC, this pontoon boat is strong and stable, and can support two anglers with no trouble at all, even when they’re casting on the same side, which usually causes a big imbalance and even capsizing!

The fishing platform is made from aluminum, offering a spacious and open fishing area that’s ripe for easy customization. If you need seats, they’re available as an added extra, along with rod holders, multi-rod mounts, casting bars, motor mounts, and more. With 94” x 51” of room to play with, there’s plenty of space to fill. The Aquos PF380 FISHME can also carry an incredible maximum load of 970 lbs too!

Though it’s more like a floating fishing platform than a boat, it’s actually highly portable and easy to transport, store, and set-up. In fact, it takes less than 30 minutes to put together and can collapsed down in no time at all. It is heavier than other offerings on this list though, with a weight of 149 lbs. Still, it is much bigger than others.

Pros

Thermo-bonded seams

Four strong air chambers

Accommodates engines up to 6 horsepower

3 years warranty

Inflatable Pontoon Boat Buying Guide

Water Skeeter Pontoon Boat

What Is An Inflatable Pontoon Boat?

An inflatable pontoon boat is a basic type of watercraft that floats using two inflatable pontoons containing airtight bladders, supported by a metal frame that holds the pontoons together and acts as a deck that’s capable of supporting a passenger. Inflatable pontoons are ideal for those who want to experience the thrills and excitement of traveling over water but don’t want the hassle or expense of a full size boat. Inflatable pontoon boats can be inflated and deflated easily, and the frames can usually be assembled and deconstructed in minutes. They’re easy to store, easy to transport, and very stable on water.

Pontoon Boat Uses

Before purchasing a pontoon boat, it’s a good idea to ask yourself what you need it for. The most common users of inflatable pontoon boats are anglers who prefer to fish from the middle of the water rather than being restricted to the bank. If you’re into fishing, there are plenty of fishing pontoon boats to research. If you need space, a larger decked boat will be ideal for you. However, if you need something small and compact to navigate smaller waterways, a small single-seater might be best for you. Similarly, if you prefer to cast whilst standing, a dedicated fly-fishing pontoon will suit you best.

It’s not only fishermen who can benefit from owning an inflatable pontoon boat. Wildlife photographers, ornithologists, and waterway explorers can all benefit from the easy maneuverability and stealthy nature of a pontoon boat. However, it’s mainly fly-fishers who buy them.

Types Of Pontoon Boats

Single Seater Pontoon Boats

One person inflatable pontoon boats are the most common types you’ll find. They’re small and compact, with a maximum load of up to 400 lbs. These smaller boats are easy to transport, and fast to assemble and disassemble. The majority of them are designed with plenty of pockets and storage space, with rod holders and other fishing accessories. Some even have motor mounts for trolling motors. In terms of price, there are budget options starting from under $200, and prices can rise up to and over $1000.

Two-man Pontoon Boats

A 2 man inflatable pontoon boat is a great choice for those who prefer to fish with a friend. By nature, they’re not small, compact, or easily transportable. In fact, most anglers leave these fully assembled and trailer them to their destinations. They offer greater stability and durability, and can accommodate larger motors. They’re far more expensive and in some cases need to be registered with the authorities before being used, on account of their size. This kind of inflatable pontoon boat is better suited for more serious anglers.

Highly Portable Pontoon Boats

While almost all inflatable pontoon fishing boats are portable, there are some that are designed specifically for quick assembly and easy transportation. These kind of boats can easily collapse down into a carry bag and can be carried on your back. These boats are great for fishing in really remote places, but that portability compromises a lot of features. Don’t expect padded swivel chairs, motor mounts, or an abundance of rod holders. Don’t be put off though—they’re excellent choices for anglers who need something small, compact, and with no frills.

Float Tubes

Fishing float tubes are not inflatable pontoon boats, but there are a couple that are tube-pontoon hybrids. These hybrids feature a U-shaped pontoon with a chair for the angler to sit in, with their legs dangling in the water. The tube is powered by leg power, with the angler kicking to steer and power the craft—though some have oars and oar locks. These are great boats for calm, flat waters, and for anglers who want something small and hassle-free to cruise around the water on. They lack a lot of comforts that other inflatable pontoon boats have, but they’re generally much cheaper.

Pontoon Boat Construction Materials

Pontoon Fishing Boat

Pontoons

Almost all pontoons used on inflatable pontoon boats are manufactured from heavy-duty, abrasion-resistant PVC materials which have been designed to resist the extremes of hot and cold weather, and endure any potential risks of being submerged over long periods of time. Many pontoons are also treated with a strong outer layer of Nylon for added protection. The internal air-bladders are tough and durable, with punctures rarely being reported. The only thing we recommend noting when it comes to buying a pontoon boat is how the materials are bonded together: with glues, thermo-bonding, or sewn. A bad join literally be the boat’s undoing.

Frame Construction

The majority of low-cost inflatable fishing pontoon craft have a deck that is supported by a metal frame. Cheaper options use powder-coated mild steel, which is strong and long-lasting but weighs quite a lot. More expensive choices may feature an aluminum frame, which is lighter and more durable. These frames are usually designed to be slotted and fitted together easily for quick assembly and disassembly. If you’re looking for a cheap inflatable pontoon boat, then a steel frame is the best option. Aluminum frames are even better, but usually more expensive.

Frameless Pontoon Boats

Some argue that the best inflatable pontoon boat type is the frameless kind. These frameless pontoon boats don’t have a conventional metal frame. Instead, they have a series of extra air bladders that support an inflatable deck. The extra air allows for a greater maximum load capacity, and the lack of a rigid frame makes the boat more maneuverable and durable in white water conditions. Plus, with no frame to assemble, it makes storage easy and improves portability. The downside is the price. These are more expensive, but they are worth the extra expense.

Other Features To Look Out For

Buying a personal pontoon boat isn’t as easy as just selecting a model that you like the look of. Even if you’re happy with the type of boat, the construction materials, and the overall shape, there are still a few extra things to consider. Here are some of the often overlooked features that fishing pontoon boats can have that might be useful to you:

Storage Pockets

Many anglers are quick to look at the maximum load capacity of a boat, but don’t look closely at the storage options available. Luckily, most personal pontoon boat models have plenty of pockets available, and special recesses and storage areas. It’s always a good idea to check the product images before buying to make sure that the boat in question has pockets and storage space exactly where you need it!

Swivel Seats

Swivel seats aren’t necessary, but they may improve your fishing experience. Some pontoon boats come equipped with 360-degree swivel seats to give you unfettered access to your surroundings, allowing you to fish and cast wherever you want to, without any hassle. A swivel seat might not seem like much, but it could drastically improve your fishing experience.

Rod Holders

Rod holders are must have inflatable pontoon boat accessories. Most one man pontoon boats come with these as standard, but it’s important to look at what settings and positions they have. Multiple positing setting are more desirable. Make sure to check before buying!

Distress Equipment

Distress equipment, SOS signaling tools, life jackets, and other safety gear usually don’t come as standard with most pontoon boats. However, if you’re not a strong swimmer or you’re venturing into more dangerous waters, then it’s a very wise idea to find a boat that has some integrated safety features, or enough storage space to carry safety equipment. Safety first!

Motor Mounts

A motor mount isn’t always standard equipment on an inflatable pontoon boat. Many of them come with them, but don’t assume that every single one will have the facility. Even if your desired pontoon fishing boat has a motor mount, be sure to check that it can accommodate your motor. Many small one man pontoon boats can only handle a trolling motor of up to 3 horsepower, so do check the specs before investing.

Dimensions

Lastly, make sure you check the dimensions of your pontoon boat. It’s worth noting the packed dimensions as well as the fully assembled dimensions. Ask yourself if it will easily fit in the trunk of your car, or whether it will fit on your trailer. It’s also worth considering your garage dimensions too. Many owners prefer to leave their inflatable pontoon boat fully-assembled at all times, and store it in their garage when it’s not in use. Pay attention to the sizes and make sure you can easily transport and store your new boat.

Legality: Do I Need To Register My Pontoon Boat?

Pontoon Boats - Registration

Laws differ from state to state and we recommend that you check with your local authorities before launching your inflatable pontoon boat. Many anglers wrongly assume that pontoon boats are exempt from registration purely because of their simplistic nature, but that’s not necessarily true. For example, in California, even sail-powered vessels over eight feet in length are subject to registration at the DMV. While pontoon boats aren’t sail-powered, it’s still worth checking if your boat is longer than 8 feet.

If you’re operating your pontoon boat with a trolling motor, you will almost certainly have to register the vessel with the DMV or get documentation from the U.S Coast Guard. If you’re using a motor of any kind, electric, diesel, or gasoline, it’s best to assume that registration is necessary.

Registration Documents And Fees

If your state requires that your boat needs to be registered with the Marine Board, you will need a title in order to get registered. The documentation required includes a manufacturer’s statement of origin or bill of sale, an application form for the title and registration, and the necessary fees.

In most states, there is a $50.00 fee for the title, as well as a fee of around $4.50 per square foot of the vessel of in question. Rules vary depending on your location. Be warned though, in busy periods boat registration can take up to 10 weeks.

How To Inflate A Pontoon Boat

Unpacking

Unpack your pontoons and carefully roll them out and unfold them, checking for any holes or tears in the inflatable walls. Be sure to unroll your pontoons out onto a clear patch of ground with no debris or sharp edges nearby.

Prepare The Valves

Remove the protective valve caps from the end of each pontoon as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This will provide access to the inflation and deflation valve. Some valves operate differently, but the majority of them have a spring and pin mechanism opens or closes the air valves.

To inflate, push the spring inwards and turn the pin counter-clockwise. This should lock the valve in position, allowing air to enter but not escape.

Inflation

Using the correct sized valve adapter and either a hand, foot, or battery-powered pump, place the valve adapter into the end of the pump hose, and connect the valve adapter into the pontoon valve. Begin pumping air into the pontoon until the pontoon is fully inflated. This should be at around 2.5 psi in the main air chambers. Different products have different specifications.

Considerations

Over time, air can escape from your pontoons, so it’s recommended that you keep a pump nearby at all times. Also, it’s worth noting that different weather conditions can cause your pontoon to increase or decrease in pressure. Avoid exposing your inflatable pontoon boat to extreme temperature changes for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to put registration sticker on inflatable pontoon boat?

Registration numbers should be placed on both sides of the boat’s bow, on the forward half of the vessel. These numbers mustn’t be obscured by anything, and should be written in bold block letters that are a minimum of 3 inches high. The colors must be highly visible and in contrast to the background color.

If you don’t know your bow from your stern, check our useful boating glossary for more information.

What size battery for my inflatable pontoon boat?

Check the size of the battery box recess on your inflatable pontoon boat for an idea of what dimensions your battery needs to be. A lightweight 12-volt trolling motor battery is powerful enough and light enough to power all one-man pontoon boats. They’re relatively inexpensive too.

What size trolling motor for inflatable pontoon boat?

Most anglers recommend Minn Kota electric motors, especially the Endura 30. It offers 30 lbs of thrust which is more than enough for most inflatable pontoon boats—and it’s small enough to fit in the trunk of your car.

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