The only thing better than being in the water is being on the water. With tubing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding consistently growing in popularity, it’s no surprise that people are enjoying their time on the water more than ever.
But if you’re wanting to relax on the water, explore the option of an inflatable dock. With inflatable standup paddleboards and inflatable kayaks showing up everywhere, an inflatable dock is the obvious next step. They’re durable, versatile, and, most of all, fun.
What is an Inflatable Dock?
Also referred to as inflatable rafts or swim platforms, an inflatable dock is simply a floating platform you can use for a surface to rest on while in the water. You can use them in a lake, the ocean, or even a pool if space allows!
Why Do You Need an Inflatable Dock?
In case fun isn’t reason enough to get an inflatable dock, there are numerous ways to enjoy one that should convince you it’s a solid decision.
- Use it as a swim deck. Swim around it, hang on to it, jump off it, and then relax on it when you need a break.
- Use it as a water-level platform. It’s the perfect platform for kayakers, paddle boarders, and water sports enthusiasts to use while on the water.
- Use it as a platform/dock extension. Connect it to your existing dock or platform to extend the surface space available on top of the water.
- Use it to create an inflatable island. Connect it to other inflatable accessories to create your own water island for parties.
Regardless of how you use an inflatable dock, the easiest decision to make is to get one. It takes time on the water to an entirely new level.
How to Inflate an Inflatable Dock?
To take advantage of all the perks that come with an inflatable dock, you first must inflate it. How? It’s easy!
Simply attach an electric pump or manual hand pump (some inflatable docks come with their own air pump) to the floating dock valve and turn it on or pump manually. That’s it! Some air chamber designs may affect the speed at which your dock inflates, and some air pumps may require an adapter attachment depending on the type of valve fitting the dock comes with.
It’s often a quick and easy process that will have you on the water doing what you do best — having the time of your life.
What to Look for in an Inflatable Dock?
All inflatable docks are designed to provide a floating surface, but there are a few key features to keep in mind when shopping for one.
When it comes to material and construction, your inflatable dock should be made with durability in mind. Ideally, you’re looking for a heavy-duty 1000D PVC material with drop-stitch construction and double-reinforced seams.
If possible, find an inflatable dock with a padded deck surface for added comfort and a longer lifespan. When you factor in the friends, family, and even pets you’ll be sharing your dock with, you’ll want it to last as long as possible.
Size & Weight Capacity
The size of your inflatable dock depends largely on how you intend to use it. If you’ll have several people on the dock at once, the dock should be larger to accommodate. Typically, inflatable docks range anywhere from 5’ x 5’ to 10’ x 10’.
While the average weight capacities for inflatable docks range from 400 to 800 pounds, it’s imperative that you never max out the weight of your dock for safety reasons. Generally, the larger the size of the dock, the more weight it can hold.
Attachment Point Access
One of the best parts about an inflatable dock is the accessories you can attach to it. Whether you’re looking to attach a cooler or a beach chair, anchor your SUP or kayak, or attach to another inflatable dock, attachment points make all the above possible.
Most inflatable docks come with D-ring attachments, but the number of attachment points varies from platform to platform. Make sure yours has enough to attach the accessories you have in mind.
What are the Best Inflatable Docks?
Now that you know how to inflate one and what to look for, here are a few of the best inflatable docks on the market.
Overton’s Inflatable Floating Dock
- Size: 10’ x 8’ x 6”
- Weight Capacity: 1,320 lbs.
Perfect for a play space, launching pad, or lounge area, the Overton’s Inflatable Floating Dock checks all the boxes. With super rigid, high-pressure, drop-stitch construction, it supports kids and adults whether they’re sitting or standing. It can even hold beach chairs for maximum lounging.
Island Hopper Patio Dock
- Size: 15’ x 6’ x 6”
- Weight Capacity: 2,000 lbs.
Extend the deck of your boat or use it by itself, the Island Hopper Patio Dock is versatile. Designed to hold 10 or more friends and family, you can use this dock when sunbathing, swimming, wakeboard launching, and more. An electric pump is included for convenience.
Solstice Circular Mesh Dock
- Size: 8’ x 8’ x 8”
- Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs.
While most inflatable docks are square or rectangular in shape, the Solstice Mesh Dock turns heads with its circular design. The inflatable dock surrounds a mesh center that allows you to be in and on the water for the best of both worlds. It fits up to six people and includes a pump and carrying bag.
Experience the Water like Never Before
With an inflatable dock, you’ll crave warmer weather more than ever. Grab an inflatable dock today and get the most of your time on the water. Experience water sports or lounging with added convenience by having a dock ready wherever and whenever you need it.
Interested in building a dock instead? No worries. Check out this guide for everything you need to build a floating dock.
Have you ever been on an inflatable dock? Tell us what you loved about it in the comments!