Best Inflatable Docks for Water

The 6 Best Inflatable Docks for Water & Boat Lovers

By November 08, 2022

Did you ever think it might be handy to have a portable dock you could take with you anywhere? An inflatable dock offers you a mobile anchoring point and swims platform that you can inflate when and where you need it and collapse for storage the rest of the time.

In this buying guide, we introduce you to some of the best inflatable docks. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of inflatable docks and some of the different types of inflatable docks you may encounter. You can also scroll past the product overviews to learn more about the features of inflatable docks and answers to some frequently asked questions.

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What is an Inflatable Dock?

An inflatable dock is exactly what it sounds like. It is a portable dock you can inflate and deflate. It serves as a multipurpose item that can enhance your days out on the water with added functionality.

Why You Should Buy an Inflatable Dock

For starters, an inflatable dock can be used as an actual dock; you can anchor your kayak or another small boat to one.

But you can also use it as a platform for partying, swimming, sunbathing, or other activities. Connected to your pontoon boat, it is like an expansion to your dock.

Best of all, inflatable docks don’t take up a lot of space when you let out all the air, so you can stow them just about anywhere. They are also quite economical compared to a permanent structure.

As a bonus, an inflatable dock does float. Authorities recommend that people 16 years and older wear personal flotation devices (life jackets) (1). But it does not hurt to have a floating dock as a backup. Plus, it provides extra safety for people who are too young to wear an inflatable jacket.

Also read: Best Pontoon Boat Grill – Top Grills for Pontoon Boats in 2022

Types of Inflatable Docks

Inflatable Docks

Inflatable docks are fairly straightforward products. They may be made out of different materials, but feature similar overall designs.

Here are some of the types of inflatable docks you may encounter:

  • General-purpose inflatable docks: Most inflatable docks fall into this category. They are perfect for adults and kids alike and versatile enough for a broad range of uses.
  • Inflatable docks for yoga: Small, personal-sized inflatable docks with nets for storage may be aimed at yoga practitioners.
  • Inflatable docks for anchoring: These inflatable docks include extra anchoring points, and are ideal for those who actually plan to dock boats.

What is the best type of floating dock? The answer is whichever type suits your individual needs.

The reality is that the “types” of inflatable docks are pretty loosely defined. It really just boils down to what specific features the dock you are looking at includes, and how you intend to use it.

Top Inflatable Docks in 2022

Best Inflatable Dock Overall

1. FBSPORT Inflatable Floating Dock

1. FBSPORT Inflatable Floating Dock

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What we like

  • Made of robust materials.
  • Non-slip surface.
  • Different styles and sizes available.
  • Easy to scale up.

What we don’t like

  • Potential problem with the pump.

Our overall top pick for an inflatable floating dock is the FBSPORT Inflatable Floating Dock. This dock combines high-quality construction with feature-rich design, all at an affordable price.

Key Specifications

  • Available in sizes as small as 6’ x 5’ x 0.5’ or as large as 10’ x 8’ 0.5’
  • PVC construction
  • EVA non-slip mat
  • Convenient D-rings
  • Scalable design

Pros

  • This sturdy floating dock should hold up well to lots of regular use. It is made of robust materials, and features a non-slip surface for extra safety.
  • The generous D-rings are useful for tying down supplies, while the grab handles make it easy to climb up onto the dock.
  • You can order the size you want. There are also several different styles available with assorted colors and designs.
  • There are some holes in the corners you can run straps through to connect this dock to others, making it easy to scale up.

Cons

  • Some models seem to ship out with a flaw where the PSI gauge on the pump does not work. This problem does not affect all units.
  • The twist-on connection on the pump may also cause issues for some users.

Best Inflatable Dock with Slide

2. SOLSTICE Original Inflatable Floating Dock Series, Stable Platform Raft

2. SOLSTICE Original Inflatable Floating Dock Series, Stable Platform Raft

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What we like

  • Excellent rigidity and stability.
  • The dock can be made into a slide.

What we don’t like

  • Sometimes it may crack when folded.

This SOLSTICE product is available in a number of different sizes and configurations. We are specifically recommending the 10’ x 8’ Stable Platform Raft model with the slide as a great choice for families or partiers looking for some extra fun.

Key Specifications

  • 10’ x 8’
  • Grab handles included
  • Features a slide

Pros

  • When inflated, this product offers excellent rigidity and stability.
  • The design features attractive chevron patterns in shades of blue and green.
  • You can prop up a section of the dock to convert it into a slide! If you do not want to use the slide, you can just fold it down again and you will have more space to sit or lounge around.

Cons

  • While the material is reasonably tough, sometimes it may crack when folded. So, watch out for this when you are storing it. Try not to put it under too much stress.

Best Inflatable Dock for Pontoon Parties

3. Island Hopper Patio Dock 15 Foot Inflatable Swimming Water Platform

3. Island Hopper Patio Dock 15 Foot Inflatable Swimming Water Platform

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What we like

  • Excellent durability.
  • Can connect multiple docks to each other.
  • Comes with a power inflator.

What we don’t like

  • Heat can cause bubbling on the top of the dock.
  • Can take quite a while to deflate this product.

Looking for a larger inflatable dock for a pontoon party? We suggest the Island Hopper Patio Dock 15 Foot Inflatable Swimming Water Platform. Up to 10 people can sit comfortably on this dock, and you can also use the D-rings and web loops to secure lots of party supplies.

Key Specifications

  • 15’ x 6’
  • 2,000 pound capacity
  • Supports up to 10 people
  • Heat-welded reinforced drop stitch PVC
  • Non-slip EVA foam surface
  • 6 carry handles
  • 11 D-rings
  • 24 web loops
  • Scalable design
  • 5-year “NO SEAM BLOW-OUT” limited warranty

Pros

  • This rigid inflatable dock features excellent durability, and really does a great job supporting a larger group and a lot of weight.
  • The sheer number of loops and D-rings is truly impressive, ensuring that you have numerous options for anchoring, storing gear, and more. You can also connect multiple docks to each other.
  • The included power inflator comes with a 20” power cord with multiple connection options.

Cons

  • Heat can cause bubbling on the top of the dock, so it may not be suitable for especially warm climates.
  • It can take quite a while to deflate this product using the included pump. You might want to stock up on an additional pump to help you get the job done more quickly.

Best Inflatable Dock for Durability

4. MISSION Boat Gear Reef Mat Inflatable Floating Mat Water Lake Lounge

4. MISSION Boat Gear Reef Mat Inflatable Floating Mat Water Lake Lounge

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What we like

  • Double-reinforced construction.
  • Repair kit is included.
  • Easy to carry.

What we don’t like

  • Occasionally there are mistakes in the packaging of the product.

If your main concern with an inflatable dock for boat is its rigidity and durability, you will appreciate the heavy-duty construction of the MISSION Boat Gear Reef Mat Inflatable Floating Mat.

Key Specifications

  • Available in 8’ x 6’ or 13’ x 6.5’
  • 1000D nylon construction

Pros

  • The 1000D nylon, drop-stitch construction, and double-reinforced seams really take this product to new heights with respect to durability. So long as you take good care of it, holes are unlikely (but a repair kit is included just in case).
  • The 4” thickness exceeds that of a lot of competing products, making for a more stable and rigid surface.
  • This heavy-duty inflatable dock is particularly easy to carry in the included storage bag.

Cons

  • There are sometimes some oversights in what the product ships out with (i.e. missing storage bags). Also, the repair kit may not come with glue.
  • Some more anchor points would increase the functionality of this dock.

Best Inflatable Dock with Ladder 

5. BUYAEAR Inflatable Dock Platform with Non-Slip Surface

5. BUYAEAR Inflatable Dock Platform with Non-Slip Surface

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What we like

  • Materials provides a rigid and strong surface.
  • The dock comes with a repair kit.
  • You get a ladder with your purchase.

What we don’t like

  • There are only a few D-rings.
  • Expensive.

If you can afford a premium inflatable dock, you might consider the BUYAEAR Inflatable Dock Platform with Non-Slip Surface. What makes this product really special is that it comes with its own ladder. This makes it easier—and safer—to climb out of the water and onto the dock. It could be especially helpful for some people with certain handicaps.

Key Specifications

  • Sizes start at 4.9’ x 8.2’ and range up to 13’ x 6.5’
  • PVC with non-slip surface layer
  • Foldable stainless steel ladder included

Pros

  • This inflatable floating dock for sale is a sturdy platform made out of robust materials that provides a rigid, strong surface.
  • The dock comes with a repair kit.
  • You get a ladder with your purchase, so you can avoid purchasing one separately and struggling to install it.

Cons

  • There are only a few D-rings.
  • The cost is pretty high.

Best Dock for Fast Inflation

6. Driftsun Inflatable Floating Dock Platform

6. Driftsun Inflatable Floating Dock Platform

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What we like

  • Rapid inflation.
  • Easy to transport.

What we don’t like

  • The two pumps the product comes with are manual ones.

Don’t want it to take forever to inflate your floating dock mat? One product that might suit your needs is the Driftsun Inflatable Floating Dock Platform which comes with a pair of dual-action pumps and high-pressure valves.

Key Specifications

  • 10’ x 6.5’ surface
  • 6” thick
  • Drop-stitch PVC construction
  • Carrying strap
  • Neoprene handles
  • D-rings

Pros

  • 6” is substantially thicker than many competing products, offering you superior rigidity and stability.
  • You can spend less time inflating your floating inflatable dock with this product and more time having fun.
  • The carrying strap and the compact size the dock packs down to make it easy to transport.

Cons

  • The two pumps the product comes with are manual ones, so they might not be as fast as you would hope. But you can fix this issue by getting a pair of electric pumps to use with the two high-pressure valves.

What to Look for in an Inflatable Dock

Now that you have had a chance to browse our recommended products, let’s go over important buying considerations when choosing the best inflatable dock.

1. Dimensions and Weight Capacity

Inflatable Dock Capacity

Your first step in choosing an inflatable dock is to make sure you are getting a product that is large enough for your purposes. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many people will be on the dock at a single time?
  • Will you be placing seats, cushions, gear or other items on the dock?
  • How much weight do you expect to be on the dock at any given time?

Once you have answered these questions, you can choose a product with appropriate size and weight capacity.

2. Materials and Construction

Most inflatable dock platforms are made out of PVC. Look for products that feature drop-stitch construction and reinforced seams for extra strength and durability.

3. Non-Slip Surface and Grab Handles

When you are climbing up onto the surface of the platform, grab handles can make it easier. Once you are up on the dock, a non-slip surface can increase safety and comfort. This type of surface also makes it less likely that items you store on top of the platform will fall off into the water.

4. Rapid and Easy Inflation

If you are impatient to get your platform out onto the water and be able to use it, you will want a product that you can inflate quickly and easily. Dual high-pressure valves and/or electric pumps can help.

5. Rigidity and Stability

The surface of your platform should be as rigid and stable as possible to avoid tipping over seats, spilling beverages, etc. The thickness of the dock as well as its materials and construction will impact how rigid and stable it is.

6. Attachment Points

Purchase a floating dock that will have enough attachment points for the small vessels you want to dock there.

7. Maintenance

Finally, you might consider purchasing a floating dock that comes with its own repair kit. Even the best-made inflatable docks can sometimes puncture before their time. So, having a repair kit handy can be a big help to getting quickly back to enjoying the full use of your floating dock.

On that note, a solid warranty as well as fast and reliable customer service backing up an inflatable floating dock are nice bonuses. 

8. Extra Features

Finally, inflatable docks sometimes include some handy extras. For example, there might be a deck net or D-rings so you can store some items, or a ladder you can use to climb up onto the dock. Another extra feature that is popular on inflatable docks is a slide.

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