Pontoon Boat Covers: Which is Best for You?

By August 13, 2022

When you are not using your pontoon boat, it may be sitting in outdoor storage. Exposed to the elements, precipitation, UV rays, dust and debris, fluctuating temperatures, and pests will all do their damage.

That is why you need a high-quality mooring cover for pontoon boat. While any given cover may look very much like the next at a glance, it is important to understand that not all pontoon boat covers are equal.

Your pontoon boat is a hefty investment, and it is worth protecting. In fact, even a premium cover will quickly pay for itself through the damage it prevents and the repairs you do not need to make.

Below, we introduce you to some durable covers that offer superior protection for pontoon boats. You can also scroll past our product recommendations to learn about some key considerations when you are choosing a cover for your boat.

Also read: How to Buff a Boat | A Detailed Guide by a Boating Expert

pontoon boat covers

Top Pontoon Boat Covers for 2022

Best Pontoon Boat Cover for a Rugged Protection

1. EliteShield 600 Denier Heavy Duty Trailerable UV Resistant Pontoon Deck Boat Storage Cover 25′-28’L

1. EliteShield 600 Denier Heavy Duty Trailerable UV Resistant Pontoon Deck Boat Storage Cover 25′-28’L

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What we like

  • Built to last.
  • Sun resistant.

What we don’t like

  • The navy and blue colors can bleed.
  • A little bit small.

This pontoon boat cover is available in several different sizes. Depending on which you order, it could fit a vessel as small as 17’, or one as large as 28’ in length. You can order it in blue, navy, or gray; we recommend gray.

Manufactured out of 600 deniers 100% polyester, it does a great job protecting your boat from dust, dirt, and UV rays. It also is waterproof.

Your purchase includes a boat cover tie-down kit and storage bag along with the cover itself.

Pros

  • This cover is built to last with its rot-resistant thread, double-stitched interlock seams, and reinforced tie-downs.
  • These covers do a pretty good job of retaining their color with sun exposure where others fade.
  • Assuming you get the right size (see below), you should get a nice fit. The elastic hem ensures that the cover provides maximum protection for your boat, and helps to keep out pests.

Cons

  • The navy and blue colors can bleed. You can avoid this simply by not choosing these two color options.
  • Some customers report that this product tends to run a little bit small. So, you may want to order a little larger than the size you think you will need.

Best For

We recommend this product as an excellent overall choice for rugged protection. The only caveat is that it may not fit vessels at the larger end of its listed size range since there is no way to order a size up at the top of the range.

Best Pontoon Boat Cover for Wind-Resistant

2. RVMasking Upgraded Waterproof Ripstop 800D Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover with Motor Cover

2. RVMasking Upgraded Waterproof Ripstop 800D Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover with Motor Cover

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What we like

  • Triple-layer construction.
  • Air vents prevent billowing.
  • Elastic around the bottom.

What we don’t like

  • Not that “trailerable” as they claim.

Do you want a pontoon boat cover with a separate motor cover that does a great job standing up to the wind? Then you might like the RVMasking Upgraded Waterproof Ripstop 800D Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover.

This product is available in two different sizes: 17’-20’, and 20’-24’. The gray 800D polyester is even sturdier than the 600D polyester used in the manufacture of the EliteShield product we recommended.

Pros

  • Get extra-strong protection from the high-denier polyester. The triple-layer construction will keep UV rays, precipitation, and dust away from your boat.
  • The ripstop Oxford fabric is not likely to tear in the wind. Hypothetically, this is part of what should make it trailerable (see below). It isn’t, but it should at least stand up to strong winds when your boat is moored. You don’t need to worry about the wind carrying off your cover either thanks to the design of the high-density Oxford ribbons and sturdy plastic buckles.
  • Air vents prevent billowing, which also makes tearing less likely.
  • Elastic around the bottom makes for a snug fit around your vessel.

Cons

  • This product prominently says “trailerable” in its name. It is not adequate for that purpose, however. Alas, finding pontoon boat covers that are truly suited to highway transportation is extremely challenging, so this problem is not unique. Still, we find the prominence of the word in the product name deceptive.

Best For

We suggest this product if you want a wind-resistant cover for when your boat is moored.

Best Pontoon Boat Cover Anti-Fade

3. KING BIRD Heavy Duty Pontoon Boat Cover

3. KING BIRD Heavy Duty Pontoon Boat Cover

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What we like

  • Unlikely to tear.
  • The waterproof strip.
  • Motor cover included with your purchase.

What we don’t like

  • Does not came with many windproof straps.

Are you tired of your pontoon boat covers fading? If so, this product could be just the one you are looking for. The KING BIRD Heavy Duty Pontoon Boat Cover was specifically designed to resist fading with 4.5-grade color fastness.

Pros

  • 600D rip-stop Oxford fabric holds up well to the elements and is unlikely to tear.
  • The waterproof strip and PU coating help to prevent water from leaking through or condensation from forming.
  • There is a separate motor cover included with your purchase.

Cons

  • There are not as many windproof straps with this product as there are with many other pontoon boat covers with snaps.

Best For

If you do not want drab gray fabric, you may prefer the blue of the KING BIRD Heavy Duty Pontoon Boat Cover. And thanks to its anti-fade manufacturing, that blue should continue to be deep and beautiful for a long time to come.

Additionally, we have not found any indications that this product tends to bleed. Of course, your mileage may vary, so always use caution if you are worried about staining your vessel.

Best Pontoon Boat Cover For Small Boats

4. GEARFLAG 600D Jon Boat Cover

4. GEARFLAG 600D Jon Boat Cover

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What we like

  • Sturdy cover
  • Great fitting.
  • The mesh bag does allow for ventilation.

What we don’t like

  • There is just one clip for half a dozen straps.

Our next recommendation is the GEARFLAG 600D Jon Boat Cover. You will appreciate the sturdy feel of the high-denier polyester and the roomy dimensions of the cover. Some manufacturers seem to ignore onboard accessories. But GEARFLAG has made sure that you will have room for them under your cover.

Pros

  • The 600D polyester, elastic hem, and adjustable straps make for a sturdy cover that is easy to fit over your vessel.
  • Speaking of fit, sizing this product seems to be easier than sizing a lot of competing covers that tend to run small. It should not be challenging to get the coverage you need (in fact, if anything, some buyers might need to size down).
  • While you should avoid storing the cover damp, the mesh bag does allow for ventilation, reducing the chances of mold. So, it might be helpful if you are in a rush.

Cons

  • There is just one clip for half a dozen straps. This can make it difficult to deal with all the tie-downs.

Best For

Think about getting this product if you are looking for a larger, roomier fit. Just take note that this cover is intended for smaller boats! The largest size accommodates up to 18’. The smallest size is for vessels measuring 12’-14’.

Best Pontoon Boat Cover For Indoor Storage

5. LEADALLWAY 210D Pontoon Boat Cover- PU Coating and Water Proof Sliver

5. LEADALLWAY 210D Pontoon Boat Cover- PU Coating and Water Proof Sliver

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What we like

  • 10-Straps.
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles

What we don’t like

  • Runs a little small.
  • Unsuitable for high winds.

If you want to save money on a pontoon boat cover, consider the LEADALLWAY 210D product. It is waterproof and made of 210D Oxford fabric, so it can provide your boat with a reasonable degree of protection. Sizes available include 17’-20’ and 21’-24’.

What stands out about this product is its low price point—particularly with respect to its dimensions (we have seen similar pricing for some other covers, but mostly for smaller boats). If you do not have a lot of money to spend on a boat cover, you can save a lot by going with this one.

Pros

  • With ten straps, you can achieve a great fit and keep the cover from flying away.
  • Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles make it a good choice among easy pontoon boat covers.
  • You get a good bang for your buck.

Cons

  • Like many other pontoon boat covers, this one runs a little small.
  • The lower denier does mean that this product is unsuitable for high winds.

Best For

We cannot emphasize enough that 210D is not nearly as sturdy as 600D or more. This product will tear easily in windy conditions. But if you are storing your boat where it is not going to be subject to much wind, this product offers you a great chance to save.

What Should You Look for When Choosing a Pontoon Boat Cover?

1. Size.

pontoon boat cover size

Before choosing a pontoon boat cover, you need to measure your vessel from bow to stern. Once you have the length, get the width wherever your boat is widest. You will then be able to pick out a pontoon boat cover that will fit your craft.

2. Materials and Colors

Most pontoon boat covers are made out of polyester, vinyl, canvas, or a blend. Any of these can be good. You may be able to save some money with vinyl or canvas, but be aware that polyester tends to boast more water resistance and longevity.

You will notice while you are shopping for pontoon boat covers that the majority of them feature drab, neutral colors. You might be wondering why this is the case. It is actually because bright colors can sometimes bleed through to the surfaces below, resulting in unsightly stains.

Customer reviews should alert you if a product is prone to bleeding and staining in this manner.

Also, dark colors trap heat. Some people like them anyway, and in some locations, this may not be as much of an issue as it would be in others.

Additionally, the colors of pontoon boat covers can fade. If this bothers you for aesthetic reasons, you can avoid it just by picking a boat cover that is gray, white, or tan and not likely to fade dramatically over time.

3. Durability

When you are looking at the materials used for a cover for a pontoon boat, you should see a denier listed. Simply put, this tells you how thick the threads are. The higher this rating is, the more rugged the material will be.

There are some other durability factors to look for in the cover’s construction as well. For example, you should check for double-reinforced seams. If possible, the thread itself should resist rot.

4. Ease of use and storage

It should be relatively quick and simple to cover or uncover your boat. The quality and design of the straps, buckles, and snaps can make a big difference if you are looking for an easy way to cover a pontoon boat. It is also helpful if the manufacturer includes a convenient storage bag.

Related reading: The 6 Best Pontoon Boat Bumpers & Fenders in 2022

Get Your Pontoon Boat Cover Now

A pontoon boat cover is not a complicated item to buy. The factors you need to evaluate are straightforward, as is learning to cover your boat. But this isn’t a purchase you should rush, as two pontoon boat covers that look alike may deliver very different performances.

Invest in a cover that has the rugged construction and materials needed to protect your boat from UV rays, precipitation, and more for many years to come. Click on any of the links in this post to get your next pontoon boat cover.

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