Updated January 01, 2020 by Melissa Harr

The 10 Best Floating Islands

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in September of 2015. A floating island is the ultimate inflatable luxury, and an excellent place to enjoy time on the water with your friends and family. Whether you seek a two-person raft suitable for use in a pool or a 12-person behemoth with coolers that is designed for lakes, there is an option in our selection for you. Just be sure to always supervise children carefully. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best floating island on Amazon.

10. Bote Dock

9. Intex Flamingo

8. Bestway Coolerz Tropical Breeze

7. Intex Inflatable Lounge

6. Coolerz Rapid Rider

5. World of Watersports Stadium Islander

4. Sea-Doo Mega

3. Aqua Lily Maui Mat

2. Bestway Lazy Days

1. World of Watersports Tube A Rama

Special Honors

Island Hopper Patio Dock The Island Hopper Patio Dock is big in every way, from its capacity to its cost. A sturdy water platform, it will hold around 10 people or 2,000 pounds, so no one has to be left out of the fun. For your convenience, it even comes with an electric pump for fast inflation. watertrampolines.com

Editor's Notes

December 26, 2019:

Before discussing our picks, we'd like to note that floating islands can be dangerous if used improperly. It's inadvisable to use one where a current or wind could sweep it out to open water, or to let children and non-swimmers use them without close supervision. And if you decide to take one out on a body of water bigger than a pool, you'll probably want to have life jackets handy. We have considered durability, of course, but unforeseen accidents are part of life.

With that said, we still think the World of Watersports Tube A Rama and Bestway Lazy Days represent a good value. The former is on the larger side at 12 feet in diameter, just like the World of Watersports Stadium Islander, but it was made to hold fewer people than this similar model. This makes it more comfortable at capacity, since everyone has a bit more room. The Lazy Days was made for six people, so it's a good choice for smaller groups. There's also the Intex Inflatable Lounge, a swim float with a nifty canopy. It needs better assembly instructions, however, so it may not be for the impatient.

We decided to add one floating mat, too, for those who are worried about having to inflate and deflate a large island. This Aqua Lily Maui Mat comes in three sizes, so there's one for everyone, and it can be stored with little hassle. Finally, we added the Bote Dock, which is true to its name in that it resembles a handy floating dock. It's quite pricey, however, and doesn't have any integrated seats, both of which might be drawbacks to some. If you want a sturdy platform, however, it's a good option.

Safe And Cool Summer Fun

The first step toward safe summer activities is to ensure you, your family members, and your friends are always properly hydrated.

As the temperature soars during the summer months, it can be tempting to hide out inside, avoiding the heat and the relentless sunshine. But as summer is also the season during which students are out of school and many working professionals take vacation time, holing up inside means missing out on hours of potential enjoyment.

Staying cool during the summer can require some care and planning, but it's absolutely possible to have fun outdoors even the hottest days. The first step toward safe summer activities is to ensure you, your family members, and your friends are always properly hydrated. The more active you are, the more you will sweat, and the more you will need to put water back into your system. Also make sure to frequently wipe off the sweat coating your body, and change sweat sodden clothes if you can: your body cools itself off when sweat evaporates, and the humid weather most regions experience in summer can make this evaporation difficult.

Also make sure to take frequent breaks during any strenuous activity undertaken in hot weather. It takes the average human body in average physical shape as long as an hour or more to return to its normal core temperature levels after serious exercise, and this cooling process only takes longer in hot weather.

Sun protection is a must, including hats, sunblock, sunglasses, and appropriate clothing. A bad sunburn can ruin your fun for many days and can cause serious health complications later in life, even including an increased risk for skin cancer. Stay in the shade as much as you can, and cover up when you can't.

One of the best ways to stay cool during the summer is, fortunately, also one of the most fun: playing in the water is a great way to beat the heat and have some fun at the same time. All you need to do is choose the right pool, lake, or beach toys and accessories to keep the fun going all summer long.

Choosing The Right Floating Island

A floating island provides an inflatable home base from which all sorts of aquatic adventures can be enjoyed all summer long. When you have a place for the gang to hang out in the water, you can count on everyone being a bit cooler. That's because the average water temperature of a swimming pool is in the 80s (in degrees Fahrenheit) while ocean, river, and lake temperatures are usually even cooler. The colder temperature of the water cools the air near its surface, refreshing those people floating above it. And of course it's always easy to jump off a floating island for a convenient cooling dip.

The colder temperature of the water cools the air near its surface, refreshing those people floating above it.

When considering which floating island is right for your friends or family, first consider the number of people who will potentially use the unit. Many floating islands are rated to support up to eight adults and/or well over a thousand pounds, while others are much smaller and can support only a person or two at once.

Next consider where your floating island will be used. If it's going in a smaller private swimming pool, you'll need a smaller unit no matter how many people would like to use it. (People can take turns; an inflatable island that's too big for its body of water won't be much fun for anyone.) If your floating island will be used in a body of water that's usually quite warm, such as that found off Florida's Gulf Coast, then one of the floating islands with a mesh bottom that allows for soaking while floating is a great idea. If, however, you're going to be floating about in lovely Lake Tahoe, where water temperatures seldom rise above 65 degrees Fahrenheit, then an inflatable island with a mesh bottom is a decidedly bad idea, and a solid platform is advisable.

And finally consider the various accessories you'd like your inflatable island to have. Some units come complete with built-in waterproof speakers and a compartment to hold your media playing device; most floating islands have multiple cup holders, and several varieties have built-in coolers. While certain features may seem extraneous to some people, they might seem imperative for others.

Enjoying Your Floating Island

A floating island is, first and foremost, a place for relaxation and respite during the sunny summertime. But it can be used in many recreational capacities beyond relaxation. Many floating islands make great platforms off of which you can fish: they are stable, they produce no wake or movement to disturb fish, and many even have built-in coolers perfect for storing bait or for keeping the fish you catch on ice.

A floating island is, first and foremost, a place for relaxation and respite during the sunny summertime.

A floating island can also be towed by a boat, provided the captain keeps the speed slow, for added fun or even to enable a small boat to transport more people around or across a body of water. Just be sure to avoid rocks, rapids, or other water craft.

Also consider using a floating island as a snorkeling or even a scuba diving platform, with plenty of room for storing extra air tanks, masks, flippers, and other gear. Provided you are diving in relatively shallow water, the anchor bag and line included with many floating islands can help keep them in place as you enjoy underwater adventures.

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Melissa Harr
Last updated on January 01, 2020 by Melissa Harr

Melissa Harr is a language-obsessed writer from Chicagoland who holds both a bachelor of arts and master of arts in English. Although she began as a TEFL teacher, earning several teaching certificates and working in both Russia and Vietnam, she moved into freelance writing to satisfy her passion for the written word. She has published full-length courses and books in the realm of arts & crafts and DIY; in fact, most of her non-working time is spent knitting, cleaning, or committing acts of home improvement. Along with an extensive knowledge of tools, home goods, and crafts and organizational supplies, she has ample experience (okay, an obsession) with travel gear, luggage, and the electronics that make modern life more convenient.

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