Updated October 24, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

The 10 Best Lake Tubes

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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. One of these lake tubes will provide the perfect platform for you to spend the hot months floating away your worries. Coming in sizes that can accommodate up to 10 people, you can let a whole host of friends and family in on the fun, too. Some work well for drifting calmly down a lazy river while others can be used to navigate some rapids. No water-centric vacation should be without one. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best lake tube on Amazon.

10. Tricam BT-45

9. Intex River Run 2

8. Tube in a Box

7. Intex Pacific Paradise

6. SwimWays Kelsyus Chaise

5. Coconut Float's Jumbo Pink Flamingo

4. Wow Sports Tube A Rama

3. Bestway Rapid Rider 2-Pack

2. Bestway H2OGo!

1. Intex Relaxation

Why Get A Lake Tube?

Not only is floating an extremely calming activity, but it can alleviate stress and help you clear your mind.

Heading to the lake with your friends and family in tow can be one of life’s most enjoyable pleasures. You get to escape the hustle and bustle of your hectic schedule, reconnect with nature, and spend quality time with the people you love.

Whether you’re taking the family boat out or you're joining your buddies aboard their craft, chances are you’ll want to take a dip into the water eventually. Rather than bob up and down in your life vest or tire yourself out swimming, why not recline on a comfortable inflatable lounger? Not only is floating an extremely calming activity, but it can alleviate stress and help you clear your mind. You can also work on your tan, dive into a novel, or take a relaxing nap — just don’t forget the sunscreen.

If you don’t own a boat or waterfront property, all the more reason to nab yourself a lake tube. Once you’ve set up camp on the shore, you’ll be free to go float solo or tie your tubes together, so you can hit the water with your group and mingle with the masses. Certain tubes are capable of accommodating multiple adults at the same time, with some even offering coolers, tables, and ultra-comfortable seating arrangements.

Despite lake being in their name, expandable tubes are also excellent additions to your pool, the river, and even a snow-covered slope come winter. They’re relatively easy to transport and store, as well, so you can cart them around to various destinations year round.

Choosing The Right Tube For You

Lake tubes may not be the most technical of devices, but they do offer a slew of features that are worth considering before you purchase one. For instance, if you’re in the market for a no-frills flotation device, look for a classic donut. They’re rugged, uncomplicated, and are suitable for everything from river and ocean visits to sledding down snowy hills. Be sure to choose a UV- and tear-resistant model that's constructed from durable, commercial-grade rubber. And if you’ve ever been scraped by a protruding valve stem, then you'll appreciate an item outfitted with a rubber-coated safety option, so you can prevent unnecessary injury.

Big families and groups of friends who’d prefer to stay together will appreciate larger designs that can accommodate a handful of adults at once.

If you’re searching for something similarly straightforward, but crave a flashier look, there are plenty of inner tubes available in cheeky designs. You can recline on everything from an oversized flamingo or unicorn to a sprinkled donut — just bear in mind that many of these selections aren’t intended for harsh conditions.

Sun-worshippers that love luxurious lounging and desire a few upgrades needn't worry, as there are plenty of models out there that fit the bill. If you’re not one to be caught without a beverage in hand, then a tube with built-in cup holders will be perfect for you. A mesh bottom layer is helpful for keeping you cool and supported, while integrated head and backrests will have you relaxing in complete comfort.

Big families and groups of friends who’d prefer to stay together will appreciate larger designs that can accommodate a handful of adults at once. These models boast numerous recessed drink holders, built-in coolers, and flat surfaces for gameplay. Naturally, these selections tend to be robust in order to support the additional weight, and it’s advisable to obtain an anchor bag to moor your float in case waters get a little rough.

Then, there are a couple of general specifications you might want your item to have. If you’re worried about your tube deflating, invest in one that has multiple air chambers. You may also want to get a product that’s lighter in color, as black has the tendency to absorb sunlight and convert it into heat, resulting in a tube that can become uncomfortably warm to the touch.

Tips For Staying Safe Near The Water

When you hit the lake or river for a relaxing day or a long weekend, the last thing you want is for someone to get hurt. By taking a few simple steps and exercising a hefty dose of common sense, you can ensure that the whole gang stays safe all summer long.

First and foremost, see to it that the children in your group wear a life jacket at all times. Even if your little one is a Michael Phelps in the making, it's better to be safe than sorry. If you'll be boating, then it's proper form for everyone in your party to don a safety vest, so make sure you have one ready for each person.

Even if your little one is a Michael Phelps in the making, it's better to be safe than sorry.

You'll need to supervise your kids constantly, whether they're in or around the water. Before heading out, discuss the importance of taking safety precautions and the behavior that you expect from them. Have them brainstorm ideas about how to stay safe, and warn them against excessive horseplay and dunking each other. Try to strike a tone that's not too grave or humorless — you don't want the conversation to scare them out of having any fun.

No matter your age, it's always best to swim with a buddy or have someone nearby to keep their eyes on you. Even if you're not planning on going in the water, it's still smart to avoid complete solitude, as an accidental tumble is something no one can predict. It's helpful to prepare for the worst by ensuring that someone in your crew knows how to properly administer CPR, as well.

Avoid hitting the water on days where winds are high, as they can create dangerous waves. Check the weather forecast beforehand, and if it looks like a thunderstorm may be brewing, reschedule your trip for another time.

Pack plenty of hats, extra layers of clothing, and ample sunscreen to keep everyone protected from the sun. Water and snacks are instrumental for maintaining your energy levels and hydration, and of course, never overindulge in alcoholic beverages. Alcohol impairs balance, coordination, and judgment, not to mention it makes it harder for your body to produce warmth.

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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on October 24, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.


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