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If you’re looking to purchase a 1-3 person towable tube, choosing the right model can be a daunting task.
In addition to so many towable tube for boating options on the market, you’re probably trying to please your whole crew while keeping an eye on cost. Not easy, right?
But don’t worry. We’ve rounded up our favorite water sports inflatables and provided all the details you need to choose the perfect tube to “pump up” the fun on your favorite lake.
Towable Tube Reviews
1 – Sportsstuff Super Mable Towable Tube for Boating
Designed for 1-3 riders, the Sportsstuff Super Mable is built by Airhead Sports Group, the leading manufacturer of inflatable tow tubes, floats and tubing accessories. They’ve been around for more than 20 years, creating products that provide amazing experiences on the water for you and your family.
Solidly built using heavy gauge PVC for the bladder and tough, 840-denier nylon for the cover, Sportsstuff puts the weight limit for the Super Mable at 510 pounds. However, several owners report pulling (without issue) adults whose combined weight was closer to 600 pounds.
The coolest thing about the Super Mable is it offers different riding options. Hook it up to the front tow point to sit as if on a couch. (We also refer to these as cockpit tubes or cockpit-style towable tubes.) It has EVA foam seating pads and a tall, comfortable back rest with air-cushioned sidewalls that keep you on board around every whip and turn.
Connect the rear tow point for a more challenging chariot-style ride. Either way, you’ll appreciate the multiple foam handles and knuckle guards on the Super Mable.
RELATED >> While they didn’t make our list, there are two other inflatable tubes with dual tow points you may want to check out. Both offer cockpit and chariot-style rides.
- Sportsstuff Big Betty | 1-2 Rider Towable Inner Tube for Boat
- Sportsstuff Chariot Warbird | Towable Tube for Boating with 1,2 and 3 Rider Options
2 – Airhead Mach 2 Inflatable Boat Tubes
The Airhead Mach 2 towable tubes are designed to accommodate 1-2 riders for fun and excitement out on the water … and it comes with a more budget-friendly price tag.
Because it’s made by the same company as the Super Mable, you’ll find this 2-person tube towable from Airhead has many of the same great features, including the company’s patented Kwik-Connect system for easily connecting the rope to the tube (no knot-tying!). The speed safety valve on both models makes inflating and deflating the tubes a snap.
The manufacturer recommends this cockpit tube as a great option for timid or young riders who can nestle down into the deep, cushioned seats. Plus, there are six handles, all with neoprene knuckle guards, to provide comfort and stability while riding.
Many owners report this top towable tube for children and beginners is just as awesome for teens, adults and friends looking for a more high-energy ride. You can definitely get a little crazy with the Airhead Mach 2!
3 – Airhead G-Force 3 Towable Tubes
When it comes to the best water toys for lakes, rivers and other bodies of water, it’s tough to beat the Airhead G-Force 3.
Designed as a 1-person, 2-person or 3-person towable tube, this model is appealing because it looks cool and has an impressive number of features to provide hours of tubing enjoyment.
The GF3 is durable with a tough, 30-gauge virgin PVC bladder. It’s fully covered with an 840-denier, double-stitched nylon cover. You’ll secure a comfortable grip with any of the six nylon-wrapped handles with neoprene knuckle guards. It also features a speed safety valve for fast and easy inflating and deflating, as well as Airhead’s Kwik-Connect system for simple rope hook-ups.
You can sit, kneel or lie prone on the GF3, which is super stable and compatible with booster balls. Thrill-seekers gravitate toward this water tube because its large topside stabilizer fins allow you to challenge yourself against centrifugal force. (Hence, the name). Riders report having a blast doing donuts and using a leg or foot on the fins as a bolster to fight against the force!
RELATED >> Larger groups and families may also want to consider the Airhead G-Force 4, which has many of the same great features as the GF3 but is a 4 rider towable tube.
4 – WOW Super Thriller Deck Tube Towables
From World of Watersports (WOW), an industry leader in water inflatables, comes the Super Thriller deck tube.
What is a deck tube? Deck tubes are the most popular pull-behind boat toys because of their versatility. Their basic, round shape – generally pitched higher in the front to prevent sinking – may make them look a little boring, but a deck tube like the WOW Super Thriller can provide plenty of action-packed, on-water fun.
Just lie on your stomach, grab the Thriller’s comfortable handles and get ready to tackle the wake! When you’ve had as much fun as you can handle, it can be used as a comfortable floating lounger. It’s ideal for more relaxing time on water.
The Super Thriller tube is extremely colorful, creating high visibility for added security. It accommodates 1-3 riders, is made of heavy-duty nylon and PVC and is completely covered in a nylon shell. The tapered shape (higher in the front) helps prevent it from submarining (always a good thing).
RELATED >> The Thriller series also includes three other versions you may want to consider. The Thriller is a one-rider tube, the Big Thriller is for 1-2 riders and the Giant Thriller can take up to 4 riders on heart-pumping tubing adventures.
5 – Airhead Super Slice 1-3 Rider Towable Tubes
Another popular deck tube is the Super Slice from Airhead. Designed for 1 to 3 riders, it features camo graphics (making it one of the coolest water tubes) and a tapered gusset design that makes for a super comfortable run even at thrill-inducing speeds.
Like other Airhead products, the Super Slice comes with Kwik Connect for fast and easy rope connection and the speed valve for quick inflating and deflating. It has a 30-gauge PVC bladder that is fully encased by a double-stitched cover of nylon and six nylon-wrapped handles with neoprene knuckle guards.
Not only does the tapered shape make the Super Slice less likely to submarine, it also makes it easier to get back on board from the water if you’re thrown off. The handles are placed well for remounting. As with other deck-style tubes, the Super Slice is great for leisurely floating when taking a break from tubing.
RELATED >> Need a little more room? You may want to check out the Airhead Mega Slice, which is 30 inches wider in diameter than the Super Slice and can accommodate up to four riders (or three teens/adults) comfortably.
6 – Sportsstuff Stars & Stripes 3-Person Tube for Boat
Have a blast while showing off your patriotic side with Stars and Stripes inflatable tube from Airhead. The vibrant red, white and blue design is sure to be a hit with children and adults alike.
This sturdy, square-shaped water sports towable can comfortably pull 1-3 riders (although some owners report that the enjoyable maximum is really only two). Bolster fins help keep riders secure and it is fully covered with a heavy duty nylon cover.
The low-profile design of the Stars and Stripes allows for easy access onto the towable, which you ride in the prone position, holding onto deluxe handles (with knuckle guards) while enjoying a wild run . The Stars and Stripes doubles as a relaxing floating island when not being used as a tube for pontoon boat.
7 – Airhead Hot Dog Towable Water Tubes
Woof! We just had to include the Airhead Hot Dog, which comes in several different sizes: the Double Dog (1-2 riders), Hot Dog (1-3 riders) and the Jumbo Dog (1-5 riders that’s a whopping 12.5 feet long).
While you won’t get quite as dynamic of a run as other boating towable tubes mentioned above, the “water weenie” is sure to elicit tons of laughs and lots of smiles from friends and fellow tubing enthusiasts. As one reviewer said, “Where else can brothers joke about riding a giant wiener?” Ha!
Like other Airhead products, the Hot Dog has a heavy duty full nylon cover for durability and padded handles. It also has EVA padding to offer a more comfortable ride that has the added bonus of reducing chafing.
The Hot Dog’s stable shape allows riders to enjoy a bouncing jaunt without as much risk of falling off. Everyone must work together when circling around, though. Lean too hard and everyone is going in the drink!
RELATED >> If you’re digging the dog, check out these other fun food-themed towables!
- Island Hopper Recreational Banana Water Sled (5 riders)
- Island Hopper 6 Passenger Side-by-Side Banana Boat (6 riders)
- Sportsstuff Townut Towable (1-rider)
- Sportsstuff Pizza Towable (1-rider)
- Cheeseburger Towable (1-rider) from Sportsstuff
Related towable tube accessories to consider
Sportsstuff Booster Ball for towable tubes
The Sportsstuff Booster Ball is designed to “boost” your towable’s performance by keeping the tow rope out of the water while you’ve got riders on board. It’s positioned along the rope, midway between your tube and boat. The idea is that it reduces drag, submarining and rope spray, enhancing the ride for 1-4 person inflatables.
Using a booster ball also will likely extend the life of your towable because the booster helps lower the stress on it.
Bonus: It’s bright yellow and red color increases visibility of the tow line, making it a nice feature for protection.
Reviewer: “The ball makes all the difference in the world and I highly recommend you buying it. It keeps the tow rope above the water line even in the tightest turns. If you have a high post on your tow boat you may not need it but if you are hitched to the back of your boat you will need it.”
WOW World of Watersports Towable Tube Tow Rope with Floating Foam Buoy
If your thrill-seeking crew is looking to add extra whip, fling and excitement to their rides, consider replacing your traditional tow rope with this bungee tow rope from WOW. This fun accessory stretches to accommodate changes in speed and reduces slack.
The bungee tow rope for tubing tubes is strong, durable and floats, making it highly visible when maneuvering your boat around it. It’s also fairly lightweight, easy to attach and comes in a variety of options depending on the number of riders you generally tow.
Reviewer: “This rope did awesome! I towed 2 adults on a 2 person tube with a 90hp pontoon boat. Consistently got riders outside wake. Length was perfect. I used with wow rope pulley connected to pontoons. I would recommend using the [booster] ball to elevate the rope but it’s not required.”
Boating towable tube pump
To make inflating and deflating your inflatable boat toy a breeze, we recommend purchasing a towable tube pump like the Airhead AHP-120 Kwik Tek Air Pump Canister (120-Volt).
This air pump works with in-home AC power, has a 10-foot cord and includes three universal valve fittings that lock into the pump. Just hook it up and watch your lake tubes inflate in a jiffy. When it’s time to deflate, simply reverse the switch. Check out this quick video for details.
An air or water trampoline pump is also great for inflating pool floats, beach toys and air mattresses!
Other highly rated options include the Coleman QuickPump and the WOW World of Watersports Air Pumps for Inflatables.
Towable Tube FAQs
Can you pull towable tubes with a pontoon?
Absolutely! Most pontoons and tritoons have more than enough power to easily pull tubers. Keep in mind the more horsepower you have, the more weight you can pull behind on your inflatable. You must also factor in the number of people in your boat (extra weight). A pontoon with a 70 hp or 90 hp engine is plenty for pulling tubing tubes, but you can definitely get more adventurous with a 150+ hp model.
Can you pull towable tubes with a jet ski?
Similar to a pontoon, whether or not you can tube with a jet ski (also commonly referred to as a Sea-Doo or Waverunner) depends on the ratio of horsepower to rider weight. When embarking on a tubing adventure with a jet ski, you’ll need to factor in the weight of the driver, the spotter and the person (or people) on the tube. Most manufacturers recommend a 110 hp or greater engine for tubing.
How fast should you pull a tuber?
The proper boat speed when towing a tube depends on a number of factors, including the style of towable, length of the tow rope, the age of your riders, number of riders and the type of ride you’re hoping to achieve (slower cruise for young children vs. a ride on the wild side for teens and young adults). For younger children, a typical recommended speed is 8-12 mph. With older, more adventurous riders, you may want to accelerate to between 20 and 25 mph.
If you’re new to boating and towables, we recommend you watch this excellent 5-minute safety video from Overton’s.
Can you patch towable tubes?
Yes. Most of today’s lake tubes are constructed of heavy duty materials that make for a durable, long-lasting product. However, they can become damaged over time. If yours does, and is outside of the warranty period, you can purchase a repair kit for towable tubes for boating. Consider the AirHead Vinyl Repair Kit or the Tear-Aid Vinyl Inflatable Repair Kit.
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