8 Best Lazy River Tubes for 2020

The best lazy river tubes for 2020 allow you to max and relax on just about any large body of water; lakes, rivers and, oceans. Sometimes called river floats, river rafts, river inner-tubes, or river float tubes, these inflatables always allow for a good time on the water with little to no exertion.

So, Who Was the First Lazy Floater?

Lazy river tubing saw the light around the same time cars were invented. That’s because these floats were made from the inner tubes of vehicle tires. Around the fourth of July in 1941, a photographer from Life magazine witnessed a memorable scene and made sure that it came out in the next issue. 

A club owner in Somerset Wisconsin, David Breault, had filled a nearby waterway with lazy river inner tubes. And hundreds of visitors came to celebrate and take the trip.  

He gave away the rides for free, and floaters would start sailing from a spot beside the club to another 45 minutes away. Breault, the club owner, offered to take them back to where they started, or if they wanted, they could tour the river again. Also for free. 

This free activitiy seemed to create enormous goodwill and joy among the tubers. And it also brought in plenty of business in the club, and wealth for Breault! Most importantly, lazy river tubing was forever coined as a fun-filled celebratory activity that anyone can part in. 

A couple of decades later, in 1966, lazy river rafts returned to the spotlight once more. This time, it was at the hands of a Thai Princess. 

best river float tubes on the river
The best river float tubes are a blast with friends.

Princess Chumbhot of Nagar Svarga had invited a hundred guests to her estate, and offered them lazy river inner tube rides. The event was reported on the Siamese TV, and hundreds of people clamored to that province to partake in the fun. 

Sports Illustrated and Time claimed then that she was the inventor of lazy river-tubing. She definitely had a huge contribution in popularizing this sport. But to be fair, some of the credit should go to David Breault. Either way, lazy river tubing was cemented in people’s minds as a cheery, fun-filled, and even festive activity.   

Where Can You Enjoy Lazy River Tubing?

Lazy river float tubes, similar to floating water mats and trampolines, can be used in almost any body of water. Lakes, rapid rivers, or even an enclosed gulf from the ocean. Resort-made lazy rivers are also among the go-to destinations to enjoy tubing. 

But even if you’re riding the tiniest float in the backyard pool, You can float like you are on a lazy river at a resort on a lake, river, and ocean, it’s a state of mind after all. We experience the most beautiful moments in our lives with our eyes closed.    

What Are Some Lazy River Tubing Tips?

Wherever you and your friends or family decide to go with your lazy river rafts, some tips can make your tubing experience more enjoyable. 

Safety always comes first, and to that end, you’d need to perform some necessary checks before going into the water. All lazy river floats seem to be made from the same material, but that’s not the case. Some are sturdier than others. And the way the seams and valves are sealed varies from one model to the next. 

Make sure that the float is of a suitable quality to the excursion you’re planning. And that it’s free from any defects, punctures, or tears. Also, if you can bring along a repair patch kit, that’s always good. 

Handles and grab-rope are also essential features to have, especially if you have younger floaters or if the river water is on the rough side. As opposed to towable tubes, a mesh bottom is also a good thing to have in these cases. 

And, of course, we can’t leave this point without mentioning the importance of wearing a life jacket. Pick a suitable lifejacket for the age and size of each tuber. You’d be surprised how many accidents are reported among lazy river tubers. So better safe than sorry.  

Plan your requirements for the trip a day ahead, and make sure that you’ve secured a place for your items. Some lazy river float tubes come equipped with a waterproof pouch, while others do not include such amenities. 

What Are River Tube Special Features to Look For?

Speaking of the additions on tubes, there are a few things that would be great to have. Headrests, armrests, and cupholders are standard features in high-end models. A cooler isn’t that common, and you’re sailing out in a little crowd, wouldn’t it be amazing to have cold refreshments at hand? So which manufacturers offer these options? 

best river float tube tied up on lake
The best river float tubes are a ton of fun when tied up.

Here’s a noteworthy fact: Intex floats often rank among the top choices of the best lazy river tubes for 2020 reviews. That’s why we included four of their models in this roundup. And to be comprehensive, we also included other brands as well. 

The Icefox Inflatable Couch, the Airhead Bamini Lounger, its close cousin the Swimline Lounger, and the Giant Unicorn, are all floats that you need to checkout as well. They aren’t the typical donut float, but they come with a load of unique features.

In the next sections, you’ll find a fair comparison of their features, benefits, advantages, and disadvantages. And if these are color choices, we’ll let you know.    

Top 8 Lazy River Tubes for 2020

1. Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float5. IceFox Inflatable Water Couch
2. Intex River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float6. Airhead Bimini River Lounger II
3. Intex River Run Connect River Lounge7. Swimline Ultimate Floating River Lounger
4. Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable River Lounge8. Giant Inflatable Unicorn Lazy Float
The Top Lazy River Tubes for 2020 Are a Blast on Any Body of Water
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71in X 53in, Multicolor
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71in X 53in, Multicolor
$40.43
$68.95
$59.89
$49.00
-
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
$40.43
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 951/2" x 62"
$68.95
-
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
$59.89
Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71in X 53in, Multicolor
Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71in X 53in, Multicolor
$49.00

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Icefox Inflatable Couch, Pool Floats, Inflatable Lounger& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Air Sofa, Cool Inflatable Beach Chair for Hiking Gear & Music Festivals
AIRHEAD BIMINI LOUNGER II
Swimline Floating Lounge Chair
Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride On with Fast Valves Large Rideable Blow Up Summer Beach Swimming Pool Party Lounge Raft Decorations Toys Kids Adults
Icefox Inflatable Couch, Pool Floats, Inflatable Lounger& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Air Sofa, Cool Inflatable Beach Chair for Hiking Gear & Music Festivals
AIRHEAD BIMINI LOUNGER II
Swimline Floating Lounge Chair
Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride On with Fast Valves Large Rideable Blow Up Summer Beach Swimming Pool Party Lounge Raft Decorations Toys Kids Adults
$39.99
$89.97
$60.12
$32.99
Icefox Inflatable Couch, Pool Floats, Inflatable Lounger& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Air Sofa, Cool Inflatable Beach Chair for Hiking Gear & Music Festivals
Icefox Inflatable Couch, Pool Floats, Inflatable Lounger& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Air Sofa, Cool Inflatable Beach Chair for Hiking Gear & Music Festivals
$39.99
AIRHEAD BIMINI LOUNGER II
AIRHEAD BIMINI LOUNGER II
$89.97
Swimline Floating Lounge Chair
Swimline Floating Lounge Chair
$60.12
Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride On with Fast Valves Large Rideable Blow Up Summer Beach Swimming Pool Party Lounge Raft Decorations Toys Kids Adults
Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride On with Fast Valves Large Rideable Blow Up Summer Beach Swimming Pool Party Lounge Raft Decorations Toys Kids Adults
$32.99

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1. Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float

This is a large float with about 53 inches in diameter. It has a mesh bottom and a backrest. It also comes equipped with sturdy handles, a grab-rope on the perimeter, and cup holders on both sides.   

River trips are known to last for hours, and having that extra comfort of a backrest is a big plus. The cup holders are also a thoughtful addition, they add instant luxury to the float.  

best one person river float tube on water
Go solo and make a fun day of river tubing.

It’s durable, spacious, and inexpensive. On top of that, it has some valuable safety features, like the all-around rope and handles. 

The quality of this float is a little inconsistent. Occasionally, there were defective units. So it’s best to inspect it fully and inflate it. If something is off, it has a 30-day warranty period. 

It comes only in a single pattern. But the blue, white, and grey design is highly popular among users, young and old.   

Intex River Run I Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 53" Diameter
  • Have fun floating in the pool or at the lake with the Index River run I
  • Designed with a built-in backrest for easy cruising and a mesh bottom that keeps you cool
  • An all around grab rope is included for ease of use

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2. Intex River Run II Sport Lounge, Inflatable Water Float

Few floats come with a double lounge, and even fewer maintain their stability with two passengers on board. Well, this one does. It’s around 96 x 62 inches deflated. And it has a cooler, backrests, a mesh bottom, grab rails, and an all-around rope. 

The backrests are great, but the huge cooler strategically placed between the seats is unique. Naturally, there are cup holders on both sides to complete the relaxed ambiance. 

In addition to comfort, this float has noteworthy safety features. There are the basic grab-rope and handles, plus the added security of 5 air chambers. 

The fact that it offers nice cruising with a friend already puts this lazy river float ahead of the competition. But the luxury, safety, and moderate price place it at the top among users easily. 

It’s a large vessel, and so it feels overwhelming for petite figures, and not recommended for children.

It comes in a single color, but we generally like it.    

3. Intex River Run Connect River Lounge

The Connect Lounge allows passengers to join their lazy river rafts, and sail in unison to where the water would go. It’s equipped with easy-connectors on all sides, plus the basic package that’s common to all Intex floats. 

Lazy river floats are best enjoyed in groups, and these 51 x 50-inch tubes are tailor-made for that. There are connectors on all sides of the float to join multiple tubes together. And it’s so easy, just snap it on or off. 

best river float tubes on the lake
Tie the best river tubes up and have a great time with friends and family.

The mesh bottom provides a resting spot, a cooling effect, and a place for storing waterproof items. These rafts also have comfort features like the generous backrests and cup holders. As for safety, there are two separate air chambers, all-around rope, and grab handles.

Intex floats are generally amazing, but they do exhibit inconsistencies. Weak connectors happen sometimes. 

It comes in only one design, that’s the staple of Intex floats. 

Intex River Run Connect Lounge, Inflatable Water Float, 51" X 49.5"
  • Material Type: Vinyl
  • Enjoy the water all summer long with the Intex River Run Connect Lounge
  • This fun lounger has two air chambers for added safety, and a built-in cup holder to keep your refreshment nearby as you...

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4. Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable River Lounge

Intex is quite an innovative company, and in this fourth model, we see yet another variation of their fun-filled lazy river rafts. It veers completely off the traditional tube design and heads towards a chaise longue inspiration. 

The Floating Recliner measures 71 x 53 inches, which provides ample space for relaxed lounging throughout the river trip. 

The backrests are almost standard in Intex floats, but what’s new here are the armrests. Tand to enjoy summer refreshments, there are two nicely placed cup holders, one on either side of the passenger. 

To feel more secure as you glide on the river, this raft has two distinct air chambers. Plus, two high-strength grab handles. It’s not for kids though. 

Despite the elaborate features here, the seams appear to be a bit vulnerable, and after a few months, they might start to fall apart.   

It comes in only one color, which is a blue/white mix. 

Intex Floating Recliner Inflatable Lounge, 71in X 53in, Multicolor
  • Chair like design for added comfort
  • 2 air chambers
  • 2 cup holders

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5. IceFox Inflatable River Couch

This portable couch is spacious, yet surprisingly lightweight, weighing only 1.8 pounds. It can carry a couple of adults with a total weight of 440 pounds, which is a good figure. It comes with a bottle holder, a pouch,  

This highly unconventional tube is as versatile as it’s simple. It performs nicely in the water and just as well on land. You can take it to the beach, stargazing, at a picnic, or even in a festival. 

In addition to that, it’s incredibly comfortable, has remarkable aesthetics, and comes at an unbelievable price. It’s hands down the budget-buy of this roundup.

Inflating this float by running in a straight line is a clever and fun idea. But it’s a bit tricky for some people. Also, adjusting the ‘right’ amount of inflation seems to be a matter of debate as well.   

It comes in three eye-catching neon colors: blue, green, and purple. 

Icefox Inflatable Couch, Pool Floats, Inflatable Lounger& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Air Sofa, Cool Inflatable Beach Chair for Hiking Gear & Music Festivals
  • 【Easy to Inflate】 No pump required.Take the inflatable air sofa out of the bag and open the air inlet, hold it against...
  • 【Pool Floats】It can float on the pool.This float provides great comfort and stability in the water.Enjoy sunbathing and...
  • 【Maximize Comfort and Durability】 The surface of it is comfortable with durable and tear- resistant material, which is...

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6. Airhead Bimini River Lounger II

The Bimini is quite the exotic lazy river raft. From its lounge chair design to the palm tree patterns on the skin, all the way to its durable construction. It has a backrest, armrests, and a foldable leg rest. 

This raft accessorizes so well, as it has a cup holder, head and footrests, plus a zippered pouch for storage. It’s easy to inflate and deflate the Airhead, as it has 3 air chambers. This also adds an extra level of safety for the float. 

The durable Nylon of the cover, plus the heavy gauge PVC internal bladder, make this float a trusted sailing companion for years to come. It’s suitable for most ages and builds, with its 38 x 60 inches deflated size. 

It doesn’t have handrails or grab-rope though, so it’s best to use it in calm waters. A swimming pool or extra lazy river should be great. 

The Airhead is available in one design only. 

AIRHEAD BIMINI LOUNGER II
  • Relax on the water in comfort with AIRHEAD’s newly improved BIMINI LOUNGER III. There are only 3 air chambers to inflate,...
  • Float with your legs dangling in the water, or stretch them out on the folding inflatable leg rest
  • There’s a cup holder for your cool drink and a zippered storage compartment for suntan lotion and other necessities

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7. Swimline Ultimate Floating River Lounger

The Swimline has a lot in common with the Airhead, but it comes at a comparatively lower price point. There are a few differences in the material grade and aesthetics, but the headrest, footrest, and armrests remain. Total summer bliss! 

The cupholder on the side is another common feature that appears in the Swimline too. And on the other side, there’s a nylon zippered box that blends in seamlessly with the body of the float. 

The footrests aren’t designed to fold and extend here, this chair was made ultimately for lounging. Its segments from tip to toe support the body fully for optimal comfort. The whole raft inspires vacationing and fun times. 

It’s best to take it along calm waters though, as it doesn’t have the essential tough materials needed for rough rivers. It also doesn’t have the depth of the donut-type tubes, the grab-ropes, or side handles.  

It only comes in a blue/black variety, but it looks good. 

Sale
Swimline Floating Lounge Chair
  • Nylon fabric covered inflatable lounge chair with head, arm, and foot rests
  • The ultimate in comfort
  • Complete with drink holder

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8. Giant Inflatable Unicorn Lazy Float

The ultimate showstopper has to be a Unicorn! This gigantic float is 114 x 55 x 47 inches when it’s fully inflated. That size can accommodate two persons easily, with a total weight capacity of about 400 pounds. 

This float is equipped with fast valves that facilitate inflation and deflation. It can actually be done in 5X the speed of regular floats. This of course comes in handy if you have a pool party and need to inflate a few of these. 

It’s made from premium quality materials, and free from toxic substances like phthalates. It’s no wonder then that the covering is thick and sturdy, yet feels soft to the touch. It’s a colorful float, but the finish is kept more to the matt side. 

The shape of this mythical raft allows you to lounge on it in a number of ways, especially if you’re riding solo. And as we all know variety is always good.  On top of all that, it comes at a surprisingly moderate price.

There’s only one design, and one color, for this unicorn.   

Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride On with Fast Valves Large Rideable Blow Up Summer Beach Swimming Pool Party Lounge Raft Decorations Toys Kids Adults
  • Giant. Big: 114in * 55in *47in( Fully inflated )
  • Designed to hold 2 adults,more than 400 pounds.
  • Thick,soft and durable premium raft-grade non-phthalates material

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Important Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Lazy River Tubes for Your Family

Protection

The durability of your lazy river tube for the water is an essential factor, and the material that’s used determines it. That said, it does not matter how good the material is; if the construction is not efficient, the water mat will not last long and pose many dangers. You should check protective specifications like whether it is worn and tear-proof or not, whether the kids and pets can puncture it or not and likewise. Also, the joints must be reinforced, and there must be options to lock the mat to the boat or dock.

Stability: 

The stability of your new lazy river tube is going to determine the type of activities you can do on it. While some water mats are only for lying down, some of them are suitable for walking, running, and do various watersports comfortably. We will recommend you buy a water mat that is suitable for watersports because they are the most stable and can take extra weight seamlessly.

Capacity: 

We believe it is super important to purchase a lazy river tube that is big enough for you AND guests. Consider two-person or attachable options if you expect guests. The lake is the perfect place to entertain and a mat too small will not accommodate too many people. That said, go BIG.

Learn More and Explore More Floating Lazy River Tubes Options

We hope you enjoyed the review of the best lazy river tubes for 2020. These floating tubes allow you to max and relax on just about any large body of water; lakes, rivers and, oceans. Whether you call them river floats, river rafts, river inner-tubes, or river float tubes, these inflatables always allow for a good time on the water with little to no exertion.