Featured Image

6 Best Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Boards 

When you’re thinking about taking up a new water sport, it’s easy to be put off by the cost and space required for the equipment.

That’s why we are celebrating the wonderful world of inflatable stand-up paddle boarding (iSUP)—an affordable activity that allows you to explore coasts, rivers, and lakes at your leisure and without unnecessary bulk. 

With its ability to suit most situations, we chose the iRocker All Around Ultra as our top pick. This inflatable board is designed for beginners and experienced paddlers alike, with impressive water performance and a minimalist design that suits most situations on the water. 

In this guide, we’re focusing solely on the best inflatable stand-up paddle boards to buy now. We looked for highly rated boards popular in the water-sports community, with a key focus on features such as weight, durability, and performance.

We’ve also made a selection of the best stand-up paddleboards for various use cases, in case you are looking for a different selection of boards and styles, including hard boards. 

This post contains affiliate links. Outdoors.com may earn a commission when you make a purchase through these links. Thank you for your support.

The 6 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards

Best Overall – iRocker All Around Ultra

best-inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by iRocker

Specs: 

  • Best for: All-around 
  • Board Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6” 
  • Board Weight: 21.4 pounds
  • Capacity: 290 pounds 

iRocker’s range of inflatable stand-up paddle boards (iSUPs) are famed among paddle boarders for their excellent water performance.  

The All Around Ultra is a compact board with impressive rigidity, speed, tracking, and design. It comes with a range of accessories, such as an adjustable paddle, safety leash, backpack, flip lock fins, and 12-volt electric pump, all included in the full price tag of around $800. 

The board is great for traveling, and it can be easily packed into a backpack. It’s a versatile board that can work well for beginners, all-around, or touring, depending on your preferences. 

Best for Family Fun – Gili Meno 

best-inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Gili Meno

Specs: 

  • Best for: All-around 
  • Board Dimensions: 11’6” x 35” x 6” 
  • Board Weight: 24 pounds
  • Capacity: 485 pounds 

The Gili Meno has impressive speed and handling for a board of its size and weight capacity. 

It would make a great board for larger paddlers or if you want to have some fun on the water with the kiddos. The well-constructed board, made from carbon fiber and PVC, is still lightweight and includes a package of everything you will need to get started. 

It is set up to cater to many different situations, from flat-water lakes to open-ocean paddling and fishing expeditions, with five fin choices available to customize the ride. 

Best Lightweight – Atoll 11’

best-inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Atoll 11″

Specs: 

  • Best for: All-around 
  • Board Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6” 
  • Board Weight: 21 pounds
  • Capacity: 315 pounds

Easily recognizable by the eye-catching bison logo, the Atoll 11’ is a good choice for anyone looking for a practical, lightweight board. 

Paddlers who tried it out mentioned that it is a stable board that is easy to maneuver in several types of water conditions. Perfect for backpackers, it’s great for taking to remote paddling spots, and it can carry a reasonable amount of gear without compromising stability. 

The board comes with a SUP backpack, hand pump, leash, fiberglass paddle, and a 9-inch dolphin fin. Your purchase also comes with a two-year warranty for extra peace of mind.

Best Budget – Advenor Paddle Board 

best-inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Advenor

Specs: 

  • Best for: All-around 
  • Board Dimensions: 11’ x 33” x 6” 
  • Board Weight: 18.7 pounds
  • Capacity: 330 pounds

For under $160, the Advenor inflatable stand-up paddle board package comes highly recommended, and it has everything you need to get started paddle boarding.

The ultralight package includes a paddle, removable fin, hand pump, and repair kit. It even comes with a waterproof phone case, so you can record your adventures when you’re out on the water. It comes in four pretty colors to choose from. 

At just 18 pounds, the board is lighter than many other inflatable paddle boards. A great first board for any beginner, many people complimented its stability and durability on long paddles. Reviewers also mentioned that it is super easy to inflate and deflate. 

Best Durable – Bluefin Cruise

best-inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards
Image by Bluefin Cruise

Specs: 

  • Best for: All-around 
  • Board Dimensions: 10.8’ x 32.5” x 5.9” 
  • Board Weight: 25 pounds
  • Capacity: 286 pounds

For an all-around board that offers a little extra in the speed department, a Bluefin Cruise board will suit a number of situations. The shape of the board, with its pointed nose, makes it easy to glide through waves or navigate choppy waters. 

Constructed with some heavy-duty materials, including dual-layer PVC on the exterior and two layers of carbon fiber railings on the sides, the board is rigid and stable. The board comes with a five-year warranty, too.

Best Touring Paddle Board – Red Paddle Co. Voyager

Image by Red Paddle Co.

Specs: 

  • Best for: Touring 
  • Board Dimensions: 12.6’ x  33” x 5.9” 
  • Board Weight: 30 pounds
  • Capacity: 330 pounds

For a high-end inflatable board that is built for multiple-day adventures, the Red Paddle Co. Voyager is a great investment. 

It’s one of the most expensive boards around, but the brand is highly respected for its board quality. Red Paddle Co. offers a five-year warranty with all of its boards, which may help to justify the higher price.

Long and wide with a V-hull design, the shape of this board makes it great for short and long trips, offering a smooth glide wherever you may be headed. Its good stability also makes it possible to take on extra cargo along for the adventure, such as a dog or a child. 

How to Choose the Best Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board for You

When choosing an inflatable stand-up paddle board (iSUP), it’s important to check a few important features first, including the board’s durability, safety features, and weight capacity. Here are some other important features to look for before clicking “buy now.” 

Type of iSUP

There are several types of inflatable paddle board to choose from.

  • All-around: Versatile and suitable for various water conditions. Ideal for beginners and more experienced paddlers alike. 
  • Touring: Longer boards designed for long-distance paddling with better tracking and speed. Great for exploring lakes and rivers.
  • Yoga and fitness: Wider and more stable boards with ample deck pad space for practicing yoga or fitness routines.

Choosing the Right Size of Paddle Board

Length 

  • Short: under 10 feet. A short board is ideal for surfing or teaching kids how to paddle board.
  • Medium : 10-12 feet. A medium board is great for beginners and all-around touring. 
  • Long: 12-14 feet. A longer board is best suited for speedy paddling and long distances. 

Width 

The width of a paddle board typically ranges from 28 to 36 inches. If you are a beginner, you might prefer a wider board to feel extra stable when standing up. 

Height 

The height, or thickness, of the board is usually around 6 inches. 

Weight Capacity 

Check the weight capacity of the board to check that it will safely accommodate your body weight and gear. Larger paddlers will require more volume for better stability on the board. 

Why Choose an Inflatable Paddle Board 

In recent years, inflatable boards have become the most popular style of paddle board, loved by novice and experienced paddlers alike.

The best paddle boards are usually made from durable PVC and require inflation from a hand or foot pump. They are portable, easy to store, and can usually be packed into a travel backpack for transportation.

Inflatable paddle boards continue to evolve with ongoing innovation in materials, design, and technology. Manufacturers are constantly improving their products to enhance performance, durability, and user experience. They are often a cheaper alternative to hard boards, too. 

All-around inflatable paddle boards can be used for fishing, kayaking, or even yoga, so they can be a great purchase for a number of reasons.  

Inflation System

Look for boards with a reliable inflation system that will allow for quick and easy setup. Some boards come with hand pumps, while others have electric pumps for faster inflation.

Materials and Construction 

With advancements in materials like military-grade PVC exteriors, double seams, and drop-stitch technology, today’s inflatable paddle boards are durable, rigid, and lightweight. 

The drop-stitch construction involves thousands of threads connecting the top and bottom layers of the board, allowing it to maintain its shape and rigidity when inflated.

Stability and Maneuverability

Feeling confident on your paddle board is essential to enjoying this water sport. If you’re just starting out, choose one with a wider outline and more volume. 

Maneuverability refers to the ease with which you can turn, steer, and navigate the board through the water. This is an important feature, and it’s worth reading user reviews from other paddlers to see how the board performs in the real world. 

Tracking and Speed 

Tracking refers to a paddle board’s ability to maintain a straight course through the water without excessive drifting or veering off course. 

One of the main things to look for is the fin setup. Most boards come with fins that can be removed to customize the ride and to suit varying water conditions. It is likely that your board will have a single center fin (a skeg) or a tri-fin setup with two smaller fins on either side. 

The shape and design of the paddle board influence its speed, as well as the fin design. Longer and narrower boards are generally faster than shorter and wider ones, because they have less resistance in the water.

Paddles

Some paddle boards come in a package that includes the paddle, but some do not. Double check before you purchase. 

Similar to a kayak paddle, a SUP paddle has a tear-drop-shaped blade that angles forward for efficient paddling. To find the correct size, make sure the paddle is 8-10 inches taller than you when you and the paddle are side by side. 

Accessories

Look for a comfortable and non-slip deck pad, especially if you plan to practice yoga or spend extended periods on the board. 

Double check if the board comes with necessary accessories like a paddle, leash, and fin. Some packages may offer these as a bundle.

Some inflatable SUPs will also come with kayak seat attachments so you can turn your paddle board into a kayak. This is a great option if you want to have a rest or do some fishing. 

Transportation and Storage

Consider how you will transport and store the board. Inflatable boards are easy to transport, as they can be deflated and packed into a backpack or car trunk. 

Budget

Most decent inflatable stand-up paddle boards cost under $500, but you can always spend more or less depending on your budget.

One of the great things about inflatable paddle boards is that they are a budget-friendly option that allows you to experience SUP without spending a fortune. There are many decent options available for under $200. 

If possible, try out different sizes of paddle boards before making a purchase. Many rental shops offer demos, allowing you to test various sizes and styles to find the best fit for you.

Reviews and Recommendations

Before making a purchase, read user reviews from other iSUP enthusiasts to learn about their experiences with specific boards and to see how they perform in various conditions. 

Recommendations from friends or online forums can also help you make an informed decision. Pay attention to feedback on durability, stability, maneuverability, and overall performance.

Brand Reputation and Warranty 

Consider the reputation of the brand. Established outdoor brands, such as iRocker and Red Paddle Co. have a history of producing excellent water-sports equipment.   

Check the warranty coverage and customer-service reputation of the manufacturer. A good warranty can provide added peace of mind and protection against any defects or issues with the paddle board.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Should I choose an inflatable or a hard board ? 

Inflatable paddle boards have gained recognition and acceptance within the paddle-boarding community as a viable alternative to a hard or rigid board. 

Hard boards (also called solid or rigid boards) are made from fiberglass, epoxy, or plastic. They can offer better performance in terms of speed and tracking, but they are heavier and less stable. You will need extra storage space to store a solid board.

Shorter hard boards are considered to be more effective for surfing waves.

Are there any safety recommendations I need to know ?  

A PFD (personal flotation device) is essential for safety on the water, especially if you’re paddling in rough water or unfamiliar conditions. Choose a comfortable, Coast Guard-approved PFD that fits you properly.

Your inflatable paddle board will come with a safety leash, which can be attached to your calf or ankle. This prevents the board from floating away from you if you fall in. 

Inflatable paddle boards are designed to be stable, but you should always check the weather conditions before you head out and tell someone your plans. It can be tricky to paddle when the water is choppy. It is best to start off in calm, sheltered waters. 

Always stay hydrated and wear SPF when you’re out on the water. 

How do you store and maintain an inflatable paddle board? 

Inflatable paddle boards are typically stored deflated and rolled up when not in use. It’s essential to store them in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight to prevent damage from UV exposure and excessive heat. 

Most inflatable paddle boards come with repair kits that include patches, adhesive, and instructions for repairing punctures or damages. 

Final Thoughts: The Best Inflatable Paddle Board

An inflatable stand-up paddle board is a piece of gear that will lead you on many exciting adventures on the water, no matter your level of expertise. An accessible water sport that requires no expensive or heavy equipment, paddle boarding is the world’s fastest-growing water sport, and it is here to stay.

There are plenty of reasons to love the boards by iRocker, and the All Around Ultra is one of our favorites. Stable but still speedy, it’s perfect for all kinds of water-based fun. 

See you on the water. 

Featured Image

Best Hiking Gear for Kids: 5 Top Products

Featured Image

Can You Spot the Mountain Lion in This Photo?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top