Just imagine, you and all the family are off on that luxury yachting holiday you have dreamt about for so long.
The sun is shining and the ocean is glistening, there isn’t a cloud in the sky.
As you pull out of the marina you leave the dock behind and with it all your cares and responsibilities, and when you draw anchor outside a perfect, picturesque cove you wonder: what could possibly make this moment any better…?
The answer ... an inflatable dock! That’s right, just when you thought things couldn’t get more luxurious an inflatable dock will increase your lounging space and your fun.
Like a patio on the water, these easy to use inflatable platforms extend your sprawling room so that you have plenty of space to sunbathe and chat.
They can hold multiple people at once, are sturdy and stable in the water and can even house sun chairs and loungers.
They make excellent platforms from which to fix and clean the outside of your boat too, so they have multiple uses.
Kids will adore being able to jump on and off these fun, inflatable decks, and best of all they come with resilient and reliable tethering loops so you can attach water toys and accessories to them and use them as a brilliant launching platform.
If you think that an inflatable dock could add the finishing touch to your water set up then read on for our top picks!
OUR TOP PICK
Let’s start with Amazon’s own choice of inflatable docks, with this stunning 8x6 foot floating platform. At 42 lbs it is fairly sizable and sturdy but will need more than one person to lift and lower it into the water.
However, once on the water, this huge inflatable dock is absolutely ideal for large parties of friends and family, and will allow you to all hang out together between swims and snorkelling sessions.
This platform is a perfect sunbathing spot as it has a rigid and stable structure due to the polyvinyl chloride material.
It is 6 inches thick which means you will easily be able to slip and slide off into the water when you want to cool down.
What is more, it can support 700lbs of weight so you can load this dock with sun chairs, drinks, coolers and people and it will feel like a real party!
This dock has quick inflation due to the 2 dual action pumps that come with it, and its 2 high pressure valves. This allows 2 people to pump it up simultaneously, resulting in an inflation time of only 6 minutes!
The quality construction of this raft and the incredibly durable and resilient layered PVC drop stitch material means that it can withstand even the wildest parties and all weather conditions.
Better still, this raft comes with heavy duty anchor D-rings to keep you stable, soft neoprene handles for easy lifting and carrying.
This dock folds down to a very manageable size so that you can store it away for winter and it won’t take up lots of room in your garage.
- 8 x 6 ft area for loads of space for partying!
- 700 lbs weight capacity for 4 adults to share
- 6 inch depth is buoyant and stable on the water
- 2 dual action pumps means quick inflation - only 6 mins!
- D rings for stable anchorage
- Neoprene handles for easy grip, lift and carry
- Durable UV resistant PVC drop stitch material
- 42 lbs - heavy to carry
Wow, has Swimline done an epic job with this Solstice Inflatable Dock! At 8x5 feet in size there is plenty of room for friends and family to enjoy on this platform.
The 6 inch deep buoyant core has double layered rails which aid stability so you won’t be wobbling about on the water’s surface but can lie back in comfort and style.
This dock is made from UV resistant PVC material that can cope with all weather conditions and is resilient and durable.
It has an incredibly rigid feel so will support you whether you are lounging around or using it as a surface to work from.
The recommended capacity is 4-6 people, and the dock only weighs 26lbs so it is lightweight and easy to carry compared to other similar docks.
It inflates and deflates at a super speedy rate due to the pump and gauge included in the package. As a result you can spend less time setting up and more time relaxing!
The ergonomic design means that this dock can be tied up with multiple other docks to create a mega platform, and can also easily tie up with other sports equipment and items.
It folds up small and comes with a handy storage bag and repair kit, so you really will have everything covered.
- 8 x 5 ft of space for lounging
- 6 inches of buoyant core with double layer rails for stability
- 4-6 person capacity so room for all
- 26 lbs - extremely lightweight and portable!!
- Ties up with other docks easily to create larger platform
- Durable and resilient PVC drop stitch material
- Expensive for its size
Our next dock is less expensive than other brands but offers just as many excellent features. This Happybuy dock is 8 x 5 feet in size which equates to a surface area of 40 square feet.
The recommended capacity is 4-6 people, which is plenty of room for a party!
Like the other docks, Happybuy’s dock is made from PVC drop-stitch material which makes it incredibly durable and sturdy, however this dock is also made from recycled material meaning that it is eco friendly.
At 29lbs it is lightweight enough to lift and carry to the seashore or the river without any trouble, and it comes with a handy storage bag for safe keeping.
One really fantastic innovation is the non-slip textured pad in the centre of this dock.
It is great for adults and children as it allows you to move about, jump and play on the dock with better grip and stability.
Speaking of stability, this dock has four D-ring anchor points to steady it on the water, and the 6 inch deep core is rigid and won’t dip or wobble about.
The Happybuy dock comes with two different styles of pumps so you can decide which you prefer and can inflate it quickly if two people work together.
All this will lead to you enjoying more time swimming and sunbathing!
- 8 x 5 ft or 40 square ft of area for sunbathing
- 4-6 person capacity for a great sharing space
- Durable and sturdy PVC drop stitch material
- Recycled material is eco friendly
- Non slip textured pad for better grip and security
- Two different style pumps to suit your needs
- Affordable price!
If it is luxury that you are looking for then this top end inflatable yacht dock will be right up your street.
For a premium price you will get 10 x 6 feet of extra space which will act like a wonderful extension of your boat.
The huge floating platform can hold up to 1500lbs of weight so has the capacity to house multiple people, sun chairs, loungers and drinks coolers without breaking a sweat.
It has been made with heat welded drop stitch PVC for maximum durability and resilience, and there is a ¼ inch layer of EVA foam that tops the buoyant core and provides both comfort and stability.
You will truly be able to sprawl out on this magnificent platform, and kids will love jumping on and off it into the water!
It comes with a double action hand pump and PSI gauge for inflation, repair kit, carry handles for transportation, and elasticated bungees for neat and compact storage.
However at 58.25 lbs it is pretty heavy so you may need a team effort to set it up.
- 10 x 6 ft so an enormous platform area
- Luxury yacht look and feel
- 1500 lbs weight capacity so can hold many people at once
- Heat welded seams for extra resilience in all weather conditions
- ¼ inch EVA foam top for rigidity and stability on the water
- Elastic bungee cords for easy fold, roll and store
- Very expensive option
- Only comes with one hand pump so long inflation time
And finally, this Island Hopper inflatable platform will provide you with a patio on the water and allow you to stretch out in the sun or splash in and out of the ocean.
It secures easily and efficiently to the side of any boat, and it has 8 top welded web loops for securing other water sports equipment, toys and accessories to.
This dock can also be tied to other Island Hopper docks to create a huge platform so the options are endless.
It has a maximum weight capacity of 1000lbs so can easily hold 4-6 people and will remain buoyant and stable due to its excellent design.
The commercial drop stitch construction is super durable and resilient due to the heat welded seams, so there will be no risk of tears or punctures, however the platform does come with a repair kit for peace of mind in case of emergencies.
The double action hand pump makes for some speedy inflation, and when deflated the platform stows away to a size of just 36 square inches so will fit neatly in the trunk of your car when you are driving home.
- 100 lbs maximum weight capacity, so room for 4-6 guests
- Lots of securely welded web loops for accessories and sports equipment
- Can attach to other docks to form large multi platform
- Commercial drop stitch PVC material is resilient and strong
- Deflates and closes down to just 36 square inches for tidy storage
- Only comes with one hand pump so inflation is slow
Best Inflatable Dock Buying Guide
Hopefully you have been inspired by our top picks of inflatable docks and feel eager to add one to your own water accessory store.
However, before you decide exactly which one to purchase, here are a few key things to consider…
The size of your inflatable dock will dramatically impact what you can use it for and is therefore an important consideration.
8 x 5 ft platforms will provide plenty of room for you to lie flat and sunbathe, and will also be big enough for you to store picnic things, drinks and sun loungers if you so wish.
However, these docks are often heavier and more cumbersome than smaller models and so you should consider convenience and available space when you make your decision.
Don’t forget, many docks have specific web-loops which allow them to be joined to other docks, so buying several smaller docks and having the option of creating one massive platform is always a tempting idea.
Though the surface area of your dock will determine what activities are possible, the weight capacity will determine how many people can be on it at once.
If you know that you like to hang out and chat with friends and family whilst sunbathing then getting a dock with a minimum weight capacity of 1000 lbs will be a good choice.
4-6 people will be able to sit on the platform without it sinking, however, that does not mean that you will all fit on it whilst lying down.
A 4-6 person capacity simply means that many people’s weight can fit, not size.
A lower weight capacity is suitable if children are going to use the dock as a playspace, or if you are intending to use the platform as a means to carry out cleaning or repairs on a boat or water toy.
Most of these inflatable docks are made from incredibly heavy duty drop stitch PVC which is ideal as it stays resilient on both salt and fresh water and can handle lots of stress and strain without tearing or ripping.
Look for PVC that has been UV treated to ensure that your dock does not lose lustre in the bright sunlight.
What is more, look out for reinforced or heat welded seams, because these will increase the lifespan of your dock and allow you to get more out of your investment.
These platforms are designed to be inflated, deflated, rolled, folded, jumped on, clambered up and trodden on so they need to be super strong and resilient.
An inflatable dock with a puncture is not a very appealing water accessory.
One really key consideration is inflation speed. There is nothing worse than having the beautiful ocean in front of you and having to spend 45 minutes pumping an inflatable up.
Docks with high pressure valves and high quality dual action pumps are best. Those that allow two pumps to be used at once are the very best because you will half the inflation time by working with a partner.
This will allow you to spend more of your precious time enjoying yourself in the sunshine!
Storage And Weight
The average weight of an inflatable dock when deflated can differ quite dramatically from one brand to another.
The difference between carrying a 50 lbs dock and a 25 lbs dock is huge and will impact how many people are required for its set up.
So even if a large, spacious dock sounds ideal, always check its weight to make sure it is convenient for you.
In a similar vein, some docks come with handy storage bags which will help you keep them in good condition and protected from damage whilst not being used.
If you buy a dock which doesn’t have a bag, bungee cords are an excellent way to keep them compact and neat enough to store, and plastic container boxes are a great idea to prevent rats and other rodents chewing through the material over winter!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are floating Docks Stable?
Although floating docks bob and move with the water they are rigid and so form a stable platform for you to sit or stand on.
Are Floating Docks Worth It?
For fun jumping and splashing, chilled reading and relaxing, or handy storage space and water equipment anchorage, inflatable docks are really great.
But whether they are worth the money or not is really a matter of personal preference.