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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
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404 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best inflatable floating islands

Last Updated August 2019

When the frantic pace of your day-to-day life gets to be too much, have you ever dreamed of retreating to your own private island so you can just enjoy some solitude (or relaxing with your chosen people)? Believe it or not, that option is within your reach. For far less than you might have imagined, you can own your own inflatable floating island.

An inflatable floating island can be used for relaxing or partying – that's up to you. However, in either case you will want to purchase one that is large enough to accommodate all your closest friends and has creature comforts such as a built-in cooler, a canopy for shade, and seats with pillowed backrests.

If you'd like to learn more about all the luxury that can be yours when you purchase an inflatable floating island, keep reading. If you're already sold on the idea of living your best life and you want to narrow it down to a few highly rated options, consider the models we've spotlighted.

Using your inflatable floating island can help you relax, reduce stress, and lower your blood pressure. Some studies show relaxing by the water can even enhance your creativity.

Relaxing or entertaining?

Before purchasing your inflatable floating island, you have a very important question to ask yourself: Are you going to use it for relaxing or entertaining?

Relaxing

If the main function of your inflatable floating island is for relaxing, these are the features you'll want to consider:

  • Room to lay down: If you are relaxing, you'll want to be sure that your inflatable floating island has a place for you to lay back and soak up the sun.

  • Shade canopy: Since too much sun is no fun, having a shade canopy on your inflatable floating island can help keep you cooler and provide a more relaxing experience.

  • Mesh bottom: If your feet are cool, your body is cool. A spot on your inflatable floating island that has a mesh floor so you can soak your feet is highly desirable.

Entertaining

If the main function of your inflatable floating island is for entertaining, here are the features you'll want to consider:

  • Built-in cooler: Whatever your beverage of choice is, it will be more refreshing when it's cold.

  • Cup holders: Your guests will appreciate having beverages within arm's reach and secure from falling into the water.

  • Ability to accommodate a greater number of people: A party of 4 is quaint, but having an inflatable floating island that can hold a dozen people can take your party to the next level.

  • Seats: If you are entertaining, your guests will probably want to be in a seated position, preferably with back support, so they can see eye-to-eye when they are engaged in conversation.

  • Boarding handles: Obviously, these are important whether you are relaxing or entertaining, but if you have a dozen individuals hopping on and off your inflatable floating island, you'll want them to be able to accomplish the task as safely as possible.

  • Swim platform: If you plan on engaging in any off-island activities such as swimming or snorkeling, a swim platform will come in handy as it allows you to more easily enter and exit the water.

  • Music system: This might be tough to find, but some inflatable floating islands have watertight compartments for you to place your speakers and mp3 player into so you can have music on your island.
FOR YOUR SAFETY

Pack at least one life jacket or smaller one-person inflatable so individuals can travel to and from the shore as needed.

Accessories

Spending a day on an inflatable floating island is a vacation. Here are just a few of the essentials that you do not want to be without.

  • Portable electric air pump: Without a portable electric air pump, you won't be able to inflate your inflatable floating island.

  • Repair kit: In case you puncture your island out on the lake, you do not want it sinking.

  • Oars: You will need some way to get around – leaning over the sides and paddling with your hands is not very practical.

  • Anchor: Without one of these, you will be helplessly adrift.

  • Cooler: You only need this if your inflatable floating island doesn't have a built-in cooler.

  • Sunscreen: You need protection from the sun. Don't forget to bring enough so you can reapply as needed.

  • Sunglasses: The glare on the water can be blinding and squinting all day could give you a headache.

  • Watertight pouches: Anything that can be ruined by water, like your smartphone or Bluetooth speaker, should be placed in a watertight pouch.

Prices

The price ranges for inflatable floating islands can be broken down using criteria such as the number of people the island holds and the types of amenities available.

Inexpensive: For under $100, you basically get a large raft that can hold up to 4 people. These models do not typically offer much more than a relaxing float.

Mid-range: In the $100 to $200 range, you still find inflatable floating islands for 4 or 5 people, but these may have a number of features such as a canopy, a built-in cooler, a swim platform, and places to lay back as well as sit.

Expensive: When you go above $200, mostly what you will find is inflatable floating islands that can accommodate more people. Some of these models can hold up to a dozen people.

EXPERT TIP

If you will be using your inflatable floating island any place other than a swimming pool, you will want to bring paddles so you can more easily move through the water.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you want your inflatable floating island to last, store it out of direct sunlight.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other uses for an inflatable floating island

You already know that you can use your inflatable floating island to relax or to have a party, but were you aware that it can serve other, more specific purposes as well? Here are a few other ways you can enjoy your purchase.

  • You can use your inflatable floating island the next time you and your buddies go out for a laid-back day of fishing – just be very careful of hooks and sharp objects.

  • An inflatable floating island can be used as a mid-lake swimming or snorkeling platform, but be careful not to exceed the unit's weight capacity with your gear.

  • Some individuals never even make it to the water. Instead, they use their inflatable floating island as a beach lounger.

  • Practice some on-water yoga, pilates, or gentle aerobics on your floating island.

Other products we considered

Each inflatable floating island is designed to provide a unique experience. Some may accommodate a large number of individuals while others may be better suited for certain activities. To be sure we've covered all the bases, here are a few more worthy inflatable floating islands for your consideration. If you want to go on an adventure with only your best friend, Intex's River Run II Sport Lounge is what you want. This model is designed for just two individuals, but it features backrests, a built-in cooler, and a mesh bottom so you can soak your feet. Sun Pleasure's Tropical Tahiti Floating Island can comfortably seat six people. This model is manufactured using durable PVC, features boarding handles, and comes with a mesh carry bag. If you have a lot of friends or family, you will want to consider WOW Sports' Stadium Islander, a massive float that is capable of accommodating up to 12 people.

Whether you are enjoying your inflatable floating island in a pool or a lake, after using it, wash it with cool water and, if needed, provide a more thorough cleaning with mild soap.

FAQ

Q. How do you inflate an inflatable floating island?

A. Inflatable floating islands tend to be on the huge side. About the only way you can inflate one and still have time left in the day to enjoy it is if you use an electric pump, preferably one that plugs into your vehicle's power outlet because you do not want to inflate your floating island until you are at your destination. A battery powered pump may work as well, but if the battery dies in the middle of inflation, there goes your relaxing day.

Q. How do I keep my floating island from drifting?

A. Your inflatable floating island is basically a boat. As such, it will be subject to wind and currents, which could take you miles away from where you want to be. Like a boat, you need an anchor to stay in place. If the model you are purchasing doesn't include one, and you are not using your inflatable floating island in a pool, an anchor should be the first accessory you get. You should also anchor it in a shallow place, ideally in only about five to ten feet of water so that it’s easy to get back on shore if you need to.

Q. Are inflatable floating islands dangerous?

A. An inflatable floating island, itself, is not dangerous, but there are many risks you need to consider when using one. Drifting, punctures, and slow leaks are all factors you need to take into consideration as they can put you in some rather hazardous situations. Personal flotation devices are a must for everyone on the floating island. Also, do not neglect the weather, as a hot sunny day  (or even an overcast one) can quickly lead to dehydration and sunburn while a fast-moving storm system can hit before you have a chance to get out of the water, if you are not paying attention. Lastly, remember that alcohol impairs judgement and on the water, that could have deadly results. While a floating island is fun, proper safety measures are needed for them to remain so.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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