Best Towable Tube For 4 Persons
Some people like to be alone when they enjoy their favorite nautical sport. For all the others, a towable tube is the best thing they could ever drag behind a pontoon boat. Simple, yet entertaining, a 4-seat towable tube will allow your entire family to enjoy being flipped into the water at 20mph.
Before shopping (and also afterwards), please heed the following pieces of advice:
- Don’t be a cheapskate. With smaller tubes, you can get away with a couple of dollars, but that’s not the case with larger ones. A poor quality tube will definitely deflate at the most inappropriate times.
- Even if it’s a good quality tube, you still need to inflate it properly. If the tube is not filled with air to the brim, the fabric will drag against the water and consequently be destroyed because of the friction. As such, you absolutely need a high-pressure inflator, which is, luckily, pretty cheap. We recommend the Airhead AHP-12H High Output Air Pump, which you can purchase on Amazon and connect to the 12V lighter socket on the dash. Or, you know, make your least favorite child inflate it with a tiny hand pump. Either way.
- Don’t go speed-crazy when you’re towing multiple people. There’s a significant chance the riders bump their head into each other, which can result in some serious concussions. Speed is for when you’re testing your new pair of skis by yourself.
That being said, here’s a list of what we like when we’re thinking of towable tubes:
Table of Contents
#1: Sportsstuff – Bandwagon 2+2
This is one bandwagon you should really jump on. In spite of its apparently weird design, which qualifies it as a floating double couch rather than a floating tube, this thing takes the cake when it comes to safety. Due to the couch-like design, the riders’ heads are pretty unlikely to come into contact with each other, which is nice.
Another great thing about this tube is the solid build. Many other models have trouble with the material, seams, and so on, but this one seems to be the absolute sturdiest thing on the market, with no reported leaks to date. Everything is reinforced or even double reinforced, so durability will not be an issue.
Speaking of reporting, the reviews are also excellent. Pretty much every pontoon captain is recommending this tube. The price is also fairly reasonable for the quality.
#2: Sportsstuff – High Roller
You can take the “high” word here very literally. This tube is built as a cockpit-style unit with four separate modules and it rides really high in the water due to its special shape. As a result, there’s less drag, which in turn improves the maximum speed as well as the durability. What’s more, due to the relative distance between the riders, it’s about as safe as the Bandwagon, head bang-wise.
The durability is not that bad either. The EVA pads for hands and knees don’t let your skin be flayed by the constant rubbing of an hour-long ride and the reinforced seams and towing point keep it from tearing. You can get this beauty here:
#3: Airhead – Mega Slice
The best budget option around here, the Mega Slice is exactly what it sounds like: a really big floating pancake. It’s basically what a towable tube is all about: lie on your belly, hold on tight, scream, and pray that you don’t get flipped over.
Seriously speaking, this tube is not bad either in terms of safety and it’s fairly durable as well. We have to be honest and say that buying an Airhead tube is indeed a bit of a lottery in terms of durability, with a few tubes deflating the first time you use them, but the percentage is rather insignificant. At any rate, the Mega Slice is a lot cheaper than the other two models, which makes it great as a first tube to try out.
#4: World of Watersports – UTO Starship Tube
Another tube that’s exactly what it sounds like, the WOW UTO Starship is the exact opposite of a budget choice. This tube is quite a bit more expensive than our top two choices and more than three times the price of the third.
What do you get for the cost? Well, uniqueness. Unlike the Mega Slice, this is a tube for more experienced riders, who are ready to try out different positions in spite of the relatively higher risk to hit their heads together like snooker balls. It also looks like a UFO, which is pretty neat, and it can accommodate 5 riders instead of the usual 4. Other than that, it’s similar to the top 3 in terms of durability and such.
#5: Airhead – Mega Rock Star
Our second recommendation from Airhead, the Mega Rock Star should have probably been called Large Hot Dog (there’s a Hot Dog model already) because of its shape and size. The biggest one on this list, it can accommodate no fewer than 6 riders, even more than the UFO.
What’s also great about it is the flexible and aerodynamic design, which allows the tube to be a lot more stable than you’d imagine and even to lean into tight turns pretty well. You can get it for a really nice price and let everyone on the boat have a good ride.
#6: Airhead – Hot Dog
What’s the problem, then? To put it simply, it slowly deflates. This means having to drag it back on the deck every two hours or so for an air refill, which can get quite annoying. Other than that, no problem.
#7: Sportsstuff – Great Big Mable
Another tube worthy of its name, the Great Big Mable is literally a water couch, even more so than our number 1. There isn’t such an enormous difference in price, and it’s probably the most comfortable ride you can get besides the actual couch on your pontoon boat.
Where do you feel the price difference? Obviously, the durability again. Apparently, unlike the other two Sportsstuff models, this one is even more prone to leaks than the Hot Dog. It seems to be very popular with online reviewers. Check it out here:
These are our top choices for large towable tubes. Feel free to take our suggestions or expand the list yourself and, as always, make sure that whatever choice you make is the safest one possible for you, your friends, and your family.