Best Pontoon Boats in 2018 – Guide & Reviews
If you enjoy fishing in rivers like me, there is little concern that river pontoon boats are the best way to entrance and fish your preferred river. The best pontoon boats for river fishing carry from one to up to four anglers for fishing.
They have a lot of room to keep up all of your fishing gear and are prepared with inflatable pontoons, which make them highly lightweight for their size and very easy to guide.
Nowadays pontoon boats have gone a long way and provide more space and comfort than before. Features and performance wise they have developed a lot and various types are available too.
Of course, the query is, how do you discover the right kind of pontoon boat for you? To make things a lot easier, we have described the list down and chosen the best pontoon boats available today.
The Comparison Table of Best Pontoon Boats 2018
54.2 x 47 x 19
56x 47x 17.5
108 x 56 x 26
96 x 55 x 29
48 x 24 x 14
42.5 x 18.5 x 40
23 x 24 x 11
50 x 27 x 10
56 x 44 x 19
53 x 17 x 11
What Is a Pontoon Boat?
A pontoon boat features two large air bladders combined with either by a metal frame or a curved air bladder. The angler sits readily between the two air bladders.
On metal-frame pontoon boats, the seat connects to the frame and looks like seats found in larger fishing boats. The seat type varies for frameless pontoon boats.
There are a few frameless pontoon boats usage inflatable seats which are “built-in” to the boat. You will find the others use detachable seats.
The angler attaches them to the boat through the use of straps and built-in D-Rings for removable seats.
The maneuverability of best pontoon boats is great. It can part through the water with ease. To guide the boat, the angler uses two oars.
The oars connect to either the oarlock that is a portion of the metal-frame or which is built-in with the frameless pontoon boat.
Besides the frame style, the ability to use two oars to paddle offering extreme maneuverability and makes long paddles across the water comparatively simple.
The best Pontoon boats, nevertheless, have been designed particularly for fly fishing. As such, the boats always come with different features anglers admire —from rod holders to the capability to easily attach several fishing accessories to the frame of the boat.
Frameless vs. Metal Frame Pontoon Boats - Things that Matter
Frameless Pontoon boats have become progressively popular, and for a good reason. The main benefit of a frameless design is easy assembly and disassembly. You will find no metal frame to assemble or that posing problem for transport and storage.
The only “assembly needed” is to pump the boat full of air with a frameless pontoon boat, connect the seat and oars, and you are done. Another advantage of frameless pontoon boat is their increased weight capacity.
While the “frame” of frameless pontoon boats includes air bladders, the extra air offers a larger weight capacity—often adding an extra fifty to one-hundred pounds of capacity to even small boats. So what is the downside of frameless pontoon boats? Other than price, there are not any.
Frameless Pontoon boats are easy to assemble, owns larger weight capacities, weigh less and usually have excellent whitewater performance compared with their metal-frame cousins.
Frameless Pontoon boats are also much easier to transport and store. Since frameless pontoon boats cost more, the price difference is not significant and is money well spent.
What are the Types of Best Inflatable Pontoon Boats for Fishing?
You will find four initial types of best pontoon boats for fly fishing. Since features and looks of pontoon boats vary among producers, all boats can be classified into four types. Every pontoon boat type has an individual use.
Because of this, anglers should give a cautious idea to how and where they fish. Anglers should also think about whether the boat will do other duties, like recreational floating.
Standard One-Person Pontoon Boat
This is the most traditional pontoon boat available. These boats feature weight capacity between 250-400 pounds. The boats are comparatively lightweight and quite easy to assemble.
Although most anglers do not disassemble the boats after each use, for One-Person these boats are light enough to manage to transport easily.
Prices of One-Person pontoon boats differ, relying on construction and features. Besides, in the end, all standard One-Person pontoon boats do the same function—to offering a floating platform for useful fly fishing.
Two-Person+ Pontoon Boats
Two-person+ pontoon boats are ready to carry two or more people. Not surprisingly, this design causes these boats to be heavy and large. This boat type needs the portability and ease of setup found in the standard one-person pontoon boat.
Anglers occasionally disassemble these types of boats except for winter storage. Finally, due to their heavy weight and large size, an angler requires a trailer to transport these boats.
The Backpackable Pontoon Boat
This term has strong to misguide. If done “creatively” all standard one-person pontoon boats are packable. The angler might want a strong back—and a large backpack—to fix it to their destination.
But though it is larger, one-person pontoon boats can be packed if required. It just is not thoroughly accessible. On the other hand, a real “packable” pontoon boat is mainly designed for easy transport to remote waters—with ultra-strong backs needed or no productive packing ability.
Years ago, this design of pontoon boat was hard to find. But progresses in technology—and angler claim for something to use in remote waters other than a float tube—have increased the appearance of packable pontoon boats.
When compared with standard one-person boats, Packable pontoon boats are lighter, smaller, and easier to assemble and have less bulk.
For real versatility, packable pontoon boats are extreme little boats, while anglers can use them in remote waters once stored up for float tubes and smaller inflatable kayaks and rafts.
Nevertheless, these boats have some downsides. Packable pontoon boats have a decreased weight capacity because of their smaller size. They also have a tendency to offer some of the “fancier features” found on larger, one-person pontoon boats.
Finally, the best pontoon boats are intended for use on rivers and lakes with slower currents. They are not the best fishing boat for rivers that have whitewater or swift currents.
What are the Popular Brands of Pontoon Boat?
The popularity of best pontoon boat brands has guided to the product of different models. Several excellent companies have founded, but the following are our choices:
If you read reviews and go online, you will look at that best pontoon boats from Classic Accessories are always mentioned.
Why is that? For beginners, their pontoon float boats and tubes are of the extreme quality. They have also come out with several pontoon boats to satisfy the needs of different customers.
We often like the Sea Eagle fishing and pontoon boats. They are stable, lightweight and can be used in various situations.
Sea Eagles are also great for their stability, able to stand against use in rivers. You will find many other remarkable brands like Outcast and the Creek Company.
What to Look for the Benefits and Drawbacks of Best Pontoon Boats?
Designed for Fly Fishing
The best pontoon boats on the market are designed particularly for fly fishing as like as to drift boats. For this reason, pontoon boats have the essential pockets, features, and design to give easy fishing while floating.
On the other hands, an angler will find that a standard pontoon boat provides all those “little things” to help start a day spent fly fishing productive.
All the best luxury pontoon boats are portable except for the larger, two-person+ types of pontoon boats. One person can easily assemble, and transport if need be, any of the smaller pontoon boats.
While the best pontoon boats for fishing are perfect for fly fishing platforms, they perform well for other water-borne functions, too.
All pontoon boats can control at least Class II whitewater, and many pontoon boats are tough enough to control Class III and, on occasion, Class IV whitewater.
Also, the best quality pontoon boats have enough storage space and weight capacity to allow for overnight float trips.
Even though an angler would not want to take longer multi-night float trips using a pontoon boat, for only one or two nights out, pontoon boats can function well.
Not Ideal for Recreational Floating
Due to their feature on fishing, pontoon boats are not perfect boats for “lazy floats along a river.” They lack the flexibility, and comfort, found in other boats exceptionally suited for lazy river floats like inflatable rafts and inflatable kayaks.
Mainly for Solo Paddlers
You will find the best pontoon boats are designed for solo use. On the other hand, almost all inflatable kayaks or inflatable rafts can take two or more people and also their gear.
Anglers that require a larger boat have limited options since there are some styles of two-person+ pontoon boats available. Typically, anglers seeking great boats gravitate towards inflatable kayaks, inflatable rafts, and drift boats.
Not for Pounding Whitewater Use
The best pontoon boats for the money vary broadly in how well they function in whitewater. Most pontoon boats are designed for Class II whitewater and can, mostly, make it by weak Class III rapids or strong Class II rapids.
Some of the high standard boats can carefully navigate more powerful Class III rapids and even weaker Class IV rapids. But for real whitewater use, pontoon boats aimed for fly fishing are not nice boats.
For real whitewater floating, think about buying an inflatable kayak, hardshell kayak, a guide standard inflatable raft or a cataraft.
The lighter the float tubes, the better particularly whether you are bringing along other gear. Nevertheless, you must not focus on weight alone. A lightweight pontoon boat built with durable materials so that it will hold up.
Nowadays it is become possible to get high standard inflatable pontoon boats small enough to put in your backpack. Inflatable pontoon boats are the best choice in this consideration. These very best pontoon boats weigh very little and inflated boats support hundreds of pounds.
Moreover, if you want the pontoon to be light, it must still be made of standard materials. It should be resistant to friction, general heavy duty materials, and powder coated metal frames.
A single seat pontoon boat can carry at least 300 lbs. up to 450 lbs. Those designed for two have a capacity of 650 lbs. and more.
Nevertheless, you must not pack a pontoon boat so it is at the ultimate capacity as that could affect its achievement. It might seem strange for a producer to state a maximal capacity and not yet use it.
Nevertheless, the pontoon is forced to work better because of the heavy load, and this will have a result on the long term. Even with a motor, it is ready to take their toll.
A quality pontoon boat features a comfortable and adjustable backrest. It is hard to strengthen how important this is.
If you are going to spend the whole day fishing on the pontoon, you have to be as comfortable as possible. There should also be a comfortable and adjustable footrest too.
Pockets and Storage
Highly designed pontoon boats have different pockets and storage compartments. There is a combination of mesh and zippered pockets and rear storage.
If you are going fishing, more storage and pockets will be essential as it minimizes the items you have to carry in your bag.
If you do not carry plenty of gear, the presence of more pockets may not be essential, but for most fishermen and anglers these pockets are necessary. Another key feature of the best pontoon boat for your money is the fishing rod holder, as it must be conveniently set.
If you find out the best pontoon boats online, you are going to see that producer make a big deal out of storage and pockets, underscoring their consideration. If you are going to fish for additional periods, the extra pockets will be an essentiality.
The quality fishing pontoon boats have a mount so; you can install an electric or gas motor. The capacity changes and so does the setup, so you will need to do a few research.
If you have a motor, it is only a matter of purchasing a pontoon boat that can control your motor. These are only a few of the easy features you should look for when buying the best pontoon boat for the price.
If you become known for these features and what they can do, you would not have any problems differentiate one from the other. Well! Now that you understand the relevant facts about pontoon boats, it is time we took a look at the best pontoon boats review.
Recommended Best Pontoon Boats Reviews 2018
Here are 10 best pontoon boats without further ado. I have comprised the most relevant information in the reviews below so you will understand what to look for from each one.
The Classic Accessories Togiak seems to be the perfect pontoon boat which is inflatable if you are looking for a relaxing fishing experience.
It is designed with luxury in mind. Whether you are just reeling in that big fish or soaking up the sun, you will enjoy your time out on the water.
Features You Look For: The most remarkable features about the Classic Accessories Togiak are that it assembles the stability of a pontoon with the light-weight design of a towable tube.
You will find also pockets galore! There is two-reel pockets, armrest pockets, two sloped gear pockets, flat zip pockets and even a small mesh “wet” pocket to keep safe the valuables should you dare to take any with you. It also features a horizontal rod holder.
This will support you to keep your hands free while moving to and from your fishing spot. To top it off, when you fold the seat there are backpacking shoulder straps so carrying it from the lake shore back to your transport will be an easy task.
Specs & Quality: The Togiak is only built to carry one person as with most inflatable pontoon boats. With a maximal weight capacity of 300 pounds, it is perfect of handling people of all ages.
The material is made up from thick PVC vinyl. This makes it stable enough to manage the classical water elements you might meeting on a comfortable outing.
- 300 pound max capacity
- Rear mesh storage platform
- Horizontal rod holder
- Lash tabs and D-rings for attaching gear
- Roomy armrest storage with additional reel pockets
- Safety flag pocket
- Fast and free shipping
The Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube is an inflatable fishing boat.
It lets you fish the streams and creeks around your campsite easy and quickly. This spacious watercraft navigates where full-sized boats cannot.
This boat features a standard hydrodynamic hull shape that makes tracking and steering easy, and its small size makes it easy to carry and prepared when you need it.
Since conventional fishing boats collect dust in the parking lot, your Cumberland Inflatable Tube is in the meantime out on the water and ready to go. The Cumberland Float Tube is equipped with Boston valves that deflate and inflate the tube within minutes for current use.
You can pull it back to the campsite using the adjustable backpack straps when you are done with the tube. The Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube features all you need for a day of fishing from rod holders to drink holders.
These Classic float tubes feature 2 heavy-duty cargo bags that are spacious to store your heavy gear, and the seat back comprises 2 interior zip pockets and 2 mesh pockets to storage your small fishing types of equipment.
It also features a back storage platform that is wide enough to transport a small cooler full of drinks. More than just convenient and comfortable, the Cumberland has plenty of safety features to keep you safe. It features a quick-release stripping apron to get you in and out of the tube easily and quickly.
Another standard feature of this Cumberland is its safety flag holder that makes your presence known to other boats. The Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube features a 1-Year Warranty.
- 350-pound max capacity
- 2 cargo pockets
- Mesh stripping apron with integrated fish ruler
- Back mesh storage platform
- Backpackable float tube with adjustable shoulder straps
- 2 fishing rod holders and Hydrodynamic hull
- Adjustable backrest and thickly padded seat
- Fast and free shipping
The Colorado XT pontoon boat is known as the best rated inflatable pontoons on Amazon.
It features Classic Accessories Colorado XT pontoon boat. This is what greatest fishing experts would call a “top of the line” pontoon;
it is packed with loads of nifty features, all to make your fishing experience as amusing as possible. The Colorado XT Pontoon Boat features 9 feet long and have a carrying capability of 400 pounds.
It also features a removable transport wheel for an easier launch; it can be simply removed and stored in the storage compartments.
A few of the many features on the Colorado XT include a weatherproof motor mount, two insulated cup holders, two removable gear bags with 20 pockets in total, two detachable foam fly patches, multi-position rod holders, a wire basket for rear storage or a battery and much more.
The bottom of the pontoons are covered with heavy duty PVC for great abrasion resistance, getting punctures and air leaks as you suddenly brushed against rough surfaces is no longer a question.
The best of the pontoons are built with a tough nylon. The bladders are built with heat and cold resistant vinyl. Another way, they are not going to expand or shrink relying on the weather. The pontoons take about 2 minutes to fill with air if you are using a little electrical pump.
- Removable gear bags
- Anchor system with fillable mesh bag
- Rod holder can be mounted in six other positions
- Powder-coated steel tube frame
- Rugged two-piece 7' aluminum oars
- Free shipping
Let us just be honest; you are looking at this inflatable pontoon as it is the affordable one out there.
It is as initial as it gets, stripped out of all useful features this is a minimalist’s fishing boat.
With no other features to weigh it down, the Roanoke only weighs 43 pounds. It makes an excellent choice for anyone looking for a portable and cheap fishing pontoon.
It is lightweight, durable, and nimble for the amount of money it costs; you will not get anything better. It is 8 feet long and has a total carrying capacity of 350 pounds. It features oar locks, aluminum oars, heavy-duty pontoons, and a powder coated frame.
Some of the standard features include an armrest pockets, stripping apron, with zippers, a storage area behind the adjustable foot rests and seat. This Roanoke Inflatable Pontoon Boat will handle rivers up to class 1.
The Roanoke Pontoon Boat is minimal and very basic, it features plenty of storage. Simply below the oar locks, you will find two spacious armrest pockets with zippers.
These pockets can hold smaller fishing gear like lures and tackles. There is a mesh platform, suitable for storing a smaller cooler box or any of your recently caught fish.
- Easy to maneuver and Lightweight
- Heavy molded plastic fold-down seat
- Mesh under-seat apron and zippered armrest pockets
- Footrests adjust to a wide range of leg lengths
- Rides high for improved visibility
- Fabric rear storage platform
- Fast and free shipping
The Classic Accessories Colorado Pontoon Boat is pretty familiar.
It is not as high standard as many of the other inflatable pontoon boats, but for the money paid, you have a great small boat that is convenient, compact, and fun to use.
It is perfect for flat water such as ponds, lakes, calm rivers and calm ocean bays. I like this pontoon boat for the most part. It has some downfalls, but overall it is very functional. It is comfortable and stable has a few features that clearly make it best.
The Quality of Construction: The Colorado Pontoon Boat seems to be the cheaper options out there for an inflatable pontoon boat.
It is priced lower, and the quality looks after to reflect that. That being said I do not want to mean that the quality is bad, it is simply not quite as tough as a higher priced boat.
The Colorado has abrasion-resistant PVC bottoms, but only nylon tops whereas some inflatable pontoon boats have solid all PVC pontoons.
Overall it is a better quality boat. It features a 2-year warranty and most people have stated that they are very happy with the quality.
Setup and Portability: The Colorado features very easy to set up but apparently takes entirely a little longer than say the Sea Eagle Pontoon boat, which sets up within minutes.
This one features a frame that requires being connected, so there is some extra work. It 's not hard, but you will need to follow the directions.
For the first time, it might take half an hour, but you will possibly notice the set-up time down to 20 minutes already you understand what you are doing. It just takes about half that time to let down it, break it down and pack it away.
This best pontoon boat for rough water is a little heavy to carry and transport on your own at 71.5 lbs. If you are capable of parking close to the water, then it will be very easy for you. Another option if you are finding it heavy is to find a wheeled cart to help with the load.
- Sturdy two position Motor mount for trolling
- Three oar-lock positions
- Padded fold-down plastic seat
- Anchor System with fillable mesh bag
- Rod holder can be mounted in three distinctive positions
- 9' river capable pontoon boat
- Free shipping
The Teton seems to be the "Classic" in the Classic Accessories line of float tubes which is Inflatable. These tubes are sturdy, coated with 4200 coated nylon.
Do not let the small size and low price fool you.
The best pontoon boats fly fishing features with extras: extra comfort, extra storage, and extra safety. If you are fishing in ponds or lakes where the water is calmer, and you do not have plenty of areas to cover, this tube is perfect.
When rigged up weighing only 8 lbs, you can simply slide this tube in the back of the SUV or even in the trunk of a sedan and be off down the road to the coming fishing hole in no time.
It also features a hydrodynamic hull design that makes for better tracking and steering.
- Safety flag pocket
- Horizontal rod holder
- Float tube
- Comfortable backrest
- Quick-release stripping apron
- Back storage pocket
- Free shipping
The Caddis Sports Premier Plus Float Tube is a famous and top rated float tube.
It is clearly designed for fishing and has loads of features to make sure you have a better trip every time.
Nevertheless, it is perfect for calm and still waters only.This best pontoon boats for tubing is made to last. It usages hard materials and all troublesome seams are double stitched.
The tops are pockets made using water resistant ripstop nylon which is resistant to punctures and tears. On the bottom and front ends it uses a heavy duty 500 denier Tarpaulin. It features removable air chambers which are attached safely to the cover and kept in place with velcro.
There also features an adjustable seat with a backrest to improve comfort levels during all your trips mainly when you have a long day tripped. You have a mesh apron with a handy fish ruler and drink holder in front of the seat.
- Maximum weight capacity 325 lbs
- Heavy duty rip stop material on top
- 2" foam backrest and adjustable 4" foam seat
- Heavy duty tarpaulin bottom and front ends
- Two large main equipment pockets
- Two zuxiliary pockets
- Free shipping
The Bighorn Float Tube comes from Classic Accessories. It features an extra-large, with a host of the unique front-entry inflatable fishing boat.
It also features an extra room, comfort, and buoyancy; comfortable and extra-large backrest;
hydrodynamic hull shape for improved steering and tracking.Another feature of this product is its quick-release stripping apron with a fish ruler; roomy armrest storage with additional reel pockets, horizontal rod holder, small mesh pockets, gear pockets, and flat zip pockets.
It appears with a rear storage pocket and exterior mesh storage pocket. It has D-rings for attaching gear and creel bags. It features a 300-lb. Weight capacity.
- 300 pounds max capacity
- D-rings for attaching gear and creel bags
- Safety flag pocket
- Exterior mesh storage pocket and rear storage pocket
- Orange rear visability panel
- Fast and free shipping
This versatile float tube from Classic Accessories for both fishing and hunting.
It features matching Attachable decoy bag. You get two float tubes in one with the marshland - a full-featured hunting float tube.
The marshland offers a quick-release mesh stripping apron as a fishing tube. It features a fish ruler and a hydrodynamic shape for excellent steering and tracking.
We added a Realtree Max-5 waterfowl print and web loops for waterfowl hunting along the outside edge for adding brush to make an easy and effective blind.
With the provided front stabilizer bar replace the stripping apron, connect the adjustable shotgun tether, fit your decoy bag to the appropriate D-ring on both sides of the pockets and you are ready to shoot.
It features plenty of storage for either hunting or fishing gear. It also features Boston-style valves make deflation and inflation easy and there is a safety flag holder in the back.
The generous decoy bag keeps six geese decoys or 24 Duck decoys and rapidly attaches to your float tube with locking straps. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
It features 350lbs max weight capacity. Decoy bag constructed size 28 x 15 x 15 inches high and Float tube assembled size 56 x 44 x 19 inches high.
- Two Cargo Pockets
- 350 pound max capacity
- Removable shoulder straps
- Two Drink Holders and adjustable shotgun tether
- Decoy bag contains up to 24 duck or 6 geese decoys
- Web loops along the Outside edge for attaching brush
- Free shipping
If your focus in on quality the Sea Eagle Green 375FC is the best pontoon boat for fishing.
The Fold Cat sports a patent pending frame which folds in just a few minutes. The 375fc FoldCat originally has two floors. First, there is aluminum cross board floor which assists in stabilizing the boat.
Under that, there is also a full fabric floor. It runs the whole length of the boat. This floor can keep electric batteries; tackle boxes, lures, and more. The 375fc FoldCat is built with a durable, reinforced 1100 Decitex.
It has quadruple overlap seams. This best pontoon boats made to last a very long time. When it comes to speed and motors, the maximum engine capacity of this boat is 3HP.
The max engine weight is 44 pounds. The overall speeds about 8 mph which is possible with a gas motor and up to 4 mph with an electric motor. The proposed inflation pressure of the Sea Eagle 375fc is 3.2 psi.
- Engine Capacity: 3 hp gas
- Capacity: 2 Adults or 650 lbs
- Inflation & Assembly time: 10 mins
- Inflation Pressure: 3.2 psi
- Exterior: 12' 4" x 4' 6"
- Weight: 75 lbs
- Seam: Quadruple Overlap Seams
It is all right; there you have it. These ten best pontoon boats are all great quality to buy for your fishing arsenal. Remember to think about shape, storage, comfort, and portability in your buying decision, and price.
Out of these best pontoon boat in the world, my opinion you may find all of them a quality one due to its super light weight and many excellent features.
As I mentioned earlier, all ten of these fishing float tubes are top graded products. Just think about your needs before you make the purchase.
Happy Fishing! We are eager to know seriously what you think. Have you got any of the products we discussed? Which one you afford and how did it work out for you? Or what do you know about the even better product?
Please leave a comment below! And help your fellow consumers to make the right choice. Over to you!