Inflatable Comparison 2018

Purchase advice for inflatable comparison or test 2018

  • Inflatable boats have a plastic shell and several air chambers that are inflated with either a manual or electric pump. The movement takes place via two paddles. Some models can be converted with the appropriate outboard into a motor dinghy, which brings a bit more speed on the water.
  • Thanks to the different lengths, one to five persons can be accommodated in the boat. Mainly dependent on the size is also the suitability for certain waters. Most dinghies are suitable for calm rivers and lakes, with others even the sea can be navigated. Of course, you can also eject the rod from the dinghy.
  • Observe safety and cleaning instructions so that you can have fun with the boat for a long time. Life jackets are useful for excursion tours. Do not drive into unknown waters or those for which the dinghy is not intended. Avoid contact with plants, stones and too shallow water.

Inflatable Comparison 2018: comparison

When summer approaches, the lake shouts and people flock there in droves. Sun cream, towel, thriller and other accessories packed in the bath bag and off you go. But the rush is large, on the not too large meadow little space and even in the shallow water swimmers bathers. This can quickly spoil the good Sunday mood.

Probably the one who does not have to squeeze between the other towels, but Put his belongings in a waterproof bag on his dinghy and drive out to open water, From there you can jump into the water and swim a few laps around the boat.

Of course you can also take a little trip on the seashore or a quiet river. With the right outboard motor you can easily cover a few kilometers here. Most inflatable boats can comfortably accommodate several people so family members do not have to alternate. But you better take a few life jackets - sure is safe.

1. What distinguishes a dinghy?

1.1. Boat types

There are three categories in which dinghies can fall. you differ mainly by the nature of the soil.

  • fully inflatable dinghies
  • Inflatable boats with shelf
  • Rigid inflatable boats

Both Fully inflatable dinghies are boats that only come from air chambers exist and have no fixed elements. Advantageous: They can be stored very compactly. In addition, they are easy to handle and therefore particularly suitable for families. They are commonly referred to as bathing boats.

Inflatable Comparison 2018: comparison

A rigid inflatable boat is waiting for its mission in "dry dock".

Somewhat more complex are inflatable boats with shelves, This is made of wood or aluminum and stabilizes the boat considerably. The structure is similar to the simple inflatable and the user can stand on the ground. In addition, you can store items that are needed for fishing, for example.

Rigid inflatable boats have - as the name implies - a solid hull made of aluminum. That makes them extremely stable and resistant. They are also abbreviated as RIB, which means Rigid Inflatable Boat, so "rigid, inflatable boat" stands. These RIB inflatable boats are suitable for longer trips and are therefore often used by the Coast Guard and the Navy for patrols and special operations. You can also use it for excursions, if you feel like it.

All products from our inflatable test are beginner friendly bathing boats.

1.2. The number of people: not overloaded!

Inflatable Comparison 2018: boat

Fit in most boats: three people.

Inflatable boats are designed for different numbers of users. The capacity is usually related to the length of the boat.

There are both tiny boats that do not carry two teenagers, as well as large dinghies, which can accommodate four people or more - there is room for mom, dad, son, daughter and even a waiter. From the table you can quickly see which is the best dinghy for your excursion group.
Danger: Do not overload the boat. Each rubber cutter has a maximum weight that should not be exceeded. Some manufacturers expect more lightweight passengers.

1.3. Inflate air chambers

Each dinghy consists of several chambers, which are separated from each other. If one chamber is damaged and air escapes, the other chambers remain intact and keep the boat afloat. With a broken barge of this kind you will not have much desire to continue your water trip, but at least you do not go under and run the risk of drowning. The chamber system ensures that the dinghy always has at least one life raft to hold on to.

Inflatable Comparison 2018: dinghy

With this air pump, you have to kick your foot vigorously to inflate the dinghy.

Disadvantage is that the chambers must be inflated individually. Depending on the quality of the valves, this can be a tedious job. In many inflatable tests, you will find mainly models with Boston valves, so classic pinch valves that you are certainly familiar with air mattresses.

To inflate the inflatable boat either a manual or electric pump can be used, The manual pump is either operated by foot, which is relatively convenient as you can do it standing up. Alternatively, a piston pump can be used, which is operated by hand. This assumes that you have reasonably strong upper arms. Both variants, however, are only moderately attractive in the summer heat on the beach.

If the dinghy has a so-called high-pressure floor, the power of a manual pump is insufficient.

Remedy the electric air pump. It is simply connected to the valve and does all the work for you. The only catch: it needs electricity. There are pumps that need a socket, which is known to be rare on the lake shore. Others can be connected to the car battery. Most, however, have a battery that is charged before the excursion and stores enough power for a full "air charge".

We have the Advantages and disadvantages the electric pump compared to a manually operated briefly summarized for you:

  • powerful
  • to use without effort
  • needs electricity
  • more expensive to buy

You should also Make sure that the pump has a so-called pressure gauge, This can be the Check pressure in the dinghy. If you inflate it too much, the seams can tear, because the pressure inside already increases at high outside temperatures anyway and the boat inflates more or less. But too low pressure is not healthy. Electric pumps can often turn off automatically after the desired pressure has been reached.

2. Motorize the boat

If paddling gets too exhausting for you, there is a possibility attach an inboard or outboard motor on some boat models. There are two models to choose from: the classic petrol outboard motor and the environmentally friendly electric motor are suitable for dinghies. We will briefly introduce you to the two drives:

Gasoline engineElectric Motor

Inflatable Comparison 2018: dinghy

Inflatable Comparison 2018: inflatable

strong drive
easy refueling
also suitable for waters with current
very loud
unpleasant odor development
environmentally friendly
pleasantly quiet
are licensed in more waters than gasoline
lower engine power
Battery is limited
Nevertheless, two spare paddles should be included as an emergency kit for the hose motorboat - just in case. A cell phone is also useful to call for help in an emergency.


Stiftung Warentest advises: Check before driving, whether Motor boat damage covered by your liability insurance are. Often, only costs incurred with paddle boats costs.

Be careful not to over-motor the boat. Also, if it sounds sexy and it may itchy in your fingers, you should stick to the relevant manufacturer's information. Most dinghies can not tolerate more than one to two horsepower. Of course, it should not be an extremely weak engine. Otherwise you will not budge.

3. Safety instructions

Modern inflatable boats are quite safe thanks to their design, but that was the Titanic too. Do not challenge your luck and Heed a few simple rules to enjoy the ride carefree.

3.1. Life jacket wear

Inflatable Comparison 2018: dinghy

Save lives: the life jacket.

Yes, the life jacket can be annoying. Yes, the coolness factor is somewhat reduced by them. But if the boat capsizes and you are busy with a cramp, you can rely on the life jacket. There are even now Lifejackets with additional reflectors for easier rescue in an emergency. Especially for younger passengers or those who are not good swimmers, it is indispensable.

3.2. Do not drive in completely unknown waters

Get one before the ride Overview of the lake, river or marine area in which you want to put your boat, Find out about particularly flat and particularly steeply sloping zones that can cause dangerous currents. Even areas that are affected by weeping, ie strong plant growth, should be avoided.

Of course, every lake is initially new and a ride must be the first, but do not take the risks lightly.

The Shore areas of bathing and digging lakes are treacherous, There may be unexpected currents and gradients, which is why a life jacket is not wrong even in shallow waters.

3.3. Use only the designated water types

Inflatable Comparison 2018: boat

You should always keep an eye on the water and the reason.

Not every dinghy is designed for every body of water. Most boats are suitable for calm lakes and rivers, Others are so robust that you can go out to sea with them. The swell there can significantly add to a smaller boat.

Some dinghies are designed exclusively for use in the local swimming pool and should accordingly only be used there.

4. Cleaning and care tips

Inflatable Comparison 2018: 2018

A dinghy cleaner and a dinghy care product (here in the set) ensure lasting water fun.

After each use, the dinghy should be thoroughly rinsed off and thus cleaned of sand and plant remains. For cleaning, there are also special inflatable cleaning agents. But make sure that they are compatible with the plastic of your inflatable boat. If you find these special cleaners too suspicious and you prefer to rely on proven household funds, water with soap is also very suitable.

Do not scrub with hard brushes when cleaning on the rubber of the boat. Instead, a rag or other cloth is the drug of choice.

Make absolutely sure that the boat is dry before storing. Otherwise mold can form. Of course, the most thorough cleaning should be done after the last ride in the summer or fall before you mothball the dinghy back into the basement. Suitable is a cool basement room, which is not too wet. tip: It is ideal if the dinghy is not folded (at the edges there are kinks) and a bit of air remains in it.

Special care products are available on the market. These Oils leave a protective film on the boot. This not only shines beautifully in the sun, but is also protected from dirt.

Inflatable Comparison 2018: comparison

5. Frequently Asked Questions in our dinghy test

5.1. How long does a dinghy hold the air?

Here are the quality differences of the different brands noticeable. A cheap dinghy has to be topped up again before each use (ie daily) because it constantly loses a lot of air. If you pitch your tent on the lake shore and want to use the boat daily, the daily morning pumping can go to the bone. However, high quality boats can hold the air longer than a week.

5.2. Can I also use a dinghy as a fishing boat?

Of course. There are even Inflatable boats with special fishing mounts and the like, which are designed precisely for this purpose. If your fishing boat has a solid ground, the fishing tackle can be stored there particularly well.

Incidentally, the kayak inflatable boat is also becoming increasingly popular.

5.3. How do I perform a dinghy repair?

Inflatable Comparison 2018: comparison

A repair kit for bicycle and dinghy.

The inflatable repair reminds a little of the patching of a bicycle tube. Above all, a corresponding patch and vulcanizing fluid are required.

Of course, you can rely on the service of a workshop, but that has its price. With a little manual skill you can do the repair yourself. Practice makes perfect!

In this video, you will be given a detailed explanation of how to repair the bottom of a dinghy:

5.4. Which manufacturers are there?

In order to complete our purchase advice in the inflatable comparison 2018 we have put together a small list of the best known and best manufacturers. From the price-performance winner to the inflatable test winner, all names are included, complemented by a few other brands from the colorful world of air-filled boats.

  • Allroundmarin
  • Aquaglide
  • Bestway
  • Gumotex
  • Honda
  • Intex
  • Jilong
  • plastimo
  • sevylor
  • Simex
  • vianova

Of course, you can also buy a dinghy used, Used inflatable boats are, as well as used motor boats, for the small budget not the bad choice. But check if the material has suffered under the previous owner. Weaknesses are often not recognizable at first glance (or a photo).

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Video Board: 10 Best Inflatable SUPs 2018