Do you like sailing and angling in lakes, rivers, and coastal regions? If you do, you will agree that inflatable boats are the most economical choice for water adventures. And of all the inflatable options on the market today, nothing beats the best hard-bottom inflatable boat for recreational purposes.
Hard bottom boats are very stable, and you can sit, stand and keep your gear and personal effects inside the inflatable boat without creating a depression on one side of the inflatable boat. With so many brands on sale today, we understand that making a choice from among the numerous options can be quite a challenge, so we have done the research for you.
Below, we review 8 of the best hard-bottom inflatable boat money can buy. Our picks are affordable, durable, and easy to navigate.
Top-Rated Hard Bottom Boats Summary
|Newport Vessels 8ft Dana Dinghy Boat||Best lightweight hard bottom boat|
|Aleko Heady Duty Inflatable Dinghy||Best for carrying heavy gear and long-distance trips|
|Newport 9.6ft Transom Sport Dinghy||Best for watersports|
|Bris 8.2ft Inflatable Pontoon Boat||Best low-budget inflatable boat|
|Bris 12.5ft 1.2mm Fish Hunter Boat||Best for angling|
|Bris 10ft Inflatable Boat And Raft||Best for strong current|
|Camping Survivals 10ft Inflatable Raft||Best for freshwater|
|Lobotou Inflatable Thickened 2-3 Person Boat||Best for ice fishing|
Now, let us review each of them to give you more insight on the one to buy for your water adventure.
1. Newport Vessels 8ft Dana Inflatable Dinghy Boat
First on our list is Newport Vessel’s inflatable dinghy boat in white and gray color. This rigid inflatable boat is 8ft long and 10 inches wide with an inflatable keel that provides excellent steering and planning. Newport is lightweight and can move at a top speed of at least 15-20 mph, depending on the horsepower motor you use. But the good news is that you don’t need an extremely expensive motor because of it’s lightweight.
The fabric is quality PVC that will last as long as you maintain it well and keep it away from the sun when it is not in use. Moreover, it is also easy to assemble and disassemble in as little as 10 – 15 minutes. This inflatable boat is USGC rated and compatible with an electric trolling motor if you want to add more speed and control functions to the mix.
Boasting a PVC hull coated with anti-UV treatment, this is a boat that will not disappoint. The floor is made with an aluminum frame and graded plywood. Overall, Newport is a highly functional vessel that is flexible and navigable.
- Sturdy carry handles
- Includes accessories
- 2 years limited warranty
- Can accommodate 3 people
- The fabric is susceptible to wear and tear if not properly maintained
- Prone to tearing if exposed to the sun for too long
2. Aleko Heavy Duty Inflatable Boat Dinghy
The second is Aleko Heavy Duty dinghy boat measuring 8.4ft and 60cm in width. It has an aluminum floor with a high-performance structure that can handle the weight of humans and cargo. This boat is ideal for fresh and saltwater, and you can even use it for watersports like kayaking, snorkeling, diving and rescue in rough water. It works with a 2 or 4-stroke engine, so should you go for it, you don’t have to spend too much on an expensive motor.
Aleko is made with coated PVC 1.2mm thick, so it will not wear down easily. The package comes with an aluminum flooring set, 2 aluminum oars, 1 bench set, tie-down straps and gas tanks, including carry and storage bags. The short shaft is 15 inches long, while the long shaft is 20 inches. Also, you have the option to paddle it manually using the oars if you don’t want to use your trolling motor
Aleko is tested for quality and safe for use. It can carry a maximum weight of 610 lb and 3 people max. You get to enjoy enough space to accommodate your gear, especially if you are going for a fishing trip. Note that glue is not included in the package.
- Heat-welded seams
- Abundant interior space
- Only one bench seat included
3. Newport Vessels 9.6ft Transom Sport Dinghy Tender Boat
This 9.6ft Newport Vessel dinghy can carry up to four people at a time. It is USGC rated and works with 10 horsepower motor. Boasting a triple-layered 0.9mm Denier 1100 PVC fabric, this tender boat is fit for angling and a variety of water sports. The floor is made of aluminum framed wood flooring, which you can install after inflating the boat. The floor is stable and well structured to handle the onboard weight.
Included in the package are several accessories, some of which include 1 bench seat, a carry and storage bag, 2 aluminum oars, a drain plug, towing D rings, one storage bag to store the boat when it is not in use, and a carry bag to carry it during trips to and from water. Newport also has carry handles, pat locks, D rings for Bimini, and other accessories, including a drain plug and a foot pump for inflation. All you need to set sailing is included in the package, so you have nothing to worry about.
The maximum weight capacity is 1248ft and four persons. This heavy duty boat is what you need if you plan to sail with many items. But note that you need a stronger trolling motor to attain significant speed.
- Quality accessories
- High weight capacity
- 2 years warranty
- Anti-corrosion coating
- Not very thick body
4. Bris 8.2ft Inflatable Pontoon Boat Dinghy Tender Boat
Bris is one of the most popular inflatable boat brands in the industry, and its pontoon boats are some of the best in the market. If you are looking for pontoon boats specifically, we implore you to try Bris, and you will not regret it. This 8.2ft boat has an overall inside length of 5.2ft and a width of 5ft. The PVC fabric is 0.9mm thick, and it has a pressure drop stitch deck floor. This hard bottom boat will hold its own against conventional boats with rigid aluminum floors.
Its overall build is lightweight because it has light body parts and components. So you are guaranteed top speed with minimal motor power if you are traveling light with little or no gear on board. The air deck floor also makes it very easy to inflate and deflate, and you can fold it compactly afterward. Bris has 3 chambers and an overall weight capacity of 992 lbs.
It can accommodate 2 adults and a child on board. The package contains a seat, oars, repair kit, and carry bag, including an air deck floor and the inflatable boat. With Bris, you enjoy speed and safety due to its uncompromising quality.
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- Quality accessories
- Heat-welded seams that don’t tear easily
- The body is only 0.9mm thick, so it should be handled with care
5. Bris 12.5ft 1.2mm Inflatable Boat Fish Hunter Raft Boat
For several reasons, if you are looking for an inflatable hard bottom boat solely for fishing, we recommend Bris 12.5ft boat. Firstly, the overall design is geared toward providing anglers with all the advantages they need to successfully make huge catches. Secondly, the PVC fabric is 1.2mm thick, which is an extra layer of thickness that 0.9mm boats don’t have. The aluminium floor and marine plywood transom are more heavy-duty than most inflatable boats of this size, so you enjoy structural integrity, which translates to more safety for all on board.
This 12.5ft boat has a thick 2.4mm underbelly that protects the internal tubes that keep the boat afloat. The thick fabric protects against sharp sand and hard rocks that may compromise the tubes. As for the motor capacity, Bris 12.5t boat works with 25 HP motors, but you can choose a higher motor if you plan to sail with a significant number of gear on board.
It can accommodate up to 6 people on board with a maximum weight capacity of 1675. The floor is made of aluminum, and the overall weight of the boat when it is empty is 180lbs. Included in the package are 2 aluminum seats, a foot pump, a carry bag, and repair kit and one oar set.
- Wide on-board space
- Thick PVC body
- 3-year warranty
- Quality heat welded seams
- There are only 2 seats included, so you need to buy more to complete the set of 6.
6. Bris 10ft Inflatable Boat & Raft Tender Pontoon
Still, in our review of the best hard bottom boats, we bring you this 10ft hard bottom pontoon boat with 1100 Denier 0.9mm PVC body. It has round-end tubes for premium performance and double layers at the top of each tube to protect them from compression. The floor is made of aluminum and marine plywood, and the 1.8mm lower tubes protect the bottom from abrasive sands and sharp rocks. This Bris boat is lighter than many of its rivals and is easy to store. After deflating it, you can wrap it up in the storage bag it comes with and store it in a safe place like your garage, storage facility, or attic.
The inside length is 7ft, and the overall width is 5ft. The onboard length and width allow it to accommodate as many as 4 adults at a time. Another thing we like about it is the maximum weight capacity of 1102 lbs which is quite a lot for a boat of its size. This is a vessel you can trust for sailing into rough regions with strong currents. Its versatility also makes it a very durable vessel for lifesaving missions like dive and rescue; you can also use it for some watersports as well as angling.
The seams are not glued but heat welded, which is better and longer-lasting. Bris works with a 10hp motor.
- Quality accessories
- Rub strake protection
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- Includes a repair kit
- Low thickness with few layers
7. Camping Survivals 10ft Inflatable Raft for Fishing
Seventh on our list of best hard bottom boats is Camping Survival’s 10ft fishing raft. This one has a hard deck design and can carry a maximum weight of 660 lbs at a time. The deck is separate from the vessel; after inflating it, you attach the deck to the interior, and it is ready for sailing. Camping Survivals has a paddle lock design at the side for maintaining its shape.
This boat is not as heavy as other models reviewed so far but is ideal for fishing and general sailing. It can carry two adults on board and is what we recommend if you are looking for a cheap but affordable option.
You can use it for short trips off the coast, but it is safer for lakes and rivers with slow-moving currents. The good thing about this boat is the maximum speed you can clock if you use a very good 10 HP engine to power it. Included in the package are all the necessary accessories, but you will have to buy a pump for inflation.
- Easy to steer
- Easy setup
- Not suitable for strong water currents
8. Lobotou Inflatable Thickened 2-3 Person Boat
Last but not least, our review of the best hard-bottom boat is this one by Lobotou. It has a thickened body with inner bottom floors for fishing, diving and rescue, and your favorite watersports. Lobotou has three air chambers that will give you all the stability you need. It can carry 2 adults and a child on board but for fishing purposes only, having one person on board allows you to cover more ground in less time as you go hunting for large fishing schools far offshore.
The maximum weight capacity of PVC boat is 700 lbs with a hull max load of 187 lbs. Lobotou has an inbuilt fishing rod holder x2, so you don’t have to spend extra cash on rod holders. As for safety, you have nothing to worry about since it has three separate air chambers not linked to each other; in case one chamber is compromised, others will keep the inflatable fishing boat afloat, keeping you safe and above water until you get to shore.
Lobotou has a 0.7mm thick PVC body with a bottom plate made with nylon wire for extra durability. There is also an extra later added to the mix for security.
- Seamless foldable design
- Strong hull
- It has a very low thickness of only 0.7mm and is prone to wear and tear.
Hard Bottom Boats Buying Guide
In the first section, we took the time to review 8 of the best hard bottom boats in the market; in this section, we conclude with a guide to show you what to consider when shopping for hard bottom boats. Read on to learn more.
When shopping for a hard-bottom boat, always consider the horsepower requirements as well because if you don’t, you may end up buying one that is too big for your motor. Or worst still, you may have to spend more money buying a high-capacity motor for it. The good news is that product descriptions will show you the horsepower requirements, so consult that section as well.
The average rule is that for every 25-40 pounds, you need one horsepower. So if you want to click good speed when the boat is loaded, consider a motor at least 5 horsepower higher than the required power.
The next thing to consider is how many people you may sail with often. If you plan to sail alone most of the time, a 2-3 seater vessel will work just fine, but if you will have more people on board, a 4-capacity boat is what you should be looking for. Note that humans weigh more than any other gear on board, and the more people on board, the heavier the boat will weigh.
This ties into the crew capacity factor and the horsepower requirements. If you carry a lot of gear on board each time you sail, we recommend a boat with at least 600 lbs weight capacity and above.
Where will you store the boat when it is not in use? Plan for this ahead and only buy a boat you have storage space for. We recommend models with carrying cases, so when you deflate and wrap them up, you can fit them into them to protect the fabric from moisture, dust, and mildew.
Is the boat easy to set up? How long will it take to inflate or deflate it? These are things you should consider when making your selection. The last thing you want is a boat that takes close to an hour or more to set up. Also, make sure that it comes with an instructional manual to guide you.
Last but not least is the accessories. The best inflatable boat has accessories included in its packages like a foot Pump, oars, seats, D rings, inflatable valves and the likes. Having these extras will help you save money that would have been spent buying them separately.
1. Are all hard-bottom boats priced the same?
No, they are not. The quality of the fabric and the popularity of the brand are two major factors that influence the price. Even models by year the same manufacturer have different prices.
2. Can I use an inflatable hard bottom boat in an Ocean?
No, you may not. Sailing in oceans and seas is a recipe for disasters because they are not large enough, and their hulls cannot handle massive waves. Inflatable boats are designed for lakes, rivers and water inlets.
Last updated: 13/05/2023