The 7 Best Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Boards to Buy in 2018

Enjoy the water a whole new way

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Stand-up paddle boarding is a unique way to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, but not everyone has room to store a 12-foot hard board. Instead, invest in an inflatable paddle board that packs down to suitcase size and inflates within a few minutes of pumping. We’ve got the best inflatable stand-up paddle boards to buy this year to let you cruise through calm waters or glide over choppy waves.

Our Top Picks

01 of 07

Best Overall: Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2

4.4

Hop on the Adventurer 2 inflatable paddle board by Tower Paddle Boards for a smooth ride that tracks well in calm to moderately choppy water. It has two smaller side fins and a removable, larger center fin. The board is 10 feet and 4 inches long, inflates to a rigid six inches, and weighs 26 pounds. There are handles on both the nose and tail for a two-person carry, as well as a large front bungee system for stashing a backpack, stuff sack or fishing gear. The setup comes with a three-piece fiberglass paddle and a manual pump. The board supports riders up to 350 pounds.

02 of 07

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Isle Surf and SUP Airtech Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board

The Isle Airtech Stand-Up Paddle Board is a cruise-style, touring board that is 10 feet, 6 inches long and weighs just 21 pounds with a removable center fin and two smaller side fins. Use this board for all day excursions out on the water. The lightweight board is easy to carry with a nose-mounted handle, plus it has a bungee system on the front to stash any gear, as well as a grippy surface so you won’t slip around. The tapered nose and tail offer top stability and speed when in the waves, and the entire board is made from a durable PVC that pumps up to a sturdy and firm six inches thick. The setup comes with a nylon blade paddle, carry backpack and a manual high-pressure pump. The board supports riders up to 240 pounds.

03 of 07

Best Budget: Bestway Hydro-Force Stand Up Paddle Board

If you are looking for a board to get you out on the water for some simple fun, but don’t want to spend too much on something you’ll use just a few times a year, check out the Hydro-Force Stand-Up Paddle Board. For the price, you’ll get a 10-foot inflatable board with two side fins and a removable center fin, a center carry handle and a relatively stable four-inch thick board. The setup comes with a manual pump, an aluminum paddle, a pressure gauge and travel bag. The board supports riders up to 220 pounds.

04 of 07

Best for Excursions: Atoll Paddle Inflatable SUP

With the Atoll Paddle Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board, riders get not only a smooth, maneuverable ride, but also plenty of space to store gear in case you are heading to make camp. The board comes with a large bungee storage system near the front of the board, plus eight extra tie-down rings at the back end. The board is 11 feet long and inflates to six inches thick for a rigid ride with no sagging in the middle of the board. You’ll stay comfortable all day with a plush foam padding on the top deck of the board. The setup comes with a three-piece aluminum paddle, manual pump, repair kit and travel backpack. The board supports riders up to 300 pounds.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Best Versatility: Isle Surf and SUP PEAK Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board

The Isle Surf and SUP PEAK paddle board is your go-to board for all conditions and all skill levels — perfect if you have friends and family wanting to try out the sport or are traveling to a variety of waters. The 10-foot, 6-inch board is lightweight (23 pounds) with both a center carry handle and a nose-mount carry handle. Plus, the board comes with a six-point bungee system for storage at the front of the board. It inflates to six inches thick and is extremely stable in all types of conditions. You’ll stay upright, too, on the sticky traction pad complete with a stylish wave design. The setup comes with a three-piece aluminum paddle, manual pump, coil leash and travel backpack. The board supports riders up to 300 pounds. Colors include aqua, blue and white.

06 of 07

Best for Beginners: Ten Toes Board Emporium Weekender Stand-Up Paddle Board

The Ten Toes Board Emporium Weekender Stand-Up Paddle Board is a recreational board that will provide the performance to push a beginner to the next level. It is 10 feet long, inflates to six inches thick and weighs about 27 pounds. The board has a center carry handle, three fins, as well as a bungee system on top for storing an extra life jacket or flippers. It handles calm water well with easy maneuverability for those who want to explore water without falling off. The setup comes with a three-piece aluminum paddle, manual pump and repair kit. The board supports riders up to 250 pounds. Colors include black and red, light blue, blush pink, gray, lime green and seafoam green.

07 of 07

Best for Yoga: Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddle Board

The three-finned Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddle Board isn’t the lightest inflatable board on the market (it weighs almost 40 pounds), but it offers a smooth ride for a lower price point. Ideal for yoga, the durable, shorter board (10 feet, 8 inches) is fast and sleek and inflates to a strong, hard surface that provides stability in calm waters. It has a full-length traction pad for a plank, upward-facing-dog or any other full-body yoga pose. The board inflates to a thinner four-inch thickness, but feels strong underfoot with no bending or buckling. The setup comes with a carry bag, pump and gauge; paddle not included. The board supports riders up to 250 pounds.

Products We Tested

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 12 hours testing one of our readers' favorite inflatable stand-up paddle board. To get the most comprehensive results, our testers took this paddle board to the shore and into the water to see how it fared in the waves. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important features while using this paddle board, from its sturdiness to how easy it was to set up. We've outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in an Inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Board

Weight Inflatable boards are perfect for portability, but moving yours may still be tough if it weighs a ton. Some top out at 40 pounds, while others are just half that. Be sure to measure what could be gained from a heavier board (like more stability) against the ease of toting a lighter one.

Activity How will you be using this paddle board? If you’re looking to do yoga on yours, keep an eye out for full-length grip surfaces. If you’re going to be out on a lake, something designed for the ocean might not be what you need — trade that extra ruggedness for other features like additional gear bungees to make an afternoon out of it.

Fins Some paddle boards come with removable fins, while some have them permanently attached. Side fins — an alternative to the more traditional center fin — help maneuverability and tracking. Some boards also include a removable center fin.

Test Results: Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2 (Best Overall)

4.4

What We Like

  • Compact

  • Easy to set up

  • Strong construction

What We Don't Like

  • Included pump is not great quality

Tower Paddle Boards
Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2
Tower Paddle Adventurer 2
Tower Adventurer 2
Tower Paddle

According to our testers, this board took just 10 minutes to inflate. They also thought it felt surprisingly sturdy in the water — especially for an inflatable model. “I don't think anyone would realize this board was inflatable unless you told them,” noted one of our reviewers. Although our testers thought the included pump felt cheaply made, they believed that, overall, this board was a solid choice: “If you’re someone who’s looking to use a paddle board a few times a year and don't have a ton of space, this is the pick for you,” one reviewer declared.