We Tested 20 Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboards and These Are the Best

The SUP from Atoll was our favorite that we tested

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Inflatable SUP testing

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

TripSavvy's Picks

The Atoll 11-foot Inflatable SUP is our favorite for its all-around performance. It's stable and excellent for beginners and advanced paddlers. Isle's Pioneer 2.0 impressed enough to earn the best runner-up spot. And the ROC Inflatable SUP Package was our favorite budget-friendly board.

Inflatable paddleboards are game-changers. They're generally less expensive than the traditional rigid boards. They fit into bags not much bigger than a carry-on. And they're mostly lighter than their rigid siblings. All of this has helped increase access and popularity of the sport. Simply put, it's now more practical than ever to take your paddleboard on vacation, down the street, or even deep in the backcountry to an alpine lake.

We've spent the past few months testing 20 inflatable paddleboards on alpine lakes, harbors, open oceans, and rivers. We tested for ease of use, performance, portability, quality, and overall value. Below are our picks for the best inflatable SUPs based on more than 100 miles of paddling.

Best Overall: Atoll 11' Inflatable SUP

4.6
Atoll SUP

Amazon

What We Like
  • Larger weight limit

  • Good for beginners

  • Stylish

What We Don't Like
  • Harder to maneuver

From the buffalo icon logo to the extra thick and burly build, the Atoll iSUP is a heavy-duty paddleboard. Larger paddlers can struggle with boards with thinner profiles and lower maximum capacities. Not so with the Atoll, which is a full 6 inches thick, 32 inches wide, and rated up to 400 pounds for a single rider and 750 pounds for two.

The board is also performance-oriented for its size, with a squared tail and pointed nose for better planning and steering. The thruster fin setup lets you get moving and keep moving straight ahead when you need to cover ground. Many D-ring attachment points and built-in elastic straps will help tie down your gear. We found the included fiberglass paddle is high quality, and the leash feels like one you'd find on a surfboard.

Once adequately inflated (inflation took us less than 10 minutes), the Atoll 11-Footer feels rigid and stable—something we immediately noticed when we stepped onto it in the water. We didn't notice the flex that's common in some cheaper inflatable options. Also, its shape, rugged construction, and 6-inch thickness made it easy to cruise along. However, this thickness had one drawback compared to surfboards or fiberglass SUPs (often in the 2- to 4-inch range): We could feel the wind catch the board during a windy day of testing, forcing our tester to fight more to stabilize it via paddling.

In terms of speed, inflatable SUPs tend to be slower than their solid counterparts, but we felt the Atoll is firm enough for the difference to be marginal. Another area where inflatable boards can fall short is in their turning capabilities. We never expected the Atoll to turn on a dime but were pleasantly surprised at what we observed: The pointed and slightly upturned nose made it more maneuverable, despite its flatwater design. Although it's a step ahead of more giant platform inflatables, it's still not a precision wave surfer, and it takes some effort and time to wheel it around. Overall, the Atoll offers a complete SUP package at a competitive price.

Size: 132 x 32 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 2-year manufacturer's | Weight: 21 pounds

Atoll 11' Inflatable Standup Paddleboard

TripSavvy / Jamie Hergenrader

Best Overall, Runner-Up: Isle Pioneer 2.0

4.6
Isle Pioneer 2.0

Amazon

What We Like
  • An approachable price and excellent quality make this ideal for paddlers of varying levels

  • The oversized bag made it super simple to pack back up at the end of the day

  • Very maneuverable and handled different types of water and conditions with ease

What We Don't Like
  • Not the lightest to carry around

Everything about Isle's new version of the pioneer is easy. This board was super simple to use, from unpacking and inflating to actually paddling to deflating and packing back up. The package includes a leash, fin, pump, paddle, and bag. We love features like front and rear handles so two people can share the load, bungees on both ends for carrying water bottles, life jackets, or extra clothing, and two Velcro straps on the side to hold your paddle while carrying the board.

On the water, this board performed very well. Its 6-inch loft and 34-inch width make it stable (it's one of Isle's most stable boards). One of our testers had no problem casting a fly rod and catching small Brook trout from it while testing on a high alpine lake in Colorado's Summit County. We also had no significant issues with it while navigating the surf off the Ventura County coast. Its maneuverability was also top-notch and seemed to cut through the wind decently enough.

We love an inflatable board that packs back down easily into its carrying case, and the Pioneer 2.0 does just that. Simply put: Isle's Pioneer is a more affordable, solid all-around board for beginners, intermediate, or even advanced paddlers looking to do different activities on the water like fishing or yoga.

Size: 126 x 34 x 6 inches | Material: Not listed | Warranty: 2-year limited | Weight: 24 pounds

Isle Pioneer 2.0 Inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best Budget: ROC Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard Pack

4.7
ROC Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard Pack

Amazon

What We Like
  • Front and rear bungee tie-downs for carrying extra gear and clothing

  • Comes with a dry bag

  • Convertible paddle for switching between paddleboarding and kayaking

What We Don't Like
  • Zipper on the carrying bag doesn't go all the way around, making it a bit difficult to place the board back into the bag

There's a lot to love about this board from ROC. And don't let the "budget" superlative totally define this board. It's a solid board that our tester tried alongside another board double its price, and the ROC inflatable SUP more than held its own. "Of the two boards I tested," our tester reported, "this one was better in terms of features." In particular, our tester enjoyed the front and rear bungee tie-downs, how easy the fin was to attach and detach via the board's QuickClip fin, and the included dry bag, which was handy for carrying a phone and car keys during a paddle sesh. Bonus: This board comes with a convertible paddle for paddleboarding and kayaking.

Our tester had no problem inflating the board to capacity in less than 10 minutes. "This board performed really well," our tester said. "It felt stable, it turned well, and I felt like I could go pretty fast when I wanted." It was also easy to carry and features front and rear handles for a duo to carry if necessary. (Although, at a claimed 17.5 pounds, it's one of the lightest we tested.)

A couple of critiques revolved around getting the board back into its case, which was a bit too tight. Also, the zipper for the carrying case only goes about halfway down on one side of the bag, meaning you've got to fit it into the bag with precision for the bag to close. But besides those two nitpicks, our tester really enjoyed this board, especially considering the price. "This is the ideal paddleboard for those on a budget," our tester concluded. "At only $300 (compared to others we tested that were double or triple that price), this is a high-quality board that comes with thoughtful features and accessories, such as a convertible paddle to take you from SUP to kayaking and a dry bag to keep your valuables safe on the water."

Size: 120 x 33 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 1-year limited | Weight: 17.5 pounds

ROC Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard Pack

TripSavvy / Jamie Hergenrader

Best Value: SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

4.8
SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
What We Like
  • Stable and easy to ride for beginners and experienced paddlers

  • Good durability—just some surface scratches and marks

What We Don't Like
  • Carrying bag could be bigger

SereneLife's inflatable SUP is a good one for entry-level to experienced paddlers. It has all the basics—a board, paddle, pump, repair kit, leash, and additional fin. Our tester had no problem pumping it up to 12 PSI in less than 10 minutes. And the paddle was easy to adjust, even while standing on the board in the water. This board features superior stability—our tester had no problem taking it on a windy lake and river while riding it in tandem with a partner and antsy dog that jumped off the board multiple times. We took this board camping, and on a four-day river trip, and besides some scratches and marks from transporting it in and out of the river, it held up well. "Although it has some light scuff marks, it feels super durable," our tester reported.

Our nitpicks—like other boards on this list—are the bag could be bigger and easier for putting the board away at the end of the day. But, overall, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better board for its cost.

"It was so easy to carry on a trail and on pavement, and it is one of the most sturdy paddle boards I've ever been on," our tester said. "I loved having my dog or partner on the paddle board with me, and it felt so stable despite the extra weight. Overall, this paddle board was a blast to have out on the water, regardless of paddling experience."

Size: 126 x 32 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: Not listed | Weight: 29.5 pounds

SereneLife Free Flow Inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Anna Popp

Best for Beginners: Decathlon Itiwit X100 10' Touring Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

4.6
Decathlon Itiwit X100 10' Touring Inflatable SUP

Decathlon

What We Like
  • Super small case, which is great for road trips or taking on a plane

  • Excellent value and stability for beginners

  • Good maneuverability

What We Don't Like
  • A bit difficult to pack down and get back into the case

  • Pump and paddle are sold separately

Decathlon made the 10-foot Itiwit for half-day beginner trips, and we'd have to agree this board is excellent for just that. This super simple and stable board is ideal for beginners or those looking to travel with their inflatable SUP. It packs down into the smallest pack of any board we tested. It's not the lightest, but the sizing of the packed and deflated board makes it ideal for sticking in the trunk of a car or checking onto an airplane. We tested this board at the same time and with the same conditions as two other boards twice its cost, and our testers still preferred this one because of its stability and maneuverability.

Our major—and really only—critique is the board does not come with a pump and paddle. Because it's Decathlon, those can be purchased separately for not much more, making this board still one of the least expensive and better values on this list. Another note: This board fits paddlers between 130 and 175 pounds. If you're above that range—or want a board that can handle an additional rider—try out the 11-foot version. Likewise, smaller versions of the same board are available if you're under that range.

Size: 120 x 32 x 5 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 2-year limited | Weight: 23 pounds

Decathlon Itiwit X100 10' Touring Inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Whitman Lindstrom

Most Stable: Bote HD Aero 11'6" Inflatable SUP

4.2
Bote HD Aero Inflatable SUP
Bote HD Aero Inflatable SUP.
What We Like
  • Quick pump-up to inflate compared to others we tested

  • Maneuverable and fast on the water

  • Good for beginners

What We Don't Like
  • Case isn't very durable

  • Heavier than others tested

Bote calls the HD Aero their "do everything" board, and we'd have to agree. We found the HD Aero incredibly stable and could definitely be a solid board for yoga or fishing. The upshot? This board is a ton of fun and is suitable for beginners. For its size, we found it surprisingly maneuverable and fast. It handled the wind and chop very well. And with a rider capacity of 315 pounds, this board can easily handle an adult with a child or dog.

Bote also has quite a few neat features that make this board stand out compared to other non-Bote boards on this list. The board comes "Rac" compatible, which is Bote's way of adding a "Tackle Rac" or "Bucket Rac" to turn normal SUPs into fishing-focuses SUPs. It also has a sheath to hold your paddle while on the board, attachment points to store a cooler (sold separately), or a seat. A magnet attachment point also connects with Bote's drinkware and other accessories.

There were two points of slight annoyance with this board. At about 48 pounds, it was one of the heaviest boards we tested when packed all together. And while we appreciated the case's sternum and waist straps to help share the weight across the body, both zipper pulls for the bag's main compartment broke the first time we tried to zip the board back into its case. The zippers are still functional—they're just a bit tougher to pull closed now.

That said, if you're looking for a super solid board—and are willing to spend over $1,000—we love the performance of the HD Aero.

Size: 138 x 34 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 2-year limited | Weight: 30 pounds

Bote HD Aero 11'6" inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best Lightweight: High Society Wolf Inflatable SUP Package

4.9
High Society Wolf Inflatable SUP Package
What We Like
  • Super stable

  • Lightweight and packable in an included carrying case

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing yet

Colorado-based High Society's Wolf Package excels in diverse water and conditions. The package includes everything needed to quickly get on the water—a pump, paddle, leash, and backpack to carry it all. We love this board's light weight, which makes it easy and quick to get on the water.

The more we test this board, the more we really like everything about it. In addition to how light this board is and its performance on the water, we love how easy it is to fold up and put back into its case (an attribute of an inflatable SUP we didn't realize we found important till testing). If an inflatable SUP aims to create easier water access, we think High Society's Wolf Package nails it.

The board itself isn't the widest on our list, but it felt like one of the most stable. We had no problem taking it through some serious chop and ocean waves. It has excellent maneuverability. And we've had no issues with its durability. We also had minimal problems taking a paddleboarding newbie from kneeling to standing and paddling within half an hour. By minimal problems, we mean the greenhorn only fell a few times. The Wolf is a great learning board and one to move into intermediate paddling. Thanks to its size, the Wolf works with children, teens, and adults, alike.

Size: 128 x 32 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 3-year limited | Weight: 19 pounds

High Society Wolf Package Inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best for Fishing: Bote Rackham Aero 12'4" Inflatable SUP

4.4
Bote Rackham 12'4" Inflatable SUP
Bote Rackham 12'4" Inflatable SUP.
What We Like
  • Super stable and large platform

  • Would also be good for yoga

  • Lots of extra cool features

What We Don't Like
  • Tougher to maneuver and control

Bote's Rackham Aero 12'4" board is like the pontoon boat of inflatable SUPs. It felt so massive and stable that we started calling it the Party Barge. And it does feel like you could have a party on this SUP. This SUP can officially turn into a pedal-powered kayak, compatible with Bote's APEX Pedal Drive and Rudder System. Because it's Bote, this SUP comes with a load of add-ons and attachment points, making it even easier to convert into an ultimate fishing-focused machine.

We also envision this as the board for people looking to ensure they're extra stable while progressing their SUP yoga practice. It's the largest SUP we tested that wasn't a tandem, which came with benefits and a couple of drawbacks (more on that in a bit). But, overall, we can't imagine a better option if you're looking for a SUP primarily for fishing purposes.

The only issues we had from this board were just sacrifices made for having a board of this size. It was tough to maneuver in the water—especially when dealing with wind—mainly because of its size and 7-inch lift (compared to 6 inches for all other boards tested). It just caught a bit more wind. And with a packed weight of 79 pounds, we don't envision this as a board that will help accessibility to water much. It's tough to lug around, and while the case does have wheels, which is super helpful, we can't imagine taking it onto public transit or flying with it like we could High Society's Wolf Package. Still, with a 400-pound weight capacity, there's plenty of room for you, your fishing tackle, some food in a cooler, and perhaps a dog.

Size: 148 x 38 x 7 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 2-year limited | Weight: 45 pounds

Bote's Rackham Aero 12'4" inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best for Travel: iROCKER All-Around 10' Ultra

4.1
iRocker All-Around 10' Ultra

iRocker

What We Like
  • Everything packs down into a small case that we put on planes and drove halfway across the country with

  • Like its name suggests, good all-around board that we took on the ocean, in lakes, and on rivers

What We Don't Like
  • There are more stable boards on the list

iRocker's All-Around Ultra didn't wow us at first. But the more we used it, the more we enjoyed it and learned to appreciate how it can handle all sorts of water. Built less for stability, the All-Around Ultra prioritizes speed and maneuverability. This re-engineered version features a new tethered twin fin setup, bungee cord tie-downs, three accessory mounts, and the double fold, which fits into the compact backpack. One thing to note is this board package includes just an electric and battery-powered pump. So make sure you fully charge your battery before leaving home or that you have access to a car for inflation.

We took advantage of the compact backpack by checking this SUP on a plane and driving it halfway across the country. It's one of the few we tested on the Pacific Ocean, in rivers, and on multiple lakes. We fly fished from it and put a toddler on it while navigating a lake in Minnesota. The more we've used this board, the more we appreciate and enjoy it. This board is ideal for the intermediate paddler looking for a relatively affordable board to take on trips.

Size: 120 x 32 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 3-year limited | Weight: 19.8 pounds

iRocker All-Around 10' Ultra Inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Whitman Lindstrom

Best for Kids: iROCKER Nautical Kids

4.4
iRocker Nautical Kids Inflatable SUP

iRocker

What We Like
  • Kids-size but also would work for smaller adults

  • Good stability

What We Don't Like
  • Best for calmer waters

This board is marketed for kids at least eight years old but would also work well for smaller adults. iRocker's Nautical Kids board has all the features of a high-end adult board like three carrying points, multiple bungee tie-downs for gear and clothes, and the package comes with everything needed to get on the water like a pump, paddle, leash, removable fins, and carrying bag. We put a kid on this board and have also been using it for smaller adults.

Size: 108 x 32 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 2-year limited | Weight: 17.2 pounds

iRocker Nautical Kids InflatableSUP

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Best Tandem: BlueFin Cruise Carbon 15' SUP

4.4
Bluefin Cruise Carbon SUP

 Courtesy of Bluefin

What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Comes with a robust kit

  • Can hold multiple people

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Pricey

Paddleboarding is usually a solo adventure, but you can realistically fit multiple people on a board as long as you're under the recommended weight limit. The high-pressure boards from BlueFin offer big-time rigidity and float by inflating up to 28 psi, which is well above the average 15 psi for entry-level boards. It's also 32 inches wide by 15 feet long, so there's plenty of real estate to fit a paddler and a passenger.

There are also fore and aft bungee tie-down zones and a generous traction pad covering most of the board. It even comes with two sets of paddles and kayak seats. This board weighs 44 pounds, but weight isn't likely a top concern if you're buying a paddleboard in this class. The Cruise Carbon is rated to carry 529 pounds, so you can realistically float with an adult and two kids if you're up for the paddle.

At 15 feet, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon is not an agile board. And it can feel sluggish, especially if you're paddling solo. Paddling with a dog or non-paddling child can exacerbate this as you might not be able to stand in the optimal position for paddling. Plus, there's the extra dead weight. Still, this board is for touring and cruising, and it moves well for the size and feels rigid enough.

Adding a second paddling person can change the dynamic and makes this board cruise. However, like two people paddling a canoe or kayak, it takes time to get a rhythm. Once you do, the double output can be more practical than solo paddling. It's important to note that there are limits to the board's tandem capacities. The stated weight limit is 353 pounds, so two large adults might be pushing it. It appeared near the weight limit and sank a bit with two lighter testers and an adult dog on the board together. 

For a larger tandem inflatable, it's hard to beat the stiffness and performance of the Cruise Carbon for the price. Just be sure you're okay with the compromises you'll make in transporting and performance versus smaller boards.

Size: 179.5 x 36 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 5-year manufacturer's | Weight: 44 pounds

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 15’ Paddleboard

TripSavvy / Justin Park

Best Splurge: Hala Gear Straight-Up Inflatable SUP Kit

4.5
Hala Gear Straight-Up Inflatable SUP

Hala Gear

What We Like
  • Excellent all-around board for multiple ability levels

  • Great stability on flat water and rivers

  • Rolling backpack included

What We Don't Like
  • Much cheaper boards performed as well

We've admired Hala Gear's innovations in the inflatable SUP market for almost a decade. So we were excited to take the Straight-Up package out for a spin on a reservoir and river near Hala's Steamboat Springs, Colorado headquarters. The board lived up to expectations, performing very well on both the flatter water of the reservoir and the small rapids and drops of the river.

The board package includes everything needed to get on the water, like a pump, paddle, and repair kit. We also love that there's an industry-leading five-year warranty.

Size: 126 x 32 x 6 inches | Material: PVC | Warranty: 5-year manufacturer's | Weight: 23 pounds

Hala Gear Straight-Up Inflatable SUP

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Other Inflatable SUPs We Tested

Body Glove Performer 11: Body Glove has updated its classic Performer 11 and is selling it as a Costco exclusive at one of the most accessible prices we've seen for an inflatable SUP. So far, we've loved a lot about this board. First, the board comes with two pumps—a traditional hand-pump one and an electric one that can be set to a specific PSI and automatically shut off when the board reaches that PSI. We tried it both ways, using a car battery.

Performance-wise, we were impressed. It's not the most stable board, but it had no problem rolling through wind-chopped water and waves. Thanks to its pointed and rockered nose, you could cut through the water quickly with this board. Everything you need to get on the water is in this package—something we love. Besides the basics of a pump, paddle, leash, and board, the Performer comes with a repair kit, a waterproof phone pouch (which holds up very well), and a backpack to throw it all in.

A max capacity of 320 pounds means you could comfortably fit an adult with a dog or a small child. Bonus: Body Glove will plant a tree for every board sold.

iRocker 10-6 Cruiser Ultra: If you're a semi-regular paddleboarder looking for a reliable companion on the water—without too much of a struggle on land before and after your outing—this could be the board for you. It looks nice, is high-quality, relatively affordable, and performs better on the water than other SUPs. It was just the right weight—it was light enough to carry without being so light that it felt cheap or unsubstantial when battling against the wind on the water.

Pau Hana Solo Sup Backcountry: It touts itself as the first "hikeable" SUP—and we'd say that's accurate. You could hike with it to a remote location, which is cool. If having a lightweight board that saves space is your priority, this is a great option, but we didn't find it worth the sacrifices in performance. This is a board for the most extreme SUP adventurers. If you're very steady on a small, narrow board, and the most important element to you is being able to transport it to remote locations on your back, this board is probably worth the splurge. For the average paddleboarder, we wouldn't recommend it.

Red Paddle Co. Ride MSL Inflatable Paddleboard: We were interested in this board because of its price—which is quite a bit, especially compared to other boards tested. After a weekend of testing, our tester reported being unable to see where the price difference comes from. Yes, the travel bag and pump are better with this board, but we wouldn't pay that much more for just those two things alone.

Bote Breeze Aero: This one was solid, like the other Bote boards we tested. Our tester especially liked that this board comes in multiple sizes, including one that would fit their husband, who is 6-feet, 8-inches, and weighs over 200 pounds. Bote boards are definitely solid for larger paddlers or those looking to take pets or small children out with them.

Nixy Newport G4 All Around Paddleboard: We liked a lot about this board. In particular, we enjoyed the different designs of this board, its slim build, and maneuverability. It handled well and would be a good board for many ability levels.

FunWater Inflatable Ultra-Light SUP: We think this board is a good choice as a budget board. While we didn't love the design or the carrying bag, it worked well overall. The lightweightness and ease of transport were definitely a positive as well.

Gili Air Inflatable SUP: We liked the size, sense of stability, and overall look of this board. We really appreciated the bag that it came in as well—it felt durable and had a lot of extra pockets, so it was easy to keep the fins secure.

Inflatable SUP testing

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Product Selection

We selected paddleboards to test based on internet research, customer reviews, and the expertise of editors. We also included a wide range of paddleboards at different price points and for different ability levels. Once we narrowed down the list of which to test, we sent them out to editors and staff who regularly and frequently paddleboard to score each one on the same attributes.

Inflatable SUP testing

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

How We Tested

Each paddleboard was taken out for at least three trips. Many have been tested for several months in various conditions, like the open ocean, harbors, lakes, and rivers. We paddled well over 100 miles on the boards included in this roundup. Boards were tested for ease of use, performance, portability, quality, and overall value. Our testers included beginners and intermediate paddlers to advanced paddlers.

Best inflatable SUPs
TripSavvy / Nathan Allen.

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

Size

When renting a paddleboard, the dimensions can tell you a lot about how it’ll perform and its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re larger than the average person, you want a board at least 6 inches thick because you need that volume to stay afloat. Boards that are 4 inches thick can sink too close to the water line under heavier loads. 

Shape

Boards wider in the waist are generally more stable and, when paired with a broad, rounded nose and tail, tend to be a friendlier beginner board. Dart-shaped longer boards are better for touring and covering longer distances. Rocker, or a curving upwards of the board away from the water, is better for rougher waters than flats.

Accessories

Not all boards come with the necessary equipment. Despite being inflatable, many don't even come with a pump. Read product descriptions to see what's included if you don't already have the essential equipment. We recommend looking for items like a leash, paddle, pump, carrying bag, fin, or removable seat.

Fin Setup

Many boards, especially those intended for use on flat water, feature a single, removable and adjustable fin that minimizes drag. Most multi-fin setups, such as the three-fin “thruster” setup, are used on intermediate and advanced paddleboards and improve tracking or control in surfing or rougher waters. Longer fins are better for tracking (keeping you on course), while shorter fins permit more agile maneuvering. 

Carrying Case

Not all inflatable SUPs come with a case, but it’s a nice-to-have item that keeps your board, paddle, pump, and any extras together in one place. Additionally, if you intend to hike or cover any significant distance, look for a carrying pack in a backpack style, ideally with both chest and waist straps to help keep the load secure on your back. The best carrying packs have cinch straps to compress the bag around its contents to prevent shifting contents that will wear on your back over the long haul.

Inflatable SUP testing

TripSavvy / Nina Ruggiero

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you store an inflatable paddle board?

    When storing a deflated paddleboard, it's important to rinse and fully dry it before deflating and rolling it up. It is important to keep it somewhere dry, out of sunlight, and free from extreme temperatures. It's also possible to leave the board inflated for convenience if it doesn't need to be transported or used frequently. If used seasonally, it's OK to deflate for those times of the year when it's not used often, but it's technically better not to leave it tightly rolled up as that may cause hard creases that can create weak points over time.

  • How long does it take to inflate a paddle board?

    When pumped steadily, it should only take about five to 10 minutes to inflate by hand with the included pumps, though if the board needs to be deflated and inflated frequently, it's good to consider buying an electric pump to speed up the process. 

  • Is a leash necessary?

    A leash is essential in ocean surf to prevent the rider from being separated from their board, but a leash isn't crucial for most flat water situations. Some boards come with a leash; others do not. Those who may want a leash ensure the board they're buying comes with one or purchase one separately.

  • What is a double-action pump?

    A double-action pump pushes air into the board when pushing down and pulling the handle up on a hand pump. A single-action pump pushes air in while pressing down. It increases the effort required to pull up, meaning faster pumping on balance. Most double-action pumps have a switch that allows them to be used as a single-action pump, which is easier for pumping the last few PSI into your board.

  • Can dogs ride on an inflatable SUPs?

    The larger platforms of a SUP have plenty of room to bring a furry friend, but a fair question is if dogs' claws are a danger to an air-filled SUP. Most inflatables are built with multiple layers of thick and often reinforced PVC to withstand bumps and run-ins with rocks and sticks, so claws shouldn't be a serious threat. 

Best inflatable standup paddleboards

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Why Trust Tripsavvy

Nathan Allen is TripSavvy's Outdoor Gear Editor. He spends dozens of days paddleboarding each year and finds it a relaxing and welcomed alternative to his normal high-output outdoor activities. His current go-to inflatable SUP is High Society's Wolf. But he's been traveling around the country this summer with the iRocker All-Around Ultra.

Justin Park lives in Summit County, Colorado, and spends his short summers paddleboarding the high alpine lakes around his home. He owns both the Atoll and the Tower Adventurer 2 boards and has been known to catch trout from them occasionally.

Additional reporting by
Justin Park
Justin Park
Justin Park has been working as a sports, fitness, and hunting/outdoors journalist for 20 years. He reviews outdoor gear for TripSavvy, like ski equipment and inflatable paddle boards.
Learn about our editorial process
Was this page helpful?
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
Continue to 9 of 12 below.