Towing an inflatable tube behind your pontoon is intense fun… and it can be even more fun with 4-person towable tubes. But there are some things you need to consider, for example will your pontoon be powerful to pull 4 people at once?
Assuming you know that it’s going to be possible, the next challenge you will face is actually finding a decent 4-person towable tube for your pontoon. They aren’t as widely available as the standard one and two-person models, and in fact, it’s quite hard to figure out which ones are the best.
I’ve tried to take that trouble off your hands, with my guide to the best 4-person towable tubes that will make your day’s pontooning one that will live on in the memory for a long time to come.
Handy Hint: Buy a high-pressure inflator as if you under-inflate your tube it will become damaged in the water and probably won’t last the day. I recommend this one on Amazon.
Best for Safety: SportsStuff Bandwagon 2+2
It’s very unlikely that you will ever see anything else like this whilst out on the lake due to the awesome design – just look at it! The reviews are excellent too, and you can view the SportsStuff Bandwagon on Amazon now.
Whilst the aesthetics of this 4-person inflatable tube is just one great reason to buy, the most important consideration should be the safety of the people being pulled. It’s very easy for clashes of heads to happen whilst towing, but this design goes some way to reducing that risk.
As you can see from the product photo, you have two people at the front and two people at the back, with every passenger having a good amount of distance apart. Whilst this won’t completely eliminate risk, it sure does look a lot safer than other pontoon tubes on the market.
If you have little kids, then they can sometimes find it hard to ride a normal inflatable tube, as it’s hard for them to keep their head held up. With this one they are a lot more secure, and the seating position should ensure that they get the most from their ride.
Handy Hint: Read the excellent Amazon reviews of the Bandwagon 2+2 by clicking here.
As well as the important safety considerations, it’s also manufactured using a fabric that will be very hard to tear or spring a leak. It’s a high-quality product, and the Amazon reviews certainly seem to bear that out.
Best for Standing Up: WOW Starship Towable
Do you fancy being pulled along a lake on a UFO? I guess you have probably never asked that question before (and why would you?) but it is possible with the WOW UTO Starship.
It is one of the more expensive models on the market, but it’s probably the most fun. Unlike most 4-person towable pontoon tubes, this one lets the riders stand-up – so it’s going to be fun to see how long they can last. Take a look now at the latest prices on Amazon.
Riders can still sit down on it, but the major selling point with this one is the standing feature. Passengers can either stand on the outside or sit in the middle section if they aren’t quite brave enough to test their endurance.
Is it safe for kids? It’s not something I would choose as they might get thrown around quite a lot, but for the older crew you will have a stronger grip it could be an excellent choice.
Best of the Rest
Best Budget: Airhead Mega 4-Rider Towable Tube
If you don’t want to spend too much money, then the Airhead company do some decent low cost 4-person towable tubes – take a look at this on Amazon.
Now you do get what you pay for, and it’s not huge, so riders are all going to be packed in pretty tight in a standard ring design. It is also not as high-quality, and whilst I haven’t used it myself, and would imagine that it may not last as long after heavy use.
Definitely still worth a look though, as the Airhead range is one of the most popular you can buy online, with their other products having very good online reviews.
Best for Just 3 Kids: Airhead Hot Dog Towable
This will only take 3 riders, but I wanted to include it purely because it is such fun. It’s the Airhead Hot Dog towable, comes with a rider tube rope bundle, and offers hours of fun on the water. You can see it on Amazon now.
It’s great for kids as it’s lightweight so you can pick up some good speeds, but the design is where it excels as they will be sat in a line, rather than facing into each other close-up.
I’ve used a very similar product, and if it has one down-side, it’s the fact that after a couple of hours you will need to pump some more air into it.
But overall, it’s a great price and offers good value.
4-Person Towable Tubes to Possibly Avoid
And finally, do I have any 4-person tubes I would avoid which don’t make my best selection?
I do, and these aren’t based on my own personal experience, but rather on the Amazon reviews that I have read. As a full disclaimer, I have not used or purchased these tubes, but have simply checked out the Amazon reviews to determine quality.
AirHead Mega Rock Star Towable
This tube is advertised as being able to carry up to 6 riders. The reason I’ve said to avoid it is that there aren’t going to be too many pontoons that are going to be able to handle that tow load at any decent speed.
Whilst I think it would be great if you have a performance boat, as far as most pontooners go, I can’t see six people working at all on your average boat.
It’s not a bad product, I just would hate for a pontoon boat owner to buy it thinking they are going to be pulling 6 people behind their boat and then be disappointed.
WOW Orange 1-4 Person Bolt Towable
I might be doing this one a slight dis-service by including it, as it’s only had 6 customers reviews at time of me writing these recommendations, and just a few more positives would raise its score.
But it does have 2 rather negative reviews which don’t fill me with confidence relating to it dragging in the water and having some design flaws with regards to the seating.
I’m going to keep an eye on it though, as the price is very competitive, and the overall look is very cool. Hopefully I might be able to move it up into the best selection once the summer has come and gone and more customers have reviewed it.
Before you rush off and buy one, there are few more things you should think about. I’ve already mentioned the performance factor, in other words, do you have enough power?
Most people won’t actually know until they try pulling the inflatable with 4 people’s weight, so what I would do is examine some of the more popular pontooning forums or Facebook groups and ask on there of other people’s experience – I would hate for you to waste money on a 4-person tube without knowing whether it’s going to work or not.
Handy Hint: I’ve also written a short post about pulling people in a tube behind your pontoon which offers additional guidance.
I can only speak from my own experience when pontooning with a friend’s family. They have an 18-foot pontoon with a 2003 Honda 50 and are able to pull four kids in tube at once.
But what else do you need to consider?
You Should Get a High-Pressure Inflator
Firstly, if you decide to buy a cheap 4-person tube then you could experience some problems where it doesn’t stay inflated all day whilst out on the water.
The more expensive and ones that I recommend shouldn’t present this problem, but cheap ones will so don’t waste your money on something that’s not going to last.
If you’re pulling an inflatable around with 4 people in it, then the water and weight will damage a tube that’s not properly inflated. The fabric will drag, leading to tear, rips, and ultimately just a mess of destroyed tube at the of your tow rope.
My advice is to use a really good high-pressure inflator which will let you pump your tube up properly to the ideal pressure.
What’s the best?
I would recommend the Airhead Air Pump from Amazon. You can view the latest prices by clicking that link. Definitely buy this, or at least something very similar.
Lastly, if you are considering pulling an inflatable tube behind your pontoon, then please do be safe, especially with your kids. I’ve put together some safety tips for pulling a tube behind a pontoon which I recommend that you read.
The bottom line is that the more people on a towable tube that you have, then the more dangerous it can be. I’ve heard of clashes of heads resulting in very bad injuries, so please mind your speed and your turns – certainly don’t turn straight into a wake, as this is where it can go wrong.
Save the speed for when it’s just the one person being pulled, and when they have explicitly said that they want to experience a thrill ride.
Handy Hint: If you want a tube that is designed for less than 4 riders, read through this guide to the best towable tubes instead that gives options for 2 and 3 person rides.