When it comes to getting changed on my pontoon boat, I lost my inhibitions many years ago. My wife doesn’t quite share the same opinion, and I totally get that, especially when it comes to our kids getting dressed and undressed on boat the boat.
We also have another consideration too. My mother-in-law has Crohn’s disease, so when she comes out with us, we need an area for a portable chemical toilet as she needs access as she never knows when the toilet might be needed.
Because most pontoon boats don’t come with changing rooms, mine included, I’ve had to always carry a collapsible pop-up one on-board. Personally, I’ve used the same one for years which is the Green Elephant (check it out on Amazon) – it’s lasted fine and works really well.
I’ve got other boating buddies who also have them on board, and I’ve seen their own pontoon boat pop up changing rooms in action, so feel I’ve got a good idea on what’s good, and what’s not.
Below I’ve reviewed three of the best collapsible changing rooms for a pontoon boat, all of which I can promise I’ve seen in action, so can give you a really good idea on what you should buy and why.
If you decide to buy a pop-up changing room for your pontoon boat, you can store it easily on-board and get it set-up for when you’ve got passengers who are going to need. I don’t use mine when on fishing trips with my buddies as it’s stored away for when I have the family with me. It’s an essential must-have accessory.
Pontoon Boat Pop-Up Changing Room: Best Choice
The Green Elephant collapsible changing room tent is amazing. It’s what I have on my own pontoon, and it’s lasted for three years now with zero problems. It’s constructed with water proof polyester, has a strong zipper, and can pop up and down in seconds. It’s even got a toilet roll holder, towel rail, and little storage pouch in it.
The reason I think it’s a great choice as a pop-up for pontoon boats is not just the features I’ve highlighted above, but also the carry bag it comes with. Once you collapse it down, it can be folded back into the bag, taking up no more room than a 24-inch diameter space. It’s easily stored under a seat or in a storage area.
I would recommend that you buy this if you don’t want to go through the hassle and cost of building an actual proper changing room, but still want something that’s high quality.
Pontoon Pop-Up Changing Room: Best Smaller Model
If you are limited on space and want something that won’t take up as much room on the deck, then the Fotodiox collapsible changing room is great for a pontoon boat.
As with the previous recommendation, it pops open in seconds, but doesn’t have the waterproof material and rugged design or internal features of the Green Elephant. It will take up less room when stored as well so is great for a smaller pontoon boat.
Collapsible Changing Room: The Budget Choice
If you don’t want to spend too much money, or perhaps want something just to use on very rare occasions then take a look at the Pop-Up Pod from GigaTent. As with my other recommendations, it comes with great reviews, but can be picked up for as much as 40% less in price making it a great budget option.
It also comes with a carry case and is 24 inches in diameter when stored. It is a little flimsier compared to the previous two recommendations, but if you’re only using it now and again, that shouldn’t be a barrier to purchase.
It’s very lightweight and is 69 inches high when erected… so taller people might need to duck a little bit when getting changed on board your pontoon boat.
What Size Should You Buy?
The pop-up changing rooms highlighted in this review article do come in different sizes and it makes sense to buy the biggest you can get, as that’s going to make changing so much easier for your passengers.
But there should be a trade-off here depending on how large your pontoon boat is. You don’t want to overwhelm the deck area with one of these constructions if it’s going to be pitched up all day – and for my mother-in-law we do need to do that due to her Crohn’s disease.
They are collapsible, so most people can just put it up, and put it down again, but if it is going to be stood up all day, I would carefully think about how much deck space it’s going to need to use.
Where to Place Your Pop-Up Changing Room
Once you have bought your pontoon pop-up changing room, you are going to need to figure out where it’s going to be placed on the boat when in use.
Admittedly they can be a little obstructive, especially on smaller pontoons. When they are collapsed down, it’s no real issue as they tend to fold up into small circular packages that you can put under a seat or in storage.
Where you place your collapsible changing room, very much depends on how big your pontoon boat is and the layout of the deck.
I’ve been on boats where they have been erected in places such as:
- The corner right behind the captain’s seating area
- On the rear sun deck
- At the end of one of the lounges
- Under the Bimini if you have one
What you really need to do is just test out a few different placement combinations and see what works best for you, your boat, and your passengers. The great thing about these collapsible changing rooms is that they are easy to re-configure and place in different areas, so it’s not a massive problem in truth.
Should You Worry About the Wind?
These collapsible and pop-up changing rooms can be a little bit prone to getting blown around, unlike the sturdier versions which come with steel frames. So, yes, they can be susceptible to the wind.
But if you just going to collapse it up and down every time you need to use it, then you don’t need to worry too much, as you can just wait until the wind dies down, or get someone to hold the canvas.
Handy Hint: For the complete guide to pontoon bathrooms including what portable toilet you need and all other required accessories please click here.
How to Use a Pontoon Collapsible Changing Room
Whilst the name suggests it’s just for getting dressed and changed, you don’t just need to limit yourself to that. Obviously the two major reasons are protecting your passenger dignity when they get changed into their swimming costumes or need the toilet.
But, I have heard rumours that some more adventurous pontooners have used them to have “fun” if you know what I mean. They can protect your privacy in more ways than just one.
How Much Should You Spend?
The recommendations that I have listed above for collapsible changing rooms ideal for pontoon boats don’t cost massive amounts of money. You shouldn’t have to spend over $60 to get something that’s going to work for you.
It will cost a lot less than it would to but the materials and equipment if you wanted to build a permanent structure and is ideal for most pontooners.
Handy Hint: You don’t have to buy a collapsible. Instead you could get a hanging curtain type changing room that fits under a Bimini. Click here to see the best pontoon changing rooms that money can buy.
Pop-up and collapsible changing rooms are a must-have accessory for any pontoon boat owner. Whilst you personally might not think that you need one, if you’ve got kids or elderly people on your boat, then it’s really something that you should buy.
All of the products I have reviewed above are cheap, simple to store, and can be put up on your deck in a matter of seconds. They weigh next to nothing too so it’s not going to add to your boat capacity load limits and can be easily hidden away and only brought out when actually needed.
I’ve used the Green Elephant changing room for 3 years now. It’s a great purchase, so go check it out.