Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Getting on the water is part of the experience for many state parks in Florida and throughout our beautiful country. In fact,in the sunshine state, no matter where you are, you're never more than sixty miles away from saltwater. So fresh or salt, it's cool to check out the waterways and investing in an inflatable watercraft might be a great solution.
Now, up until Covid caused me to jump onboard the new pontoon boat; I never planned be a boat owner. For years, I preferred to rent a pontoon at some of our favorite rustic resorts. Or my favorite was to simply bring the cooler and lunch to spend the day onboard a friend's boat. So, it is not surprising you may not have a boat yet are intrigued to explore the great outdoors via water. Let's explore some other options for navigating the waterways.
Perhaps, you love to paddle board; sweet! There are tons of ways you can glamp and explore. Nowadays, less is more. If you don't have to store something that is one less thing you have to maintain and move around each time you want get into your garage or shed. Thus, inflatable is in ya'll! Like, in a big way and why not? It is so easy!
The ones I highlight give you a complete kit with pump and case. That means, even with just your vehicle you could in theory bring your entire glamp kit, watercraft, food and more. That's epic; right? So, here's my favorite inflatable paddle boards.
The SereneLife Premium Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck Youth & Adult Standing Boat; it's very reasonable in price ranging from $300-$400 and is everything you need to paddle down springs and rivers.
Another great option that has a bit more pizazz is the ANCHEER iSUP Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board 10', Non-Slip Deck, Military Grade PVC iSUP Boards Complete Kit Package Plus Adjustable Paddle, Coil Leash, Hand Pump Perfect for Yoga, Fishing, Cruising
Though, if you decide to commit to a full size, intact paddle board,maybe you already own one, I'd suggest you get the rack to hold your board(s) on the roof of your vehicle. Remember, you are going to need all the space you can get in other parts of your trunk or truck bed. Here is a cost effective one I recommend that is easy to take on and off, even with #foxynails, and fits almost every vehicle.
Or, maybe you want to kayak or canoe? This is a great option for a family with kids of any age or for a couple. Think about it? As a couple you can ride together or decide to each have your own. As a family, one parent can go with a child for safety. Or, if the kids are older you can get one for the kids and one for the grownups; it's ideal. Best part, these are all top grade blow up options so you can condense your gear and logistics of packing. Keep in mind, if you already have a fiberglass type of kayak, use the rack so you can conserve on space while getting to your camping destinations and maybe position it so you can pack stuff inside of it too.
Though it is upwards of $300, others can go well into the $1000 range. Hence, this is an incredible option for a two person kayak. Remember, in Florida there are lots of gators in our freshwater and to know that the kayak you are in is good and thick with a study oar can create a stronger sense of confidence; that's important. Plus there is room for your small cooler for drinks and snacks; you will likely want that. Remember, stash your trash back in your cooler or travel bag so it doesn't end of in the waterways.
If you need to get more than one or you just don't want to allocate too much money towards a hobby you may or may not stick with (trust me I get it...) this is a good option:
With just a 5-minute setup and easy-to-carry backpack system that turns into the seat ,treat this right and it's Airtight System is guaranteed not to leak. This is a nimble, sleek design perfect for one who is looking to really glide across the weather, no matter the pace. For less than $150 and featured on Prime, you could be in the water in no time.
Now, I myself know that as a family of three, it is often nice to all be together. Maybe your third is your dog? Part of our desire to want to want to start glampin' was because of our dog and wanting him to be with us now that he is more mature and chill. Though there are only two back rests, there is tons of space for another rider. This is the best option out there if you are thinking to go the inflatable route:
Even blow up boats exist! If you have a small group for a family but are new to the outdoors and want to start small. I suggest this amazing setup and the price point is right:
Yet, perhaps the most unique inflatable watercraft you can commit to is for the avid fisher who wishes to go at it alone yet in distinct "back river roads fashion":
Coming in at roughly $500, remember you can get 6 months free financing or longer depending on how big your order is, this is one cool setup! It has a rod holder which can be mounted in three different positions on each oar stand, an Anchor System with fillable mesh bag; cleat and pulley controls that can fit on right or left side of boat, Sturdy two position Motor mount for trolling and Padded fold down plastic seat equally a 9' river capable pontoon boat. I mean...wow!
In closing, remember that when on an inflatable you can't just stash your life jacket under a seat until you need it. Depending on your skills and confidence in the water, wear a life jacket and kids of course must.
Be sure to add that to your cart if you haven't already or don't have one in your garage. Here's some good ones that I found were perfectly priced and available on Prime:
ideal for the kiddos and patriotic; does it get any better?
For older kids, also referred to as parents...just kiddin'
This is on prime, comes in a few size options and is relatively stylish for a life jacket. It's a no brainer for just $30!
To wrap up, you are now have all the choices you need to find the best inflatable watercraft for your needs to river roam and glamp; see you on the water river roamin'!