Best Pontoon Boat of 2018

Small inflatable pontoon boats are very popular, but as there are so many different designs it can be difficult to make a comparison between models. Differences include size, whether they have two or three pontoons, and the materials used to make them.

For the purposes of this article we are going to review three of the best pontoon boats, which are relatively small, configured for a single user, and designed mostly for leisure pursuits such as fishing.

We'll outline the main features of each pontoon boat and give you our opinion on which of three we rate as the best pontoon boat.

Name
Top Pick
Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount, Sage/Gray
Runner Up
Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube With Backpack Straps
Budget Choice
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Fishing Inflatable Pontoon Boat with Swivel Seat
Image
Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount, Sage/Gray
Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube With Backpack Straps
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Fishing Inflatable Pontoon Boat with Swivel Seat
Design
Abrasion-resistant pontoons
Abrasion-resistant underneath
Accessible and portable
Comfort
Replaceable bladders
Very comfortable seat
Swivel-chair
Additional Features
Lots of storage pockets
Fish ruler on front apron
Includes metal brass support
Editor's rating
(5 / 5)
(4.9 / 5)
(4.8 / 5)
Top Pick
Name
Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount, Sage/Gray
Image
Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount, Sage/Gray
Design
Abrasion-resistant pontoons
Comfort
Replaceable bladders
Additional Features
Lots of storage pockets
Editor's rating
(5 / 5)
Price
Runner Up
Name
Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube With Backpack Straps
Image
Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube With Backpack Straps
Design
Abrasion-resistant underneath
Comfort
Very comfortable seat
Additional Features
Fish ruler on front apron
Editor's rating
(4.9 / 5)
Price
Budget Choice
Name
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Fishing Inflatable Pontoon Boat with Swivel Seat
Image
Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Fishing Inflatable Pontoon Boat with Swivel Seat
Design
Accessible and portable
Comfort
Swivel-chair
Additional Features
Includes metal brass support
Editor's rating
(4.8 / 5)
Price

Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat

The two pontoons on this boat are made from heavy-duty nylon on the top section, and PVC in the bottom section which is abrasion resistant. The interior inflatable bladders have the advantage of being easily replaceable if, unfortunately, they ever suffer a puncture.

The frame is powder coated to protect it, comes in three sections and when assembled it can be adjusted so that the seat, the footrests, and the oar hooks are all in the most comfortable position for the person using the boat. This means that whether you are tall or not, you can set the boat up to suit your size.

One of the most important aspects of a pontoon boat is the amount of storage it offers, and this one has plenty. There are no fewer than 20 pockets where all kinds of items can be stored such as fishing tackle and snacks. There are also two drink holders, which are insulated to keep drinks warm or cold, depending on what they are.

One other great feature for those who plan to travel on dry land as is that the side pockets are detachable and can be formed to make a larger bag, with a shoulder strap to carry it.

To transport or move the boat when it is on land, you need to lower the transport wheel. This allows you to move the boat into the water without dragging it along the ground and damaging the pontoons.

The anchor basically consists of a bag which you need to fill it with rocks to weigh it down. It works but it’s not particularly easy.

This single-seat pontoon boat is ideal for leisurely rowing down rivers and across lakes, or if you prefer a faster pace, it has a mount for an outboard motor.

Pros

  • Adjustable to user's size
  • Replaceable bladders
  • Lots of storage pockets
  • Abrasion-resistant pontoons

Cons

  • Difficult to steer in wind
  • Bag anchor is cumbersome

Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat Summary:

  • Adjustable
  • Replaceable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Tear and abrasion-resistant

Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Float Tube

This float tube can be carried in the same way you would carry a backpack, even when it is inflated, and the adjustable straps allow you to make it as comfortable as possible.

It weighs only 18 lbs. so it should be light enough for most people to carry.

Although the seat is a bit lower than we’d like, it is nonetheless very comfortable which is due to the very thick padding, and a backrest which you can adjust. This level of comfort will be very welcome if you plan to be on the water for hours at a time.

When you head out on the water, whether to fish, or just enjoy yourself, there will be plenty of items you want to take with you, so having somewhere to store it all is going to be a priority. This float tube has lots of storage options which include two cargo pockets, a mesh pocket, two fishing rod holders, and two drink holders. There are also zipped pockets and D-rings which can be used to attach creel bags.

The float tube’s main materials include an abrasive-resistant PVC in the bottom section, and it has been shaped in such a way that steering is made as easy as possible.

One other feature which those who love fishing will like, is a fish ruler on the top of the front apron which allows you to see how big your latest catch is.

This float tube is not only fun, it is a serious alternative to the larger pontoon boats and is perfect for fishing and leisure.

Pros

  • Abrasion-resistant underneath
  • Lots of storage options
  • Very comfortable seat
  • Fish ruler on front apron

Cons

  • Bladder caps can break easily
  • The seat is positioned too low

Classic Accessories Cumberland Inflatable Float Tube Summary:

  • Features large storage space
  • Comfortable and ergonomic
  • With ruler for your fishes
  • Wear and tear resistant

Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Inflatable Pontoon Boat

If we look at the main features of the XTS that are standard across all versions, we see that it has a strong nylon top section and the bottom section is made from abrasion-resistant PVC to protect it from any damage from stones or grit from underneath if it is being used in shallow waters.

Storage options are excellent with 20 pockets, two drink holders, and gear bags which are detachable and can be used together to form a larger bag and carried by a shoulder strap.

The upgrades on the XTS start with a simple one, but one which will be welcomed and that is the ability for the seat to swivel. This allows more maneuverability as you are rowing which will make it less of a strain, and lets you move to whatever side of the boat you want to fish more easily too.

To improve the durability, the oar hooks on the XTS are made from brass which can stand up to the stresses that oar hocks are subjected to better than bronze which is what was previously used.

There’s also a change in the way the transport wheel is stowed, and it is now easier to access than it was before.

Although this is very similar to their XT pontoon boat, there are enough differences to make this a genuine alternative, and a pontoon boat that needs to be reviewed in its own right.

Pros

  • Seat can swivel
  • Lots of storage pockets
  • Easier access to transport wheel
  • Very strong brass oar mounts

Cons

  • No pump supplied to inflate pontoons
  • Seat reclines too far

Classic Accessories Colorado XTS Inflatable Pontoon Boat Summary:

  • Includes metal brass support
  • Accessible and portable
  • Storing capability
  • Swivel-chair

Conclusion

Here we had two very similar pontoon boats and one which was completely different, and all three had features which are to be commended.

After much thought, we believe the best pontoon boat is the Classic Accessories Colorado XTS. It has several features such as the swivel seat, and brass oar mounts, which make it a more comfortable and more durable pontoon boat than the others.