Best inflatable paddle boards that do anything for travel, surfing, and more

Body glove SUP Family Lake

SUPs can broaden the horizons of your adventure. Inflatables can go wherever that next adventure is. Photo: Body Glove.

Surfers tend to hate stand-up paddlers. But as someone who surfs and paddles standing up, I’d like to make a nice reminder: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Standing paddling is a great exercise, it’s something to do when there are no waves, it’s easy to use for beginners, and it can be done on any body of water. While there are a myriad of paddleboard options, inflatables make storage and transportation a no problem, and they are usually affordable. After some rigorous testing, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite inflatables for the everyday rower.

What are the best inflatable paddle boards?

Bote Breeze Aero 11’6″ ($769)
Body Glove Performer 11 ($999)
Red Paddle Co Voyager 12′ Company ($1649)
Hala Rival Hoss ($1199)
Pau Hana Solo SUP Backcountry ($1249)

What makes a good inflatable paddle board?

Whenever I’m in the market for an inflatable paddleboard, there are a few things I keep in mind. I want my board to be stable, easy to pack, come with all the accessories I need for kayaking, and I want them all to come at an affordable price.

The general rule of thumb when shopping for an inflatable SUP is that you want it to be stable. Especially if you’re new to kayaking or plan on kayaking in high winds or choppy seas. As you get better, you may think about size but early on, you’ll definitely want something stable.

If you’ve ever pulled down a tent, you know the struggle of trying to get everything back to its original packaging. Standing paddling is something I do regularly, so even though I want my board to be small, I don’t want to feel like I’m playing Tetris every time I pack my board.

This might sound a little strange, but in my opinion, the inflatable SUP package should come with everything I need for travel and kayaking, and you’d be surprised how many people I don’t need. I look for the basics like handlebars, fins, pump and carrying case – anything else is a bonus.

When it comes to inflatable props, as with anything else, you get what you pay for. If you look around, you can find boards on Amazon for $200 or $300 – which sounds like a steal, but might be too good to be true. You’ll also find plenty of paintings that sell for over $1000. I’ve thought about how well the board is made, how it performs, and what’s included to determine if it’s worth the price.

BOTE Breeze Arrow Inflatable SUP

stability: 5/5
packing capacity: 4/5
Accessories: 5/5
price: 5/5
Total: 4.75 / 5

Bote’s Breeze Aero is constructed from military-grade single-layer PVC, which is lightweight yet durable, making it the best of both worlds. The kit includes a three-piece adjustable paddle, a travel pouch, a removable center fin, a hand pump, a repair kit, and the option to purchase additional accessories such as a cooler and carrying strap. Measuring 11’6″ x 34″, the board is a lot more stable but the rocker-style construction allows it to cut through water more efficiently than most wide boards. Other thoughtful features include a multi-patterned padded deck pillow, adjustable bungee straps on the nose, and a cushioned grab handle. The board has four D-rings that allow it to be attached easily – my only intent was that I tended to bump up the center rings while rowing. All in all, the board is all you could want in an all-in-one form and it repackages the bag very smoothly. The board also comes in a kid’s option, which makes it easy to get the little ones out on the water.

Check the price on REI, Amazon, and Backcountry.

Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP

stability: 5/5
packing capacity: 5/5
Accessories: 5/5
price: 4/5
Total: 4.75 / 5

Designed for flat water paddles, river trails, SUP yoga, or drag behind a boat, the Body Glove’s Performer 11 is a one-size-fits-all paddleboard. The package includes a three-piece adjustable racket, an electric pump, a double-action hand pump, an ankle grip, a repair kit, a cell phone dry bag, a storage backpack, so it comes with everything you need and more. The AirFrame XT chassis ensures that the board is light, fast and stable, and the superior construction means the board will last for years to come. The added width makes the board a lot more stable, while the tapered nose allows it to cut through the water efficiently, making the Performer well suited for all types of kayaking. Body Glove has partnered with One Tree Planted, which means a tree is planted for every board purchased—until you feel good about the board under your feet.

Check the price on Body Glove and Amazon.

Red Paddle Company Voyager Inflatable SUP

stability: 4/5
packing capacity: 4/5
Accessories: 5/5
price: 4/5
Total: 4.25 / 5

Designed for smaller athletes and longer adventures, the Voyager is a stand-up board in a streamlined, stable touring style. Measuring 12 x 28 inches, the board features a V-hull system that allows it to be faster and more efficient than traditional all-around models but with a narrower width, better suited for more experienced rowers. The board includes three adjustable bungee straps, six rear attachment points, a full-width deck board, and ergonomic tube handles. By coupling MSL technology to Red Paddle’s patented RSS striking system, the Voyager delivers impressive rigidity, even with heavy loads. Standout features include the Titan II pump, which inflates the board in half the time than previous models, and a 3-in-1 transport package that functions as rolling luggage, a backpack, and as a “bag-free” skeleton pack. Although the price is steep, the quality of the Voyager is exceptional.

Check the price on REI, Backcountry, and Amazon.

Hala Rival Hoss Inflatable SUP

stability: 5/5
packing capacity: 5/5
Accessories: 4/5
price: 2/5
Total: 4/5

Designed specifically for the river and larger players, Hala’s Rival Hoss is as stable as it gets. Measuring 10’10” x 35″, the Rival Hoss offers ample weight and height capacity and features four fixed side fins and a wave-shaped center fin for permanent tracking. Plus, the board features a raised cushion, 10 center rigging loops, and it easily fits into a rolling backpack, which is a huge plus. For someone who prefers to go fast, this board was a bit slow for my taste, but I can see how the extra stability could be useful in a river or in smoother conditions. Finally, it’s not advertised as a SUP yoga board, but it’s undoubtedly a good platform to stream while on the water.

Check the price at Backcountry and Amazon.

Pau Hana Solo Backcountry Inflatable SUP

stability: 3/5
packing capacity: 5/5
Accessories: 3/5
price: 4/5
Total: 3.75 / 5

Offering state-of-the-art packing, Solo SUP Backcountry in Pau Hana is designed for hiking to backcountry lakes, biking, road trips, and travel. Measuring 10’10” x 30″, the board swells into a full-size board but weighs only 14.8 pounds (23 pounds for the entire package). Features include a neoprene grab handle, textured PVC traction pad, reinforced D-rings, quick-snap fin box, and soft-blade paddle, all packaged in a dry bag backpack with adjustable shoulder straps. Sure, the board isn’t as stable as the other all-in-one options, but given its weight and packability, it’s pretty impressive.

Check the price on REI and Amazon.

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