There is nothing more fun than a summer out on the lake, but there are a few accessories that can enhance that experience further. One of them being water pads.
With many water pads out on the market, it’s hard to decide which one to buy. Whether you prefer foam pads or inflatables, we’ve covered 10 of the best floating swim mats that’ll make your summer one you’ll never forget. Keep on reading!
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Water pads are essentially large foam or inflatable mats that sit on the water's surface and act as a dock.
They come in various sizes, from singular person mats to mats that can comfortably fit the entire family. They’re fantastic for days at the lake, floating along a river, or for just simply lounging in the pool in your backyard.
The Aqua Lily Pad floating water mats come in five different sizes ranging from 9 feet all the way up to 20 feet. Here we are specifically talking about their 18’ x 6’ mat that can hold up to an impressive 1,500 lbs.
Aqua created their floating water mat using 100% cross-linked polyethylene foam and a flex core to add strength and damage resistance. To prevent tears or rips in the material, the pads have a ripstop tear-resistant feature that halts the rip from progressing any further.
The flex core technology also aids in flattening out the mat once it is unrolled, making it the perfect water dock or launchpad for water sports like water skiing.
When designing the pad, Aqua included patented UV stabilization to protect the foam surface from sun damage, and depending on the amount of sun exposure your pad gets, it will protect it for 3 - 8 years.
Included with the pad is a tether system that you can use to tie the pad to a dock and they also include storage straps that secure the rolled-up pad in place with velcro.
The Floating Oasis Lake Pad is 15 feet long and comes in unique designs like a football field print, a bird of paradise print, and a botanical print. Thanks to the length and buoyancy of the Oasis Lake Pad, it can hold up to eight adults with a maximum weight capacity of 1500 lbs.
Flotation IQ created their foam mats using UV-resistant tri-layer foam that is fade-resistant and extremely durable against tears and scratches. The two included velcro straps make transportation and storage a breeze, and the stainless steel D-ring makes an excellent tether point for the included 6’ bungee tether cord.
SOWKT released their own floating foam mat that is 18 x 6 feet in size and can hold up to 1320 lbs. The company designed the foam mats to be double-sided, so you have the option of which color you’d prefer to be showing.
The high-quality XPE foam is accompanied by a proprietary inner net that ensures the mat's durability against any rips or tears.
Included with the floating water pad are a heavy-duty carabiner, bungee tether leash, and two extra-long straps for storage.
The 12-foot bungee tether leash along with the heavy-duty carabiner will secure the floating mat to a dock or a secure object. This leash will give you peace of mind that the mat isn’t going to float away whole in use.
The Rubber Dockie floating mat made it onto our list for the best floating water mat in the mid-range section due to its high-quality closed-cell foam material. Rubber Dockie created the mat in a 9 x 6-foot size, but you can also upgrade to the large 18 x 6-foot size if you have a bigger family or are simply after more room.
To prevent full-length lacerations in the material, Rubber Dockie added their very own tear-stop inner matrix system. As floating water mats can be used as play equipment, it is essential they’re durable and don’t rip, tear, or scratch easily.
As the company wanted their mat to be as durable as possible, they coated it in a tuff-hide outer layer that provides protection against everyday wear and tear.
The green and orange colors of the floating water mat were chosen to enhance visibility while out on the water, especially in high traffic areas. You won’t have any trouble being spotted or spotting this pad from a far distance which makes it one of the best floating water mats out on the market.
Included with the mat is a 12-foot elastic bungee tether so you can anchor it to a dock or other stationary objects and a set of hook storage straps that keep the mat compact when it’s rolled up and stored away.
The first inflatable floating water mat on our list is the Solstice 6’x5’ Inflatable Dock. Although the specific dock we’re mentioning here is 6 x 5 feet in size, Solstice also have 8 foot and 10-foot docks, as well as some with slides and mesh middles.
When you think of an inflatable, you imagine it to be flimsy and unsupportive; that couldn’t be more wrong with Solstice’s inflatable dock. Once fully inflated, it remains lightweight but also has a hard-feel surface that you can even put a lounge chair on.
Solstice recommends a maximum capacity of 5 adults on the dock at any one time for optimal buoyancy and comfort. As the inflatable mat has a hard feel surface, it makes it not only a great hang-out space, but a convenient deck if you need to work on the exterior of a boat or as a great fishing spot for all the anglers out there.
Fishing from an inflatable dock is fairly similar to fishing from a SUP and if you would like more information about getting started, check out our article How to Fish from a Paddle Board: A Beginners Guide and apply the same techniques, just on your larger surface area.
Much like inflatable paddle boards, the Solstice Inflatable mat is made using PVC drop stitch technology which is highly durable and lightweight. Once deflated, the mat fits neatly into the included carry bag and can be stored in a small storage space in your garage or shed.
Included with the inflatable floating water mat is a dual-action hand pump with a pressure gauge, six stainless steel D-rings, a carry bag, six reinforced grab handles, and a repair kit.
The Outroad Floating Water Mat comes in two sizes - 9’x6’ or 18’x6’ and also is available in a blue or yellow variation. The smaller 9’x6’ version can hold a maximum weight capacity of 550 lbs with enough room to fit two to three people comfortably.
Outroad created their floating pad out of XPE foam that is soft, bouncy, and non-toxic. Sandwiched between the layers of XPE foam is a mesh layer that prevents tears and rips from occurring and becoming full length.
A cool design feature of the floating mat is the four pillow belts that you can use to roll up one end and create a pillow for added comfort.
Goplus follow a similar design to the Outroad water pad and have mats that are 9 or 18 feet in length. To create their pad, Goplus used three layers of tear-proof XPE foam which doesn’t absorb water and has a smooth surface for enhanced comfort.
The floating pad also features straps that you can use to create a pillow at one end so you can support your head and lie comfortably without straining your neck. Suitable for up to five people, the entire family can enjoy relaxing on the Goplus water pad all throughout the summertime.
Goplus included two 4.9’ bungees, storage straps, and pillow straps so you can secure the pad to a dock or fixed object and create the cool pillow feature.
The Aqua XL Floating mat is another inflatable mat that is 11 feet in length and can hold up to 1000 lbs in weight.
Aqua designed their XL floating mat using a Cozi-Soft cooling fabric which is meant to feel luxurious and soft, especially when wet. Heavy-duty zippers down the sides of the floating mat allow you to attach more mats to create a super-sized floating pad with never-ending possibilities.
When the mat is fully inflated, it is incredibly buoyant and stable, so you won’t need to worry about it sinking, even with your entire friend group on board. To tether the mat in place, you can use the anchor points on either end of the pad.
Wow World of Watersports created their floating walkway out of heavy-duty PVC construction with vertical beams to support up to 6 adults. The inflatable pads are 10 feet in length and are available in five eye-catching colors.
To create an even bigger surface area, you can attach additional mats to one another using the zipper connecting system on either end of the mat. Whether you’re lounging around in the sun or using it as a walkway between two boats, the Floating Walkway by Wow World of Watersports is a great budget-friendly option that is also high quality.
Included with the mat are two 6 foot ropes that attach to the mat and tether it to a dock or stationary object.
The Intex Floating Mat made it onto our top spot for budget best floating water mats because of their low price point but high quality.
To keep their mat durable, Intex used 20 gauge vinyl and added 2 air chambers for safety and easy inflation. The four connect n float connectors can attach to additional Intex mats to create a large mat that is perfect for parties or extended family members.
Floating pads are relatively expensive because the materials used to create them are expensive and heavy. Transportation costs are based on weight; therefore, the higher the weight of the product, the more it costs to transport from A to B.
As floating pads are designed to hold numerous people, they need to be thick so they can carry a large amount of weight without sinking into the water. This requires many layers of foam material, which in turn increases the weight of the product.
As with all things, it comes down to how much you’ll use it. If you have a lake house and hang out on the water all summer, then definitely! Floating mats are fun for the whole family and are a great place to hang out on during hot summer days.
If you only visit the water a few times a year, however, the price may not be worthwhile. Of course, though, that decision is entirely up to you. Regardless of whether you use the mat once a year, or one hundred times a year, you’re bound to have fun and create everlasting memories.
Floating mats, if taken proper care of, can last years, so it is an investment that will supply you with hours of fun for many summers ahead.
Floating mats can be anchored by ropes if you’re close to the water’s edge or to an object in the water. You can also use a compact anchor.
Anchors that are used by kayakers and stand up paddle boarders like the GILI Folding Grapnel Anchor do an excellent job of securing your floating mat in place. These anchors are small, lightweight, and can fit into a small bag making them easy to transport and take with you out on the water.
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