Best Boating & Water Sports in 2020 (July Reviews)

After more than 16 hours of research and testing, we’ve concluded that one of the best boating and water sport products you can buy today is the Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag. This dry bag is constructed using a highly durable ripstop tarpaulin fabric and an easy roll-top design that keeps wet gear off to the side. It can be worn as a knapsack or backpack, which is great as many people have different carrying preferences.

Choosing the best boating water sports product could mean the difference between keeping yourself and your gear dry or soaking wet. Our evaluation focused on design, ease of use, installation, multi-purpose ability, number/type of certifications, and safety. Keep reading to learn more about the Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag and the others that met our strict grading criteria.

Top 7 Best Boating Water Sports

 #1  Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to this 100% waterproof dry bag’s ripstop tarpaulin fabric and adjustable straps for backpack and crossbody wear, it is a great choice for people who want to stow away wet gear while kayaking, boating, and other water activities.


Pros

  • Best on a budget
  • Durable fabric & works as a crossbody or backpack
  • Comes in four sizes (10 to 40 liters)

Cons

  • Not waterproof if submerged
  • Semas could be better quality
  • Flimsy straps


This waterproof dry bag is very well constructed. Dual webbed straps can convert it into a backpack or crossbody bag and a flat bottom cylinder keeps it upright. A roll-top design also keeps it watertight sealed and its thick 500D ripstop tarpaulin construction is scratch-resistant, more than capable of withstanding regular wear and tear on rocking boat floors or rocky terrain. Even the most loaded watersports boat can accommodate this one.

Using this waterproof dry bag is easy by simply rolling down the top woven tape and plugging a buckle to keep your belongings dry. Kudos for coming in one of four sizes (10, 20, 30, and 40-liter bags), which can accommodate up to a week’s worth of clothes. This will soon be the best waterproof bag that you own.

 #2  Ubfen Mens Womens Water Shoes

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like these water shoes for wakeboarding and wake surfing thanks to drainage holes, a non-skid bottom, and a flexible upper for easy put on and removal.


Pros

  • Great for sea activities
  • Quick drainage and flexible upper for easy removal
  • Non-skid soles with convex dots

Cons

  • Slight odor upon unboxing
  • Uncomfortable when worn on rocky terrain
  • Not enough coverage at the ankle


These water shoes are very easy to slip on, thanks to a flexible thick mesh upper which can be peeled back pretty far to slip feet in. Extra rubber lines the toe area and a twisted simple adjustable lace system keep a comfortable fit. While wearing them during a weekend-long beach trip, no foot fatigue was felt whatsoever.

We also love these water shoes’ non-slip bottoms, which use convex dots that create strong friction on dry or wet ground. Drainage holes also siphon water quickly and a cushioned insole provides solid support. With the best water shoes, you’ll just need the best underwater camera for your next dive.

 #3  SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard

Award: BEST BEGINNER

WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to its 50” by 20” size and cushioned flex knee pads, we love this as a starter kneeboard for children and adults.


Pros

  • Provides a universal fit
  • Works great for beginners
  • Comfortable molded flex pads for knees

Cons

  • Velcro on knee strap could be a bit stickier
  • Some people could use a bit more knee cushioning


This kneeboard is designed with people of all ages in mind. It uses a contoured molded flex pad which provides ample knee cushioning. An adjustable 3” strap to hold on to also helps you stay firmly planted on the board during the occasional choppy wave or sharper turn. Plus, it is only 9 pounds, which makes it surprisingly easy to maneuver.

Thanks to its fiberglass construction and corrosion-proof finish, this waterboard can withstand a lot of punishment. Plus it is also versatile enough to double as a mini boat or boogie board with a little imagination, making it just as useful in a pool. We always prioritize products that can be used in many different ways, as it offers the best bang for the buck.

 #4  O’Brien Celebrity Combo Water Skis

Award: BEST ALTERNATIVE TO BOATING

WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to this water skis’ dual tunnel design and a one-size-fits-all construction, it is a great starter set for beginners who want to learn to water ski.


Pros

  • Great for thrill-seekers
  • One-size-fits-all
  • Comfortable rear toe plate for easier turns

Cons

  • Not recommended for young children
  • Steep learning curve to maintain balance


We love this water ski set’s construction, which uses a dual tunnel design and rocker line to produce less water drag. They help create a more even ride and minimizes bumps, which we really like for beginners. Speed and water resistance are also helped with a V-shaped tip which helps cut through choppy waters better. Slalom enthusiasts can also enjoy a padded rear toe plate for tighter turn control.

This water ski set offers a one-size-fits-all construction using adjustable X-7 bindings that accommodate men’s shoe sizes from 4.5 to 13. There are also no sharp edges anywhere on these skis to prevent damage in or around boats. We are very impressed with this water skis’ overall build quality. If you want some music while you’re on the water, you’ll also want to pick up one of the best boat speakers.

 #5  Sportsstuff Super Mable

Award: BEST ALTERNATIVE TO WATER SKIING

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like this 78″ by 79″ towable tube for boating, thanks to its comfortable EVA foam seating pads and dual tow points for two different riding positions.


Pros

  • Two fun riding positions that require no skill or learning
  • Comfortable seating pads
  • Room for up to 3 riders & 510-pound weight capacity

Cons

  • High cost
  • Much more comfortable seating two than three people
  • No connect option at the back; only the front


This towable tube is very durable, using a heavy-duty full nylon cover, more than capable of ripping through calm and choppy water. It also seats up to three people with comfortable EVA foam seating pads, double webbed foam handles, and knuckle guards that cushion really well and limit pressures on the hands, knees, and legs. This tube is clearly designed for comfort.

Kudos for a simple roping system allows users to easily tether it to a dock or poolside when not in use. One way inflation also allows for quick inflating without losing any air and double safety lock keeps the air in.

 #6  Hardcore Water Sports USCG Approved Life Jacket

Award: BEST SAFETY GEAR

WHY WE LIKE IT: These life jackets are great for the entire family, thanks to multiple size availability (starting from 30 pounds) and U.S. Coast Guard approval.


Pros

  • Snug fit and 1” adjustable straps
  • Comfortable PE foam padding and open arm slots
  • UL-listed, Type III PFD-classified and U.S. Coast Guard approved

Cons

  • Not recommended for choppier waters or out at sea
  • Some users reporting sizing on the small side


This life jacket is ingeniously designed, made using cushy inner PE foam and 1” adjustable straps for a snug fit “down to the millimeter.” Open sides allow full arm movement, especially important with kayaking and other paddle sports. Plus, it comes in an assortment of bright colors such as neon orange and neon yellow, which is critical for easy spotting by rescuers out in open waters.

Thanks to a Type III PFD classification, this life jacket is best resolved for users who can see the shore from their location where quick rescue is anticipated. It is built for calmer waters and not typically stocked on cruise ships. Bonus points for being U.S. Coast Guard-approved, which gives us all the confidence in the world the product will work as intended. Pack this along with your camping/hiking gear in your kayak and you’ll be ready for your next camping trip.

 #7  Intex 58837EP River Run II Sport Lounge

Award: BEST FOR COUPLES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This inflatable water boat comes with two seating circles and a built-in cooler, making it great for people who want to enjoy a leisurely day out in the pool or a thrilling river tube ride.


Pros

  • 440-pound weight capacity
  • Two comfortable mesh bottom seats
  • Easy to inflate using an electric pump

Cons

  • Built-in cooler could be a bit deeper
  • Would’ve preferred more repair patches


We love this water boat’s design. Two mesh-bottomed lounges and built-in backrests make it a pleasure to sit on. A built-in cooler and two beverage holders, a nice resting spot for your ice-cold brew. It holds air well with five air chambers along with grab handles for better stability out on the water. With a 440-pound weight limit, this water boat can easily accommodate most adults. Take along the best all-weather matches if you’re taking this boat on your next hike.

Kudos for this water boat’s durability. While testing, we snagged a pool edge and rocky banks with no punctures. It holds up well in rivers with choppier waters. Plus, installation is quick, thanks to a double valve that allows it to inflate very quickly using an electric pump. This makes it a winner in our book.

How We Decided

In determining the best boating water sports product to buy, we explored design, ease of use, installation, multi-purpose ability, and safety. Design and ease of use should focus on a set of features that make it intuitive. For example, the Ubfen Water Shoes have a simple back tab to slip them on and off the foot easily. The SportsStuff Super Mable has two dual tow points for two different riding positions, doing much more than a simple air tube.

Installation should also be easy. Most of the products are standalone and do not require any installation using hand tools. No installation is the best installation.

Multi-purpose ability and safety is very important. The SportsStuff Super Mable and its two dual tow points allow it to be ridden in two different ways.

Best Boating Water Sports Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Design & Ease of Use
    Look for boating water sports products that emphasize a user-friendly design. We love our #1 pick Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag for its convertibility to a crossbody or backpack, The Sportsstuff Super Mable also represents this well with dual towing points that allow two different riding positions. Padded seating and knuckle guards also contribute to a comfortable ride. Multi-purpose ability is a key factor. Some products on the list enjoy multiple uses (e.g. the SuperMable’s two riding positions and the Marchways multiple carrying positions. It offers a lot of bang for the buck. Others offer a generous number of sizes, like the Piscifun Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack (5, 10, 20, 30, and 40-liter capacity).
  2. Installation
    None of the boating water sports products on our ist require any sort of installation. The longest time for setup goes to the SportsStuff Super Mable, which only needs to be inflated. This should take no more than 3 minutes using an automatic pump.

Boating Water Sports FAQs

What are the most essential boating water sports accessories?

In our opinion, the most essential boating water sports accessories are those that focus on safety. A first-aid/safety kit, dry box (to keep phones and other valuables dry) and enough lift vests for you and your guests are at the top of our list.

What types of boating water sports accessories do I need?

It depends on what your goals are. If you would like a nice alternative to water skiing, our #5 pick Sportsstuff Super Mable towable tube is a sweet option that seats up to three people. If you carry tons of items and valuables and prefer to carry them with you instead of leaving them onshore, a dry bag like the #1 pick Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag is a must.

What supplies do I need for my new boat?

Every well-stocked boat should include safety gear, with first-aid kits, flares, fire extinguishers leading the pack. Second, look to a comprehensive tool kit with all of the essentials. Consider a good set of jumper cables to boost dead or low generator batteries, a wrench set, emergency repair tape, and caulk. There are plenty of online checklists that could point you in the right direction.

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