Ultimate Review of The Best Whitewater Rafts in 2022

best whitewater rafts

Whitewater rafting is iffy, but I guess that is pretty much the fun of it, if all goes well.

In most cases, though, your choice of whitewater vessel determines your overall experience.

Now, it’s easy to think that any water vessel will do for whitewater, but that’s further from the truth.

I’m a testimony to this since I’ve had unpleasant days on the Colorado River.

On my first rafting trip, I decided to go against the grain and use my recreational raft on the whitewater and let’s just say, things didn’t go as planned.

Midway through the journey, I encountered a submerged rock, which tore my raft, a gashing from bow to stern. Water began leaking and I had to bail out, or I would have drowned. The good news, I wasn’t in the rapids section yet, so I managed to swim ashore.

Would a whitewater raft have saved me?

Maybe or may be not. We’ll never know.

But here’s the thing, river rafts are built differently from recreational or other river rafts.

They’ve a more solid material construction and better stitching technology, so they’ll withstand the abuses of whitewater much better.

In my case, a whitewater raft might have just stood up to the puncturing.

Of course, there’re no guarantees in life, especially extreme sports like river rafting.

But having a raft specifically built for whitewater will give better assurance and protection than the regular rafts.

Plus, they’re comfortable and more long-lasting than other rafts.

Now, I’m assuming you need a raft that will take on the beatings of whitewater. You’re in the right place.

Here, I’ll share some solid options that you may find interesting and perfect for your next fishing trip.

Read on.

Table of Contents

Quick Comparison Table!

Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat

4.8

4.8/5
BRIS 12ft Inflatable White Water River Raft

4.6

4.6/5
NRS Otter 140 Self-Bailing Raft

4.5

4.5/5
Aire Super Duper Puma self-bailing raft

4.3

4.3/5
Bestway Hydro Force Marine Pro

4.0

4/5

The Best Whitewater Rafts For The Money

best whitewater rafts for the money

#1 Intex Mariner Inflatable Boat - EDITOR'S CHOICE

4.7/5
4.2/5
4.8/5

Intex Inflatable Boat opens our list of the best whitewater rafts.

It’s a fantastic boat, and I’m impressed with all that it provides.

See, I’ve owned several rafts all my life, but most of them usually have the same build, same performance and same components.

However, the Intex Inflatable Boat is different in many ways, and I can’t simply get enough of it.

But how good is this inflatable boat?

Features and Benefits

Sturdy Design

My initial impression was the Intex Inflatable Boat has a nice construction. The thickness of the material is perfect and sturdy. Meanwhile, the seams are also good and smooth.

The boat is well-constructed, and I feel it can’t get better than this, especially since I wanted a boat, I could take my wife and two Labrador on water adventures.

I figured out dog’s claws could puncture the cheaper boats or even bust on our weight.

The good news is Intex Inflatable Boat hasn’t disappointed.

It has a solid structure, resistant to damage from impact, dog claws, UV rays, or abrasion.

So far, I’ve had it in the water a dozen times, and it’s still holding up great.

And make no mistake, we’ve really put it to the test, dragging it over the rocks, floating across jagged tree branches, and so much more.

It has never leaked or punctured. It looks like new.

Of course, understand it’s an inflatable, so you need to take care of it so that it can take care of you.

We’ve made a habit of regularly cleaning the boat after every use and letting it dry before storage. So far, so good.

Fast Inflation and Deflation

The other reason I choose the Intex Inflatable Boat is the ease of use.

Setting this bad boy is a breeze. It comes with four Boston valves on the main air chambers, which help with quick refills and deflation.

The boat is effortless to fill with the provided manual air foot pump.

But I only use a manual air pump to top up the fill. It’s a heck of a workout and time-consuming.

Instead, I would advise you to get a motorized pump. I use a 12-V electric high pump, and it’ll save you from all the inflation hassles.

However, you’ll still need the manual pump to fill the proper PSI.

Dimensions and Weight Capacity

Intex Mariner is a great boat for two and a kid.

It’s advertised as a four-person raft, but the 129″ x 57″ x 19″ are ideally designed for three. Four would be a stretch, especially if you need to use the raft for fishing.

It fits my needs quite well since it has enough room for me, a better half and two labs. I can even squeeze a few more fishing gear and the ice chest, towels and backpack.

The best part is the Mariner is portable. Yes it’s heavy, but I can still lift 75 pounds alone.

And that’s not all!

It packs nicely into a included duffel carrying bag.

However, if you’ll be hand-carrying it to the water, I would highly suggest you split the boat and the removable roll-up raft floor in different duffels.

Get two dry bags, and you love how convenient and easy it gets to haul the boat.

Performance

Intex Mariner handles the water better than most rafts I’ve come across.

The inflatable keel helps with improved control and handling.

I’ve had the boat in some wacky weather conditions, including winds of up to 35 MPH. I was pleasantly surprised at how stable, fast and maneuverable the boat was. It maintains direction well, and I felt safer overall.

However, if you’re to go fishing on the Intex, I suggest you invest in an anchor. The slightest breeze causes the boat to spin and rotate, so an anchor will help keep you in one place.

The only real knock with Intex Mariner”s performance is that it’s not a rowboat. The in-built rowing system is wack, and for extended use, you’ll need a motor.

I added a Minn Kota Trolling motor because I couldn’t imagine spending time on water rowing manually. Everything is effortless now.

Comfort

Intex Raft is not as comfortable, smooth or plush as some high-end inflatables, but remember it comes at a fraction of the premium option.

I don’t get grumpy using the boat, though, even for extended sessions, and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

I’ve also cut a piece of outdoor carpet and laid it on the roll-up floor to give my dogs a little bit of comfort.

Accessories

Then there’s a whole range of accessories that I didn’t expect at this price point.

Some include the all-around lifeline rope, no-rust oars, repair kit, manual air pump, couple of pouches, and so much more.

Overall, this inflatable boat is a nice purchase.

The only drawback was the included duffel bag is thin and seems cheap. The weight it supports feels like paper and seems like it would tear apart anytime.

Pros

Cons

#2 BRIS 12ft Inflatable White Water River Raft – Value Purchase

4.6/5
4.3/5
4.6/5

Buying the Briss Water Raft, I must say I was antsy. I mean, I thought there must be a catch to it for the price.

I was WRONG.

After receiving the raft, I have all my doubts cast away.

It has the same value as some of the top-end water rafts in the market, but only at a fraction of the price.

It has held up well so far, and I’m quite impressed with its performance overall.

But is the Bris Raft the right option for your river rafting needs?

Features and Benefits

Value

If you’ve ever shopped around for the best inflatable water boat and then come across the price of Bris rafts, you’d be forgiven to think it’s a joke.

I was there too, but surprise, this inflatable boat has surprised me in the most unexpected ways.

It’s, in fact, a great value purchase, and so far, I’ve had other rafters ask me about it and still don’t believe how much I paid for it, especially for its quality.

Everything on this nimble raft has held up quite well.

The pressure valves are high quality, the floor is solid, and handles up to Class 4 whitewater rivers like a champ. Performance for this boat is also top, and I love how it handles the rapids and cold temperatures.

It’s a far cry from other boats in its class, and usually, you get what you pay for, but I must say this one has a lot going in for, in terms of performance, quality and everything.

Durable Construction

Value aside, I also purchased the Bris River Raft because of its solid design.

The dtex high strength PVC, with polyester support, is quite solid and long-lasting. You can tell the material is good and can be inflated to a sturdy level out of the box.

I’m always excited to use the Bris, especially in the shallow water spaces. In depths of about two feet deep, I don’t even see the need for spotting the rock stops and rubs.

As expected, we’ve encountered some good hits against rocks that would have otherwise torn or ripped the budget purchases around. However, the bottom of Bris doesn’t show any physical damage.

There’re some light marks on the bottom, but no chunks have been taken out of the plastic.

I’ve also tagged along with my two kids, letting them throw the boat into the thickets, and using fishing hooks and other gear with no supervision, banging our fishing gear around, and so far, it has held up well, and no issues.

The best part is Bris Boat can take on the class 4 and 5 whitewater rating rapids if you’ve the experience. It’s a great choice for serious rafters, especially those looking to push to the absolute limits.

Inflation and Deflation

If you need a boat that offers quick refills and deflation, you can’t go wrong with the Bris.

Like most rafts, it comes complete with a manual pump. But airing with a pump takes time and is more effort-intensive.

Yes, it provides more than enough pressure, but I recommend you get a batter or electric 12V air pump.

Our pump takes about 4-5 minutes to fill the boat, so I don’t have to spend most of my energy or time inflating the boat. I can even do it on the shore.

But you’ll still need the manual pump because the electric pumps don’t have the power to inflate the boat fully. A foot pump tops it off.

I suggest that you do it incrementally when inflating, so the floor inflates under the tubes.

Capacity and Dimension

Bris river raft comes at 12-feet long, and I got it to bring a couple of friends with me.

It’s relatively large and rated six people, so it’s perfect for a groupie.

However, I found out that it’ll ideally fit 3-4 users comfortably, especially when you’ve some gear to tag along with and need plenty of room for whitewater fun.

Six users are a squeeze.

Lightweight

You would think Bris is bulky and heavy for such a large size.

In truth, it’s much easier to transport than I originally thought.

It comes at 128 pounds and definitely not a one-person thing. You’ll need a helping hand. But it’s much fun and safer lugging it around with a friend.

Performance

On the water, Bris rafts go beyond my expectations.

I’m impressed at how well it floats and how stable it feels even on the rapids.

Even when packed to the brim, there’s little chance that it feels like it’s going to flip, and almost no water gets splashed inside.

Maneuvering the boat on class 5 rivers is effortless and pretty easy.

Self-Bailing Raft

Water splashed over the boat multiple times, and waves filled it up.

It wasn’t an issue for us because of the self-bailing system.

The only problem with this self-bailing system is the floor is incredibly pressed against the sides of the river raft, so the water escape is slow.

Accessories

Bris Raft is designed with users in mind and comes with many handy accessories.

They include two paddles, a carry bag, fishing rod holders, two removable thwarts, a foot pump and a repair kit.

Pros

Cons

#3 NRS Otter 140 Self-Bailing Raft – Premium Purchase

4.4/5
4.5/5
4.5/5

NRS Self-Bailing raft is not your run-off-the-mill river raft.

It’s a premium purchase, ranking high up with some of the most high-end options in the market.

As you would expect, it’s not an entry-level option, especially considering its price tag.

However, if you’re looking for a statement purchase and a river raft that will exceed your expectations, look no more.

Features and Benefits

Durable

NRS Rafts are a great quality river raft, and I even see using it more than my traditional boat.

It’s much more resilient than your typical cheap rafts or tubes.

The Hypalon, used as the basic material of construction and Denier floor, will stand up to whitewater rafting abuses like a champ.

To give you an idea of how solid this purchase is, I’ve floated on this bad boy in a stretch with beaten rocks, gravel and rocks.

I’ve also dragged the bottom across a rocky beach and portage.

And so far, I’ve not encountered any problems. No leaks, no tears or anything.

Plus, the river we run has a wide spot, where the water gets shallow, and the boat tends to scratch the rocky bottom.

Even then, I’ve not had any issues with this bad boy. There is no gashing from bow to stern, and it has held up well, looking as new as I bought it.

Dimension and Size

Size-wise, the NRS is the perfect pick for those looking to travel in a group.

It’s one of the larger crafts, and when fully inflated, it has a generous dimension of 14’ length and 7’ width.

NRS rates this boat perfect for 8-9 rafters, but from experience, that would be a stretch.

Instead, I would recommend using it for 5-6 rafters, especially if you need the comfort to move around and enjoy the moment.

Personally, the 6-person capacity is more than I would need to hold all my “boys” and even leave some extra space for several crates of beer and so much more.

And for its size, the NRS Otter is also a breeze to handle and store, much better than other larger rafts.

It weighs 126 pounds, so it should be challenging to handle it with a couple of friends. And the good thing is it comes with four carrying handles, which should help with the transportation.

Performance

On the water, NRS lives up to its price tag.

It’s one hell of a beast that effortlessly takes on the demanding needs of whitewater rafting head-on.

First, it has a nice length-to-width ratio, which is necessary for stability, control and maneuverability.

Heck, even beginners shouldn’t have any issues controlling this boat because it feels so stable. It has a stable standing platform and even feels like I can stand up on this boat and not flip over or anything.

I’m also impressed at how it navigates the tight river spaces, and its maneuverability is comparable to that of a whitewater kayak.

Mount a trolling motor, and you’ve the perfect vessel for whitewater use. There’s no feeling of losing freeboard or even getting tipsy or anything.

I think I’ll be using the NRS for all my fishing and whitewater rafting.

Convenient

Using the NRS fishing raft has to be definitely one of the easiest things to do.

First, it comes with 12 stainless D-ring, which you can use to attach your optional fishing frame and other gear.

Plus, it’s compatible with different fishing frames, so it’s an ideal pick for fishing.

Self-Bailing

NRS fishing raft also has a self-draining feature, so you need to worry about water accumulation.

When water splashes on the boat or waves ride in, you don’t need to hassle bailing out the water.

The quick-draining holes will drain the water from the boat and keep your boat less soggy.

Accessories

NRS Otter fishing raft is a true premium purchase and features a host of accessories.

Some cool extras include Leafield C7 valves for quick inflation, Leafield A6 Pressure Relief Valve for deflating, batten attachment thwart system and a repair kit. However, it lacks an air pump and oars.

But overall, the NRS fishing raft is a high-quality purchase, and if you need a feature-rich boat, ignore other boats and get this perfect raft.

The only markdown on the NRS raft is probably the price. It’s super expensive. Other than that, it floors most inflatable boats in the market.

Pros

Cons

#4 Aire Super Duper Puma self-bailing raft -- Classic Whitewater Raft

4.3/5
4.5/5
4.3/5

After months of reading online reviews all over the internet and researching from numerous forums, I decided to take a plunge and get the Super Duper from Aire (Argonaut Inflatable Research & Engineering).

It’s a nice purchase, and having owned several inflatables before; I can tell you there’s something unique with this purchase.

The Aire Super Duper Puma fishing raft checks on all the boxes of the best inflatable boat, and I can’t get enough of it. I’m now finding myself wanting to go for water adventures and overnight trips more than I did previously.

But is this boat the right raft for you?

Features and Benefits

Design-Classic

One of the beautiful attributes of the Aire Super Duper Puma raft is the look/design.

It has an iconic look, inclined towards a classic design.

It’s a unique look, especially considering most modern-day options have a sleek and contemporary look.

Puma isn’t one of them and will definitely stand out from the crowd.

Along with the iconic look, you can pick this boat in your color of choice.

Durable

But what are looks without performance?

Aire Super Duper Puma raft doesn’t flutter in this department either.

It boasts of a PVC construction that can take a beating and all the abuses of rafting.

Along with the PVC construction, this option has a nice welded construction, making it particularly resistant to scrapes and abrasion.

Several seasons into my rafting, I’ve not experienced any bust holes on the seams, and I feel it’s much stronger and durable than my previous river raft.

I’ve also not experienced any leaks so far, and I’m impressed at how it stays inflated for days when we’re out camping, multi-day trips or overnight camping trips.

The material used here is super reliable, and even after hoisting the boat over rocky terrain, it doesn’t seem like it’ll wear off.

And the other good thing with the construction is that the tubes on the boat floor are filled with urethane air bladders. It’s an ingenious construction design that offers much-needed security against rips and punctures.

Size and Dimensions

Super Duper Raft comes at a generous length of 14 feet, and I’m impressed by its holding capacity.

It’s simply built for holding a large number of people and might be handy if you’ve a group of friends you need to take out for rafting.

Along with the generous capacity, it can also hold a lot of gear, so do not compromise on your fun when heading out.

Performance

If you’ve never rowed an inflatable boat before, then this might just be the pick for you.

You’ll be surprised at how effortless it gets to have a hang of this self-bailing boat.

And that’s not the best part.

It feels solid and stable in the water. I even managed to cast my fishing line on a calm river and didn’t feel like the boat would flip or like I would topple.

But the best part of Duper’s performance, at least according to my opinion, is the design.

Remember the classic design we mentioned in the introduction?

Well, it serves more than aesthetics.

Instead, the narrow orientation, which resembles a kayak, makes this river raft more maneuverable, especially in windy conditions.

It’s also a great option for use in the narrow creeks and will navigate through the tightest spots in the river.

Self-Bailing System

Using SuperDuper self-bailing raft is effortless and pleasant.

First, deflating is easy and quick. I usually do it for every trip.

Refills aren’t challenging either, but it sometimes gets old, especially if you’re using a manual pump. Consider investing in an electric pump.

A piano hinge floor design also comes in handy at eliminating the collected water in the deck. The drain holes are quite handy at getting rid of the rapids and waves that enter your boat.

The other reason I find this self-bailing raft convenient is the 14-D ring.

They’re handy for installing your fishing frame and other whitewater rafting accessories.

Along with the D-rings, this boat also has other exciting accessories, including removable thwarts, a duffel bag, and so much more.

Overall, I feel the Aire Rafts are a great option, especially for group or family fun. It has everything, whether you need to use it in the rapids, whitewater, fishing, or even paddling on calm rivers.

Pros

Cons

#5 Bestway Hydro Force Marine Pro – Minimalist Whitewater Raft

4.2/5
4.6/5
4/5

Our final pick of the best whitewater rafts is a great option for families looking for a simple and modest whitewater vessel.

It’s a nice, lightweight, compact boat that I can handle single-handedly.

While it lacks the frills and frays of some high-end options, it comes with all the basic features, has an incredible performance, and holds up well to rough use and abuse.

Features and Benefits

Durability

Construction-wise, this masterpiece seems to be well-made.

In fact, the first time I unboxed it, special ops came into my mind.

It’s rugged, durable and hard-wearing.

For the periods I’ve been using the boat, I’ve encountered rocks, rowed to some underwater foliage, and the boat went through them unscathed.

I’ve also used it in shallow water spots, and it didn’t pop out.

While I wouldn’t recommend leaving the boat outside for extended periods, I’ve done it occasionally; the UV rays seem not to be affecting it: no wear, no fading or anything.

Multi-purpose

I bought this inflatable boat because it’s good for whitewater and for exploring lakes.

It is one of the most versatile raft, especially if you need to fish in calm waters.

And the best part is that it has reliable construction, so I don’t see any reason I can’t use it for saltwater.

Size and Dimensions

Voyager isn’t bulky, and indeed, I would rate it for two people, especially if you have some baggage or plan on fishing.

Yes, it can accommodate more, but that would throw comfort and pleasure out of the window.

Hauling the river raft is a breeze since it’s ultra-lightweight, coming only at 34 pounds. Even when inflated, I can single-handedly carry it from the beach to my SUV and even lift it on top of my SUV.

Performance

Performance for this versatile boat is nice, but nothing to write about.

The greatest flaw to this paddle raft is that it lacks motor mount fitting, which means you can install a sail kit or a mount on it.

It’s still a decent option if you’re willing to sacrifice the convenience of assisted propulsion.

We’ve used it with the oars and paddles, and it was fine and fun. I would do it another time!

Accessories

Bestway package comes complete with two oars, a repair kit, fishing rod holders, omnidirectional oarlocks and an inflation pump.

There’re also inflatable cushions that enhance the overall comfort of the boat.

Pros

Cons

Best River Rafts Buying Guide

best whitewater rafts buying guide

The section below will detail everything you need to know about selecting the right whitewater raft for your riding needs.

Here, I outline the critical elements you need to account for in your next purchase decision.

4 Reasons to Consider an Inflatable for Whitewater?

Going through our list, you’ll notice that I’ve only listed the inflatables and no hard shells.

The reason is inflatables are more resilient and convenient for the demanding whitewater use than their hard-top counterparts.

Here are other reasons you should consider the inflatable boats over the hard-shell rafts.

1)      Buoyancy

Inflatable boats have better buoyancy than hard-shell fishing rafts.

And for whitewater rafting, you need more buoyancy to stay afloat than on calm water.

Usually, the buoyancy on river rafts comes from the air chambers. They give the raft more float.

Secondly, the rafts have wider hulls, so they definitely offer more stability.

2)      Durability

It’s easy to think the inflatables are easy to rip and tear.

But the truth is most of these fishing rafts are constructed using resilient PVC.

It’s a tough material that provides nice abrasion resistance and is tough to puncture.

Plus, the material is ideal for river use as it tends to bounce off rocks and other obstacles. It makes your vessel less susceptible to damage.

3)      Performance

The performance of inflatable rafts isn’t different from that of whitewater kayaks.

The best inflatable kayaks will often have the same features as the hard-shell performance kayaks, such as rocker hulls. Some of these features will improve rough water’s overall maneuverability and performance.

4)      Easy storage and transportation

A unique benefit of the river rafts over the shard-shell rafts is greater portability.

It can be deflated to compact for storage in your car’s trunk or even in your garage.

Disadvantages of Inflatable Rafts

Inflatable rafts aren’t full-proof and have a share of drawbacks.

Some include the actual process of inflation & deflation.

But the biggest flaw, at least in my opinion, is rowing.

See, inflatable rafts are usually wide and don’t cut the water like pointed kayaks or boats. They’re a bit clunky to use, especially on still waters, but not a huge problem on moving rapids.

Kayak Vs. Raft: What is Better for Whitewater Rafting?

Both are nice whitewater vessels, and choosing one over the other will depend on your personal preferences and skill level.

For example, rafts are generally wider, so they tend to be more stable even on whitewater. They’re ideal for use by beginners.

Also, rafts don’t require much expertise and skills to maneuver as the kayaks do.

The other benefit of rafts over kayaks is they can hold more people.

Yes, there’re single-person rafts, but most of them are tailored for holding multiple users so that it might be a great choice for groupies.

The biggest benefit with the whitewater kayaks is they’re designed for performance, and their narrow hulls will allow for more speed and excitement adrenaline junkies crave. It also has greater maneuverability, especially in tight fishing points.

Critical Features to Look for in a Whitewater Raft

There’re critical features every whitewater rafter should seek to see in their rafts.

They include:

Drop-Stitch Floor

A drop stitch is necessary, especially in the best whitewater raft because it’s more rigid than the standard inflatable floor.

These floors will stand up to the battering of whitewater use and help with equal weight distribution.

Multiple Air Chambers

Safety is paramount in a whitewater raft.

The best whitewater rafts usually have multiple air chambers in their construction.

Having different local air chambers in the construction is necessary so that when one chamber is punctured or affected, the others will keep you afloat to your safety.

Seat

Comfort is also critical in a whitewater raft.

I’d recommend you get a raft with inflatable seats for more comfort. A backrest is also welcome for the extra support.

Along with the inflatable seats, consider river rafts with foot braces.

They’ll stabilize your stance during the turbulent ride.

Self-Bailing System

Self-bailing river rafts usually have drain holes for moving the water that inevitably ends up in your boat.

It’s a great feature to have, especially for riders who run their rafts in the rapids.

You don’t need to race to the riverbank to empty the water.

What to Consider When Selecting the Best Whitewater Rafts

Assuming your raft checks all the boxes for the critical features, the next process is the selection.

There’re several important things you need to consider if you’re to get the right whitewater raft.

Some of these considerations include:

Purpose

Before anything else, have an idea of what you’ll be using your whitewater raft for.

For example, river rafts for fishing are different from family adventures.

A whitewater raft for fishing needs to withstand the possibility of getting punctured by your fishing hooks. It should also support a fishing frame and other fishing gear. This is not to mention it should access the tight fishing spots effortlessly.

On the other hand, a raft for family use on mild water needs to have some comfort level.

Next, consider the class of river you’ll be using your whitewater raft for. A whitewater raft for a class 2 river may require a different construction than class 4 or 5.

Construction/ Material

Once you determine what you’ll be using your whitewater raft for, the next important element to consider is the construction.

Usually, the construction of whitewater rafts determines the overall durability and longevity.

The choice of material gives your raft a unique characteristic, which determines where it can be used best.

The three popular materials on the most durable rafts include:

Urethane

Urethane rafts are usually lightweight, tear and wear-resistant.

However, these rafts are expensive and a challenge to transport or store.

Hypalon

Hypalon is highly portable.

Plus, it stands up well to UV light and chemicals.

PVC

PVC is lightweight, inexpensive and flexible.

It’s, however, not as strong or as robust as the previous two materials and doesn’t stand up well to UV or chemicals.

Usually, PVC is used alongside coatings to make it more resilient.

Design

best whitewater rafts faq

A raft’s design determines how well it performs in the water.

For example, rafts with a wider hull are usually more stable but less maneuverable.

On the other hand, the narrower rafts will cut through the water effortlessly and gain more speed but are unstable.

Capacity

Consider the capacity of your whitewater raft, especially if you plan to go with a group of people.

The holding capacity should also account for the gear, and if it doesn’t fit, you can tow it behind.

Some of the largest rafts can hold six passengers or more, but the fishing rafts can only hold two or three people.

Accessories

The best whitewater rafts are great on their own.

But a few accessories usually improve their performance.

Some of the must-haves on your river rafts include:

  •         Removable thwarts
  •         Oars
  •         Inflatable seat
  •         Dry bag
  •         Air pump
  •         Repair kit
  •         Carrying bag
  •         Grab protection
  •         Carabiners
  •         Ropes
  •         Fishing rod holders

Keep in mind not all whitewater rafts will come with these extras.

Usually, the accessories are often found in the high-end options and will come at an extra cost.

Assembly

Assembling a river raft should be effortless.

Having a pump, especially the electric pump, will help with the inflation and speed up the process.

Caring for the Best Inflatable Raft

Here’re some pointers that will help you care for your inflatable raft:

Allow your Raft to Dry

Once you’re out of the water, it’s tempting to pack it up immediately.

However, I suggest you first let it dry before packing it.

Letting your inflatable raft dry saves it from moistness, humidity, and even the buildup of mold and mildew.

UV Protection

While most whitewater rafts have some type of UV protection, it doesn’t harm layering it with a suitable protector for more UV resistance.

Safety Tip of Using the Best Whitewater Rafts

Here are some tips you should pay attention to when using the best whitewater raft.

1)      Follow manufacture’s recommendation.

I always insist that you follow the correct usages as stipulated by the manufacture.

For example, don’t go beyond the recommended weight capacity.

Secondly, be sure to inspect the valve and holes before getting in the water.

2)      Never forget a safety kit.

There’re no guarantees in whitewater rafting, so you never need to take chances.

Having a waterproof safety kit is necessary, especially in an emergency.

In the same breath, don’t forget to bring a life jacket along with you.

3)      Inspect your raft on dry land

Many rafters and river guides usually mistake inspecting their river rafts on the shore or even in the water.

That’s a big mistake you should avoid.

Instead, I suggest you check and inspect your raft in a dry area, free from twigs, sharpies and other objects that may puncture it.

4)      Follow local laws

If you’re rafting in public water, be sure to follow the local laws.

Most states have governing laws that dictate the conduct of rafters.

And if there’re laws, there’re some unwritten rules that require common sense. For example, you should never drink and go boating.

Best Whitewater Rafts Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What paddle should I use on my whitewater raft?

A: The choice, especially the length of the paddle, depends on the width of your raft and your height.

But generally, most rafters use shorter paddles because of their high angle paddling.

Q: Are whitewater rafts safe?

A: Yes, they’re quite safe to use, even on the rapids.

But be sure to pick a raft specifically designed for whitewater use.

Q: Can I repair a WW raft?

A: Yes, you can repair a raft using the available pat kit.

It’s a nice way to prevent further damage on your raft and deflation.

Q: What’s a self-bailing raft?

A: Self-bailing rafts have an ingenious system consisting of a series of holes that allows water to exit from the raft automatically without your input.

It saves you from having to bail out water using containers.

Wrap Up: Our Choice

best whitewater rafts wrap up

Our winner of the best whitewater rafts is the Intex Inflatable Raft.

The boat checks on all the boxes for high-quality river rafts and has exceeded my expectations in every department.

It has a nice tracking performance, durable, stands up to rafting abuses and is quite comfortable.

And here’s the kicker!

It comes at a really reasonable price.

Sharing is caring!

Hobby Search

Related Posts

Subscribe To Our NewsLetter!

Scroll to Top