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
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.
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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
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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.
Intex Mariner handles the water better than most rafts I’ve come across.
The inflatable keel helps with improved control and handling.
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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.
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.
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.