Whether you're an extreme sports junkie, a total water tubing novice, or somewhere in between, tubing is a great way to get out on the water and make the most of your boat. These days, there's a lot to consider when choosing the best two person towable tube for you and your family, with towable tubes coming in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and materials.
Here's everything you need to know about buying your next towable tube:
Tubes come in various sizes, ranging from designs for a single rider, all the way up to massive, family-sized tubes that can hold four, five, or even six riders.
When you're shopping for your very first tube, consider looking for one that can hold two adult-sized riders. A two-person tube is large enough for two riders, and it's also small enough for a single rider to control without any difficulty. Be sure to look at the actual weight capacity listed on each tube as well, since many tubes listed for two riders assume that each rider will weigh no more than 150 pounds.
Check the owner's manual of your boat or ask your marine mechanic to find out the towing capacity of your particular watercraft.
One of the features that make towable tubes so popular is how easy they are to transport. Most soft towables can be packed down to about the size of a typical hockey bag, and they usually weigh well under 100 pounds. In fact, most manufacturers' recommend deflating and storing the tube when not in use to protect it from UV damage. The only exception to this is tubes with a solid hull, although these tubes can usually be transported inside a passenger van, pickup truck, or on top of cargo roof racks.
With the right equipment, most towables on the market today are designed to inflate in less than 10 minutes. Small single and two-rider tubes can often be inflated using a 12V powered hand pump, while larger tubes need to be blown up using either an air compressor with an adaptor or an AC-powered pump.
Most towable tubes are made from a variety of synthetic materials like nylon, vinyl, and neoprene to achieve the ideal blend of durability, affordability, and performance. Just like with bedsheets, the denier number of the nylon and the gauge of the PVC coincides with the density of the weave - the higher the number, the more durable the material is.
Most towables are made with heavy-duty 24 to 30-gauge PVC (vinyl), while typical pool toys are made from light-duty 10 to 14-gauge PVC.
If you haven't shopped for a towable tube lately, you'll be surprised by the wide variety of tube shapes and sizes on the market today. Tubes have come a long way from when boaters would simply inflate an old inner tube, although the tried-and-true round shape is still a favorite today. Look for a tube that features plenty of rider grab points
Remember - the shape of your towable has a big impact on rider comfort - including how wet they'll get!
Round tubes continue to be loved by riders everywhere, and many diehard tubers consider this to be the best towable tube for all-around use.
On the upside, donut-shaped tubes tend to be the most affordable style on the market, and teens and adult riders who can lay on top of the tube quickly learn how to maneuver the tube in and out of the wake. The downside of round tubes is that smaller riders and children often find this style of tube uncomfortable since the hole is too small to sit inside and the high center of gravity means the tube is prone to flipping over.
If a round tube is what you’re looking for, checkout our best selling two rider tube by O’brien.
This style of tube closely resembles an open-cockpit kayak, with a built-in floor and seating areas that keep the rider in a semi-
Ride-in tubes are great for riders who want to enjoy a calm, stable trip, making this type of tube great for families with small children, novice riders, and anyone who prefers to stay relatively dry.upright position.
Our pick and best seller for Ride-In Tubes is the Big Mable Tube by Sportsstuff.
If you're looking for a towable tube that can serve double-duty as a leisure raft, check out flat deck tubes. Available in models that can hold anywhere from one to five or more riders, these tubes look and feel a lot like a big air mattress.
Riders usually lay flat out on their stomachs, face-first into the wake, which gives riders the feeling that they're going much faster than they really are. Deck tubes tend to skim across the water rather than cut through it, making them both thrilling to ride and quite unstable at speed. This style tends to be popular with teens and young adults who love the challenge of staying on the tube - and don't mind getting wet.
If you’re looking for a two rider Flat Deck Tube, the HO Sports Mavericks 2 Ski Tube is one our favorites.
Also known as toboggan-style tubes, riders sit on top of this tube and straddle it motorcycle-style for a lively and wet ride even at relatively low speeds. These tubes come in models sized for anywhere from two to six riders, and there are even large 10 rider banana tubes that are marketed to commercial operators such as beach resorts and summer camps.
Checkout our best selling Banana Tube.