Updated July 2017
For 2017, we added new boards to our selection. Isle took home the Editors' Choice award for the second year in a row; this time around, the Isle Explorer became our new cream of the crop inflatable paddle board. If performance is what you're after, you'll find that the Red Paddle Explorer Plus will provide, taking home a new Top Pick honor. The PEAK Inflatable wins our Best Buy award and is sure to bring you a great time for less than $600, followed by the iRocker for less than $700.
The Best Overall Inflatable SUP
Glide increased by fins
Cargo system on front and rear
Competition for the top spot in this year's test was steep, with several boards posting high scores. But when all was said and done, the Isle Explorer
stole the hearts of nearly all of our testers, a reputation which earned it our Editors' Choice award. A dream to paddle, the Explorer successfully combines stability and glide, while a square tail, slightly rockered nose and fin design allow it to maneuver easily. Constructed from quality materials, this board instilled confidence on rocky sections of river and along jagged shorelines. The Explorer comes with a pump that has universal attachment ends and a paddle. Surprisingly, the whole package comes for a relatively low $845, which sits well below the prices of spendier models.
Read full review: Isle Explorer
Best Bang for the Buck
Lightest board in the review
Exciting color scheme
Does not have a dual cargo system
Lacks rear handle
The PEAK Inflatable
has a sleek design, solid construction, and flashy deck that turned heads around the local lake, making it a favorite among many testers. The lightest board reviewed, this model scored well in ease of transport, and its included backpack was simple yet versatile. Additionally, this board was the cheapest in the review. If you're looking for a board that will get you out on the water and can cruise nearly as well as the top boards for a price that won't break the bank, this model is for you.
Read full review: PEAK Inflatable
Top Pick for Performance
Red Paddle Co Explorer Plus
Cargo system on front and rear
Stable for its width
Fast, dual chamber pump
May feel unstable to beginners
Quality materials, high-performance components, and a sleek profile helped the Red Paddle Co Explorer Plus
to a high score, tieing it with our overall winner (the Isle Explorer
). Because of this model's sleeker profile, beginner paddlers will likely feel less stable atop it. However, this dip in stability means an increase in glide and agility, which made this model a go-to for tight creek and voyages that demand maneuverability. With an FCS Connect fin and an RSS stiffening system, this model is noticeably top of the line. The icing on the cake comes in the included universally compatible pump, which was by far the best in our review, and became the favorite for use with all of the other boards.
Read full review: Red Paddle Co Explorer Plus
iRocker Inflatable 11
The iRocker Inflatable
just barely missed out on an award, but it deserves an honorable mention. It was an immediate favorite among testers, and its overall score was competitive among the top performers. This model's materials and design easily instilled confidence on rocky rivers and choppy water, and its shape provided a good combination of stability and glide. Plus, the full kit comes with a paddle, universal pump, repair kit, and
an ankle leash.
Read full review: iRocker Inflatable