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The 4 Best Hard Bottom Inflatable Boats You Can Buy

What’s the BIGGEST weakness of inflatable boats?


couple driving hard bottom inflatable boat on a river

It’s the reason so many of us are turning to hard bottom inflatable boats.

But there’s the problem.

Go on Amazon, you’ll find so. many. hard. bottom. boats.

So much so, you’ll be scratching your head wondering…

“How on earth do I choose only one? What’s best for me?”

Well, I’ve got some good news for you.

Today, we’re taking a look at the 4 best hard bottom boats you can get your hands on.

Plus, I’ll also throw in a hard-floor comparison chart – so you won’t have to guess which type works best for you.

Let’s begin!

Air up an inflatable boat using a foot pump and an electric pump video

The Top 4 Hard Bottom Inflatable Boats

Hard bottom boats are the perfect mash-up between inflatable boats’ convenience and rigid-hull boats’ stability.

Looking for the best one? Here are my top 4 picks:

1. Newport Vessels Dana – Marine Wood Floor

I’m a BIG fan of NV’s Dana.

It’s perhaps the most complete inflatable boat you can get at a reasonable price.

When it comes to the floor, the Dana does exceptionally well.

Newport Vessels use marine wood floorboards for their boats. This provides wonderful stability without adding too much weight.

You can stand up straight in your Dana without feeling wobbly – perfect for fishing!

Now, it does take some time to set-up.

The floorboards come in 4 pieces, and you have to assemble them in the correct order.

Here’s how to do it:

Newport Vessels Dana Inflatable Sport Boat Assembly & Disassembly Instructions

But it’s not a big deal. You’ll get used to it after a while.

Besides, the 4-piece floorboard set makes the Dana A LOT easier to bring along.

You can pack your boat, oars, pump, seats, AND flooring all in one big carry bag.

And they are sturdy.

Super sturdy.

The floorboards may be wood, but their connectors are made from aluminum. They won’t detach even when things get rough.

Oh, and did I mention features?

The NV Dana comes with:

  • UV-coated 1,100D PVC for maximum strength
  • Heat-welded seams for extreme durability
  • V-shaped keel for smooth and easy planing
  • Self-bailing drain plug for automatic water removal
  • Easy-to-reach grab ropes for pulling and holding on to
  • Stainless steel D-rings for grabbing and tying
  • Aluminum oars for paddling
  • Aluminum seats for extra comfort
  • Huge carry bag for more convenience
  • Foot pump for inflating your boat

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better boat at this price point.

Too small? Check out Dana’s bigger siblings Del Mar, Newport, Baja, and Catalina.

2. Intex Mariner 4 – Plastic Slat Floor

Don’t want to spend 20 minutes setting up?

Or maybe Dana’s price tag is a bit too high?

If so, I think you’ll like the Intex Mariner 4.

Wait, Intex has a hard bottom boat?


They may be known for their cheap boats, but that’s not ALL they produce.

The Mariner 4 is Intex’s ONLY hard-floor inflatable boat.

Instead of using wooden floorboards, it uses a plastic slat floor.

Plastic slat floors are A LOT easier to set-up.

With these, all you have to do is roll it in and you’re good to go!

And when you’re done, simply roll it back up. It only takes about 30 seconds.

I should mention that plastic slat floors aren’t as sturdy as wood floorboards. Standing up will feel a tad bit shaky.

But hey, for the price and the convenience – you won’t find a better hard bottom boat.

Plus, it’s got a bunch of other features:

The NEW Intex Mariner 4 Inflatable Raft

It features:

  • 3 layers of heavy-duty material
  • Rock guards around and underneath
  • 4 inflatable chambers
  • 19-inch tall tubes
  • Boston valves
  • Grab line
  • Grab handles
  • Rod holders
  • Oar holders
  • Inflatable keel
  • Rotational oarlocks
  • Motor mount fittings

And it also comes with oars, inflatable thwart seats, an air pump, a gear pouch, a battery pouch, a repair patch kit, and a carry bag.

I challenge you, find a hard bottom boat with better value than this.

I’ll wait…

3. ALEKO Inflatable Boats – Aluminum Floor

If you’re serious about getting the most stable inflatable boat ever…

….You need an aluminum floor.

With one, you’re only one step away from a full-blown RIB.

Aluminum floors provide you with ultimate stability. You can stand tall even as you’re riding the waves – it’ll be like you’re standing on solid ground!

Like the wooden boards, it does take some time to set up.

ALEKO Inflatable Boat with Aluminum Floor Installation Video

Another problem you’ll run into is the weight.

These are solid metal floorboards, they will make your boat heavy.

ALEKO boats weigh at least 100 lbs, bigger models go all the way up to 200 lbs!

But you’ll find that these are small prices you have to pay for the best stability around.


You can load a ton of gear into your boat with no worries at all. It’s super solid, it will not budge.

You’ll also find that ALEKO boats are super high-quality. Complaints on these boats are rare.

Their line-up also comes with:

  • 1.2mm polyester reinforced PVC
  • Separate air chambers
  • One-way drain valves with plugs
  • Aluminum oars
  • Benches
  • Battery tie-down straps
  • D-rings
  • Oarlocks
  • Carry bags
  • Foot pumps
  • Repair kits

Yes, they are expensive. But if you have the cash, why not invest in the ultimate stability?

4. BRIS Inflatable Boats – High-Pressure Air Floor

Who said air floors couldn’t be solid?

Certainly not BRIS!

With their high-pressure air floor line-up, you get the best of both stability AND convenience.

These aren’t your ordinary air floors. BRIS uses drop-stitch technology that allows you to pack high-pressures into your floor.

You can force up to 11 PSI into these. That’s about 2x more air pressure than other tubes!

With this, you get an air floor that lets you stand, walk, and jump on it.

And you don’t have to worry about punctures either. These air floors are super tough.

The best part?

You get to fold it up when you’re done!

Talk about convenience.

Of course, high-pressure air floors aren’t as solid as aluminum. But unless you need doomsday-ready stability, the difference isn’t too big.

As for features, BRIS’s air floor line-up has all the goods:

  • 1,100 denier PVC
  • Heat-welded seams
  • Deep V-keels
  • Three separate air chambers
  • One-way drain valves with plugs
  • Oarlocks
  • Benches
  • Repair kits
  • Aluminum oars
  • Carry bags
  • Foot pumps

RIS is also known for its durability, so you can rest easy knowing nothing will go wrong.

Keep in mind that these are the 4 best inflatable boats for their floor types – but not the ONLY ones. You can find dozens of great wood, plastic, aluminum, or air floor inflatable boats online.

What is the Best Hard Floor For Inflatable Boats?

Wood, plastic, aluminum, air…

What’s the best solid floor material for inflatable boats?

Want my answer?

None of them.

None of these are objectively better than the others.

They all have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The “best” depends entirely on what YOU want.

Do you want the most solid?

The most convenient?

The most affordable?

Or perhaps you want a little bit of everything?

Here’s a little chart I made to help you decide which floor works best for YOU:

Floor TypeStabilityConvenienceWeightPrice
Plastic Slat#4#2#2#1
HP Air#3#1#1#3

You get a clearer picture of how these floors stack up against each other.

Want the most stable boat ever? Go for aluminum.

Want the lightest most convenient floor? Go for high-pressure air.

Want the cheapest solid boat you can get? Go for plastic slat.

Want a jack-of-all-trades type of floor? Go for wooden floorboards.


Hard bottom inflatable boats are a godsend.

They completely erased inflatable boats’ worst enemy.

Plus, they make your fishing trips, expeditions, and chill days at the lake so much easier, more comfortable, and better.

So now that you know the best hard bottom inflatable boats in the market… go and get one today!

Have a question? Ask me in the comments below!

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