What Size Inner Tube For River Floating

If you’re planning to breathe some fresh air, a river floating trip is always a great idea. Some people think that it’s only for teenagers, but this water activity is perfect for all. Getting out on the water doesn’t always require a boat and fuel.

Tubing is an adventure that checks all the boxes. You’ll get wet, steer some rocky flowing waters, and you can even relax and let the current take you downstream. The only decision you need to make is to determine what size your inner tube should be so that you can safely float in the river.

Sizing plays an important role in tubes. Keep reading to understand what is the best size for a river tube, what tube is ideal to use, and how much weight can a tube hold.


inner tubes floating on a river


What Is the Best Size Inner Tube for River Floating?

No one wants their river tube to flip over, especially when getting your adrenaline rush by heading into the rapids. Since not all inner tubes are created equal, you need to choose the best size for your next ride so you can rest and sit comfortably without affecting the air inside.

There are a few factors to keep in mind when finding the best river tube. River-floating tubes are not measured in height, width, and span. Instead, the size is determined by the length of the circular tube’s diameter.

The sizes range from 30 inches to 70 inches or bigger for luxurious floaters. The average sizes start from 40 inches to 60 inches in diameter. One of the best ways to determine which size suits you is by considering your own dimensions. If you’re bigger, you need a river tube that covers a wider diameter so you can freely maneuver.

Size options that range from 36 inches to 68 inches are ideal for different body types including those between 50 pounds and 280 pounds.

What Tube Is Used for River Floating?

There are different types of inner tubes that can be used to float. But don’t use rubber tractor tubes because they are heavy and easily absorb heat.

Modern PVC floating tubes are the most popular among river tubers as some have reinforced cup holders and other fancy accessories. It’s important to choose a high-quality float tube that offers stability and comfort and is suitable for river floating.

If you’re wondering whether you can take a raft for river tubing or not, the answer is no. Many vinyl rafts are not constructed or manufactured for floating and they tend to fall apart easily and get hot. Make sure to consider the size regulations that your local rivers cover.


Modern PVC floating tubes


How Much Weight Can a River Tube Hold?

Depending on the size and material of the float tube you purchase, the weight that a river tube can hold varies. For example, kiddie tubes for smaller children can take up to 100 pounds. A bigger tube with a 36-inch size can accommodate petite adults and larger kids weighing 120 pounds.

River tubes that are 40 inches in size can hold up to 175 pounds. Floaters weighing 280 pounds or more should opt for a 45 inch inner tube. The overall weight that your tube can hold generally depends on its size, the bigger it is, the more weight it can carry. The goal is to choose an inner tube that can give you a lazy river float experience despite the rocks beneath.

Larger PVC tubes that are 60 inches big and with a hole at the center are ideal for luxurious floating on the lake. These river tubes have a cup holder, headrest, safety canvas cover, and other top features. If you have the budget and you’re always on a river tubing adventure, don’t be afraid to spend a bit more for a slick, heavy-duty river tube.