20 Best Inflatable Boats In 2022

An inflatable boat or dinghy is defined as a small open boat powered by oars, motor, or sails. It is a versatile craft that’s easy to deploy and light to move with many different types to fit the need. There are zodiac style inflatable boats for speed and power, fishing inflatables, leisure inflatables for calm rivers, and inflatable dinghies to be used as shuttles between ship and shore.

Price will determine performance and longevity. But, surprisingly, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg for a decent inflatable craft.

To make it easier for you, we’ve listed 20 of the best and affordable, inflatable boats on the market based on reviews and testing. We’ve grouped them into 1) best budget inflatable boats, best for calm waters but surprisingly versatile, 2) Best Inflatable Speed Boats, rigid inflatable zodiac types, and 3) Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Boatsfor the solo angler.

Check out our top 10 inflatable boats, and read our in-depth guide to these small crafts.

The Top 5 Inflatable Boats in 2023

All the Inflatable Boats We've tested

Amazing for Price

The Excursion 5 is a spacious inflatable boat that has an attachment for a small motor, like a Minn Kota or Torqeedo lite.

We tested this while sailing–to get to land when on anchor–and on rivers and canals. This inflatable dinghy boat can accommodate up to 5 people on board. Moreover, it is made of sturdy vinyl. The vinyl can withstand sharp objects and other potentially deflating points of hindrance found by the shore during launch and landing.

The size of the boat requires a bit of effort and space to inflate. But once done and set in the water it’s surprisingly sturdy. That comes in handy when casting with a fishing rod and reeling in a catch.

All in all, the Excursion 5 is a dinghy that can comfortably accommodate 2/3 adults and 2 children. There are holes for another set of oars, but they aren’t included (unfortunately). There’s a transom system (sold separately) for a motor to speed up to 5 miles per hour or for trolling.

For a fuller spectrum of possibilities, check out some interesting DIY hacks on youtube involving this inflatable and some imaginative people out there.

Specs & Features

  • Deluxe aluminum oars.
  • Inflatable beam floor.
  • All-around grab line.
  • Three air chambers.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested the Intex Excursion 5 and compared it to other similar inflatable boats. This is what we found.

4.8

Things we like:

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    Inflatable seats makes it feel like lounging on a sofa
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    The 4 fishing rod holders work well
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    Plenty of space for 4 adults, even when one is rowing
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    Can be used as a budget-friendly tender for sailboats.
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    Rowing is surprisingly less difficult than feared

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe hand pump works, but isn't very good
  • check-markPacking up into the cheap carrying bag takes time and isn't easy
Read full review

Where to buy:

Intex Excursion 5 Inflatable Boat

Intex Excursion 5

The Newport Dinghy Boat is made out of high-quality materials to ensure exceptional durability. Looking for a dinghy to ferry you from ship to shore, one that can be either towed or easily stored? Consider this one. The boat is rated by US Coastguard standards, and is made out of 3x layers .9mm/1100 UV Coated PVC. This structure is held together with an advance German-engineered adhesive for extra longevity. All this speaks to how well the boat performs in rough water conditions.

The floors are fitted with durable marine wood. It also features aluminum framing that provides extra support. This dinghy is used for recreational purposes like tendering to and fro yachts at anchor. This zodiac boat type can fit an engine of 10hp and can reach speeds of 20 mph.

With the 18” tubes, you are guaranteed one of the most stable boats on the market. This inflatable boat has all the stability you will need as a great fishing dinghy. It can seat up to 3 people.

The boat has a low center of gravity that will enhance performance at high speeds. The Newport Dinghy Boat will become your best friend on the water.

Specs & Features

  • Has sturdy carrying handles.
  • Comes with stainless steel bow D-rings for towing.
  • Can accommodate up to 3 people.
  • The boat has a max capacity of 1,067 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    Built from high-quality materials to pass US Coastguard rating.
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    The boat has a self-bailing drain plug.
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    The boat has 18” tubes that make steering a breeze.
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    Comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty for those unforeseen and unexpected incidents.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe boat only comes with one bench seat.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Newport Vessels Dinghy

Surprising Utility

The Intex Seahawk is one of the most cost-effective inflatable boats on the market. It will give you some of the comforts and utility of a premium boat for a fraction of the cost. The 30-gauge PVC vinyl will resist damage from abrasions, sun, and impacts.

This boat can hold up to four people with luggage making it a cheap dinghy used to tender between yacht and shore. There is a grab line situated around the boat for security when climbing on and off the boat. It features fishing rod holders and enough space to accommodate a family of 4 making it also a fairly reliable inflatable fishing dinghy.

This inflatable dinghy is one of the best when it comes to versatility in the water. It is easy to maneuver in the water and handles decently in harsh conditions. The sturdy, high-quality materials used in the manufacturing process allow the craft to avoid any hardcore punctures. For added insurance, the boat has 3 separate air chambers with one auxiliary chamber. It’s definitely worth looking at.

Specs & Features

  • The boat is made out of durable, puncture-resistant vinyl.
  • Comes with three air chambers sealed off from each other.
  • Has 3 welded oar locks.
  • It features a motor mount.
  • The boat comes with a high output air pump.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    Has the capacity to seat up to 4 adults for a lovely day out on the water.
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    The boat comes with inflatable cushions for extra comfort and support.
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    The boat has two fishing rod holders on either sides for great fishing expeditions.
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    The PVC material can withstand exposure to a motor’s oil, gasoline, and saltwater.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThis boat is not suitable for pets.
  • check-markIt will be challenging to row it if you are alone on a small lake.
  • check-markThe floor is too soft, so you won’t be able to stand up while in the water.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Intex Seahawk

The Intex Challenger is a cheap and cheerful boat that’ll get you on the water for some leisure and fun. The boat is built from high-quality materials, which ensure it will last longer than expected. It comes with an inner auxiliary chamber that protects against sinking in case of getting punctured.

Th uses a trusty Boston valve to inflate and deflate itself fast. It comes with a grab line for climbing in and out, and added safety and utility.

This cheap inflatable dinghy can be put through the wringer. This two-man boat has more attitude than people give it credit for. It can carry up to 376 lbs. easily.

The PVC puncture-resistant material will keep you secure and worry-free. It has two French oars and a heavy-duty grab line for safety while getting on-board. This will be an excellent lounging dinghy or bare-bones simple fishing inflatable.

Specs & Features

  • The dimensions of the boat are 16.23” high and 21.38” wide.
  • It can fit 2 people snuggly.
  • Comes with a high output pump.
  • The boat has 2 48 inch French oars.
  • The boat has a heavy-duty grab handle.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    The boat is made out of puncture-resistant PVC that is durable and very comfortable.
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    The floor has an inflatable l-beam for extra stability.
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    The boat uses two Boston valves that enable quick inflation and deflation.
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    There is a repair kit on-board in emergencies.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe oars aren’t very useful in their holders.
  • check-markIt is tough to row the boat against a current.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Intex Challenger 2

Fishing & Lounging

A fairly ambitious family trip can be had with this 6-seater inflatable fishing boat. It comes with a lot of legroom space and also offers a pretty solid inflatable floor. Movable seats make customizing after crew size and supplies easy.

This inflatable has a sturdy body and will keep you from falling in the water due to the wrap-around grab line. Two cup holders so you can have a drink on-board without any issues.

Inflating and deflating is made simple and quick because of patented speed safety valves.

With two rod holders to keep hooks away from boat and passengers, it’s a pretty decent leisure vessel for a very low price.

The Airhead Angler is a robust leisure dinghy boat and has welded seams. The boat uses separated inflatable sections so that it won’t sink even if it’s punctured.

The Angler is a perfect buy if you want a spacious and comfortable boat to cruise the waters or a versatile budget inflatable fishing boat.

Specs & Features

  • The boat size is 140 by 66.5 inches.
  • Constructed with durable vinyl.
  • Comes with two-rod holders.
  • The boat has 4 oars.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.1

Things we like:

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    Seats provide you with a 360-degree view.
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    Due to the 6 available seats, you can take the whole family with you.
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    The sturdy cup holders will secure your beverages in rocky conditions.
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    The grab lines around the boat make getting on and off the boat from the water easier.
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    Can be used as a budget-friendly inflatable tender for larger sailboats

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe boat does not come with a storage bag.
  • check-markRowing can be difficult in windy conditions.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Airhead Angler Bay

It’s the little brother to the Seahawk 4. The same elements that make the bigger model reliable stand for this dinghy. It provides excellent relaxation, double rowing, and serves well as a small inflatable fishing boat. The craft can fit 3 adults and a combined  weight of 790 lbs.

The included pump works great with the Boston valves. That way, you can quickly pump up or deflate the boat in just a few minutes. There are four rotational oarlocks and two fishing rod holders when you want to reach that perfect fishing spot.

If you are planning a relaxing trip in the lake or the river, then this is the pick for you. The boat is ideal for two adults or an adult and two children. You can even take your pet on-board. The heavy-duty material will ensure that no punctures occur while enjoying your cruise. All in all, it’s definitely worth every penny.

Specs & Features

  • Comes with a motor mount.
  • The boat has two inflatable seat cushions.
  • At the front of the boat, you will find a grab handle.
  • 2 aluminum oars are included.
  • The boat uses Boston valves.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The four rotational oarlocks will efficiently serve you when rowing.
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    Up to 3 adults can be accommodated in the boat with space for extra gear.
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    The boat is made out of heavy-duty resistant PVC material.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe floor valve is not threaded, and deflating can be troublesome.
  • check-markYou can’t add any seats to the boat.
  • check-markThe pump can break after a couple of not careful uses.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Intex SeaHawk 3

Need an inflatable speed boat or a tender to row to shore from anchor? How about a sturdy inflatable fishing boat? This dinghy is built for tough conditions and can do it all. It’s also quite large. It measures 10.8’ in length and 5’3” in width. It accommodates a max weight of 1,268 lbs and can seat 5 people comfortably. The boat has extended rear pontoons, and the transom area gives the boat the ability to carry more weight. It also provides space for a larger motor and increases stability while in the water. The tubes are also 18,” creating greater maneuverability.

The Killer Whaleboat comes with aluminum floors. The seat gives you the ability to stand up straight while casting your fishing line. It comes in a white pearl with a sleek design and all the hallmarks of a proper maritime dinghy. This inflatable is robust and quick to assemble. An excellent buy for the price range.

Specs & Features

  • Comes with aluminum floors and seats.
  • All of the seams are heat welded.
  • The inflatable is compatible with 2 and 4 stroke motors.
  • Comes with 2 oarlocks for easy rowing.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.3

Things we like:

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    The inflatable boat is lightweight and easy to transport.
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    Made by a reputable American company founded in 1991.
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    High-Quality material is used in the manufacturing process, denier reinforced PVC to ensure exceptional durability.
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    The material used is environmentally friendly and aid in greener earth.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markYou only get one aluminum seat with the boat.
  • check-markWater gets stuck under the floor of the boat.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Inflatable Sports Killer Whale

This vibrant colored inflatable boat can accommodate up to three people. It will definitely capture people’s attention due to its fresh style and oodles of features. It is the cheapest inflatable boat on our list today. The boat comes with a high output manual pump for quick inflation once you reach the water.

You will also receive 48” French oars. The boat can carry a weight of 410 lbs and is very stable in the water with a soft inflatable floor.

The Intex Explorer is an excellent boat for a day out on the lake. This cheap dinghy has a soft inflatable floor that delivers surprising comfort. It’s also pretty good at maneuvering through the waters. The welded oars will give you stability while rowing the boat. The Intex Explorer is a budget-friendly boat that is the best in its price bracket.

Specs & Features

  • The boat comes with two air chambers.
  • You will find a grab rope on the bow.
  • Can hold up to 3 people.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The inflatable floor is soft to deliver extra comfort.
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    You will get a repair patch that you can use for quick repairs on the boat.
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    The boat comes with a US coast guard ID for an easy registration at the DMV.
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    The boat comes in a vibrant orange color that will stand out in the water.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe raft may be limited to only two people.
  • check-markThe pump takes a whole lot of effort to inflate the boat.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Intex Explorer 300

The Inflatable Sport Boats are easy to assemble and disassemble in less than 10 minutes. What makes these boats great is the fact they come with a complete aluminum chassis. The aluminum is more environmentally friendly than the standard marine plywood. They are also stronger, lightweight, and easy to clean. Nautical engineers designed it as sleek as possible with white finishes.

Taking a spin on your new inflatable boat is made easy with a 10 min assembly time. It is made out of thick .9mm, 1100 denier reinforced PVC material to ensure high durability. The construction will protect your boat from UV rays, oil stains. Moreover, it is puncture resistant. This gives you one less thing to worry about. It’s definitely a great pick.

Specs & Features

  • It comes with 2 aluminum bench seats.
  • Has a manufacturers guarantee of 3 years.
  • Can accommodate a motor.
  • It comes with an aluminum floor.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    All the seams are heat welded, offering more protection.
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    You will get a manufacturer certificate, which will allow you to register the boat in the USCG.
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    The inflatable boat can be operated manually and with a motor up to 15 HP.
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    The boat can seat up to 5 people comfortably for a nice cruise.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThere have been issues with the transom (mount) not being rated for more than 10 HP motors.
  • check-markThe instructions can be confusing and quite difficult to understand.
  • check-markWater can get in under the floorboards.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Inflatable Sport Shark 9.8′

The HydroForce Caspian Pro is a popular choice for an inflatable fishing boat. This gives the dinghy protection from UV degradation and abrasions pollutants. The boat also boasts an extra tough strake protecting the sides when docking. This extra protection also makes this dinghy sturdy and durable. It is ideal for anyone looking for an inflatable speed boat in lively waters.

The HydroForce Caspian Pro is a great inflatable boat that will have you on the water with your line out in less than an hour. This also makes it an ideal dinghy for use as a tender behind a yacht. The boat is equipped with carrying handles, which make transporting the inflatable a breeze. With the buoyancy and the 4 chamber construction, you get a high-pressure keel. The boat is easy to assemble due to the floorboard and bench seat that require no tools.

Specs & Features

  • The boat can seat 3 adults and 1 child.
  • Comes with 4 high-density nylon supported PVC chambers.
  • Has a maximum load capacity of 1058 lbs.
  • There are safety ropes all around the vessel.
  • It can fit an outboard motor up to 10HP.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The boat has a metal steel tow ring for extra portability.
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    There is an integrated drain valve to drain excess water that seeps in under the floorboards.
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    The reinforced strake will protect the boat against impacts and friction.
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    The floorboards are rigid as opposed to the flat floor models.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe boat only comes with one bench.
  • check-markThe bench can detach too easily in rough water.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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HydroForce Caspian Pro 9’3″

A pretty versatile inflatable craft, this zodiac-style, RIB will serve you well whether as a tender on board your yacht, as a fishing inflatable or as a cruising vessel. Bear in mind this is not a speedy boat like Sport Boats’ Shark 9.8’, but equipped with the maximum 5 HP it’ll get you where you need to go at a gentle cruising speed. The floor can inflate to a rigid state that was pretty stable to stand on.

It also makes it easier to pack up this relatively long dinghy when stashing on the bow or aft of your ship. Inflating and setting up the Bris 8.2 is, in fact, one of the biggest appeals.

Specs & Features

  • 8.2ft x 5ft
  • 3-year warranty aint bad
  • 3 air chambers
  • 2 adults plus 1 kid
  • 0.9mm PVC

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Easy setup
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    Good size for a tender to a yacht
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    The air deck is surprisingly rigid
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    Good construction
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    Splash guards on the transom keep spray from soaking driver

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe bench seems a little on the flimsy side
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Bris 8.2 ft

The BRIS 1.2mm is a stylish ultra-modern inflatable boat that will turn heads whenever you take the boat out. Unlike ordinary inflatable boats, the BRIS is made out of quality materials. The materials are 2,000 Dtex 1.2mm PVC fabric that comes with polyester support. The material will give you support against tension, tearing, and breaking.

The seams are heat welded together that will last in extreme conditions. This offers protection from salt, freshwater, and excessive humidity. This boat will serve you for years in various weather conditions.

Getting around with the BRIS is a breeze, as it can handle a 25 HP motor. The motor will allow you to reach good speeds while in the water. It is great for fishing trips and comes with an aluminum floor. The floor is sturdy enough so that you can stand wheel in your catch. It also has an elevated aluminum bench that gives you a more exceptional view of your surroundings.

Specs & Features

  • The boat has an aluminum floorboard.
  • Comes with three individual chambers.
  • The boat has a durable plywood transom for an outboard motor.
  • It is designed with nine interior D-rings.
  • It can handle a 25 HP motor.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The boat has 2 aluminum bench seats that give you a more elevated seating position.
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    You get a deep V-keel that rub-strake-protection from unforeseen incidents.
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    The boat has a one-way drain way to get rid of the excess water that may enter the vessel.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe boat is relatively heavy.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Bris 1.2mm PVC

The Pexmor dinghy comes in two sizes. Both are durable and versatile, it’s cheaper than competitors. What’s more is that it is stylish and can provide a solid, rafting and fishing experience. The boat is made out of 3x layer 0.9mm 1100D PVC fabric material that is a puncture, sun, and wear resistant.

It’s an ideal inflatable for family fun or sundowners because it can fit up to four adults. With 10 HP attached it can power to and fro with other leading inflatable speed boats. The roomy Pexmor comes with a wooden floor so you can stand up while fishing. This is a competitively cheaper boat and a good buy for summers on the lake or as a shuttle dinghy.

Traveling in style with your family when on vacation feels incredible. The great stylish colors and the unmatched design make the boat outstanding. There is ample space on-board to fit up to 4 people. This is the perfect inflatable boat for a memorable family outing. It’s definitely worth the pick.

Specs & Features

  • It sports two fishing rod holders.
  • It comes with a flat wooden floor.
  • The tubing is made up of three separated air chambers.
  • It comes in blue/white or black/grey color.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The three different air chambers will allow the boat to stay afloat if one of the chambers is punctured accidentally.
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    The boat has ample space to accommodate four people and fishing gear.
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    The boat is made from durable materials and is sun and wear-resistant.
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    The max horsepower for the 10 ft model is is 10 HP.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNeed to order certificate of origin for registration in some states.
  • check-markBench could be a little sturdier
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Pexmor 7.5/10 ft

The 8 feet 2 inch long inflatable boat offers you ample space on-board for 3 people. Family trips will become a regular thing. The boat is easy to assemble due to the roll-up slat floor and gives you ultra-compact storage. The sturdy plywood transom can house a motor of up to 5 HP for smooth cruising from spot A to B.

The tubes are tested to comply with ENISO 6185-1 standards. The inflatable boat can hold a maximum weight of 970 pounds.

The BRINE can be used as a shore-to-boat option. It runs smoothly if a 5 HP motor is applied. The inflatable boat does not take long to assemble. Moreover, it comes with an inflation pump, seat, oars, oarlocks, and storage back. The boat will make your journeys efficient and hassle-free, or you can just use it for a day out on the lake.

Specs & Features

  • The fabric is UV resistant and can withstand harsh conditions.
  • The boat can carry up to three people.
  • The boat can handle a 5 HP outboard motor.
  • The seams are PVC Thermo bonded.
  • You will receive the manufacturer’s statement of origin.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The boat is 8 feet 2 inches long and can seat 3 people with extra gear.
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    There is a 2-year warranty included.
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    Comes with a carry bag for effortless transportation.
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    The boat comes with an inflation pump for fast deflation and inflation.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNot suitable for fishing adventures.
  • check-markRough wind can influence the boat performance.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Brine Marine

This boat is the perfect fit for fishermen looking for fishing dinghy that can carry 400lbs worth of gear. It’s easy to assemble and transport, and is very customizable. The boat has over 20 compartments for storage and two nifty insulated drink holders. As far as inflatable pontoon boats go, this one is robust and won’t break the bank. It’s made out of an abrasion PVC bottom and sturdy nylon tops so it can withstand punctures from fishing hooks and sharp equipment.

This dinghy is the only thing missing in your traveling/camping arsenal. This inflatable pontoon boat has a smart retractable wheel that can wheel barrel-style roll the pontoon over rocky terrains. The boat features extra padding to the plastic seats that will make your fishing day merciful on your behind. You can even purchase a swivel chair for 360-degree movement for 360-degree view at any time.

You may want to consider a do-it-yourself awning to protect against the sun, but other than that a pretty complete inflatable fishing boat for the lone wolf.

If you’re not really into inflatable pontoons, check out our Classic Pontoon Boat guide here.

Specs & Features

  • The boat has 20 pockets and two cup holders.
  • Comes with 7 feet aluminum oars.
  • Can take a max weight of 400 lbs.
  • Has a transport wheel.
  • Has a built-in portable gear bag.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The rod holder can be adjusted to six different spots so you can find the most comfortable position.
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    Comes with a padded down plastic seat to provide a comfortable stay in the water.
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    Has a mesh anchor system that can be deployed on both sides of the boat.
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    The footrest can be adjusted to various lengths depending on your size.
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    Both a motor mount and a battery shelf.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDoes not come with an air pump.
  • check-markDesigned only for use with electric motors. Not suitable for gas or diesel outboards.
  • check-markNo awning or bimini.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Classic Accessories Pontoon

The Classic Accessories Boat is a solo fisherman’s dream. The boat offers space and ample storage. What’s more, is that it is abrasion-resistant with PVC bottoms and rugged nylon tops.The boat can deal with up to 400lbs of combined bodyweight and gear. Moreover, the seats feature additional padding to make your cruise comfortable.

The rod holder can be placed in three different positions, which explains the boat’s great versatility. This makes it easier to select the spot with the most abundant fish. There is also a mount for a motor, allowing for a solo pleasure cruiser or for trolling. The inflatable boat also comes with an anchor system with a fillable mesh bag.

The inflatable boat has lots of storage space for your gear and camping equipment. The boat has a place for a motor, and if you prefer paddles, they are nested correctly for a hassle-free row. This inflatable features a harmonious sage green/black color and it’s definitely a great pick.

Specs & Features

  • Comes with a padded down plastic seat.
  • The motor mount is weatherproof.
  • Has non-eroding oarlocks.
  • The boat has detachable patches for easily accessible gear.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    This inflatable fishing boat has a lot of nifty storage space. It has 10 mesh pockets, 12 zippered pockets, and two insulated cup holders.
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    The great feature of the boat is that it comes with three oarlock position that offers variety to the fisherman.
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    Manufactured with abrasion-resistant PVC bottoms and very tough nylon.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe oar is made of brass, which is not the most durable material.
  • check-markThe seat does not come with a seat swivel.
  • check-markValves can get damaged if you over-inflate the boat.
Read full review

Where to buy:

classic-accessories-inflatable-featured

Classic Accessories

If you need an inflatable fishing boat that takes less than 5 minutes to inflate, the Sea Eagle has got you covered. Only weighing 42 lbs it’s easy to put it into the trunk and carry to the beach. And yet it can hold around 450 lbs. This solo fishing inflatable has a mount good for a 3 HP motor for relaxing motion and trolling. This fishing dinghy is ideal for a person that wants to enjoy a beautiful day out.

The SeaEagle pontoon dinghy will deliver an excellent solo fishing experience. Moreover, it is lightweight and durable. The seat comes with a 360 swivel that will enable you to steer the motor without having to twist uncomforably. The removable floor planks will also add stability while drawing in your catches.

Specs & Features

  • Comes with a fish ruler and mesh apron.
  • The boat has a swivel seat.
  • The floor has a removable wooden floor.
  • Comes with two-rod holders.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

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    The floor can be adjusted with the wooden floor planks for added stability.
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    The boat is super lightweight yet surprisingly stable.
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    The seat has a 360-degree swivel allowing you to tackle fish from all angles while steering the motor.
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    The boat comes with raised oarlocks on both sides so that you can cast two lines simultaneously.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe swivel seat creaks and does some flexing when moving.
  • check-markNot enough space on the boat for pets, limited space on-board.
  • check-markThere are no canopies manufactured for this product.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Sea Eagle 285 Frameless Pontoon

The Classic Accessories is one of the cheapest solo inflatable boats on the market. This inflatable pontoon will provide comfort while enjoying a great fishing experience. Not as heavy-duty as the Colorado, it can still carry 350 lbs of weight and has a river rating of class 1.

The boat has integrated armrest pockets that have two large zippers. There is an extra storage platform that can be found at the rear side of the boat. The footrests can also be adjusted to make you more comfortable while sitting on the seat.

This inflatable boat will provide durability while still looking sleek in the water. It is a dinghy filled with storage space. This will keep all your belongings safe and secure. The boat is very cost-effective for all the capabilities it offers.

Specs & Features

  • The boat only weighs 43 lbs and is lightweight for easy transportation.
  • Comes with a mesh under-seat apron.
  • The boat has various storage pockets.
  • The seat is soft and can be folded down for more space.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

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    The footrest provide you with extra comfort.
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    The boat only weighs 350 lbs and is easy to maneuver in the water.
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    The seat is mounted high for a more fabulous visual experience.
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    The boat is built with heavy-duty pontoons that are abrasion-resistant.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe oar stoppers need reinforcement against slipping.
  • check-markThe boat tends to move around a lot on windy days.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Classic Accessories Roanoke

You will feel like a king sitting on his throne when you find yourself in the Dama Fishing Inflatable Raft. It’s literally incredibly comfortable. The raft comes with a canopy that will keep you fresh while fishing in the sun. The comfort does not stop there as the raft comes with a detachable padded seat and a backrest that you can adjust.

The one-man tube also has 2-rod holders. While fishing, you can use the anchor system for fishing on one spot.

This tube is great for fishing on those remote spots where bigger boats can’t travel. The boat has a weight capacity of 380 pounds and can easily fit an adult with all his gear. The boat has a lot of storage space to accommodate all of your gear needs. This tube is excellent for those hot summer days as it offers a canopy.

Specs & Features

  • Dimensions of boat length 76”, width 39” and height 12.”
  • Has various storage compartments.
  • It comes with 2 fishing rod holders.
  • Made from durable material.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

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    Has a maximum weight capacity of 380 pounds.
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    The boat has a canopy for a 24/7 protection from the harmful sun.
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    The seat is detachable and comes with a backrest.
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    The boat also employs an anchor system that will allow you not to drift away while fishing.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markYou will wait longer for your boat if they are out of stock.
  • check-markYou can’t use a motor with this tube.
Read full review

Where to buy:

dama-fishing-inflatable-rafts.jpg

Dama Fishing

Though it’s not very ambitious as a paddling boat, the Intex Explorer K2 is an affordable, inflatable kayak that will get people out on the water.

It’s really an advanced beach toy that offers a glimpse into what kayaking can be. The best thing about this cheap inflatable is its portability and stability on flat water.

Kids will enjoy paddling in circles within view of their parents. Two adults can hop in with a cooler bag and spend a few hours piddling about too.

But whereas there’s no performance to rave about, it’s a complete set that offers some exercise for two or one paddlers.

 

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Beginners/Recreational/Family
  • Material: Rugged Polypropylene Vinyl
  • Type: Sit Inside
  • Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
  • Dimensions: 10’3” x 3’ x 1’8”

Our Overall Review

3.8

Things we like:

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    Lightweight and portable
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    Good value for money
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    Converts from single to tandem
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    Ideal for 2 person recreational kayaking
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    Great way to introduce kids to basic kayaking

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNot suitable for heavier kayakers
  • check-markBasic paddles and accessories
  • check-markNot suitable for longer kayak trips
  • check-markMore a beach toy than a kayak
  • check-markBad tracking
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Where to buy:

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Intex Explorer K2

Related Reviews

Best Inflatable Boats: Buying Guide (2022)

Before making the final step of acquiring a product, you need to go through all essential factors ensuring you’re buying the best product based on your needs.

And that’s precisely what we’re doing here. I’m going to lead you through every step to make it easier for you. And then you’ll be able to peacefully make the right buying decision, knowing that you’re currently investing in the best inflatable boat based on your needs.

Consider Your Purpose

First things first, find out why are you planning to buy an inflatable boat. Is it merely for chilling out, or you’re planning to head to rough waters and catch some fish? If it’s the latter, then make sure you buy a boat with a semi-rigid floor that delivers extra durability and performance.

If you relate to the former, then you might focus your attention on full inflatable boats. That’s simply because they tend to be more comfortable and easy to operate. Moreover, full inflatable boats can inflate and deflate in a matter of a few minutes and can be stored effortlessly anywhere.

Follow this simple rule of thumb: rigid inflatable boats are suitable for rough waters. Whereas full inflatable boats tend to be more comfortable in chilly waters where you’re having a cold beverage on a hot sunny day, and simply enjoying the moment.

Power And Load Capacity

Next, you need to find out how much motor power you need based on your preference and purpose. If you’re buying a family boat, then make sure it features at least 4 seats and comes with or has a place where you can put a powerful motor to speed up the boat.

Yet, if you are going to be the only user of the boat, then you can save a bit of money by buying a smaller boat with a less powerful motor. Besides, the lesser the baggage is, the faster the boat is going to be. So if you’re looking for a family boat, make sure you buy a powerful gas motor that will definitely deliver the speed you’re looking for. Keep in mind that semi-rigid boats tend to be more expensive.

Hull And Floor

We mentioned a bit about semi-rigid and inflatable floors earlier. Still, here we will provide you with a more thorough look. That’s because we want to give you a clarified vision of what your perfect inflatable boat looks like.

Let’s start with the full inflatable boats. As you already know, they are suitable for chilly waters and tend to be more comfortable. Moreover, they are even cheaper than semi-rigid boats. Yet, keep in mind that the full inflatable boats tend to perform less and are also less durable compared to the semi-rigid boats. That’s why if you’re regularly visiting the lake, the river, or the sea, and you’re fishing more often than not, then you should turn your attention on the semi-rigid boats.

Now, let’s check out what those rigid boats bring to the table. When it comes down to durability and performance, semi-rigid inflatable boats are simply unmatched. “But what’s the downside here” you’re probably thinking…

Let me explain to you what semi-rigid inflatable boats are known to lack. First of all, they are quite expensive. This means that if you’re on a budget, then you’ll have hard times buying a high-quality semi-rigid inflatable boat. Moreover, they also tend to take more time to inflate and deflate. Yet, if you’re a professional boater, you might be able to inflate a semi-rigid inflatable boat in 10 to 15 minutes based on the pump you are using.

As we mentioned above, follow the simple rule of thumb. If you are primarily buying an inflatable boat to chill, then the full inflatables are the perfect fit for you. Yet, if you’re planning to go fishing in rough waters, you can’t go wrong with the semi-rigid inflatable boats.

Price

Finally, make sure the boat you’re planning to buy fits in your budget. Do thorough research. Find out and compare prices from different websites. Also, check if the inflatable boat comes with a warranty. Make sure you also compare the warranties different companies and websites offer. Some are full warranties, while others are limited. Furthermore, it is also important to consider the cost of your inflatable boat’s storage–the boat’s dimensions definitely become a factor here, especially since keeping inflatable boats inflated during storage is recommended to ensure their longevity.

After following these exact steps in our step-by-step buying guide, there’s a high chance that you’ll definitely come up with an inflatable boat that perfectly suits your needs.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment section below, and I’ll be happy to give you a thorough and specific answer that suits your query.

If you already have a Inflatable Boats or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

How reliable are inflatable boats?

This depends on the type of inflatable boat you have, what you intend to do with it, and how you care for it. There are basic inflatable boats that have a PVC bottom that, while quite reliable for calm water activities (such as lake fishing, or casual boating), are not suited for rough waters. Rigid inflatable boats, on the other hand, are capable of higher speeds and are more stable on rough waters. All that said, inflatable boats aren’t as sturdy as their fiberglass counterparts, so it’s best to not abuse them too much if you want them to last long.

How long will an inflatable boat last?

As mentioned above, this largely depends on the type of inflatable boat, how you use it, and how you care for it. The typical PVC inflatable boat will last around 2-10 years, while the more expensive Hypalon boat will usually last around 7-15 years.

Can inflatable boats be used in the ocean?

Yes. Inflatable boats can be used in the ocean. That said, while they’re generally considered just as safe as traditional boats, it’s best to use a rigid inflatable boat if you intend to use one in open waters.

Can inflatable boats sink?

Technically, they can, but it is highly unlikely. Modern inflatable boats are very safe, and have more than one inflation chamber. Moreover, they aren’t as susceptible to punctures as they seem. This does not mean, however, that they won’t capsize–it’s still ideal to wear a life vest whenever you’re in open waters.

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Kathleen Maciuszko
Kathleen Maciuszko
Reply to 

I am aware of the 2010 Nashville flood. I now live in Nashville. Want to buy an inflatable boat to escape from house if floods. I now have a golden retriever to put in the boat. Cost not an issue. What should I buy? Is semi-rigid inflatable best? What brands/models?

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to 

Hi Pete. I’m looking to try out a couple of Achilles boats, exactly for its hypalon alternative to PVC. While they look promising, I can’t speak for how well they plane. The rigid hull models are probably the best candidates. We’ll hopefully have a review up before the summer’s out. Sorry I couldn’t help more.

Pete
Pete
Reply to 

Hi,
Looking for a small hypolan tender with planing hull

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to 

If you’re looking for something that is more humble and portable, the first two on the list will do the job. Going up in price and quality, the Intex Mariner 4 could be a solution. You need to get a transom mount, but it will do the trick. We’re currently testing one and will have a review out soon.
Otherwise, the more rigid inflatables will always do the trick, but they’re in another price class and are more cumbersome.

STANLEY SLATER
STANLEY SLATER
Reply to 

I would like to purchase an inflatable that I can keep in a small slip in my marina (salt water) and not take it out of the water after every trip. What would be your recommendation? I also would like to put a small motor…electric or possibly gas…and have it seat at least two people. thanks PS: need to deflate and store after season use on my property

Darlene
Darlene
Reply to 

How much is the excursion 5. Also what’s the weight capacity? What kind of motor can I use , I’m new to boating … thank you

ROB
ROB
Reply to 

LOOKING FOR VERY GOOD TO BEST 2 PERSON INFLATABLE FISHING BOAT. I LIKE THE ONE SOLD BY SEA EAGLE…ANY OTHER TO RECOMMEND?

Duncan
Duncan
Reply to 

Which model is on the title page

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to 

Generally, the inflatable boats made with PVC are more robust and puncture resistant. As far as the inflatables made of vinyl go, the Excursion and Angler Bay is surprisingly tough too. I’ve seen some people lay an additional layer of fabric or even flexible foam down when taking their canines along. This’ll increase the protection, but these two are not going to get punctured THAT easily unless your dogs’ nails have just been clipped and haven’t been somewhat dulled down by walking on the sidewalk. Hope that helps.

Isabelle
Isabelle
Reply to 

Which is the best and the most resistant to bring my two dogs with me in the boat?

PAULA BLAGRAVE
PAULA BLAGRAVE
Reply to 

We are looking for an inflatable that is suitable for using in both fresh and salt water, is relatively easy to inflate /deflate/assemble, can be used for solo or couple and maybe pet, will offer some comfortable seats and maybe a bimini top and will catch fish! Any suggestions?

Collin Petersen
Collin Petersen
Reply to 

Thanks for the article! I see that the Roanoke is rated for Class I rivers, what makes a pontoon/raft rated for Class II or III rivers? Is it size/durability/bouyancy? Would the Classic Accessories Inflatable Pontoon boat be usable on a Class II or Class III river? Thanks!

jiya
jiya
Reply to 

hello there keep posting thank you so much for this!!!

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to 

Zodiacs are in a class and price range unto themselves. I had one a few years ago that make some of these pale by comparison, but if you’re looking for a sedan, sometimes it’s just not practical to talk about a Porche.

Bradley Axmith
Member
Bradley Axmith
Reply to 

Hey there Scott. You’re not going to find a big difference between these two inflatables. Both are relatively inexpensive, easy to transport and inflate, and surprisingly versatile. That’s to say you can install harder decks and benches and put a bimini or canopy up against the sun. Motorize them if you’re planning on doing this because rowing with a lot of weight isn’t too much fun. On that, I would say the Excursion seems to bear weight and more people a little better. No matter what, remember to rinse off your boat with fresh water immediately after each session. Salt and sun will reduce the amount of years you’ll get with these.

Scott
Scott
Reply to 

Any major difference between Intex Excursion and Sea Hawk?
What budget salt water fishing boat out of these can you recommend?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

It doesn’t have a problem handling the big waves from the bigger boats in the harbor or out at sea, but larger ocean waves will give some challenge.

stan meyers
stan meyers
Reply to 

how much wave can an intek 5 take?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Helen,

We can’t test all boats there’s on the market. We update our guides from time to time and will add this to our list.

Helen Collins
Helen Collins
Reply to 

I am looking at Intex Mariner 4. Why is there no mention of this boat

Dhillon
Dhillon
Reply to 

I’m about to buy intex 5 person inflatable what size & make motor should I buy ?

Don Prickel
Don Prickel
Reply to 

Why are there no recommendations for Zodiac boats, like the Bombard 310.

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