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16 Best Pool Rafts To Recreate That Waterworld Movie

Updated 6 July 2022

Teddy is a big kid at heart and a self-confessed geek who loves all things LEGO, Nintendo and RC (drones included). His mission is to find toys that kids will treasure, so that is why he spends A LOT of time curating the perfect list of toys and games that include options for everyone without putting kids inside boxes.

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Who could have guessed that one of the best things about playing in a swimming pool would be something that keeps you OUT of the water? Yep, we’re talking rafts and inflatables, every kid’s favorite thing about pools.

Inflatables and rafts come in all sizes and shapes, from pirate ships to pineapples to airplanes to dinosaurs to baby sharks (do do de do de do). Whether you’re buying for older kids who want something to climb onto and fling themselves off or a baby or toddler taking their first tiptoes into the water, there’s something for everyone here.

As pool rafts need to be safe and reliable, these 16 recommendations have been chosen with careful research, eliminating all of the fake online reviews to find only those that you can trust to be safe and fun.

1iGeeKid Pool Raft (Best Budget Toy)

This cute raft is shaped like a unicorn and is suitable for children three to 10 years or up to 80 pounds. Reviewers say it is best suited for toddlers and younger children up to six years, mainly because of the size. It has golden wings on either side that were designed to give it superior stability in the water. 

It’s made of soft, premium non-toxic PVC float-grade vinyl that is 25 percent thicker than most other rafts. The inside diameter is nine inches and the outside dimensions are 11.8 x 23.6 inches and it weighs 7.4 ounces. It’s suitable for an indoor pool, outdoor pool, the beach, and bathtub.

What we love

  • The split-ring is adjustable for different size children, so it’s suitable for simply floating around or learning to swim
  • This raft is the perfect size for children to carry by themselves in and out of the pool

What We Don't Like That Much

  • A pump is not included, but it is easy to inflate with an electric pump or hand pump. It can also be inflated by mouth
iGeeKid Pool Raft (Best Budget Toy)

2 Intex Water Gun Plane (Best Quality Toy)

Shaped like a propeller-style airplane, children age three to 15 years sit astride this raft and surprise passers-by with the built-in squirt gun. The wings are sturdy and perfectly placed as a resting place for the little one’s knees. The wings and tail fins provide great stability in the water. It has a heavy-duty handle in front for a secure place to hold on while firing the water gun. 

This fantastic, airplane-styled raft is made of 10-gauge vinyl, making it a soft yet durable material for your little ones to play with. The dimensions are 52 x 51 x 36 inches and it weighs 2.5 pounds. Even though it is not recommended by the manufacturer, reviewers have said adults can sit on the plane and have a fun water fight with no damage to the raft.

What we love

  • The water gun uses the water from the pool, so it never runs out. It shoots about six feet
  • The package includes a repair patch in case it gets a small puncture from nearby plants or furniture

What We Don't Like That Much

  • You may have to suck on the end of the water gun to initiate the water flow (Thanks, physics!). After that, it will work well
 Intex Water Gun Plane (Best Quality Toy)

3Big Summer Inflatable Pirate Boat


With a Jolly Roger and a squirt gun, kids will be full-fledged pirates in the swimming pool with this big raft. It is suitable for children aged three to seven years. The dimensions are 32.7 x 31.5 inches and it weighs 1.65 pounds. It is made of non-toxic, durable, environmentally-friendly PVC plastic. 

The Inflatable Pirate Boat has two soft leg holes for kids to kick and move around the pool. Before inflating, put the water gun pipe through the hole as it will be more difficult to set up the water gun after the boat is inflated. It even comes with a repair patch kit for small holes on flat surfaces.

What we love

  • It has extra airbags on either side for stability. It is as if the boat is sitting in an attached float ring
  • The water gun does not have a trigger but uses pump action to squirt water. It’s super easy to use

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d like to see the soft leg holes made with woven nylon for a bit of extra durability
Big Summer Inflatable Pirate Boat

4Intex Inflate-A-Bull

This is an inflatable plastic raft that is straight out of a rodeo. The inner ring has a bull with horns that is safe for children nine years and up. It even rocks back and forth, as it is connected to an outer ring by flexible inflated straps. It will support a rider up to 220 pounds and is made of 17.5-gauge PVC vinyl. 

The Inflate-A-Bull is also large enough for adults to enjoy at 94 x 77 x 32 inches, weighing 14 pounds. It has five heavy-duty handles to help you stay on when the rocking starts. The outer ring is like an innertube and helps keep the ride steady in the water.

What we love

  • The bull is very realistic and has an angry expression as if it’s not planning to give up without a fight
  • If you’re not into rodeo bull riding, you can just relax and sit on it

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Smaller children may struggle with climbing onto this raft, as it is fairly large and designed to be unwieldy
Intex Inflate-A-Bull

5Greenco Kids Colorful Inflatable Water Wheel

This is a unique-looking, inflatable water wheel with a 52-inch external diameter and a 35-inch internal diameter. Children as young as three years can play on it with adult supervision. It is suitable for any age above three years. It comes with a repair patch kit. The wheel is constructed with heavy-duty PVC plastic, measuring 14 x 11 x 3.5 inches in diameter, and weighs four pounds. 

If your child has been bursting to channel their inner hamster, this is the wheel for them. They are also able to sit or lie inside once they get tired. Sitting inside the wheel is very relaxing, with the splashes of color circling the entire raft.

What we love

  • Up for a challenge? Let your kids test their friends to see who can roll the furthest in the pool!
  • The flash of color offered by this inflatable wheel is a big hit with young children

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see this raft be a bit wider, to provide more stability and foot space when rolling
Greenco Kids Colorful Inflatable Water Wheel

6JOYIN Inflatable Boat Pool Raft

Are you looking to travel around your pool in style? Well, why not do so with this fantastic raft, designed to replicate a wooden speedboat. It has a reinforced pouch in the bow that can be used as a cooler where ice cubes can be placed to keep drinks cold while you are floating around on a lake or pool (with even more style).

Two adults or children aged nine years and up will fit easily onboard, as it is more than eight feet long and weighs 7.56 pounds. It is safe for up to 400 pounds. The windshield acts as a headrest, providing some extra support on your well-earned break. For safety purposes, the design is split into four different airbags, providing you with a little extra peace of mind.

What we love

  • It has a connector on the front of the bow, so you can tie it to some patio furniture and it will not be pushed around by the wind
  • With the built-in cooler, there is no need to get out of the water when you want a cool beverage

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d like to see some extra air-intakes in order to help fully inflate the raft in harder to reach places
JOYIN Inflatable Boat Pool Raft

7Jasonwell Inflatable Dinosaur Pool Raft

This is a huge raft that is designed to look like a T-rex swimming in your pool! Bring the prehistoric into the pool to please your dinosaur-loving kids, or for yourself, if you fancy lounging in style. It is made of UV-resistant, non-toxic material and regularly tested for safety. Handlebars on either side of the neck help with stability. The dimensions are 47 x 124 x 41 inches and it weighs 5.6 pounds. It is suitable for adults and kids aged eight years and up.

What we love

  • The valves are designed to be 10-times faster to inflate and deflate than most rafts
  • This is one of the best rafts for taller kids at over 6.5 feet tall

What We Don't Like That Much

  • If several children are playing at the same time, it would help to have another set of handles towards the tail
Jasonwell Inflatable Dinosaur Pool Raft

8HSOMiD Inflatable Airplane

This cool raft is designed to look like an airplane and provides tons of fun for children four years and up. It has a steering wheel and horn with important-looking tail fins. The material is high-quality nylon, which makes it very light with no plastic odor. The seat has leg holes that are large enough for a six-year-old. It weighs 1.54 pounds.

Have your little one glide over the water gracefully or take this raft on an action-packed adventure. The choice is yours!

What we love

  • The seat is inflatable and very soft
  • While it is suitable for older children, this is the perfect water toy for a toddler

What We Don't Like That Much

  • With such a cool design, we’d love to see a second seat added, the addition of a copilot adding to the fun!
HSOMiD Inflatable Airplane

9JOYIN Inflatable Peacock Pool Raft

While many inflatables may look a little out of place amongst your garden decor, the same cannot be said about this one. This is a gorgeous raft to have in your swimming pool or garden. The peacock is very well designed with the spread tail as your backrest. This is designed for adults but can be used by children from nine years up. It serves as a seat or a lounge, with the wings on each side designed to stabilize the raft and the neck is good for children to hold on to. 

It’s made with tear and fade-resistant UV-protected plastic and holds up to 400 pounds. The dimensions are 73.25 x 78.75 x 56.25 inches, and it will easily hold two people or three small children at one time. It weighs 7.54 pounds. Each airbag is separate with six to inflate. This also adds to safety.

What we love

  • With such an impressive and unique design, this inflatable will surely be the centerpiece of the pool party
  • It provides children with a large, colorful platform to have fun in a pool, at the lake, or on the beach

What We Don't Like That Much

  • It is not designed for an adult to lie down fully lengthways. This would flatten, and maybe damage the tail, which is designed to remain upright
JOYIN Inflatable Peacock Pool Raft

10HECCEI Mambobaby Baby Shark Swim Raft

This cute baby fish is a non-inflatable raft that is specifically designed for toddlers. It has a removable tail for stability and a good quality safety buckle with five support points. This raft keeps the baby at 40 degrees to avoid flipping over. The buckle works two ways so babies can swim in two positions, either lying on their stomachs or their backs. 

This raft is suitable for kids from three to 24 months and will safely hold a child up to 40 pounds. It is filled with patented Pear Foam that is covered with a soft fabric. It is fully waterproof. It’s very light at 1.9 pounds and the dimensions are 18.5 x 17.2 x 3.5 inches.

What we love

  • The removable canopy has a UPF 50+ sunscreen coating to protect the baby from UV rays
  • If there’s a breeze, it may catch in the canopy and guide the baby on an adventure around the pool. It’s great fun, just stay close at all times

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The canopy doesn’t float, so if you take it off in a lake, you may lose it. You can buy the canopy separately
HECCEI Mambobaby Baby Shark Swim Raft

11Poolmaster Pirate Boat Swimming Pool Raft

It’s time to plunder and hoard those well-deserved riches! This little pirate boat features an awesome, large mast with the Jolly Roger design on the sail, both of which are inflatable. If you fancy a bit more maneuverability, you can even use oars (sold separately), which can be cradled securely in the strong oarlocks on each side of the inflatable. 

The end of the sail can connect to the side of the boat to keep it open, and it even provides a little shade for those extra sunny days. The dimensions of this raft are 47.25 x 27.5 x 57 inches and it weighs only 2.6 pounds. It is suitable for children six to 15 years. Regarding capacity, this inflatable will hold two small kids or one teenager.

What we love

  • The oarlocks make good handles on the side for the younger children to hold on to if you don’t plan to purchase the oars
  • The bottom of the boat is also inflatable, which makes it very comfortable for sitting or lying

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The mast may flop over in the wind, even when the air is at capacity. To prevent this, you can tie the bottom of the sail to the side of the boat
Poolmaster Pirate Boat Swimming Pool Raft

12Jasonwell Pool Party Pineapple Raft

This pineapple raft is a whimsical addition to your backyard decoration which can hold two children aged eight years and up or one adult, with a maximum weight allowance of 300 pounds. It is made of premium vinyl that is soft and non-toxic. It’s very easy to inflate with a hairdryer or pump, and should only be inflated to about 90 percent to avoid overinflation. 

The dimensions of this raft are 76.5 x 36.5 x 7.8 inches and it weighs only 2.98 pounds. If you can’t wait to lounge at the pool, and this tickles your taste buds, why not pick up this fantastic raft?

What we love

  • The valves are large which makes it very quick to deflate as well as inflate
  • An emergency patch kit is included in case it gets a puncture from plants or patio furniture

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The green top of the pineapple is just for decoration and not to be used as a headrest
Jasonwell Pool Party Pineapple Raft

13JOYIN - Inflatable Rainbow Pool Raft

Designed to look like a rainbow and a cloud, this multi-colored raft is great for lounging on the water. The plastic is high-quality vinyl and the top half of the raft is clear, so the sun can make the glitter sparkle. The part that resembles a cloud is raised to make a comfortable headrest. 

The manufacturers recommend it for children nine months and older, but take care if you use it with your toddler. A patch kit is included but not a pump. The dimensions are 9.5 x 9.5 x 1.8 inches and the weight is 1.75 pounds.

What we love

  • We love the glitter. It is a superb addition as it sparkles in the sunlight and is mesmerizing to watch
  • The central hole is big enough for two kids to lie on their stomachs and kick and splash around the pool

What We Don't Like That Much

  • We’d love to see a bit more variety in the color of the glitter, perhaps even rainbow-colored to fit the theme
JOYIN - Inflatable Rainbow Pool Raft

14Jasonwell Inflatable Pool Raft

The design on this raft is the open mouth of a shark, teeth and all. It might be scary for some little ones, but most kids and adults find it funny. It also has two side fins that help keep the raft stable. As you float around the pool, it hilariously looks like you are being swallowed. It is more than four feet tall and great for a regular size pool but maybe too big for a smaller pool or paddling pool. It is made of non-toxic, UV-protected material and weighs 1.95 pounds.

What we love

  • The valves are designed for five times faster inflation and deflation than most rafts, even if you need to inflate it by mouth
  • It inflates higher on one side which makes it comfortable for lounging

What We Don't Like That Much

  • The central hole is small, which is more appropriate for a child than an adult
Jasonwell Inflatable Pool Raft

15 Inflatable Pizza Pool Raft

Take your favorite snack right into the pool with this pizza triangle raft! If you need something to help wash it down, there’s even a special floating drink holder. With dimensions of 66.9 x 55.1 inches, two kids from seven years up to 400 pounds or one adult can relax on this raft. It comes with three small floaties that are designed to hold a beverage can without tipping over, resembling a lemon, lime, and watermelon. All the floats are made of eco-friendly PVC plastic and the pizza slice weighs 2.76 pounds.

What we love

  • When we pull this out at pool parties, we get a lot of laughs
  • The head-rest crust is a great addition and very comfortable

What We Don't Like That Much

  • You may need to reinflate often because it doesn’t hold the air for more than a day or two
 Inflatable Pizza Pool Raft

16Inflatable Cat Pool Raft

This is the raft for cat lovers. The design is a realistic cat face with shining eyes. It is 55 x 51 inches wide and will comfortably hold two children or one adult. It weighs 3.2 pounds and will hold up to 441 pounds. It’s built for lounging around in the pool, but it has two handles on the ears if someone is making waves. It is made with thick plastic that easily withstands rough play around the pool.

What we love

  • A gift box is included to make it easy to carry for traveling
  • The concentric airbags make it very comfortable to lie on

What We Don't Like That Much

  • Only one breed of cat design is available, we’d love to see more!
Inflatable Cat Pool Raft

In Conclusion

If you’ve ever wanted to float on a peacock or have an aerial gun battle in a swimming pool, you’ll be able to identify with how much fun kids could have on these amazing rafts and inflatables.

But why should kids have all the fun? Grown-ups need pool rafts and inflatables too, so why not treat yourself to some nostalgia with a LÔTELI Classic Cassette Tape Pool raft? That’s right, it’s a huge cassette pool raft, so if you spent as much time as me making mixtapes, it’s a must-have.

Of course, there’s more to inflatables and water than just floating on top of it. There’s also sliding into it, so check out our 10 Best Inflatable Water Slides for Kids to get some more great ideas for toys.