Best Paddle Boats Available in 2018

One of the most pleasant ways to spend an afternoon is on a paddle boat. These unique boats let you travel around on the water using your own power.

Pedal boats have a paddle underneath that you control using bicycle-like pedals. With these boats, you get a blissful combination of relaxation and light exercise. Here are the best paddle boats (or “pedal boats”).

Best PADDLE BOATS Review 2018

See our selection of the best Pedal Boats:

badge Best Budget Option BADGE Editor's Pick BADGE If Money Isn't as Issue BADGE
product

Sun Dolphin 5-Seat Pedal Boat

Sun Dolphin Sun Slider 5-Seat Pedal Boat with Canopy

Sun Dolphin Water Wheeler Electric ASL 5-Person Pedal Boat with Canopy

image Sun Dolphin 5 Seat Pedal Boat Sun Dolphin Sun Slider 5 Seat Pedal Boat with Canopy Sun Dolphin Water Wheeler Electric ASL 5 Person Pedal Boat with Canopy
the good
  • affordable
  • rugged and durable construction
  • fits up to 5, with up to 3 pedal positions
  • cooler and storage compartments
  • beverage holders
  • seats adjust and can recline
  • canopy
  • lightweight
  • cooler and storage compartments
  • beverage holders
  • rugged and durable construction
  • option to pedal or use motor
  • motor is quiet
  • comfortable seats that fully recline
  • canopy
  • cooler, storage areas, and beverage holders
  • can use in ocean
the bad
  • no canopy
  • leg room is limited
  • too small for 4-5 adults
  • some quality control issues
  • might be a tight fit for more than a few taller adults
  • risk of some damage during delivery
  • rather expensive
  • will be tight fit for 4-5 taller adults
  • battery is not included
  • some potential quality control issues
relative price US Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin icon US Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin icon US Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin iconUS Dollar coin icon
bottom line This basic paddle boat offers a lot of value but it does have a few negatives to consider. This paddle boat is reasonably priced and it offers some significant advantages over a more budget boat, namely the canopy and the adjustable seating. This boat is pricey but the inclusion of a motor and comfortable seats that can fully recline make it an exceptional boat.

Best Budget Option Sun Dolphin 5-Seat Pedal Boat

Sun Dolphin 5 Seat Pedal Boat

Sun Dolphin 5 Seat Pedal Boat

Features:

  • Size: 96 x 65 x 24.5 inches
  • Weight: 136 pounds
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Pedal Positions: 1, 2, or 3
  • Extras: built-in cooler, storage compartments, beverage holders
  • Canopy: no
  • Weight Limit: 545 pounds

You’ll be hard-pressed to find any paddle boats for a lower price than this but that doesn’t mean that this one is a piece of junk. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! This boat can seat up to five and there are pedal positions for one, two, or three people.

You’ll be able to take this boat out by yourself if desired or you can have up to two other friends share in the workload of pedaling. There are some really nice extras, like a built-in cooler and some other storage areas. There are also some beverage holders spaced throughout the boat. However, no canopy is included with this low-cost boat.

What Buyers Are Saying
As of this writing, Amazon reviewers have given it a 3.3-star average. Buyers describe it as fun and a great value. The biggest complaints from buyers are that it doesn’t have a ton of leg room and isn’t the most comfortable for taller adults. One reviewer points out that it’s very comfortable with a few adults and a few children but wouldn’t comfortably fit 4-5 adults. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself
PROS:
  • affordable
  • rugged and durable construction
  • fits up to 5, with up to 3 pedal positions
  • cooler and storage compartments
  • beverage holders

CONS:
  • no canopy
  • leg room is limited
  • too small for 4-5 adults
  • some quality control issues

Bottom Line

This basic paddle boat offers a lot of value but it does have a few negatives to consider.

Check price on Amazon

Editor’s Pick Sun Dolphin Sun Slider 5-Seat Pedal Boat with Canopy

Sun Dolphin Sun Slider 5 Seat Pedal Boat with Canopy

Sun Dolphin Sun Slider 5 Seat Pedal Boat with Canopy

Features:

  • Size: 93 x 65 x 24.5 inches
  • Weight: 110 pounds
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Pedal Positions: 1, 2, or 3
  • Extras: built-in cooler, storage compartments, beverage holders
  • Canopy: yes
  • Weight Limit: 544 pounds

If you’ve ever spent an afternoon on the water, you know it can get hot. When you add in the factor of some physical exertion, the beating sun can sometimes ruin a perfectly good time. This boat offers a canopy that will ensure you won’t boil under the sun. You have the choice of having the canopy up or down and it’s easy to adjust.

Other than the canopy, this boat is quite similar to the budget pick. The other important difference is that the seats are adjustable and you have the option of reclining. It’s an ideal fit for a few adults and a few children but will probably feel uncomfortably cramped for 4-5 adults.

If you’d like to see footage of this boat in practice, you can watch it right here:

What Buyers Are Saying
As of this writing, Amazon reviewers have given this boat a 4.1-star average. Buyers describe it as easy to pedal and a lot of fun. Some do complain about it being a tight fit, but at least one buyer says there was “plenty of room for 5 adults and one toddler.” The boat’s light weight is another strong selling point for many buyers, as it’s light enough for a few adults to carry easily. The biggest complaints seem to be about damage during delivery. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself
PROS:
  • seats adjust and can recline
  • canopy
  • lightweight
  • cooler and storage compartments
  • beverage holders
  • rugged and durable construction

CONS:
  • might be a tight fit for more than a few taller adults
  • risk of some damage during delivery

Bottom Line

This paddle boat is reasonably priced and it offers some significant advantages over a more budget boat, namely the canopy and the adjustable seating.

Check price on Amazon

If Money Isn’t an Issue Sun Dolphin Water Wheeler Electric ASL 5-Person Pedal Boat with Canopy

Sun Dolphin Water Wheeler Electric ASL 5 Person Pedal Boat with Canopy

Sun Dolphin Water Wheeler Electric ASL 5 Person Pedal Boat with Canopy

Features:

  • Size: 91 x 64 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 130 pounds
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Pedal Positions: 1, 2, or 3
  • Extras: built-in cooler, storage compartments, beverage holders, optional saltwater driver
  • Canopy: yes
  • Weight Limit: 544 pounds
  • Motor: 30-pound thrust electric Minn-Kota trolling motor

The whole point of paddle boats is that you use your own power to get the boat moving. That said, there’s definitely something to be said for a boat that lets you have the choice of either using pedal-power or effortlessly cruising around with the help of a motor. This boat gives you that choice.

The motor is quiet and you can switch from pedaling to motoring with the flick of a switch. It’s also significantly more comfortable than some other options and two of the seats fully recline. A self-draining bench seat keeps you dry.

What Buyers Are Saying
As you can expect with most high-ticket items, this boat gets some extreme opinions from buyers. As of this writing, it has a just under 3-star average on Amazon, with several 5-star reviews but also quite a few 1 and 2-star reviews. Many buyers describe it as fun and describe it as working well. Some complaints include the lack of handles for lifting and it being uncomfortable for five adults. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself
PROS:
  • option to pedal or use motor
  • motor is quiet
  • comfortable seats that fully recline
  • canopy
  • cooler, storage areas, and beverage holders
  • can use in ocean

CONS:
  • rather expensive
  • will be tight fit for 4-5 taller adults
  • battery is not included
  • some potential quality control issues

Bottom Line

This boat is pricey but the inclusion of a motor and comfortable seats that can fully recline make it an exceptional boat.

Check price on Amazon
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Alternative Pedal Boats + Accessories

Here are selected alternatives and accessories to go with paddle boats:

Sun Dolphin Laguna 5 Seat Pedal Boat

Sun Dolphin Laguna 5 Seat Pedal Boat

Sun Dolphin Laguna 5 Seat Pedal Boat

The Sun Dolphin Laguna 5-Seat Boat has a cool design and features seats more like actual chairs that may be more comfortable.


iCOVER Water Proof Heavy Duty PEDAL BOAT COVER

iCOVER Water Proof Heavy Duty PEDAL BOAT COVER

iCOVER Water Proof Heavy Duty PEDAL BOAT COVER

The iCOVER Water Proof Heavy Duty Cover for Pedal Boats is a great way to protect your boat when not in use and to keep water out.


Sun Dolphin 2-Pole Pedal Boat Canopy Replacement

Sun Dolphin 2-Pole Pedal Boat Canopy Replacement

Sun Dolphin 2-Pole Pedal Boat Canopy Replacement

For pedal boats that don’t come with canopies, like the budget option listed above, the Sun Dolphin 2-Pole Canopy Replacement is a good way to upgrade your boat.



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Conlusion

Pedal boats should almost be a required purchase for people who live near bodies of water. They are just that fun. Whether you buy just a basic boat or go all out for a boat that includes a motor, this isn’t a purchase that many people regret.

Which of these pedal boats do you have your eye on?


We'd like to hear what you think!

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