There is a huge variety of rafts, pool accessories and pool floats available on the market for a fun-filled summer break. But with such a wide range of products, how should you determine the best type of float most suited to you and your personal preferences? There are many variables that you may need to consider when purchasing the right pool raft — the size of your pool, the purpose of the float, the material used to manufacture the float, the age of the float user, etc. All these variables can help you determine whether to get the flamingo shaped float or a float made of foam and to time wastage in the store.
Which to choose?
First up, rafts and floats are two separate types of pool accessories. And it is important for you to understand the difference to find the best suit for you and your purpose. A raft lies flat across the surface of the water, and it generally provides a pillow area to support the user’s neck and head. Due to the parallel design, a raft may not be able to assist any paddling or moving motions on the water. Should you be searching for a lounge or relaxation accessory, this one is best suited for you.
A float actually provides a backrest or is equipped with a seating design to provide ample support for the user especially when he or she is in an upright position. Due to the nature of the product, this pool float makes it more convenient for leisure floating and is not as suited for lounging, lying, or suntanning. Dependent on what you are looking for, some floats come with drink holder features or may be longer in length to allow you to stay out of the water totally.
What material to buy?
To ensure that your pool float or raft is sustainable in the long run, the material the product is manufactured with is extremely important to note. Should you be using the float/raft with younger children or pets, you may require something more resistant and tougher than the usual pool accessory. In addition, it is also important to take note of the assembly of the product, whether it requires some assembly or just inflation.
Foam pool accessories are made up of softer foam and are generally covered by a vinyl outer layer. Rafts are provided in different lengths of foam and they actually provide a lot more resistance since it can still be used even after it has been pierced and punctured. The thin characteristic of these foam products also allow a nearer body-to-water experience but may be difficult to store after use since they generally are heavier.
Inflatable floats obviously would require some form of inflation before it is usable. The smaller the floats are, the easier and quicker it takes to get the product usable and ready. How you inflate also affects the efficiency of the product. Using an air compressor or pump can make your life easier and also provide substantial air for optimal performance of the float. Moreover, since they are inflatable, these floats are extremely easy to store but may be faulty the moment they experience a puncture.
Types of Pool Floats
Different users have different expectations and purposes for their ideal float. Be it for a pool party where you have a huge crowd expected, or for a beach honeymoon, there are so many varied purposes for these floats. So, we have separated the different types of floats into four main categories for easier differentiation of the floats and their features. Here are some of the more popular float options that people tend to go for:
1. Generic Pool Floats
These floats provide lounging and relaxation by allowing the user to lie perpendicular across the surface of the water body. They come in the inflatable, mesh or foam versions. Unlike the inflatable and foam versions, the mesh version provides the user with direct contact with the water. These floats are usually only able to carry a single user and are most suited for frequent pool goers, or those who just want to use the float for some individual relaxation and reflection.
2. Family Pool Floats
With a higher carrying capacity, larger family pool floats are able to carry up to six to eight people at one go. Some floats may come with additional features like a floating cooler, drink holders and built-in seats for you and your friends to lounge in comfortably. While the floats are extremely luxurious and comfortable, the size of these floats would require a much bigger pool space.
3. Side-by-side Pool Floats
These floats are similar to the Family ones, except that they can only hold up to two users at one time. These floats allow its two users to either face each other, be it side-by-side or head to toe to each other. This type of floats can be particularly suited for couples who are on their honeymoon or staycation and would like to try something new to commemorate their time together. However, be careful to take note of the size of the water body you will be floating in to avoid any disappointment should your float be too big for the location you are intending to use it in.
4. Exciting Pool Floats
As the name suggests, this category of floats come in all sorts of wacky shapes and sizes and are more colorful in nature. There have been floats with totally irrelevant designs like the flamingo, the pizza, the wine bottle, the rubber ducky and the chicken ones, etc. Fun floats are often used as party decorations, aesthetical pool accessories for photos and fun.
With all the above-mentioned guidelines, we hope that you are now more informed in your next pool float purchase decision. There are a ton of floats and rafts available out there, so to make the best bang for your buck, it would be ideal if you did your own research prior to your purchase so that you can find the most perfect and suitable float for your own use.