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Outdoor Gear Reviews, Tips & Adventure Stories to Inspire an Outdoor Life
April 13, 2023

Hands-On Review: Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat

Written by Zack Newsome
Updated on July 5, 2023
When you purchase something using the links in our posts, we may receive a small commission — but it never affects your price or our opinions.


tobin sports inflatable boat
The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is affordable, well-equipped, and roomy.

The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is a versatile inflatable watercraft that has become increasingly popular among outdoor enthusiasts in recent years. It’s designed to be lightweight and portable, making it an excellent option for people who want to enjoy water activities without the hassle of owning a full-sized boat. We picked one up to serve as a tender for our 46ft Sailboat. Our old dinghy was small and in rough shape.  The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat has been a huge upgrade for us – and we saved quite a bit going with this less-known brand.

In our hands-on review, we’ll outline the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat. We’ll examine the boat’s design and construction, ease of use, features and accessories, performance, and maneuverability to help you determine whether it’s the right choice for your water sports needs.

Whether you’re a seasoned boater or are just looking for an inexpensive way to explore nearby waters, hopefully, this review will provide you with valuable insights into the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat and help you make an informed decision.

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Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat

Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat

$739.99 $499.99
Buy Now at



Boat Specs

Length: 11 ft.
Width: 64 in.
Height: 17 in.
Capacity: 5 people
Weight Capacity: 1,411 lbs
Max Motor Power: 15 HP

Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat

Design and Construction

The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is made with high-quality materials, designed to provide both durability and functionality. Tobin’s marketing calls the material the boat is made from, “Tritech”, which they claim has been tested against weight, strain, and movement offering superior strength. At the end of the day, Tritech is a PVC material, known for its strength and resistance to wear and tear, but not as durable against UV rays as Hypalon-built equivalents.  While it won’t hold up as long as a Hypalon boat against weather extremes, the PVC-based Tobin Boat is an ideal choice for those looking for a less-expensive option.

The boat features an inflatable floor and sides, which add to its buoyancy and stability. The floor of this boat is also inflatable making it not quite as stable to stand in as a wood or aluminum-bottomed boat, but the inflatable bottom is still surprisingly stable.  The lack of wood or aluminum slats also makes setup easier without having to worry about heavy and bulky solid slats. Overall, the boat sits really well in the water and feels sturdy underfoot.

In terms of design, the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat has a sleek and modern look. We were unsure about the dark navy sections in the design and worried that it would be obvious to our marina neighbors that we went the cheap route. After we inflated it and took it for a test drive, our fears subsided.  This boat is unique in its color styling, but its roominess and performance on the water made us forget about the dark patches on the boat.

Overall, the boat’s design and construction provide a sturdy and reliable watercraft, capable of withstanding different water conditions and serving various purposes. We loved how it felt in the water and having 2 seats was a big plus for us as we could bring along 4 people in comfort.

Features and Accessories

Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat AccessoriesThe Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat comes with several features and accessories that enhance its functionality and make it a versatile boat.

First, the boat includes two aluminum paddles, which are lightweight and easy to use. The paddles are designed to be durable and provide a good grip, making it easier to maneuver the boat through the water. We pulled up the outboard and paddled around the marina to see how it performed under human power.  We were pleased with how the boat tracked and how easy and ergonomic the paddles and oarlocks were to use.  The paddles conveniently clip to the boat sides when not in use.  It’s realistic with this boat to keep them on the boat and still have them “out of the way”.

Second, the boat comes with two aluminum seats, which provide additional comfort and support. The seats lock into the boat well and are really nice to “sit above” the water when underway. The aluminum design ensures they will last and look great for years to come.

The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat also includes a carry bag, inflation pump, and a repair kit. The bag is designed to be lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport the boat to different locations.

Overall, the features and accessories of the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat provide additional convenience and comfort, making it a great choice for people who want to enjoy the water without the hassle of owning a full-sized boat. It’s affordably priced, yet still being a serious inflatable that is durable enough to last for years of use.

Performance and Maneuverability

Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat Aluminum Seats
The boat’s aluminum seats are a nice upgrade that should last longer than the boat itself.

The performance and maneuverability of the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat are some of its most significant advantages. The boat is designed to be lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it an ideal option for different water activities.

In terms of performance, the boat’s inflatable floor and sides provide excellent buoyancy, making it easier to navigate through the water. The boat is also stable and well-balanced, which makes it possible to stand on without it tipping over.

The boat’s maneuverability is also noteworthy. Its streamlined shape and lightweight design make it easy to navigate through different water conditions, including calm lakes and rivers, as well as rougher ocean waves. The boat is also easy to turn and maneuver, making it an ideal option for fishing, sightseeing, and other activities.

Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat Transom
The transom of the boat fits up to 15HP motor and has convenient attachments for your fuel tank.

We were able to get the boat to plane with our 6HP motor, but this boat is a bit squirrely for our liking when it’s on a plane.  We found ourselves getting off the throttle quickly once we got up on plane as we were worried about dumping ourselves overboard.  For our use, getting between our boat and shore slow speeds are perfectly fine.  We were surprised that our 6HP could even get this boat on plane.  Our old West Marine dinghy had no chance, but the lightweight design of the Tobin Sports boat makes it possible for those with more bravery than us.

Overall, the performance and maneuverability of the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat make it an excellent option for people who want a versatile watercraft that’s easy to use and navigate.

Pros and Cons

Like any product, the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat has its advantages and drawbacks. Here are some of the most noteworthy pros and cons of the boat:

Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat Paddles
The paddles conveniently clip to the side of the boat to stay out of the way when not in use.
  • Lightweight and portable design, making it easy to transport and store.
  • Durable and well-constructed with reinforced PVC material, providing excellent resistance to wear and tear.
  • Easy to inflate and deflate, with an efficient assembly and disassembly process.
  • Comes with several useful features and accessories, including aluminum paddles, aluminum seats, pump and a carry bag.
  • Excellent performance and maneuverability, making it an option for different water activities.
  • Affordable at under $1000
  • May not be suitable for larger groups or families, as the boat is designed for up to five people.
  • Inflatable floor and sides may not provide as much support as a hard-shell boat, making it less suitable for activities that require standing or jumping.
  • Can be affected by wind and currents more than a heavier, traditional boat.
  • Requires regular maintenance, such as cleaning and proper storage, to ensure its longevity.
  • A bit sketchy when its up on plane.  We recommend sticking with slower speeds with this boat.

Overall, the pros of the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat outweigh the cons, making it a great option for people who want an affordable, lightweight, and portable inflatable boat that provides excellent performance and maneuverability.

The Bottom Line

The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is a well-designed boat that performs well and is comfortable to use. We are really happy with our purchase of this boat.  For under $1000, it provides ample room and weight-carrying capacity.  It’s well-built and it looks great – despite its strange dark colors.

The boat’s accessories, such as aluminum paddles, inflatable seats, and carry bag, enhance its functionality and provide additional convenience and comfort. It’s streamlined shape and lightweight design make it easy to navigate through different water conditions, though like most inflatables, this boat is meant for calm waters.

While it’s not perfect, the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is an excellent option for those looking for a solid 4+ person inflatable boat that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re going fishing, sightseeing, or just enjoying a day on the water, the Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is a great choice that won’t disappoint.

Update (7/5/23)

The Tobin Sports Inflatable Boat is hugely discounted right now (as of 7/5/23) and is listed for only $499.97 on Costco’s website. This is more than 30% off of Costco’s standard price for this boat of $739. This boat is a HUGE value at $739 compared to other inflatable boats on the market, but at $499, it’s a no-brainer. If you are in the market for an inexpensive fishing platform for your local lake, a new dinghy for your yacht, or just looking for a quality inflatable to explore local waters – pick one up now before the price changes.

We’ve also heard rumors that Costco may not be carrying the Tobin Sports Inflatable boat in the future and these big discounts are possible due to Costco trying to liquidate the remaining stock of these boats. You probably won’t find them in-store, so you’ll have to purchase one at Shipping and Handling are free and it’s more convenient to have a box of this size and weight shipped right to your door than lugging it through the warehouse anyway.

If you miss out on the Tobin Inflatable boat at Costco or don’t have a Costco membership, the Bestway Hydro-Force Mirovia Pro 130 is the same boat without the Costco-only “Tobin Sports” branding. Bestway relabels its inflatable boats and kayaks under the Tobin Sports brand for Costco. You can purchase the Bestway Hydro Froce version at Amazon here.

Other Inflatable Boats to Consider:

About the Author

Zack Newsome

Zack is a lifelong adventurer passionate about sharing the joy of the outdoors with others. He loves camping, fly-fishing, sailing, and exploring wild spaces. He launched Outward in early 2022 to inspire others to spend more time outdoors – improving mental health and more deeply connecting with the environment.

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