We just purchased an Intex Mariner 4 inflatable boat, and their marketing tagline is correct: this thing is as “good as it gets!” Super tough PVC, fishing rod holders, 3 seat cushions, and even a motor mount and spot to put the marine battery! I’m posting this in both the mods/upgrades and trip reports section to discuss why you too should buy this boat and how we’ve enjoyed using it on trips.
This product is much more than your typical inflatable boat.
The Intex Mariner 4 inflatable boat is constructed of SUPER-TOUGH™ laminated vinyl that is highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight. I’ve got two kids, a dog, and a wife who likes to drag the boat over rocks and tree stumps. None of this his phased the PVC.
The seating is very nice thanks to three inflatable cushion seats that can be easily slid or even removed for optimal configuration depending on how many people will be riding along. An all-around grab line combined with handles on the front and back of boat provide for easy carrying.
The aluminum paddles are very light and even disassemble for easy storage. They slide inside these oar holders to make rowing a breeze. Rotate the oar 90-degrees for easy storage on top of the boat edge while not rowing.
But here is the most amazing feature of this boat: an inflatable keel. A long tube running from front to back is inflated and rests underneath a floor consisting of PVC slats encapsulated in thin vinyl. This offers dramatically better control and handling compared to typical inflatable boats.
The combination of a keel and hard floor (rarely found in inflatables) makes it quite easy and enjoyable to actually stand up on the boat as my son is doing here while fishing.
Intex also sells a motor mount kit to place a trolling motor on the back. We just purchased this and I will update the post with more information after useage. But obviously having a trolling motor will allow for easier and more precise movement, both while fishing or when the family wants to take a stroll around the lake without the effort of rowing. This is yet another reason why I purchased the Intex Mariner 4 inflatable boat. At just over $200, it’s one of the most fun items you can stuff inside your popup for use while camping.
For slightly more information on how we’ve used the boat (and how much fun it was) – check out the related trip report post: “Boating + Popup = Even Better Camping!“