There’s something irresistible about the simple fun of an inflatable tow tube. Skis may be more challenging, a wakeboard capable of delivering more thrills, but the best bang for the buck in almost any towable arsenal is a marine accessory not very far removed from that old black inner tube many of us enjoyed as kids.
For starters “tubes,” as they’re known, prove incredibly versatile. Overweight or skinny, athletic or klutzy, young or old, nearly anyone can jump aboard and enjoy. There’s no real need for balance, no real learning curve. They deliver almost any kind of ride from mild to wild. But with a bewildering array available, which type should you choose?
We approached our selection the same way we imagine many families do — by loading a Web page and then asking our test subjects — 8- and 12-year-old sisters — to tell us what looked cool. We matched their selections against the “best-sellers” functions found on the Overton’s and West Marine websites and settled on a group of six: two each in one-, two- and three-passenger capacities. How’d they fare? Read on.