Bennington’s 22L Swingback brings much of the same upscale style and quality we’ve come to expect from this brand’s pontoon boats to an appealing, midrange price point. The attractive interior upholstery is Simtex vinyl, which is both supple and soft, with contrasting diamond-pattern panels. The helm looks clean and classy, with Bennington’s classic wood-grain accent panels installed in designer shades. The stereo remote at the stern is the same full-size head unit you’ll find at the dash. (No need to learn how to use two devices.) Even the obvious cost-conscious examples, like exposed roto-molded seat bases, are color-matched so well, they almost go unnoticed.
As the Swingback name implies, the 22L features the popular convertible lounge aft with a pivoting backrest. Tilted aft, it creates a comfortable couch for both running at speed or socializing with other passengers in the main cockpit. Tilted forward, the emphasis switches to kicking back on the adjoining sun pad. Individual cushions at the tail end of the pad can also easily prop upward to add additional backrests if desired, or serve as a place to prop your feet. A stainless-steel keeper rail with a starboard gate provides security in order to use the space while underway and maintain an open and airy feel at the back of the boat.
Elsewhere, twin captain’s chairs can pivot back to join the social scene behind or provide a secure perch when underway. Forward, a familiar couch layout is perfect for those who like a little more wind in their hair. Relax, recline, or pack in friends and family. Seat occupants will find the lumbar cutouts add a welcome touch of room, whether laying out or sitting up straight.
Our test boat rode atop Bennington’s SPS Performance Package, a trio of 25-inch-round pontoons fitted with performance strakes. They carried the 22L smoothly across the water in varying water conditions while displaying a subtle inside lean in the corners. With a Mercury 200 hp FourStroke providing the power, we found the boat planed almost instantly and passed the 30 mph mark in 5.9 seconds. Top speed was 42.5 mph.
- Speakers, cup holders and charging ports are found in the lumbar pocket.
- Standards include a stowable sculpted wood-grain trapezoid table that floats, tilt steering, and smooth or textured fence panels.
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury 200
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Enertia 15″ x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 29 gal. Crew Weight: 160 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$99,527 (with Mercury 200)|
|Dry Weight:||2,555 lb.|
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||12/2,992 lb.|
|Fuel Capacity:||32 gal.|
Bennington Marine – Elkhart, Indiana; 574-264-6336; benningtonmarine.com