Welcome to the world of pool floats! If you’re a water baby like me, you know that lounging in the pool, with a delicious fruity drink is one of life’s greatest joys.
Gone are the days of boring, plain inflatables. Today, pool floats are a must-have for any water-loving wanderer, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles to suit your personality and elevate your poolside game.
Plus, by bringing your own pool float, you can save money on rental fees. Many hotels and resorts charge a fee to rent pool floats, which can add up over the course of your trip.
From lazy loungers to whimsical creatures, I’ve scoured the market to bring you the crème de la crème of pool floats that are not only perfect for suit case packing, but also loads of fun.
So, grab your sunscreen, make some space in your suitcase, and let’s get ready to float away in style!
Table of Contents
- What is the Best Pool Float to Pack in a Suitcase?
- Best Ultra Compact Pool Floats (*Recommended for limited space & small suitcases)
- Best Compact Dry Float
- Best Compact Intertubes
- Best Pop Culture Pool Floats
- Best Inflatable Accessories
- Pool Float Packing Limitations
- What is the Best Way to Store a Pool Float?
Pool Float Evaluation Criteria
If you’re looking at your suitcase and wondering how you will be able to fit your clothes, toiletries, shoes, AND a pool float, you’re in luck! I’ve searched the internet, high and low, to get the inside scoop on the most packable pool floats that won’t take up too much space in your luggage.
In my quest to find the perfect pool float for packing, I looked for floats that met the following criteria:
- Weight: It is much easier to transport a lightweight pool float, particularly if you’re traveling by plane and have a limited baggage allowance. The ultra compact float suggestions below range from 4 ounces to 27.5 ounces. Other floats are slightly larger, but most will easily fit in larger suitcases.
- Capacity: The amount of human weight that the float can support. Most floats in this article can support a maximum of 250 lbs.
- Inflation: All of the floats on this list can be inflated by mouth. Some of the larger floats may be more time consuming to inflate, so I recommend using an inflatable bed pump or small hand pump.
- Lounging Style: All pool floats should allow you to comfortably lounge in the water. There are various types of floats that can be fully dry, partially submerged, or somewhere in the middle. Most ultra compact pool floats are designed to be more submerged because the style requires less heavy plastic than other floats.
- Personalization: By bringing your own pool float, you can choose one that suits your preferences and style. You won’t have to settle for whatever the hotel or resort has available, and you can choose a float that is comfortable and fits your body type.
What is the Best Pool Float to Pack in a Suitcase?
An inflatable pool noodle is the best travel pool float because it is the most compact and easy to pack float. Unlike traditional pool noodles that take up a lot of space, at only 4.4 ounces per noodle, this slim little ride can be deflated, folded down to a small size, and stuffed in a small pocket or shoe.
Best Ultra Compact Pool Floats
If you’re looking for a float that can provide better support for longer lounging, try one of these ultra compact floats. Each is lighter than most commercial floats on the market and should only take 20 – 30 breaths to inflate.
Float Hammock Air Sofa Chair
- 27.5 ounces
- Measures 68 in x32 in x8 in
- Supports up to 400 lbs.
- Thick and soft premium PVC
4-in-1 Monterey Hammock k
- 14.4 ounces
- Measures 44 x 26 in
- Supports up to 250 lbs.
Spring Circle Float Pool Lounger
- 20.6 ounces
- Measures 35 in x 35 in x 6 in
- Supports up to 250 lbs.
- Folds into 3 compact circles
- Carrying bag included
Best Compact Dry Float
Say goodbye to waterlogged magazines, books, or any other poolside accessories. With a dry pool float, you can comfortably read, sunbathe, or even sip a cocktail without worrying about getting your belongings wet.
Dry floats tend to be heavier and bulkier than partially submerged floats, so you’ll need to save more room in your suitcase. At a wapping 78.24 ounces this float takes a while to inflate so I recommend using a pump.
However, it does a fantastic job of keeping your body from getting all wrinkly like a raisin, and feels like having your own personal cabana, in the middle of the pool!
Best Fun Compact Inflatable Tubes
Imagine lounging on a juicy watermelon slice, floating on a giant frosted donut, or cuddling up in a sparkling heart while sipping on your favorite tropical drink. It’s not just a inflatable tube, it’s a statement piece that screams “I’m here to have a blast!”
Best Pop Culture Compact Pool Floats
Oh boy, who doesn’t love a pop culture-themed inflatable to bring on vacation? It’s like bringing a little piece of your fandom with you wherever you go! Imagine floating in the pool on a Spiderman-themed inflatable, feeling like a superhero while you soak up the sun. Or how about lounging on a Titanic-themed inflatable, reenacting that famous ending scene with your best friend while you sip on a pina colada? And let’s not forget about the Jaws-themed inflatable, because who doesn’t want to feel like they’re being hunted by a great white while they relax in the water?
Seriously though, these inflatables can add a ton of fun to your vacation, and they’re perfect for capturing some hilarious photos to share on social media. Plus, they’re a great way to make new friends – I mean, who wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation with someone floating by on a giant doughnut with sprinkles?
Best Pool Float Accessories
An extra pool float accessory such as an inflatable boogie board, swim belt, pack of games, or drink cooler can add some lightweight sizzle to a smoking vacation! These inflatables can be set up easily at the pool or beach and provide a fun and active way to pass the time.
Each accessory can be used for its intended purpose, such as floating on the water, carrying your drinks, and helping you to swim or used as a cushion or pillow on long flights, sleeping in tents, or car rides.
Pool Float Packing Limitations
While pool floats are a fun and popular addition to any vacation, there are some packing limitations to keep in mind. Here are a few:
- Size and Weight: Pool floats can be bulky and heavy, which can limit the amount of other items you can pack in your suitcase. Be sure to check the weight and size restrictions for your suitcase with your airline before packing a pool float.
- Inflation: Some pool floats may also require a separate air pump, which adds extra weight and bulk.
- Fragility: Pool floats can be delicate and prone to punctures or tears, especially during transport. To avoid damage, be sure to pack your pool float in a protective carrying case or cover it with a towel or other soft material.
- Local Regulations: Some pools may have restrictions on the use of personal pool floats or inflatables. It’s important to check with the pool operator or hotel staff to ensure that your pool float is allowed in the pool.
By keeping these limitations in mind, you can ensure that you pack your pool float in a safe and practical way, and that it will be a fun addition to your vacation without causing any headaches.
What is the Best Way to Store a Pool Float?
The best way to store a pool float depends on the type of float and the available storage space. Here are some general tips:
- Clean and dry the pool float thoroughly before storing it. This will prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Deflate the pool float and remove any excess water. You can do this by using a towel or a sponge.
- If the float has a valve, close it tightly.
- Fold the pool float neatly, making sure there are no creases or folds that could cause damage.
- Store the pool float in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If possible, store it indoors to protect it from the elements.
- If you have limited storage space, consider hanging the pool float on a wall to dry or storing in a vacuum compression bags for travel.
- Avoid stacking heavy objects on top of the pool float, as this can cause it to lose its shape or become damaged over time.
By following these simple tips, you can help prolong the life of your pool float and ensure that it is ready for use when you need it.