Are there cheap inflatable floating camping tents?

Are there cheap inflatable floating camping tents?
Pavlo Lysyy June 23, 2023 7 mins read time

Today’s recreation industry caters to people’s sophisticated desires and dreams, letting them come true in sophisticated ways. A floating waterproof cabin presents a brilliant combination of functionality and excitement, as falling asleep on a slightly rocking bed to the lullaby of frogs sounds like a truly exotic and romantic experience. These camps are less common than traditional shelters, but the demand for these has skyrocketed since they first appeared.

The story began a few years ago, when Ethan Smith, the owner of a fishing goods maker, and a friend of his, who owned a campground and was running out of space, decided to use a pond as a campground. More specifically, they came up with the idea of putting canopies on rafts and thus adding new lots to the campground.

Ethan began to cooperate with a manufacturer from China, and the production was launched in 2017. It took just a little while for the demand to outrun supply, as campers from around the world appreciated the new solution. The production soared and outstripped all other items the company was producing after a year or so. Right now, SmithFly, a retailer run by Ethan Smith, sells its items in various countries, including but not limited to Canada, Norway, Germany, Australia, etc. Although their products are not cheap at all, there are always long waiting lists for their items.


Where do I look for it?

These items are more expensive than conventional shelters. Finding a cheap inflatable waterproof floating tent without sacrificing product quality can be a little challenging. There are scores of manufacturers and retailers, so you should be ready to do a bit of searching and browsing. Unfortunately, cheap products often demonstrate poor quality. There are lots of scam dealers out there, so you should be very careful. It is highly advisable to address reputable and trusted dealers. User feedback can be of great help too.

Clear dome tents

Clear dome shelters make up a specific category of shelters. There are lots of inflatable clear dome tents for sale, and they differ in size and shape. They are popular among residential home owners, who set them up in their home gardens. Besides, some people find camping in a transparent shelter exciting, as they can admire beautiful sceneries from inside and sleep under the stars. It feels like staying outside in any whether without being hit by the elements. Usually, canopies are made of a high-quality transparent PVC that provides protection against rain and wind.

Clear dome shelters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small that accommodate a solo camper to huge canopies that are big enough to house a family or a team of 8 persons. Clear dome shelter’s biggest downside is absence of privacy: everything happening inside will be visible from outside. Therefore, if you want to have a clear dome shelter and still would like to stay away from prying eyes, look for a remote place.

This may get you wondering: are there cheap floating clear dome canopies for sale? Right now, it is hard to find information even about non-transparent on-the-water shelters, because there are few manufacturers dealing in this particular type. However, it can be possible to place an order and get a custom-made floating clear dome inflatable camp from a trustworthy company.

Premium Inflatable Tent with Stove Jack Panda Air Large

This shelter accommodates up to 6 persons. It is renowned for its high-quality canvas, user-friendly design, and longevity. Although it is not a floating camp, many recreation fans, fishermen, hunters, etc. demonstrate vivid interest in this item, as RBM continues to bring forth versatile and innovative ideas and concepts and implement these in their products.

It is much easier to set up a blowup shelter, especially if you have an electrical pump. If not, you are in for a little physical exercise, but you are free of stull like putting poles and bars together: the frame will spring up as you pump air into the air-beams. The frame of the Panda Air Large has three separate chambers and, respectively, three valves.

The large size and ample space make this shelter great for glampers. It has six large panoramic windows with meshes, two doors, a double-layer roof, and a stove jack. For this reason, it is suitable for camping in winter, as you can heat it up with a wood stove. The stove jack is heat-resistant, so it won’t burn or melt from the hot flue pipe.

The canvas is made of an advanced 210gsm T/C fabric. It demonstrates high waterproofness and resistance to mildew. The Panda Air Large is rightfully termed a 3-season shelter. It is ventilated well enough to keep you cool in summer and waterproof enough to keep you dry in a heavy rain. The canopy has excellent isolating characteristics, so once you heat it up with a wood stove, the inside will stay warm for long after the stove cools down.

It should be noted that 3-season shelters are not fit and therefore not intended for camping in extreme cold, heavy snowfalls, or high winds. It does well in spring, summer, and fall, as well as in climates with mild winters.

The package does not include a wood stove, so you are going to have to buy it separately. The Panda Air Large comes with a storage bag, manual pump, and a set of ropes. The price is $1,479, which does not sound like a cheap tent, but the features mentioned above and high quality make it really worth it.

Shoal Tent

The Shoal is made by SmithFly – a company that pioneered in the production of floating canopies. The company specializes in various sorts of fishing gear, so it has fully implemented its expertise and background in the product. It is made of water-resistant materials, and it is attached to a large two-chamber inflatable raft.

The shelter comes in a storage bag rolled up in a burrito fashion. It weighs about 130 lbs, so it takes at least two persons to get it to the site. The Shoal can house six persons. It is good both for fishing and exotic on-the-water camping.

Being a fully waterproof inflatable tent, it does not have any metal or fiberglass poles. The air beams, once blown up (3 PSI), support the entire top that is anchored to the raft (10 PSI). There are three valves: two in the raft, and one in the top.

The canopy is made of a heavy-duty and water-resistant fabric. It is safely hooked to the raft, and can be detached when necessary. There are D-rings at the sides of the raft, so you can anchor your shelter in your chosen place on the water.

The Shoat is not cheap either: it goes for $2,000. The manufacturer has done its uttermost to make it as safe as possible: the large and thick raft and the cabin-shaped canopy are very stable on water. Safety is a matter of awareness as well. The Shoal is not fit for sea voyages, and it cannot be used in extreme weather. It is good for camping on ponds, lakes, rivers, lagoons, and other quiet and safe places.

DAMA Floating Inflatable Tent

It is a relatively cheap replica of the Shoal tent, so it looks similar to it in many ways. It features an orange canopy resting on a thick blowup mat. It can be used as a common free-standing cabin-type shelter on the ground, or on the water. You can enjoy a few hours of cruising around a small pond, river, lake, or lagoon, or anchor it safely and take a nap. It is big enough to accommodate up to 4 people.

The single-layer canopy is made of a waterproof and breathable material. The door and windows can keep the inside ventilated. On a hot summer day, you can keep the open and use the mesh layers to stop insects from flying inside. On a cool and windy day, you can close the windows.

The canopy can withstand a moderate rainfall. The structure is stable in the wind, thanks to its shape and large inflatable base. It is very easy to set up: there are no poles or rods, and all beams are inflatable. When pumping it, please follow the air pressure parameters specified in the manual.

The DAMA Inflatable tent comes in a storage bag. The package includes a hand pump, set of ropes, repair kit, and two aluminum oars. The package weighs 100 lbs, so it takes a team and a vehicle to deliver it to the place. Definitely, the DAMA is not for backpacking.

This cheap shelter is good for camping on quiet water reservoirs. Please, do not use it in rapid rivers or near waterfalls. Before starting out, read the manual and check the appropriate pressure parameters. Pressure may differ depending on air temperature: it increases in hot weather and falls on cooler days.


The Traft sounds just nice for what it means: a tent raft. It is a kind of item that can give you a lot of fun during your trip to a quiet lake, river, or pond. Putting it up is no big challenge: all you need to do is pump it.

This cabin is smaller than many well-known products. However, it is far from cheap: it costs $900, which some users find too much for this size. There are three size options available: 6.56 ft, 8.50 ft, and 9 ft.

One positive thing is light weight: the smaller version weighs less than 9 lbs. Therefore, it is very easy to carry around, and you won’t have difficulty taking it to the camping area. The canopy is made from a high-quality waterproof thermoplastic polyurethane.

The Traft is a nice option for solo campers. You can inflate it and have a rest either on the water or on land. The canopy is removable, so you can use the base as a simple raft. When paddling around a pond, lake or river, please, be careful and anchor your Traft when necessary.

Why are they expensive?

As we can see, even small inflatable waterproof on-the-water canopies sell for a good sum of money. This leaves many campers wondering: Why are they so expensive? Are there cheap products out there?

Number one: right now, there are few companies producing this kind of stuff, so the supply is far behind the demand, which makes them costly.

Number two: there are minor companies trying to produce and sell similar cheap products, but there is nothing to guarantee that their products are of acceptable quality.


🏕  What is an inflatable floating tent?

It is a unique type of facility that combines an inflatable raft and a canopy perched on it. Today, quite a number of people want to try camping on water and find it exciting. These tents are best used on small lakes, ponds, lagoons, etc.

📦  Who uses floating tents?

The first such shelter was designed by a company that produced fishing gear, and the solution has proved to be great for fishermen. Besides, it can be good for campers, who would like to enjoy a stay or sleep in the middle of a pond.

💡  Are inflatable floating camps cheap?

No. High-quality floating shelters are made of waterproof and heavy-duty materials (polyurethane, polyester, etc.). Even small canopies for solo campers are worth around $900, which is far from cheap. If you want a cheap floating shelter, you can check minor firms and online stores, but don’t get scammed into buying a poor-quality product.



Charlie Hewitt

Charlie Hewitt said:

The answer is no, i guess

Alessandro Fitzgerald

Alessandro Fitzgerald said:

Panda L is the discovery of the year. I saw it on youtube, immediately found it on the web. Recently I placed my order, can’t wait to get this beauty

Rufus Hobbs

Rufus Hobbs said:

Pavlo always shares surprising ideas

Jeremiah Burke

Jeremiah Burke said:

thanks for this blog, i find out so much new

Rhys Hess

Rhys Hess said:

Camping is always enjoyable. the tent is just and add-on

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