When in search of a niche item such as a floating water mat, it can be tempting to walk into the first big box store you see and come out with what you (think) is a great deal. That’s exactly what stores like Costco are counting on. But imagine this: you get to the lake with your Costco Floating Mat, and are instantly hit with floating water mat jealousy as you gaze upon all the other options you’ve never considered before. Floating groups of people living their best lives drift past, and you feel like you could have gotten a better deal with a bit more research. Thanks, Costco.
Why You Might Not Want to Buy the Costco Floating Mat
If you’ve landed on this blog while searching for the perfect floating water pad, we’re here to make that search easier for you. We’re not saying Costco isn’t a great place to shop, but we want consumers to realize that the buying power is in their hands. Doing a little bit of research before making a purchase can only lead to a more informed decision. If after reading this article you still feel confident that the floating lake mat from Costco is calling your name, then our job here is done. Odds are, though, that you will come away from this experience enlightened by the possibilities of floating mat brands you may not have heard of before. The odds are this: you will show up to that lake with a product everyone else on their little Costco mats will be supremely envious of.
What Makes a Good Floating Mat for the Lake?
A good floating mat is one that fits your specific needs. What is good for one buyer may not be ideal for the next. However, from an objective standpoint, we can judge what makes a good floating water mat based on a handful of observations:
We’ve done the work already to bring you a comparison chart of some of our favorite floating water pads. Before committing to that Costco purchase, consider these Amazon brands. The WOW Sports Floating Water Walkway, for example, can hold up to 6 adults for a fraction of the price of Costco’s current listing. This particular model is unique from the rest because not only is it great for lounging, but can also be walked on. Unlike regular foam mats, this bargain-priced mat is both inflatable and stable enough to walk across. Depending on what your lake lounging needs may be, this option could be a steal! On the flipside, if you’re looking for an oversized floating mat, the Floating Oasis Lake Pad could be for you. If you’re willing to dish out a bit extra for higher quality (3 layer construction vs. 2 layer padding on the Costco floating mat) and a large capacity (up to 1500 lbs.), this giant foam pad is a great option.
Why is a Floating Water Mat So Expensive?
Price is relative. Compared to something like a $150 inner tube, certain floating water mat styles are much more expensive. However, the surface area that floating water mats cover is much higher than other water-friendly rides. The amount of material used to create a magnificent floating water mat is a factor in the price. This is why larger mats tend to shoot up in price.
The best part of owning a buoyant mat is being able to fit a bunch of people on one big, fun, floating party. It’s like a raft, but way cooler (and definitely not recommended for bodies of water with strong currents such as rivers). However, some people buy floating water mats just for themselves, or for only a couple of people. In the case that you are buying a mat that does not need to carry a lot of weight, you have the advantage of being able to go for a cheaper & smaller option. That being said, don’t let anyone stop you from dreaming big. If you want to ride a giant, expensive floating mat in a lake all by yourself as you look down upon basic single-tubers, that’s entirely up to you.
How Much Does a Floating Water Mat Cost?
The price range between floating mats is huge, in large part due to the materials used and the size. For example, you can expect to pay up to $900 for a super-sturdy 24 foot long floating water mat made of thick foam. On the flip side, styles like the aforementioned WOW Sports Water Walkway will barely make a dent in your budget, coming in at less than $200.
Why Buy From Amazon Instead of the Costco Floating Mat?
Amazon brands are among the most trustworthy online retailers you could order from. Look for the “Ships from Amazon.com” label to the right of the listing when shopping through Amazon. When an order is shipped through Amazon, that means payment processing (and refunds!) are handled through Amazon’s service team. That means quick communication and easy returns if the item you buy ends up not fitting your needs.
Do Your Research, Then Order Online
Consider your needs. It may be worth it to splurge on a mat that has all the features you’re looking for, and you may even find some good deals that save you money. Read reviews, watch videos, and determine for yourself whether the product you’re looking for fits your needs. This is a good buying strategy for any product you might be interested in (floating mat needs aside). Happy shopping and happy swimming!