Have you ever just wanted to spend the day floating in the sun? Just bobbing along on a lake, pond, or calm river? Or maybe cooling off with your friends after a fun day of activities? If yes, it sounds like you need to get yourself the right floating mat size ASAP. Sometimes called floating water pads, a floating mat is usually a piece of high-density foam, inflatable vinyl or PVC, that provides fun and support on the water.
Floating mats come in all kinds of sizes. Some are even big enough to allow a whole group of adults to stand, walk, and play out on the water. Many of the different types of large floating mats can be attached together to create even larger floating islands, perfect for summer parties on lakes or rivers! With many options to choose from, it can be hard to know what mat to get, especially when you try to think about what size floating mat you need. Well, you’re in luck! This article is going to take a look at some of the different sizes of mats available and help you figure out which one is right for you.
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Party for … everyone?
The first thing you need to think about when choosing the size of a floating mat is how many people you want it to accommodate. Some floating mats list their capacity by number of people or by weight, so be sure to check the information on listings or packaging carefully. You may find that different materials or thicknesses of floating mats will also make a difference on their capacity. Here is an example chart of some dimensions and approximate weight capacities of different floating mat sizes.
|12’ x 6’||5 -6 adults or 750 – 900 lbs|
|15’ x 6’||7-8 adults or 1050 – 1200 lbs|
|20’ x 6’||9-10 adults or 1350 – 1500 lbs|
Please note: This chart is approximate and only intended to give you a general idea. Be sure to check individual products thoroughly to see what their manufacturer recommends.
Float your way
While the thought of “bigger is better” is something that comes to mind with a floating mat, that might not work for you. If you want to make a large floating area in a river or lake, then a giant floating mat that comes in 20 ft lengths could be ideal. However, if you want a more comfortable and flexible way for kids to get in and out of the water behind a boat, one of the shorter 10 ft long mats could be just right. The great thing about many floating mats is that they are relatively easy to anchor together. For example, if it’s more convenient to store and transport multiple 10 ft long mats rather than one huge 20 ft long mat, you can simply attach them together to make a larger floating island. Plus, you can attach smaller mats together to make custom shaped islands, walkways, or play areas.
Like a mat out of water
Another thing to think about when shopping for a larger floating mat is how big the mat will be when it is not in use. You have to store and transport the mats when they’re out of water, something we all often forget when shopping for seasonal outdoor equipment! Almost all foam floating mats roll up, and inflatable ones can be folded. Taking a day trip to the pool or lake with a big floating mat might seem like a good idea… until you have to squeeze in the car next to it! The larger mats are more suited for vacations or staycations near water, where you don’t have to remove it from the water every single day. Many floating mat manufacturers list the dimensions of the mats when rolled or folded, so this should help you figure out how portable it will be for you. It’s also worth noting that getting a foam mat rolled up as small as when it arrived from the manufacturer is not easy, especially if they have taken on water, or you’re not on a smooth hard surface. This means that the rolled-up dimensions from the manufacturer will not necessarily be how small it stays when it’s in your attic, basement, or storage area.
Inflatable or not inflatable?
The question of whether or not to choose an inflatable floating pad over a foam floating mat is not really related to size, but it is still a preference. Inflatable mats have some advantages over floating mats because they are more compact when deflated and folded, and they’re generally lighter than the high-density foam floating mats. These two factors definitely make them smaller and easier to store and transport. Their disadvantages are similar to those of many water inflatables: they require inflation before use and have a risk of punctures or tears making them unusable.
Now… Which floating mat?
By now, you should have figured out how many people you want to use the floating mat, where it’s going to go, how it’s going to get there, and if you want an inflatable one or not. Now you just have the mammoth task of finding the mat to suit your needs, right? WRONG! We already took out the hard work and put together this guide to some of the best floating mats available. In our guide, the Rubber Dockie was our #1 pick. Whatever size, use, color, or material you want, it should be covered.
There are many ways to enjoy your time on the water, and it shouldn’t be difficult for you to figure out the best way. Hopefully this article, together with our buying guide, will help you discover the joys of floating mats for you and your loved ones.