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On The Water With BOTE

A Gearhead Review Of Inflatable Watercrafts

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s the undeniable pleasure of spending long summer days at the beach, on the river, or at our favorite swimming hole. We Gearheads have firsthand experience in reaching for a SUP or Kayak, but today I’m here to tell you about a truly lounge-worthy way to experience lake days in a whole new way—with BOTE Inflatable Watercrafts.

Hangout Dock Series

If your comfiest Chesterfield and sturdiest SUP could fall in love, their children would probably look like the Hangout 120. If you owned a sectional, then maybe the Hangout Couch is more your style. Put them together, add the Inflatable Hangout Chair, and you now have a living room on the lake. A complete set.

These masterpieces of float are made with BOTE’s Aero PVC, which inflates to a stiff 6-8 PSI—comparable to the rigidity of a SUP. It was the perfect surface for lounging with my book, chilling with friends, and resting our ice-cold bevvies. One of my favorite features of the Hangout is its MagnePod cup holders that are strategically placed across the deck and ready to hold tight any metal flask. Some of the decks are even big enough for a cooler, so I didn’t have to float back to shore for refills. 

The Dock Series paired well with tiki drinks, the lazy dog days of summer, and the cute, furry variety of dogs. In case you lose track of time and drift into hidden rocks or downed tree branches, each float comes with a repair kit (as well as a hand pump) so you don’t have to cut the day short if something goes awry and you lose air. And, like all activities involving water, a PFD is essential, so don’t leave that at home.

NRS, Aire, and Kokopelli all make great watercrafts, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t have anything comparable to the Hangout Dock Series. For a truly unique lakeside lounging experience, BOTE knows how to float.

ZEPPELIN AERO Inflatable Kayak


The Zeppelin Aero Inflatable Kayak boasts a ton of cool features, but for brevity’s sake, I’m going to focus on my favorite three.


First, it’s portable. I’ll cut right to the chase: this kayak fits into a backpack. That means I didn’t have to set sail from the boat send-off point of the lake with the rest of the crowd. I was free to find a secluded spot among the trees—and sometimes include a nice little hike into the day.


Next, it’s spacious. There’s enough room for my cooler and my dog. You really don’t need more than that, right? A drink in easy reach, furry companionship, and plenty of leg room meant hours of floating without interruption.

Finally, it’s stable. Thanks to its 3-chamber construction, the Zeppelin kept me, my gear, and my dog dry. Well, when she didn’t decide to go for a dip to cool off—and it was even stable enough for her to clamber back on without tipping me in to join her.


Like the other watercraft in BOTE’s collection, it comes with a repair kit and pump, and BOTE’s magnetic MagnePod cup holders. BOTE really does make it difficult to have a bad day on the water.