Sportsstuff Bandwagon Inflatable Towable Review
- MANUFACTURER: SPORTSSTUFF/KWIK TEK
- BLADDER MATERIAL: HEAVY GAUGE PVC
- COVER MATERIAL: HEAVY DUTY (PARTIAL) NYLON
- MODEL NUMBER: 53-1620
- MAX CAPACITY: FOUR PEOPLE
- MAX WEIGHT: 680 POUNDS
- SPECIFICATIONS: 120” X 73”(DEFLATED) 118” X 70”
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 60.3 POUNDS
- TOW ROPE STRENGTH: 4100 POUNDS
- LENGTH OF TOW ROPE: 50-65 FEET
- OTHER INFORMATION: PATENTED SPEED SAFETY VALVE FOR FAST INFLATION/DEFLATION
- WARRANTY: 90 DAYS LIMITED
- PRICE GUIDE: $380+
- OUR RATING: 4.0 STARS OUT OF FIVE
ALL ABOARD THE BANDWAGON!
Whoever said that the best things in life are free, obviously hasn’t tried this inflatable. At around $370+, it is definitely not cheap, much less free.
Undoubtedly, you and your kids (if you have them), should have plenty of chance to have fun on one of these things, but are you getting your money’s worth? After all, there are indeed far cheaper inflatables out there, than this giant towable. Does one really need this much inflatable action in their life?
Coming from the same stable as the Super Mable, and many other great inflatables, Sportsstuff, is a brand name to trust, and Kwik Tek, the manufacturer, makes a lot of these towables.
As pointed out, this particular model does not come cheap, but look at what it can do. For a start, let’s have a little peak at the actual design of the thing.
This is actually shaped like a mini speed boat, and has a proper seating area. Unlike a lot of other inflatables, this actually looks as if it comes with specifically designated riders’ chairs, that are completely separate from each other.
Customers have attested that the extra special seating, with a wide range of personal space, is a refreshing change from the – literal – ‘head banging’ that happens on many of the smaller rides.
Aboard the ‘bandwagon’, you are less likely to bump into your fellow riders, which is part of the fun for some people. The high backed seating is comfortable, and has your passengers safety in mind. It comes with plenty of double webbed foam handles, and knuckle guards for extra comfort.
Unlike a lot of other towables, this has an exclusive reduced drag nose design, which means when the ride gets started, your towable and riders aren’t immediately dragged underneath, as happens with many other rides.
In terms of rider positions, there are many different ones to try out.
The general rule of thumb seems to be, those that want a more exciting ride (ie. the adults and older kids) should try taking up their positions on the back of the ride.
Riders may try shifting their weight, standing up, etc. to influence the ride, as long as it is done under supervision.
The manufacturer’s recommend a lookout be posted on the towing vessel, to keep an eye on the Bandwagon and its passengers. This is standard advice for all towables though.
Large Sturdy Towable
One thing Beach Baby has heard, is that the Bandwagon is a very reliable, sturdy and almost impossible- to- flip inflatable. This is ‘nearly’ unsinkable, if it is used sensibly and correctly.
Because of this, it is hugely popular with families of all ages, but especially those with younger kids, or perhaps people of a slightly more nervous disposition, who fear being tipped out of their seats, with every twist and turn of the ride, thank you.
But for those who do want to experience all the thrills and spills that the ocean, or the lake, has to offer, then the potential is there to be able to use this as a truly invigorating ride. Most of this will be down to the skill level and competence of your driver, as well as your riders knowing the best way to position themselves on the inflatable, to get the most out of it.
But what if you only want one person aboard for a solo voyage? Not a problem, because the Bandwagon is so unflappable, this should not present an issue for up to 4 riders (not exceeding 4 of course). The upper weight restriction is a whopping 680 pounds, so you should be able to get just about anyone who wants to, aboard.
Ease Of Use
The next thing that Beach Baby asked about was ease of use. Just how easy or difficult, was it to go from getting this thing out of the box, to floating on the water?
Well, we are pleased to report that the Bandwagon scores some favorable feedback in this dimension.
Using an electric pump, of course, it is pretty quick to get this fully pumped up, and just as easy to deflate. The patented valve on this model may be its advantage here. Also, when it is pumped up properly, it should feel reassuringly sturdy to the touch. This is definitely not flimsy construction.
Yes, at this price we should hope so too (we can hear you thinking)! Although no inflatable is built to stand the test of time, as far as something that you pump up goes, this ought to last longer than most other inflatables, with the right care and attention.
Having looked at the customer feedback, Beach Baby was pleased to discover, that there are precious few mentions of the dreaded words ‘leaking’ and ‘holes’. Not that this could never occur, but we are satisfied that it is clearly not a major issue with the Bandwagon.
So, are there any downsides to the Sportsstuff Inflatable Towable Bandwagon? Well, the only snag that we found with it, is that this is pretty hefty to lift into and out of the water.
Weighing in at seventy pounds, and maybe more when it is wet, this is not the most lightweight vessel out there, and neither is it the most compact. However, when you remember that this seats four people in relative luxury, and supports a frankly massive weight allowance, you can see why. It is safe because it is fairly heavy.
So should you buy the Bandwagon?
We definitely think so. This is clearly a vote winner in overall terms, but especially for that all important ‘safe’ ride for the younger kids, that so many other inflatables cannot provide.