RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer Review

[simple-author-box] The RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer is a giant floating inner tube with a built-in trampoline, which you can take to the lake, and which can act as a platform for your kids (and you as well) to take a flying leap into the water. 

Kids take one look at this thing and start going crazy, because this thing basically screams “Let’s have some fun!” to anyone who sees it. 

Boys, girls, grown-ups, little kids – all must bounce on the Bongo Water Bouncer if it is within reach. 

Feature Pick

Rave Sports 02008 Bongo 13 Bouncer

Before we go any further with the review, here’s a quick video of the RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer in action…

Actually, that was the “water park” version, so it has a few extra bits and pieces. Same company though, and the Bouncer is at the center of it all.

Blowing It Up

This yellow and blue floating trampoline needs to be inflated to about 5 pounds of pressure (at its maximum).  

The first thing you’ll need to concern yourself with when you get one of these Bongo water trampolines, is getting it inflated when you arrive at your destination.

 We need to mention that the Bongo comes in three sizes – 10’, 13’, and 15’ wide, and so inflating it can be done a few different ways. 

If you opt for the smallest size of 10’, you can easily use the hand pump that comes with it.  If you have the largest size, you may want to look into getting a larger air pump to save on some time. 

That said, pumping it up may be the least fun you have with this thing, because if you’re doing the pumping the old-fashioned way, it’s going to take you 20 minutes. 

On the bright side, the fun you’ll have with it after, is going to last until you’re ready to pack it in. 

Just make sure if you use the hand pump, you have some able-bodied people prepared to do some serious pumping!

Testing The Bongo / Adequate Inflation

The next thing you’ll need to do before the fun can begin is to test out the Bongo. 

By test, we mean that you will need to make sure this thing is adequately inflated with the right amount of air, or else it’s going to be saggy, and basically not as fun to use. 

You want to harness the maximum bouncing power of the RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer. 

water trampoline raft review

To test it out, inflate it to the point where you think it’s good enough, and then take it into the shallows, and have someone climb up on it. Just be careful not to take a tumble!

What you’re looking for is that perfect bounciness with no sagging, as you climb the rope ladder to get on top of it. 

If it’s good to go, you’ll be able to see right away. If not, bring it back onto the shore, and give it some more air until you get that perfect bounce!


So far, we’ve described a lot of boring stuff – inflating, testing… ughh!  When can we start having fun with it?  

The answer is…not yet! You also need to consider how you’re going to anchor the Bongo. 

Luckily, the 10’ and 13’ models come with an anchor bag, which you can fill with, say, rocks or sand, in order to keep the tube from going anywhere. 

We must say, that anchoring the Bongo is something you probably should think about before you take it out. 

Depending on the distance from shore, you may need a longer chain for the anchor, assuming that the water is deeper.

Thick, Durable Material

Is it time for fun yet? Yes! After you take the time to consider a few of the necessary precautions beforehand, it’s time to finally give the Bongo a go. 

The materials used to make this water float, make it perfect for summer fun, whether you choose to bounce on it (and off of it) all day long, or use it as a lounging surface.

water raft toy review

We are happy to note that the Bongo is made from 1000-denier polyester, UV-treated PVC material, which has heat-welded seams. 

This makes the Bongo something that is built to last, as you will find the same material used to make inflatable military vessels. 

Many customers have had their RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer a long time – sometimes up to a decade, if you treat it with TLC.

Also, since there are basically no metal parts involved (save the anchor ring which is stainless steel), the Bongo is salt-water friendly.

Ladder With Molded Hand Grips

ladder with molded hand grips

The ladder provided with the Bongo has hand-molded steel (15’) or aluminum (13’, 10’) ladder rungs connected by nylon which is flexible. 

The ladder goes far into the water, so it’s easy to find a footing and climb onboard. 

Of course, you need to remember that this is a big object, so without the ladder, no one’s getting on it. The sides are too round and slippery.

Adults may have more trouble climbing this ladder than kids, who are generally lighter. 

Of course, it’s children who generally will be bouncing on and off it all day long, not so much adults, who might just end up lounging on it, rather than doing 150 cannonballs into the water. 

In any case, the ladder is good quality, and generally easy to use.

All Season Long

If you wanted to, you could just leave the Bongo out all summer long, as some people have done this without any problems.  

It’s up to you, but it can be a pain to bring it in, deflate it, only to have to re-inflate it one week later, when you come back to the cottage.

Lifetime Warranty

RAVE offers a lifetime guarantee, which only goes to show they stand behind their product. 

No one that we know has had to take them up on it, since the Bongo is a quality product!

Water Trampoline

The Bongo seems to be the most fun when people bounce on it. 

As far as water trampolines go, this one bounces better than most, and this is really what allows kids to have such a good time. 

If there’s a heap of kids on this thing, just make sure they’re supervised, and wearing life jackets, as we always encourage water safety first.  

And speaking of water safety, enforce a ‘look’ before you ‘leap’ policy. Over zealous kids may jump on someone else.

Also, just as a caution – remember that the Bongo is a pretty big toy, so you’ll want to remind your kids to be careful not to swim under it, or pull any crazy stunts with it. 

It has a cave-like area on its underside, and this tends to attract kids. Make sure they don’t play under it though – not safe!

More Safety Concerns

Remember, that without grabbing on to the ladder, there’s not much to hold onto with the Bongo, so make sure that you don’t position it too far out for people to swim back if they have to. 

bongo water bouncer review

Imagine your kid for some reason can’t get a hold of the ladder, and they aren’t the best swimmer either. 

Uh oh. This could be a drowning hazard,( if you aren’t wearing a life jacket), and the ‘Bongo’ is placed too far out in the water. 

On the other hand, the Bongo can’t be too close, because it needs to be deep enough for them to jump into the water safety. 

None of this really relates to whether the Bongo is an awesome water toy or not (it is). 

We’re just pointing out basic safety tips that apply to it, so hopefully you can consider these things as well.


Some people will store the Bongo in a garbage bin during the off season, and some will throw it in a large duffel bag. 

How you store the Bongo is up to you when it’s not in use. 

We should say, this is a pricey piece of water equipment, so you don’t want to have it stored anywhere where it might get punctured.  

Keep it stored safely away.


RAVE sports bongo 15 foot raft

A few customers have mentioned that their Bongo has sprung a leak, but this could be due to any number of reasons. 

Generally speaking, the Bongo is not prone to randomly springing a leak, but if you do things like drag it across rocks or otherwise mistreat it, there’s always a chance your tube can get a little pin prick, and then you’ll be having to deal with that problem. 

The general rule with the Bongo is not to drag it across rocks, especially when bringing it into shore where a sharp rock might easily catch it. 

It is durable, but a rock shaped like a shark’s tooth can certainly do damage.

Can Double As A Kiddie Pool

Some folks have discovered that the Bongo makes a nice sized kiddy pool, when you turn it over.  

This isn’t really what the Water Bouncer is meant for – this is simply an observation, so pool-ify your Bouncer at your own risk. 

Wrapping Up

We think that the RAVE Sports Bongo Water Bouncer is lots of fun!  Keep in mind a few safety precautions and you’re golden.  

The other cool thing is that when it comes to customer satisfaction, the Bongo has a longer history of success than some other water rafts / toys that have been on the market a short time.  

We have no reason not to give the Bongo here 5 whopping stars.  Super fun!

About the author: Emilia is the fashion guru of Beach Baby, with a deep appreciation for anything that can be worn or adorned. She makes her own apparel as well, including everything from swimwear, to dresses, and even shoes.  She also owns over 100 pairs of sunglasses!  Emilia also loves to surf, boogie board, and partake in a number of water sports.