We all want to keep our boats looking as good as possible, for as long as possible. We spend hours cleaning, painting, doing teak, so that the boat will look pristine. Part of ensuring the pristine look is to pick up high-quality boat fenders.
Good boat bumpers ensure that the boat will avoid scuff marks, dings, crunches, and costly repairs while navigating docks and other nearby boats. Having the right set of good, functional, attractive fenders is critical to keeping your boat in tip-top shape.
This review looks at several of the best boat bumpers available. We’ll look at style, functionality, quality, sizing, and accessories. We’ll start with the best boat fenders, the Polyform HTM Series Boat Fenders.
Best Boat Fenders
Our Top Pick: Polyform HTM Series Boat Fenders
Key Points at a Glance
- Molded ribbing
- Easily Inflatable
- Reinforced tube ends
- Multiple Sizes and Colors Available
The polyform HTM Series Boat Fenders are a premium fender, perfect for those who are looking for a stylized look and high quality. They come in a wide array of colors and are powerful boat fenders.
These are available in four size options, fitting boats within the 26′ – 50′ range. They are designed so that the fender line goes through the middle of the dock bumper (Hole Through Middle, or HTM), ensuring that the connection is sturdy and easy to handle.
By using a Fendergrip or similar system, you can quickly change the position of the fender from vertical to horizontal.
The hole diameter on these is about 3/4″, so you can use 3/8″ or 5/8″ line without issue.
Polyform valves can be inflated by using 1) A Polyform inflation adapter. 2) Polyform hand pump 3) Tapered nozzle blowgun. The fenders can be inflated to a maximum size of 2 lbs of air pressure. That gives you enough durability to defend the boat from unwanted objects that could potentially damage it.
When choosing colors for your boat, note that some have reported that the fenders can bleed their colors onto your boat. If this occurs, just wipe the area with some cleaning and wax solution.
These aren’t cheap, but they are outstanding boat fenders, with a ton of color options and high-quality construction. The Polyform fenders are the best boat fenders available. They’re especially good if you’re looking for a particular size and color.
- Even wall thickness for maximum strength and...
- Molded -in ribs for strength and abrasion...
- Designed for medium - duty use in both permanent...
- Unique Polyform valve for years of service
- Use with boats 40' to 50' in length
Our Runner-Up: Mophorn 4 Pack Ribbed Boat Fenders
Key Points at a Glance
- UV Resistant
- Hung Free
- Comes in a 4-pack
- Thick Material
- Easily Inflated
- Ribbed center hole
- Size: 10″ x 28″
Starting off our list is the pack of four Mophorn Ribbed Boat Fenders. They are constructed of marine-grade vinyl for durability and hardiness. Thanks to its center hole ribbed design (similar to the Polyform above), these dock bumpers are easy to use and install after unboxing.
Perhaps the biggest strength of these inflatable fenders is their durability. They have full-length ribs that maximize strength, reduce roll, and protect the boat from abrasions.
The Mophorn will ensure that your entire boat hull will be safe when coming close to docks or other craft.
Inflation of these can be a bit finicky. To inflate, place the inflation needle in the center valve. If you’re having difficulty getting the bumper inflated, don’t add excessive force. Instead, change the angle and try it again. You shouldn’t need to do a ton of work to get these inflated, so adjust rather than brute force them.
With material that’s thicker than much of the competition, you can rest assured that Mophorn 4 Ribbed Boat Fenders will get the job done. They have a 31.4″ circumference, wider than most inflatable fenders. This gives you enough support so that your boats remain intact when in contact with the dock edge or other vessels.
These can be hung similar to the Polyform fenders discussed above. If you use a Fendergrip, you can configure these vertically or horizontally.
And since the inflatable fenders have a reinforced tube, you don’t have to worry about the lines being pulled if the fender is in a tough spot.
If you’re looking for a set of 4 white boat fenders that work really well at a reasonable price, these are a great choice. These are the best boat bumpers for those looking for a set of 4 white fenders.
- 【BOAT SHIELD & PROTECTION】- The dock bumpers...
- 【REINFORCED EYELETS】- The boat fender is...
- 【SUPERB DURABILITY】- The boat bumpers are made...
- 【SIMPLE & QUICK TO USE】- The fenders are easy...
- 【VARIOUS APPLICATION】- This boat fender does...
Best Budget: Extreme Max BoatTector Fender 4-Pack
Key Points at a Glance
- Inflatable Fenders
- Multiple Color Choices Available
- Affordable 4-Pack
- Includes Solid Braid MFP Fender Lines
- UV stabilized
The Extreme Max BoatTector Fender definitely wins the prize for the most EXTREME name. Oh, and the fenders are great, too, especially for those on a budget! This package includes four chemically resistant, UV stabilized bumpers that are made to keep your boat abrasion-free, as well as 5′ fender lines and a needle valve for inflation.
After inflation, the BoatTector fenders come to life to protect your boat from scuffs and damage.
First, it has a needle valve that is used to inflate or deflate the fenders to the desired pressure. While the needle valve pump isn’t included, it’s crucial for boat fenders to have this feature. Being able to customize fender pressure increases its chance of protecting the boat.
Plus, the inflatable fender has enough strength to keep your boat. It has sturdy PVC walls that have consistent wall thickness and durability to keep it abrasion-resistant. As a result, the boat will last longer and will remain dent free and well clear of the dock edge when these fenders are in use.
You’ll love the fender’s reinforced eyelet. The eyelet is constructed to prevent tears and ripping from occurring due to the constant tugging, pulling, and daily use of other eyelet styles. This gives the bumper a strong hold in any situation.
These are the best boat fenders for those looking for a complete package.
- Includes four 6. 5” x 22” BoatTector fenders...
- Equipped with a needle valve to inflate or deflate...
- Reinforced molded eyelets ensure longevity and...
- UV stabilized, chemically resistant
- Two-year limited
Best Fender Only: Best Choice Products 27in Boat Fender Set of 4
Key Points at a Glance
- Flexible Usage
- Set of 4
- Rope Holes
- Strong Composition
- Commercial Grade Marine Vinyl
Next up is the set of 4 Best Choice Products 27in Ribbed Marine Vinyle Boat Fenders. These fenders have all the features needed to be a suitable choice for the budget-conscious buyer.
With a ribbed design and choice of either black or white finish, the inflatable fenders are built to protect your boat in style while at the docks or near other vessels.
Molded out of commercial-grade marine vinyl, the fenders are built for protection. They are non-abrasive and UV resistant, ensuring your boat will remain spotless after leaving the docks (or while you’re at the dock!).
For a safe set of fenders, the Best Choice is one of the best choices.
Each bumper has rope holes placed on both ends. This allows users to hang the bumper either through one hole or weave the rope through both of them. After inflation, place the rope around your PVC fenders and hang them once you’ve reached the desired length.
These bumpers are flexible enough to be used both horizontally and vertically. They’ll work well on many styles of boats and docks. So for those needing a reliable set of fenders to keep your boat away from the dock edge, the Best Choice is an excellent choice.
Best Package: Yescom Ribbed Boat Fender
Key Points at a Glance
- Dock edge shield protection
- Pack of 4
- Durable Construction
- Equipped with a needle and inflation pump
- Eyelets included
Rhe Yescom Ribbed Boat Fender package is an excellent inflatable fender set. It protects both docks and boats from damage when the boat collides with another vessel or with the dock edge.
The Yescom fenders can hold pressure well and are durable, especially given their price point. You can use an electric tire pump to blow these up — much easier than inflation by hand.
Since the PVC fenders hold air for a long time, you don’t have to refill often.
That said, some buyers find that these fenders take too long to inflate by hand. The included fender line is good, but the pump that’s included takes a long time before the fenders meet their desired PSI.
So its best to use a bike pump when inflating these fenders.
The eyelets on the fenders make it easier to hang on the side of the boat or dock. Users can hang them either horizontally, or vertically making them a more flexible set of fenders. For those in need of some fenders for casual boating situations, the Yescom Ribbed Boat Fender is your best bet.
- Protects boats and docks from damage when the boat...
- Equipped with inflation pump and needle, can be...
- It has eyelets, you can use 4 lines to hang it...
- Durable, its lifespan can up to 5 years under...
- Recommended Boat Size: 19-5/8ft to 39-3/8ft (6-12...
Boat Fenders Buyer’s Guide
Fenders are inexpensive, yet crucial additions to any watercraft or dock edge. They act as bumpers to protect your boat from any collisions while on the docks. When using fenders, you’ll notice a reduction in cosmetic damage, scratches, and dents on your boat.
Everyone that is planning to get out on the water needs a quality set of fenders. By doing so, you’ll increase your boat’s lifespan and reduce the number of repairs by keeping your boat free of dings and abrasions.
Important Fender Features to Consider
When thinking of fender sizing, its best to go for the larger size fenders since they offer more protection. But here are three essential things you must keep in mind when getting the right fender:
- Boat Length
- Boat Weight
- Mooring Conditions
Most sizing charts will account for one item above. But, you will have to use common sense to determine the other two. If your boat is too heavy, then use larger fenders to fix this issue.
The rule of thumb is that your cylindrical fender needs at least 1″ diameter for each 4′ to 5′ boat length.
What style of fender do you prefer to have on your boat?
Round Fenders: Round fenders are good for large commercial vessels and powerboats. The round fenders can also be used as a simple mooring buoy.
Rafting Cushions: These are made specifically for rafting boats and are able to tie to pilings with the two rows of its center holes. They have a large surface area and have versatile mounting options, six independent molded tubes.
V-shaped Freedom Fenders: Self-centering shape that stays on a piling regardless of your boat’s movement.
Boat Fender Covers: Polyform EFC Boat Fender Covers
Fender covers are needed to protect and beautify the fenders that are in use. These covers are designed to fit the top-choice HTM fenders, though they will likely fit other similar-sized fenders. For those needing something to make their bumpers more durable, these are a great choice.
These covers use a premium grade polyester that is resistant to abrasion and sunlight. They are machine-made to be seamless. There’s no concern about seams splitting even with regular impact.
Frequently Asked Questions
There have been a few questions that have been coming up about fenders. Here are some of them.
Do the fenders come in pairs or singles?
Check the product. If it says a set of 2,4, etc., then you’re going to have multiple fenders. But if it comes in a single, it will be marked. For the best results, try to get 2-5 fenders so that your boat remains safe.
What is the hole diameter?
The hole diameter will be noted on the particular fender you are purchasing. The larger the hole diameter, the larger the boat bumper. Ensure that the line you plan on using will fit through the hole.
How do I inflate the fender?
To inflate the fender, you’ll first need to insert the pump needle into its eyelet. Then pump it until you’ve reached your desired pressure. Some fenders can be inflated with bike pumps and electric powered pumps, but some come with more custom inflation systems.
Other Products We Looked At:
Next on our list is the Seachoice Twin Eye Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fender. It’s recommended that this fender is used for boats 25 – 35ft in length. For those who want just a simple inflatable fender, this is the right one for you.
The fender is made of marine-grade vinyl PVC. As a result, it’s chemical resistant and can withstand multiple cuts before deflating. When fully inflated, the fender is capable enough to protect topsides and hulls. It’s a durable bumper that will keep your boat safe from other boats, docks, and the dock edge.
The Twin Eye Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fender has a ¾ eye diameter. This is enough room to add rope to the fenders and attach them to the boat. While remaining affordable, the fenders offer a quality that ensures a long-lasting boat life.
Key Points at a Glance
- Marine-grade vinyl
- Protects topsides and hulls
- Flexible eyelets
The Polyform S Series Buoy and Boat Fender look and function well. Created with even PVC wall thickness, the Polyform S Series fender gives you maximum durability and strength. Once you find out how to inflate it, you’ll be fine.
While it is a good boat fender, there is one minor issue with it. Some consumers had a difficult time placing their rope into one eyelet. Because of this, you have to watch out when tying the boat, as a few extra knots might be needed to keep it in place.
The Polyform S Series Buoy and Boat Finder ensure that you’ll keep your boat in good shape. While it doesn’t offer the same amount of performance as the other Polyform fenders above, it still does its job as a fender.
Get this fender if you need a replacement or a secondary set of fenders.
Key Points at a Glance
- Single eyelet design
- Even wall thickness
- Quick installation
We hope you’ve found the perfect fenders for your craft on this review list. Whether you need just a single fender, or a full set, be sure to have an appropriate amount, keep them inflated, and use them when needed.
The Best Boat Fenders are the Polyform HTM Series. Though they’re pricey, they have tons of size and color options, and work excellently. If you need a good set, and don’t care so much about color, go for the Mophorn 4-pack of fenders. And if budget is paramount, the Extreme Max BoatTector set is outstanding.