It doesn’t matter where you live or what waterway you ride — I think we can all agree that a lazy float down the river is quite possibly the most glorious leisure activity on planet earth. If done correctly, it involves all of the good things in life: being outside, being comfortable, listening to music, and (if you’re doing it right) drinking beer.
But the thing is, if you want to enjoy all of these things at the same time, you need all the proper equipment. In addition to a durable float tube, you also need a waterproof bluetooth speaker, and a dry bag to protect your phone/mp3 player — not to mention a floating cooler you can store beer in. And of course, once you’ve rounded up all this gear, you’ll need to figure out a suitable lashing system to secure everything to your tube.
Tubular offers an alternative to all this madness. Rather than forcing you to cobble all your float gear together like a hobo, the Tubular Tube incorporates all the gear you need into one tricked-out flotation device. Built into the inflatable body, you’ll find a waterproof bluetooth speaker, a dry bag for your electronics, and a removable cooler. It’s basically the Coolest Cooler of floatie tubes.
“Tubular came about right around last summer when we were thinking about floating down the Weber river here in Utah.” inventor Sebastian Schleicher tells us. “After looking around we saw that there were two options — the first being Walmart where you can get an Intex tube for around $20-50. These came in all types of sizes, but they all had one thing in common, they were essentially disposable and none of them worked as advertised (they have some with coolers that just flip you over instantly when you hit a bump). The second option was the high end boat-towing tubes that were way too expensive.”
After realizing there weren’t any float tubes on the market that catered to all their needs, Schleicher and a few of his friends decided to build their own from the ground up. “We wanted music, so the speaker was an immediate feature.” he explains. “Then we needed a dry bag to make sure you have a safe place for your phone. Everyone usually leaves their phone in the car when going on the river, or they try to get nifty with ziplock bags and other paraphernalia. Lastly, a personal cooler for obvious reasons. The cooler also serves as a protective trash container for the used cans, as we don’t want you littering in our beautiful rivers — or anywhere for that matter.”
Pretty brilliant, right? Schleicher and his team have produced a number of working prototypes of the tube, and have recently taken to Kickstarter to raise funds for production. For a pledge of just 85 bucks, you can lock down one of the first Tubular Tubes that rolls off the production line. The project still has a few thousand to go before it meets its $25,000 funding goal, but if everything goes well and the campaign is a success, Schleicher and his associates hope to begin shipping sometime around March of 2016 — just in time for float season.
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