A Floating Mat Might Your Best Purchase This Summer

Packing your bags for your next vacation near a lake or a river might be a tough task, especially if you are bringing a large group along. Often, finding recreational activities that are enjoyed by both children and adults alike may prove to be a difficult task, but the convenient floating mats might just the thing to change this. This affordable and convenient piece of gear gained a lot of popularity in 2020, and it is very likely that 2021 will not be any different.

Floating mats are typically lightweight but sturdy, and they have the ability to support over 900 pounds of weight on them. While they are usually quite large in size, they can be packed conveniently, just like a mattress! This makes them easy to transport, use, and then repackage for the return trip. Of course, the market is full of all sorts of floating mats, and picking the one that best fits your needs may be a difficult task. Below, you will find three of the best-selling floating mats of 2020, as well as some information that should help you get the best bang for your buck.

Keep in mind that the products below come in different variations, and they may not be in stock for much longer! In 2020, many floating mats were out of stock just before spring, and the interest is likely to be even bigger in 2021 since outdoor activities are preferred by most people due to the COVID-19 situation.

The Maui Mat Floating Foam Fun Pad

This amazing product comes in two variations – 22ft x 6ft (up to 1300 pounds) and 14ft x 6ft (up to 1050 pounds.) Both versions have a thickness of 1-3/4 inch, and they are built of durable, USA-made polyethylene foam to ensure lightweight, safety, and convenience. In addition to this, the product uses the FlexCore technology, which makes it more resistant to crushing without compromising its flexibility.

Just like many other floating mats, this one also comes in bright colors to ensure that it is visible by everyone in the vicinity. Storage and transportation is made easy thanks to the 1-3/4 thickness and the two included straps. The USA-made XPE foam is also tear-resistant, which makes the Maui Mat Floating Foam Fun Pad excellent for beach use as well.

Aqua Lily Pad

The Aqua Lily Pad is another great product to look into if you want to invest in a floating mat for your next trips. Just like the previous product, it also comes in several variations – 12ft x 6ft, 15ft x 6ft, and 18x6ft. They accommodate up to 900, 1200, and 1500 pounds respectively. You will not need to worry about packing, unpacking, or transporting the Aqua Lily Pad – the 1-3/8 inch thickness and the two included Velcro straps make the Aqua Lily Pad easy to manage. 

The inside of the Aqua Lily Pad consists of a lair of the FlexCore foam, which offers impressive durability and resistance to crushing. In the meantime, both the top and the bottom of the pad are interchangeable, and they consist of UV-resistant foam. This allows the Aqua Lily Pad to absorb minimal amounts of sunlight, and it will not heat up during the hot summer days.

GYMAX Floating Water Mat 12′ x 6′

The GYMAX Floating Water Mat 12' x 6' comes in one size, as the name suggests, but you will be able to choose between two bright colors –green and orange. It is made of 3-layer, 1.5 inch XPE foam, which has undergone a rigorous lamination process to ensure that the product will be resistant to tears, punctures, and wear. The surface of the mat is smooth and easy to clean with simple water and soap, allowing you to maintain its stainless and vivid appearance for years to come.  

The mat can be rolled just like a mattress when you need to store or transport it, and the two Velcro straps will make fastening and transportation even easier. Apart from the straps, the GYMAX Floating Water Mat 12' x 6' comes with an easy-to-use tethering system, which allows you to easily anchor it in a safe spot.

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Toledo Bend Lake

Fishing Report from TPWD (Sep. 28)

GOOD. Water stained; 76-78 degrees; 4.34 feet low. The water level is 167.7 with no generators running. Water temperature at the Dam is 76-78 degrees with surface temperature around 76.This is the third week with no rainfall. The back feeder creeks are clear in the deeper holes, but the lake is turning over causing shallow areas to look muddy and the main lake remains clear. The best fishing times this week has been at first light to mid-morning. Black bass are still in the summer to fall transition and remain scattered. The bass have been biting and chasing smaller shad profile baits like 1/4 ounce rattletraps in chrome, black or blue back, bladed baits, and smaller crankbaits in shad colors. Another pattern is black and blue football jigs 3/8 - 3/4 ounce with a 3-inch matching color grub trailer, and a green pumpkin jig with the chuck tail dipped in chartreuse color. The punch and frog bite has been producing wherever you can find floating vegetation, Lilly pads or healthy green hydrilla. Crappie bite has been picking up in 6-25 feet of water using small jigs and minnows depending on the cloud cover and cooling night temperatures. Bluegills are still mixed in with crappie in the brush piles and some are now being caught under boathouses and docks. Catfish are holding in 10-20 feet of water and have also been caught migrating up into the feeder creeks. Hey crew, this week is cooling down and will be in the 50s . Here we go, we either go hunting or go fishing. It's all good. Get out there! Always leave the area better than you found it (no trash, pickup what you can). Good luck and tight lines! Report from Master Captain Steve (Scooby) Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Orvis Endorsed Fishing Guide, Mudfish Rod Shop, Kayak Sales, and Rod Repair.

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