The Best Boat Fenders for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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I’m going to be honest with you. I wasn’t too excited about writing this article. Fenders are boring. Everyone has seen them, but few people need them. They’re easy to find at large chain stores but if you’re looking to save money and buy online it’s a little tricky.

But, necessity is the mother of invention. That’s why this article exists. I began the search for the best boat fenders and asked myself a few questions:

  • What are the best boat fenders? How do I know?
  • How do I decide which boat fenders to buy?
  • What fenders would I recommend to a friend?

The answers to those questions led me to the three types of boat fenders shown below along with several options to consider when making your purchase.

NameCategoryProduct
Polyform A-2 Buoy Blue 14.5 x 19.5 in.Best OverallPolyform A-2 Buoy Blue 14.5 x 19.5 in.
Extreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value PackBudget PickExtreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value Pack
Goplus 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender Tector Durable Vinyl Bumper Dock Shield Protection Bigger SizeUpgrade PickGoplus 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender Tector Durable Vinyl Bumper Dock Shield Protection Bigger Size

1. Polyform A-2 Buoy Blue 14.5 x 19.5 in.

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polyform A-2 Buoy Blue 14.5 x 19.5 in.

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Comes in two sizes
  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy and durable

Polyform makes some of the most convenient and effective boat fenders. A boat fender is a very important safety accessory that can help you to avoid unnecessary damage to your boat.

The Polyform A2 is one of the strongest boat fenders in the market. These fenders will likely last a lifetime since they are very well-made.

The Polyform fender is simple to use and very easy to store. The A2 is designed to fit on pontoons, motorboats, fishing boats, as well as ski boats. It can even be used as a dock fender.

2. Polyform G Series Boat Fenders

Our rating: 9 / 10

Polyform G Series Boat Fenders

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Pros:

  • 24" wide for all sizes
  • 4 fender legs for a solid defense against boat collisions
  • Free from tubes and clasps
  • Get the peace of mind that comes from buying from a trusted name in fishing gear.

Cons:

  • No easy way to fold or store the fender
  • No built-in space for stakes
  • No place to store stretch lead (comes with 4)

The ideal fender absorbs the shock and pressure of a boat collision, and prevents damage to both you and your boat.

The typical fender will let you down in most respects except for stowing convenience. But not the Polyform G Series.

The G Series fender flags are 24 inches wide, so you can fit 4 at a time leaving you plenty of room to maneuver around. The middle portion of the boat fender is made of a closed cell foam mesh that can be easily pressure washed after a day of hard use. The PVC bottom has large treaded tires for stability.

3. Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender Value 2-Pack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Extreme Max 3006.7204 BoatTector Fender Value 2-Pack

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Right-sized for most recreational boats
  • Thick plastic construction
  • Has ribbed feet
  • Soft and flexible
  • Water-resistant/weather-resistant
  • Has been UV and ozone treated
  • Has elastic cords, so it sits tight to your boat
  • Very lightweight: only 1 pound
  • Easy to store

Just in case you didn’t know, fenders are the most important things you can have on your boat. In addition to allowing you to have a good time on your boat, your fenders will ensure that your boat won’t get damaged.

The Extreme Max Black BoatTector are one of the best boat fenders on the market. They’re made from super-tough polypropylene (a type of plastic) and are designed to absorb impacts and keep your boat smooth.

The bottom of the fender has plenty of ribbed feet. This makes these fenders very hard to break, so they are very unlikely to damage your boat.

4. VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender

Our rating: 9 / 10

VIVOHOME Vinyl Ribbed Marine Boat Fender

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Pros:

  • Elongated shape provides more surface area for protection
  • Great for use in all types of boats
  • Sturdy material
  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to store when not in use
  • Decent price
  • Meant to be used for multiple years
  • Multi-functional

Cons:

  • No handles
  • Only meant for small boats

This fender is made of durable and stable vinyl to ensure that is lasts for multiple years. It is a multi-functional fender that’s designed to protect the bumper of your boat.

This is an elongated fender that’s great for all kinds of boats, and in particular, sailboats. It can also be used as a bumper shield.

Another great quality of this fender is the ribbed design that allows you to adjust the surface area, and that also makes this very functional.

5. Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 X 23 Wht

Our rating: 9 / 10

Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 X 23 Wht

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Pros:

  • Easy to store
  • Can be connected to another shoreline marine fender
  • Durable construction
  • Long lasting and can last 7+ years

Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 X 23 Wht Convoluted is lightweight at 2.1 pound and easy to carry around. It’s so easy to carry around because Shoreline Marine provide a carrying bag in case you want to take it with you.

This can be attached to another Shoreline Fender. The inflatable fenders are easy to inflate by using a small pump. 43 cm is the lowest it can go when deflated. The recommended height is 40 cm to 50 cm.

The Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 X 23 Wht Convoluted will last for 7 years. It is made from high quality fabrics. The Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender 6.5 X 23 Wht Convoluted can also fit any boat up to 23”.

6. Extreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value Pack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Extreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value Pack

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Pros:

  • Offers a cheaper alternative to the more expensive premium options
  • Is highly competitive when it comes to price
  • Features a simple and sleek design
  • Fits most 19” to 20” boat rails

Cons:

  • Is made out of rubber
  • Rubber isn’t the most durable material

(12 Pack)

Boat fenders are an essential accessory for just about every bigger boat. Without boat fenders, an incident in the water would likely end up more expensive than it otherwise would have been.

These fenders can be stored on the boat’s deck, however, we don’t recommend this, as they’ll get smashed from damage caused by sea, sunlight, and other boat fenders.

7. Goplus 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender Tector Durable Vinyl Bumper Dock Shield Protection Bigger Size

Our rating: 8 / 10

Goplus 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender Tector Durable Vinyl Bumper Dock Shield Protection Bigger Size

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Pros:

  • A heavy duty rubber bumper for bump free docking
  • A strong material so that it can withstand strong waves on any water body
  • Has a ribbed design to increase the fender’s durability
  • It can also be used as a buffer between docks and boats
  • The fender comes with 4 pieces
  • It is available in a variety of colors so that you can easily choose the color that best matches your boat and dock
  • The material is UV protected and corrosion proof
  • Read the 10 best paint sprayers for home use Reviews

This is the best fender to repair a boat dock or protect your boat from being damaged. This keeps the boat away from the dock and allows it to stay suitable for longer time. You can avoid the scratches, the bumping and the banging while staying in the ship. It can also help to prevent condensation from denting the boat. It has a full coverage and you can keep it in the winter season as your boat dock fender. It has a scratchless design.

8. Taylor Made Products 31005 Low Freeboard Boat Fender

Our rating: 8 / 10

Taylor Made Products 31005 Low Freeboard Boat Fender

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Pros:

  • The Taylor Made 31005 low freeboard boat fender has extra length
  • It is made of tough contact materials
  • The materials that are used in the production of this boat fender are lead, cadmium, and phthalate-free
  • The triple-layer design of this boat fender makes it highly resilient
  • Its three layers are also air ventilators
  • The construction of this folding boat fender is very durable
  • The Taylor Made products 31005 is made in the United States
  • This boat fender has the best visual appeal
  • It is very easy to use

Cons:

  • It is less than desirable in the aspect of durability
  • The boat fender is less efficient in the aspect of holding the boat

The Taylor Made 31005 low freeboard is a boat fender that is great for use with the only the highest quality boats in the best conditions. It is ideal for small boats. When in use this boat fender provides a considerable amount of protection for boats.

The Taylor Made 31005 low freeboard is also aesthetically pleasing with its designer-like appearance. This particular model is easy to place in and out of the water. It is not particularly heavy either.

9. Leader Accessories Ribbed Twin Eyes Boat Fender Pack of 4 Includes 3/8'' Fender Lines Pack of 4 and Pump to Inflate

Our rating: 8 / 10

Leader Accessories Ribbed Twin Eyes Boat Fender Pack of 4 Includes 3/8'' Fender Lines Pack of 4 and Pump to Inflate

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Pros:

  • Made out of sturdy solid construction
  • Velcro strap for easy setup and removal
  • Comes with a seal that blocks water from entering the boat when it’s tied
  • Works great with inflatable boats
  • Can take some serious shocks from the water and bounce back
  • Double-sided cord for extra firmness

If you’re looking for a boat fender that will hold up well through high-traffic tidal waters and smooth out those dreaded boat wakes, then the Leader Accessories Ribbed Twin Eyes Boat Fender Pack of 4 includes 3/8'' Fender Lines Pack of 4 and Pump to Inflate Fenders will do the trick.

These boat fenders are extra long, extra wide and extra heavy-duty, which means that they’ll handle a swimming pool-worth of water on each side of the boat.

The strong Velcro tie is super easy to snap together, and the functionality of the two-ply material will keep the fender in place even when there’s that one extremely unfortunate rock in the water that your boat can’t miss hitting.

10. X-Haibei Pair of Boat Fenders Ball Round Anchor Buoy

Our rating: 8 / 10

X-Haibei Pair of Boat Fenders Ball Round Anchor Buoy

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Pros:

  • Designed to absorb contact with low pressure against your boat
  • Made from heavy-duty PVC
  • Comes in two different colors
  • You can fit 2 of them in the package
  • Made to be durable
  • One year warranty
  • Great for both canoes and kayaks
  • Each of the two fenders weigh 2.4 pounds
  • Great value for their price
  • 12 months to pay your order

Bathtubs are most favorite place for babies for their bath time. But being inside the tub is dangerous for them. A design idea called "Baby Tub Flag" was created for kinder parents. Its main purpose is to eliminate the possibility that babies want to get out of the water. In other words, it is a protective cover for baby tubs.

11. Mission Boat Gear Sentry Boat Dock Fender Bumper

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mission Boat Gear Sentry Boat Dock Fender Bumper

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Pros:

  • No more dents in your boat
  • Keeps dock from damaging boats
  • Composite construction
  • Marine grade
  • Available in four colors

A dock bumper is specifically designed to protect your boat from being damaged by the dock. That’s because the natural rocking of your boat causes the boat to bang into the side of your dock, causing dings and dents.

The Mission Dock Fender Bumper installs easily onto the dock with strong stainless steel bolts. The composite design means that it’s lightweight and won’t puncture the side of your boat.

Unlike other bumpers, you can adjust the length of these bumpers thanks to the multi-position mounting plate. This makes them great for any type of boat, kayak, and sailboat.

12. Best Choice Products Set of 4 27in Ribbed Marine Vinyl Boat Fender Bumper Dock Shield Protection

Our rating: 6 / 10

Best Choice Products Set of 4 27in Ribbed Marine Vinyl Boat Fender Bumper Dock Shield Protection

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They are made of marine-grade vinyl, heavy duty & high density foam that is molded and ribbed to protect your boat from the dock and docksides. Foldable and lightweight, store conveniently and save storage space.

Isolation design, different from traditional ones, avoid collision to the moving dock bridge, also can prevent interference when travelling.

Ergonomic design, good float stability, reduce damage to your vessel, light-weight boat fenders won't be thrown by waves or caused by water currents, will not be vulnerable to the impact of bumping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best boat fender?

A boat fender is a long-term investment. You don’t want to spend money on a piece of equipment that you will be replacing in a few weeks, months, or years from now.

A lot of the fenders on Amazon are that type. They look good and claim to do a decent job. But, if you read the reviews, it becomes obvious that the fenders don’t do what they are advertised to do. I know that the world is a big place and I can’t possibly be an expert on boat fenders around the globe, but this is one item that I feel confident about on Amazon.

You just have to be careful when you shop around. JamesBayOutfit (the seller) has some great reviews and the pictures of his fenders look virtually identical to the pictures online. So, I would at least give it a shot.

What size boat fenders do I need?

The answer is all of them. You’ll want to have a fender for your bow, stern, and middle of your boat. If you can get them all the same size, that will work out the best. As for how much room you have for your fenders, a 42-inch fender will work on a boat up to 15 feet or so, while a 48-inch fender will work on a boat up to 24 feet.

I’d also get one smaller fender that can fit in tighter to the hull of your boat. This can go on the bow or stern if you need it to. Having at least one smaller fender for your bow will be a good idea, as it will help keep you from hitting the dock every time you come into the slip.

Where should a boat bumper be placed?

The distance between the fender and the hull of the boat has to do with the force of impact in relation to the size of the fender. A large fender can absorb more of the force from a large hull on a large boat. If you want to place a small fender on a large boat, you have to move it further away from the hull.

What are the best dock bumpers?

A dock bumper is a simple but effective device designed to protect aluminum, wood, and fiberglass docks against damaging impact when a boat is pulled up and left for long periods of time. Dock bumpers are a popular accessory for boat owners who store their boats outside and leave them unattended for long periods of time.

There are basically two types of fenders: the solid rubber ones and the fenders with foam inserts.

The rubber bumpers are much cheaper in price. You can find these bumpers in a variety of sizes though the variety is more limited than what you have for the foam dock bumpers. The foam-filled fenders are more expensive than the rubber bumpers, but they offer more variety, styling, and safety.

Conclusion

Buyers on a budget should steer clear of boat fenders with multiple components. And if you’re on a tight budget, the best fender systems offer one smooth line rather than multiple separate pieces.

Those who’ve placed the boat fender on their list of off-the-grid alternative power sources will be delighted to discover that the best boat fenders create less drag than pneumatic or mechanical versions.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Polyform A-2 Buoy Blue 14.5 x 19.5 in.Best OverallPolyform A-2 Buoy Blue 14.5 x 19.5 in.
Extreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value PackBudget PickExtreme Max 3006.7225 BoatTector 24" Contour Fender Value Pack
Goplus 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender Tector Durable Vinyl Bumper Dock Shield Protection Bigger SizeUpgrade PickGoplus 4-Pack Ribbed Marine Boat Fender Tector Durable Vinyl Bumper Dock Shield Protection Bigger Size