The Best Boat Fenders

Boat fenders are an essential piece of kit on any boat. They are protective, air-filled cushions which can be placed along the side of your boat. As you moor against a dock, or other boats, fenders provide a protective barrier, and help stop your boat from getting damaged.

We reviewed dozens of boat fenders to identify the best of the best. We considered features such as the size and shape of each fender, and whether they came with fender lines.

Top Pick
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Polyform Us G-5 Fender

This fender provides quality, durability, and a wide range of colors, all for a reasonable price.

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$46.65 USD

For our top pick of all the boat fenders we reviewed, the Polyform US G-5 Fender was a clear winner. The reinforced eyelets on either end of these cylindrical fenders mean you can use them vertically or horizontally.

The 5 Top-Rated Boat Fenders

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallPolyform US G-5 Fender4.7
Runner UpExtreme Max BoatTector Fender Value 2 Pack4.5
Budget PickTaylor Made Hull Gard Boat Fender4.3
Best Round Boat FenderPolyform A Series Buoy4.6
Best Inflatable Boat FenderShoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender4.5

*Ratings are from Amazon at time of publication and can change.

Our Top Pick: Polyform US G-5 Fender

Out of all the boat fenders we reviewed, the Polyform US G-5 Fender came out on top. This fender is recommended for boats which are between 20 and 30 foot in length. There are also 5 other sizes of the same style, meaning you can select the correct one for your length of boat.

This fender ships pre-inflated, meaning you can get out on the water right away. It has a Polyform inflation valve which can be used to adjust the pressure of the fender, but you will need an adapter to do this. Many reviewers on Amazon are impressed with the quality and durability of these fenders.

Polyform US G-5 Fender Key Features:

  • Available in 10 colors
  • 5 other sizes to choose from
  • Made in the USA

Our Runner Up Pick: Extreme Max BoatTector Fender Value 2 Pack

Runner Up
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Extreme Max BoatTector Fender Value 2 Pack

This value pack of 2 fenders comes with fender lines, and a 2 year warranty.

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$41.95 USD

Our Runner Up pick is the Extreme Max BoatTector Fender Value 2 Pack.These fenders are made from premium, UV resistant materials. The reinforced wall thickness, and ribbed design work together to provide ultimate durability and stability.

The reinforced eyelet at each end of these fenders is molded in a way that prevents ripping or tearing of the fender. It also means that you can hang these fenders vertically, or horizontally. This value pack includes two solid braid fender lines made from multifilament polypropylene. These flexible lines are designed to reduce kinks and make trying your fenders a breeze.

Extreme Max BoatTector Fender Value 2 Pack Key Features:

  • 2 year limited warranty
  • Available in 8 colors
  • Suitable for boats 20′ to 25′ long

Best Budget Pick: Taylor Made Hull Gard Fender

Best for Budget
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Taylor Made Hull Gard Fender

This quality fenders offers great strength, and an easy to use design, for an excellent price.

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$16.99 USD

Our budget pick is the Taylor Made Hull Gard Fender. This fender offers an excellent range of features for a budget price. A very useful feature is that it can be easily inflated using a standard needle designed to inflate footballs. This means no specialized adapter is needed.

This fender measures 5.5″ by 20″, and is recommended for boats between 15 and 20 feet. The unique, slightly oval shape is designed to prevent this fender from rolling out of position, which minimizes hull rub and of course, means the fender stays exactly where you want it.

Taylor Made Hull Gard Fender Key Features:

  • Choice of 10 colors
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Available in 8 other sizes

Best Round Boat Fender Pick: Polyform A Series Buoy

Best Round Boat Fender
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Polyform A Series Buoy

This multipurpose piece of kit can double as a round fender, or buoy, the choice is yours!

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$51.99 USD

The best round fender we found during our review is the Polyform A Series Buoy. This versatile piece of kit can be used as a fender or buoy, depending on your needs. Round fenders are a great choice for larger, heavier boats, and this comes in a wide range of 6 sizes.

The unique valve system used by Polyform is reliable and easy to use. You will need a Polyform Inflation Adapter to inflate this product though.

Polyform A Series Buoy Key Features:

  • Choice of 7 colors
  • Measures 11″ by 15″
  • Even wall thickness for maximum strength

Best Inflatable Boat Fender Pick: Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender

Best Inflatable Boat Fender
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Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender

This inflatable boat fender is made of premium vinyl and can easily be inflated to your preferred pressure.

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$12.99 USD

The best inflatable boat fender we found during our review is the Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender. While this fender is shipped pre-inflated, the air pressure can easily be adjusted to suit your sailing conditions.

The Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender is made from premium, marine-grade vinyl. The raised ribs along the side help to maintain the stability of the fender, as well as protect it from damage.

Shoreline Marine Ribbed Inflatable Fender Key Features:

  • Available in 4 sizes
  • Premium vinyl construction
  • 3 colors to choose from: blue, white, and black

Who Should Buy a Boat Fender

If you have a boat, you need boat fenders! They’re an inexpensive way to protect your boat against knocks and bumps. Fenders are also easily replaceable if they do get damaged, while repairing your boat can definitely be a more costly exercise.

Boat fenders come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you spend a lot of time at sea and don’t relish the idea of having to store bulky fenders, then many are inflatable, so you can deflate them and store when not in use.

So whether you enjoy a leisurely fishing trip using your trolling motor, or an expedition out to sea, there will definitely be a boat fender out there to suit your needs.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Polyform Us G-5 Fender

This fender provides quality, durability, and a wide range of colors, all for a reasonable price.

buy now
$46.65 USD

Important Features to Consider

Boat fenders should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting the best boat fender for your needs:

  • Shape. Boat fenders traditionally come in two shapes – round, or cylindrical. The type and size of boat you have will determine which shape fender will best suit your needs. Some cylindrical fenders have eyelets at either end, which makes them more versatile as they can be used either horizontally or vertically.
  • Inflatable or not. Many fenders are inflatable, but some are pre-filled and you cannot deflate them. If you plan on stowing your fenders away once you’ve set off for a long trip, it’s a good idea to choose an inflatable fender. You can deflate these and they take up much less stowage space. 
  • Inflation method. Some inflatable fenders require a specialized adapter to inflate. Others use a standard football needle. ear in mind that you’ll need to purchase an adapter if you choose a fender in the former category.
  • Size. In choosing the best size fender for your boat you need to take into account the boat length and weight. You’ll also need to consider the conditions you moor in. In rough waters, additional fenders add extra protection. As a general rule, you’ll want 1″ of cylindrical fender diameter for every 5 feet of your boat’s length. For round fenders, it’s 2″ per 5 feet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a boat fender and how does it work?

Boat fenders are an air-filled, plastic cushion. They are usually round or cylindrical, and their purpose is to protect your boat from damage as you moor against docks, and other hard surfaces.

They absorb the movement energy of your boat by changing shape as your boat bumps against the dock. If they’re in the correct place, the fenders will touch the dock before your boat does, allowing you to come to a smooth stop.

What type of boat fender do I need for my boat?

There are a range of different shapes and sizes of boat fenders. Choosing the right fender for the right situation can help give your boat the best possible protection.

As a general rule, cylindrical fenders are best suited for lightweight, short boats, while round fenders work better for heavy, large boats.

There’s also a range of other fenders, such as transom fenders, and fender cushions. These aren’t essential but you may choose to add them to your boat.

How do you hang a boat fender?

You want to hang your boat fenders an inch or two above the waterline. Any lower and they will likely end up collecting marine algae growth and need more regular cleaning. Any higher and they will swing about, and not necessarily protect your boat where needed.

To secure the fenders once they’re at the correct position, tie them to a cleat, rail, or other solid fixing point. The best knots to use are a running hitch, clove hitch, and half hitch.

What’s the difference between a boat fender and a bumper?

You may sometimes hear boat fenders being referred to as ‘bumpers’, but that’s not technically correct. Boat fenders provide protection for, and are fastened to your boat.

Bumpers also provide protection for your boat, but are attached to a dock. They are also an essential piece of kit though, so we’ve included a small selection of them in our round-up of other boat fenders we reviewed.

Other Boat Fenders We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Polyform Us G-5 Fender

This fender provides quality, durability, and a wide range of colors, all for a reasonable price

buy now
$46.65 USD

We looked at 20 other boat fenders. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best boat fenders, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your boat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Round Boat Fenders

BABz Boat Fender

BABz Boat Fender

This round boat fender is made from a durable yet soft plastic blend, designed to protect gel coated hulls.

Key Features:

  • Available in 2 colors: black, and gunmetal
  • Easy deflate for storage
  • Inflate with standard 12v pump

Cost: $38

Extreme Max BoatTector Buoy

Extreme Max BoatTector Buoy

This all-purpose buoy can be used as a round fender, and has a high performance design.

Key Features:

  • 2 year limited warranty
  • Measures 11.5″ by 15″
  • Flexible and durable

Cost: $24

Extreme Max Slalom Buoy

Extreme Max Slalom Buoy

This slalom buoy is also well suited to use as a small round boat fender.

Key Features:

  • Available in 3 bright colors: yellow, red, and green
  • Measures 8.5″
  • UV stable and chemical resistant

Cost: $9

Taylor Made Tuff End Inflatable Buoy

Taylor Made Tuff End Inflatable Buoy

This inflatable buoy is available in a huge range of 7 sizes, suitable for boats from 25 to 100 feet in length.

Key Features:

  • Available in 2 colors: orange, and white
  • Choose from 7 sizes
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $44

X-Haibei 1 Round Boat Fender

X-Haibei 1 Round Boat Fender

This round boat fender is shipped deflated, but comes with a specialized needle for easy inflation.

Key Features:

  • Measures 11.4″ by 13.8″
  • Available in 5 colors
  • 1 year warranty

Cost: $23

Inflatable Boat Fenders

Extreme Max BoatTector Inflatable Fender

Extreme Max BoatTector Inflatable Fender

This inflatable, cylindrical boat fender has reinforced eyelet holes for durability and strength.

Key Features:

  • 2 year limited warranty
  • Available in 8 colors
  • 4 sizes to choose from

Cost: $26

Ocean Fenders Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fender

Ocean Fenders Ribbed Inflatable Boat Fender

The reinforced ribs along the side of this fender help to add extra protection.

Key Features:

  • Measures 10.4″ by 27″
  • Can be used horizontally, and vertically
  • Unique glossy finish

Cost: $55

Ocean Fenders Easy Store Inflatable Fender

Ocean Fenders Easy Store Inflatable Fender

This lightweight fender is easy to use, and quick to inflate and deflate.

Key Features:

  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Includes 10 foot rope
  • Made from welded PVC

Cost: $67

SeaSense Inflatable Fender

SeaSense Inflatable Fender

This small, inflatable fender offers excellent value for money, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Key Features:

  • Measures 4″ by 16″
  • Includes UV inhibitors
  • Suitable for vertical or horizontal use

Cost: $5

Taylor Made Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender

Taylor Made Big B Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fender

This large inflatable fender is available in a wide range of 9 vibrant colors.

Key Features:

  • Available in 5 sizes
  • Center rope tube allows for horizontal or vertical hanging
  • Made from high quality marine vinyl

Cost: $52

Boat Bumpers

Attwood Softside Pontoon Boat Fender

Attwood Softside Pontoon Boat Fender

This unique pontoon fender bumper is designed to slide under the edge of your dock deck to provide protection when mooring.

Key Features:

  • Includes mounting strap
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cost: $25

Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper

Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper

This dock-side bumper is available in 2 lengths, as well as a corner version for additional protection.

Key Features:

  • Angled ends help to deflect boats
  • Suitable for heavy impact protection
  • Easy to mount using the premolded holes

Cost: $37

Mission Boat Gear Sentry Boat Dock Fender Bumper

Dock Edge Dock-Side Bumper

This innovative hanging fender bumper provides maximum protection both above and below the rub rail.

Key Features:

  • Available in 4 colors
  • Integrated strap means no ropes, or tying knots
  • Made from a patented closed-cell foam

Cost: $64

Hull Hugr Marina Bumper

Hull Hugr Marina Bumper

This heavy duty boat bumper is suitable fr both commercial, and personal docks.

Key Features:

  • Available in 2 lengths
  • Attaches to the dock using stainless steel grommets
  • Made from vinyl, polyester, and closed-cell foam

Cost: $40

Vestil Dock Bumper

Vestil Dock Bumper

This horizontal dock bumper uses laminated fabric reinforced rubber to provide an excellent level of protection.

Key Features:

  • Available in 14 different sizes
  • Steel mountings for strength and durability
  • Can be welded or bolted to your dock

Cost: $49

Multipack Boat Fenders

Best Choice Products Set of 4 Boat Fenders

Best Choice Products Set of 4 Boat Fenders

This set of 4 cylindrical boat fenders are made from commercial strength marine vinyl.

Key Features:

  • Available in black or white
  • Ribbed design for additional stability
  • Can be used horizontally, or vertically

Cost: $58

Extreme Max BoatTector Contour Fender Value Pack

Extreme Max BoatTector Contour Fender Value Pack

This soft contour fenders come in a value twin pack, and are designed to wrap around your gunwale and hull.

Key Features:

  • Available in 3 colors: blue, black, and white
  • Includes fender lines
  • 2 year warranty

Cost: $31

Shoreline Marine Fender Kit

Shoreline Marine Fender Kit

This pack of 4 cylindrical fenders have ribbed sides to prevent rolling on the hull of your boat.

Key Features:

  • Can be used horizontally, or vertically
  • Each fender measures 6.5″ by 23″
  • Shipped pre-inflated

Cost: $44

VIVOHOME Vinyl Boat Fender

VIVOHOME Vinyl Boat Fender

This multipack contains everything you need to start protecting your boat.

Key Features:

  • Includes 4 fenders, 4 ropes, inflating needles, and a pump
  • Made from high quality, marine-grade vinyl
  • Can be used horizontally, or vertically

Cost: $60

X-Haibei Pair of Round Boat Fenders

X-Haibei Pair of Round Boat Fenders

This pair of round boat fenders come deflated, which also means they can be easily stored when not in use.

Key Features:

  • Available in 5 colors
  • 1 year warranty
  • Suitable for small boats

Cost: $28

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Emma Stenhouse