Selecting a River Tubing Trip Outfitter - Blog Post Featured Image

Choosing the Best Tubing Outfitter in Austin, TX

WooHoo!  So you’ve decided to beat the heat and enjoy a day floating the river near Austin, TX!

Austin, TX, Locals will agree that tubing is one of  Texas’s favorite summer pastimes.  With so many gorgeous rivers to enjoy (such as the San Marcos, Blanco, and Comal), floating the river provides a unique & fun way to cool off while enjoying the sunshine and natural beauty of central Texas.

Before you jump in, you’ll need to find an outfitter that best fits the needs of your group.  This guide will help break down what to look for & questions to ask so that you can make the best choice!

Importance of Choosing a Reliable Outfitter

Choosing a reliable outfitter that offers exactly what you or your group needs makes the difference between an average day on the river and an unforgettable tubing adventure!  The best outfitters will provide top-notch customer service, quality equipment, tubing amenities, and, most importantly, a safe experience for everyone.

So follow the tips in this post to ensure you get the best trip provider for your needs!

Tubing Pickup Locations, Comfort, & Logistics (Shared Buses vs. Private)

Your tubing adventure begins and ends with transportation.  Most companies offer pick-up and drop-off locations in one or more locations around Austin, TX.

If you are visiting, it’s important to choose an outfitter with pickup locations near where you are staying to avoid long Uber rides or parking if you rent a car (also true for locals).  Our company provides convenient pickup 3mins from downtown off Oltorf & Highway 35!

The comfort of the transportation vehicle is also a factor to consider, as the ride to the river takes about 45-50 minutes.   Most outfitters provide shared transportation in large buses for your group and others to share costs.  While this is the most common and affordable option, some groups prefer private transportation, which can also be arranged for an additional cost.

One of the best parts about arranging private transportation is you get to control the music & vibes and can enjoy adult beverages along the way!

Our company provides both shared & private transportation options.  Call us, and we will help you decide which is best for you & your group!

Outfitter Safety, Equipment Quality, Amenities, and Reviews

When choosing your tubing trip provider, float trip safety should always be top of mind.   Outfitters typically offer guided floats where 1-2 employees float along with your group to help with everything and make sure no one gets split up (good for first-time tubers).

If you have floated the river a few times, you might opt for Self-Guided trips where outfitters take you to the start of the river and help everyone get their tubes, coolers, and personal items situated before you start the float.  They will also be there for you at the float exit to help with everything.

Equipment quality also plays a huge role in how enjoyable your trip will be.  Our company provides everyone with an updated tube w/protective bottom (so your bum doesn’t get scraped). We also provide an additional cooler tube at no cost (which we attach to your tube) so that a cold drink is never far away.   Additionally, you can request a Bluetooth speaker tube if you want to pump up the jams with your friends.

Not all outfitters provide additional amenities like cooler tubes, and many outfitters use old/outdated tubes.  Ask your outfitter if these things are important to you or your group.

After you have decided on guided or self-guided & which amenities your group wants, you should read the company’s customer reviews on Google.

Overall Tubing Trip Value

Overall value for the price is also important to consider as the cost of tubing trips can vary greatly depending on the outfitter.

Low-cost providers might have to skimp on the services/equipment to compete at those services.

More expensive options typically offer exceptional service, the best equipment & amenities, and usually have better pickup/dropoff locations.  Consider what’s important to you and your group to make sure that you get the best value for your adventure!

Final Thoughts

We love floating the river, it’s an exciting way to enjoy the beauty of Central Texas!  And choosing the right outfitter is essential to ensure a safe, hassle-free, and enjoyable experience for everyone.  Remember to check if they provide guided or self-guided floats, ask what type of equipment & amenities they provide, customer reviews, and make sure the pickup/drop off locations are good for your group.

Checkout our Ultimate Guide to River Tubing for More Information!

Happy tubing!


  • Q: Do all outfitters provide transportation from Austin to the river?
  • A: Most outfitters provide transportation, but it’s always best to check with the outfitter beforehand.
  • Q: Do I need to bring my own tube?
  • A: Generally, outfitters will provide tubes as part of their service, but always confirm this when booking.
  • Q: What if I have no prior experience with tubing?
  • A: No problem! Tubing is a leisurely activity suitable for beginners. However, always consider your swimming ability, and remember safety comes first. It’s advisable to use an outfitter who can guide you through the process.
  • Q: What should I wear for tubing?
  • A: Comfortable swimwear, water shoes, sunglasses, and a hat are recommended. Don’t forget the sunscreen!