There is no dearth of inflatable boats on the market. But not all are made the same.
As you will read in this review, the BRIS BSA380 is a very high quality inflatable boat built for rafting, fish hunters, scuba diving, or whatever you can throw at it.
It’s built robustly enough to put up with the daily grunt and grind of professional rafting, and caters to recreational rafters equally well.
If you are on the market looking for a high quality inflatable boat, the BRIS BSA380 is worth taking a look at. In fact, it is one of the best inflatable boats on the market in 2020.
Keep reading to learn more about the boat’s features so that you can ascertain if it’s worth your money.
Features of the BRIS BSA380
This BRIS is a professional-level, rugged SIB. Here is a summary of its features.
Premium and Durable Build
The BRIS BSA380 is made from high-quality 2000 denier 1.2mm PVC fabric. There is polyester support, which also lends to the boat’s solid resistance to tension, tearing, and breaking. Compared to the 1100 DTEX 0.9mm PVC fabric, the material used for this boat is significantly more heavy-duty.
The seams are heat-welded, which ensure perfect seaming and increased durability in saltwater, freshwater, and extremely humid conditions. The majority of the seams have a quadruple overlap, lending the boat maximum durability and strength and making sure the boat doesn’t fall apart.
The floorboard is made of aluminum, meaning it is very stable, but takes longer to set up than a high pressure air floor.
The boat has integrated oarlocks for seamless rowing, they worked great with the supplied oars.
BRIS uses Halkey-Roberts valves on this boat. A foot pump comes standard, but if you have a pump of your own, you’ll need a suitable adapter.
On the looks front, the boat comes across modern and aggressive. It gives you a feeling that it has been built to perform and speed through waters. The dual rocket-like front elements or the tubular design make this boat fairly different from the competition, which mostly offers rounded and traditional looking boats.
The color of the boat is black, which makes it look very cool, but this color heats up more intensely than any other color. It becomes hot to the touch under direct sun, and the air inside might expand more than you would expect. The heat will dissipate into the water, but do not leave it in direct sunlight when not in use on land.
The boat has been designed to manage outboard engines of up to 25 horsepower.
Naturally, it has a V-keel for easy maneuverability and planing.
There is a grab-line as well across the sides of the boat. It, in fact, lines across the boat’s entire perimeter. You also get handles that you may use to grab and move the boat around on land and when you want to put the boat in position.
The seats that come bundled in with the boat ensure you have proper sitting space as soon as you install the boat.
The boat comes with durable marine plywood outboard motor transom.
There are two layers of fabric underneath the tubes. This protects the lower 2.4 mm tube from abrasive sands and sharp rocks. There is also deep V-keel and rub-strake protection.
The grab lines make you feel secure in the boat and also help with seating. They make sure you have no trouble treading even the harshest of waters.
Other pro-safety design aspects include three individual chambers and a single-path drain valve with a plug.
Assembling the BRIS BSA380
The BRIS BSA380 is pretty straightforward to assemble. It should not take more than 20 minutes of your time if you follow the instructions.
Once you do it a few times, it will become faster and faster.
This is a big boat, so it’s better to use an electric pump than the included foot pump. Unless you want a good leg workout of course 🙂
Here are the electric pumps I have experience with and can recommend.
This is a large boat, it weighs 180 lbs altogether. The hull itself weighs 120 lbs, and the aluminum floor is 60 lbs. It actually comes with 2 carry bags. One for the floor and one for the boat.
Unlike other similar inflatable boats, the BRIS BSA380 packs in quite a bit of punch. Not to mention, when you order this, you will have a couple of boxes shipped to you, 2 boxes to be exact. One is 49 x 26 x 14 inches and the other is 41 x 28 x 4 inches.
It is just not possible to pack them all inside a single box, as it would then become too heavy. The accessories included are:
- PVC hull
- two aluminum bench seats
- aluminum floor panels
- two aluminum oars
- repair kit
- foot pump
- carrying bag
The bundled-in accessories are a lot more in number compared to what inflatable boats of similar prices and types offer.
You may not put all of those items to use right away, but it’s nonetheless handy to have additional items on hand, in case you need them in the future.
Long story short, the BRIS BSA380 is packed with accessories that let you use the boat to its full potential right off the bat, and also helps you repair it in case you manage to puncture it somehow.
All of BRIS’ inflatable boats come with a 3-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
Normal wear and tear is not covered of course.
BRIS BSA380 specifications
|Capacity||6 people (1675 lbs)|
|Dimensions||12’6″ (ca. 380 cm) x 2’9″ (ca. 84 cm)|
|Weight||180 lb, ca. 81 kg (120 lb boat + 60 lb floor)|
|Vinyl||2000 denier 1.2mm PVC|
Who is the BRIS 380 Best For?
The BRIS BSA380 has been primarily designed to cater to both professional and recreational users.
You can use it for literally anything you would use a dinghy for, including:
- scuba diving
If you are considering this boat, keep in mind that it’s a 180-pound inflatable, which means you shouldn’t be buying this if you’re not going to primarily use it with multiple people or larger loads. This is a 6 person boat.
If you’d like more people aboard simultaneously, you may take a look at BRIS’ 15.4 foot variant.
If you are a solo rafter, you should probably be looking at a smaller boat. You would still be able to use the BRIS BSA380, but its sheer size and weight would become quite cumbersome.
You would need at least two people to carry the boat around if you don’t have launch wheels like these.
What Amazon users say
I only tried the boat once so it was interesting to read the customer reviews of the BRIS BSA380.
Most users are very happy with the boat’s build and durability. They have also found the BRIS customer service department to be quite responsive and courteous.
Also, when fully inflated to its 180-pound maximum heft, some users have found it difficult to move the boat to the waters. The majority of these affected users, however, remedied the situation by installing removable wheels to the boat.
The manufacturer – BRIS
BRIS (also known as BRIS Marina) is a company based out of China. All of their boats are manufactured in China, just like most inflatable boats nowadays.
The company makes high quality inflatable boats and kayaks at a lower price than other US based manufacturers.
Opinion of the Bris BSA380
The boat, like most users claim, should hold up well in the long run. It’s built to withstand harsh conditions. You just have to take good care of the boat and keep up with its maintenance and operational requirements.
BRIS BSA380 12.5 ft Inflatable Boat Opinion
The BRIS BSA380 is a rugged inflatable boat with a unique look. It features class-leading thick PVC fabric, a sturdy aluminum floor and transom, and loads of included accessories. The boat can support 6 people and is very safe out on the water, even the ocean when paired with a max 25 HP engine.