The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

SereneLife Inflatable Review

An affordable entry level board for families or lighter folks who are unsure of their commitment to the sport
SereneLife Inflatable
Photo: Amazon
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $410 List | $369.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, easier to inflate than larger options
Cons:  Slower and less stable, minimal cargo space, no front or back handles
Manufacturer:   SereneLife
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 18, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Stability - 30% 6
  • Glide Performance - 25% 5
  • Maneuverability - 25% 7
  • Ease of Transport - 10% 7
  • Ease of inflation - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The SereneLife Inflatable SUP offers straightforward and affordable access to the glorious fun that is paddle boarding. With a flat bottom, rounded nose, and a square tail, the SereneLife is a classic recreation board and is best suited for flatwater conditions. Its 10-foot length is on the smaller side for an all-around SUP, making it less stable and better suited for lighter-weight paddlers. It's a great option for families who aren't sure how much they'll use it and don't want to spend too much cash to try out a fun new sport, and it includes everything that you need to get out on the water.

Compare to Similar Products

 
SereneLife Inflatable
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $369.00 at Amazon$999.00 at Amazon$1,399 List$795.00 at Amazon$750 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
63
79
75
74
73
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Inexpensive, easier to inflate than larger optionsStable and fast, carbon reinforced construction, kayak conversion kit, high-volume pumpVery rigid, lightweight, maneuverableStable, tie-downs and handles on both ends, nice paddleSolid all-around performance, includes a good paddle, appropriate price point
Cons Slower and less stable, minimal cargo space, no front or back handlesHeavier, somewhat expensiveExpensive, doesn't include a paddleNot super fast or maneuverableLacks rear bungee system, lacks a front handle
Bottom Line A smaller, inexpensive board that is a great way to get out on the water, but there are better optionsA high-performing SUP board that includes accessories to convert it to a kayakA smaller but versatile board with excellent all-around performanceScores well across the board with consistently solid performance and well-executed design detailsThis simple, stylish board performs well and has a reasonable price
Rating Categories SereneLife Inflatable Bluefin Cruise Carbon Hala Carbon Straight Up Isle Explorer Atoll 11'
Stability (30%)
6
9
7
8
8
Glide Performance (25%)
5
9
7
8
8
Maneuverability (25%)
7
7
9
6
6
Ease Of Transport (10%)
7
5
7
8
7
Ease Of Inflation (10%)
8
7
7
7
7
Specs SereneLife... Bluefin Cruise... Hala Carbon... Isle Explorer Atoll 11'
Dimensions inflated 10' x 30" x 6" 12' x 32" x 6" 10'6" x 32' x 6" 11' x 32" x 6" 11' x 32" x 6"
Weight (lbs) 25 lbs 28 lbs 23.5 lbs 22 lbs 22.5 lbs
Weight Capacity (lbs) 275 lbs 309 lbs 350 lbs 275 lbs 400 lbs
Dimensions folded up (inches) 33" x 12" x 12" 34" x 15" x 10" 33" x 18" x 10" 33" x 12" x 12" 34" x 14" x 8"
Paddle Included? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Time to inflate (minutes) 4-6 5-9 5-9 4-7 4-7
Pump included? Yes Yes, high-pressure, dual chamber Yes Yes Yes
Fin configuration 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2 removable side fins, 8" center flex fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin
Bungee cargo system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Comes with backpack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Warranty Unknown 5 years 3 years 1 year 2 years

Our Analysis and Test Results

The SereneLife Inflatable SUP comes with all of the tools and accessories you need to get out on the water for less than half the price of most higher-end boards, making it a fantastic buy for families new to the sport. Compared to pricer boards, the materials and construction are slightly lower quality, the board is smaller and less stable, the onboard storage is minimal, and the included paddle isn't the best. But for newer paddlers, many of those things don't matter when you're out on the water, and the SereneLife makes that possible without breaking the bank.

Performance Comparison


The SereneLife provides an affordable option for beginning paddlers...
The SereneLife provides an affordable option for beginning paddlers to get out on the water.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Stability


The 10-foot SereneLife is not as stable as many of the larger boards that we tested. Although it's rated for a 275-pound capacity, it seems better suited for smaller, lighter passengers. This is especially true if you're actually trying to get somewhere. It can accommodate several lightweight passengers if you're just splashing around in the water, but the lack of stability might slow you down from reaching cruising speed.

Although the board is well-balanced and has a 275-pound weight...
Although the board is well-balanced and has a 275-pound weight capacity, it doesn't have the level of stability as other models.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Stepping onto this boat feels less stable than our highest scoring boards, but its square tail and recreational-style dimensions keep it reasonably well-balanced. Once you get your sea legs and gain some momentum, the platform feels more secure. The long center fin helps the board track in a straight line and also provides a bit of added stability in the water. It's a reasonably steady board for beginners, but it's not the most forgiving teacher out there.

The three-fin design with the long, removable center fin aids in...
The three-fin design with the long, removable center fin aids in stability and helps the board track in a straight line.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

The SereneLife isn't our first choice for a yoga board or rough water unless you're pretty small, have fantastic balance, or are just not that concerned about getting wet.

Glide Performance


A medium-size SUP, the SereneLife offers decent all-around performance for a variety of tasks, but it's not built for high speeds. Generally speaking, longer boards are faster boards, and this one is among the shortest in our lineup. The square tail shape that aids in stability also shortens the craft, ultimately slowing its glide. The rounded nose and flat bottom also translate to casual recreation but hamper top speed.

This board's medium size and rounded dimensions hamper its top speed.
This board's medium size and rounded dimensions hamper its top speed.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Once you gain momentum and are paddling steadily, the sense of headway is pleasant enough. You're not fighting to push a barge through the water, but if you stop paddling for a moment, you'll lose your flow. The paddle that comes with this board also isn't the most comfortable or efficient. Its flexible blade slices sideways through the water compromising forward momentum. To get the most glide out of the SereneLife, it could be a good idea to buy a new paddle. Although the included paddle is lower-quality, some high-end modern paddles cost as much as this entire board, and most beginner paddlers will be content with the standard equipment that comes with this package.

The stock aluminum paddle included in the package is suitable for...
The stock aluminum paddle included in the package is suitable for beginners but is one of the lower-performing paddles that we've tested.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Maneuverability


The SerenLife is a reasonably maneuverable board thanks to its shorter length, lighter weight, rounded nose, and flat bottom. This geometry that makes it somewhat less stable and a bit slower overall also allows it to plane across the surface of the water easier and allows for quicker, sharper turns. While turning and maneuvering are largely dependent on a paddler's skill, this board makes it easier for users of all abilities to make easier turns and to point the board in the direction that they want to go.

The SereneLife's smaller size and lightweight design make it easy to...
The SereneLife's smaller size and lightweight design make it easy to maneuver around obstacles life this buoy.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Ease of Transport


The board's center handle makes it easy to haul this reasonably lightweight board around when it's inflated. Unfortunately, the lack of handles in the front and back meant that you can't share the task with anyone (a handy option for kids) and that it's tricky to grab the craft at its end to haul it in or out of the water. When you're ready to pack things up and head home, this board rolls up pretty easily. The board itself has a thinner, plasticky feel than other pricier options, allowing it to roll pretty smoothly and tightly.

The main central grab handle is reinforced for easy transport.
The main central grab handle is reinforced for easy transport.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer


Like many modern inflatable SUP kits, everything you need to paddle packs into a single backpack for easy portage. We're talking board, paddle, pump, fin, leash, and repair kit. Since it is a smaller board that is pretty lightweight, the backpack is pretty easy to cart around. An included strap holds the folded vessel tightly together to help you wrestle it back into the bag.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The pack itself is functional and reasonably durable, but it offers less structural support and carrying comfort than most other models in our lineup. If we were hauling the pack for any longer distance, we'd certainly prefer a fancier pack, but that luxury is usually not necessary for a smaller and lighter board.

Ease of Inflation


The pump included with the SereneLife is sturdy and connects securely to the board's valve, working well overall. Compared to other boards with larger overall volumes, this one is a breeze to inflate thanks to its smaller size. While pumping up a SUP by hand is never an overly exciting prospect, remember to use your legs and body weight and keep your arms as straight as you can, and you'll be ready to go in no time.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


Offering up a package that includes everything you need to hit the water at less than half the price of most of the boards in our review, the SereneLife's value is its best feature. With its perceived lower durability, its lifespan can certainly be extended by carrying it by the center handle and keeping it from dragging across rocks or pavement. If you do this, the board should escort you through many seasons of splashy fun.

This is a lightweight and affordable option that provides great...
This is a lightweight and affordable option that provides great value and is ideal for first-time paddlers.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Conclusion


It doesn't stack up to the best boards we tested, but the SereneLife gets the job done, providing everything you need to start paddling at an extremely accessible price point. We love that it offers a more affordable way for folks to experience the joy of walking on water and gliding across glassy pools on blazing hot summer days.

Nick Bruckbauer