Lastly, you need to have a pontoon changing room, also known as a pop-up changing room.
The pontoon changing room is one of the first things I bought after getting our boat. I knew my wife likes to change into a dry bating suite after swimming, so that was a no brainer.
Since I did not know much about boats at the beginning, I did a lot of research about everything. Below are some things that I learned while researching changing rooms.
How to Pick the Best Changing Room
To get the best pop up changing room for your boat, you need to know specific details. And the best way to learn about those details is to ask yourself the following questions.
1. What is Your Budget?
Luckily, the pontoon changing room will not break your bank. They are pretty cheap. But you should still set a budget because the changing room is not the only pontoon accessory you will buy.
Pontoon boats cost a lot of money to buy and maintain, so saving on small things can add up quickly.
2. What Size Do You Need?
Bigger is not always better. Don’t buy something that will take up a lot of space on your boat. Try to figure out where you can fit the changing room and how much space you have for it.
Remember that you will not spend much time inside, you don’t need that big of a space.
3. What Will You Use it For?
The first thing that comes to mind is privacy and a place to change your clothes. But you can use changing rooms for many other things like;
- Bathroom enclosure – perfect for boats without a dedicated bathroom area
- Nap area for your baby – you can’t ask for better shade and protection from the wind
- Storage – pontoon boats have plenty of storage space, but maybe you need more
4. Are You Boating in a Windy Area?
The wind is an impacting factor when deciding which changing room to buy. If you boat in a windy environment, make sure you buy a sturdy changing room.
Even better, buy a changing room that you can tie to your boat. Changing rooms with straps are your best option. You can tie them to your bimini top.
Also, get some weights. Place them inside, one in each corner so your changing room does not fly away.
5. Do You Have Safety Concerns?
I will suggest this to all you parents out there. Make sure that changing room you get does not make you think of your kid’s safety.
Check on any recalls and read customer reviews. See what other people are saying about the changing room you think of buying.
Email or call the manufacturer and ask those questions if you have to. It should not take you long to check on those things.
Pontoon Changing Room Types
When I started my research, I thought there are one, maybe two types of changing rooms. Little did I know that there are five different types of portable changing rooms.
1. Collapsible Pop-up Changing Room
Collapsible changing rooms and perfect for smaller pontoon boats. You can pop them up when you need them, and take them down when you don’t.
The great thing about pop-up changing rooms is that you can use them anywhere. You can use them on your boat, on the beach, in your backyard, you name it. They are great for portable use.
The portability comes with a big negative, though. Pop-up changing rooms are not as sturdy. To battle that problem, look for a pop-up that comes with sewn-on loops with sand stakes. Those are much sturdier as you can stick them in the ground.
2. Changing Room Combos
These are mostly the same as pop-up changing rooms but offer a few extra accessories.
They come with the shower mat, extra storage pockets for toiletries, a hanger for towels. Nothing that you can not live without, but that will undoubtedly cost you more.
3. Drop-Down Pontoon Changing Room
You will need a bimini top if you want to use the changing drop-down room. But many boaters will agree that this is the best pontoon changing room.
It offers the most space, most privacy, and is very sturdy because it is attached to the Bimini with straps. It is effortless to take down as well, thanks to quick release buckle straps.
One negative, however, is that you can not use it anywhere else but on your boat. Also, the installation might not be as easy; many times, the straps are not long enough.
4. Pontoon Boat Enclosure
Pontoon boat enclosures are fantastic because of their size. They can cover a large area on your boat, even converting your lounge area into an enclosed room.
The enclosure is not technically changing room, but you can use it as one. You can use it in many different things. I thought I should list it here for that reason.
The benefit of the pontoon enclosure is its size, which is also a disadvantage. Because the enclosure is so large, it catches a lot of wind, so it is not possible to be in motion while the enclosure is up.
The installation is far more complicated than previous types of portable changing rooms. It also requires some hardware to be permanently attached to the boat.
5. Custom Made Changing Room
If you are a handy person, you might be interested in building your changing room.
I have not tried that option, but it seems like something that could work for you. You could make it as big as you want, add to it anything that you want, and make it as usable as you wish. It is the best option out there if you are crafty and have some free time on your hands.
TOMSHOO Outdoor Dressing Changing Tent
Out of the many different pop-up changing rooms, TOMSHOO Outdoor Dressing Changing Tent is probably the best. It’s a larger, more spacious changing room made of waterproof material.
My favorite part about this product is that air freely circulates, making it easier to breathe under the summer sun.
On top of this, this changing room comes with a compartment where you can hang your clothes. You can even keep your electronics and valuables safe in a pouch.
I think this changing room would be a great asset for any family pontoon boat.
- CONVENIENT: This portable tent is a great way to make a private shelter for toilet, changing clothes, camping or just anywhere you need privacy to use quickly and easily.
- HIGH QUALITY: Made of high quality waterproof polyester material and flexible steel. Flexible and strong poles and metal mounting pegs can provide stability in windy conditions.
- PORTABLE: Compact size by folding to be a mat. Carrying bag with handles for taking along, perfect for trade shows, clothing vendors with booths at a street fair, etc.
Green Elephant Pop Up Utilitent
If you are looking for quick, easy, and cheap, the Green Elephant Pop Up Utilitent is a great option. This changing room is very easy to assemble and takedown.
The Green Elephant is smaller than the TOMSHOO changing room; however, this product really does the trick.
I do suggest purchasing some weights or stakes to hold this lightweight changing room down, especially on those windy days.
- SUPERIOR QUALITY CONSTRUCTION – Made of quality water-repellant polyester, this portable toilet and changing room tent is made to last! Rugged reliable material, a heavy-duty door zipper that won’t break, stitches that hold, a strong build that...
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN – Measuring 6’ 10.7” high and 3’ 11” x 3’ 11” in length and width when open, the Utilitent affords free standing and comfortable movement within. Mosquito netting with shower opening at the top allows for air...
- PACKED WITH ACCESSORIES – This multipurpose pop-up tent is accessorized for your maximum convenience! You’ll find a shower opening, towel hanger, clothes hanger, toilet paper holder, personal belongings storage pouch, flashlight hanger, and tent...
PARTYSAVING 6ft Portable Privacy
I can say that, if you are planning on inviting some taller friends onto the boat, you will need a taller changing room. The PARTYSAVING Portable Privacy is great for accommodating taller folks.
I think my favorite part of this changing room is that it’s waterproof as well. So, if it’s rough on the ocean blue and waves are splashing the boat, your changing room will be just fine.
Now, I will preface that, walking into one of these tents will not reveal an unknown world. If you have ever seen The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, these pop-up changing rooms are nothing like the wardrobe.
These are small and quaint, but do the trick!
- 🏕Instant Pop up Set up and easy to put away
- 🏕Built-in entrance with zipper expediently in and out
- 🏕Size: 76"/ 6.3ft (Heights) X 30" (Top Width) X 40" (Bottom Width)
Bimini Drop-Down Changing Rooms
If you fear to have your pop-up changing room drift into the wind, perhaps you might like a Bimini drop-down changing room. These changing rooms provide boaters with what a pop-up changing room can’t, including:
- More Space
- True Privacy
These aesthetically pleasing changing rooms require you to attach four straps to the Bimini. Now, while these spacious changing rooms model a store changing room, they can be difficult to set-up, and takedown.
Today, there are dozens of different Bimini drop-down changing rooms, changing in colors, sizes, and even material. With the Northstar Productions Inc. Privacy Station, you can select from six different colors!
The last option to add a portable changing room to a pontoon boat is through getting creative and building one of your own. If you are handy and like a challenge, building a changing room for a pontoon boat is quickly becoming a trend, making it easy to find materials and all that fun stuff.
Now, even though I did not build my own changing room, I would like to say, I know a few pontoon boaters who have. They can be awesome assets to the boat, and they are not too expensive to build.
I highly recommend taking the time to do some research on eBay, Amazon, and maybe even local sports and hardware stores.
What you will need to create your own changing room is some form of a privacy curtain, a zipper or Velcro attachment to help close off the privacy curtain, and either pipes or something to hold the top part of the changing room together.
If this is something that you are considering, I recommend taking the time to watch a few YouTube videos. There are many different boaters who have shared their creative secrets.
Adding Changing Room
As I said at the beginning of this article, there are many different options and products that are available to transform a certain outdoor area of your pontoon boat into a private oasis. If you are wondering what product or option is best for you, I would consider looking at your pontoon boat.
Take the time to evaluate and measure where you would put a portable changing room. When I knew I wanted to install a changing room, I measured specific areas and imagined what it would look like on my boat.
For me, what was most important was the comfort of having a changing room without compromising the space on the pontoon boat.
Out of the products and options in this article, I will say that I think the Bimini drop-down changing rooms are probably the safest and most secure option. This is because you can tie them or Velcro them into the Bimini.
I wouldn’t want a situation where my changing room is flying away! Please let me know what you think and how you are including a changing room on your pontoon boat. If you have any unique ideas, share below!