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If you still have more questions our full FAQ’s are below this review:


We had a great time today floating by the river today in our tubes. Before we went, our group of 4 adults and 4 kids ages 8-14 had a lot of questions which I’m sure many of you considering a float down the river have as well. Here’s what we found:


Is the water cold?
Nope. We went on July 3 and it was lovely. You do not need a wetsuit. In fact, if you don’t want to get wet, you can get a float where you stay totally out of the water. If you do want to get wet, there is obviously lots of opportunity to hang out in and out of your float and you will not be cold.


What if it’s an overcast day? Is it too cold to float?
We went on an overcast day. The temperature was 17-18 C (62-65F). It was perfect and we were not cold. All of us were wearing swimsuits, some with rash guards. I think it was actually nice not having the sun beat down –although that would have been fine too. Overall, it was a lovely day for a float and everyone in our party found that the weather was not too cold.


What tubes should you get?
We saw four kinds of tubes at the shack and they all seem great:

1) Basic, open center tubes — good for smaller kids and for people who want to swim and get in and out of it a lot
2) Large, open center tubes with a headrest – comfy in the water, your butt sits in the water which is fun and refreshing, easier to get in and out of than the other closed bottom ones.
3) Large, red, closed center tubes with a headrest – also comfy, but your butt is not in the water because it’s closed. Good if you don’t want to get wet for some reason. Personal preference based on how wet you want to be.

4) Very large red, lounge rafts. These are the “swift tubes” on their site. They aren’t particularly swift but just come with a double-sided paddle which makes it a bit faster to paddle than the round tubes. They are VERY loungey. You are reclining like on a sofa the whole time which is also fun. You can get water into the middle or try to stay dry depending on your preferences.

I ended up switching off with a friend between the open bottom round tube (#2 above) and the large red lounge raft (#4 “swift tube” above) and that was fun but I would have been happy with either one. Everyone in our party was happy with the one we chose.


Can two people share a tube?

Our regular tubes fit one person and our swift tubes are a good option for an adult and small child together. We recommend adults and older kids book their owns tubes and use a tube strap to float together. Just ask us for one at the counter.


Do I need a reservation?
Yes, due to Covid 19 restrictions, everyone is required to book online to reduce the need to interact with employees when you arrive at The Tube Shack.


How long did it take? Was it slow? Did you have to paddle?
We started our float at 1:30 and got back at our car by 4:10 including riding back in the shuttle. The first part of the float was pretty slow and the wind was actually pushing us backward so we had to paddle to keep forward momentum. Then about 30% of the way into the float, we turned left out of the wind and started making more forward progress without any paddling. There were some fun “rapids” that sped stuff up as well. We had a nice mix of paddling and not paddling. Overall a nice mix of very slow and slow floating. If you’re not in a rush, don’t worry about it! And why be in a rush when it’s so lovely out. At the end, you stop in a large pool and we swam around a bit until the shuttle came. It was great.


Can you get out? What do you see along the way?
It is not very deep in most parts and you can get out and walk on the rocks in many places if you don’t want to float anymore –although that didn’t come up in our group. You can also get out of your tube and swim. The banks are mostly lovely houses — if you are the kind of person who enjoys looking at vacation homes and dreaming that you live there, looking for the perfect house along the banks, it’s a pretty great view. Otherwise, there is a lot of beauty in the Cowichan landscape. We all loved it.


What should you bring? Will it fit in my float?
We rented a special “cooler float” for $10 where we put all of our stuff. It is a rectangular yellow float that has a bottom that can hold a cooler or whatever you want. For a group of 4 adults and 4 kids we bought a bunch of water bottles, a square of Little Qualicum cheese that we pre-sliced and crackers (delicious and perfect, wish we had brought more), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone, a container of cherries (should have brought 2 containers), water bottles, two waterproof speakers and phones to connect with them in ziplock bags (perfect for listening to tunes), goggles, and a bag of our shoes to wear at the end. This worked out great and fit all of our stuff including some backpack people brought.


Will our tubes stay together? Where can I get rope?
The tubes kind of go all over and you have to paddle if want to stay together without being tied as people somehow go at different speeds. We asked for rope at the front office and they gave us a bunch. It was great. We ended up with two subgroups tied together.


Is it fun for all ages?
Yes. Nuff said.


What is in the area?
There are lot of restaurants near the Tube Shack. There is a visitors center at the parking lot with nice bathrooms in addition to the Shack’s porta-potties. At the end, everyone was hungry so we went across the street from the parking lot and got burgers at A & W. That was pretty great!


Should I do it?
YES. Many in our party were skeptical and everyone loved it. It was a great day. I wish I had time to do it again on this trip.


  • jstanford1000 – TripAdvisor