A local manufacturer has developed a new heavy-duty, multi-purpose pool float.
Big Joe, a brand of Grand Rapids-based Comfort Research, said last week it released its Big Joe Island, which has a "firmer structural design."
This allows the product to be used as a "durable" personal float, floating table or docking station.
"Our new Big Joe Island falls somewhere between individual floatation devices and enormous floats," said Matt Jung, co-founder, Comfort Research. "I like to think of it as the perfect summer fun machine, and I should know, because I did a lot of personal testing to make sure we got it right."
The Big Joe Island is made from the same expanded polyethylene core that is used in the brand's beanbag chairs. It is waterproof, mold-resistant and rated to hold up to 250 pounds with out absorbing any water.
"The Island doesn't absorb sand or water, so it's not a spongy mess at the end of your beach day," said Chip George, co-founder, Comfort Research. "It's kind of like the heavy-duty SUV of the water float category, only way better for the environment."
Units are made "domestically" and fully recyclable.
The Big Joe Island can be purchased online for $149.
While Jung and George were students at Hope College, they decided to fill their old, inadequate beanbag chair with shredded foam to give it more support, and soon other students wanted one of their own.
The company has since grown to offer a range of indoor and outdoor seating, as well as pool floats under the Big Joe brand.