15 Best Tandem Kayak 2020 – Our Top Picks As Reviewed
Have you ever thought of engaging in fun outdoor activities with your friends or family? If you have, then you need to give kayaking a try.
A tandem kayak is a small boat ideally designed for a single person but there are models that can accommodate two persons. You get to relax while on this kind of kayak because it is driven by a less noisy motor.
We have put together this guide to help you get the best tandem kayak available in the market so read on to equip yourself with all the knowledge you need.
- 15 Best Tandem Kayak 2020 – Our Top Picks As Reviewed
- Top-Rated Best Tandem Kayak 2020 - Comparison List
- Top 15 Best Tandem Kayak
- 1. Lifetime-10 Foot, Tandem Two-Person Fishing Kayak with Paddles
- 2. Sea Eagle 370-Pro Three Person Inflatable Sport Kayak
- 3. Intex Explorer K2-Two-Person, Inflatable Kayak w/High-Output Air Pump
- 4. Advanced Elements Advanced-Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
- 5. Intex Challenger-K2 Kayak, Two-Person Inflatable Kayak Set
- 6. Airhead -Montana Two-Person Inflatable Kayak
- 7. Lifetime Sit-on 10-Foot, Two-Person Tandem Kayak
- 8. Sea Eagle 330-Deluxe Two-Person Inflatable Sport Kayak
- 9. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
- 10. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak
- 11. Sun Dolphin Bali-13.5-Foot Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- 12. BKC-Tandem Fishing Kayak 12.2' TK219 Angler 2-3 Person Kayak
- 13. BKC Sit-On-Top 12-Foot Tandem Two-Person Kayak UH-TK181
- 14. Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- 15. Driftsun-Rover 220 Tandem White-Water Inflatable Kayak
- Buying Guide for Tandem Kayak
- How to Care for your Tandem Kayak
- Benefits of Tandem Kayaks
- Frequently Asked Questions about Tandem Kayaks
- Best Tandem Kayak – Our Editor’s Pick
- Final Thoughts
Top-Rated Best Tandem Kayak 2020 - Comparison List
Are you one of those people who’d rather take their coffee on the move? If you barely have another second to waste scouring the net for information, this list might be all you’ll ever need.
Top 15 Best Tandem Kayak
1. Lifetime-10 Foot, Tandem Two-Person Fishing Kayak with Paddles
This kayak boasts of various features to suit both beginner and seasoned kayakers. It is a two-person, 10-foot sit-on-top kayak that can accommodate a third passenger. Its maximum weight capacity is 500 lbs.
Constructed with a high-density polyethylene material for durability, it is sturdy and resists peeling, cracking and fading. What’s more, although it is quite pricey, it is backed by the manufacturer’s five-year limited warranty.
The hull design makes it great at tracking and it is stable on waters. In addition to that, it has other attractive attributes namely three fishing pole holders, two padded backrests, paddle clips, and a 6-inch storage hatch.
An order includes two paddles. Moreover, there are two color models available to choose from.
It is a hard shell kayak and as such, it is stable and not subject to punctures. You can take along your pooch without any risk of damage to your kayak.
However, weighing about 60 pounds, it is not portable by hand unless you are two people. It also requires ample storage space when not in use because it is not inflatable.
2. Sea Eagle 370-Pro Three Person Inflatable Sport Kayak
Designed for Class III whitewater, you can use it the Sea Eagle 370-Pro Three Person Inflatable Sport Kayak on your river and lake adventures.
With a maximum weight capacity of 650lbs, it has a large capacity to carry three passengers or two passengers with enough gear, snacks and personal items. As such, you can take along two of your buddies on your water adventures.
An order includes a carry bag, a foot pump, and two paddles. The included paddles are sturdy because they are constructed with an aluminum shaft and asymmetrical blades.
Two skegs on the kayak’s bottom enhance its speed and tracking.
It weighs about only 32 lbs pounds making it easy to transport. Additionally, it is an inflatable kayak making storage and transportation less of a hassle because deflation makes it less bulky.
It is easy to set it up, taking a few minutes. It has open and close drain valves which keep the kayak dry. On top of that, it has five inflation and deflation valves, therefore, you can paddle back to shore in case of a puncture.
Besides, it is moderately priced in comparison to other kayaks in the market.
3. Intex Explorer K2-Two-Person, Inflatable Kayak w/High-Output Air Pump
If you are seeking a cheap kayak that will still deliver, then you can consider this Kayak. You can use this kayak in small bodies of waters like mild rivers and lakes. With a maximum carrying capacity of 400 pounds, you can take along a friend, pet or kid on your adventures.
An order includes a high output pump, a repair patch kit, and two aluminum oars. The kayak is designed in bright colors for visibility. Two adjustable seats with backrest make your paddling comfortable enabling you to do extended hours of explorations.
The kayak is manufactured from a heavy-duty vinyl to resist punctures for longevity. Its floor is made of an inflatable I-beam material for rigidity. It has removable skegs which provide directional stability. It is streamlined which make paddling it easy. Grab handles are also provided for stability.
The kayak has various convenient features. First and foremost, it is inflatable and, therefore, easy to store and transport by hand or in the trunk of your car. In addition to that, it has carry-handles. Boston valves make inflation and deflation a breeze.
4. Advanced Elements Advanced-Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
You can paddle this 15-foot kayak solo or with a kayaking buddy. With a carrying capacity of up to 550 pounds, you can also carry enough gear, snacks and personal items on your expeditions.
Designed with an open-deck design, it is easy to enter or exit the kayak. Moreover, it is called a convertible kayak because it can be converted to a standard open deck, single deck or closed deck kayak in a matter of seconds.
With built-in aluminum ribs, the kayak is great at tracking. Manufactured with multiple layers of materials for durability, the floor of the kayak is constructed with a drop-stick technology for rigidity and trackability.
Because it is foldable to up to half its size, the inflatable kayak comes with the convenience of being a space saver and portable. Preassembled at the factory, it is easy to set it up. Besides, it is easy to transport it because of its lightweight although other inflatable kayaks are much lighter than this one.
Six air chambers act as security features so that you can paddle back to the shore in case of a puncture.
5. Intex Challenger-K2 Kayak, Two-Person Inflatable Kayak Set
You can use this kayak to have fun with a friend on a mild river or lake. This is a two-person kayak with a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds. The competitively priced inflatable kayak comes with two aluminum oars, a repair patch kit, a high-capacity air pump, and a carry bag.
It is constructed from a rugged and tough, UV-damage-resistant and puncture-resistant vinyl for durability. On top of that, it has an I-beam floor for rigidity and comfort. In addition to that, the floor has a pressure release valve.
Sturdy plastic skegs on the kayak’s underside provide directional control. With two air chambers, you can easily paddle back to the shore if one of the air chambers gets punctured. Also, the kayak has a bright green color for visibility.
Boston valves make inflation and deflation fast and easy. Additionally, the high-output pump makes its inflation and deflation a breeze. Apart from that, the seats have backrests for comfort. The cockpit is also spacious which enhances your comfort level.
Grab lines make carrying it easy.
6. Airhead -Montana Two-Person Inflatable Kayak
You can use this kayak in moderate white waters and lakes while camping or doing other adventures. The Airhead Montana Two-Person Inflatable Kayak is 12-ft long. Its 500 pounds weight capacity is reasonable and accommodates two persons and their gear comfortably.
The kayak is constructed from a heavy-duty PVC material for longevity. It has an I-beam floor for rigidity which enhances comfort and tracking. This kayak is easy and fast to set-up, thanks to the Boston valves. After a hard day out in the waters, the kayak is also easy to fold and pack away.
With a weight of only 36.3 lbs, the kayak is light and easy to transport by hand or in the trunk of your car. Because it is inflatable, it folds up to only a fraction of its size and therefore it is a space saver. In addition to that, the kayak has grab-handles which make putting in and out of the water easy.
The air chambers are covered with a rugged water-resistant, UV-damage resistant 840 denier nylon material to resist damage. The three air chambers are security features that will allow you to paddle to safety in case one of them gets punctured. The kayak is designed in bright orange for visibility.
In comparison to other kayaks in the market, this kayak is moderately priced and therefore not very pocket-friendly. And unfortunately, an order doesn’t include a repair kit, paddles, and an air pump.
7. Lifetime Sit-on 10-Foot, Two-Person Tandem Kayak
This is a 10-foot kayak with a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs. Indeed the 500 lbs weight capacity is quite reasonable allowing you to carry enough gear, personal items, and snacks. You can use the kayak for single or tandem use.
As such, you can do your adventures with one or two other persons or take along your kid. Moreover, it is not an inflatable kayak and therefore there are no risks of it getting punctured. In this regard, you can take along your dog with no risk of claws puncturing it.
The kayak is designed with a tunnel hull for trackability and stability. Constructed from a rugged material called Low-Density Polyethylene, the kayak is rugged and durable. Furthermore, it comes in bright colors for easy spotting by other kayakers.
Two soft backrests provide comfort to paddle for long hours. The kayak has front and back carry handles for convenient transport. You can choose from two colors.
On the downside, it is not budget-friendly and requires you to dig deep into your pocket. The good thing is that it is covered by the manufacturer’s five-year warranty. The kayak weighs about 60 pounds and as such, it is not as portable as an inflatable kayak. On the same note, it requires ample storage space.
8. Sea Eagle 330-Deluxe Two-Person Inflatable Sport Kayak
The Sea Eagle 330-Deluxe Two-Person Inflatable Sport Kayak is a two-person kayak. It is suitable for kayaking in class III whitewater. The kayak comes with a maximum weight capacity of 500lbs which is ample for carrying your personal items, snacks, and enough gear.
The kayak is NMMA certified. An order includes the kayak, a foot pump, two paddles, a repair kit, and a carry bag with shoulder straps.
The kayaks' floor is an I-beam floor for rigidity. It has two skegs on its bottom which enhances its tracking and speed. Furthermore, it is inflatable, it folds easily into a fraction of its size for easy transportation and space-saving storage
The kayak has two grab lines which also help in carrying it. Additionally, its weight of 26lbs makes transporting it convenient by hand or in the trunk of your car. Five deluxe one-way deflation and inflation valves for fast and easy inflation and deflation.
It has two seats that have backrests for comfort. The kayak comes at a medium price point, the advantage is that it is covered by the manufacturer’s limited three-year warranty.
9. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
This is a sit-on-top two-person kayak. The 425 lbs carrying capacity is enough to take along a pet or child and enough gear. As a sit on top kayak, it has an open cockpit area that is easy to get in or out.
The kayak has a tri-hull design that makes it stable on calm rivers and moderate waves. This is a hard shell kayak. The good thing is that there is no risk of the kayak getting punctured and you can comfortably carry your furry friend. Moreover, there is not setting it up.
Seats with backrests are fitted for your comfort. In addition to that, there are molded-in handles for your comfort. What’s more, footwells also add to your comfortable paddling experience.
Worth noting, with a weight of 57 pounds, it is heavy and not easily portable. And since the kayak is not inflatable, it will require ample storage space. Although it is pricey, the kayak is a low-risk purchase because it is covered by the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.
10. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Two-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak
NMMA certified and constructed from an 18-gauge PVC material, this kayak is suitable for lake use. In addition to that, its bottom is reinforced with an 840 nylon cover and a 1000D tarpaulin bottom which protects the kayak from being punctured.
A detachable fin improves its trackability. You can attach the kayak to a Sevylor trolling motor to enhance your speed. A trolling motor will also help you to get to hard-to-reach places with ease.
Adjustable seats with backrest are comfortable for extended paddling hours. Paddle holders are provided for an occasional hands-free experience. Boston valves make setting up and packing the kayak fast and easy. Multiple air chambers will keep you safe and allow you to paddle to the shore.
Because it is an inflatable kayak, it folds easily for easy transportation and space-saving storage. Carry handles make carrying it easy. For storage, you can attach your equipment on the D-rings. There are also mesh pockets where you can keep your snacks and gear within reach.
Apart from that, it is moderately priced.
11. Sun Dolphin Bali-13.5-Foot Tandem Inflatable Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Bali-13.5-Foot Tandem Inflatable Kayak is a hard shell with a capacity for one, two or three paddlers. At 13.5 foot and with a maximum load capacity of 440 pounds, if you are a solo kayaker you can take along your furry friend. The hard shell is sturdy and not susceptible to punctures from your pooch.
Additionally, the hard shell kayak which comes with the advantage of requiring no setup time. Three storage compartments provide a secure place to keep your snacks, gear and personal items. It has foot braces for your comfort, besides that, it is fitted with backrest seats for your comfort.
You can use the carry handles conveniently to transport it. At 70 pounds, to move the kayak from one point to another requires two persons.
However, because it is not an inflatable kayak, it lacks the convenience of an inflatable kayak of ease of portability and space-saving storage. Noteworthy, if you are three kayakers, the third passenger will not have a backrest seat and will be a bit uncomfortable. Worth noting is that it is also expensive.
12. BKC-Tandem Fishing Kayak 12.2' TK219 Angler 2-3 Person Kayak
The BKC-Tandem Fishing Kayak is 12.2 ft. It is a hard shell kayak with a capacity to carry two to three kayakers. However, with a 400 lbs weight limit capacity, if you are three passengers, you won’t be able to carry a lot of gear and other stuff.
At 70 pounds, the kayak is heavy and not easily portable by one person, but two persons can carry it comfortably. Besides, carry handles are provided for convenient transportation. Because it is a hard shell kayak, it requires no set up, it is ready to use. Moreover, there is no risk of the kayak getting punctured.
That said, it is not as easy to store it.
Featuring soft-padded sit-in kayak seats, you can do extended hours of paddling while sitting comfortably. Two waterproof storage compartments, one in the back and one in the front, provide ample storage where you can even fit a cooler. The provided six rod holders are for keeping your paddles for a hands-free experience.
A purchase includes two paddles. Besides that, it is quite expensive.
13. BKC Sit-On-Top 12-Foot Tandem Two-Person Kayak UH-TK181
You can use the BKC 12-Foot 5-inch Sit-On-Top Tandem Kayak for fishing and other water adventures like camping. It is ideal for either solo adventures or kayaking with a friend. This sit on top kayak comes with a maximum loading capacity of 440 pounds and for two persons. It is sufficient for carrying enough personal items, snacks, and gear.
It is a hard shell kayak, weighing 68 pounds. Two persons can transport it comfortably using the provided carry handles.
What’s more, you can use the two waterproof storage compartments to keep your dry goods and the cargo area for large items. The eight scupper holes keep the vessel dry by draining any water that gets in. The paddle rests can also give you rest from paddling for a hands-free experience.
The 34-inch beam makes the kayak stable and good at tracking.
On the flip side, the kayak is quite expensive in comparison to other brands in the market and in comparison to brands done in this review. That said, it is durable and a good bang for your buck. An order includes two paddles.
14. Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak
You and your buddy can explore mild rivers, bays, and lakes with this kayak. It has a 350-pound weight capacity. Although the weight capacity is low, it is sufficient for two passengers and their gear, personal items, and snacks.
The kayak is constructed from a high-density fabric. The outside of the kayak is reinforced with two materials to resist punctures and damage. It combines a high denier polyester and a PVC laminate. On the other hand, the hull is constructed from a PVC tarpaulin.
The kayak comes with built-in panels on its bow and stern to improve its tracking.
Moreover, it has high-flow spring valves and twistlok valves which make setting up an easy and fast task.
At only 37 pounds, the kayak is light in weight and easy to transport. Because it is also an inflatable kayak, you can conveniently carry it from one point to another by hand or in the trunk of your car. It is also a space saver and ideal for apartment or condo dwellers.
On the downside, its price is on the higher end.
15. Driftsun-Rover 220 Tandem White-Water Inflatable Kayak
This kayak is sturdily built to manage class III and class IV rapids. It is constructed from a durable material. The kayak is constructed from a reinforced layered PVC. Its bottom is manufactured from a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin to resist punctures. While its sides are reinforced with a 1000D layered PVC material.
Besides that, its floor is drop stitched, and high pressured for comfort and rigidity. The removable flatwater tracking fin gives the vessel stability which makes maneuvering both flat and rough waters possible.
With less than 10 minutes setting up time, this kayak comes with other conveniences, expected from an inflatable kayak. Weighing only 28 lbs, it is light in weight and portable. It is also a space saver.
The 6000 lbs loading capacity is high making it possible to carry snacks, personal items, and gear without worrying about weight limits.
Moreover, it has three air chambers. In case of a puncture, multiple air chambers make paddling to the shore possible.
A package includes a travel bag, a hand pump, a fin, and kayak paddles for your convenience. However, it is quite pricey.
Buying Guide for Tandem Kayak
As you deliberate on getting a tandem kayak, you need to consider some factors such as:
Length and Width
We all come in different sizes and rightfully so. As such, when you think of buying a kayak, consider your body size and that of your paddling partner. You do not want to go out into the water with a kayak that cannot accommodate you.
The length and width of your kayak determines the amount of space that will be available on your boat and the storage capacity for all your essentials, food, and fishing gear.
Stability and Speed
We talk of the length and width of your kayak but why? Well, they have a considerable impact on the stability and speed of your kayak.
For example, if your kayak is shorter, it will be slower and less stable compared to a longer one. Determine why you are venturing out in to the water first. Once you have that established, it will be easier to pick the best kayak for your needs.
If you want to race, a longer kayak is ideal because it is fast. On the other hand, if you just want to wind down in calm waters, a shorter one will suit you best.
You obviously carry some weight, and so does your fishing gear and whatever else you will have on board when you go out into the water.
If your weight is more than what your kayak can accommodate, it is likely to tip over into the water. If you intend to go with a paddling partner, ensure that you select a kayak that is stable and can comfortably accommodate and support the weight of everything you have on board.
You need to familiarize yourself with all the types of tandem kayaks that are available in the market. There are inflatable kayaks, recreational, fishing, sit-in, whitewater kayak, folding kayaks and more.
If you are not sure of what you will be doing in the water, you are likely to get the wrong kind of kayak so have that sorted out first.
Padded or Motor
Most tandem kayaks will come with a paddling option but with all the technological advancements, you can also find those that are automatic or motor powered.
Some of the paddled kayaks can be advanced with electric trolling motors. However, if you want to enjoy your angling experience, you can go for a padded tandem kayak that is able to accommodate up to three people.
Of course, you want a kayak that will last for years to come, so consider the materials that have been used to make the paddles, handles, and other physical elements of your kayak.
Over the years, plastic and PVC kayaks have been proven to guarantee resilience. To safeguard your investment, get a kayak that comes with a warranty to cushion you from spending on repairs and damages.
Budget and Comfort
Consider your budget. Do not go for a tandem kayak that will cost more than you intend to spend. Look at the features of the kayak and decide whether they are worth the money, you are willing to spend. Go for a kayak that does not compromise on quality but gives you maximum comfort at the same time.
How to Care for your Tandem Kayak
Storage is one of the things you need to consider when you think of maintaining your tandem kayak.
Where to Store
If your kayak is inflatable, or a folding one, it can easily be stored. Simply fold or roll it and stash it in a cool and dry area.Nonetheless, if you own a conventional kayak, its size can make it hard for you to find a suitable place to store it.
When thinking of a storage place for your kayak, here are the things to consider.
Exposure to Sunlight
While the sun feels good on your skin, its ultraviolet rays are very harmful, and the same applies to your kayak. The sun’s rays can degrade just about any kind of material so ensure that you store you kayak away from direct sunlight.
Exposure to Moisture
Just like the sun, water can also cause damage to your kayak. Mold and mildew can grow where there is moisture so ensure that your kayak is completely dry and store it in a dry place as well.
Exposure to Heat
Too much heat can deform the hull materials used to construct your kayak. As such, it is important to keep your boat away from sources of heat and places that get really hot.
Exposure to cold
Cold temperatures are not as big of a threat as hot temperatures. However, prolonged freezing and thawing can actually cause damage to your kayak. This is especially true if you own a fiberglass kayak that has continuously been in contactwith moisture during storage.
Benefits of Tandem Kayaks
Using a tandem kayak has several benefits that may convince you to get one today. Here are some of them.
Paddling alone is not Fun
This is perhaps the main reason why you would choose a tandem kayak over a single one. You will probably buy your kayak alone so naturally, you would be getting it for yourself.
Nevertheless, venturing out alone into the water will get boring at some point. More often than not, you will spend a good chunk of time in the water and when you have no one to talk to, it gets really lonely.
A tandem kayak makes things much easier for when you want to bring someone along in your paddling adventures.
Security and Safety
You can never predict what will happen when you are out in the water. The weather can drastically change, your boat can capsize, or you can get into whatever kind of trouble.
To be on the safe side, you need to travel with a reliable and knowledgeable partner. They will be able to keep you calm and help you make sound decisions.
Of course, with a tandem kayak, you are able to come with a partner or a friend without any worries.
A tandem kayak needs to accommodate two people so it needs to be larger; makes sense right? Well there are also large single kayaks but they are narrower.
A wider kayak is more stable and this means you are less likely to tip over. You will also have more gear for you and your partner in a tandem kayak and this reinforces the stability more.
With a tandem kayak, you get additional space. A single kayak cannot have much room since it is designed to accommodate one person. This can be a problem if you want an extended angling trip or a multi-day trip.
With a single kayak, you can only have your backpack and several essentials. You can carry your tent, fishing rod, food, and drinks with a tandem kayak. Does it get any better than this?
Frequently Asked Questions about Tandem Kayaks
When you are purchasing a kayak, there are some questions you might want answered before you part with your money. We hope you get some of your answers below.
Is a tandem kayak faster?
Yes, but once you get the hang of it. Once you get used to paddling a tandem kayak, it becomes more efficient and even faster. The best thing about it is that since it allows you to bring along a partner, if one person gets tired, the other one can take over paddling.
Is it difficult to use a tandem kayak?
No, it is actually easier. Typically, a tandem kayak is wider than a single one and this makes it more stable. As such, it is great for beginners who want to venture into the sport.
Are there kayaks that can accommodate two people?
Definitely. In fact, tandem means it can carry two persons. Tandem kayaks are larger compared to their single counterparts and if you are lucky, you may get one that has an additional compartment where you can put a child or a dog making it a three person kayak.
Best Tandem Kayak – Our Editor’s Pick
In order to choose the best, overall winner, we had to break the tie between our two top favorites. These are: Lifetime 10-Foot Kayak and Sea Eagle 370-Pro. Both of them are equally well-made.
Ultimately, we had to settle for one winner and that is the Lifetime 10-Foot. We absolutely love hard-shell kayaks although they are not the easiest to transport and store.
It can be cumbersome and tricky to find a tandem kayak that will match all your needs and preferences. This is mainly because there are various models in the market with different features.
Nevertheless, we have tried our best in terms of research to help you choose the best tandem kayak for your needs. There is no need for you to miss out on this enjoyable outdoor activity when you have all the resources with you.