Best Tandem Kayak Reviews for 2018 – Check Our Top Picks
Kayaking for many people is a lot of fun, and it’s even more fun if you can share the experience with someone. That explains the popularity of best tandem kayaks. You can use one to go fishing with a friend, to go exploring with your kid, or even to have an adventurous and romantic date on the water.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Tandem Kayak Comparisons
- 5 Best Tandem Kayaks - Reviews of Our Top Picks
- Buying Guide For Tandem Kayak
Top 5 Tandem Kayak Comparisons
33 mil polykrylar Hull
But which is the right tandem kayak for you? The best tandem kayak for you depends on several factors, but here are some of the best options you have if you want to get one for the two of you.
5 Best Tandem Kayaks - Reviews of Our Top Picks
1. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
The Sea Eagle 33o is an inflatable kayak, so even when blown to full size it’s actually quite lightweight. You only need a single person to carry it to the water.
But it is surprisingly strong, as it has a 500-pound load capacity. We found this as the best among all the tandem kayak reviews we have do so far.
That’s good enough for 2 adults, even when you consider that most adults these days are “above average” in size and weight. The strength is due to the use of K-80 polykrylar hull material, which is extra-thick at 33mm and puncture-resistant. I
-beam construction is used for the floor to make it especially rigid. Even the seams have been welded with 10,000 volts to fuse the kayak into a single solid construct. The kayak features 2 paddles and two molded skegs for tracking so you can go across the water with less effort needed for paddling.
The inflatable front and rear seats are also removable, so you have more space for equipment or snacks if you want to go solo. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to inflate this, although at first it may take you some time to get used to the procedure.
In fact, it’ll probably take you some time to get used to sitting in and paddling this kayak. But after a while, you’ll get used to it as most people do. This can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It’s mainly for recreational use but you can still use it for a little bit of fishing.
It’s even rated for Class 3 whitewater kayaking, and there’s a self-bailing drain valve that’s very convenient for that purpose.
- It’s easy to inflate.
- It’s very lightweight.
- It’s extremely sturdy for an inflatable.
- The fit is a bit snug.
- It takes a lot of getting used to when you inflate or use it.
2. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
The Explorer K2 isn’t a kayak that you’d want to use if you’re a soldier infiltrating enemy territory. It’s specifically made to look flashy and eye-catching, and that’s not just because such a design looks great.
It’s also for safety reasons if you ever happen to need emergency help, as its design makes it (and you by extension) easy to find.
It looks like a fun ride, and that’s natural since its main purpose is for recreational use. Its streamlined design is meant for gentle rivers and lakes. But the Explorer isn’t great because of just its looks.
This is an inflatable 2-person kayak made from puncture-resistant vinyl that’s designed for heavy duty use. It’s actually light enough for a single person to carry to the water, yet it’s also tough enough to bear 400 pounds of weight.
The I-beam floor is inflatable and so are the 2 seats which come with backrests. The seats are adjustable too so you can sit yourself in a more comfortable position. Inflating the entire kayak doesn’t take a lot of time as it’ll only need about 5 to 10 minutes with the Boston valves.
It’s very easy to use and quite stable. There’s also a removable skeg (like the fin on a surfboard) that steadies its direction. At each end, you’ll find a grab line and grab handle too.
- It looks right and sporty, and in worst case scenarios you’ll be easy to find.
- It’s light and portable, so you can carry this yourself.
- You can also use this solo, and when you remove the extra seat you have more space for your stuff.
- It’s very easy to control, as you’ll have no trouble propelling it forward and directing it where you want to go.
- The stability is very comforting, as you won’t tip over (or even feel in danger of doing so) even if you get into the wake of motor boats and jet skis.
- The fact that the skeg is removable can be problematic, since it’s so easy to lose it when you detach it.
- Since it’s a purely recreational kayak, it’s not really good for whitewater kayaking or for fishing trips.
3. Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
As the name implies, this is technically a kayak for 2 people. You can use this on your own, but that’s nothing special since you can do the same with most of the other tandem kayaks.
However, this kayak does offer a lot of space for the solo kayaker. It won’t matter if you’re as big as an NBA player.
What makes this Lifetime kayak unique is that it can be used even by 3 people at the same time. It actually comes with 3 detachable adult seats that are contoured for comfort. If you’re going to do that, you just need to make sure that you don’t go over the 500-pound weight capacity.
This is quite a versatile kayak, and it’s uniquely suited for fishing trips. It’s very stable, due to the wide tunnel hull design. This means you can stand on it while you’re fishing like you’re on a platform or you can sit on the side in a side saddle position. You won’t tip over.
There are built-in cradles and clips for your paddle so once you get to your fishing spot you can rest your paddle and get to work. You have 3 fishing pole holders and a cup holder that fits a bottle or can of “soda”. You also have several different footrests so you can get maximum leverage as you haul in your stubborn catch.
You also have plenty of space for your equipment and catch. There’s a cargo area at the front, and it comes with shock cord straps to secure any of your loose items. If you want a more secure space for your indispensible smartphone (I don’t think I’m the only one who always goes out with it) then there’s also an interior storage hatch you can use.
- It can be used by up to 3 people.
- This can be used by 2 people even if they both are very heavy.
- The stability is great so you can stand up or sit on the side.
- Or you can sit in your comfortable seat and use the various footrests for leverage when you pull in your fish.
- It’s made of durable plastic so it’s tough but you can use a large vehicle like an SUV or minivan to bring this to the water with you.
- It has a drain you can use if you’re caught in the rain.
- The width and weight will make it difficult for an average person to carry this.
- The seat may not have enough padding if you have a bad back.
4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak
It can get somewhat annoying when kayak manufacturers fudge on the weight capacity of their kayaks.
Some rate their capacity at 250 pounds even though it can hold more weight, probably to avoid lawsuits.
Others exaggerate their capacity, until you realize that a kayak rated for 450 pounds can’t actually handle even 350 pounds. At least with this inflatable Colorado, you don’t have to take their word about their 470-pound capacity. This has been certified by the NMMA.
This is great for use in lakes, as it uses rugged 18-gauge PVC. It features its trademarked Airtight System so you don’t get a leak. The PVC is tough enough that you can read stories about how dogs can go on this and their owners don’t have any trouble with their pet’s nails.
At the bottom there’s high-strength 1000D tarpaulin with an 840D nylon cover so you’re protected from punctures. Even if you do get a puncture, the kayak uses multiple air chambers so you’ll still stay afloat.
You can have lots of use for this kayak if you’re a fishing enthusiast. There are paddle holders so you can set aside your paddle when it’s time to fish. It has adjustable rod holders too. There are also several mesh storage pockets for various gear and snacks.
You can also attach other pieces of equipment to the D-Rings. The seats are also adjustable. It’s not all that heavy, so 2 people can easily carry this to the water. There are carry handles for this so it’s not a problem.
It doesn’t take long to inflate or deflate the kayak, especially with the double threaded Boston valves. If you want, you can even mount a motor on this kayak as it already has trolling motor fittings.
- It can carry 2 heavy people.
- The PVC material is really tough so you don’t need to worry constantly about punctures.
- Even in the off chance you do get a puncture, the multiple air chambers ensure that you won’t sink.
- There are lots of features for fishing (since it is advertised as a “fishing kayak”).
- It comes with carry handles.
- This isn’t for speedy travel through the water, since it’s mainly for fishing.
- The rod holder can get in the way when you’re paddling
5. Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Kayak
This looks speedy even if it’s not moving, and its weight capacity reflects its sleek design. It’s only meant for a combined weight of 350 pounds, so heavier adults may not find this suitable.
But if both of you come in within the allowed weight capacity, you’ll find this a very comfy and sturdy ride on placid waters.
While this is indeed an inflatable kayak, it lacks the rounded design that’s so common in other inflatables. Instead, the Advanced elements Lagoon 2 Kayak is sleek, and that’s because it has rigid panels built in for the bow and stern. This firm form is inherent in the cover, so it really moves across the water and it’s easier to stay on course.
On the outside of the Lagoon 2, the cover is made of 2 different materials. The hull uses PVC tarpaulin that’s really 2 sheets of PVC with a middle layer of fabric mesh. The topside uses high-denier polyester that’s laminated with PVC.
There’s also an inner tube cover for added rigidity and for abrasion protection. You end up with a kayak that can handle even really tough water conditions. It also uses a tracking fin for better performance.
The Lagoon 2 is also very quick to inflate, as it uses the special “Twistlok” and Soring valves that allow for greater airflow. It’s lightweight so even one person can carry this, and there are also handles with molded rubber grips.
- It’s very comfortable to sit on this due to the well-padded seats and high backrest support.
- It’s very durable.
- It’s easy enough to transport, both by car and by carrying it to the water.
- You don’t take too much time to inflate it.
- Despite its sturdiness, it’s not for whitewater conditions.
- The 350-pound limit may not accommodate 2 typical adults these days.
Buying Guide For Tandem Kayak
Determining the best tandem kayak depends on several important factors. Of course, there’s always the price, and like most people you may have a personal preference for certain colors and designs. However, some factors must still be considered:
Size and weight
This affects how portable the kayak is, and you will want to make sure that you have a vehicle that can bring the kayak to the water. It also tells you whether you can easily carry this to the water all by yourself if you want to use it solo.
People are getting heavier these days, so you should make sure that the kayak you plan on getting can accommodate your weight and the weight of your companion.
Some kayaks have particular features that make it more suitable for certain types of uses. A kayak can be used for whitewater adventures, for fishing trips, or for simple recreational uses. You should look for certain features that support the type of use you plan for your kayak.
Video Credit - Matt and April
People like us know that kayaking is fun, and it’s even more enjoyable when you have someone with you to experience the joy of it. The right tandem kayak doesn’t give you problems. It makes your time in the water much more gratifying as the kayak solves all your problems instead.