For those who enjoy kayaking, a tandem kayak can also be a very enjoyable way to spend time on the water. They’re larger, more stable, and are perfect for exploring, fishing, or just paddling around.
In this article we’re highlighting the best tandem kayaks on the market. We’ll cover the top models for rivers, lakes, the ocean, laid back paddling, and the best tandem fishing kayaks.
Compared to solo kayaks, tandems are typically longer and heavier to help with stability. Most of them are built to comfortably accommodate 2 people.
Choosing the right kayak depends on how you plan to use it, the combined weight of you and your paddling partner, where you plan to use it, and your overall skill level.
The tandem kayak reviews below should help you choose exactly what you need.
5 Best Tandem Kayaks
|Name of Product||Strength||Stability||Weight||Seat Capacity||Seat Comfort||Price|
|Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package||Strong||High||Moderate||2 person||High||$$$|
|Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak||Strong||High||Heavy||3 person||Moderate||$$$|
|Ocean Malibu Recreational Kayak||Strong||High||Heavy||2/3 person||High||$$$|
|Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak||Strong||High||Moderate||3 person||High||$$$|
|Airhead Montana Performance Kayak||Strong||High||Heavy||2 person||High||$$$|
Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
Weighing just 32 pounds, this product has a moderate weight hence making it not so difficult and tiring to carry around. If you can’t manage it on your own, it is advised for 2 people to carry the inflatable kayak.
This inflatable kayak comes with 2 seats, foot pump, oars, repair kit, carrying bag and a skeg. It is easy to set up and assemble it in a short period of time hence it is highly recommended for beginners.
The body of this kayak is made out of tough fabric of PVC material. Therefore, it has zero issues when colliding with grounded and sharp rocks thus making it strong and durable. However, it needs to be handled well to last for a long time.
Moreover, this product is inflatable and easily foldable so it doesn’t take up much storage space. Due to this, it can fit easily into the booth of cars and even in your own garage making it easy to transport and keep.
Also, it is spacious and long so it can accommodate 3 person although it only has two seats. Hence, this product is very stable and has a very low possibility of getting capsized so you need not worry about wearing life jackets.
The seats are very comfortable and has a great back support so you can sit back and relax while enjoying the view. Not only that, even the oars are of good quality being lightweight and strong thus making it easy and less tiring to paddle.
Furthermore, this inflatable boat rides a little low in the water making it hard to paddle sometimes. So, you are advised to fill both sides of kayak evenly with air so you can steer the kayak easily. It also moves slow in water and is family friendly.
Also when you first inflate it, you will find it hard to stretch the O ring around the valve seat, so it is advisable to use a tweezer to carefully stretch it around the valve seat. Once it’s done, you need worry about this problem anymore.
You should be careful with the valves as it easily loosens. Therefore, you should always check the valves and make sure they are always tightly positioned.
In terms of safety, you are advised to keep a line tied to you and the kayak when on open water so if your boat capsizes, you can easily get back in with the line as your support.
Suitable for :
- Easy setup
- Tough body made of PVC
- Takes up small storage space
- 2 seater
Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
Lifetime’s tandem kayak product is blow molded from high density polyethylene making the fabric and body of this product very strong and durable. Therefore, this product can last for a long period of time if handled well.
It includes 2 double-sided paddles, paddle clips, 3 fishing pole holders and a 6’ storage hatch. Moreover, multiple footrest positions are available for riders with different lengths of leg so you have enough room to relax your feet.
This product is designed to seat up to 3 people and has a 500lbs seating capacity so if you are large sized it is advisable for you choose this kayak as it can withstand more weight.
Equipped with a hull design, this product provides good tracking where it moves in a straight line making it easier to steer. This type of design also makes it possible for you to stand up and fish without tipping over thus this product is extra stable.
Other than handling well in rough waters as a plus point, this tandem kayak is very spacious so you can put a lot of your belongings in it if you want to go fishing or have a mini picnic on the kayak.
On the other hand, it is heavy hence making it less portable. It is advisable that 2 people carry this kayak due to its heavy weight. Also, this product is hard to store and keep due to its large size so if you have a large garage for example, you should consider this product.
The paddles on the other hand comes with splash guards so you are less likely to get wet. The setup is simple and is suitable for beginners. Not only that, it is also easy to get in and out of it without worrying about tipping over.
Besides that, the seats are moderately comfortable. However if you have a bad back or need more padding, you might need to invest in better seat for extra comfort.
This tandem kayak moves slowly on water which is perfect if you are rooting to enjoy the scenery at the moment. It is also family friendly, hence perfect for a leisure day with your family.
Suitable for :
- Made from high density polyethylene
- 3 seater
- Hull design
- Multiple footrest positions
- Paddle with flash guards
Ocean Malibu Recreational Kayak
This tandem kayak has fitting capacity of 2 people and a small child and can hold up to 400lbs. So if you have a large family, you should either consider getting two of this product or look for another kayak with bigger capacity.
Moreover, Ocean’s kayak comes with 3 seating positions which are bow, stern and middle designed for you to either go paddling solo, tandem or tandem with a kid. The small seat in the middle can fit your child if you plan to utilize it for a small family adventure for instance .
This product includes 2 comfort plus seats, 3 molded-in-seat wells, molded-in handles, gear strap, patented overlapping foot wells and skid plates to improve its functions.
The hull and deck design enables easy stacking of multiple hulls for easy dock storage. However, the storage on deck is limited so you should refrain from putting too many things on deck making it heavy and unstable.
In terms of comfort, this product is suitable for any leg length as there are plenty of room to rest your legs at the bottom. The seats also have an adjustable seat cushion to increase your comfort according to your own preference.
Furthermore, it comes with a great carrying side handle that comes in handy when steering and hauling it through narrow places.
Not only that, you also can easily transport and carry the kayak easily with the carrying side handle despite its heavy weight. It is advisable for 2 people to lift this product due to its heavy weight.
Besides that, it is very stable hence it is easy for you to get in and out of it safely. The tracking is also good, hence enabling the kayak to move in a straight line without much effort.
All in all, Ocean’s Malibu kayak is suitable for both single and double kayaking experience.
Suitable for :
- 2 or 3 seater
- Hull design
- Adjustable seat cushion
- Multiple footrest position
Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayak
Advanced Element’s tandem kayak has built-in aluminium ribs defining its bow and stern which plays an important role in tracking. Hence, you can easily steer it in a straight line without any skills.
This product has 3 layers of material for extreme puncture resistance to ensure that it don’t get punctured easily when paddling through areas with sharp rocks.
The design on the other hand comes with a strong outer thick shell also ensures the durability of this product when ride is rocky and not smooth. It is also very stable so the possibility of it capsizing is very low.
Moreover, this product is pre-assembled in the factory so you just have to unfold, inflate and attach the seats provided and voila, you have assembled your very own tandem kayak.
Equipped with adjustable and padded seats, the comfort level when paddling is very high especially for long hours of paddling. The seats also provides good back support for people who have bad backs.
This product is a 3 seater kayak which allows you to either paddle solo, tandem or tandem with a child. It can hold up to 550 lbs capacity so even more than 3 people can squeeze into the kayak provided the weight capacity is not exceeded.
Furthermore, it is very spacious if you plan on bringing multiple things which you on your kayaking trip. The speed on the other hand is also reasonably fast if you are an experienced paddler with good skills.
Though slightly heavy, it is easily transported and can be stored in a bag since it is inflatable. It is a little hard to fit it into the bag again after deflating so you are advised to fold it the original way and make sure all the air is deflated out completely.
On the other hand, it is not self-bailing. Hence, it is advisable to get a bilge pump when you plan to kayak on whitewater.
Besides that, you need to make sure the kayak is fully dry before storing it back to ensure its durability. However, the drying process of this product is quite difficult and time consuming so you can remove its inner parts and dry separately if you are confident in assembling it back again afterwards.
Suitable for :
- 3 layers of puncture resistance
- Adjustable padded seats
- 3 seater
- Outer thick shell design
Airhead Montana Performance Kayak
This tandem kayak produced by Airhead is designed for lakes and moderate white waters, so this product is less suitable for hardcore kayaking.
Having a length of 12 ft, this product is a 2 seater inflatable kayak that can withstand a weight capacity of 500 lbs. Hence,a large sized person weight can easily be supported by this tandem kayak.
Made from semi-rigid heavy gauge PVC construction, this product is very solid and has a high resistance to puncture and tear damage due to its strong fabric and body. Therefore, this product is very durable.
Moreover, it has a removable inflatable seats so you can adjust your seats according to your own preference. However, you need to familiarize yourself with the instructions on adjusting the seats.
You are advised to inspect your seats when your package arrives to make sure your seat is not installed backwards and is assembled correctly to prevent any problems when kayaking.
The instructions provided are not useful and hard to follow so you should consider this product if you are a professional paddler or good, patient and willing in assembling things.
Apart from that, it is very stable so you need not worry about it capsizing or so. However, the product is a little heavy hence it will be easier if two people carries it. Not only that, the placement of handles for carrying also makes it easier to carry.
The tracking of this tandem kayak is good so you will not have trouble in maneuvering the kayak to your destination. There is also a lot of room in the kayak for you to put your belongings.
Besides that, it is bright orange in colour making it attractive to look at and easy to spot from a distance. When storing this inflatable tandem kayak, always make sure to dry it well for a long lasting kayak.
Suitable for :
- 2 seater
- Semi-rigid PVC construction
- Removable inflatable seats
- Bright orange colour
Things to Look for in a Tandem Kayak
The weight should be preferably light so it is easier to transport and carry the kayak on ground. This is just for the user’s convenience.
In water however, the weight does not affect the performance due to the buoyant force on water. That being said, the weight also affects your convenience of carrying the product on ground..
Strength & Durability
The strength depends on the material used to manufacture the body of the kayak.
The stronger the material used, the more solid it will be. Hence, the product can last longer and not easily break when colliding with sharp rocks for example.
The stability on the other hand is the ability of the kayak to not tip over when the paddler is standing to get in and out of the boat or standing to fish.
The higher the stability, the lower the chance of it capsizing. Hence, you don’t have to worry much if you are a beginner who doesn’t know how to swim.
The seating capacity varies with each kayak. You can either paddle solo which is a single seat, tandem kayak with 2 seaters or with an extra person with 3 seaters.
For 3 seaters usually, there is an additional seat in the middle rather than the usual bow and stern seats.
The seat comfort depends on the amount of padding on the seats. Therefore, the more the padding, the more comfortable the seat is.
For a paddler with bad back or who enjoys kayaking for hours, you should invest in a good padded seat to increase your comfort.
In a nutshell, choosing the best tandem kayak according to your preference is no easy job. Various factors such as weight, strength, stability, seat comfort and seat capacity need to be taken into consideration.
Therefore, I hope my review assists you in making the best decision.