Are you interested in trying tandem kayaking? It’s a great way to paddle efficiently, work collaboratively with a partner, and save money. There are a lot of benefits to using a tandem kayak, but it’s important to get a kayak that meets your needs. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best tandem kayak for your next paddling expedition.
Best Tandem Kayak on the Market
|Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Tandem Kayak 12ft||
Best Inflatable Tandem Kayak
|Sea Eagle 370 Pro Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak||
Best Sit on Top Tandem Kayak
|Perception Tribe Tandem Kayak ||
Best Open Deck Design
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak ||
Best Rugged Design
|Intex Explorer Tandem Kayak ||
Vanhunks Voyager Tandem Kayak – Best Storage Options
Featuring several storage spaces, the Vanhunks Voyager Tandem Kayak measures 12 feet and is ideal for a day on the ocean, lake, or river. This deluxe kayak allows you to take a friend or pet along with you as you enjoy this sit-on-top kayak. This kayak comes as a package providing a few extras that give you everything you need to get started kayaking.
Tons of Storage
With a two-plus one setup, you either enjoy some solo time or hang out with a buddy. Easily add an extra foam padded seat in the middle to create even more room with this 32-inch wide kayak. The Vanhunks Voyager Tandem Kayak also offers several hatches, bungee spaces, and storage compartments that can hold supplies, a tent, and food while your rods can rest in swivel and molded rod holders.
Comfort and Stability
Stable and comfortable, the Vanhunks Voyager kayak is easy to paddle, which ensures that you can spend your time enjoying the beauty around you. All the fixtures and inserts are made with premium quality parts and are secured using marine grade stainless steel bolts along with captive brass inserts. Plus, the Voyager has comfy carry handles on each side that makes it easy to pick up and carry this 77-pound kayak.
Featuring a 550-pound weight capacity, the Voyager Deluxe is super durable and impact and UV-resistant, ideal for an advanced, beginner, and intermediate paddler, the Voyager comes with two paddles that offer three-position adjustments along with a heavy-duty aluminum shaft that is coated with black EDC. They are also equipped with PVC anti-drip rings and hand grips.
The seating system on the Voyager features a stock-standard, deluxe aluminum seat that features an adjustable rigging feature that allows you to recline or sit upright. Using a breathable mesh, this seat is raised to ensure you don’t sit in a puddle all day long. Plus, you can remove the seat and use them on the beach.
With incredible stability and safety, the Voyager has enough buoyance that you can relax and not worry about safety. This is a reliable kayak with a design that was optimized for durability and optimized weight thanks to its roto-molded, 5 mm polyethylene design. With the Voyager, you have enough room for two adults and a child or extra baggage if you are out touring making it a great choice for anyone that needs a large kayak with tons of room.
- It has great removable camp seats
- There are rod mounts and holders that are super handy
- It has tons of storage, and the seats are adjustable
- The cup holder is blocked by one of the seats
- You can’t solo position the chair
Sea Eagle 370 Pro Sport Kayak – Best 3 Person Tandem Kayak
Lightweight and portable, the Sea Eagle 370 Pro Sport Kayak comes with paddles and has a 650-pound capacity. Able to hold three people, this affordable and inflatable sport kayak has a rugged design that can pack down to a fraction of its inflatable size allowing you to carry it anywhere and set it up in under 10 minutes. Ideal for experienced and beginner paddlers, this kayak has an efficient hull shape that is easy for younger kayakers to handle.
Easy to Store
Only weighing 32 pounds, the Sea Eagle 370 Pro can carry three people as well as their gear, or it can be used by one adult for a solo trip. The 370 Pro can be packed down to fit in a storage bag, but it also tough enough to withstand the sharp claws of a furry companion. Plus, it has a ton of cargo space, so you can carry your camping equipment and any other supplies.
Stable and Rigid
Ideal for diving, yacht tending, fishing, and paddling, the Sea Eagle 370 Pro can be used on a river, and it can even handle whitewater up to class III. Featuring an extra-thick 38 mm Polykrylar hull, the 370 Pro is also equipped with an I-beam construction floor that offers you extra rigidity. Other features include a self-bailing drain valve, front and rear rope handles, front and rear seats that are inflatable and removable, and inflatable spray skirts.
Featuring high frequency welded seams, this kayak is fused into one solid piece. It also comes with two molded kegs that provide speed and tracking for smoothly crossing the water. This NMMA Certified kayak also comes with a pressure gauge and repair kit in case of any tears.
- It has a large capacity and can hold three people
- This is a very portable and lightweight kayak
- It’s a great choice for advanced paddlers and beginners
- The webbing’s blue dye bleeds onto the PVC
- The storage pockets could be bigger
Perception Tribe Tandem Kayak – Best Sit on Top Tandem Kayak
Versatile and all-around fun, the Perception Tribe Tandem Kayak is perfect for the entire family. Ideal for every ability level, this is a great kayak for any type of flatwater including beaches and coastal bays. With this kayak, you will learn and confidence and skills that help inspire you to stay active.
Super comfortable, the Perception Tribe features thick ergonomic and ventilated padding along with an adjustable seatback that offers personalized support. Offering low-maintenance, this rugged kayak is made with a roto-molded, one-piece high-tech polymer construction that provides abrasion, UV, and impact-resistance.
Comfortable and Secure
Equipped with multiple footrest options, the Perception Tribe can accommodate paddlers of any size. It also has a center hatch that includes a built-in bag along with a protective lid that keeps all your essentials handy. It also includes bungee cord lashes to secure your gear, large rear and front open storage for a cooler, and handy drink holders that keep drinks from spilling.
With the rugged side handles, you can easily transport the kayak, and they also offer lockable security. The seating system in the Perception Tribe is adjustable and can recline backward or forward for personalized support. Plus, the seat can fold flat for storage that is stackable.
Speed and Maneuverability
With its cutting-edge design, the Perception Tribe gives you great maneuverability and speed as well as stability that keeps you dry. Its sleek hull allows you to turn quickly and offers great control and performance. It’s available in three sizes that provide more stability, speed, and storage capacity as the sizes go up.
- The boat is incredibly stable
- It drains well and doesn’t need plugging
- It doesn’t come with leashes, rod holders, or paddle parks
- It’s not easy to put on the roof of your car by yourself
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak – Best Open Deck Design
Featuring an open deck design, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is easy to enter and exit or you can use the optional double or single decks to convert it to a closed deck. This 15-foot kayak can be used in tandem or paddled solo. Combining a stern rib frame design with a rigid bow, this kayak gives you the versatility of solo or tandem seating positions along with interchangeable decks.
The easy to attach double-deck comes with d-rings and more gear storage thanks to its mesh pocket. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Kayak is also drop-stitch floor and BackBone compatible and features more options for improved performance. These options help to improve tracking performance and rigidity while the built-in aluminum ribs in the hull design help to improve tracking.
Equipped with three layers of material to increase the kayak’s puncture resistance, this durable kayak is easy to set up. Since it is preassembled at the factory, you only need to unfold it, inflate, and then attach the seats. Offering high support, the comfortable padded seats are adjustable and allow you to paddle for hours.
Super versatile, there are three seat locations that let you either paddle tandem or solo. Made with rip-stop fabric, the AdvancedFrame Kayak comes with a carrying bag, bungee deck lacing for important gear, and a dry storage compartment. Capable of carrying up to 550 pounds, the optional deck is constructed with Honeycomb Rip-Stop Fabric.
- It has a lot of space and enough to take several people
- This is a very durable kayak that paddles well
- It’s easy to set up and store
- It’s pretty heavy to carry
- It’s hard to dry out
Intex Explorer Tandem Kayak – Best Rugged Design
This two-person inflatable kayak comes with a high output air pump and aluminum oars that measure 86-inches each. The Intex Explorer Tandem Kayak is a sporty and fun kayak with a streamlined design that makes paddling easy. Featuring sport, yellow-colored graphics, this kayak makes it highly visible when you are in the water. This kayak is a great option to use with two adults.
Easy Set up
Easy to assemble, the Intex Explorer Tandem Kayak is constructed with a rugged vinyl and is equipped with an inflatable I-beam floor that adds to its rigidity and comfort. Providing directional stability, the skeg is removable, and the inflatable seats are adjustable and include a backrest for added comfort. Quick to deflate and inflate, this kayak also comes with a grab handle and grab line on each end for additional convenience.
The Explorer Tandem Kayak has a 400-pound capacity and comes with a high-output Intex pump that makes deflation and inflation easy. Created for small bodies of water, this kayak is perfect for a mild river or use in a lake.
- It comes with oars and an air pump
- The seats are adjustable to make you more comfortable
- Its color makes it easy to see in the water, which is a great safety feature
- It can take a while to assemble the paddles
- The repair kit doesn’t come with glue or an adhesive back
Considerations When Choosing the Best Tandem Kayak
A longer version of a traditional kayak, a tandem kayak features enough room for another person that can ride along and help you paddle. Not only can these be a fun adventure with a buddy, but it also allows you to paddle efficiently.
While a tandem kayak can be a lot of fun, they are also a lot of work. Tandem kayaking is frustrating and hard, so it’s important to work with someone that you have good communication with. Otherwise, you can quickly make a friend your enemy as you try and figure out where to go and how to turn the kayak.
Having the ability to fall into a paddling rhythm can take a few times out on the kayak. Patience is definitely important until the two of you get the hang of it.
Tandem VS Single
Advantages of Tandem Kayaks
- It is less expensive than buying two single kayaks
- You experience more efficient paddling
- You can take a break when your partner is paddling
- It gives you the opportunity to work with a friend
- It is easier to carry when you have two people
Disadvantages of Tandem Kayaks
- You always have to have a second person with you
- They are a lot longer than a single kayak
- You can be out on the water on your own
- You need to cooperate and agree with your partner to get where you are going
It’s important to keep all the advantages and disadvantages in mind as you choose a new tandem kayak. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then tandem kayaking is definitely for you!
As you choose your new tandem kayak, you will notice there are two main styles, either a cockpit kayak where you sit inside or a sit on top kayak.
A cockpit-style kayak is where both paddlers sit inside narrow holes. Your torso sits up out of the kayak allowing you to paddle and move while your legs are down inside the boat. Some paddlers find these boats to be cramped with very little legroom. However, they do provide better performance than the sit on top kayaks and are a better choice for an advanced paddler.
Sit On Top Kayaks
In comparison, a sit on top kayak allows you to sit in the open air on top of the kayak. You have lots of legroom, and they are super easy to get in and out. Plus, if the kayak flips over, it will self-drain. A sit on top kayak is a better choice for a recreational paddler where you won’t need to use advanced paddling techniques, efficient paddling, or need stability out in open water. They are ideal for use at the lake or when you want to go out for an afternoon paddle.
It may not occur to you that if you have two people in a kayak that you will need double the storage. Not every tandem kayak offers twice the room for gear, so it’s important to look for one that has enough storage for two people which can be an oversight.
You also want to consider what type of storage it offers. The most common and simple type of storage in a traditional kayak is shock cord and deck lashing. Shock cord lashing is also available on sit on top kayaks, but deck lashing can cause your gear to get wet since it will be stored out in the open.
Kayaks with a hatch offer a more watertight option. Just keep in mind that this type of storage compartment isn’t always waterproof. Really, waterproof hatches are only necessary when you think you may flip over the boat or will be in rough water when the boat can get soaked. Typically, most paddlers won’t be in these conditions, so a non-waterproof hatch can still be a good option. Especially if they seal closed so that if the kayak does flip over, your wallet, keys, and phone won’t end up at the bottom of the lake.
When considering the length of a tandem kayak, remember that a tandem kayak is just going to be longer than a solo kayak, so it’s important that you will be able to transport or move a tandem kayak that is 12 foot or longer. Another important consideration is that the longer a kayak is, the harder it will be to maneuver in the water.
Basically, you need to have a car or truck that is able to handle hauling a longboat. A tandem kayak will typically measure between 12 to 16 feet long or even longer depending on what you are looking for.
An inflatable kayak is not like some sort of pool toy. These handy and portable kayaks are made out of very durable materials and come with high-pressure pumps that can create a super rigid structure that can withstand a lot of use out on the water.
However, if you are careless, it is still possible to tear these inflatable kayaks.
Users also love their portability. One of the great features of an inflatable kayak is that it can fit into a passenger car and not take up a lot of space. They are a perfect choice when you don’t have a way to move a typical rigid kayak.
An inflatable kayak or raft has become more popular over the years, especially for specific types of backpacking trips that are called packrafting. Reliable and easy to use, many inflatable kayaks can actually compete with a rigid kayak for performance and features offered.
Other Kayak Considerations
- Spray Skirt – Common among touring and whitewater boats, a spray skirt will stop water and waves from getting into the cockpit and submerging the boat.
- Rocker – A common design consideration of the kayak’s shape, the rockers are describing the amount of arc that the boat has. Basically, the more rocker it has, the easier the kayak is to turn.
- Skeg – Used in windy conditions or when you paddle straight over a long distance, the fin is often retractable or detachable will help to stabilize a kayak.
- Rudder – Different than the skeg, a rudder Not to be confused with a skeg, the rudder is used to control the boat’s direction to aid in paddling.
- Polyethylene – Inexpensive, but common, polyethylene is a cheap and heavy material that boats are made out of. Polyethylene can break down when it is exposed to sunlight, so it’s important to store these boats in the shade.
- ABS – More expensive than polyethylene boats, ABS material is more resistant to UV damage. It is also easy to repair and more durable.
- Composite – The most expensive of the three, composite can include carbon fiber, Kevlar, and fiberglass. Offering high-performance, these lightweight kayaks can be hard to find.
Tandem kayaks can span all skill levels and budgets. Depending on your preferences, you can find just the right tandem kayak for anglers, advanced paddlers, and recreational users. Just make sure you consider all the options and features available to make sure you choose the right tandem kayak for your needs.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is the best inflatable two-person kayak?
The Sea Eagle 370 is one of the best two-person inflatable kayaks out there. It has a lightweight construction and a sitting capacity of up to three people, with a maximum weight capacity of 650 pounds. Its excellent tracking and stability make it a perfect choice for both beginners and experts.
Can you fish from a tandem kayak?
Yes, you can. Tandem kayaks offer excellent stability and plenty of storage space for all your fishing gear. They also make fishing a bit more interesting as you can bring a friend along on your fishing trip.
What is the best two-person fishing kayak?
The BKC TK181 inflatable tandem kayak is one of the best two-person inflatable kayaks out there. It comes equipped with seven-rod holders that make angle fishing that much easier. Four of the rod holders are flush-mounted, while three of them are articulated. The BKC TK181 also features waterproof storage hatches, twin paddle rests, a secure cargo area, and multiple carrying handles that make transporting effortless. In terms of comfort, the BKC TK181 does not disappoint. It comes equipped with two adjustable seats with plenty of room in the cockpit.
Are tandem kayaks safe?
Most tandem kayaks are very stable and hard to capsize. This is due to their wide hull design, coupled with various buoyancy features like air pockets. However, due to their long length, tandem kayaks are not suitable for sailing on narrow or crowded waters.
Can a tandem kayak be used by one person?
Tandem kayaks are generally longer and bulkier than solo kayaks. This makes it quite cumbersome for one person to paddle. However, you can rearrange the seats or distribute weight evenly along the cockpit to give you better balance.
How do you get into tandem kayaks?
When getting into a tandem kayak, always ensure that the back part of the kayak is left on land while the front is in water. The front rider gets in first; then the back rider pushes the kayak further into the water before getting in himself. For a more comfortable ride, the experienced kayaker should sit at the back.
Is a tandem kayak harder to paddle?
Yes. Since tandem kayaks are longer, require more construction material, and carry more weight, they are harder to navigate than solo kayaks. That being said, it shouldn't be very challenging for two people to navigate on a tandem kayak.
Should I buy a tandem kayak?
Tandem kayaks are more stable and often faster than solo kayaks. Their stability is brought about by their large surface area in contact with water. This makes them perfect for anglers as you can stand while fishing without worrying about capsizing the craft. Tandem kayaks are also more aerodynamic than solo kayaks. This makes them cut through the water more easily and with less resistance, thus making them faster.
What is the best tandem kayak?
The Vanhunks Voyager Deluxe Kayak has a length of 12 feet and a maximum weight capacity of 551 pounds. It comes equipped with deluxe aluminum seats that are padded and adjustable to provide optimum comfort. The seats are also raised to ensure you don’t get wet while seated in the kayak. In terms of storage, this kayak comes equipped with two storage hatch compartments and large front and rear storage spaces with bungees. The high-density polyethylene rotomolded construction is not only resistant to impact and abrasion but is also UV-resistant.
My name is Bryan and I’m the chief editor of kayakiye.com. My goal is to share my experience with readers of kayakiye.com. Here I tell you how to choose the perfect kayak for fishing, camping, and traveling. I share reviews of the best kayaks on the market. I hope that my blog will be useful to Kayakers and Fishing folks.