Tandem kayaks are getting more and more attention these days from people around the world.
At first, let’s take a look at the best tandem kayaks on the market right now. Then, we will go more in detail for each kind of tandems below, whether you should buy it or not and more.
As you might already imagine, tandems are usually longer than the solo ones so two, three people can comfortable use it at one.
Kayaking with tandems is extremely fun and perfect for people who don’t want to paddle alone, or people who are new to this outdoor activity and want to get some experience from an expert.
Advantages of Using Tandem Kayaks
Using them has lots of pros and also some cons.
Before purchasing a tandem kayak, you need to consider a few things first
Below, we will list the most important factors out for you. If you are a new kayaker, take a look at them first before making the final move.
Have Fun With Your Family!
This is one of the most obvious reasons why people buy tandem kayaks.
If you want to have fun with your family members, most of the time it’s your kids, you will love tandems.
As long as your kids are above 5 and they always obey you, one adult and one child are great to paddle one.
It’s recommended to have your kids in the front and you sit at the back so you can cover them any time.
Also, sitting in the front seat, your kids can fully enjoy the beautiful scene. Meanwhile, you can easily paddle at the back, enjoying the view and looking out for any obstacle that might come up on your path.
If your family has only one kid and several adults, you could purchase some solo kayaks but never let your kid use any solo kayak. For safety reason, there should be always at least a adult paddling with him/her.
You can also get a three-people kayak to play with your two kids at once, as long as they both have decent life preservers.
Last but not least, padding with your partner on a tandem is a lot more fun. You share the happy moments with each other a lot more than while using solo kayaks.
You Can Take Breaks and Do Multitasks!
It’s true to say using a tandem kayak is easier than using the others.
When paddling solo, everything is up to you and no one can help you whenever you need to take a break, or want to do other tasks.
Differently, when using a 2-person kayak, you can comfortably take a break whenever you need to. Meanwhile, the companion will help you do the job and control the kayak with ease.
If you are a lazy person, just sit at the back and rest whenever you want without being noticed (lol).
They are also excellent for people who have multitasks to do.
For example, you are enjoying the view of a picturesque river on your kayak but your boss wants you to send him some emails immediately and that will take you couples of minutes to fishing everything, you probably need the help from your companion.
Another example, your companion can help you paddle when you are talking some beautiful shots for both.
You Will Have A Better Speed!
With a decent teamwork, you can paddle a kayak a lot faster than normal.
In addition, the stern of a tandem kayak is always wider than the normal ones, helping you shred through the water even more smooth.
This is not really an advantage as most people use kayaks for recreational purposes.
However, we still want to list this here in case you are sometimes in rush.
For example, it’s pretty far from the riverside/coast to your fishing spot and you do not want to waste any time. This is one of the cases.
Another example: There is suddenly a storm coming while you are fishing on the tandem kayak, you want to get to the land as soon as possible.
This should be another key feature, especially for beginners.
New kayakers, children for example, due to the lack of experience, usually need a great stability.
The more stability your kayak has, the better you all will feel. Especially when you are kayaking on white water or anywhere having rapid water flows.
For an easier control, you might want to the ones which have pedals or rudders.
Tandem Kayaks have more space
Normally, they can carry approximately 50% weight more than a normal kayak. Which means a lot.
However, please notice that 2 solo kayaks can carry more stuffs than a tandem kayak. You should take note of this before purchasing If you really care about the weight capacity.
This should be one of the most common cases: You and your companion both enjoy fishing with kayak. However, he/she is usually busy at the weekend so sometimes you go to fishing alone.
Nevertheless, we need to notice that you shouldn’t put a lot of fishing gears on your kayak. A heavy tandem will be harder to control than a solo one.
As long as the total weight is not near the max capacity, you should be fine.
Backup for A Kayaking Group
Seriously, If your kayak group has more than 5 people, in most cases, having a tandem kayak is always great.
It could be a backup kayak used by one person.
So in case of any accident, it will come in extremely handy.
Anyone who gets accident can get into the tandem and relax, while his/her kayak getting towed behind.
You Can Paddle With Your Dog!
Last but not least, you can paddle the tandem kayak with your dog.
This is probably one of most popular reasons why people decide to buy kayaks with 2 or more seats.
How awesome it is when you play the whole day with your dog on a kayak? He/she will be extremely exciting!
Pick a kayak with removable seats so you can give them as much space as possible when needed!
Of course everything has pros and some cos. Here are some disadvantages of using a tandem kayak you should know before purchasing one.
This is maybe the biggest disadvantage of tandems.
As you might already know, Tandems tend to be a bit heavier, bigger and bulky than the normal ones. This makes transport and store them a bit harder than normal.
In case you are not purchasing an inflatable tandem kayak, make sure you have enough storage to keep it when not in use, and make sure your car is capable of carrying it around.
If it’s a bit heavy, make sure you have another one helping you left it onto your car.
A Tandem Doesn’t Have As Much Storage As 2 Solo Kayaks
As stated above,, a tandem always have much more storage than a normal kayak. However, 2 solo kayaks always have much more room than a 2-person kayak.
So, If you usually have to bring lots of gears and equipments with you, consider purchasing 2 solo kayaks instead of a tandem one.
It will become hard to control If its weight is near the max capacity.
5 Best Tandem Kayaks Of 2018
- Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Kayak
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
- Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak
- Lifetime Manta Tandem Sit on Top Kayak
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set
Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Kayak
- Material: Single Layer Polyethylene
- Length: 12′ (3.7 m)
- Width: 34″ (86.4 cm)
- Max Weight Capacity: 425 lbs (192.8 kg)
- Bow Seat Width: 18.5″ (47 cm)
- Bow Leg Length: 44″ (111.8 cm)
- Stern Seat Width: 20.25″ (51.4 cm)
- Stern Leg Length: 42″ (106.7 cm)
- Center Seat Width: 16.25″ (41.3 cm)
- Unique overlapping foot wells, allowing you to put a seat at the center for solo kayaking with the maximum comfort.
- Can be easily paddled by either one or two persons.
- Comfortable seats with backrests.
- Bow/stern toggle handles
- Well-designed gear straps.
- Side carrying handles.
- Skid plate.
- Screw-in drain plug
This is probably the most popular tandem kayak of all time.
Although this is a 2-person kayak with 2 Comfort Plus seats, it’s well designed so you can easily make it a 3 person kayak (it has 3 seat wells). Your foot always get comfortable regardless.
It can carry up to 425 pounds at max.
The Malibu Two is made from single layer Polyethylene so it’s impossible to store it compactly like inflatable tandems.
It’s best to use Malibu Two on flat waters like lakes or still rivers.
It’s of course absolutely fine to use it on rough waters, however If you are a beginner, it will be a big hard to control the kayak. But you will get used to it pretty soon.
You also need to know that paddles are not packed with the kayak so you will need to purchase some. However, paddles are very cheap so it doesn’t cost you much additional money.
Sevylor Coleman Colorado Inflatable 2-Person Kayak
- Inflated Size: 10’9″ x 3’3″
- Material: 18-gauge PVC construction
- Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
- Pack Includes: Carry bag and pressure gauge
- Persons Capacity: 2
- Max Capacity: 470 Lbs
- 840D nylon cover
- 1000D tarpaulin bottom
- Multiple air chambers giving a lot more protection for the kayak.
- Airtight® System, Berkley® Quick Set Rod Holders, Sevylor® trolling motor, Boston Valve
- Paddle holders.
- Mesh storage for storing gears and food.
- Adjustable comfortable seats.
- Includes carry bag and pressure gauge
Okay we have a high-end tandem kayak here, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado.
Please take a note that this kayak package doesn’t come up with paddles or pumper, so you might want to purchase them as well. Luckily, Sevylor already offers a pack for them all, you just need to pay a little more, which is a lot cheaper than order everything separately.
And they are possibly the only two things you need to purchase for this kayak because this is a high-end kayak and it already offers a lot of stuffs you might can’t find on any other.
It has paddle holders, rod holders, D-Rings, Airtight System, Sevylor trolling motor ready, Boston Valve and a lot of other features which can be seen in the Features section above.
There are just a lot of them and we can’t mention them all here. You can see the complete list on the amazon website.
Although this is an inflatable kayak, it’s extremely sturdy. It’s made from 18-gauge PVC. It also has many air chambers so incase you get hit by punctures, the kayak should be still fine.
Sea Eagle SE370K_P – Inflatable Tandem Kayak
- Dimensions: 12’6″ x 2’10”
- Deflated dimensions: 31″ x 19″ x 8″
- Weight: 32 lbs
- Capacity: 3 Persons / 650 lbs
- Air Chambers: 3 chambers (floor, port, starboard)
- Material: K80 PVC
- Floor: Inflatable I-beam construction
- Air Valves: 5 premium one-way valves.
- High weight capacity (up to 650 lbs).
- Complete package includes all needed stuffs: AB30 paddles, inflatable, removable and movable seats, foot pump and deluxe carry bag.
- 2 skegs at the bottom.
- Saltwater and sun resistant.
- Spray skirt.
- Well designed carrying handles.
This is another remarkable tandem kayak.
The SE370K_P comes in a package with a foot pump, paddles, 2 inflatable seats, and a repair kit in case anything puncture your kayak, which is extremely rare to face because this kayak was made from an excellent material.
Being made from 38 mil PolyKrylar (K80 PVC), this kayak is super durable as an inflatable tandem kayak. Thus, it is even suitable for Class III whitewater.
This kayak shreds through the water very smoothly even when being controlled by only one person.
Lots of users like using this one as a solo kayak and use the rest of the space for stuffs, pets or fishing kayaks.
If you want to use this kayak on whitewater or on a windy day, you should paddle with another one because it’s pretty light and can easily be affected by strong wind.
Lifetime Manta Sit-on-Top Tandem Kayak
- Width: 36 in. (91,4 cm)
- Length: 120 in. (304,8 cm)
- Weight: 60 lb. (27 kg)
- Warranty: 5-Year Limited
- Maximum Weight: Capacity 500 lb. (226,8 kg)
- Paddle Length: 86.6 in. (220 cm)
- Hull Material: Roto-Molded Polyethylene
- Paddle Materials: ABS and Aircraft Grade Aluminum
- Cargo space
- Includes backrests
- Tunnel hull design
- Double seating
Another very famous tandem sit-on-top kayak on the market right now.
It’s suitable for kids, beginners and even experienced ones.
This is another hard shelled kayak, being made from ABS and Aircraft Grade Aluminum.
It’s extremely lightweight, just 60 lbs.
It comes with 2 paddles and 2 very comfortable seats with backrests. The backrests are tie on the kayak, right on top of the molded seats.
Actually, it has 3 seats but only 2 backrests. The middle seat is well designed so a child or a dog can east sit in the middle, between the stern and the bow seats.
There is also a small cargo storage located on the bow as well, being held down by the shock straps. Just a little addition but comes in handy in many situations.
There are two bottle holders and some rod holders as well. Many will find these very helpful.
This kayak can carry up to 500 pounds so everything so be fine!
Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
- Inflated Size: 10’3″ x 3′ x 1’8″
- Weight: 31.13 lbs
- Persons Capacity: 2
- Weight Capacity: 400 lbs (180 kg)
- Accessories: Repair Kit, High-Output Air Pump, 86″ Aluminum Oars
- Efficient Navigation
- Great convenience, portability, and durability
- Easy to set up.
- Great weight.
- Adjustable seats with backrests, removable skeg, grab line on both sides.
Last but not least, the Intex Explorer K2 2-person kayak, one of the best cheap tandem kayaks on the market for years now.
When it comes to budget choices, nothing can beat this kayak.
This kayak comes with 2 premium aluminum paddles and a foot pump.
It has 2 removable seats them all of them have nice backrests, removable foot pegs.
You can easily inflate it in just a few minutes and you will have a sturdy inflatable kayak ready, which can carry up to 350 pounds at one.
Although it’s ideal to use this kayak on still waters, it’s totally fine to play with it on whitewater.
With the great convenience, portability, and durability, you will never regret buying this kayak.