10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks (Efficient & Highly Practical)
Kayaking is a fun experience. Unfortunately, most of the time kayaking is a solo-experience that cannot be shared as most kayaks are compact and equipped with only one seat intended for one person.
If you want to share your kayak fishing experience with friends, family or a significant other then you will need to consider the tandem fishing kayak.
This is a long kayak that has 2 seats and can be used for a wide range of activities, from fishing, recreation, to sports. It is also extremely easy to use and beginner-friendly.
In order to help you find a quality model, we have gathered some of the best tandem fishing kayaks on the market and give you our recommendation below.
Without any delay, let's find out how well they perform!
- Advantage & Disadvantage:
- 10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks - Reviews
- #1. Ocean Kayak 12 feet Malibu 2XL Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #3. Elkton Outdoors 12 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #4. Vibe Kayaks 130T Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #6. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #7. Lifetime Beacon Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #8. Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #9. Lifetime Kokanee Angler Tandem Fishing Kayak
- #10. Perception Pescador Tandem Fishing Kayak
- How to Buy A Tandem Fishing Kayak
Advantage & Disadvantage:
- Company: Let's Face It. If you are alone kayaking for an extended period that it can quickly become boring. One of the main advantages of the tandem kayak is that it provides you with a company. Indeed, paddling with a friend or family is a wonderful experience while kayaking. Moreover, if you're using the tandem kayak for fishing then you do not necessarily have to fish. One of you can just sit back, relax and simply enjoy the view.
- Maneuverability: Most tandem kayaks have a large cockpit that provides you with a lot of maneuverability. This is especially important for those who use the tandem kayak for fishing as you have to engage in different maneuvers when casting or retrieving your fishing line.
- Tracking: The tandem kayak is reputed for its excellent tracking. Tracking is simply the ability for the tandem kayak to keep moving in a straight line when the user stops paddling. This way, the tandem kayak is a more efficient kayak to control and paddle with.
- Speed: Since there is an additional pair of hand in the tandem kayak, you can move much more quickly than with a regular kayak that can only accommodate one person.
- Efficiency: Most manufacturers design the tandem kayak to be highly efficient in the water. It has a streamlined form factor that allows it to glide over water with minimum friction. Therefore, the tandem kayak is a highly efficient kayak that requires minimal effort to navigate the waters.
- Difficulty to steer: Due to the long length of the tandem kayak, it is more difficult to steer than a traditional kayak which is usually more compact and smaller.
- Number of people: While the number of people operating the tandem kayak is an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage because it is difficult to navigate with the tandem kayak when used by one person only. Moreover, since there is one additional person with you it means that you are closer to maxing out the weight capacity of the tandem kayak and therefore, you can carry fewer accessories with you.
- Cockpit: Since the tandem kayak has a large cockpit, water can easily get in especially if you are kayaking in whitewater. Of course, you can use a spray skirt. But due to the long cockpit, it is more difficult to fit a spray skirt on a tandem kayak than on a traditional kayak.
10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks - Reviews
1. Ocean Kayak 12 feet Malibu 2XL Tandem Fishing Kayak
375 lbs - 425 lbs
2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Fishing Kayak
3. Elkton Outdoors 12 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
4. Vibe Kayaks 130T Tandem Fishing Kayak
5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Fishing Kayak
6. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
7. Lifetime Beacon Tandem Fishing Kayak
8. Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Fishing Kayak
9. Lifetime Kokanee Angler Tandem Fishing Kayak
10. Perception Pescador Tandem Fishing Kayak
325 lbs - 500 lbs
57 - 69 lbs
#1. Ocean Kayak 12 feet Malibu 2XL Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 375 lbs - 425 lbs
- Weight: 57 lbs
The Malibu 2XL the is one of the most popular tandem kayaks on the market. This model has just about the right amount of features and price to make it an interesting and worthwhile tandem kayak solution.
For one, it is equipped with comfortable padded seats and a fully adjustable backrest for added comfort when kayaking for an extended period of time. Moreover, it has a very large cockpit that can comfortably accommodate 2 adults or 2 adults and a child.
When it comes to storage, there is 2 storage compartment right below the seat position where you can keep your various fishing accessories. One of the best things about this tandem kayak is that it is multipurpose and can be used for a wide range of activities.
All in all, if you are an absolute beginner and looking for a double tandem fishing kayak that is versatile and easy to maneuver, the Malibu 2XL is an excellent model to consider.
#2. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 470 lbs
- Weight: 41.2 lbs
First of all, the Sevylor Coleman is made out of 18-gauge PVC and not the traditional polyethylene plastic that we normally see in a traditional tandem kayak. Therefore, it is less durable.
However, one area where this tandem kayak absolutely shines is in price. Indeed, it is more competitively priced and the cheapest tandem kayak you will find in this review.
This is a double tandem fishing kayak that has 2 comfortable and adjustable seats. It can accommodate 2 adults with ease. Further, this unit comes with a heavy-duty air pump that allows you to inflate it quickly and easily.
Moreover, this tandem kayak is made out of a tough 18-gauge PVC that is somewhat thick and offers reasonable protection against impacts even if it cannot be compared to a Polyethelyne.
In case of puncture, this model uses a multi-chamber design which means that if one part of this tandem kayak gets punctured, other parts are unaffected and it will still float not risking your life.
In addition, it has a motor mount system at the back that allows you to attach a motorized engine with ease. Bottom line, if you are on a strict budget and looking for a budget tandem kayak for the money, you should seriously consider this model.
#3. Elkton Outdoors 12 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 600 lbs
- Weight: 90 lbs
This Elkton looks badass and is borderline a military grade kayak that can accommodate 2 oversized people with ease. Indeed, it has a large cockpit with footrests at multiple positions that make it easier to paddle for an extended period.
But where this model absolutely shines is in the weight capacity department. With its 600 lbs, the Elkton is the best tandem fishing kayak when it comes to carrying weight. You can carry heavy accessories with this kayak.
Moreover, this unit has a full camo skin so it's invisible to wildlife. You get 2 high-quality paddles with this purchase as well as rod holders and bungee lines.
When it comes to storage, the Elkton has plenty. Right below the seat area, you will find a large hatch where you can keep your various valuables. When it comes to kayaking in whitewater, this unit can handle it quite well as it is made from a heavy duty and high-density rotomold that resists shock very well.
The only caveat with this tandem kayak is its high weight of 90 lbs. However, this is mostly explained by the thick rotomold molding used to make this tandem kayak a reality. Therefore, this model is one of the best tandem fishing kayaks when it comes to durability.
#4. Vibe Kayaks 130T Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.7 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 80 lbs
Many experts regard the Vibe Kayaks 130T as one of the best tandem fishing kayaks for the money. It comes with a wide range of features that makes it extremely attractive.
However, this model will cost you as it is also one of the most expensive tandem fishing kayaks on the market. But, everything has a price.
For one, this boat is delivered with 2 very high-quality paddles that are long-lasting and durable. Moreover, the cockpit is large and can accommodate 3 people with ease. Therefore, this tandem kayak will also make an excellent recreational kayak as well.
When it comes to fishing, this boat is stable and you can even stand on it without rolling over. This is all due to its flat bottom that provides it with stability on the water.
As expected from a tandem kayak of this price, it has a lot of storage for your accessories and comes equipped with many accessories like rod holders that will make your fishing more enjoyable.
Last but not least, you can order this tandem kayak in no less than 4 different colors based on your preference.
#5. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 86 lbs
One of the things we like the most about the Skipjack 120T is its relatively short length of 146.4 inches and its high weight capacity of 500 lbs. When those 2 factors are combined together, we get a heavy-duty tandem fishing kayak that is compact and can carry a lot of weight.
Moreover, at 86 lbs, it is not the lightest but still fairly portable and reasonable by tandem kayak standards. You get to high-quality Vibe branded paddles with this purchase as well as an adjustable seat and rod holders.
In order to store your various fishing accessories, there are multiple storage options. The only caveat we have with this unit is that the cockpit is smaller when compared to other models.
However, it still offers decent maneuverability and has features as well as a build construction that makes it worth its fairly steep asking price.
Moreover, you can fish in this tandem kayak by either sitting or standing. It has a flat bottom that is very stable on water and not easy to roll over when navigating rapid waters.
#6. Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 60 lbs
Where this Lifetime tandem kayak shines is in its build construction and weight. Indeed, this model has one of the best weight to build ratio you will find anywhere.
It is made from a high-density polyethylene that is extremely durable and long-lasting. Moreover, this build construction material will protect you against impacts and make your tandem kayak last for decades.
The cockpit is open space and there is a lot of legroom that makes it a very comfortable 2-seater tandem fishing kayak. In addition, there are multiple footrests that give you the option of choosing a more comfortable sitting position based on your body type and leg length.
You will find 3 convenient rod holders at the back as well as a large storage compartment for your fishing accessories.
Best, the weight capacity of 500 lbs is a welcome addition as it can easily accommodate up to 3 oversized people with ease.
The only caveat that we can find with this model is that it has a fairly small storage hatch for such a large tandem kayak. Especially that it has a big weight capacity of 500 lbs which does not make a lot of sense to have such a small storage compartment.
#7. Lifetime Beacon Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 500 lbs
- Weight: 90 lbs
The Lifetime Beacon is not here to impress anyone. This is a simple looking and quite a basic tandem kayak. However, this 2-seater tandem kayak has an excellent build construction as it is made from a padded CRS that is very durable and long-lasting.
Moreover, this is not a small tandem kayak by any means. At its longest, it measures 144-inch which is on the long side for a tandem kayak. In addition, what we like about this model is the large cockpit as well as the adjustable seat and multiple footwells that makes it quite comfortable to paddle.
Furthermore, we note the presence of 2 large storage compartment for your various accessories as well as 4 carry handles for easy transportation. Of course, you do get 4 paddles with this purchase.
If you have never owned a tandem kayak before and looking for a basic model to get started, the Lifetime Beacon is worth the consideration.
#8. Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Weight capacity: N/A
- Weight: 70 lbs
What we like about this Bali tandem fishing kayak is its robust and durable build construction. This is clearly a tandem kayak that was built to last a long time.
Moreover, you are not limited in terms of storage space with this model as it has no less than 2 storage compartments. Right in the middle of the kayak, you will find a sail mount if you want to attach a sail to it.
Inside, the cockpit is quite large and offers a lot of maneuverability. In addition, there are many footwells so as you can get a better position while paddling for an extended period. Of course, the seats, as well as the backrests, are fully adjustable.
At 70 lbs, this model is lightweight for a tandem kayak that makes it easy to carry and transport. However, it measures an impressive 163 in which is quite long. In case you are transporting this tandem kayak on a kayak trailer, you need to ensure that your trailer can accommodate such a long length.
#9. Lifetime Kokanee Angler Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 425 lbs
- Weight: 76 lbs
The Lifetime Kokanee was engineered from the ground up to be a small and compact tandem kayak that offers above average weight capacity. Indeed, it measures only 123 in which is on the short side for a tandem kayak.
Moreover, its high weight capacity of 425 lbs allows it to accommodate up to 2 oversized individuals with ease.
While this model is certainly not the most stable tandem fishing kayak on the market, it has a flat bottom which gives it good stability on the water. Therefore, this tandem kayak can be used by those who like to stand up while fishing.
To make it more comfortable to paddle, inside the cockpit you will find multiple footwells as well as 2 adjustable and padded seats. There are also 2 storage compartments in this tandem kayak. One at the front and another at the rear.
Since this is an open space cockpit, you can expect a lot of water getting in. Therefore, this model is equipped with scupper holes that will quickly drain any water that enters inside the cockpit.
#10. Perception Pescador Tandem Fishing Kayak
Editor's Rating: (3.8 / 5)
- Weight capacity: 325 lbs - 500 lbs
- Weight: 57 lbs - 69 lbs
The Perception Pescador is a unique beast. This top-rated tandem fishing kayak comes in no less than 3 different models that each have their own individual features like different weight capacity and size.
Indeed, versatility is a key characteristic of the Perception Pescador. However, if there is one department that this tandem fishing kayaking is unbeatable is in comfort.
Indeed, this model has been engineered from the ground up to be extremely comfortable especially for those who use their kayaks for an extended period. For one, the seats are ergonomic and the backrests are fully adjustable.
Even more so, inside the cockpit, you will find multiple footrests so that the user can get a better footing while paddling. When it comes to storage, each paddler has his own storage compartment that comes with a fully waterproof lid to keep your sensitive accessories safe from water.
Moreover, you can purchase this boat in no less than 5 different colors for user preference as well as 3 different sizes for each Perception Pescador model you choose to go with.
How to Buy A Tandem Fishing Kayak
There are a few factors to keep an eye out before purchasing the tandem kayak. Here are some of the most important ones:
Not all tandem kayaks come with the same design, even if on the surface they almost all appear to be the same. The main difference is usually found at the bottom, especially at the hull.
If you are planning to stand up on your tandem fishing kayak then you need to go with a model that had a flat bottom.
A flat bottom will provide you with more stability when casting your fishing line and prevent the tandem kayak from topping over.
When it comes to speed, anything that is not a flat bottom will be fine.
The weight capacity is one of the most important factors of the tandem kayak. Unlike a traditional kayak where you only have one person, in the tandem kayak, there is an additional person to account for.
Moreover, the weight capacity of the tandem kayak is usually not more than what you will find in the traditional one-seater kayak.
Therefore, before purchasing the tandem kayak you need to make sure that when you add both your weight and the weight of your partner so as it does not max out the weight capacity of the tandem kayak.
In addition, you also need to take into account the weight of the fishing accessories you are planning to carry with you.
The dimension is an important factor since it dictates the tracking of the tandem kayak. In short, the longer the length of the tandem kayak then the better the tracking of the kayak.
In addition, the width will show you the level of maneuverability that you have inside the tandem kayak. You will need to choose a dimension that is appropriate for your need and purpose.
The dimension is important when transporting the tandem kayak on a kayak trailer. Ensure that your Kayak trailer can fit the dimension of your tandem kayak.
If you plan to transport or carry your tandem kayak to your kayaking location, the weight should also be considered. Knowing the weight is especially important if you are transporting the tandem kayak along with other kayaks on a kayak trailer that has a strict weight capacity.
The build construction is another important consideration, especially for those planning to use the tandem kayak on rough waters where the risk of impacts is imminent.
Storage is always important in a kayak, especially in a tandem kayak. Ensure that your preferred model has at least one storage compartment with a hatch that makes it fully waterproof.
This is important in case your cockpit get water in. Moreover, some tandem kayak models have a soft lining storage in order to provide an additional line of safety for your precious accessories like smartphones or sensitive fishing materials like GPS systems.
Since the tandem kayak requires a paddle, ensure that it comes with a quality paddle. For the best bang for the buck, we recommend that you go with a tandem kayak that comes with a paddle that has an aluminum shaft and a heavy duty thick plastic blade for durability and longevity.
In case you have a permit to operate a motorized boat, you may want to attach a motor to your tandem kayak for better efficiency and ease of use.
Therefore, it is important that you ensure that your tandem kayak has an attachment or mounting system at the rear that allows you to attach a motorized engine to it.
As all good things do, this tandem fishing kayaker review comes to an end. So far, we have seen some very good models that will provide you and your partner with hours of great fun.
The tandem kayak is an efficient, versatile and highly practical kayak for fishing, recreation or anything in between. If you regularly go fishing with one extra person, then purchasing the tandem kayak make more sense than going with a regular one-seat kayak.
Finally, if you have still not found a good tandem kayak for your need, we recommend that you go through our review one more time.