10 Best Tandem Kayaks for Fishing, Recreational and More

Best Tandem Kayak

The tandem kayak is an innovative type of boat that comes with 2 seats and allows you to kayak with another member. This is an easy boat to operate that is efficient in the water and can be used for a wide range of activities, from sports to recreation.

Moreover, due to the long length of the tandem kayak, it provides you with a lot of space for storing your various accessories in case you plan to use your tandem kayak for activities like fishing.

If you are fresh on the market for one of the best tandem kayaks for the money, we have you covered. We hand-picked some quality tandem kayaks and give you our impressions below. Without any further ado, let’s start!

Advantages:

  • Better efficiency: One of the traits of the tandem kayak is the long and efficient shape that allows it to move smoothly on water. Therefore, for both forward and backward movements, it is easier to paddle than other types of kayaks.
  • Superior performance: Since the tandem kayak is operated by 2 people paddling in tandem, it has more “muscle power” that provides it with superior performance. Therefore, the tandem kayak is more versatile and can be used as a sports kayak as well.
  • Helps you fight boredom: One of the most important and yet omitted aspects of kayaking is the company it provides. It can quickly become boring to paddle on your own, especially if you are kayaking for an extended period of time. In a tandem kayak, you always have company for you to bond and chat with a fellow teammate.
  • Space to store your accessories: Due to the long length of the tandem kayak, it physically has more space to offer. Therefore, you will find a more generous storage compartment in the tandem kayak. Most of the time, the tandem kayak is equipped with at least 2 storage compartments with deep hulls for storing your various accessories. In addition, the storage compartments of the tandem kayak are usually protected by a 100% waterproof hatch that will prevent water from entering and thus damaging your sensitive equipment like smartphones.
  • More stable: Most tandem kayaks have a flat bottom for enhanced stability. When coupled with the long length of the tandem kayak, this flat bottom offers a larger surface area which in turn makes the whole kayak much more stable. Therefore, for those who like to fish while standing up, the tandem kayak is one of the best stand-up kayaks for the money.

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult to steer: Steering is the act of moving the kayak from either left or right. One of the main disadvantages of the tandem kayak is its steering. Indeed, due to the long length of the kayak, it generates more water resistance to the sides, therefore making it more difficult to steer.
  • Heavier than other kayaks: When compared to other types of kayaks, the tandem kayak is generally longer as it was designed to accommodate more than one paddler. Therefore, the tandem kayak is also bulkier and weighs more than your average small and compact kayak. Of course, there are still lightweight tandem kayaks that are made for portability on the market.
  • Higher price: In general, the tandem kayak is more expensive than other types of kayaks. Of course, the price will also depend on the make and model of the tandem kayak that you choose.

You can also read other product reviews on the same niche such as tandem fishing kayak, stand-up kayak, recreational kayak, touring kayak, cheap kayak, and many more.

10 Best Tandem Kayaks - Reviews

Product Name

No. of Seats

Weight Capacity

Weight

Rating

Current Price

1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Recreational Tandem Kayak

2

375 - 425 lbs

57 lbs

4.4

2. Advanced Elements Convertible Inflatable Kayak

2

550 lbs

56 lbs

4.3

3. Vibe Kayaks 130T Tandem Kayak

2

500 lbs

80 lbs

4.7

4. Lifetime Tandem Kayak With Padded Backrests

2

500 lbs

60 lbs

4.2

5. BKC UH-TK219 Tandem Kayak

2

440 lbs

70 lbs

4.8

6. Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak 

3

500 lbs

60 lbs

4.0

7. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak

2

600 lbs

65 lbs

4.8

8. Vibe Kayaks 120T Tandem Kayak

3

500 lbs

72 lbs

4.9

9. Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Kayak

2

N/A

70 lbs

4.2

10. Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak

2

500 lbs

90 lbs

3.8

#1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Recreational Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Recreational Tandem Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 375 lbs - 425 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 57 lbs

The Malibu tandem kayak is one of the most popular tandem recreational kayaks on the market. This is a 2 seater that comes in 3 different colors for user preference. Additionally, the seats are padded and comfortable, allowing you to sit and kayak for an extended period without feeling fatigue.

Where this model absolutely shines is definitely in the storage compartment. It has 2 large compartments under the hull for storing your various accessories like fishing accessories or GPS systems when going out fishing. Moreover, the hatch is 100% waterproof and will not allow water to get inside thus making it safe to store sensitive items.

Furthermore, this 2-seater is made from a heavy-duty end a high-density polyethylene that offers very good resistance against impacts. Additionally, this material is very long-lasting and durable as well. One of the best things about polyethylene is that despite being so tough, it is still fairly lightweight.

At 57 lbs, the Malibu is one of the most lightweight tandem kayaks on the market. You will have no difficulty carrying this kayak to the kayaking location or even carrying it on a kayak trailer.

All in all, if you’re looking for a versatile tandem kayak for recreational and casual fishing purposes, the Malibu tandem kayak is one of the best tandem kayaks for the money.

Pros:

  • Excellent build construction from polyethylene. Long-lasting and durable
  • Lightweight at 57 lbs. Easy to carry and maneuver
  • Comfortable and padded seat. The backrest is fully adjustable
  • 2 big storage compartments for your various accessories

Cons:

  • The price of this tandem kayak could have been a little bit more competitive

#2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 550 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 56 lbs

From a distance, it is difficult to tell if this Advanced Elements tandem kayak is inflatable or a regular polyethylene model. However, this is a fully inflatable Kayak that is built from a 3-layer material that is very durable and tough.

The design of this sit-in kayak is highly efficient and despite the cockpit being compact, it offers ample space to maneuver, even for a fairly oversized individual. Due to the long length of this tandem kayak, tracking is excellent. Moreover, the streamlined form factor makes it glide over water very easily.

You have the ability to purchase this model in 2 different colors to suit your need. The only caveat we have with this model is that it is not delivered with a paddle or a pump. You will have to buy those accessories separately to get started.

But one of the biggest attractions of this tandem kayak is definitely its low weight of 56 lbs. In fact, it is one of the lightest in this review. Being so light, this tandem kayak can easily be carried to the kayaking location or transported on a kayak trailer.

If you’re looking for a lightweight tandem kayak for either casual or even heavy-duty kayaking in tandem, we highly recommend this model from Advanced Elements.

Pros:

  • Efficient design. Glides through the water very easily with minimal effort
  • Build material is thick and heavy-duty. Will not puncture easily
  • Excellent tracking on the water
  • Delivered with a quality carry bag

Cons:

  • Does not have footwells for a better kayaking position
  • Limited storage capacity
  • Does not come with paddles or pump

#3. Vibe Kayaks 130T Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Vibe Kayaks 130T Tandem Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 80 lbs

The Vibe Kayaks 130T is a sit-on-top tandem kayak that has one of the largest cockpits you can find in any kayak on the market. In fact, this large carpet makes this model an excellent choice for those looking out to relax and enjoy the view.

Despite being equipped with only 2 seats; it is large enough to accommodate 3 people with great ease. In addition, one of the limelight of this model is its 2 large storage compartment that will allow you to store your catch in case you are out fishing.

Additionally, you get 2 high-quality Vibe paddles that are extremely durable and long-lasting. Moreover, they are specially designed in such a way that it makes paddling easier. Furthermore, the flat bottom of this tandem kayak makes it very stable on still water.

Therefore, the Vibe Kayaks 130T is also an excellent stand-up kayak for those interested in using this boat as a fishing kayak. All in all, this boat from Vibe is one of the best 3 people kayak because of its large and generous cockpit.

Pros:

  • Large cockpit. Can easily accommodate up to 3 people
  • This tandem kayak is delivered with 2 high-quality Vibe paddles
  • Large storage compartments for storing your catch
  • Flat bottom offers excellent stability on still water

Cons:

  • It is an expensive tandem kayak
  • At 80 lbs, this boat is one of the heaviest in this tandem kayak review

#4. Lifetime Tandem Kayak with Padded Backrests

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Lifetime Tandem Kayak with Padded Backrests
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 60 lbs

This Lifetime kayak was specially engineered for those who need a highly maneuverable and compact tandem kayak. At only 120”, it is not a very long and quite compact. However, what makes this model very appealing is definitely its lightweight of 60 lbs.

Being so lightweight, this tandem kayak and easily be transported anywhere with ease. Additionally, the build construction is also excellent as it is made from a high-density polyethylene which is extremely durable and resists sunlight as well as impact shocks quite well.

Further, you get 2 plastic paddles with this purchase. They are not the highest quality paddles we have seen but for casual use, they are more than adequate. Additionally, you can purchase this model in either a green or a yellow color to suit your color preference.

There are no padded seats in this tandem kayak, but the backrests are quite comfortable and can easily be adjusted. Another downside to this model is that there is no dedicated storage compartment for storing your various accessories. It is quite basic.

Pros:

  • Small and compact easy to maneuver
  • High weight capacity of 500 lbs despite its small size
  • Lightweight at 60 lbs. Can easily be carried to the kayaking location
  • Available in 2 different colors

Cons:

  • The price of this tandem kayak could have been a little bit more competitive
  • Plastic paddles are not the most durable. Cannot be used for heavy-duty paddling

#5. BKC UH-TK219 Sit On Top Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

BKC UH-TK219 Sit On Top Tandem Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 440 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 70 lbs

One of the best things about this sit-on-top kayak is that it offers you an excellent view of your surroundings. This type of kayak makes both an excellent fishing as well as a recreational kayak.

For those looking for the best sit-on-top tandem kayak for the money, the BKC UH-TK219 is a worthwhile model to consider. This is a heavy-duty unit that has an extremely tough build construction that will protect it against impacts during kayaking.

Moreover, this tandem kayak sits low on the water providing you with better efficiency when paddling.

Due to the strategic positioning of the seats, you always have a bird’s eye view of the water surrounding you. Furthermore, the bottom is flat giving you a lot of stability when this tandem kayak is used as a standard kayak for fishing.

Another noteworthy point is that you get 2 high-quality paddles with this purchase. The paddles have an aluminum shaft and a thick plastic blade that makes it an excellent choice for heavy-duty paddling. When used as a fishing kayak, there are no less than 6-rod holders that can be easily adjusted.

Finally, the weight capacity of 440 lbs is pretty average in our opinion. However, it is still more than enough for most people. The only downside to this tandem kayak is its price. It could have been a little bit more competitive, but for the money, you are definitely getting a high quality and versatile sit-on-top tandem kayak.

Pros:

  • 6-rod holders for accommodating your fishing lines
  • Low-profile. Allows you to paddle more efficiently
  • Very stable on water due to the flat bottom. Can be used as a stand-up tandem kayak
  • 2 high-quality paddles with an aluminum shaft and thick blade for heavy-duty paddling

Cons:

  • The weight capacity of 440 lbs. Could have been a little bit higher
  • Expensive. The price could have been a little bit more competitive

#6. Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak with Paddles

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak with Paddles
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 3
  • Weight: 60 lbs

This Lifetime tandem kayak is regarded by many as being one of the best touring kayaks for the money. This model has 2 seats, but the cockpit is large enough so as to accommodate at least 3 people with ease.

Additionally, the weight capacity of 500 lbs means that 3 overweight people can easily fit this tandem kayak without it sinking or rolling over. When it comes to the build quality, this boat is made from a high-density polyethylene which is extremely durable and long-lasting. It can be used for both freshwater and seawater kayaking.

One thing that we like in this tandem kayak is also the fact that it weighs only 60 lbs. At this weight, it is light enough to be easily carried anywhere with ease. Further, if you plan to use this tandem kayak for fishing, it comes equipped with multiple fishing rods as well as has a flat bottom for stability.

You can easily stand up on this tandem kayak and fish, no problem. Moreover, at 120-inch in length, it is quite small and compact. Its small length means that it is maneuverable and can be used to navigate small streams and rivers with ease.

Pros:

  • Solid and durable build quality from a high-density polyethylene
  • Can host up to 3 people with ease
  • Small and compact. Highly maneuverable
  • Multiple fishing rods for accommodating your fishing lines

Cons:

  • Expensive for the feature-set of this tandem kayak

#7. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 600 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 65 lbs

When it comes to weight capacity, the Elkton is unbeatable. Indeed, with its 600 lbs weight capacity, this 2 people kayak is one of the best. It will easily fit 2 overweight individuals with great ease.

Moreover, its length of 144 inches is the sweet spot in a tandem kayak offering it excellent tracking compatibilities. Furthermore, this model is built to last as it is made from a rotomold injected body that makes it extremely long-lasting and durable.

If you’re planning to take this kayak out for fishing, it comes with 2 large storage compartments that makes it easy to store all your fishing accessories like fishing lines as well as pieces of electronics that are water-sensitive.

Best, you get 2 high-quality paddles with this purchase. Last but not least, there are multiple foot wells inside the cockpit that will allow you to get a better footing while paddling. 

Pros:

  • The weight capacity of 600 lbs is the best in this review
  • A tough and durable build material
  • Excellent tracking when moving in a straight line
  • 2 large storage compartments for your accessories

Cons:

  • None

#8. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 3
  • Weight: 72 lbs

When it comes to good looks, the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T is unbeatable. However, this tandem kayak is not simply about looks. Indeed, this is a performing model that can accommodate up to 3 people with ease.

It has an excellent weight capacity of 500 lbs which shows that it can carry a heavyweight and comes equipped with 2 padded seats with adjustable backrest. However, with a little tweaking, you can comfortably add another person making this model one of the best 3 people kayak on the market.

The storage compartment in this Vibe tandem kayak is also one of the best we have seen as it is 100% waterproof and large. Large enough to accommodate any type of accessories or catch in case you will be using this tandem kayak for fishing.

Pros:

  • Large weight capacity of 500 lbs can easily carry up to 3 overweight people
  • Available in 3 different colors
  • Very comfortable seat with adjustable backrest
  • Various mounts for accommodating your fishing accessories

Cons:

  • The price could have been a bit better

#9. Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Sun Dolphin Bali Tandem Kayak
  •  Weight Capacity: N/A
  •  Number of Seats: 2
  •  Weight: 70 lbs

The Sun Dolphin Bali is a king when it comes to tracking and builds construction. This is a versatile tandem kayak that can be used in different situations and activities. One of the things that makes this tandem kayak so good is also the presence of a sail mount at the center.

This sail mount will allow you to add a sail to this tandem kayak for more recreational fun. Additionally, this Sun Dolphin tandem kayak is built from a high-density polyethylene material that makes it robust, durable and long-lasting. It can safely be used on seawater with no degradation over time.

Moreover, the 2 seats are comfortable and fully adjustable for more comfort.

But what makes this tandem sea kayak so good is definitely its long length of 163 inches. In fact, this unit is the longest tandem kayak in this review. Its long length gives it excellent tracking over water, making it more efficient when moving in a straight line. 

Pros:

  • Excellent tracking due to its long length of 163 inches
  • 2 very comfortable padded seats with adjustable backrests
  • Durable and long-lasting built construction
  • Sail mount for mounting a sail

Cons:

  • Due to its shallow profile, water can easily get inside the cockpit

#10. Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak

Editor's Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak
  • Weight Capacity: 500 lbs
  • Number of Seats: 2
  • Weight: 90 lbs

The Lifetime Beacon is a basic tandem kayak that is aimed mostly to those who do not have a lot of experience kayaking. It has a length of 144 inches which makes it track well on water and a respectable weight capacity of 500 lbs.

It comes with 2 padded seats that are comfortable and will prevent fatigue when used for long hours. Moreover, the backrests are also quite comfortable and fully adjustable as well.

We also note the presence of multiple foot wells carved inside the cockpit so that you get a better footing while paddling. For portability, there are no less than 4 carry handles which makes it easier for 2 people to carry and transport.

The only caveat with this tandem recreational kayak is its fairly high weight of 90 lbs. Still, this is not a big problem since this kayak is intended to be carried by 2 people. So the weight is still within reasonable limits.

Pros:

  • Good quality build construction from polyethylene
  • Delivered with 2 paddles
  • Carry handles at both ends for easy transportation
  • Multiple foot wells for better paddling position

Cons:

  • Basic features when compared to other tandem kayaks
  • Heavy at 90 lbs
  • Only 1 storage compartment

How to Buy a Tandem Kayak

How to Buy a Tandem Kayak

#1. Purpose

There are multiple ways you can use the tandem kayak. The most popular use remains for recreational purposes. In this case, you can go ahead and choose a tandem kayak that has a comfortable and padded seat so that you can sit down and enjoy the view in all comfort.

Furthermore, when bringing more than 2 people on your tandem kayak, space is more important than anything else. Go with a tandem kayak model that has a longer length so as to have more space.

If you plan to use the tandem kayak for fishing, a large storage compartment or even multiple storage compartments in your kayak will be more useful to you. You can store your various fishing accessories as well as your catch in those large storage areas.

Additionally, make sure your tandem kayak is fitted with accessories like rod holders for holding your various fishing rods. You don’t want to hold them in your hand while fishing.

#2. Storage

For those looking forward to buying a tandem kayak, the storage is one of the most important aspects. Of course, the amount of storage that you will need in the tandem kayak will depend on your use and need as well.

In general, the tandem kayak offers greater space and storage capacity when compared to your average kayak. This is because of the long form factor of the tandem kayak. You can expect at least 2 generous storage compartments.

Of course, if you are planning to use the tandem kayak for activities like fishing, then the more storage capacity the better.

Additionally, for sensitive materials like GPS, smartphones or other pieces of electronics that are sensitive to water, then it is important to keep an eye out for storage compartments that are 100% waterproof.

#3. Weight

The tandem kayak usually weighs between 55 lbs to 90 lbs, which is more than your average single kayak usually weighing below 50 lbs. This is because the tandem kayak has a long and wider form factor.

In case you will be carrying your tandem kayak to the kayaking location over great distances, it is important to take into account its weight as well.

Furthermore, some people may use a kayak trailer to transport their tandem kayak. Ensure that your tandem kayak is not over the weight limit of your kayak trailer as kayak trailers usually have a limited weight capacity. This is especially true if you are planning to carry multiple tandem kayaks on one trailer at the same time.

#4. Dimensions

Similar to the weight, the dimensions of the tandem kayak are also important. Especially if you are trying to carry your tandem kayak on a trailer. Remember that some tandem kayaks can have an impressively long length of 163-inch. Not all kayak trailers or car roof racks may be able to fit those longer length kayaks. You will need to double check.

In addition, the dimension of the tandem kayak will dictate the amount of space that you have inside the cockpit.  

As a general rule, the larger the dimension of the kayak, the more space you have in the cockpit.

As an example, a 163 inches kayak will usually have a more spacious cockpit than a similar type of kayak that has a length of only 120 inches.

This aspect is especially important for those who are planning to use the tandem kayak for fishing as you will definitely need the maneuverability that a large cockpit can provide.

#5. Comfort

Due to the sitting position of the paddler, discomfort and fatigue at the shoulder, waist and leg level can quickly happen.

Therefore, your tandem kayak must be equipped with a comfortable seat to help provide those issues.

As a general rule, a padded seat and an adjustable backrest are all that you need so as to enjoy a smooth and comfortable paddling experience on your tandem kayak.

#6. Warranty

Since the tandem kayak is a quite expensive investment, it is important that you go with a model that comes with a warranty. A warranty period of at least a year for your tandem kayak will provide you with peace of mind while using it.

Conclusion

As we have seen, the tandem kayak is a 2-seater that will help you fight boredom by providing you with a quality company.

Moreover, it is large and long so as to accommodate at least 2 people. Many models are long enough to easily carry up to 3 people if you want to.

This kayak is also versatile and can be used as a fishing, recreational or sports kayak. Indeed, the way you use the tandem kayak is often times limited only by your imagination.

Finally, our review above contains some of the best tandem kayaks for the money. If you have still not found a good tandem kayak model for your need and purpose, we recommend that you read it again.

In any case, we wish you good luck in your kayaking endeavors.

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