As the weather starts to get warmer, it is time to start thinking about how you can stay cool in the summer months. Checking out the best tandem kayak is a great place to get started. There is nothing better than getting out on the water in your kayak and looking at the beautiful nature that surrounds you. Some kayaks even offer space for more than one person so you can have a friend on your journey together. There are truly so many ways that you can use a kayak. You can enjoy the waves out in the ocean or take the kayak on a nice lake. A river can even be a place for you to take your kayak. When hauling your kayak around, there are many different varieties that you can carry around with ease.
Editor’s Top Picks
With so many features and options for a great kayak, let’s dive in and learn even more about these amazing devices.
- Top 10 Best Tandem Kayak Review:
- 1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
- 2. 12-Foot 2-Inch Tandem Sit On Top Kayak 2 or 3 Person with Paddles
- 3. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- 4. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Kayak
- 5. Lifetime Person Tandem Fishing Paddles
- 6. Aquaguide Chinook XP Tandem XL
- 7. Perception Pescador Sit On Top Tandem Kayak
- 8. Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition Tandem Sit-On-Top Touring Kayak
- 9. Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
- 10. Old Town Heron Cherry Inches
- Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Buying A Tandem Kayak
- Advantages of a Tandem Kayak
- Disadvantages of a Tandem Kayak
- How to Paddle a Tandem Kayak
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Tandem Kayak
- Q-1: Are kayaks really stable, and should I be afraid of them tipping?
- Q-2: What can I pack in a kayak?
- Q-3: Are kayaks used for scuba diving?
- Q-4: How do kayaks do in difficult waters?
- Q-5: Does the longer the boat mean the faster the boat goes?
- Q-6: What tips are important when kayaking?
- Q-7: Does weight capacity really matter?
Top 10 Best Tandem Kayak Review:
1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
When searching through all your many choices, this tandem sit-in kayak is perfect for the ocean excursion. This kayak is perfect for taking yourself and a child or a pet out in the water with you. If you prefer, you can just go out on your own, packing some baggage on your kayak, too. The Comfort Plus seating is adjustable with 3 different positions and 4-way adjustable technology. In turn, you will be in a slip protectant seat that is way better than its molded counterpart.
As you ride in your ocean kayak tandem, you will notice the footwells that allow your lower body to ride comfortably on the water. However, there are no hatches in this kayak so you will not be able to store anything inside. With the hull of the kayak being open, you can get on and off the kayak securely and easily. Since it can hold over 400 pounds of weight, you can pack a full load on this kayak. Also, you should rest assured will a lifetime warranty, knowing that this kayak will hold up under any circumstance. This would be a great option for any kayak fanatic.
- Measures 34 inches wide and 12 feet long
- Lightweight tri-hull make-up
- Made in New Zealand
- Perfect for all skill levels
- Weights 57 pounds
- 4 drains to empty any waterlog
- The wide design allows for more stability
2. 12-Foot 2-Inch Tandem Sit On Top Kayak 2 or 3 Person with Paddles
Another best-rated tandem kayak is this product from the Brooklyn Kayak Company. For starters, there are 6 amazing color options to consider like Army Green, Blue, Camo, Desert Sand, Grey Camo, and Red/Yellow. Not only are the kayak’s colors cool, but also there are some amazing features to ponder. With 6-rod holders, this kayak is perfect for fishing. 4 of the holders can be mounted into kayak itself. The other 2 holders are adjustable for what you need when you are out on the water.
Waterproof storage is another great feature with this Brooklyn kayak. If you are hauling around keys, wallet, papers, etc., there are two watertight storage units. One is placed in the front of the kayak, and the other is towards the back. Do you need some storage on the outside of your kayak? If you are not concerned with water, store equipment, like helmets and coolers, with the help of bungee straps. This is truly the best sit-on-top tandem kayak because there is paddle rests when you need a break. When you are done using your kayak, there are some sweet carrying handles that make transporting a breeze. With 3 people, you should be good to go.
- The kayak weighs 68 pounds
- Can hold up to 440 pounds of weight
- Made of UV protected polyethylene that is high in density
- Includes a 5-year warranty
- Comes standard with 2 deluxe seats
3. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
If you are looking for the best inflatable tandem kayak, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak might be the one for you. With an adjustable seat that is inflatable, you will have a comfortable backrest that allows for space on your great kayak. This kayak is great for 2 different people with aluminum oars for you to get around with. There is even an air pump that comes with the kayak to blow it up appropriately.
Having trouble with directional stability? This kayak does not have these issues. The skeg is removable to give you more access to navigating your kayak around right. Visibility is also a great feature of this kayak. If you are ever in a situation where you and the kayak are stranded, people will be able to see you because of the vivid, yellow color. A kayak like this is perfect for lakes and rivers to take it on.
A lot of times, inflatables have a negative connotation because of the way they can be pierced easily and lose their air at the most awful times. Well, this kayak is not like the others. It is made of puncture-resistant material that is military-grade. Additionally, there are 2 different chambers of air, so if one part of the kayak gets pierced, it will still stay afloat with the other chamber full of air. Lastly, there are great Boston valves that keep the air in and allow for a quick inflation process. The National Marine Manufacturers Association certifies this kayak up to the most rigorous standards.
- Includes a carrying bag
- Grab handles are on both ends of the kayak
- Weighs just over 30 pounds
- Sporty, vinyl construction
- Maximum weight is 250 pounds
4. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Kayak
The Ocean Kayak Malibu is the best tandem sea kayak. It is perfect for a family that includes all sizes of people and every kind of experience level. The Comfort Plus seats are comfortable, allowing you to paddle around for hours. Also, there are great molded wells that allow your feet to rest appropriately. On each of these kayaks, you can fit 2 adults and a pet or child.
Some of the features include holders for your paddles, handles on the sides, bow, and stern of the kayak, as well as deck bungee to safe hold equipment that you need onboard. A drain plate is also included with this kayak to keep water out and underneath you, as you glide along.
With the kayak measuring 13 feet long, you can hold up to 500 pounds of weight. A limited lifetime warranty will give you peace of mind wherever you take your best tandem kayak. Built-in New Zealand, this kayak is perfect for ocean sunrises or sunsets. Take some family time and get out on the water for some good, old-fashioned fun. But, make sure to buy some paddles before you go out because they are not included with your kayak purchase.
- Weighs 68 pounds
- 4 colors including Ahi, Sunrise, Seaglass, and Envy
- Overlapping molded foot wells
- Excellent customer service with this product
- Shipped through Old Dominion Company
5. Lifetime Person Tandem Fishing Paddles
The Lifetime Company makes some of the best tandem fishing kayaks money can buy. Let’s start with the creation of this kayak. It is a blow-molder by using polyethylene that is the high-density kayak standard. This allows for a strong and safe kayak every time you take it out on the water. Also, know that your purchase is protected with the 5-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Its design was created for 3 people and holds up to 500 pounds of weight. Also, the kayak itself is UV protected, so you do not have to worry about getting sunburnt from the reflection. Your stability is a major focus of Lifetime, so no matter if you are standing or sitting, you will be safe on board. Over time, your kayak will not fade in the sun or crack because of its quality construction.
Another amazing feature with this kayak is the fact there is a 6-foot hatch for storage. Very few kayaks allow for this, but Lifetime makes it a priority. As one of the heavier kayak options on this review, rest assured that the carrying straps will allow you limited stress when carrying the kayak from land to the water and back again.
- Can add a motor mount and rudder, if desired
- Comes in the color Olive Green
- 3 feet wide allows for greater stability
- Perfect for fishing
- Essential for a 1-day or week long kayaking trip
6. Aquaguide Chinook XP Tandem XL
The Aquaguide kayak is the best tandem-touring kayak. You can hold between 1 to 3 people safely and securely. Also, it holds up to 550 pounds of weight, even though the kayak is just over 35 pounds. This truly is an all-purpose variety that is great for recreational or professional use. The construction of this kayak uses XP floor tech, that Chinook creates for a stable hull. With every purchase, you can expect a 1-year warranty that is limited. If you are looking to store things on your kayak, you can do so by strapping in equipment on this inflatable product.
As one of the lightest kayaks around, at just over 20 pounds, you will be able to transport this sporting equipment around very quickly because of the molded handles that are perfect for carrying around. In each kayak, there are 3 inner bladders. This is perfect if one chamber gets pierced. In turn, your kayak will still float when you need to before you get it fixed. With your purchase, do not expect any pump or paddles. You will need to buy them separately. Lastly, it comes with a carrying bag to haul it around.
- A must-have for rivers and lakes
- Set-up will take you only 10 minutes
- The chair is adjustable to how you want it to sit
- Includes a fin for easy steering
- UV treated product
- Great customer service
7. Perception Pescador Sit On Top Tandem Kayak
One of the best tandem kayaks for beginners is made by Perception Kayaks. Only 2 people need to haul it around. Luckily, you will not lose any performance by having more people in your kayak because of its aerodynamic nature. When seated on this kayak, you can adjust the seat to your liking. If you have a child or a pet to bring along, there is a molded center seat perfect with extra padding. Even the footrests can be adjusted, whether it is a pet, child, or adult in the seat.
When looking to store things on your kayak, there are hatches with protective covers that are in front of all the seats on the kayak. Do you want a drink while you ride on the water? Well, there are drink holders for you to enjoy your favorite beverage without spilling any of it. At the end of the day, Perception Kayaks creates products that are built for speed, storage, or stability, as you look to find the right on for you and your lifestyle.
- Workable on rivers, ponds, and lakes
- Padding that is ergonomic for ultimate protection
- Fishing features are included in the purchase
- Buoyancy is built into the design in case there is a problem
- The Comfort Seating System keeps you cozy wherever you travel to
- Kayak weight is 57 pounds
- Can hold up to 325 pounds
8. Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition Tandem Sit-On-Top Touring Kayak
Another best recreational tandem kayak is the options from Ocean Kayak. With its Sunrise color, you can enjoy any day out on the water. The tandem design allows you to take 2 adults comfortably, as well as a pet or child. Comfort Plus seating allows for adjustability for what you want and protection against slippage when you ride on your kayak. As you move your kayak around, trust the stern and bow straps to hold up as you do your hauling.
Some of the extra features include molded cup holders to enjoy beverages while keeping them secure in your tandem sit-in kayak. At over 16 feet, this kayak uses its length to pierce through the water. It is also only 75 pounds and can hold up to 600 pounds of weight.
You can trust in its lifetime warranty, allowing you to travel freely across the waters of the world. With exterior bungee straps, you have a tank storage area, which is perfect for coolers, camping gear, etc. But, make sure to purchase paddles before you go because they do not come with your purchase. Also, there is no rudder either, so make a decision on if you need it or not, depending on your needs.
- Kayak is built for speed
- Padding installed in every kayak
- Dries easily
- Perfect for salt-water or fresh-water trips
- Provides great stability when traveling around
- Necessary for day-trips or weekends
9. Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
Another best tandem kayak is this next one from Sun Dolphin. You can have 1-3 people in this kayak, and it includes 3 storage compartments that can be protected from water. While on your board your kayak, there is a great deck rigging for you to add equipment to bring along on your journey.
If you are still looking for more storage options, there are built-in compartments for even more security. To make your trip more comfortable, you can adjust the seats to support you the way you want. They even have a thin layer of padding, but you can add boat cushions if you are looking for added support.
Whenever you purchase your Sun Dolphin ocean kayak tandem, you will need to give your phone number so you can set-up an appointment for delivery. This way, the company will make sure to get the kayak in your hands quickly and efficiently. One of the main things you will notice the first time your kayak arrives is the adjustable braces for your feet. They allow for maximum comfort that way you want when gliding across the water. There are also carrying handles around the kayak so you can get it in and out of the water with ease.
- Watertight technology
- Added scupper holes drain your kayak
- Easy to attach on a trailer or truck
- Great to take on a river, lake, pond, or even the ocean
- Takes on windy conditions well
10. Old Town Heron Cherry Inches
If you are looking for a hard-shell kayak, then this last option is for you. From the outside, it looks more like a canoe, but it is built with kayak-like features. It is one of the best tandem touring kayaks for a few reasons. First off, the hull was created to stay grounded, even when someone sits in the stern. This allows for great stability from this kayak. Next, it comes in two high-class colors: Black Cherry and Sunrise.
Additionally, the seats use Comfort Flex technology that has a backrest and extra padding to help your body take on the travel well. Are you looking to go fishing with this kayak? Well, you are in luck because it can take multiple rods with 6 mounted and 2 rod holding options.
Holding up to 500 pounds is easy with this kayak. Surprisingly, it only weighs 62 pounds, and its lifetime warranty on the hull will assure you that nothing will crack or break. As one of the oldest manufacturers of kayaks in the world, Old Town has seen a thing or two. With this long legacy, this company is a trusted craftsman of quality and best tandem kayaks on the market today.
- Made in the United States of America
- Perfect for fishing or exercising
- Removable seat option gives you choice in the matter
- Almost 3 feet wide for stability
- Foot pedals are in the front and back of the kayak
Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Buying A Tandem Kayak
When figuring out what is the best tandem kayak, there is a lot to consider. It is important to know what a kayak is actually used for in the first place. Traditionally, kayaks have been used beachside at a local campground to explore the nature around you.
With the help of a kayak, you can take in the breathtaking scenery that would not be possible without this floating device. They truly are a modern-day miracle. No matter if you use it for a workout early in the morning or spend time with the kiddos, a kayak is essential for any individual.
One of the first things to decide upon is where you want to use your kayak. Many of the best tandem kayaks for beginners are specifically build for lakes, rivers, lakes and rivers, and coasts. It is imperative to breakdown the differences before going any further.
Having a local pond or lake to navigate through can be an amazing experience. When the weather is good and your destination is close by, kayaks are a phenomenal option. Any type of sit-in or sit-on-top kayak is perfect for this kind of fun. As you go around on a lake, your kayak should fit the recreational kind of setting.
Going out on the river can be one technical challenge. Now, we are not talking about Whitewater River rafting here. This is a little more low-key. You need a sturdy type of kayak that can turn on a dime. These types of kayaks are usually shorter in stature and great for touring on a sit-in or sit-on-top structure.
- Rivers and Lakes:
Some of the best recreational tandem kayaks can handle ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers alike. These kayaks are vital for still and flowing waters and can be for sit-on-top or sit-in creations. Whenever you like to dabble in a variety of water types, it is important your kayak has a skeg to help out. A skeg is great to add responsiveness to your turns when you paddle. If you have a shorter kind of kayak, a rudder might be another option you look in to. However, rudders are usually found on much bigger boats.
Taking your kayak out in the ocean can be a great place to explore as well. However, this type of kayaking is not for the faint of heart or beginner. There are tides, waves, and wind all in play whenever you leave the land. Having a sit-in kayak is probably best here because you can attach a fin, rudder, or skeg to help you move around effortlessly. On the other hand, if you like dipping your toe in the water, a sit-on-top choice might be best for you, when looking for a best-rated tandem kayak.
- Kayak Type
The next thing you should consider is the kayak type. The two most popular types are the traditional sit-in kayak and the sit-on-top option.
Sit-in Kayak: With a sit-in kayak, these are great recreational toys to use for a day or for a long weekend. They are quick through the water and are easy to navigate. Usually, they have a lot of cargo compartments so you can store a lot of equipment wherever you decide to take your kayak. When the weather and water are both cool, these kayaks are great because they insulate you a little more. This is because you are actually sitting in the kayak hull itself.
With this kind of best tandem kayak, you will need to have a pump, spray skirts, or a way to remove the water because water will be a little more of a nuisance with this type of kayak. Since there are more points of contact with a sit-in kayak, you will experience amazing control wherever you paddle to, allowing for great efficiency.
Sit-on-Top Kayaks: Then, there are sit-on-top kayaks. These types are becoming more and more popular in the recreational market over the last few years. Great for rivers and lakes, the best sit-on-top tandem kayaks can even take a shot at the coastline if need be. Most sit-on-top kayaks do not have the best storage options, but the longer options add this as a convenience to you.
Are you worried about your kayak capsizing? Well, with this kind of option, it flips over easily and will never sink to the bottom. Best results with this kind of kayak include fishing with the kids, swimming nearby, or taking it out for a spin with your cabin or tent in view. When the weather is warm, these kayaks are great because you are bound to get wet. This way, you can cool off naturally.
With every sit-on-top kayak, there are self-draining holes that keep your kayak from sinking, so no pump is needed. There are some cargo holds, if you are looking for storage. However, it truly varies from brand to brand on how much is offered. Usually, these kayak types weigh more than its counterpart, but they do have more fishing options like rod holders to help every angler.
Advantages of a Tandem Kayak
There are many advantages to having a tandem kayak, but here are a few to munch on. First off, if you buy a tandem kayak, then you are in the business of saving money. Buying two kayaks can really ruin a budget, but a tandem actually saves you precision coin in the long run.
The next advantage is stability. Having a tandem kayak increases the likelihood that you and others will not slip, fall, or flip the boat because of its mass. It is also perfect for kids because there can be an adult in with the child, while they take the kayak across the lake. This allows for safety and learning with an adult right there in the kayak with them. A child will then learn the proper way to use a kayak first in tandem, and one day grow up to take a solo kayak out on their own when they are ready.
Tandem kayaks are also great for couples. Nothing is more enjoyable than going out with your significant other and getting a breath of fresh air in the same kayak together. You will be able to create lasting memories that the two of you can share for a lifetime together. Additionally, many tandem kayaks have added storage because of the extra size. This allows for more equipment, food, etc. to be brought along on the journey.
Lastly, a tandem kayak is great for safety reasons. If two or three people are gathered in one kayak together, there are more people to help out in case of an emergency. With some many great advantages, you will even find some for yourself as to why the tandem kayak is so great. You may never want to buy another kayak again after this one.
Disadvantages of a Tandem Kayak
With every product, you can expect some disadvantages, too. Luckily, for you, the tandem kayak’s disadvantages are few and far between. If you only have a tandem kayak with two people, you will be out of luck if an emergency arises. Having a solo kayak following a tandem kayak is always a good idea when out on the water.
Another disadvantage is the fact that tandem kayaks are not the fastest breeds on the market today. Because of the size and width, it can handle multiple people well, but it is quite a bit slower when moving through the water.
The last disadvantage involves paddling. If the two people are not succinct with other another, traveling across a kayak may take a lot longer than expected. This will not only make your trip frustrating but also saddening that you did not get to enjoy the beauty around you; in turn, you and your partner only got distracted by paddling.
How to Paddle a Tandem Kayak
No matter if you are taking the best inflatable tandem kayak or another amazing option, you really need to know how to paddle your transportation around. Start by paddling together and in unison. When you do this, you will be able to power the kayak ahead quicker than you ever thought possible. Also, when you are together paddling, you paddles will not bump into each other, allowing for a smooth ride across any body of water.
Additionally, it is important to remember that the power actually comes in the back of the tandem kayak. Whoever is the strongest paddler should sit in the back of the kayak. This allows for the weaker paddler to sit up front dictating the pace and the direction of where to go. Tandem paddlers also should give each other a break when rest is needed.
Strength in numbers is truly the right statement to remember when going out on a best tandem sea kayak if you are heading out to the coast, or if you are taking another variety to a different body of water. Turning is also an important thing to remember when paddling. With many tandems having a rudder, you can help turn the boat and keep it going straight, depending on what you need to do. Front paddlers should paddle forward on one side of the kayak, while the back paddler does a reverse sweep on the other side of the kayak. Teamwork really is an understatement here.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Tandem Kayak
Q-1: Are kayaks really stable, and should I be afraid of them tipping?
- The truth of the matter is in the numbers. Statistics say that 1 in 1,000 kayaks capsize. That is a really rare number indeed. When it comes to tandem kayaks, they have even more stability than solo varieties. Tipping is honestly really difficult to actually perform, but most happen when people are messing around. If you are safe while out on the water, you should be good to go.
Q-2: What can I pack in a kayak?
- When traveling in a kayak, bring an extra pair of clothes for hiking and outdoor use. These clothes are also great if your current clothing gets wet from the kayak journey. If you plan on staying overnight, a pad, tent, and sleep bag can also be attached to most kayaks.
Q-3: Are kayaks used for scuba diving?
- Kayaks can be equipped with tanks and gear depending on where you want to go. With whatever kayak you decide to use, they can be modeled for your specific adventures. Just make sure you check with the kayaking company to fit your model upright.
Q-4: How do kayaks do in difficult waters?
- Kayaks take on rough waters really well. Because of a kayak’s added width in the hull, more stability allows for less of a balancing act when paddling. This will save you energy and not fatigue as easily. Additionally, with the construction of a modern-day kayak, it remains extra buoyant and stays afloat even in the worst of conditions.
Q-5: Does the longer the boat mean the faster the boat goes?
- People are always looking for a kayak with the most speed. However, longer does not always mean faster. Usually, speed is created with a flat-water kayak in the shortest of sprints across a river or pond. If this is what you are looking for, then the longer, narrower boat is for you. However, safety should be more of a concern than speed ever should be. If you are able to let go of a little speed, your kayak will handle better on rough waters, which should be your greatest concern.
Q-6: What tips are important when kayaking?
- A life jacket is a must when out on the water. They really are the difference between life and death, so use it to your advantage. Make sure to leave any valuables at home because you do not want to lose them or have them ruined on your journey. Sunglasses should be brought, however, on your way because of the harmful rays that reflect off the water. Sunscreen is also a great idea to have on board to help protect in the same way. Lastly, when you are out kayaking, make sure you know what is private property and what is open for you to paddle around in. There can be major fines and other issues that can arise if you are in an area where you should not be.
Q-7: Does weight capacity really matter?
- You should definitely trust the standards that companies come out with when it comes to the weight limit. Do not test this because there have been factory testing to get to that specific number. If you ignore these warnings, you kayak could capsize, putting you in more trouble than when you started. Be safe rather than sorry when answering this question.
Whether you are looking for the best tandem fishing kayak or another amazing option, kayaks are great for summers outdoors. No matter if you are out on a pond for a day or around a lake for the weekend, there is plenty to do with a kayak. But, remember that this is no random purchase to make. This should be a strategic, well-thought-out process that brings your ultimate clarity in the end. You may feel like this is a difficult decision to make, but do not fret.
Now that you have gone through this guide, you should be well on your way to making the right decision for you and your lifestyle. Because, at the end of the day, when your decision is finally made, rest assured that you have made the right decision. Then, go out there and take in the great outdoors. There is nothing better than going out with another person or two and checking out the sights and sounds nearby. The memories you will make on a kayak will be ones you will cherish for years to come. Happy trails to you!