The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable is our best tandem kayak and it has a max weight limit of 400 lbs. The kayak spans at a length of 138 inches when inflated and it also uses aluminum oars that measure 86 inches each. It has a very sleek design that gives you versatile padding experience and the vinyl is very tough to beat and puncture resistant – it also protects against UV damage for longer lasting durability given a rugged design. Moreover, it has a high-capacity pump for deflating and inflating in a breeze. Ideal for rivers and lakes and the like and equipped with a streamlined design both for sports and for leisure purposes, it is topped with a bright green design so it stands out from the water. It is very portable due to the slim design and comes with a repair patch kit for emergencies.
Our step-up pick is the Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak Pro-Package and it has a max weight limit of 500 lbs. A tandem fishing kayak that can also hold all of your necessary gear, it uses a polykrylar hull that measures 33 mm and it comes with a storage bag, foot pump and 2 kayak seats. Great for use in skin diving, yacht tending, general fishing, Class III whitewater rafting and many more, the seams are high-frequency welded and the construction is made using an l-beam. It also has inflatable spray skirts and spans at a length of 134 inches. It has a width of 34 inches and is backed by a 3 year warranty.
The budget pick is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable and being recognized by the US Coast Guard, it has a low profile design and is made for use on most mild rivers and lakes. It has a removable skeg to make steering more stable and a back rest supports the inflatable seat which is highly adjustable. Being bright and colorful graphics make it stand out from the water, it comes with an air pump that is of high output and it uses high quality, lightweight and durable aluminum oars.
A Little Background
A kayak is an inflatable form of transportation on the water that is shaped as a narrow boat. In other words, kayaks are smaller boats that are intended for use on rivers and lakes only. Some may be used on oceans but on a very rare case, since inflatable objects tend to lose air due to exposure to acid for a long time and the rocky surface of shores might cause punctures and deflate the kayak. A kayak is often the subject of adventure of father-and-sons, bonding with colleagues or life partners, and many more. It is more just a physical activity. In fact, it is also a form of meditation due to the calm and relaxing atmosphere of the surrounding nature.
Kayaks can accommodate 1 to 2 persons depending on the size and length. Some kayaks are for solo paddlers while most are for 2 paddlers. There can be some that can accommodate 3 or more, but those are bigger in price and in size. The most common kayak found often is the tandem kayak that exerts unison paddling among the two riders. It is just like riding a tandem bicycle but both the riders provide drive and steering power contrary to a tandem bike where only the front rider is in control.
Contrary to popular belief, kayaks aren’t just for sporting – they can also be for leisure and fun. While most kayaks look sporty due to the nature of their designs, kayaks aren’t always for sporty people – they can be for simple people who just want to go outdoors into the lake or river and venture along with their partner – it could be their parent, best friend, co-worker, special someone, sibling or any other. Whether it is treading the path of a long and winding river or just cruising through the lake during the summer, kayaks, especially tandem kayaks, are very fun activities to consider.
A tandem kayak accompanies 2 people and is operated by simultaneous and synchronized paddling. Just like a tandem bike and those dragon boat races, a tandem kayak works in unison in which two people must paddle alongside together to make the kayak move. It requires some skill and effort and of course, communication. Unlike a tandem bike, a tandem kayak requires both riders to steer with the paddle instead of just the one on the front. This allows both of the riders to exert the best effort that they can to make the boat move from point A to point B.
Tandem kayaking can be a great activity for parents and children bonding together for the summer. The most common activities that involve kayaking are hunting and fishing. Of course, fishing is the most popular of all, since a lot of family bonding activities with a father and a son involve reeling in trout and such from a lake or a river. If not fishing, a tandem kayak may just be a leisurely activity to go explore the lake or a river and have fun while at the great outdoors.
How We Picked
Choosing the best tandem kayak was not easy – we consulted the following criteria:
Consider the weight limit capacity of the tandem kayak. Even if a tandem kayak, as we all know, will accommodate 2 people, there should also be a weight limit capacity, which should be known before you choose and buy any tandem kayak. Going over the weight limit capacity can make the boat potentially flip over and can cause injuries that we do not want to happen at all.
The length of the tandem kayak should be measured. Most tandem kayaks go at about 10 feet and above in length. In some cases, tandem kayaks also have a slim profile which allows them to be ideal for rivers and other narrow streams of water while wider ones are the ones that are best fit for lakes.
The adjustability of the seats is important on any tandem kayak. Not only should the seats be removable, but they should also be adjustable so that you can be at your best comfort while paddling the tandem kayak or just fishing by the bay. A tandem kayak with back rests on the respective seats is something to look forward to.
The tandem kayak should come with accessories such as a repair kit. Since a tandem kayak is usually inflatable, you should have a repair kit so that in the event of any puncture or holes, your lives will be saved on the go using the repair patch kit to easily mend any punctures that the kayak might receive.
A tandem kayak with multiple air chambers is a sure safety in case of punctures. In case you suddenly and unintentionally hit the rocks, there must be some backup air chambers so you will feel at ease with your journey. This will allow the boat to run steadily until you park it by the shore or land where you can repair the air chamber that has been damaged and lost air.
The oars / paddles of the tandem kayak should be durable but lightweight. You will most likely find a tandem kayak that comes with a set of aluminum oars. Aluminum is the most typical material because it is rust-proof and lightweight to carry while being durable at the same time. Paddles of tandem kayaks usually come in a sporty design that complements the kayak motif.
The tandem kayak itself should also be lightweight. Imagine how hard it is to pull your boat to the shore if the tandem kayak was pretty heavy. You should typically pick something that is less than 40 lbs or so for a tandem kayak to be easily carried. However, if you do consider durability and ruggedness and the safety against getting punctured easily then perhaps weight is not really a big concern.
The vinyl material of a tandem kayak that has UV resistant features is a big plus. Being UV resistant is a big advantage because it will protect the boat’s texture from fading and getting worn out by the extreme temperatures of the midday sun because you will often get exposed to the sun while boating out in the open.
Controllability is highly important on any tandem kayak. The external features of the tandem kayak should keep it steady to control in the long run and make it easy to steer and maneuver overall. This makes it easier for beginners and even young kids to steer the boat with their parents.
Make sure the tandem kayak is comfortable to ride on. Aside from the adjustable seat and back rests, the tandem kayak’s flooring and wall textures should be comfortable in general. In fact, if you are looking forward to using a kayak for fishing, you should get one that has molded sides for putting your fishing rods for a hands-free fishing experience.
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable
Equipped with a streamlined design both for sports and for leisure purposes, our best tandem kayak is the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable which has a max weight limit of 400 lbs. Being topped with a bright green design so it stands out from the water, the vinyl is very tough to beat and puncture resistant – it also protects against UV damage for longer lasting durability given a rugged design.
The tandem kayak spans at a length of 138 inches when inflated and it also has a high-capacity pump for deflating and inflating in a breeze. It uses aluminum oars that measure 86 inches each and moreover, it also has a very sleek design that gives you versatile padding experience. The tandem kayak comes with a repair patch kit for emergencies and it is truly ideal for rivers and lakes and the like.
With a very portable due to the slim design, the Intex Challenger K2 does not have skid problems and it is relatively easy to control. A great tandem kayak to consider for quality and durability. It is also approved by the US Coast Guard while it also has a convenient back rest. The Intex 2-Person Inflatable comes with an inflatable seat and it is well-designed cockpit for space saving and comfort.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only concern about the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable is that it might need some more security for the seating.
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak Pro-Package
The Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak Pro-Package is our step-up pick which spans at a length of 134 inches. It has a max weight limit of 500 lbs and it uses a polykrylar hull that measures 33 mm. Moreover, it has a width of 34 inches. It also comes with a storage bag, foot pump and 2 kayak seats.
A tandem fishing kayak that can also hold all of your necessary gear, the seams are high-frequency welded and it is great for use in skin diving, yacht tending, general fishing, Class III whitewater rafting and many more. The construction is made using an I-beam and the tandem kayak also has inflatable spray skirts.
The Sea Eagle 330 uses high quality inflatable PVC. The combination of white and blue for standing out on the water makes it an ideal tandem kayak to consider. It comes with paddles, a repair kit and a skeg and it only weighs 26 lbs.
The air valves are designed to be deluxe one-way with three of them. It also has a 9-inch tube diameter and the assumed assembly time is around 6 minutes for inflation.
The Sea Eagle 330 Pro-Package also has 3 chambers: floor, starboard and the port. What’s more, the AB30 paddles measure 8 feet each. It is a portable tandem kayak solution for your summer outing and it won’t get a scratch through riverbanks and small rocks. The Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable is backed by a 3 year warranty.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable
Our budget pick is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable in which a back rest supports the inflatable seat which is highly adjustable. Being fully recognized by the US Coast Guard, it also comes with an air pump that is of high output and it uses high quality, lightweight and durable aluminum oars.
The kayak also has a low profile design and has been made for use on most mild rivers and lakes. Moreover, it also has a removable skeg to make steering more stable and the bright and colorful graphics make it stand out from the water.
The Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable spans at a length of 123 inches and it can support up to 350 lbs of weight. It also comes with a US Coast Guard ID, a grab handle, a grab line and a repair patch kit.
What’s more, the aluminum oars measure 86 inches each and the floor has an inflatable I-beam construction. The tandem kayak also comes with a Boston valve on each of the side for faster deflating and inflating. With its build, the rugged vinyl construction makes it durable. The Intex Explorer 2-Person Inflatable also comes with a double action pump to help it inflate.
Best Hunting Tandem Kayak
Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak
For both hunting and fishing, you can depend on the Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak as a tandem kayak which uses Double Lock technology for its valve for deflation and inflation that is quicker using 2 locking points. It is a tandem kayak that is made for use on lakes with its rugged 21-gauge PVC construction and you can keep yourself and your partner dry with its spray covers that block water splashes. It has a guaranteed anti-leak due to the Airtight System for this tandem kayak.
Moreover, the Sevylor Tahiti Kayak comes with enjoyable and comfortable back rests and it also uses multiple air chambers so that the boat stays up even if one got punctured. Being ideal for fishing and hunting, this is an outstanding tandem kayak for hobbyists. The weight capacity is up to 360 lbs and the kayak measures 124 inches in length.
Being made from sturdy polyethylene material, the inflatable seats are highly adjustable and can be removed or repositioned to your preference. The Sevylor Hunt & Fish Kayak bears a dark olive green color and it weighs only 19 lbs while thebeam stands at 2 feet in length.
Best Convertible Tandem Kayak
Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak
With the Advanced Elements AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak, the padded seats are highly adjustable and give high support when you ride on this convertible tandem kayak. It also has aluminum ribs that keeps the boat steady in tracking and gives definition to the stern and bow parts.
A great thing to add about its durability and resilience is the fact that the puncture-resistant material is made up of 3 layers for added durability. The tandem kayak is readily available in red/gray and green colors.
Moreover, the Advanced Elements AE1007-R Kayak comes pre-assembled so all you need to do is unfold the kayak and inflates then put up the seats. Additionally, it helps you to stay comfortable for hours. In addition the convertible design allows you to convert it to a solo kayak rather than a tandem kayak due to having 3 seat locations.
The AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Kayak has a max weight limit of 550 lbs and it also comes with a skeg. The tandem kayak spans at a length of 15 feet and it has an interchangeable deck due to being a convertible kayak. It also has a stern frame and rigid bow and comes with a carry duffel bag, a user’s manual, a repair kit and the 2 folding seats. The tandem kayak weighs 56 lbs. It is a great heavy duty kayak that runs fast and has a height of 32 inches.
Tandem Kayak with Rotatable Paddle
Outdoor Tuff Stinger OTF-4252PK Inflatable Kayak
A tandem kayak that has a rigid shape which keeps it durable, the Outdoor Tuff Stinger OTF-4252PK Inflatable Kayak is indeed very portable and lightweight at only 36 lbs. Also, the PVC material has 3 layers that are resistant to punctures as well as its air chambers. Moreover, it comes with a foot pump for inflation and a high pressure valve for faster inflation and it also includes 2 fins and 2 inflatable seats as well as 2 rotatable paddles which measure 87 inches each and are easy to carry.
The Outdoor Tuff Stinger Kayak measures 12 feet and 4 inches and it also has a max weight capacity of 425 lbs. Moreover, it comes with 2 nylon splash covers and it has 3 air chambers that are reinforced for durability and safety. Additionally, the inflatable fabric seats are inflatable.
It is backed by a 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
Ideal Tandem Kayak for Fishing
Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
The Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is an ideal tandem kayak for fishing and it uses Seyvlor trolling motor fittings so that your fishing routine will not be disturbed. Moreover, it comes with securing paddle holders. What’s more, it has multiple air chambers so that in the event that one gets punctured, there will be backup as it uses rugged PVC 18-gauge construction that makes it ideal for use on lakes.
Furthermore, the Coleman Colorado Kayak also uses an airtight system to prevent leakage. You can experience hands-free fishing due to the Berkley Quick Set rod holders as the bottom is made from 1000D tarpaulin and the nylon cover is made from 840D material to prevent punctures as much as possible.
The max weight capacity is 470 lbs and the tandem kayak also comes with mesh pockets and D-rings as well. It weighs 41 lbs and it comes with a skeg. Most people note that this tandem kayak is great for fishing for trout.
Best Sit-On-Top Tandem Kayak
Ocean Kayak Zest-Two Expedition Tandem Kayak
The Ocean Kayak Zest-Two Expedition Tandem Kayak measures 16 feet in length (198 inches) and it can take as much as 500 to 600 lbs in its weight capacity. It also comes with foot braces that have been molded in while the comfortable seating makes it a truly worthwhile expedition tandem kayak. Moreover, it comes with 2-side mounted paddle keepers, a skid plate, carry handles for the bow and stern, side carry handles, a bow deck bungee and an oversized tank stern with bungee.
Being available in two bright yellow designs, the Ocean Kayak Zest-Two Kayak is a winner. It is a bit expensive but a high-end tandem kayak to consider. The seat material is made of foam and it is made from durable polyethylene material. It is a sit-on-top tandem kayak that is rudder-ready.
Tandem Kayak with Rugged Design
Coleman Ogden 2-Person Canoe Combo
Being made from heavy-duty PVC that adds to its durability, the Coleman Ogden 2-Person Canoe Combo uses a Boston Valve for quick deflation and inflation and it is also double threaded to add to ease. It eagerly protects your boat from punctures due to the polyester cover.
This rugged tandem kayak is very ideal for lakes where you can easily store items using bungees with its secure storage areas. The elevated seats are adjustable and gives you comfort while paddling as this tandem kayak uses an airtight system to keep leakage away.
Moreover, in the event of air chamber puncture, there are multiple air chamber backups to cover you. The Coleman Ogden weighs 42 lbs and comes with 2 paddles, a pressure gauge, a hand pump and a carry bag. It also includes a skeg and the floor can inflate only with 0.9 psi and 1.5 psi for the walls. It also has a max weight capacity of 355 lbs.
Tandem Kayak with Backrests
Lifetime Tandem Sit-on-Top Kayak w/Back Rests
A tandem kayak that can carry as much as 500 lbs of weight, the Lifetime Tandem Sit-on-Top Kayak w/Back Rests can even fit 3 people depending on their weight. It also has a stylish green design and it comes with convenient back rests. The tandem kayak measures 10 feet in length and it has various foot rests so any size of rider can be accommodated.
In addition to that, the Lifetime Tandem Sit-on-Top has great tracking abilities due to the stable hull design and it weighs 60 lbs. With its sit-on-top design, the tandem kayak is very versatile. On durability, it is made from a hard shell and polyethylene which has UV protection to prevent cracking, fading and peeling.
With that, it also includes ditty trays and cord straps and it is ideally used for sailing, fishing, surfing or simply paddling. Moreover, it has a molded carry handle set for the front and back.
When we chose the best tandem kayak, we left out those that are substandard in quality and were too flimsy in their boat material that might be potentially dangerous when venturing rivers and lakes.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How beneficial is tandem kayaking or kayaking in general?
A: According to BetterHeath Channel, your cardiovascular fitness will be kept high if you go for kayaking tandem kayaking outdoors. It is also a great physical activity for improving muscle strength on the chest, shoulders, arms and back and it is a great exercise to stay young and fit.
Moreover, it is also a great leisure activity and bonding activity with family, friends and colleagues and it does not risk joint and tissue injuries due to being a low impact activity. In addition to that, your leg and torso strength will also be improved due to the pressure of paddling the kayak or canoe.
In fact, some people do say that kayaking can be a form of meditation and peaceful adventure or a thrilling and exciting adventure so you should definitely take it as a form of anti-stress ritual when you have had too much work and want to relax for your vacation.
Q: Any tips on rowing a tandem kayak?
A: According to Livestrong , most likely, it is recommended for the smaller person on the front since the back seat gives more propelling power. You should get the hang of paddling before you paddle in unison with your partner. You should also make sure you know which direction or side to start on and let your partner know for a fully synchronized tandem paddling. It is also highly important that you communicate often when it comes to turning or stopping.
Wrapping It Up
To sum it all up, the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable is our best tandem kayak to take with you on the great outdoors, whether it is on a river or lake or any stream or body of water. Kayaking has many benefits and this summer; you may want to challenge yourself with tandem kayaking.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.