Are you looking to hit the water, and enjoy the beauty of nature that’s around you? Perhaps, you’re looking for a new hobby that helps you bond with your family and friends? Well, Kayaking might just be the thing you’re looking for. Theoretically, you could go kayaking by yourself and hoard all the benefits it offers such as exercise, and peace of mind. But, isn’t it better to share those same perks with the ones you love? It’s easy, all you have to do is purchase a tandem kayak (kayaks that can fit multiple people) and bring them along for the ride! However, in order to facilitate your future kayaking endeavors, take a look at our comprehensive guide before making any final decisions on your investment.
8 Tandem Kayak Reviews 2020
One of the most popular kayaks on the market, the Ocean Kayak can fit two paddlers and even a small child in the middle quite comfortably. The kayak comes with two Comfort Plus seats that can be adjusted, and there are also foot wells along the side for added comfortability.
The Ocean Kayak is best suited for calm waters, as such, it’s best that you avoid the oceans if they’re particularly rough that day (especially if you’re bringing kids). However, if you’re going out by yourself, the kayak should sit higher in the water, meaning you can potentially stay drier while paddling even if the weather is shaky. The design of this particular kayak is also rather sleek. Featuring the colors green, yellow, and orange you can practically spot it from almost anywhere on the beach. These colors are also rather soothing and make it a perfect fit for a recreational kayak.
- Length: 12 Feet
- Weight: 57 Pounds
- Width: 34 Inches
- Weight Limit: 425 Pounds
- Good warranty coverage
- High stability and comfort
- Can function well with a partner or by yourself
- Adjustable Seats
- Can cost more than other products in the market
A great mixture of quality and cost, the Sun Dolphin Bali is a great choice for those who are looking to get into the sport without breaking their piggy banks. If you have multiple kids, and they want to get into kayaking, then this is a great choice as it’s made from molded plastic and it is relatively small/light.
The lime green color, while not particularly attractive is noticeable. You’ll be able to keep an eye out on your kids from a distance thanks to this feature (good for families with multiple children since it can fit three people).
- Length: 13 Feet 5 Inches
- Weight: 70 Pounds
- Width: 34 Inches
- Weight Limit: 500 Pounds
- Great for beginners
- 2 Storage hatches
- Adjustable Seats
- Relatively small and better suited for children rather than adults
Designed with the family in mind, the Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus is one of the best household kayaks on the market. Its two large cockpits can easily fit two adults, kids or a combination of the both, plus there is plenty of room available for storage and it’s possible to bring a third passenger in the middle jump seat.
The large size means it is quite fast and displaces plenty of water when paddling, if you’re looking for a quick kayak that is fun for both kids and adults, then this is definitely a top choice. Additionally, you can an optional rudder system for added stability and speed in the water.
- Length: 15 Feet 3 Inches
- Weight: 72 Pounds
- Width: 34 Inches
- Weight Limit: 475 Pounds
- It’s fast and can travel long distances easy
- Perfect for the family
- Comes with retractable handles for portability
- Plenty of storage space
- Cup holders!
- It’s fairly heavy at 72 pounds
- Not particularly portable due to its length
Designed with fishing and companionship in mind, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Kayak is a fantastic purchase for all nature enthusiast looking to get into these two sports.
Fishing is definitely relaxing, but nothing beats taking a friend or family with you on your trips to the lake. This inflatable model is easy to maintain and store, as such transportation is never an issue.
But, that’s not all as the Coleman Colorado is packed with nifty features that make it a fantastic investment. However, while you might be slightly apprehensive at the idea of purchasing an inflatable kayak fear not, as it is made with one of the highest quality PVC materials in the market.
- Length: 10 Feet
- Weight: 37 Pounds
- Width: 9 Inches
- Weight Limit: 470 Pounds
- Ergonomic design that allows you to get comfortable quickly and makes paddling easier on your body
- Carry handles for easy transport
- Five air chambers meant to keep you afloat in case one is punctured
- Plenty of storage room in mesh pockets
- Rod holders
- Trolling motor fittings in case you want to add this particular feature
- Oars brush the mounts when paddling
- Does not come with an air pump
- Is inflatable and can be punctured by debris and other materials that can be found in the water
Featuring the latest and greatest in kayak technology from Brooklyn Kayak Company (BKC), the UH-TK219 is a fantastic ride for anyone who wants to get into the sport.
While it is significantly costlier than other products in this list, its benefits far outweigh the price of admission. Capable of seating three people comfortably, and spacious enough to store a substantial amount of gear due to its ample storage room, the UH-TK219 is a mixture of comfort and practicality.
Additionally, it’s designed with stability in mind; you’ll have a hard time trying to tip over this baby due to its well-balanced design. You and your family will have some amazing adventures if you decide to invest on a UH-TK219.
- Length: 12 Feet 2 Inch
- Weight: 70 Pounds
- Weight Limit: 440 Pounds
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Multiple storage spaces located throughout the kayak
- Carrying handles for ease of transport
- Six rod holders for multiple fishing lines
- Paddle rests for holding them whenever they’re not in use
- Seats are very comfortable
- Does not come packaged with a third seat
- It’s on the expensive end of the spectrum
The Sea Eagle is an inflatable kayak that is tough, sturdy, and reliable in almost any scenario. In fact, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) certified this kayak as one of the safest products of its kind in the market after it endured their rigorous testing procedures.
Made from K-80 Polykrylar, a material that is highly resistant to tears and its design is rather modern with a very cool white and blue color aesthetic. Furthermore, not only does it look awesome, it’s also highly portable (as many inflatable kayaks are) and can be folded/compacted for ease of transportation.
Finally, in case something was to puncture it, the Sea Eagle comes with 3 air chambers to keep it afloat until you can fix the broken one or get to safety. But, speaking of safety it’s built with a five tube I-beam type construction.
Normally, most kayaks have a seven-tube I-beams construction holding them up, but having only five means the manufacturers can make them larger and more rigid in order to compensate for the other two. This change shifts the weight towards the floor instead of the side chambers.
- Length: 12 Feet
- Weight: 25 Pounds approximately
- Width: 30 Inches
- Weight Limit: 650 Pounds
- Plenty of storage space and room for comfort
- Excellent maneuverability
- Certified by the NMMA as a safe and stable ride
- Comes with an air pump and a few other accessories for repairs
- Only three air chambers
- Paddles can be a bit too short for kids and smaller passengers
- As with any inflatable kayak, you have to be careful not to puncture them by mistake.
Those looking for an inexpensive ride they can enjoy together with the family can take a gander at the Intex Explorer K2. However, don’t let the cheap price-tag fool you; this is still a very reliable kayak with plenty of nice features.
The banana colored Intek Explorer K2 can hold two people comfortably. Additionally, its lightweight construction is no slouch, and it has a wide beam support that offers plenty of stability.
Its ergonomically designed seats are built for comfort with ample back/lumbar support for longer rides. Finally, multiple air chambers mean that you can get to safety if one of them is punctured.
You’ll also find that it has ample storage options in case you need to put a repair kit somewhere inside.
- Weight: 31 Pounds
- Weight Limit: 400 Pounds
- Length: 10 Feet
- High durability and quality for its price
- Offers plenty of stability
- Two-year warranty
- Includes air pump
- Plenty of space to store fishing rods and other items
- The lighter weight and small size means it’s not really suited for bad weather or rough waters
- As with any inflatable kayak it can be punctured.
- It’s better suited for small bodies of water
The Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak is one of the most versatile products on the market. Capable of shifting from solo to tandem in mere seconds, you can use it whenever you want company, or would rather go out by yourself.
But, that’s not all it offers, as it is one of the most durable kayaks in the market, expect to carry it with you for quite a few years without requiring heavy repairs or replacements. You can even take it with you in rough waters due to its solid hull construction that is designed to withstand quite a few bumps and scrapes.
For added safety, you can count on the six air chambers to hold you afloat in case something does puncture the kayak. For ease of transport, it also comes with its own duffle bag.
The bright orange a white design make this kayak look sleek and modern and you’ll find plenty of legroom whether you’re riding tandem or solo.
- Weight: 56 Pounds
- Length: 15 Feet
- Width: 32 Inches
- Weight Limitations: 550 Pounds
- High durability
- Can hold two people comfortably
- Decent amount of storage
- Similar to other inflatable kayaks be careful not to puncture it
- It’s heavier than other kayaks of the same type
- Doesn’t come with its own paddles, or air pump
Choosing the Best Tandem Kayak
1. Types of Kayaks
There are quite a few options for tandem kayaks on the market, and your best bet is to look for one that’s suited to its intended use.
The names are fairly self-explanatory, but these are the ones you can choose from:
- Recreational Kayaks
- Touring Kayaks
- Folding Kayaks
- Whitewater Kayaks
- Sit-in Kayaks
- Modular Kayaks
- Inflatable Kayaks
- Sit-On Kayaks
- Fishing Kayaks
Pick the one that most suits your needs and you’ll come off as a very happy customer.
2. Speed and Stability
There are numerous factors that can affect the speed of a kayak, but the secret is that a smaller/shorter kayak will be slower and less stable than a larger one. If you plan on kayaking for leisure, speed doesn’t make a difference, but if you intend to go racing against friends/family, then go for a larger and longer kayak for their higher velocity.
3. Weight Capacity
Ensure that you know the exact weight limitation of the tandem kayak before making any purchase. If you don’t follow the limits, then you’re liable to topple the kayak over and fall into the water (which is dangerous). If you’re planning on paddling with someone else, also take into account their weight before bringing in any extra gear onboard. If you’re unsure of all of these numbers, then try choosing one with the highest weight capacity.
4. Length and Width
There are plenty of kayaks available on the market, but you’ll always want to look out for one that can fit your body comfortably. Take into account the size of your legs, and once again, if you’re paddling with a friend or family member, then take into account their dimensions as well. Additionally, if you’re planning on fishing or taking a longer trip, make sure you take into consideration the storage space required to stow away everything safely.
5. Motorized or Paddled
If you’re looking to go fishing in a kayak then you should definitely get a trolling motor. The trolling motor allows you to move through the water without alarming the fish. Keep in mind, this feature is optional and some of the kayaks on the market can be upgraded to have other types of small motors on them. But, if you really want to enjoy some paddling try getting a tandem kayak that can fit three or more people.
6. Price and Comfort
Kayaking is a great hobby, but no pastime has ever been worth breaking your bank account. We always suggest budgeting properly before investing in any kayak and then deciding which one fits both monetary and physical needs. Don’t fall under the assumption that more expensive means better quality, there are plenty of products in the market that don’t sacrifice quality, comfort, and features simply because it’s cheaper.
7. Material and Warranty
Plastic and PVC kayaks tend to last very long, but you’ll also want to verify the materials of the handles, paddle bars, and the rest of the kayak. You’ll want to make your investment can last a few years, and always be on the lookout for manufactures that offer longer periods of warranty or extended plans.
The Tandem Kayak FAQs
1. What are the essentials?
A personal flotation device is a must for both first-timers and long-time veterans. But, you’ll also want to bring a few extra things like, sunscreen, water bottles, and a waterproofed bag or backpack to keep your items inside safe and dry. Sun hats or beanies help you stay protected, depending on the climate, and don’t forget that if you want to take pictures, ensure your phone or camera is stored safely in a waterproofed case or strapped to your body.
2. What Should I wear when kayaking?
Honestly? A personal flotation device should always be worn whenever you participate in water sports. But, as far as what you wear underneath it… as long as you’re comfortable and prepared to weather the elements you should be fine. In winter you’ll want to wear something akin to a wetsuit since it will help you stay warm, but you can also use layers of thin clothing or a weatherproof/waterproof jacket. In the summer, anything that will protect you from the sun as or can function as a bathing suit should be fine depending on your preference.
3. Can I avoid getting wet?
It’s possible, but highly unlikely that you will avoid getting wet while kayaking. As with most water sports, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be copious amounts of splashing around you especially from your paddle or your companions. Additionally, there is always the risk of capsizing.
4. Is it easy to capsize?
While it is a possibility, it’s rather unlikely and when it does happen it’s typically someone’s fault. You’ll find that most people who capsize on a kayak did not follow instructions properly by rocking it too hard or distributing their weight improperly.
5. What is different about a kayak and a canoe?
It’s actually rather simple.
Kayaks utilize two-handed paddles and you can either sit in or sit on. The sit-in types have the paddlers sit inside a small cavity known as the cockpit, and the sit-on kind have them sitting on top of it instead.
Canoes on the other hand, are open boats with a paddler that is either sitting or kneeling inside; their paddles are also single sided.
6. Do I need to exercise before trying out kayaking?
Not necessarily, while it is easier to perform kayaking when you’re in good/decent shape, it is by no means a requirement. Over time, you’ll naturally improve your fitness by kayaking as it does involve a good amount of exercise. But, always keep in mind the weight limitations of your kayak as it can capsize if the limit is reached or exceeded.
7. Are inflatable kayaks a good investment?
Absolutely, these days, kayaking technology has reached a point where despite the obvious differences (inflatables can be punctured), but overall, they’re of equal quality to the rigid-hull types.
8. Can I still kayak if the weather is bad?
I don’t recommend it, while it is possible to go kayaking even when the weather is rough; it’s not the best scenario. There are plenty of risks involved in doing so that could have been avoided by simply doing it on a nice sunny day. However, if the weather is overcast or it’s drizzling outside, but the ocean or water is calm, then there should be no major issues. Just remember to stay relatively close to shore in case the weather does turn sour.
9. Can I do tandem kayaking with my kids?
Absolutely, you’ll want to definitely want to bring your kids with you, but please make sure they’re old enough to follow instructions and they sit in the front of the kayak (for two seaters) so you can keep an eye on them. If you’re on a three-person tandem kayak, have one kid sit on each end and the adult in the middle for stability purposes.
There are plenty of guides online on how to fix a kayak, but if you need to do some major repairs, then take it to the nearby kayak shop in order to get the best advice and or help.
Tandem kayaking is extremely fun. You can enjoy the time in the water together with family or friends without a care in the world and still get some good exercise while you’re out there. But, without a solid tandem kayak to back you up, your experience might just turn sour.
It’s best to look at all the information available before making any big decisions in life, and starting a new hobby that requires an investment beforehand is no different in that regard. Therefore, while it’s true that you could go out there and buy the first tandem kayak you see, it’s better to stop, read up on all the pros and cons of each one, and weigh your options carefully. It could literally mean the difference between sinking or swimming.
But, remember as with any other sport, the goal is to have as much fun possible!