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10 Best Tandem Kayaks For Every Adventurer In 2020


by David Jefferson

Mother and son on a yellow tandem kayak
Photo by ID 931885 from Pixabay

How do you make some adventures double the fun? You do it with a company! Of course, there are plenty of reasons why you love tandem kayaking. Whether it’s to improve your overall aerobic fitness, enrich your mind, or simply to explore the waters and the surroundings, kayaking certainly brings more good than harm. The upshot? Tandem kayaks double-up the fun and it helps to build up teamwork with your partner. Besides, it’s also cheaper to buy a tandem kayak that accommodates two people on a ride than a single-person kayak. Agree or disagree, you can work out the math. If you’re still not convinced, read on to find out what’s so great about tandem kayak and why you should own one.


What Is Tandem Kayak?

A couple on a tandem kayak

Photo by rachel.roze from Flickr


Tandem kayaks are a variant of the regular kayaks, except that tandem kayaks have two seats to accommodate two people. They are longer and bulkier than single-person kayaks. With tandem kayaks, your partner can either paddle with you or simply sit and relax. Either way, it’s a great way to enjoy the surroundings on water.


Wondering if tandem kayaks are safe? Yes, they are. In fact, tandem kayaks are designed to be very stable and not easy to capsize. Can a person use tandem kayaks? You can use a tandem kayak alone, but expect it to be heavier to move around than a solo kayak. This is especially true when you use it in less-than-ideal water conditions. 


Tandem kayak prices vary depending on the material used. It can start as low as $200 and escalate to as high as $3,000. Plastic and inflatable models are the cheapest options. They’re great for kayak beginners for practical reasons. However, they’re the least sturdy, and they offer less versatility. Meanwhile, those made from fiberglass, carbon-fiber, kevlar, or a combination of these are the most expensive. With the hefty price, tags come versatility, less weight, and durability. 


Why Choose A Tandem Kayak?


The More The Merrier

First of all, in comparison with a normal one-person kayak, a tandem kayak can obviously accommodate more than one person. That means you’ll have the flexibility to go on an adventure with another partner. Another rider also means more conversation and more fun in general. If you’re into some peace, the tandem kayak can be operated solo but only with the correct distribution of weight, and you’re physically fit to make it work solo.


Cost Saving

Buying a tandem kayak means you’ll only have to pay a little extra that doubles the fun for two. The price of a tandem kayak is varied based on its quality rather than the quantity. The extra money you’re spending for a tandem kayak is mainly for its extra features and for an assurance of its durability. All in all, you’ll save some extra bucks buying a tandem kayak than two single-person kayaks.


You’ll Be Able To Paddle Further With Another Person

Believe it or not, you’ll be able to paddle further and more efficiently with two persons on a kayak. Of course, you’ll get to take turns to paddle to avoid exhaustion. It’s also obvious that two-person means double the power. Hence, you’ll go further than paddling it alone.


Key To Build Confidence On Water

It’s excellent for beginners to build up their confidence. Having an expert with you gives you the comfort and assurance in case the worst happened and there’s someone there to back you up.


Able To Nurture Teamwork

Tandem Kayak builds teamwork. In order for the kayak to work well, both parties need to synchronize their movement to advance. This trains your patience, focus, and of course, trust. You need to trust each other to make it work.


So, you’re convinced to get a tandem kayak. Here’s some of the best in the market you should be considering. 



BKC TK219 12.2′ Fishing Tandem Kayak

BKC TK219 12.2' Tandem Fishing Kayak in blue

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Six-rod holders (4 flush mounts + 2 adjustable)
  • Two foam-padded seats 
  • Two waterproof storage hatches for your belongings
  • Lighter than most kayaks of the same size


The BKC TK219 tandem kayak is a crowd favorite when it comes to the overall best tandem kayak. Its sleek design and number of excellent features land it on top of the best tandem kayaks list. 


Spanning 34 inches in width, the  BKC TK219 kayak offers impressive stability. This is a plus when you’re casting or reeling when fishing. Among its many features is the hull, made of high-density polyethylene with UV protection. The seats are padded for premium comfort, while the backrests are easily adjustable to fit your preference. Planning to bring your dog? There’s a molded-in seat in the middle of the kayak perfect for your pet or child. 


Taking convenience level a notch higher, the TK219 kayak has built-in rod holders. There are also elastic bungee cords to keep paddles in place. These features allow you to free your hands from the paddles when needed. The kayak also has waterproof storage where you can safely keep your valuables.  



Ocean Malibu Tandem Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Read More Reviews Photo by Amazon



  • Sit-on-top style
  • 500-pound maximum capacity
  • The large comfortable seat rests with wrap-around seatbacks


When looking for versatile and durable tandem kayaks, you can’t go wrong with the Ocean Malibu. Measuring 12 feet long and 34 inches wide, this lightweight kayak sits 2 adults and a child or a pet. 


Designed with built-in paddle holders, the Ocean Malibu makes kayaking simpler and convenient. The sit-on-top design also makes getting on and off the kayak much easier. The boat has plenty of storage in the front and rear, making long paddling trips more comfortable. 


Perhaps the standout feature of this 2-person kayak is its wrap-around style seatbacks. This design allows the seatbacks to contour the body well, providing a snug and comfortable sitting position. 



Advanced Elements Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Advanced Elements Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Hull with aluminum rib reinforcement
  • Adjustable seat positions 
  • PVC-coated triple-layer polyester prevents punctures 
  • Includes heavy-duty duffel bag and repair kit  


If you’re searching for the best 2-person kayak that’s convenient to use and store, look no further! The Advanced Elements tandem kayak is an inflatable type, making assembly and storage a breeze. You just need to unfold it, inflate, and attach the seats. 


It’s compact when folded, but sturdy and spacious when inflated. Aside from that, the hull is built with triple-layer construction, making it tear-, rip-, and puncture-resistant. For added strength, the entire hull is built with aluminum ribs. When it comes to comfort, the seats are flexible enough to be adjusted into several positions.




Intex Explorer K2 Kayak 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak in yellow

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • 2 inflatable seats with backrests
  • Removable skeg
  • I-Beam floor for rigidity
  • Comes with 2 paddles
  • 400-pound maximum weight


There’s a wide selection of affordable inflatable tandem kayaks available, but the Intex Explorer K2 is an excellent choice. Not only is it cheap, but it’s compact and easy to set up, use, and store.  While it’s not as rigid as an ideal regular kayak, the Intex Explorer K2 2-person kayak offers comfort and convenience. It’s an excellent choice for occasional paddlers who are not yet ready to make a big investment in tandem kayaks. 


This inflatable is perfect for smaller bodies of water with mild conditions, such as lakes and rivers. 



Seaward Kayaks Passat G3 Kevlar

Seaward Kayaks Passat G3 Kevlar Kayak

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Multiple bungee tie-downs for more storage 
  • Stable and lightweight
  • Padded thigh braces for leg comfort


The standout feature of the Seaward Kayak is the abundance of space storage. Both the bow and stern have spacious storage capacity. Meanwhile, the bungee tie-downs in the front, middle, and back allow you to pack more stuff. The Seaward Kayak is excellent for a week-long expedition. 


This tandem kayak offers a great balance of speed, comfort, and storage.



Lifetime Beacon 12′ Red Sit-On-Top Tandem Kayak

Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak, Red, 12'

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Soft padding on the adjustable seats
  • Spacious tank well 
  • Dry storage 
  • Built-in skeg for better maneuverability and tracking
  • A wheel on the skeg for ease of navigating
  • Four carry handles for easy carrying 


As one of the best value tandem kayaks, the Lifetime Beacon makes the competition tough. Not only is it spacious, but it also offers a comfortable kayak ride. 


The padded and lite seats receive positive reviews from customers. There are also molded-in footwells at the front for more legroom and comfort. Meanwhile, the wide hull can hold plenty of storage. This boat comes with two storage areas at the bow and stern. In the middle sits a dry storage hatch for your valuables. 



Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13 Foot Tandem Angler and Recreational Two Person Sit On Top Fishing Kayak (Caribbean Blue)

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Fully adjustable frame seats
  • Fully adjustable footrests
  • Two sealed hatches
  • Includes 2 paddles


Along with Vibe’s Yellowfin Kayak’s hefty price tag comes heavy features. This tandem kayak is among the most feature-rich kayaks on the market. From storage to comfort, the Yellowfin takes kayak standards a notch higher.


Aside from two spacious sealed hatches, the boat has molded drink holders for your coffee or beer while you’re on the water. This kayak is also built with mounted rod holders for your convenience. At the front and back are shock cord lashing to accommodate your fishing rods and extra gear.


For all-day comfort, the Yellowfin boasts of framed hero seats with enough space. While many boats have molded footrests, those of Yellowfin are fully adjustable. This feature allows you to adjust the footrests to your height and preference. 



Intex Challenger K2 Tandem Kayak

Intex Challenger Kayak Series

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Mesh cargo bay
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Bottle holder
  • Heavy-duty puncture-resistant material
  • US Coast Guard-approved
  • UV-resistant


The sporty look of the Intex Challenger K2 Tandem Kayak is enough to attract adventure buffs.  This fun 2-person kayak has incredible value for its spacious, functional, and comfortable body. What’s more, it comes at a friendly price tag. 


The boat’s nose is large enough to give you plenty of space for storage. There’s also a mesh on top of the hull for easy access to your extra gear. You can pop your items in a dry bag before slipping it in the mesh. 


The Intex Challenger kayak is inflatable that is easy to set up, store, and carry around. Constructed with heavy-duty material, this boat is puncture and tear-resistant. Despite being inflatable, the Intex Challenger gives you all the feels of a rigid board. It’s stable and comfortable —  two of the best features you want from a kayak. 



Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Twin Dirigo Kayak

Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus Recreational Kayak

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Click Seal hatch and a glove box hatch for smaller items
  • Deck lashing
  • Adjustable seats and foot braces


If there’s anything that the Old Town Twin Dirigo Kayak won’t sacrifice, it’s comfort. For such an iconic brand known for canoes and kayaks, you can’t expect anything less than great from Old Town. 


Boasting fully adjustable seats with tall backrests, you can comfortably paddle over the waters. The boat also comes with an added leverage — a track foot brace system. When it comes to stability, you can count on Twin Dirigo’s three-layer polyethylene Stabil-form design. 


The Dirigo has a 475-pound maximum load capacity, perfect for tandem kayaking. However, should you want to paddle solo, you can easily move the second seat forward. 



Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Fishing Kayak

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Read More Reviews Photo from Amazon



  • Tough 18-gauge PVC material
  • Multiple air chambers
  • Built-in rod holders
  • Pre-installed motor mounting area
  • Mesh storage pockets
  • Carry bag and pressure gauge included


The Sevylor Coleman Colorado is among the best inflatable tandem kayaks out there. Designed with durability in mind, you can rely on the Coleman Colorado even on rough water conditions. 


Made from high-quality PVC material with a 1000D tarpaulin bottom, this kayak can withstand tough conditions and prevent punctures. To ensure safety, this kayak has multiple chambers to let you stay afloat when one gets punctured. 


When it comes to comfort and convenience, this kayak offers a sit-on-top design, making it easy to get on and off. Aside from that, there are built-in rod holders for your convenience. This way, you can fish or swim to your heart’s content knowing your rods are secure. If that’s not enough, this kayak has a pre-installed mounting area for your trolling motor. 


How To Properly Choose A Tandem Kayak?

A couple of happy kayak paddlers out for a tandem kayak experience

Photo by Backbone Campaign from Flickr


When choosing among the tandem kayaks, you have to decide on the kind of kayak activity you want to engage in. You also have to list down the features you want to prioritize and those you can sacrifice. Is it for recreation only or a professional hobby? Do you intend to paddle on calm waters, or do you want the thrill of tough conditions? Do you need a lot of storage space? All these and more are important deciding factors. 


Tandem kayaks are made of different materials and come in different sizes. Touring kayaks are elongated, which are best for longer distances. Meanwhile, all-around kayaks offer maneuverability and tipping stability and are perfect for beginners. 


There are also differences in design. There are sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks, wherein the former offers more convenience in getting on and off the kayak. However, sit-in kayaks offer more comfort and warmth, especially during windy and cooler days. 


In summary, there are a lot of tandem kayaks available on the market with different features, designs, and functionality. The best way to choose one is to make the features match those of your needs and preferences. 


Double The Fun With A Kayak For Two!

Some activities are worth sharing with the company — from tennis, ping-pong, chess to kayaking. Tandem kayaks allow paddlers to share the fun experience with a friend, family, or even a pet. With the many tandem kayaks available now, there sure is one less lonely kayaker in the world.