Every year we look out for the best tandem kayak and 2018 is no different. Tandems are without a doubt the most joyful version of kayaking. Nothing beats sharing the great outdoors with someone else, and a 2 person kayak is tailor made for it, literally.
Tandem kayaks come in different category types. To be more precise, every type of kayak can and most often does come either a solo 1 person configuration or a 2 person configuration. They are as follows:
Recreational/Sit on Top – There is nothing like the SE 370. It is without a doubt the best tandem sit on top kayak for recreational purposes. Its inexpensive, fun, light, and can handle 2 people and a k9.
Sea/Touring – The 380x Pro is expedition rated and with a large rear center skeg you and another person can go paddling for long flat-water touring trips comfortably. Making it easily or top pick and the best tandem touring kayak for our open sea adventures.
Fishing – The 385fta Pro Angler is the best tandem fishing kayak. It tracks well, stable both in open oceans and local rivers, and can accommodate two people and a dog with ease.
The above are the best 2 person kayak for each types, hands down. Considering that Sea Eagle makes one of the best kayaks consistently, it definitely made ours picks much easier. In fact, they even have tandem to solo conversion kayaks which just goes to show how versatile they are.
As you can see tandems are designed with two seats (hence the name), making them the perfect solution for individuals who enjoy kayaking with others but don’t want to haul around double kayaks.
|Sea Eagle SE370|
|Ocean Kayak 12 Malibu Two||A+||Intermediate||Plastic Shell|
|Intex Explorer K2||B+||Beginner||Inflatable PVC|
|Sea Eagle 330 w/ Deluxe Package||A+||Professional||Inflatable PVC|
|Sevylor Coleman Colorado||A||Intermediate||Plastic Shell|
|AIRE Tributary Tomcat||A+||Intermediate||Inflatable PVC|
|Old Town Twin Heron||A+||Intermediate||Plastic Shell|
|Lifetime Manta||A||Intermediate||Plastic Shell|
|Pelican Troupe 129T||B+||Intermediate||Plastic Shell|
Choosing the right one is also a good way of introducing children or other individuals to the sport. You can even remove the seats to let your beloved dog sit or lay down comfortably inside the ‘yak while you paddle around the lake.
However, finding the perfect tandem for your needs can be a pain in the butt. Tandem kayak reviews and forums offer a wealth of information about various kayak models but it is important to match your needs with the features on offer.
This is because user preferences, uses and experience level vary and this makes it important to find one that matches both your needs and those of your partner. Some of the questions you should think about when choosing the right kayak for you and your partner are:
Looking for as boat that you won’t have to drive around with on your rooftop? The AHTK-2 Montana Performance is a 12 foot inflatable tandem kayak that would fit easily into the trunk of your car, suitcase or duffle bag (click here for more reviews on inflatable kayaks).
One of the most common problems with inflatable canoes is stability and buoyancy but the tubular I-beam hard plastic flooring offers adequate support for superior buoyancy, comfort and tracking.
The hull doubles up as a scuff resistant layer and a water barrier so you won’ have to worry about the boat taking on water between the air chambers and the outer shell. For extra safety in water, the kayak is made of high visibility Orange colored PVC.
The kayak weights 37 pounds and has a weight capacity of 500 pounds
Designed to seat up to 3 people, the 10 foot Lifetime Manta is the ultimate multiple recreational tandem kayak. It offers balanced, comfortable seating for solo, tandem or family fun paddling. Thanks to its tunnel hull design and 500 pound weight capacity, it is almost impossible to tip over, making it one of the safest kayaks on the market in 2018.
The “High and Dry” seating profile ensures that paddles are kept off the kayak’s floor. To accommodate different sized riders, the Manta comes with multiple footrest positions.
What makes this kayak so versatile is complete set of built in features it was designed with. These include a paddle cradle, a forward cargo area with shock cord straps, a fishing pole holder, and a mast receiver receptacle. This means that you can either paddle or sail the canoe or use it for fishing or family paddling.
If recreational use is what you are looking for, try these highly recommended recreational kayak brands.
However at 55 lbs, it could be a bit awkward for one person to carry the canoe but the molded hull handles make carrying by two people a pleasure!
This kayak is best suited for beginner paddlers, couples and kids out to enjoy kayaking for the pure fun of it. Pelican designed the pursuit 140t with two molded seats and adjustable backrests.
Adjustable foot pegs for different sized paddles are also included. While adjusting the foot pegs is quite easy the shorter paddler should ideally be in the back seat.
The Pelican Pursuit 140T Kayak canoe comes with a rear bungee, two paddle holders, and a 5 inch semi waterproof hatch at the front. The paddle holder features paddle tie downs which is a nice addition that will help keep you from losing your paddles.
With regards to maneuverability, the drop down skeg helps kept e rear from wriggling and is design to turn only when the two paddler have the same stroke. This is an exploring kayak so no fishing accessories or add-ons are included, not like the fishing kayaks made for anglers, but it does have two handy pivots to keep your water bottles when kayaking.
Considered one of the top tandem kayaks from Old Town, the Twin Heron was designed for outdoors families looking for a versatile water craft. It features a removable front seat that affords extra storage space and quick access to gear when needed and will allow a dog to ride along comfortably.
The most intriguing thing about the Twin Heron is the Auto Trim, hull design that prevents bow lift when a solo paddle is seated in the kayak’s rear seat.
The Twin Heron is also equipped with Old Towns new Glide Track foot braces system; an intuitive, easily accessible adjustment system that includes contoured foot pegs with an asymmetrical design that cradles the foot.
You do not have to worry about comfort, safety and ease of maneuvering as this kayak is equipped with cushioned seats, thigh pads and a rudder. The carry handles, paddle holder deck bungee and cup holder are just a few of the convenient features included in the canoe.
Given the huge range of tandem kayak models on the market, choosing the best tandem kayak can be a daunting task.
Tandems kayaks tend to be heavier and longer than solo canoes. You can make small weight savings by choosing a boat made of lighter material such as fiberglass or choose a shorter kayak, but this will come at the expense of stability. Definitely check out additional kayak reviews and tandem kayak reviews for detail specs and recommendations.