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Best Tandem Kayak – Our Picks For Twice The Fun

  • Updated: October 30, 2019
Best Tandem Kayak - two people in a kayak paddling in the sea

Tandem kayaks mean twice the fun with half the effort. Provided you paddle in the same direction!

Bad joke, but it is vital to get the best tandem kayak that both paddlers will enjoy. Choosing the wrong product will be a major damper on your experience.

Paddling with other people can be a challenge, so we have come up with tandem kayaks that will bail the stress out, and put the fun back in.

Enough with the bad puns, and on to our top picks.

Read next: Check out our review of the best Kayak For Beginners, kayak cart, and kayak roof racks.

Best Tandem Kayak (Comparison Table)

Best Overall
BKC UH-TK219 12 foot Tandem Sit On Top Kayak 2 or 3 person with 2 Paddles and Seats and 5 Fishing Rod Holders Included (Camo)
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Kayak (Seaglass, 13 Feet 4 Inches)
ADVANCED ELEMENTS AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak, 15', Red
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
Brand & Model
TK219 12.2 Tandem Fishing Kayak
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Inflatable
Sevylor Coleman Colorado
Sun Dolphin Bali
Type
Sit on
Sit on
Sit in
Sit in, inflatable
Sit on
Paddlers
2 / 3
2 / 3
2
2
2 / 3
Suitable for
Fishing
Ocean / Cruising / Fishing
Cruising / Fishing
Fishing
Ocean / river / day cruising
Capacity
200 kg (440 lbs)
226.8 kg (440 lbs)
250 kg (550 lbs)
213 kg (470 lbs)
227 kg (500 lbs)
Material
Polyethylene
Polyethylene
PVC
PVC
Polyethylene
Length
3.75 m (12.13 ft)
4.1 m (13.4 ft)
4.5 m (15 ft)
3.32 m (10.9 ft)
4.14 m (13.6 feet)
Width
88 cm (35 inches)
86.4 cm (34 inches)
81.28 cm (32 inches)
100 cm (3.3 ft)
86 cm (34 inches)
Weight
30.84 kg (68 lbs)
30.84 kg (68 lbs)
25.5 kg (56 lbs)
18.6 kg (41 lbs)
32 kg (70 lbs)
Best Overall
BKC UH-TK219 12 foot Tandem Sit On Top Kayak 2 or 3 person with 2 Paddles and Seats and 5 Fishing Rod Holders Included (Camo)
Brand & Model
TK219 12.2 Tandem Fishing Kayak
Type
Sit on
Paddlers
2 / 3
Suitable for
Fishing
Capacity
200 kg (440 lbs)
Material
Polyethylene
Length
3.75 m (12.13 ft)
Width
88 cm (35 inches)
Weight
30.84 kg (68 lbs)
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Kayak (Seaglass, 13 Feet 4 Inches)
Brand & Model
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL
Type
Sit on
Paddlers
2 / 3
Suitable for
Ocean / Cruising / Fishing
Capacity
226.8 kg (440 lbs)
Material
Polyethylene
Length
4.1 m (13.4 ft)
Width
86.4 cm (34 inches)
Weight
30.84 kg (68 lbs)
ADVANCED ELEMENTS AE1007-R AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak, 15', Red
Brand & Model
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Inflatable
Type
Sit in
Paddlers
2
Suitable for
Cruising / Fishing
Capacity
250 kg (550 lbs)
Material
PVC
Length
4.5 m (15 ft)
Width
81.28 cm (32 inches)
Weight
25.5 kg (56 lbs)
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Brand & Model
Sevylor Coleman Colorado
Type
Sit in, inflatable
Paddlers
2
Suitable for
Fishing
Capacity
213 kg (470 lbs)
Material
PVC
Length
3.32 m (10.9 ft)
Width
100 cm (3.3 ft)
Weight
18.6 kg (41 lbs)
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak
Brand & Model
Sun Dolphin Bali
Type
Sit on
Paddlers
2 / 3
Suitable for
Ocean / river / day cruising
Capacity
227 kg (500 lbs)
Material
Polyethylene
Length
4.14 m (13.6 feet)
Width
86 cm (34 inches)
Weight
32 kg (70 lbs)

Top Kayaks

Best Tandem Kayak Overall 

TK219 Tandem Fishing Kayak

This kayak’s name may sound technical but is very simple to use.
Its creators, BYK, have been in the game since 2009 and certainly know their stuff.

This kayak is fully loaded. With six rod holders, fully adjustable seats make it easy to find the most comfortable position.

There are two completely watertight hatches, one in the front and the other in the rear for easy access.

This craft has built-in paddle holders, with strong elastic cords to keep them in place.

The four convenient carry handles to enable the TK219 to be carried easily. This kayak tracks very well and glides effortlessly through the water.

  • Type: Sit on
  • Carrying Capacity: 200 kg (440 lbs)
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Length: 3.75 (12.13 ft)
  • Width: 88 cm (35 inches)
  • Weight: 30.84 kg (68 lbs)

What we like

  • 6 fishing rod holders
  • Ample storage for a full days fishing
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Adjustable seats with the option of adding a third

What we don't like

  • Not designed for the larger paddler in mind.

Best Value For Money

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL

This is a fantastic sit on top kayak capable of being paddled by 1 or 2 people with equal ease.

 Its tracking and stability are two of its most notable features and raved about in numerous reviews.

Although heavy, it’s durability more than makes up for it. It is built for comfort and not for speed, being spacious both on top and inside.

This is a perfect choice for larger adults as has a lot of space and has a large carrying capacity.​​

  • Type: Sit on
  • Carrying Capacity: 226.8 kg (440 lbs)
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Length: 4.1 meters (13.4 ft) 
  • Width: 86.4 cm (34 inches)
  • Weight: 30.84 kg (68 lbs)

What we like

  • Very stable
  • Is polyethylene construction makes this kayak very durable
  • Able to be paddled by 1 or 2 people
  • Very comfortable and stability
  • Spacious with lots of storage

What we don't like

  • Heavier than other 2 person kayaks
  • Its Seat is not designed for extended trips and can be uncomfortable
  • Depending on your size and reach the paddles may be a bit on the short side.

At nearly 3.32 (11 feet), the Coleman Colarado is one of the smaller 2 person kayaks on the list, but don’t let its size fool you. It is big on features and possibility.

It has a puncture-resistant floor, so dropping sharp objects won’t cause you dashing for dry land.

Paddle holders keep your awes safe and out of the way. A set of rod holders comes standard, but you can purchase a second set, for when more than one line out at a time is necessary.

This lightweight kayak fits easily into a backpack so getting to those out of the way creeks and secluded fishing spots will be effortless.

The Colorado also has a fitting to allow a trolling motor to be attached, for when you feel like motorised assistance.

  • Type: Sit in
  • Carrying Capacity: 213 kg (470 lbs) 
  • Material: PVC
  • Length: 4.1 (10.9 ft) 
  • Width: 1 m (3.3 ft) 
  • Weight: 18.6 kg (41 lbs) 

What we like

  • Multiple air pockets, so no need to panic if you accidentally get a puncture.
  • Fully adjustable straps for extra comfort.
  • Adjustable fishing rod holders.
  • Ability to fit a trolling motor (Small engine for paddle free propulsion)

What we don't like

  • This is not a cruising kayak and not suited all day paddling
  • Tracking can be an issue
  • Best suited to freshwater. Ocean paddling can be problematic

This is one of the best inflatable tandem kayaks on the market today.

It’s a speedy craft and one of the few that cam have a seat removed with the other positioned in the centre for single person use!

There is an option to purchase decking if you wish to have a large single person kayak, so don’t feel you have to compromise.
Some have mentioned that the setup and pack away time is not as good as other inflatable kayaks but like in all things you need to take the rough water with the calm.

  • Type: Sit in
  • Carrying Capacity: 250 kg (550 lbs)
  • Material: PVC
  • Length: 4.5 (15 ft)
  • Width: 81.28 (32 inches)
  • Weight: 25.5 kg (56 lbs)

What we like

  • Good stability
  • Very manoeuvrable
  • Easy to paddle, with legroom for the taller paddler.
  • This excellent kayak comes with a repair kit, handy carrying bag, seat cushions
  • Does not dry out quickly
  • Spray decks available for extra weather protection

What we don't like

  • No seat cushion
  • Fairly heavy despite being inflatable
  • Does not track well in big swells or choppy water
  • Takes a while to set up

Best Budget kayak

Sun Dolphin Bali

This stable solid shell kayak is great on the water and ideal for rivers, lakes, and flat ocean fun.

It has ample space for 2 adults or even 1 adult and 2 children.

This kayak tracks well, also when paddled by only one person.

Unlike some of its contemporaries, it is not ideal for fishing, although there’s nothing preventing you from taking a few rods along.

  • Type: Sit in
  • Carrying Capacity: 227 kg (500 lbs)
  • Material: Welded Vinyl
  • Length: 4.14 meters (13.6 feet)
  • Width: 86 cm (34 inches)
  • Weight: 13 kg (28.6 lbs)

What we like

  • Very stable
  • Ideal for beginners or those wishing to take kids along
  • Very robust and child-friendly
  • Self-bailing
  • Paddle holders

What we don't like

  • It is quite heavy.
  • Compartments are not water right and prone to leaking
  • Not great for all-day paddling, or fishing

Buyer's Guide for Best Tandem Kayak

When you are thinking of buying a kayak, you may find the range of choices overwhelming.

Which do I choose? Sit on top, sit inside?  What material should it be made of?  Below is a guide that will help you decide.

Sit inside, or sit on top?

Kayaks come in two main varieties.

As the name would suggest. Sit in, is where you are immersed in the body of the kayak and the new type, sit on, is where you are positioned outside of the yak.

This type of design can have significant benefits for fishing as well as traversing between the shore and your craft.

Sit on top

What We Like

  • Better for warmer weather
  • Far more spacious than a sit-in yak
  • Better stability, especially when entering or exiting the water
  • More legroom and ability to stretch out.
  • Reduces the amount of bailing a paddler may need to do.

What We Don't Like

  • Open to the elements
  • Less versatile
  • Usually heavier than sit-in kayaks and more cumbersome to paddle

Sit in side

What We Like

  • Better for colder weather, and keeping dry
  • Ability to add a spray skirt to keep the wind and waves at bay.
  • More comfortable paddling due to a lower centre of gravity
  • Paddlers usually find the sit-in design more familiar and comfortable

What We Don't Like

  • Less ventilation means you may get hot in warmer weather.
  • Less stability increases the risk of tipping.
  • Less suitable for those who plan on fishing or general exploration.

Material

Before we get into the different types of yaks, lets first discuss materials

Choosing what your kayak is made of is a good place to start. Deciding on your yaks build will determine; price, weight, stability and tracking.

There are 7 main types of materials used for kayak builds: Carbon fibre, fibreglass, wood, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), hard plastic, polyethene, fabric / Kevlar with supporting frame.

Kevlar and Carbon fibre are light and robust, but expensive and are aimed at experienced kayakers. Hard plastic such as polyethylene , are durable, but usually heavier than other materials.

Wood is not the best choice as It is not a material commonly used and will dramatically limit your options.
ABS and Polyethylene are excellent choices for both quality and value.

However, be aware that ABS is more expensive and Polyethene is more susceptible to UV and can puncture when running into sharp rocks.

Capacity
(How much weight can the kayak support)

Not all models of kayaks can support the larger paddler and all their gear.

Be sure to consider your weight and the amount of equipment you plan to take with you.

If you are planning to use your yak for fishing, it needs to be able to handle, your rods, tackle and provisions. Not to mention all the fish you plan to catch.

Kayak Length, width, and weight

The general rule is, the longer the kayak is, the faster it can go. The wider the kayak is the more stable It will be, but this also adds drag. If you are looking to do white water kayaking, you want the length to be no longer than 9 feet or so.

As for the weight of a kayak, lighter is not always better. Lighter kayaks are more susceptible to being blown off course. However, the heavier a kayak is, the more difficult it is to transport.

Luckily, modern yaks are not terribly heavy in any case. Unless you are planning to go pro, the weight of a yak is not at the top of your priority list.

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Category: Paddle

About the Author Brad Pickering-Dunn

Hey, I'm Brad - the founder and editor of Watercraft Watch. My love for boating is what prompted me to start WatercraftWatch.com – helping people find the right equipment and supplies so they can enjoy their time on the water. I hope you find the articles on the site useful, and share in my love for boating.

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