Top 5 Best Tandem Kayaks for a Family Outdoor

Kayaking solo can be fun, but when you are with a friend, things even get better. To kayak with a friend, each one might bring a kayak, but it would even be better when you use one tandem kayak. This is a type of kayak that seats two people.

There are many applications of such a kayak. It can be used for bonding or even fishing when you want to explore the open waters. Some even use them for tandem racing. As such, you can find a use for such a type of kayak.

Quick Picks: The Top-Rated Tandem Kayaks

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In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!

What Is Tandem Kayak

You can define a tandem as a type of kayak that usually ranges from 12 feet to 24 feet in length. You can easily choose the size that you want based on the activity and those who would be using it.

These types of kayaks will have two seats. The aim is to ensure that they can sit two or more people. It can be two adults with a child or a dog. So, it is a fun way of having a good time with your family in the water.

Why Choose A Tandem Kayak?

Anyone new to tandem kayaks would not know what the fuss and enthusiasm are all about. Well, here are some of the reasons for choosing tandem kayaks.

  • It can help create a bonding exercise for you and your family. Let us say you want to take a break from the busy work life and just relax with your partner; this could be a nice way of doing it.
  • It is also a nice way of introducing newbies to kayaking. Paddling with another person in the same kayak will generally help you learn kayaking faster. You would always know that there is something to help you.
  • Tandem kayaks also provide the user with more space to pack their luggage and supplies. These kayaks are mostly large. As such, they will have enough space to carry your gear even if you are going fishing.
  • Most tandem kayaks are inflatable. This means you will have an easier time storing these massive kayaks in your house. The inflatable kayaks will also be easy to inflate when it is time to kayak.

From the various pros mentioned above, it is possible to see why many users would consider getting themselves a tandem kayak. Always make sure you buy the best tandem kayak to enjoy kayaking even better.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tandem kayak

The Type

To end up with the best tandem kayak, you have to understand the various types that are available for you to buy. The most common types include fishing tandem kayaks, inflatable tandem kayaks, ocean tandem kayaks, touring tandem kayaks, and sit-on-top tandem kayaks.

These tandem kayaks can have multiple applications. It comes down to how it has been built. So, make sure you take a keen look at the features to find the best tandem kayak for your needs.


Another thing to consider is stability. Like any other kayak type, stability can determine how well you enjoy kayaking. It is very important to consider stability, especially when you want to take the kayak for fishing.

Each time you are fishing, the kayak might lose stability slightly. As such, it is best to consider using the right tandem kayak built with the best stability to help you fish better.


The length is also important to consider. This will determine the space inside the kayak that you can comfortably sit two people. Most models would be longer than 12 feet, making them offer enough space for the users to enjoy paddling.

Also, there will be enough room to carry your gear while on tour. You should be able to enjoy your kayaking trip better when you have more space.

Weight Capacity

Considering you would be sitting two people in the same kayak, look at its weight capacity. The model should have the best weight capacity so that you can sit properly and enjoy kayaking without worrying about it sinking.

Luckily, most tandem kayaks would have an impressive weight capacity. If you can find one with at least 500 pounds weight capacity, it should generally give you the best performance.

Product Reviews of The Best Tandem Kayak

This is a top choice for those who need the best tandem kayak for the money. Because it is easily inflatable, you will find that you can get into the water in no time. It should take an average of 5 minutes to inflate the kayak and start using it. This is all possible due to the double-action high flow pump that comes with the kayak.

Due to its compactness, the users will find it easy to carry around. That is why most people love inflatable kayaks. It also has a carry bag, meaning you can easily put it into your carry bag and go around with it to enjoy kayaking.

The model boasts of having a durable design. This is because it comes with a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin bottom. This is able to provide you with the best protection against punctures. You can be kayaking in areas known for being rocky without worrying much.

The double-threaded Boston valves are important to guarantee the user of no leaks. You can be sure that the kayak can handle different environments without a problem.


  • It inflates quickly
  • It is compact and maneuverable
  • The materials are durable


  • The seats do not have the best support

If you enjoy kayak fishing, there is no doubt this will be a great option for you to consider. It is made to deliver on good stability that most people want when they go fishing. As such, you can find even newbie anglers trying it out.

You should also like its 1000D tarpaulin bottom together with the 840D cover. These two materials will boost its overall durability. As such, the kayak would be puncture-resistant so that you can enjoy using it without a problem generally.

The multiple air chambers will allow the tandem kayak to float even if there is a puncture in one air chamber. This is good to ensure you always have your safety well-handled.

The model allows for the attachment of a Sevylor trolling motor. Such a motor helps the user expand his fishing capabilities. Also, the presence of adjustable rod holders allows for a hands-free fishing experience with this type of kayak.


  • Impressive strong construction
  • It has a 1000D tarpaulin bottom for puncture protection
  • It has an airtight system to prevent leaks


  • Some anglers feel the stability is not the best

You will like the overall design of this tandem kayak. This is because it comes with built-in aluminum ribs. The idea is to help the user improve the overall tracking of the kayak. Also, the sturdiness and stability of the kayak would be better.

Another thing you will like about this tandem kayak should be the three layers of materials used to make the whole kayak. It would be hard to puncture through the three layers all at once. As such, you can kayak knowing that you would be safer.

At 52 pounds, it is not the most lightweight inflatable kayak. However, it is still within the lightweight range to make people consider getting it for themselves. As for the weight capacity, it can deliver an impressive maximum weight of 550 pounds. This makes it possible to haul two people without any issues.

The seats offer high support and are still adjustable. It is, for this reason, you will enjoy paddling them around for hours without straining your back.


  • The kayak offers impressive support
  • The model has improved tracking
  • It is pre-assembled when shipped to the user


  • It is heavy for an inflatable kayak

This is another option as the best tandem kayak. It can provide you with the best durability and overall performance as you have always wanted in a tandem kayak. This is possible as the model is made of laminate PVC material. This material also has a polyester core which is all about making it lightweight and stronger.

The model is also resistant to sunlight as it will not easily fade. Unlike other models that might fade after a few months outdoors, this one stands out with its durability. It is also resistant to abrasion and impacts.

Having two removable skews makes it quite versatile. This is because you can use it for both deep and shallow waters. There are also two footrests that help you sit right in the kayak and get the best support.

Some people would use it for fishing, and they will definitely like it. This is because it is wide to offer more stability, and it also has fishing rod holders. You can see how it is easy to find a use for it while kayaking.


  • Made of strong materials
  • Good for both deep and shallow water
  • It is lightweight


  • It takes longer to inflate fully

At 12ft, this should be a top choice for those who love kayaking together. There is enough space for two adults and one child or any extra baggage you might need to carry while on tour. Such space is what drives more people to consider getting it to enjoy kayaking as a family.

Another thing that would make more people consider it should be the X2 paddles. These paddles are adjustable in three positions to ensure that the kayak can be paddled by people of different heights with ease.

The aluminum seats make it also good for durability. Considering aluminum is lightweight, you can find it easy to carry the kayak too. It weighs at around 77lbs., which should not be so bad for a rigid tandem kayak.

Having rod holders and storage compartments should give you an idea that it would be a great kayak for fishing. Many people would enjoy using it for fishing in different waters by even adding more kayak accessories to make their fishing trip even better.


  • Strong construction
  • Has an impressive space available
  • It has multiple accessories


  • It is pricey


Can you use a tandem kayak alone?

As much as it may be possible, you will struggle a lot. Tandem kayaks are built to be used by two people. This allows for better maneuvering and controlling of the kayak. When it is one person using it, then paddling can be tough.

Can a heavier person use a tandem kayak?

Tandem kayaks have some of the best weight capacities. It is for this reason; you would find them mostly being preferred even by the heavier people. Most of them would have weight capacities of over 500 pounds. This is good enough for most users.

Are inflatable tandem kayaks better?

Some prefer inflatable tandem kayaks as it gives them the best flexibility. You could easily deflate it when you want to store it or inflate it when it is time for fun. Most models would take around five minutes to be ready for use.

You could still get the hard-shell or rigid kayak if you do not like inflating the kayak every time you want to use it. However, it might not always be easy storing a rigid kayak that is 18 feet. So, there will always be some tradeoffs between these two types.


The best tandem kayak will make your kayaking activities even better since you will be enjoying it with your friend, partner, or even kid. Just ensure you buy the right one for the money. If you had no idea where to start, check out all the models listed above. They are some of the best to get for yourself right now to ensure that you generally enjoy kayaking.

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