A tandem kayak is a great option for those who want to enjoy the water with a partner or family member. These kayaks are designed for two people to sit inside kayaks and paddle together.

They are often wider and longer than single-person kayaks, providing more stability and room for gear. Tandem kayaks come in a variety of styles and designs, each with its own unique features and benefits.

In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best tandem kayaks on the market and help you choose the one that's right for you. Whether you're looking for an ocean kayak for recreational use, fishing, or touring, we've got you covered. When choosing a rigid tandem kayak, consider length, width, weight capacity, and material.

Additionally, it's important to think about the type of water you'll be using the kayak on and any additional features you may need, such as rod holders or a built-in cooler.

With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect two-person kayak can be overwhelming. But by reading tandem kayak reviews, a little research, and careful consideration, you'll be sure to find the one that fits your needs and your budget.

How We Search For The Best Choice

When you’re looking for the best tandem kayak, there are a lot of things to consider. It’s not just about which one is the cheapest or the most expensive, but also how well it fits your needs and your budget.

Size and weight

The first thing we look at when searching for the best tandem kayak is how big it is. It needs to be big enough for two people, but not too big that it can't be transported easily. The best kayaks are lightweight and easy to carry, so this is definitely an important factor.


The next thing we look at is what material has been used to make the kayak. The best options are usually made from plastic or fiberglass. Plastic can be molded into any shape and then painted in bright colors to make them look really stylish.

Fiberglass is a bit more expensive than plastic, but it also lasts longer, so you don't have to replace it as often as you would if you bought a cheap plastic model.


Another important aspect of choosing the perfect tandem kayak is making sure that it's comfortable enough for both passengers. You don't want anyone feeling seasick or uncomfortable while they're out on the water!

This means that you need to choose a model with plenty of legroom and back support so that everyone can enjoy their time on the water without having to worry about feeling sick afterward!


Another thing that we look at when searching for the best tandem kayak is the price. We want to find something that is affordable but also high quality.

We don't want to spend too much money on a product that won't last long, but if it's too cheap then it won't be worth the investment either.

Our Top Picks

After researching many different models and reading thousands of reviews, we have found the five best choices of tandem kayaks on the market.

Here are our top picks:

Our Top Five-Star Choice

Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series

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Why It’s A Five-Star Choice

The Intex Excursion, Pro Kayak Series, is a line of inflatable kayaks manufactured by Intex. These kayaks are designed for recreational use on calm waters such as lakes, rivers, and mild whitewater. They feature a durable, puncture-resistant PVC material construction and inflatable seats and backrests for added comfort.

The kayaks also have 2 removable skegs for improved tracking and maneuverability. However, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is a budget-friendly option for those looking for an inflatable kayak for recreational use.

Things That Are Good To Know

This Intex kayak is a great choice if you’re looking for an inflatable tandem kayak. One of the most important things to look for in an inflatable tandem kayak is durability—and this model has that in spades! The PVC with polyester core will provide your family with plenty of years of fun on the water.

It also features high-pressure inflation and provides extra rigidity, which means it doesn’t need to be inflated as hard as some lesser models.

High-pressure spring-loaded valves make inflation quick and easy, so you don’t have to worry about being late for your trip because you were blowing up your boat! Storage space in bow and sterns keeps essentials at arm’s reach when you need them most: snacks, drinks, sunscreen—you name it!

Fun Story From A Product User

A satisfied customer said:

"I've used this product for several years. I've had no problems with it. It's very stable and easy to use. It requires at least two people to get it in and out of the water, but that's not a big deal.

I'm a big kayaking fan but don't have access to a lake or river near my house, so I usually bring my kayak down to the local park and go there instead.

The Intex Excursion is great for beginners or people not ready to invest hundreds of dollars in their first kayak. This is a good starter model that won't break your bank account!"

Best Performance Choice

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135

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Why It’s A Five-Star Choice

The Wilderness Systems Pamlico kayak is a recreational kayak designed for flat water and moderate currents. It is made of polyethylene, making it durable and able to withstand impacts. It features a large, open cockpit for easy entry and exit, as well as ample storage space for gear.

The kayak has a stable and comfortable seating area, and it also has a variety of rigging options for accessories. It is suitable for both beginners and experienced kayakers. Overall, it is a great recreational kayak for flatwater paddling and day trips.

Things That Are Good To Know

It is a great choice for as well experienced paddlers as for two beginner kayakers. Its high weight capacity makes it ideal for pairs who want to paddle together. The signature rounded hull of the Pamlico series helps you paddle longer distances by balancing and distributing the weight of your boat better than other tandem kayaks.

The Phase 3 AirPro seats on this kayak are fully adjustable, ergonomic seating with ventilated mesh backrests that ensure comfort during long journeys on the water. They also have padded footrests, so you'll be comfortable while paddling around in your kayak!

It has everything you need: performance for pairs; durability against wear; stability when on the water; comfort; ample storage space—all at an affordable price compared to competitors' offerings.

Fun Story From A Product User

A delighted user wrote:

"I use it to paddle from my home on the river to work and back each day. The boat is light enough that I can carry it over my shoulder but sturdy enough that it doesn't bust up if I run into the dock or rocks.

The seat is adjustable so that you can find the most comfortable position for you. There's plenty of storage space behind the seat for your gear. The cockpit is roomy enough that you can get in and out easily, even if you're wearing hip waders or other large clothing items.

I'd recommend this kayak for anyone who wants a stable boat that will take them places on a budget!"

Best Choice For Fishing

BKC TK219 12.2' Tandem Fishing Kayak

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Why It’s A Five-Star Choice

The BKC TK219 Tandem Fishing Kayak is a two-to-three-person kayak designed for anglers. It features soft padded seats for comfort and two paddles for propulsion. The kayak also has six rod holders, allowing multiple fishing rods to be set up simultaneously. It is made of durable materials, making it suitable for use in various water conditions.

It is ideal for both calm lakes and moderate rivers. The Fishing Kayak is designed with a large open cockpit and a flat, stable platform, perfect for fishing, Photography, bird watching, and other water activities. It is also easy to transport with its lightweight design and carry handles.

Things That Are Good To Know

This BKC TK219 model has three seating capacities and a single rudder for easy paddling. The kayak is built with polyethylene material, enabling you to use it in different water conditions without worrying about its safety.

The single-piece design makes it easier to carry around, so this fishing kayak is perfect for anyone who wants to go out on the water but doesn't want to spend hours preparing their equipment beforehand.

It's also perfect for families because it can fit three people comfortably inside and can support up to 595 lbs of weight! One thing that sets this apart from other tandem fishing kayaks on our list is its dual watertight storage hatches; they act as reservoirs where you can store your items, such as canned goods or fishing gear, if need be (making them great for long trips).

Fun Story From A Product User

A happy fisherman said:

"I have a small fishing boat, but I can't fit my wife in it when we go out together. The tandem kayak allows us to go out together and also gives us space for our dog if we want him along.

The kayak is very stable on the water and easy to get in and out of. The seat is comfortable and adjustable, so you can set it up for your height. It also has a rudder which helps keep you going straight when you're paddling against wind or current. A great buy!"

Best Inflatable Choice

Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

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Why It’s A Five-Star Choice

The Explorer K2 Kayak is a two-person kayak designed for exploring calm waters such as lakes, rivers, and bays. It is made of durable, high-density polypropylene, resistant to impact and UV rays. The kayak is designed with a wide, stable platform that makes it easy to maneuver and navigate.

The kayak is a great choice for anyone looking for a durable, easy-to-use kayak that is perfect for exploring calm waters. With its spacious cockpit and comfortable seating, it is sure to provide an enjoyable and comfortable experience on the water.

Things That Are Good To Know

One of the key features of the Explorer K2 Kayak is its spacious, open cockpit. This allows for easy entry and exit and ample room for gear and supplies. The kayak also features adjustable footrests, padded backrests, and padded seats for comfort and support during long paddling sessions.

It is suitable for use by people of all skill levels, whether they are beginners or experienced kayakers. It is also suitable for use by people of all ages, making it a great option for families or groups of friends looking to spend a day on the water.

Fun Story From A Product User

A satisfied buyer wrote:

"I've used this product for several years, and it's been great. I've taken it on the river, lakes, and ponds. I usually carry it on top of my car and just set it off when I get to the water. It's lightweight, easy to inflate and deflate, and very stable.

I can easily fit myself and my dog in there, which is nice when we go fishing or explore. It's also very durable. I've scraped my kayak against rocks numerous times without any issues at all."

Best Budget-Friendly Choice

Intex Challenger Kayak

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Why It’s A Five-Star Choice

The Intex Challenger Kayak is an inflatable tandem kayak designed for recreational use on calm waters such as lakes and rivers. It is durable and features multiple air chambers for added safety. The kayak also includes a removable skeg for improved steering and stability.

The kayak can be inflated and assembled in just a few minutes, making it easy to transport and store. It also comes with a convenient carry bag for transport and storage. The kayak has a weight capacity of 400 pounds and can accommodate one or two people.

Things That Are Good To Know

The kayak features two inflatable seats with backrests for comfort and a grab line on both ends for easy transport. The kayak also includes a repair patch kit for emergency repairs.

Overall, the Intex Challenger Kayak is a budget-friendly option for recreational kayaking on calm waters. It is lightweight, easy to transport and inflate, and includes a variety of convenient features for a comfortable and safe paddling experience.

Fun Story From A Product User

A delighted customer wrote:

"It's very stable and will track straight with minimal effort. The seat is comfortable and has plenty of room for a grown adult.

I've taken it out on lakes, rivers, and streams and have had no trouble going upstream or against the current. I would recommend this kayak to anyone looking for an inexpensive boat that is still good quality and easy to use."

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Best Tandem Kayak FAQs

When you're shopping for a tandem kayak, you'll find that there are many tandem kayaks. These include sit-on-top, sit-in, and inflatable boats.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you must do your research before making a purchase. Here are some of the most common questions about tandem kayaks:

What is a tandem kayak?

A tandem kayak is a type of kayak designed for two people to sit side-by-side and paddle together. They are often longer and wider than single-person kayaks and can be used for various activities such as recreational paddling, fishing, and touring.

What are the advantages of a tandem kayak over a single person kayak?

A tandem kayak allows for shared paddling and navigation, making it easier to cover longer distances and navigate through rough waters. It also allows for socializing and companionship on the water and can be a great way to introduce someone new to kayaking.

What are the disadvantages of a tandem kayak?

One disadvantage of a tandem kayak is that it can be more difficult to maneuver and steer than a single-person kayak. Transport and store can also be more difficult, as they are typically longer and wider than single-person kayaks.

What is the weight capacity of a tandem kayak?

Weight capacity varies depending on the specific kayak model. It's important to check the manufacturer's specifications before purchasing to make sure the kayak can safely accommodate the combined weight of both paddlers and any gear they may be carrying.

How much does a tandem kayak weigh?

The weight of a tandem kayak also varies depending on the specific model and materials used. On average, they can weigh between 50-80 pounds.

What is the best type of material for a tandem kayak?

The best type of material for a tandem kayak depends on the intended use and personal preference. Traditional materials include wood, canvas, and fiberglass, while modern materials include plastic, composites, and inflatable. 

Plastic and composites are the most durable and affordable options, while inflatables are easy to store and transport.

How do I choose the right size tandem kayak for me?

When choosing the right size tandem kayak, consider the intended use, the size and weight of the paddlers, and the amount of gear you will be carrying. A longer kayak will be faster and more stable, while a shorter kayak will be more maneuverable.

Can a tandem kayak be paddled solo?

Yes, a tandem kayak can be paddled as a solo kayak, but it can be more difficult to maneuver and control. Some kayaks are designed with a removable seat to make tandem kayak solo paddling easier.

Can a child safely ride in a tandem kayak?

Yes, a child can safely ride in a tandem kayak as long as the child is wearing a properly fitted life jacket and the kayak's weight capacity is not exceeded. It is important to supervise children at all times while on the water.

What accessories should I consider for my tandem kayak?

Some accessories to consider for your tandem kayak include paddles, life jackets, dry bags, a first aid kit, a bilge pump, and a kayak cart for transport. 

You may also want to consider adding a fishing rod holder or a cooler if you plan to use your kayak for fishing or picnicking.

What Is The Best Tandem Kayak For You?

In conclusion, the best tandem kayak for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as size, weight capacity, and additional features when deciding.

It is also important to consider the type of water you will use the kayak on and the amount of storage space you need. Ultimately, the best tandem kayak is the one that meets your needs and allows you to safely and comfortably enjoy the water with your partner or family.

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