);

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Tandem Kayaks For Double The Enjoyment

These are the top-rated kayak brands for safe paddling adventures with a friend or family member.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Tandem Kayaks For Double The Enjoyment

These are the top-rated kayak brands for safe paddling adventures with a friend or family member.

by PITeam

by PITeam

The water is one of the best places you can go to find some solitude and have some fun. Making a day trip to the river can help you relax while bringing you closer to nature — however, not everyone likes going on these journeys by themselves. The best tandem kayak is what makes it possible for multiple people to enjoy the outdoors and explore a little.

Kayak technology has been improving ever since the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin when kayaking was officially introduced as an Olympic sport. Even though it was initially made for single people to compete, the technology has been incorporated for tandem kayaks as well. In this article, we aim to find the best tandem kayaks and look at which of them could be great for your needs. 

Tandem Kayak styles Explained

The tandem kayak is not only made in one form. Much like your standard kayaks, you have 2 different styles that you can use. Some of them have been designed for the user to sit inside, while others are ideal for fishing and moving around as you sit on top. The style that you prefer will be one of the first decisions you need to make.

  • Sit On Top
    Most kayaks that allow you to sit on top have been made explicitly for fishing and to give you more versatility. These kayaks can often hold massive loads of weight and occasionally, accommodate a child as well. The Sit On Top Kayak frequently include a few hatches that allow storing some fishing equipment.
  • Sit Inside
    If you want more comfort and you don’t need to move around, you can find a cruising kayak. These kayaks are hollow on the inside, with holes dug into the hull. They allow you to sit inside but could restrict movement a little. Generally, the sit-inside kayaks are also faster and less likely to tip.

As a buyer, you need to discuss this with your partner. No matter which one you choose, you will still get all the benefits of exploring the open water. However, fishing requires some movement and storage space, which allows you to use the Sit On Top Kayak to convert the hull into a few storage compartments.


Benefits Of The Tandem Kayak

In terms of quality, the tandem kayak will be bigger and more expensive than a single kayak if it is made from the same quality materials. However, you might need one to make a family day out of it and to treat your wife or kids on the water. Once you have one, you will notice a couple of benefits that the tandem kayak will offer you over the regular option.

  • Storage Space: Since the unit is slightly larger, one can expect to have more storage space to work with.
  • Hold heavier loads: This should be a given, but compared to the average 250-pound weight of a standard kayak, the tandem kayak can hold upward of 500-pounds.
  • Stability: Tandem kayaks sold commercially are not generally designed for speed. Since they are slightly wider, they are less likely to tip and remain stable.
  • Allows you to bring the family: The final and most important benefit is the fact that the entire family is welcome and can be brought along on the trip when you have a tandem kayak.

Choosing Top Quality Tandem Kayaks

Not all of the tandem kayaks you see will be the same, but you are definitely not looking for something cheap that is not worth your time. To help you find the best kayak, we have done some digging to look at all the critical features. With these features as your buying guide, you won't have any troubles finding the best options on the market today.

Usage:

The first thing you need to consider is where you will be using it and how you will be using the kayak. If you are white river rafting, you might need something more durable and broader that is less likely to tip. For cruising, we need something sharper and longer to give you some decent speeds as you are moving through the waves.

Fishing is where the real trick comes in. When you want to go fishing, you will need something that allows you to sit on top while having additional areas of storage for your fishing equipment. As mentioned, you will need the Sit On Top kayak if you want to a most comfortable experience when fishing with your kayak.

Tandem Kayak Style/Type:

As we have already mentioned, there is a difference between sitting inside the kayak and sitting on top of the kayak. However, many people also neglect to see that there are kayaks that can be inflated. Inflatable kayaks are slightly more affordable and versatile, but they offer you a lighter weight as well. In terms of transportation and saving weight, they can be a real winner.

Materials/Durability:

The materials of the kayak will directly refer to the overall durability of the unit. The more strength the kayak has, the better it will be, but this can also make it more expensive. Here are a couple of the most common materials that you will need to choose from when selecting your brand new tandem kayak:

  • Polyethylene: The polyethylene or rotomolded kayaks are primarily constructed from plastic that has been heated and poured into the shape of a kayak. These kayaks are incredibly durable but quite heavy, and they can last you many years when you take care of them. You need to look out for UV ray exposure with them.
  • Composite: If you are a professional kayaker, you might have come across the composite kayak. These are commonly made from layered fiberglass, carbon fiber, or a combination of other high-tech materials. They are made for speed and performance but can set you back a lot of money.
  • Inflatable: The inflatable kayak is a great option for beginners and has been constructed from poly-resin. Even though not many people took them seriously, the new technology has made them stronger and even puncture resistant. However, it is recommended that you have a puncture kit when using one.

Hull Shape:

As you shop around or look for kayak, we generally find three different hull types that you will need to choose from. Choosing the right hull shape can make a massive difference to performance and allowing you to do what you intend for the kayak.

  • Flat Bottom: The flat bottom is commonly recommended to any beginner. Since it is flat, the unit does not easily tip over. This makes it an excellent option for beginners and avid anglers that need the best stability.
  • Rounded Bottoms: If you plan on kayaking in the ocean or rough waters, the rounded bottom can be one of your best friends. Since it retains stability in rough waters and has less drag, it can be used to attain faster speeds. These are split up into a hard chine and soft chine as well.
  • V-Shape: The V-Shape hull has been specifically designed for competitions. They lack some maneuverability due to the hull being more rooted in the water but also has less drag in straight lines. The V-Shape is perfect for attaining speed over long straights.

Sizing:

It is hard to recommend one specific kayak size that will work for everyone. No matter the size you choose, they all have their benefits and their drawbacks. Longer kayaks are commonly narrower, and this gives them faster speed. However, you need something with more width and perhaps even slightly shorter for stability. 12-feet can be seen as the average length for a commercial kayak. However, many are longer as well.

Weight and Weight Capacity:

Aside from the weight of the kayak that you need to look for, you also need to keep the capacity in mind. The overall weight of the unit works with the size if you look at how easy it could be to move the unit or to transport it from one location to another. Heavier kayaks might need more carriers, while one person can carry the inflatable options.

For the weight capacity, it is best to find the weight of the people that will be using the unit. Once you have found the overall weight of everyone that will be on the kayak at the same time, you know what you need to look for. It is best to add about 40-pounds to the total weight of the users if you can, just to be sure if any other additions are added while kayaking. 

Storage And Comfort:

You will need to have something comfortable, and having enough legroom can make a difference. Generally, the legroom is indicated by the manufacturer when they advertise the kayak. However, this is only for kayaks that force you to sit inside. If the cockpit has been raised to the top of the kayak, you have more space to relax and be comfortable.

Having a few hatches and waterproof compartments can aid you. You will need to carry a few medical supplies for in case anything happens, and your electronic devices also need to remain safe from the water. Avid anglers will need some storage for their fish and fishing gear if they plan to go out fishing.

Propulsion:

Kayaks are not the same anymore, and nowadays, you have three different methods that can be used to propel the kayak forward. The most common is having the paddles that move the kayak forward. A paddle kayak will have a skeg and rudder that allow it to maneuver a little easier without you having to put in too much extra work.

Motorized Kayaks are also becoming a staple of the modern kayak lifestyle. They are popular among hunters and allow them to take shots or even carry heavy loads across vast distances with more ease. However, they do need gas and can work similarly to a motorized boat, which does make them more expensive over the long run.

Finally, the pedal kayaks have been designed for those with limited paddling experience. These kayaks are propelled forward by the energy generated from your legs when you push pedals like a bicycle. Contrary to popular belief, your feet will not touch the water, and the propulsion mechanism at the back will be activated. The downside to these kayaks is the lack of maneuverability.

Setup/Inflation:

When it comes to a kayak, you have some setup that also needs to be done. This is often minor and can only be the seat that needs to be installed on the kayak. Generally, the instructions are simple, and the work is simple. Additionally, you have an inflatable kayak that needs to be inflated. Doing this by mouth is one of the hardest tasks, and you might need a pump.

Additional Accessories To Look for:

Since the kayak itself can be expensive, there are a couple of other things that you can look for to make your life a little easier. These accessories are not mandatory, but they can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Here are a few additional accessories to look for in your next kayak:

  • Skeg: The skeg is a difference-maker and consists of a detachable blade that can be added to offer more stability when you are paddling. It is great for beginners to have.
  • Rudder: The rudder can work with the skeg, but they can also work separately. The rudder makes it much easier for you to turn when you need to and gives beginners more control.
  • Rod Holders: Rod holders are great when you love fishing, and they allow you to place your rod on the kayak while moving around. A decent rod holder will even endure the weather.
  • Roofing: If the weather makes a turn for the worst, you can definitely use something to keep your head protected. This can be installed on your own, but we recommend a professional installation. 
  • Splash Guard: There is no doubt that you will take a few splashes of water when you use the kayak. The splash guard will keep you protected and allow you to enjoy the experience. These are important for recreational kayaks.

Budget And Warranty:

The last thing to consider is how much the kayak will cost you. While we cannot put an exact price on the kayak, the prices will vary depending on the quality and the features we have mentioned in this guide. Since they can be expensive, having some sort of warranty can go a long way to give you some peace of mind with your purchase. 


10 Best Tandem Kayaks Reviewed

The features mentioned above only starts to cover some of the basics of the kayak. Modern technology has evolved into a state that makes these kayaks almost similar to finding a new computer. However, we have also selected 10 of the best tandem kayaks that you can buy now to make your life a little easier. Here are the top-rated tandem models on the market today:

1. Perception Pescador

Best Tandem Kayak

Max Load Capacity

500 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

High-density Polyethylene

Kayak Type

Sit On Top

Dimensions

156 x 35 x 15-inches

Kayak Weight

69 lbs.

Warranty

5 year Limited Warranty

The first kayak to make it onto our list is the Perception Pescador Sit On Top Tandem Kayak. The kayak is 13-feet long and features a sit on top design that allows the user more freedom of movement when on top. With a 35-inch width, it is designed for 2 people to move around without tipping the kayak over as you move.

Storage is at a premium, and one dry hatch at the front is completely waterproof for all your personal belongings to stay dry. Two rod holders have been added to allow for fishing, while you have a drink holder that will not spill from minor waves. A small paddle attachment is one of the top accessories that will give you a hands-free experience.  

The kayak is quite expensive for a tandem kayak but offers you a lot of comfort and versatility. It has thick padding that ensures you have an ergonomic seat while allowing the user to adjust the position as they please. Whether you are touring or fishing, this can be the ideal tandem kayak for a great experience on the water.

Pros

  • Wide 34-inch design
  • The 13-feet length provides speed in calm waters
  • It includes two rod holders
  • Waterproof hatch for electronics

Cons

  • Higher Price

2. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame

Best Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Max Load Capacity

550 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

PVC

Kayak Type

Sit Inside (Inflatable)

Dimensions

180 x 32 x 12-inches (Folded: 35 x 21 x 12-inches)

Kayak Weight

52 lbs.

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty

If you don’t like to carry a heavy kayak everywhere you go, the best inflatable tandem kayak will make life easier for transportation. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Kayak is a durable tandem kayak that can be inflated and offers you highly padded seats for additional comfort.

To control the kayak, you have a lot of benefits, and this includes the aluminum bow and stern that helps with maneuverability. At 15-inches long, it gives you more rigidity and will increase the speed of the kayak through the water. Six independent air chambers need to be inflated, and this means that 5 will still keep you afloat if one of them punctures.

Once you have the kayak, the assembly is minor, and you only need to insert the seats. With an added layer of material, the kayak is versatile and can be adjusted to be open or closed. You can modify the kayak for tandem kayaking or have a solo experience. The unit has a small storage area in the front, but this is not entirely waterproof.

Pros

  • Triple-layered material construction
  • Can be adjusted for solo or tandem kayaking
  • Features a durable storage bag
  • Multiple air chambers that work independently
  • Aluminum bow and stern for better maneuverability

Cons

  • Does not have waterproof storage
  • Inflation can take time

3. Driftsun Rover 220

Best Tandem Kayak For Ocean

Max Load Capacity

600 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

PVC

Kayak Type

Sit On Top (Inflatable)

Dimensions

150 x 38 x 15-inches (Folded: 24.5 x 21 x 10-inches)

Kayak Weight

28 lbs.

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty

Made from 1000D reinforced PVC, the Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem White-Water Kayak is one of the most durable options on the market today. The kayak is 12.5-feet in overall length and features a class 3 and class 4 white water rating for rapids. EVA-molded seats are used that have an ergonomic feel with padding for your back.

The kayak has one of the best rocker profiles with a flat water-tracking fin that can be removed. Once removed, you will have more speed, but reduced maneuverability of the kayak. With a massive 600-pound weight capacity, you might even be able to squeeze in a third person on this kayak. Additionally, it only takes 10-minutes to be inflated.

Even though the price on this kayak is a little higher, it does include a double-action pump as well. A camera mount has already been installed at the front and allows you to add your GoPro Camera when needed. Multiple drain plugs are spread across the kayak for draining once you are done and with this durability, you can definitely use it in the ocean.

Pros

  • Holds around 500-pounds
  • Inflates in 10-minutes
  • Lightweight
  • EVA-molded seats with back support
  • Includes a pump

Cons

  • Expensive
  • It is prone to occasional punctures

4. BKC TK219

Best Tandem Fishing Kayak

Max Load Capacity

440 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

Polyethylene

Kayak Type

Sit On Top

Dimensions

145 x 35 x 18-inches

Kayak Weight

70 lbs.

Warranty

5-year Limited Warranty

One of the most relaxing things that you can do on the water is fishing. However, you need a kayak that is suitable for fishing. The BKC TK219 12.2' Tandem Fishing Kayak is a shorter kayak with a rounded hull that gives you more stability. Since it features a Sit On Top design, the anglers can comfortably move around on the kayak as well.

Four rod holders have been added on the sides, making it easy to lay down your rod when paddling. The kayak is also made to effortlessly carry to the water, with multiple handles on the side for a comfortable carry. While it features numerous hatches, one of them at the front is waterproof and should be large enough to hold the valuables of two individuals.

With a shorter length, you might not get the best speed from this kayak, but for stability, it is near perfect. The kayak commands a reasonable price, especially when considering all the accessories that are added. We should also mention that the seats are padded, making them extremely comfortable for long stints in the water.

Pros

  • It can possibly hold three people
  • Includes 4 rod holders
  • Waterproof storage hatch
  • Seats are padded
  • Multiple carry handles on the sides

Cons

  • The seats lack some durability

5. Sea Eagle 370 Pro

Best Lightweight Tandem Kayak

Max Load Capacity

650 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

K80 PVC

Kayak Type

Sit On Top (Inflatable)

Dimensions

152 x 24 x 10-inches (Folded 34 x 19 x 11-inches)

Kayak Weight

32 lbs.

Warranty

No Warranty

One of the biggest issues with kayaks nowadays is size and transportation. However, the Sea Eagle 370 Pro 3 Person Inflatable Portable Sport Kayak is designed to keep the weight as low as possible, while giving you a lot of versatility. This kayak has been designed for 2 or possibly 3 people and can easily be inflated at your destination.

The kayak features 2 skegs at the bottom, making it much easier for beginners to maneuver the unit through the waters. At 12-feet, the kayak is not that long and can be used while moving around on top. With three chambers that need to be inflated, you don’t run the risk of having the kayak fall apart from the occasional puncture.

One of the downsides is the lack of storage space that the kayak has. You don’t have any hatches, but since it is also one of the more affordable options, you buy a decent waterproof backpack. The kayak is recommended for 3 people, but we have noticed that only two seats make it ideal for pets and small children as the third person.

Pros

  • Holds around 650-pounds
  • Ideal for 3 people
  • Easy to inflate with three separated air chambers
  • Features 2 skegs
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • No storage space added

6. Intex Explorer K2

Best Cheap Tandem Kayak

Max Load Capacity

400 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

PVC

Kayak Type

Sit On Top (Inflatable)

Dimensions

123 x 36 x 20-inches (Folded 37 x 16.5 x 11.5-inches)

Kayak Weight

35 lbs.

Warranty

90-day Limited Warranty

A kayak list would never be complete without a great brand like Intex. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is one of the more affordable options on the market, while still offering a lot of features. The kayak has a Sit On Top style and is only 10-feet in length. It might not be much but does give it a lot of stability and maneuverability.

Both of the seats can be removed and adjusted if you plan to go on a solo adventure. Once a seat is removed, it can be converted to a fishing kayak with ample space. The kayak also has a removable skeg for more maneuverability, or to increase the speeds that you achieve on straights. Multiple grab lines with serve as handles to carry it out of the water.

Much like some of the other inflatable options, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak does include a decent pump for inflation. It should not take more than a couple of minutes to have it fully inflated and ready for the water. With aluminum oars added, you have additional durability to combat some of the obstacles in the water.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to inflate
  • Can be converted to a solo kayak
  • Holds up to 400-pounds

Cons

  • It can be a little short for two tall individuals

7. Ocean Kayak Malibu

Best Sit On Top Tandem Kayak

Max Load Capacity

425 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

Polyethylene

Kayak Type

Sit On Top

Dimensions

144 x 34 x 20-inches

Kayak Weight

57 lbs.

Warranty

Limited Lifetime Warranty

Hitting the water for a day of fun and sitting at the lake is something that appeals to all kayakers. Now, you can find the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Kayak that stands around 12-feet long and puts you in a prime position to see what is going on around you. It has been constructed from polyethylene with a UV protective coating for added durability. 

One of the main features is the seats that have been carefully padded for the best possible comfort. These seats can be adjusted in 3 different positions depending on the amount of comfort you are looking for. Unfortunately, the kayak tends to be a little heavy, and you might need more than 2 people to carry it.

Compared to some of the top brands like Hobie is one of the more affordable ones for the features. It might not really accommodate anglers, but the storage compartments are plentiful. You also have a waterproof storage compartment for valuables. We would definitely recommend it to recreational kayakers that love touring.

Pros

  • Seats can be adjusted for the best comfort
  • Reasonably priced
  • Includes multiple storage compartments
  • Slip protection added to the seats
  • It consists of a UV coating

Cons

  • No features for anglers included

8. Driftsun Voyager

Best Tandem Sea Kayak

Max Load Capacity

450 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

PVC

Kayak Type

Sit On Top (Inflatable)

Dimensions

120 x 35 x 16-inches (Folded 26 x 16 x 8-inches)

Kayak Weight

27 lbs.

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty

If you plan to go out on the ocean, you need something with a lot of durability and stability. The Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak is only 10-feet in size, and it features 840D coated Nylon outer structure that should keep the waves at bay when combined with the PVC materials that has been used for the hull.

Pointed bow ensures that you can penetrate the waves with ease and the rocker profile will keep the kayak from tipping over if the waves manage to hit you from the sides. EVA is used for the seats, giving you comfort and an ergonomic feeling, while multiple adjustments can be made for the seats if you want to have a different position.

The kayak includes a removable skeg for calm waters and will give you some additional speed, but one of the downsides is the lack of legroom for tall individuals. A benefit is a powerful pump that is added, and according to the manufacturer, it should have your kayak inflated in around 5 minutes with minimal effort.

Pros

  • Inflates in just 5 minutes
  • Includes a removable skeg
  • Sharp bow for breaking waves
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Might be too short for tall individuals

9. Sun Dolphin Bali

Best Tandem Kayak For Camping

Max Load Capacity

600 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

Polyethylene

Kayak Type

Sit On Top

Dimensions

163 x 34 x 17-inches

Kayak Weight

70 lbs.

Warranty

Limited Lifetime Warranty

If you love kayaking, the chances are that you also like to go camping. The SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak is an extremely versatile polyethylene tandem kayak that is durable enough to work in numerous water bodies. It also features a length of 13.5-inches for added speed and touring activities along the lake.

The kayak features seats that are held in place by shock cords. These durable cords can be adjusted to accommodate for size and provide some comfort for users. The seats can be removed or moved around, which allows you to convert the kayak into one for three people or leave it as is for two. For solo kayaking, one can remove one.

For a kayak with all these features, the SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak is not all that expensive, and it has a compartment that can hold all your valuables as well. Unfortunately, it does not have any rod holders or features for anglers that like camping. 

Pros

  • Large 13.5-inch design
  • Seats are fully adjustable
  • Reasonably priced
  • 3 storage compartments are added

Cons

  • Does not accommodate fishing

10. Perception Cove

Best Sit In Tandem Kayak

Max Load Capacity

650 lbs.

Body Type (Material)

Polyethylene

Kayak Type

Sit Inside

Dimensions

174 x 31.2 x 15.8-inches

Kayak Weight

71 lbs.

Warranty

5-year Limited Warranty

Most recreational activities do not require you to move around or stand on the kayak. The Perception Cove Sit Inside Tandem Kayak is designed for the user to sit inside and paddle along the river comfortably. It is 14.6-feet in total, and this gives you ample legroom in the cockpit when you have taller kayakers.

The kayak tends to be quite heavy, and this does make transporting it harder. However, a skid plate is added to make it possible to drag it along. This skid plate can be replaced, and it helps reinforce the hull from obstacles in the water. Bungee cords are used at the front of the kayak for added storage space, but it does not have a waterproof compartment.

This kayak has been specifically designed for traveling around, and it offers you a lot of versatility. The seats are really comfortable, and they can be adjusted for even more comfort. Small paddle holders are great for when you want to float. Unfortunately, the weight makes it hard to move around if you don’t have help.

Pros

  • Includes a skid plate for added durability
  • Looks stylish and professional
  • Optimal leg space in the cockpit
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • A little heavy to carry

Top Tandem Kayak Brands

The kayaks we have mentioned are some of the best on the market today. However, brands are also something to keep in mind if you want the very best. The top brands offer you some great value for your money. Here are some of the best kayak brands that you can consider when looking for a tandem kayak:

1. Ocean Kayaks

Ocean Kayaks have been designed for calmer water, and the brand has been designing gear for the ocean since 1971. Starting with surfboards, the Ocean Kayaks brands moved on to convert surfboards into kayaks. This led to sit inside kayaks that can scale waves in the sea like a surfer would on a board.

2. Sun Dolphin

Sun Dolphin is not as old as Ocean Kayaks, but they opened their doors in 1981 and have since been designing kayaks with the help of top experts. These experts ensure that fewer kayaks have flaws, and it takes a lot for a unit to make it through the strenuous process that enables them to be sold to the market.

3. Intex

Intex is not as old as some of the other brands, but they specialize more in portability. Most of the Intex kayaks will have some sort of inflation added. Their kayaks include decent warranties that are often lifetime on the hull. These kayaks are generally inexpensive and backed up by excellent customer service.

4. Sea Eagle

Sea Eagle is similar to Intex, and most of their kayaks have an emphasis placed on the portability. Some of the kayaks tend to be longer, but they have an affordable price. The one downside is the lack of great warranty, but this should not be an issue for those that need a cheap recreational kayak for exploring.

5. Perception Kayaks

If you want some versatility for your Kayak, Perception Kayaks can be your best friend. The brand has more than 30 years of experience in the watersports industry. These kayaks often have some of the best rod holders and skegs that can be removed.

6. Sevylor

Sevylor is one of the older brands with more than 66 years of experience when it comes to designing kayaks. The brand specializes in inflatable kayaks and serves as great competition for Intex. Their kayaks might be slightly more expensive, but you will get a lot of expert features that accompany these kayaks.

7. Old Town Kayaks

Many Old Town Kayaks are designed for recreational activities, and they are quite affordable for the quality. The brand spans a history of more than 100-years, and this includes canoes and kayaks. While they can be hard to find, they do offer you a lot of reliability.

8. Hobie Kayaks

Based in California, Hobie was founded in 1950 and has since been one of the most trusted developers of high-end kayaks. Their prices can be a little hefty, but the quality is perfect for serious kayakers. The brand mostly specializes in solo kayaking, but you will find the odd tandem kayak in the mix with a little searching.


Tandem Vs. Single Person Kayaks

Tandem kayaks and single kayaks are pretty much the same aside from the design on the inside. Contrary to popular belief, some solo kayaks are longer than tandem kayaks, but a tandem kayak can hold a little more weight. Some tandem kayaks have a lot more free space and can also be converted into solo kayaks when needed.


Inflatable Vs. Hard Shell Tandem Kayaks

The hard shell and inflatable kayaks are both perfect for the water. While the hard shell kayak does not have the same portability, they might have a little more durability for you to work with when you are white river rafting. The inflatable kayak is lighter and easier to transport, but it is recommended that you have a decent pump and puncture repair kit on hand.


Paddling With a Tandem Kayak

To use your tandem kayak, you will first need to look at the kayak. If it needs to be inflated, you will need to have a pump ready and attach it to the valve. Once the kayak has been fully inflated, it is vital to check the valves and the sides for any leaks or punctures. We recommend leaving it for a short while to see if the kayak deflates or not.

For your hard-shell kayak, you will generally have handles that can be used to carry it to the water. If not, the skid plate is located near the skeg and can be used to drag the kayak. This part of the kayak is reinforced and can be replaced often. Once you are in the water, you can take turns to get inside before paddling on your way.


Paddle Effectively With Your Kayak

Many people still believe that you need to be perfectly synchronized to paddle with a tandem kayak. However, this is not the case. As long as you are paddling in the same direction, you can still paddle as you please. Synchronization does help improve the speed, but it is only essential when you are turning in a specific direction.


Kayaking Safety Tips

Understanding your kayak and making sure you are prepared is one of the best ways to have the optimal safety on the water. While there are many safety tips that you can choose to follow, we have found a great video that will explain essential safety tips and checks to be made for a tandem kayak.


Kayaking Gear & Accessories

If you buy a new kayak, the chances are that everything you need will already be included to make your life easier. However, some of the gear is not included and recommended. If you are not sure what gear or accessories you need for the best experience on your kayak, this guide should efficiently help you to find all the gear you will need:

  • Buoyancy Aids/PFD: Buoyancy aids are designed to aid the buoyancy of the kayak and help with floatation. However, these aids also need to be checked and maintained.
  • Outriggers/Kayak Stabilizers: Since the water can become very rough on the ocean or river, it is important to have stabilizers and outriggers for your kayak.
  • Paddles: Paddles can vary in terms of size and type. Some are inflatable, while others are hard. The important thing is to make sure that it floats.
  • Paddle Float: A paddle float is an inflatable mechanism that is added to paddle and will ensure that it remains afloat when not in your hands.
  • Paddle Leash: if you don’t want to swim after your paddle, it is advised that you have a leash on the paddle to keep it near the kayak.
  • Spraydeck/Sprayskirt: The spraydeck or sprayskirt is often an additional piece of material that keeps the kayaker safe and clean. It can be removed or added when needed.
  • Kayak Anchor: Tides and streams tend to move you when you are in the water. The kayak anchor is designed to be carried on the kayak and keep you fixed in one location.
  • Kayak Cart: if you don’t want to drag or carry the kayak, the kayak cart is a great accessory to move the kayak around.

Care & Maintenance: Taking Care of Your Tandem Kayak

Unfortunately, you won’t be using the kayak every day, and this means that it needs to be stored and maintained. Since the materials can become brittle, especially from exposure to the sun, it is recommended that you keep the kayak out of the sun as much as possible. Storage should be in a cool area.

Additionally, you should coat it as much as possible with something that will protect it from the UV rays of the sun. For an inflatable kayak, you should check it for punctures and wear that could have taken place naturally during the time it was not used.


Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of paddle should I get for a tandem kayak?

When selecting a paddle for your kayak, you should use the sizing chart that is provided. The paddle is not related to the kayak, but much rather to the individual that will be using the paddle on the kayak.

How do you steer a tandem kayak?

The notion of synchronization is not as important as simply having the same goal for your kayaking experience. As long as you both have the same goal, you don’t need to be perfectly synchronized when paddling.

How do I determine the best length for a tandem kayak?

To understand the right length, you need to keep in mind which type of kayak you will be using. SOT kayaks have more space while sitting inside a kayak requires some legroom. This means you need to keep the length of an individual in mind.

Is it easy to transport a 2 person kayak?

It is much easier to transport and an inflatable kayak. However, you can make the transport even more comfortable with a kayak cart.

Is it possible to paddle a double kayak solo?

While it might be harder depending on the length and width of the kayak, solo paddling on a tandem kayak is much similar to paddling a solo kayak.

How much weight can a tandem kayak hold?

The amount of weight will vary from each kayak and the durability of the materials used in the construction.

Is it easier to fish in a tandem kayak?

It does not make any difference unless you compared it to a sit-inside kayak. Generally, SOT kayaks are better for fishing and offer more storage space.

Are tandem kayaks faster?

Since the tandem kayaks hold extra weight, they tend to be a little slower than you standard solo kayaks.


Conclusion

Tandem kayaking is something for the family and a great way to break away from the rush of everyday life. All of the kayaks in this article have been designed for kayakers with a lot of ambition. However, the Perception Pescador offers the best versatility and includes all the features needed to be our pick for the best tandem kayak on the market. 

Last Updated on

Top