Are you in the market for a tandem kayak?

They can be a lot of fun and make kayaking easy to enjoy with a partner or the kids. At the same time, you need to be very careful about the one you choose.

There’s a wide range of options available when choosing a two person kayak. However the truth of the matter is that there’s a handful or so top-of-the-line manufacturers that deliver quality products and excellent value for money. We’ve listed respected brands Ocean, Malibu and Lifetime here with links to our indepth reviews.

Here’s a summary of their history and how they’ve built their reputation to become market leaders and trusted brands to the kayaking community.

ocean kayak pricesOcean Kayak’s history goes back to 1971 when their founder designed a crude kayak from an old surfboard in his backyard in Malibu. It quickly became popular with his fellow beachgoers and the business took off. By the mid-80s it had moved to Ferndale, Washington and mass production of their popular kayaks began. Thanks to the use of rotomolding, polyethylene could be used to build strong crafts at affordable prices At first, they faced skepticism from the kayaking community. Ocean Kayaks pioneered the open, sit-on-top design, which looked nothing like other models at the time. Fortunately, people gave them a chance and, today the company has sold tens of thousands of kayaks all over the world. Ocean Kayak remains one of the largest manufacturers of the popular design they invented. ocean kayak malibu two
lifetime kayak pricesLifetime Products was founded back in March of 1986. However its roots actually go back a bit further to the moment when a man in Riverdale, Utah had nothing more on his mind than simply creating a better kind of basketball hoop for his family. This initial work and innovation eventually grew into a company with a long range of products. The name, Lifetime, is a nod to their dedication to creating products that will last that long. Lifetime had its first big victory when it produced a basketball hoop that homeowners could quickly raise and lower with ease. Though it’s a standard today, it was a first of its kind back then. Today, Lifetime employs more than 1,500 employees all over the world. They’ve become especially well known for their high-quality, durable kayaks. This includes the Lifetime 10-Foot Sport Fisher Tandem and Manta Tandem kayaks.Lifetime manta kayak
Malibu kayak pricesThe interesting thing about Malibu Kayaks is that the company actually began as a retailer. They didn’t start to manufacture their own kayaks until 1999. By then it became clear to them that there were unique demands in the industry that just weren’t being met. Malibu Kayaks disrupted the market by looking for ways to create more innovative vessels that would stand out from the crowd. Since then, the company has become known for creating kayaks that fit unique paddlers and are even designed for specific regions. As a result you’ve literally never felt anything like these before. The Malibu Pro 2 recreational and Stealth 14ft fish and dive are examples of their style. malibu stealth

Comparison of the best tandem kayaks

BRAND/MODELKAYAK IMAGESTYLELENGTHBEST USEWEIGHTMAX CAPACITYEDITOR RATINGCLICK ON LINKS FOR INDEPTH REVIEWS
Malibu Stealth 14

sit on top fishing kayak14ft 4in/4.36mfishing/recreation64lbs/29.03550lbs/ 249.4kg5Stealth 14 review
Malibu Pro 2 tandemsit on top13ft/ 3.96mfishing/diving/recreational64lbs/29.03 550lbs/ 249.4kb3.5Malibu Pro 2 review
Ocean Kayak Malibu TwoSit on top tandem kayak12ft/ 3.7mversatile/ great choice for resorts or business64lbs/29.03 550lbs/ 249.4kb4.5Ocean kayak malibu 2 review
Lifetime Sport FisherSit on top fishing kayak10ft/ 3mfishing/ recreational64lbs/29.03500lbs/ 226.8kg4.5Sport fisher review
Lifetime Manta Tandemsit on top tandem kayak10ft/ 3mrecreational, fun even in small surf64lbs/29.03500lbs/ 226.8kg4.5Lifetime manta review

Need more .. We’ve full reviews on all of these kayaks.  Click on the following links for in-depth reviews.

Tandem kayaks have the key advantage, obviously, that more than one person can paddle at the same time or have an outing together on the water. In fact some of these kayaks will support 3 people. This is a lot of fun. It’s also a great way for an adult to take a child along who might otherwise struggle to manage a kayak on their own.

Whatever the case, there are a few things you need to consider before making your purchasing decision.

Essential checklist

1. Does it offer the versatility you’re after.

Do you want to be able to use your kayak for recreation, but have the option to take out for fishing as well?

2. Can the tandem kayak be handled solo?

You might want the flexibility to go it alone sometimes.

3. Weight

Given that they’re made to carry 2 people, these kayaks can weigh a lot more than single-person designs. If you hope to take out a tandem on your own every now and then, you need to make sure you’ll be able to get it into the water and back out again. Kayak carts will help you with maneuverability.

4. Transporting

You’ll also need to invest in an appropriate car rack for transporting it. Unless you have a waterfront property and never plan to kayak anywhere else, this is a necessity.

5. Space on board

This may seem like a given when looking at tandems, but isn’t always the case. Be sure to consider your needs.

  • Do you have children or pets you want to take with you?
  • Will you be camping?
  • Will you be taking provisions?
  • Do you need water-tight compartments for wallets and phones? Look for models where you can buy additional rubber hatches to insert into the wells.

6. Stability

  • Can you move around to reach gear without overbalancing?
  • Will the kayak handle the water conditions where you want to go?

If you’re a beginner or taking children, looking for stability will be a key point.

7. Keen on fishing?

  • Is there room for fishing gear?
  • Can you cast without overbalancing in the kayak?
  • Is it stable enough for you to stand and cast?
  • Are there holders for rods?
  • Can you add a motor?