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.
Comparison of the best tandem kayaks
|BRAND/MODEL||KAYAK IMAGE||STYLE||LENGTH||BEST USE||WEIGHT||MAX CAPACITY||EDITOR RATING||CLICK ON LINKS FOR INDEPTH REVIEWS|
|Malibu Stealth 14||sit on top fishing kayak||14ft 4in/4.36m||fishing/recreation||64lbs/29.03||550lbs/ 249.4kg||5|
|Malibu Pro 2 tandem||sit on top||13ft/ 3.96m||fishing/diving/recreational||64lbs/29.03||550lbs/ 249.4kb||3.5|
|Ocean Kayak Malibu Two||Sit on top tandem kayak||12ft/ 3.7m||versatile/ great choice for resorts or business||64lbs/29.03||550lbs/ 249.4kb||4.5|
|Lifetime Sport Fisher||Sit on top fishing kayak||10ft/ 3m||fishing/ recreational||64lbs/29.03||500lbs/ 226.8kg||4.5|
|Lifetime Manta Tandem||sit on top tandem kayak||10ft/ 3m||recreational, fun even in small surf||64lbs/29.03||500lbs/ 226.8kg||4.5|
Need more .. We’ve full reviews on all of these kayaks. Click on the following links for in-depth reviews.
- Malibu Steath14 review
- Malibu Pro 2 tandem review
- Ocean Kayak Malibu 2
- Lifetime Sport Fisher
- Lifetime Manta tandem
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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?