Best Tandem Kayak – Buyer’s Guide


For water sports lovers, there is no better water sports experience than kayaking. Kayaking is indeed not only one of the best water sports but also one of the most wonderful ways to be with your family or friends.

If what drives you is either the extreme excitement of a fast running river or simply the tranquility of a quiet lake shared with a dear friend or a special someone, then a tandem kayak is the best for you.

Your kayaking experience will never be complete without getting yourself the best tandem kayak in the market today. These tandem kayaks are inflatable and are considered the best of their kind, and many times lighter and more convenient than your traditional hardshell kayaks.

Here is a list of the finest tandem kayaks that may be able to give you the best water sports experience of your life:

Best Tandem Kayak Reviews 2018

#1 Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package

As one of the most versatile kayaks there is in the market today, the Sea Eagle 370 is proud of its lightweight structure and NMMA certification. The Sea Eagle 370 takes only about 8 minutes to inflate and has a self-bailing drain valve coupled with 3 state-of-the-art one-way valves.

With the versatility of the Sea Eagle 370, you can either race down the raging waters of a river or sit back and relax on a calm smooth lake in the late afternoons.

The Sea Eagle 370 is fully packed with all the excellent features of an ideal boat. It weighs only around 32 pounds despite its holding capacity of an overwhelming 650 pounds. This tandem kayak is ideal for even up to 3 people although it can be used solo at times.

In fact, the space in the boat is large enough for you to bring along even your pet dog. Besides, the PolyKrylar hull can actually handle the any dog’s scratches. In addition, the Sea Eagle 370 boasts of its large storage space which is perfect for your food, fishing and camping gear.

An added feature is that you can fit the deflated boat in a compact storage bag for easy transport. Thus, this makes the Sea Eagle 370 one of the best two person tandem kayaks in the market these days.

This inflatable tandem kayak can actually be used for a whole lot of activities ranging from fishing, paddling, skin diving or yacht tending. In fact, you can even use the Sea Eagle 370 as an essential equipment in your next river adventure as this kayak can handle a maximum of class III whitewater.

This two person kayak is actually durable in that its rigidity is defined by the thickness of its 38-millimeter Polykrylar hull as well as its I-beam construction floor. The Sea Eagle 370 also has added features like a front and rear seat that are both inflatable and removable, as well as front and rear rope handles and spray skirts that are inflatable.

Its self-bailing drain valve proves to be very important in whitewater rivers or in any case of ocean surf. Moreover, as speed and tracking are two important parameters that this tandem kayak has, the boat has two molded kegs to do the job.

In addition, the one that holds the material into one solid piece is the seams that have been welded in high frequency. With only around 8 minutes for assembly, the Sea Eagle 370 is truly the best 2 person kayak there is.

#2 Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak

The Lifetime Manta Kayak is the most ideal replica of the manta ray in its movement. It is also another convertible tandem kayak that includes 2 double sided paddles as well as 2 soft backrests with its 500-pound capacity.

It has a lightweight 60-pound structure that features a molded carry handles for both front and rear in order to transport easily.

The Lifetime Manta Kayak also has a tunnel hull design for stability and tracking. This design also makes it impossible to tip the boat over.

With a 5-year manufacturer warranty and a “high and dry” seating that allows riders to stay off the floor of the kayak, the Lifetime Manta Kayak is the perfect tandem kayak for your next water sports getaway adventure.

The Lifetime Manta Kayak can hold up to 3 people and is equipped with a cargo area that is large enough for you to put all your gear and food in. The boat also has 2 pieces of sport paddles.

The 10-feet-long Lifetime Manta Kayak may actually seat up to a maximum of 3 riders, and so it is extremely ideal for surfing, fishing and sailing. The durability of the Lifetime Manta Kayak is also one of a kind, as it is made from durable polyethylene plastic.

This material adds up to easy storage and transportation. Nonetheless, the Lifetime Manta Kayak still boasts of an amazingly lightweight structure at under 70 pounds. The polyethylene plastic structure also makes it easy to be transported in an SUV or truck or minivan.

The Lifetime Manta Kayak also has so many exciting innovative features such as a mast receiver receptacle for a sail, a cup holder, a fishing pole holder, multiple foot wells and a forward cargo area.

The multiple foot wells actually provide paddling leverage to riders no matter what their body sizes are.The Lifetime Manta Kayak is another tandem kayak that is ideal not only for fishing and surfing with the family but also with paddling or sailing.

The Lifetime Manta Kayak also has ditty trays used to hold odds and ends as well as a bottle holder. There are also scupper holds to drain the cockpit area easily.

Moreover, it has a sit-on design and a forward cargo hold that has shock cord straps. With so many innovative features and an extremely durable structure, the Lifetime Manta Kayak is indeed one of your best choices for a tandem kayak.

#3 Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump

Intex believes that it has invented the best two person kayak there is with Intex Explorer K2. This tandem kayak boasts of its lightweight structure and streamlined compactness that makes everything smooth, easy and light.

With you and your friend on board, the Intex Explorer K2 provides the easiest paddling experience as well as the most manageable and exciting fun ride.

The Intex Explorer K2 maintains its sturdy form through a rugged vinyl construction that is packed with convenience. The inflatable I-beam of the boat also makes it comfortable and rigid at the same time. An added feature is the removable skeg for the Intex Explorer K2 that determines the stability of the boat’s direction.

Plus, this boat has two inflatable and adjustable comfortable seats with backrests. As the best 2 person kayak, this boat is also equipped with a Boston valve that makes it easy and convenient for the deflation and inflation of the boat.

The Intex Explorer K2’s U.S. Coast Guard ID is a guarantee that this boat has been considered safe and by the U.S. Coast Guard. This makes it not only convenient but especially secure and not prone to accidents at all. What makes it more secure is that the Intex Explorer K2 features a grab line and a grab handle located on both ends of the boat for added safety and convenience.

The boat also has a repair patch kit that is highly indispensable just in case the boat has been heavily hit and slightly damaged by rocks. In addition to this, the Intex Explorer K2 boasts of its 86-inch aluminum oars as well as its high-output pump.

The pump is extremely useful in inflating the boat if it deflates. Not many brands of tandem kayaks would be as fully equipped as the Intex Explorer K2.

One thing more, this elegant tandem kayak is extremely attractive because of its sporty graphics and black and yellow design. Truly, the Intex Explorer K2 is a touch of class.

#4 Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a popular two seat tandem kayak that boasts of its lightweight structure as well as its stability and versatility in being converted to solo or tandem anytime. The Ocean Kayak Malibu can seat two adults anytime and can even accommodate a child or a pet with its two-plus-one feature.

With its two ultra-comfortable seats, three seat wells that are molded in, and patented foot wells, the Ocean Kayak Malibu is considered one of the best two person kayaks in the market today in terms of comfort and convenience.

For one, the foot wells that overlap allow added comfort to whatever length of leg you may have in the boat.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is stable at a maximum capacity of 425 pounds. It has molded-in handles, gear straps, and a hull and deck design that facilitates stacking of many hulls for easy and convenient on dock storage.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu has all the basic and advanced features of every ideal two person tandem kayak. Overall, it is easily maneuverable and it is easily controlled even in areas where the water is fast and rough.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu is everyone’s go-to kayak and is considered the most versatile of all the tandem kayaks. This kayak can be used as a fishing companion in peaceful areas where you can relax while catching fish in the mountain lake.

There is just ample space in the deck for all your fishing gear including your fishing crate as well as your rods. Without the fishing gear, the Ocean Kayak Malibu is also the best two person kayak when it comes to just comfortable outing.

The basic streamlined design of the boat proves to be useful in controlling it and this design has in fact remained popular even after more than 20 years. Indeed, the Ocean Kayak Malibu is just everything that you are looking for in a tandem kayak.

#5 Advanced Elements AE1007-R Advanced Frame Convertible Inflatable Kayak

One of the best tandem kayaks that all tandem kayak reviews never fail to mention is the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak. It is actually convertible to either solo or tandem, whichever you want to use it.

The Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak is convertible to either single or double decks in a very easy and quick manner. In fact, it easily converts in a matter of seconds.

Thus, whether you want to be alone with nature or you want to appreciate it with someone dear to you, then you get yourself the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak.

Advanced Elements boasts of this two-person kayak’s durability and strength. This convertible kayak is made from a strong three-layer material that can withstand puncture or damage from sharp rocks. In addition, this boat has built-in aluminum ribs that whose special function is related to tracking.

The seat locations actually provide multiple support to the passengers, and the boat is especially equipped with all the essential parts and accessories that any inflatable tandem kayak is supposed to have.

Moreover, apart from the ability of the boat to be transformed between solo and tandem, the strong and rigid bow makes the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak into one very unique and powerful vessel.

Aside from all the essential elements that make up this tandem sea kayak, it also has an extra repair kit and a duffel bag used to carry the deflated kayak anywhere you and your friends or family wants to go.

The 550-pound capacity of the boat is also good enough to handle not only the two passengers but also your extra gear. Not to mention, the sleek gray and red design makes for a fine and cool appearance. Indeed, the Advanced Elements Convertible Kayak is a living legend in the water sports arena.

Tandem Kayak Buying Guide 2018

The first step you should take before buying a tandem kayak is always to know the differences between a single kayak and a tandem kayak. Knowing the differences will help you realize the pros and cons of owning a single or a tandem kayak. The rest is simple.

Do You Need a Tandem Kayak or a Single Kayak?

If you do not know the pros and cons of a single kayak and a tandem kayak, then you will be totally confused about what to do before you buy the latter.

The decision whether to buy a single kayak, a tandem kayak or one that is convertible somehow depends on the knowledge you have about these boats.

The main advantage of tandem kayaks is that you can use these boats to spend quality time with a friend, your children, a family member or a lover. In addition, when you have a companion, it is much easier paddling a boat when one of you gets tired out. A tandem kayak is also much better economically than buying two single kayaks.

On the other hand, if you have a tandem kayak, one of the big issues is that you may not enjoy the same degree of freedom as you would in a single kayak.

The freedom issue usually happens when two people do not agree on where to go or when the other makes a mistake, but this is not a serious issue overall.

The best suggestion therefore is to buy yourself a tandem to solo conversion kayak. These kayaks can easily be converted to solo anytime you decide to be alone in your boating experience.

The pros of kayaks of this type are numerous, although there is much greater advantage if your kayak can accommodate 3 people. The third person, who could be your child, may take the middle seat and can remain safe in there.

The cons of a convertible kayak are really few except that you may disagree on certain things like where to go or how strongly you should be paddling the boat.

Can You Handle the Weight of the Tandem Kayak?

With around 75 to 100 pounds in weight, tandem kayaks could be heavy. Thus, if you have a tandem kayak, make sure that you can carry them easily out of the vehicle. Always ask for help when doing this.

Nonetheless, do not buy a short tandem kayak in order to reduce the weight. Short kayaks are less stable compared to their longer counterparts. The shorter a tandem kayak, the less water it is expected to displace so it will turn out to be less stable especially when there are two adults in it.

Does Your Companion in the Tandem Boat Matter?

In order to avoid untoward accidents in the water, the best thing to do is to be with someone who you do not argue with. Not all people and certainly not all couples could be in tandem together, otherwise your tandem kayak will become the next “divorce” boat.

Always ride the tandem boat with someone with whom you will not argue regarding directions and procedure. Most of all, be with someone who knows how a tandem kayak operates and not one who panics at the slightest emergency.

If your companion in the tandem kayak is not able to paddle or does not really prefer kayaking as much as you do, then you might encounter a problem in the water. Moreover, when you are fishing and your partner does not know how to cast the rod, then there might be a problem if you get caught by the hook.

It is also advisable to go kayaking in your tandem kayak with someone who knows a great deal about kayaks or the water very well, even if you’re already an expert. If you are with someone who always goes in panic at the slightest provocation or someone who does not know how to swim, then you might have a problem dealing with that in case of an emergency.

Even the children that you bring with you in your kayak adventure or fishing must know how to swim or how to handle emergencies at least so that you can have peace of mind when bringing them along with you.

What About Children in a Tandem Kayak?

If you have to bring kids in your tandem kayak, always make sure that there is enough room for them. Moreover, you can only bring kids who are between 5 to 8 years old or even older. Do not bring kids just because they are curious about boating or fishing.

Very young children love rocking the boat, touching the water or playing with the fishing rod. All these things can lead to untoward incidents. Also, do not let children paddle if they are very young because it might cause an imbalance with the boat.

The best thing to do is to make them sit in the middle if there are three seats and you let your adult partner help you with the paddling. Kid-size paddles can solve the problem in most cases but you should be patient enough to handle the little effort that they can make to move the boat.

Lastly, if you are not the type of person who can always be responsible for your kids, please do not bring them with you in your tandem kayak.

What Should You Do When There Is an Emergency?

Tandem kayaks are generally very stable. If they have to capsize in an untoward incident, they will fill with so much water immediately because of their large size. With shorter kayaks, the problem is worse because there is much less part of the shorter kayak that is walled off to float.

Longer kayaks are therefore safer. The best thing to do is always to alert someone around that you will go kayaking today so that someone can either look out for you or call for help when there is an emergency.

Do not rely on cell phones or radios for contact because once these gadgets submerge in the water, they become useless. Always put your trust in people to look after you when you go out with your tandem kayak.

How Can You Prevent a Kayak Emergency?

An ounce of prevention is always much better than a pound of cure, especially if the cure becomes impossible. In order to prevent any emergency involving your tandem kayak, the best thing to do is to check the kayak itself for any holes, cracks or damage before going to water with it.

Inflatable tandem kayaks may also have tears in them or some problems with the inflation. Inflate your kayak completely in order to prevent any injury later on especially in a white water adventure.

Always double check and ask someone good with kayaks to check your gear and equipment and the kayak itself before going on your water sports adventure.

Regularly check the kayak for problems and ensure that it is not too old to do a white water adventure. Inflatable tandem kayaks also experience wear and tear and old ones may not be as elastic as before, thus they may pose some damage if they meet extreme pressure along the way.

Never overload the kayak either with excessive gear or excessive accumulated weight of the riders. It may be fun riding out on a kayak with five or more people especially if you have done it successfully before but please do not push your luck especially if you have children on board.

This is a risk that it is never worth taking whatever people say and no matter how exciting the idea might seem to you.

Do not allow anything that will disrupt the balance of the boat. Never allow your kids to bring annoying pets in the boat as well as toys that you may step on or may fall into the water and you may decide to reach out for.

Also, never allow them to drop live fish into the kayak if they have to hurl it out alive from the water. The fish may cause the boat to wobble as you struggle to catch it while it is on the floor of the kayak. Moreover, there should always be one person watching the boat or quick enough to know whether the boat is still balanced or not.


Whether it is the Intex Explorer K2 or the Sea Eagle 370 that you are going for, the best thing to do before you purchase your tandem kayak is to be familiar with its advantages and disadvantages. You should know what type of kayak suits your needs before you buy one.

After you have bought your tandem kayak, get familiar with its safety precautions. The overall safety of the boat depends highly on two things – how well you prepare it and its parts, as well as who you bring along with it.

Your companion in the kayak is not just someone you should spend time with but should be a very reliable person with presence of mind in case something unexpected happens to the kayak.

The first step you should take before buying a tandem kayak is always to know the differences between a single kayak and a tandem kayak.

Knowing the differences will help you realize the pros and cons of owning a single or a tandem kayak. The rest is simple.

Best Tandem Kayak – Buyer’s Guide
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