Thinking of uniting with family and kayaking? And searching for the best Tandem fishing kayak?
Sounds like a plan !
Tandem kayaking adds on a lot more fun when done with your family, friend, or partner. You can go fishing, camping, or maybe just to see the beauty of nature.
If, you don’t have any experience with tandem kayak then choosing a best tandem fishing kayak can be a bit difficult.
As there are many features in a Kayak that companies provide you. But selecting a Kayak with required features will be a success.
Years of experience have taught me a lot and I came up with the 10 top -rated best tandem fishing kayaks available in the market.
So, go through these features and make the right selections.
How To Choose The Best Tandem Fishing Kayak – Complete guide
Choosing the best tandem fishing kayak needs some understanding with its type, size, material, stability, weight, extra space and many more.
Let’s understand these one by one.
What Makes a Tandem Fishing Kayak Different
As per me, a best tandem fishing kayak will be able to balance practical features in useful locations, a decent amount of storage for two people, and comfortable seating with plenty of legroom.
Perhaps with the option to customize the kayak in the future – if you want to add fish finders, GPS, or a trolling motor or pedal drive.
Below I have covered all the Features and selection Criteria that will help you find the right 2 person kayak.
Features To Consider Before Buying a Tandem Fishing Kayak
Types of Tandem Fishing Kayak
Sot (Sit On Top)
Sit on top tandem kayaks are easy to use, steady, and simple to paddle. They are simple and easy to get in and out of and can be utilized in numerous kinds of water including saltwater, waterways, lakes, and channels. They have a fixed body and the paddler sits on a shaped seat.
These kinds of kayaks are commonly more extensive, which makes them very steady, however, the more extensive body makes them slower than a touring model. These kayaks give you a wet ride, as there is no shower skirt to keep you dry, and no assurance from the wind.
There are numerous brands that cause a to sit-on-top kayak available to be purchased, and they extend from fundamental models that cost two or three hundred dollars to fancy pedal-propelled and mechanized kayaks that cost a couple thousand.
Sik (Sit Inside Kayak)
Sit inside kayaks share a considerable lot of similar highlights of a sit-on-top kayak (SOT kayak). The significant difference is the sit-in kayak has an enclosed spot to sit.
It is known as the cockpit and the zone around it is known as the cockpit edge. Many sit-in kayaks have a splash skirt that will keep the paddler dry from the shower from the paddle or different drips of water.
Since you sit lower, these kayaks will shield you from the breeze and will probably give you a warmer ride. The drawback of the Sit-in kayak style is if at any case you flip your kayak, it is a lot harder to recover as it will be loaded with water and you are actually sitting inside the kayak.
There are a lot of Sit-in kayaks available to be purchased, much the same as the sit-on-top models, which gives you a lot of alternatives if this is your kayak of choice.
Inflatable kayaks are the ideal kayak for reduced capacity needs. They can blow up in minutes and are best for the individuals who paddle on generally quiet waters.
While at first, it used to be thought that these are eventually like an exploding toy, but they can be shockingly solid. While these make an incredible economical fishing kayak, you don’t really need the least expensive ones out there.
These kayaks can be taken away anywhere without any hesitation. The downside of these kayaks are they are not typically meant for extreme rough water use, in other words, their material is not as tough as that of hard-shell kayaks. But still, it can be a great choice if you opt for calm waters or moderate waves.
Tandem Kayak vs 2 Solo Kayak
Pros – They’re an extraordinary method to get to know one another with a companion, critical other, or kids. You’ll be occupied with discussion and will get the opportunity to share the general understanding.
In the event that one individual tires out, the other can progress forward. While some tandem kayaks can be costlier than solo kayaks, you’ll still spend less if you would have purchased two solo kayaks.
Cons – The greatest issue is the absence of opportunity. You run into the circumstance where one individual wants to paddle a specific way while the other might be totally restricted to it.
Pros – You get the opportunity to go where you need and when you need it. With a solo kayak, you have full oversight, and that by itself says a lot.
You’ll appreciate an argument free paddling and consistently have the alternative to kayak when no one else is accessible.
In the event that you like fishing, solo kayaks can be the ideal arrangement and give you better access to more cargo space for your items and gear.
Cons – If you have a little youngster that isn’t exactly prepared to paddle all alone, solo kayaks may not be the best approach.
While many do paddle with kids in their laps, it’s not productive and might be dangerous depending upon conditions. You may lose a chance to bond with your co-paddler.
Finally, if you want to paddle with someone, you’ll clearly need to get two single kayaks, which will bring about spending more than you would have just bought one tandem kayak.
Weight capacity means a numbering framework that permits a kayaker to know whether a specific kayak suits their needs. There is no single way to deal with estimating limits and each organization appoints estimations in their own specific manner utilizing their own frameworks. This is the reason it tends to be somewhat confusing to know which limit you ought to go for when purchasing a kayak.
Normally, the weight limit shows the heap that a kayak can bring and still float. So if a kayak has a weight cutoff of 320 lbs, it implies the kayak will be at the chance of submerging while conveying a load of 320 lbs.
So when a weight capacity limit is given, the customer’s size for the kayak isn’t the particular weight limit yet less around 30-40 percent of the weight.
For a weight cutoff of 320 lbs, the angler’s weight ideal for the kayak would be around 205 lbs or less, and that is simply possible if the paddler doesn’t take any material or stuff with him on the kayak.
And if you will not consider these things, then in that way the kayak will float only a little when holding a weight almost equal to its weight conveying limit, it will lose the two things, its versatility, and strength.
Stability of Kayak on Sea Water
The stability of a tandem kayak on seawater is a fact where the story totally becomes different. Unlike rivers or lakes, the conditions on the seawater are very divergent. We all know that the sea is full of extreme surf and harsh conditions and you don’t know how things get changed suddenly.
Two types of stability are there:
Primary stability that means when you are simply sitting on the kayak and not paddling continually.
The other one is secondary stability and that means when you are moving your kayak with great force and still, the kayak does not tip over., and the kayak’s secondary stability works on the seawater.
Secondary stability can be observed by watching the state of kayak’s hull. A more keen or rounded frame will be a decent one. It is one of the most basic pieces of your kayak that will tell its general stability and furthermore how quickly your kayak will go.
Obviously, when two individuals are utilizing the tandem kayak, there ought to be more storage space for more gear. The capacity choices come in different flavors including bungee cord rigging as well as waterproof hatches. It is constantly a good thought to have some dry bags to shield your items and valuable stuff from getting wet, even if the portals are dry.
As you want to go fishing, look whether the kayak comes with Fish Rod holders because these rod holders are really helpful, you can keep the fishing rod and can paddle easily, and also your hands will be free to have some refreshments.
I suggest you go for a kayak that has more storage options. Additionally, in the event that the tandem kayak is a sit-on-top, at that point I suggest looking for more hatches as a Sit-on-top lacks hatches than a Sit-in kayak.
Propulsion Of Your Kayak
A kayak that is powered by a motor will take you to your desired destination with no time. Also, you have the freedom to think of a long-distance journey with a powered kayak. The machine that fits with the kayak is not too big and can easily fit on the top of your car. This way of propulsion allows demands very less labor and you will free very less tired.
The downside of this system is that the noise of the motor can make the fish aware of you and also an additional weight is added to your kayak, plus the cost and maintenance of the motor and batteries.
The paddle is one of the most used propulsion techniques that has its own functional benefits. It can be used in both shallow and deep water zones.
If you opt for a kayak with a paddle, then you have to pay the least amount among other propulsion systems. Also, there is plenty of room left in the kayak’s compartment.
The problem with this system is that sometimes it becomes difficult for you to move your kayak in extremely harsh conditions. The force of waves and winds will be more than the force you are generating through the paddle.
The pedal is an extraordinary strategy that effectively beats waves and winds. This system offers you great speed and control at the same time.
You are using your legs in this system and as we know legs are stronger when it comes in the case of pushing and gives more stamina than arms. Also, this system leaves your hands free, so you can easily cast a reel.
The pedal is placed at the front of the compartment and a hand-operated rudder is provided for turning and better tracking. The pedal kayak is less expensive than a motorized kayak but costs more than a paddle kayak.
The main disadvantage is that this strategy will not work well in shallow regions.
Seat Comfort-ability, Support, Adjustments, and Easy Replacement
The seat comfortability is one of the most important aspects when we are looking for a comfortable ride.
Paddling for a long day or paddling continually for a long distance can make you feel mentally and physically exhausted. Also, if you are looking for a fishing kayak, as you know fishing takes a lot of time and patience, so consider a kayak with a good comfortable seat.
While considering a seat, check whether it comes with back support since sitting continually in one position can make you feel discomfort and can cause a great deal of inconvenience to your legs also.
Adjusting the back support of your seat can give multiple positions on your trip.
If you are not satisfied with your kayak’s seat, there is still an option for easy replacement. There are many well-cushioned comfortable seats available in the market, you can choose the one from them.
Kayak Rod Holders
Kayak rod holders are a very essential part when you are looking for a kayak specifically going to be used for fishing. The fishing rod holders give you a great fishing experience.
Some of the tandem fishing kayaks come with already built-in rod holders and that’s really good for you, but for the models that don’t come with these features, you have an option to bolt these rod holders on the kayak’s structure.
But still, company fitted rod holders are more strong and convenient.
As you are going for a tandem kayak don’t forget to see how many rod holders does it have? Because it’s not only you will be on the fishing site but also your colleague will be there.
Length and Width of the Kayak
The length and width of the kayak are one of the main technical aspects while choosing a Tandem kayak. So, make sure to choose the right combination of width and length in order to enjoy good speed and stability.
You will see that tandem kayaks are a bit longer than other kayaks since tandem kayaks have to accommodate two or more paddlers and they need to be faster, should track straight, and cut through the water better than other solo kayaks.
Tandem kayaks usually start from 10 ft and the longest can go up to 20 ft but normally it stays between 10 – 15 ft.Tandem kayaks are available in different width sizes.
Generally revealing, choosing a wider tandem kayak will provide better stability and is a better option for the beginners but at the same time, it reduces the kayak’s speed also.
Widths around 30-35 inches will work out well.
If you will go below these given widths such as 20-25 inches with a longer kayak, the chances of flipping over is increased.
Tandem Kayaks come with a whole range of extra accessories that are designed to make you and your partner’s paddling and fishing more enjoyable and comfortable.
Before picking a model search for what you need every day and figure carefully about how you will utilize your kayak.
Example – If you have to carry your kayak around a lot, scan for the models that have carry handles.
If you are on a low spending plan, check whether the models you are seeing accompanied paddles, or will you need to get them independently.
On the off chance that you like to fish in hotter atmospheres, at that point pick a kayak that includes an installed cooler to keep your preferred refreshments prepared to drink.
Also, if you are looking for an inflatable kayak, most of them come with an air pump for inflation.
There is an entire host of included additional accessories accessible in the market, so choose wisely.
So, finally we made it through all the required options you need to look into a tandem kayak.
Let’s see what are the best tandem kayak options available in the market.
10 Top Rated Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks Review
Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus Recreational Kayak
The old town has a popular tandem version of the Dirigo series, the Dirigo tandem plus double kayak has enough room for two paddlers and carries a lot of gear for your fishing adventures.
Old Town’s tough and durable roto-molded polyethylene plastic hull is sculpted in a stable shape that cuts quickly through the water.
The kayak consists of two non-confining cockpit openings and includes padded seats, creating every outing a comfortable one.
A glide track foot brace system and thigh pads make a responsive and stable platform to help you maneuver more easily and confidently.
The Dirigo has a click Seal hatch and glove box hatch providing a lot of Dry storage space.
The bungees at the stern and bow allow you to store gear and other valuable items that can get a little wet.
This kayak’s removable child jump-seat lets you bring along a third, smaller passenger. It has an optional rudder system (sold separately).
The kayak also comes with paddle holders and cup holders.
Length – 15.3 ft
Width – 29.5 inch
Weight – 72 lbs
Capacity – 425 lbs
- Moves very fast.
- Plenty of storage available.
- Great kayak for family.
- Includes retractable handles for portability.
- Not easy to transport due to its length.
- Available in only one color.
BKC TK122 12.9′ Tandem Fishing Kayak W/Aluminum Upright Seats
The BKC (Brooklyn Kayak Company) TK122 holds the capacity to excite the expert fisherman. This kayak will be stable in any type of different water conditions.
All credit goes to the length and width of the kayak combined with a flat-bottomed hull design creating a good platform for casting and paddling, or just some time relaxing on the river’s edge.
The kayak comes with dual watertight storage hatches that easily protects your phones, snacks, cameras. Also, it has comfortable seats with supportive backrests.
The TK122 is the perfect size kayak for two adults & one child.
The kayak includes various features such as 2 paddle holders, 8 scupper plugs, side handles, 4-rod holders, 2 articulating rod holders, bungee system, aluminum paddles, big rear storage.
Length – 12.9 ft
Width – 34.2 inch
Weight – 77 lbs
Capacity – 770 lbs
- Impressive carrying capacity.
- Seating is excellent.
- Lots of storage available.
- Great stability and speed.
- A little bit heavier than its alternatives.
Pelican River Gorge 130XP Tandem Recreational Kayak
The Pelican River Gorge 130XP is easy and simple to paddle. It is constructed on a twin-arched multi-chine hull giving good stability and maneuverability. It has plenty of storage space and also tracks well.
The Gorge 130XP sleek design features an ergo fit G2 seating system having an adjustable cushioned backrest with padded seat for increased comfort and to sustain an efficient paddling position.
The kayak has 2 quick-lock hatches and storage with a bungee cord to store your gear and other stuff. It also has 4 accessory eyelets and paddle tie-down.
Length – 13 ft
Width – 34 inch
Weight – 73 lbs
Capacity – 500 lbs
- It provides great stability.
- It contains multiple accessories.
- Great weight carrying capacity.
- No other color option.
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
The Intex K2 is the cheapest in price inflatable tandem kayak. This kayak is a sit-in type and comes with an I-beam floor construction providing hardness and improves balance and stability. The kayak’s low profile structure and a skeg allows it to gain good speed and has better control.
The kayak is materialized with rugged 30 gauge PVC vinyl and has one Boston Valve on the main hull chamber for inflation and deflation.
An Intex Double Quick II high output hand pump is provided for the quick inflation process.
A patch kit for repairing and storage bag for storing your kayak all comes along with it.
The K2 has grab lines for easy transportation of the kayak. Also, the two seats come with back support for a better ride. It has decent storage available with a cargo net to keep your items fixed and secure.
The two 84 inch aluminum kayak paddles with rubber grips are included with the kayak.
Length – 11.5 ft
Width – 30 inch
Weight – 38 lbs
Capacity – 400 lbs
- Very Cheaper in price.
- Two paddles, repair kit, and the high-output pump comes along the kayak.
- Spacious cockpit.
- Impressive carrying capacity, since it is inflatable.
- Not suggested being used in the ocean.
- Struggles in strong winds and choppy waters.
Perception Cove 14.5 | Sit Inside Tandem Kayak | Zone Adjustable Seating and Leg Braces
The Perception Cove 14.5 tandem kayak’s versatile design provides great stability and performance that makes paddling fun for the whole family. The kayak’s extra-roomy sit-in design with padding along the edge gives the user easy access. It offers you the freedom to relax on the water.
The Cove comes with Supportive seats with adjustable backrests for optimal comfort and support. Also, zone thigh pads are provided comfort. This kayak has a generous amount of storage for longer trips or overnight expeditions and bungee deck rigging for additional gear and material storage.
The easily and simply replaceable skid plate on the hull allows you to drag the kayak without any damage. With all these features included this kayak is ready to share the experience as you explore lakes, ponds, flat-water rivers, and coastal bays.
Length – 14.6 inch
Width – 31.25 inch
Weight – 71 lbs
Capacity – 550 lbs
- Bungee deck rigging for extra storage.
- Thigh/knee padded sides.
- The rudder is operable for good tracking.
- Stern hatch dry storage is available.
- Not for the best use in choppy waters.
Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak with Paddles
The lifetime 10 is made from Blow-molded from High-Density Polyethylene providing superior durability and strength. The kayak comes with a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty and is designed to make up to 3 people sit.
The design of the hull offers great tracking ultra stability. The Durable high-quality construction resists Cracking, fading, and Peeling. The kayak comes with the multiple footrest positions accommodate all size riders.
The lifetime 10 Includes paddle clips, 2 double-sided paddles, 3 fishing rod holders, 2 padded backrests, and 6 storage hatch. With all these conveniences this kayak is ready to rock on the water.
Length – 10 ft
Width – 36 inch
Weight – 60 lbs
Capacity – 500 lbs
- 3 fishing rod holders.
- Supports multiple footrests.
- Rear storage hatch.
- 5 years manufactured warranty.
- Tracking speed is not too much because of the short length and wide outline.
Perception Rambler 13.5 | Sit on Top Tandem Kayak | Recreational Kayak for Two | Storage with Tie Downs
The Perception Rambler 13.5 is a decent kayak for learners or recreational paddlers simply looking to have a fabulous time. The Rambler for lakes, quiet sea coves, and moderate moving streams.
This Perception is made of Rotomolded high-thickness polyethylene, which means it is one strong bit of leak-proof construction.
There is likewise storage in a form of bungee-corded well in the back. This tandem kayak highlights water-staying colors, rustproof development, and UV, effect, and abrasion resistance.
Formed seats make it simple to get in and out of this sit on top, also the cushioned seat and customization supported backrest could utilize some additional lighten. In any case, there is a shaped focus seat for a pet or kid.
Length – 13.5 ft
Width – 34 inch
Weight – 78 lbs
Capacity – 550 lbs
- Affordable price.
- Leak-proof one-piece construction.
- You can take a child or your pet along with you.
- No drain plugs.
- More comfortable seats needed for all-day paddling.
SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5-Foot Tandem Kayak ( 3 Person )
The Sun Dolphin Bali 13.5 Tandem is planned in a way to accept one, two, or three persons at a time. The middle seat easily and comfortably makes a third person sit.
This kayak comes with everything that you need to for paddling with your partner. The Bali performs well on lakes, rivers, and other paddling points.
The tri-seating capacity of this kayak provides you a great way to enjoy with your family or colleagues with a bunch of features such as three covered storage compartments, conveniently located carry handles for easy carriage, paddle holders, on-board shock cord deck rigging, deluxe adjustable seats, adjustable foot braces, high backrest supports, and self-bailing as a safety feature.
Length – 13.4 ft
Width – 34.5 inch
Weight – 70 lbs
Capacity – 500lbs
- Great pricing at this range.
- The storage option is good.
- Gains good Speed with less effort.
- 3 people can sit at a time.
- Low legroom experience for the middle rider.
- Heavier if used as a solo.
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak
The Malibu two accompanies a two-in-one addition that conveys a third individual as long as you keep up its most extreme weight strength of 425 pounds.
The Malibu 2 has three seating places that are very much formed in and has licensed footwells.
For included comfort, it has footwells that cover one another and in this way can suit any leg’s length. You don’t have to stress over purchasing a kayak that won’t fit your legs superbly. It likewise accompanies gear straps, molded-in handles just as a structure and deck design.
It has a smoothed out body structure that makes any move simple and safe simultaneously. It has adequate space for all your fishing gear and crate and also for the rods.
Length – 12 ft
Width – 34 inch
Weight – 57 lbs
Capacity – 425 lbs
- Various footrest placements.
- Good option for couples or small families.
- Can be utilized as a solo or tandem.
- Comfortable for tall or overweight riders.
- Paddles needed to be purchased separately
Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
The Driftsun Inflatable Voyager comes with a sharp nose section, the ‘Angular’ structure, a removable following balance, and a rocker profile that gives it a great execution in both quiet and unpleasant water.
The uncompromising PVC Tarpaulin base offers incredible assurance from punctures. The twofold Threaded Boston valves and intense covered 840D nylon oxford texture tube spreads will give the kayak shred and abrasion resistance.
The kayak’s high volume side cylinders give extreme lightness and steadiness. The kayak blows up to full estimate in under 5 minutes by an exclusive high stream twofold action pump,
The voyager 2 is a compact model for the individuals who are thinking of using it in lakes, streams, and waterways. This 2 Person Kayak can utilize for solo or couple rowing.
Length – 10 ft
Width – 35 inch
Weight – 27 lbs
Capacity – 450 lbs
- Fine weight carrying capacity.
- Sets up in full size in less than 5 minutes.
- Adjustable and comfortable EVA padded sets.
- Accessories are of good quality.
- A little short in length for 2 large adults.
- Price is more if compared to its counterparts.
Finally, I am ending my review, I really believe that the one who has observed the whole buying guide properly can now make a hassle-free decision. But still, I will like to give you some recommendations in order to help you more.
Best performer – One of the best performing model is Old Town Dirigo.
Editor’s Pick – My personal choice is BKC TK122 12.9′.
Affordable – You can buy Intex Challenger K2 and if you can spend some more money then go for Pelican River Gorge 130XP.
Overall, All the above Tandem kayaks are pretty good. You just need to look which one suits your need.
I really expect that these recommendations will help you a lot and if you want to select some other model except these suggestions, go for it as these all are the best kayaks.