Do you like kayaking? We believe that your answer can be either: “I’ve never tried it”, or “I absolutely adore it!” If you try kayaking once, you will become hooked, trust us. There is something in the way the kayak sails, goes through the water, something in the connection between the paddles, the water, the kayak movement, and you. It is an addictive and irresistible feeling.
However, not every kayak can ensure such an experience. This is why you must learn as much as you can on the best tandem kayak models before you decide to actually buy tandem kayak.
You should know all the details about the model that you are interested in, as it will significantly affect and shape your kayaking experience, be it the fishing kayak, or whitewater adventure. We will guide you through the process of choosing the top tandem kayak model for your needs. Let’s begin!
How Did We Pick these Products?
Picking the kayak is not an easy task. We wanted to be as objective as possible. This is why we took many different factors into consideration. Lots of criteria helped us prepare this list of choices.
Also, we spent a lot of time on web research, which was the starting point of our exciting best kayak search journey. Then, we narrowed down the choices with help of user-based reviews and experiences and tested our listed products.
Of course, we appreciated the invaluable insights by the experts on kayaks, especially the tandem type of kayaks. Are you interested in our value grid? Stay with us and learn more about different factors that shape the kayak performance, and then proceed to our tandem kayak reviews section.
Our Top 10 Best Tandem Kayak
In this review, we made a classification of our ten top-rated tandem kayak models currently available on the market. Moreover, we have summarized the selection for you in a systematic way.
Our tandem kayak review selection includes the best overall ocean kayak and its runner-up, the best kayak for the money, the best kayak for the family, the best fishing kayak, the best river kayak model, the most suitable kayak for three people, as well as the best models when it comes to versatility, compactness, and whitewater rafting. Let’s begin!
Why Buy a Tandem Kayak
What is a tandem kayak? It is a type of kayak designed for two to three people. It is the perfect choice for shared paddling experience, working in a team, or enjoying cruising/fishing with your friends or family. There is enough room for two to three people in a tandem kayak (depending on the model), but you can still use it solo.
There are some disadvantages to this type of kayaks as well. The greatest disadvantage refers to the users who value their own freedom of movement. It is somewhat restricted in a tandem kayak, as you must coordinate your moves with the partner. Also, you must learn how to share the room with them.
Now, here comes another very important question: What is the best tandem kayak? Any tandem kayak might not be the dream kayak for you, but could be the very best pick for someone else. This depends on the number of people who will be using it, type of water, and purpose.
However, there are certain features that mark a good tandem kayak model, regardless of its purpose or your specific requirements. This is why you should learn how to recognize and choose the best model. Let’s see what makes the best tandem kayak!
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Tandem Kayak
Choosing a kayak requires serious considerations of many things at a time. Kayak models vary as you consider their weight capacities, stability features, materials, warranty information, etc. The basic considerations are almost similar for most kayak styles, and tandems present a few differences which I’ll discuss here to help you guys find a very good tandem kayak.
Common kayak materials include polyethylene, ABS, and composite materials, having something to do with the vessel’s durability and resistance to punctures and scratches.
- Polyethylene is an inexpensive choice. It makes the heaviest of kayaks but requires you to avoid exposing the vessel to the sun light for very long.
- ABS plastic is a more expensive option and makes slightly lighter kayaks that come with UV resistance of some sort but the same durability as polyethylene kayaks.
- Composite materials come in variations like polymer, carbon/graphite, and Kevlar; all contributing to lightweight and high-performance kayaks that are not very strong for impacts.
Size, Weight, and Capacity
Sure, you would agree that these kayaks are bigger, and thereby, heavier than other styles.
The tandem you buy needs to have the capacity to hold the weight of both you and your partner. The average capacity of tandems is 600 pounds with some models offering higher capacity. Look at the following calculation to determine the right capacity.
Your weight + Your partner’s weight + 25% (of the combined weight) = (The appropriate) Weight capacity.
Here’s a quick list of measurements to help you determine the right size of the tandem kayak.
- Kayaker Seat (Front) may accommodate kayakers having a height from 70 inches to 78 inches.
- Kayaker Seat (Rear) may accommodate kayakers having a height from 80 inches to 90 inches.
- Pedal kayaks (with radar) may be suitable for those with a height around 72 inches.
- Anyone with a height of over 72 inches may need to choose a paddle to steer instead of the pedal.
There’re other factors that you want to consider, such as the cockpit sizes and hatches.
- Cockpits: Tandem cockpits come in both small and large sizes with the large ones allowing you to get in/out easily and the small ones offering a snug fit. One of you might have an average build while another may have a larger bottom. So, consider the size of you and the partner and choose what suits you most.
- Hatches: Since two people count, there might be the needs for additional storage which may not be available with all models. So, look for the one with an access to two interior storage areas.
Still feeling confused about choosing the right tandem kayak? Don’t worry! Spend a few more minutes to read this article to get complete education on tandem kayaks.
Finally, we hope you enjoyed our best tandem kayak review journey. We aimed to provide the list of the top 10 models suitable for different purposes.
We chose the Ocean Kayak 12-feet Malibu model as the best overall tandem kayak, and the runner-up was the Lifetime Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak. These two models had all it took for a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable kayaking experience that you won't find when canoeing.
The best value tandem kayak is the affordable, yet quality Lifetime Tandem Sit-on Kayak, while the Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T is the best for the family. If you are looking for a good fishing kayak, don’t miss the BKC UH-TK219.
However, this is not the end. There are lots of other amazing tandem kayak models on the market, such as specially designed best tandem ocean kayak or best tandem sea kayak models.
We wish you an enjoyable and safe kayaking!