Top 5 Reviews of the Best Tandem Kayaks for Camping

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The sun is on your back, and so is the laughter of your friend. Your hands are hard at work with your paddle, and your ears fill with the gentle lap-lap sound of the paddles slapping the water, such music.

Kayaking – what a delight! Best of all, when you are doing it with a partner – tandem kayakinghttps://tandemkayakreport.com/. In this article, we review the best tandem kayaks in the market.

Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table of the five tandem kayaks you should check out:

ProductMaximum Weight CapacityCheck on Amazon
Vibe Kayaks 120T500 lbCheck price here
Intex Explorer K2440 lbCheck price here
BKC UH-TK181440 lbCheck price here
Ocean Kayak375 – 425 lbCheck price here
Advanced Elements550 lbCheck price here

Best Tandem Kayaks Reviews

  1. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem KayakThis is a good tandem kayak to take out for fishing excursions or family recreation. Since it’s a two-person kayak, it enables you and your partner to have a swell time together as you use teamwork and cooperation to get the kayak moving forward in your intended right direction.

It’s a rather heavy kayak, and some might consider that a disadvantage. It weighs 72 lbs and has a length of 12 ft. You might need a kayak cart, or have someone else with you to help you load and carry it into or from your vehicle.

If you are worried about stability, you will be pleased to learn that the kayak demonstrates good stability, particularly in freshwater.

Though it is a two-person kayak, you can include an extra person, preferably a child, so long as you don’t exceed the weight capacity. Its weight capacity is 500 lbs.

The kayak comes wrapped in a really heavy blanket and lots of bubble wrap. You can always find extra uses for the blanket at home or in your outdoor excursions.

It comes with two paddles, one each for you and your partner. In addition, there are two paddle parks which enable you to keep your paddles secure when you are out on the water and not using them. Stories of paddles that go overboard and get lost are too common.

The best thing about sit-on-top kayaks like this one is the flexibility – easy to get in and out, and you don’t feel confined. That makes them great for beginner, nervous paddlers, warm environments, or for swimming.

Pros

-Very stable

-Flexibility of getting in and out of it since it’s a sit-on-top

-Paddle parks to keep your paddles from going overboard

-Comes with multiple storage options: two sealed hatches with built-in cup holders, and a rear cargo area with bungee tie-down straps

Cons

-Rather heavy – needs two strong people to carry it to and from your car

View price on Amazon

 

  1. Intex Explorer K2 Two-Person Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 Two-Person KayakThis is another two-person tandem kayak. It is painted a bright yellow color, which can be spotted from far, enabling you to get rescued quickly in case of emergency. A good option, if you are a beginner, or paddling with your kid.

The most important part of a kayak is the seat. As a paddler, you spend a lot of time sitting in the kayak, and this can make your legs go to sleep or your back get sore. A good seat is comfortable and supportive, and that’s just what you get from this Kayak.

It comes with an adjustable, inflatable seat which has a backrest. The cockpit itself is designed to give you comfort and enough space for flexibility. You can spend long stretches of time in this kayak.

The maximum capacity is less than that of the first kayak, however. It will take a weight capacity of no more than 400 pounds, which means it can’t accommodate more than two people.

If you are worried about being able to make the kayak go in a straight line, you will be pleased to know that it has a removable skeg which helps enhance the kayak’s directional stability. A kayak without a skeg will easily get rocked by side winds.

This kayak is not meant for the sea or big bodies of water, but rather for smaller water bodies like mild rivers and lakes, just something to take out on a nice day for a fun time with your kid or friend.

Pros

-Comfortable, adjustable, inflatable seat

-Comes with removable skeg for directional stability

-Bright yellow for maximum visibility in case of emergency

Cons

-It’s no good in large water bodies like the sea

View price on Amazon

 

  1. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Tandem Kayak

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Tandem KayakThis is a sit-on-top kayak. That means you can count on flexibility and ease of getting in and out of the kayak. This is great, if you are a nervous newbie, or if either you or your kayaking partner wants to leap into the water for a swim.

The downside of sit-on-top kayaks is that you are likely to get wet while paddling. Fortunately, this one has waterproof storage hatches. You can keep your snacks, wallet, and phone dry while you have fun.

The kayak has a 34-inch beam (the beam is the overall width of a kayak’s cross section). The wider the hull, the more stable the kayak. The balance and stability of this kayak on the water is good enough for you to stand up on it when fishing.

This kayak has a maximum load capacity of 440 pounds, which makes it nimble enough for a solo paddler to maneuver it without difficulty, and sturdy enough to withstand two adults.

Being a sit-on-top kayak, it comes with scupper holes, a safety features that helps drain water out of the kayak, and thus prevents you from sitting in a puddle. Scupper plugs prevent water from coming in to the kayak.

The scupper holes also come in handy in transportation when you are using a scupper kayak cart. This is a controversial issue among kayakers, with some supporting use of the scuppers and others arguing doing so might stress the scuppers and cause cracks.

Pros

-Easy to get in and out, good for swimming

-Stable

-Has scupper holes to drain out water

-Waterproof storage hatches

Cons

-Since it’s a sit-on-top kayak, you are bound to get wet

View price on Amazon

 

  1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Tandem KayakThis is a 12-feet recreational kayak. One of the main disadvantages of recreational kayaks is that they don’t have enough storage space, especially when you have two paddlers aboard. Recreational kayaks are not built for speed, but they are very stable, comfortable and beginner-friendly.

It’s a sit-on-top type of kayak, meaning you have a lot of flexibility, very good for swimming or when you have an emergency out in the water. Unfortunately it also means that you are highly likely to get wet.

It’s a two person kayak, but you can include a child as an extra passenger on the kayak – that’s the advantage of being a sit-on-top. The maximum carrying capacity in terms of weight is 375 to 425 pounds.

Any experienced kayaker will tell you that one of the main things to consider when you are purchasing a new kayak is the seat. It must be a comfortable seat that will give you proper support for long stretches of time.

This kayak has two comfortable seats, three molded-in seat wells, gear straps, overlapping foot wells, molded-in handles, and skid plate, all geared for comfort.

The way the hull and deck are designed enhances the ease of stacking multiple hulls, which makes on-dock storage easier.

Pros

-Comfortable

-Stable

-Design enables easier on-dock storage

Cons

-Does not have enough storage space

-High likelihood of getting wet

View price on Amazon

 

  1. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Inflatable Tandem KayakThis is an inflatable kayak. Inflating it takes less than 10 minutes using a pump. The kayak does not require a lot of pressure to inflate so the process happens quite quickly.

Being inflatable makes the kayak easier to carry in a trunk. It’s also lighter, which makes it easier to carry back and from your car to the water.

Due to their flat bottoms, inflatable kayaks are very stable, so this one is a good choice if stability is one of your must-haves.

The seats are also inflatable. The seats provide high support – they are padded and adjustable, giving you comfort while paddling for long stretches of time. The kayak has three seat locations, and that enables you to paddle both solo and tandem comfortably.

The kayak has an open-deck design that enables you easy entry and exit. You can convert the kayak from an open deck to a closed deck (or vice versa) in seconds.

With a maximum weight capacity of 550 pounds, it is the kayak in this article that can withstand the heaviest load.

Durability is key, especially out on the water where you are often facing the unknown. The kayak is made of three layers of material, ensuring extreme puncture resistance.

Pros

-Stable

-Easier to carry or store.

-Comfortable

-Easy to convert from open to closed deck and vice versa

-Puncture resistance

Cons

-Drying out an inflatable kayak is a chore and it’s something you have to do after every use

View price on Amazon

 

Tandem Kayak Buying Guide

What factors should you keep at the top of your mind when you are shopping for a tandem kayak?

  1. Whitewater Kayak vs Sea Kayak vs Recreational Kayak

Know what type of kayak you need. This will depend on your kayaking needs or intentions. The main types of kayaks according to function are these three: whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks, and recreational kayaks.

Sea kayaks are the fastest kayaks around. They are quite long, running from 16 to 19 feet, and about 22 to 24 inches wide. Owing to their great length, these kayaks have plenty of storage space and are great for tours or expeditions at sea. They are also known as touring kayaks.

Whitewater kayaks are built at half the length of sea kayaks. They are a bit wider though. What they lack in speed and capaciousness, they make up for in maneuverability. They don’t have to be very efficient because you use them on rivers, and the river does most of the work. Your job is to steer the kayak. These kayaks are highly buoyant.

As their name suggests, recreational kayaks are built for recreation. They have an average length of 10 to 12 feet. They are the most stable type of kayak. They are not fast at all but they are comfortable and conducive for beginners.

  1. Sit-on-top Kayaks vs Sit-inside Kayaks

The traditional kayak is a sit-inside kayak. A sit-inside kayak protects your legs from the wind. They are great for when you are paddling on cool water or when you want to remain dry. However, you lack the freedom of movement and flexibility you get from sit-on-tops.

Sit-on-top kayaks are highly user-friendly and have become quite popular. They are stable, and allow flexible, easy entry and exit into the kayak. You are highly likely to get wet when paddling a sit-on-top. They have scupper holes which help drain out water. If you fancy a swim, or if you feel nervous about kayaking, sit-on-top kayaks the best option for you.

  1. Comfort

Since you will be spending long stretches of time in your kayak, particularly if you’re fishing, comfort should be top in your list of priorities after you figure out the type of kayak you need.

Examine the seats to see if they will give you proper support. The seat should be comfortable and supportive, which will enable you to spend big chunks of time sitting in your kayak without any fear of your legs going to sleep or your back getting sore.

How much leg room does the kayak allow, and how does that affect you, considering the length of your legs? Ensure your legs can fit comfortably in the kayak before you make a purchase.

Conclusion

Sure solo kayaking is fun, and you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever, and at your own speed. Tandem kayaking, however, is a dance, and it reflects the joys and struggles of coexisting with others.

You and your kayaking partner must arrive at consensus on decisions such as direction and speed. You must learn to paddle at each other’s rhythms. Tandem kayaking makes you enjoy the companionship so as to have the best of times.

The five kayaks we have just reviewed are some of the best tandem kayaks out there. Buy one, find a companion, and get ready to have the time of your life!

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About Author

Steve has been into sports all his life. As a young boy, he started with swimming; this only propelled him into more water sports. When he tried kayaking, the thrill captivated him and now, it is his favorite sport. As a ranger, Steve is always in the outdoors where he likes it. He became a ranger right after college. He is married and has three kids whom he loves going to expeditions with. When he is not at work or with his family, he loves writing. He is now the lead blogger at Tandem Kayak Report, always writing about his passion.