Best Tandem Kayaks of 2021

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: February 24, 2021
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Howdy Kayakers!So, you are in search of a quality tandem kayak, huh? Well, everybody wants a stable vessel when they are cruising the waters. Whether it’s the raging rivers or the silent lake for fishing. One thing that makes most people prefer a tandem kayak is because it is designed for more than two people. If you want to get the best tandem kayak out there, you’re in the right place. We will discuss the top tandem kayaks on the market, but you’ll also leave here with knowledge on how to look for the perfect tandem kayak. Before we proceed to explore the buying guide, let’s look at ten of the best tandem kayaks on the market.

Top 10 Tandem Kayaks

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1.Ocean Kayak 12-Ft Malibu Recreational Kayak

This tandem kayak from Ocean Kayak is one of the best you’d get out there. It is a sit-on-top kayak that has been developed with a spacious design. The kayak comes with two seats for two adults, and there’s also some room for a child or your furry buddy. It is 12 feet long and has a 34-inch width. Furthermore, it weighs just about 56 pounds. That makes it a lightweight in the tandem kayak world. Even with its lightweight, the kayak can support a maximum weight of 425 pounds. We loved how it is designed with three seating positions; stern, bow, and a middle seat for solo paddling. The hull and deck design lets you stack multiple hulls on the dock. It has a large leg space, which lets you enjoy your paddling regardless of the length of your legs. There are two comfortable seats, along with one extra molded seat for the child. 


  • It is roomy enough for two adults and a child/pet
  • It has been designed for comfort and versatility as you cruise the waters
  • You will enjoy three paddling positions
  • It has a patented footrest to offer you comfort when paddling. The leg area is also spacious enough.


  • Some users claim that the product comes in a limited color range.
  • The width might be somewhat smaller for some users.

2. BKC UH-TK219 12ft Tandem Kayak

This is yet another incredible tandem kayak that is perfect for a fishing/kayaking couple. The kayak comes with features like four flush-mount rod holders and two adjustable holders. It is 12.3-foot long and weighs around 70 pounds. The kayak has been designed for three people, and it’s sturdy enough to support a maximum weight limit of 440 pounds. So yes, this can be a perfect small-family kayaking/fishing vessel.Each paddler will have enough footrest to enhance comfort when cruising the waters. If you wish, you can dangle your legs over the side of the kayak without any problem. The kayak is fitted with four carrying handles that let you move it out of the water with ease. We loved the dual watertight storage compartments for keeping the small, delicate items. There’s also a rear cargo section that has bungee tie-down straps for holding strong on large items/gears. Without forgetting, the kayak comes with paddle parks that hold the paddle firmly when you are not using them. This helps to maintain control and stability of the vessel. 


  • It has two watertight storage compartments for storing your valuables
  • It can accommodate 3 people, with a weight limit of 440 pounds.
  • It is strong and sturdy
  • It has six-rod holders
  • The kayak is easy to paddle in any direction


  • The seat doesn’t offer enough backrest, which makes long trips uncomfortable
  • It might be too heavy for one person to carry

3. BKC UH-TK181 Tandem Kayak

If you are looking for a tandem kayak that can not only give you fun on the waters but also accommodate a heavier weight limit, this is the right choice for you. It comes with a nice design and enough space to accommodate two people. We loved the small space at the back, which you can use to store some gears. Furthermore, there are two small watertight storage containers in front of every seat for extra fun when fishing. The kayak is strong and sturdy and you will easily stand up and cast your line without wobbling. This feature makes the BKC UH-TK181 Tandem Kayak an ideal vessel for a fun-filled fishing experience. Luckily, there is room enough to hold your fishing rods. The kayak also comes with two paddle rests that let you fish swiftly without the paddles getting in the way. We loved the comfort of the seats, which are better than the listed tandem kayaks on our review. It comes with a 12.5-foot length, and it is strong enough to accommodate a maximum weight limit of 450 pounds.


  • It is lighter than most tandem kayaks
  • It can support up to 450 pounds
  • It is sturdy on the water
  • The seats are more comfortable than most tandem kayaks on the market
  • It has waterproof storages for keeping valuables
  • It features 7-rod holders.


  • The paddles might be somewhat too short for some users
  • The cord for the handles are slightly weak

4. Ocean Kayak Malibu 2XL Tandem Kayak

This tandem comes with a nice green color that makes it look incredible on a sunny day as you cruise the waters. It is 13.4ft tall and weighs around 68 pounds. We loved the comfortable seat, compared to other tandems on the market.

Also, it is 34 inches wide, which gives enough room for the big-bodied kayakers. Luckily, it has a maximum weight limit of 500 pounds. So yes, it can carry two adults and a kid without any problem. The best part is that this tandem kayak has been designed to give beginners an easy time to paddle. 


  • It is spacious enough for three people
  • The tandem has self-bailing gunnels that offer a drier ride
  • The seats are comfortable
  • It has a weight limit of 500 pounds


  • It comes with a limited storage
  • The seats are easily moved, which might not be a nice experience in stormy cruises.

5.  Lifetime 10 Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak

Are you looking for a tandem with a hard construction that also comes with an average size? This should be the right pick for you. Coming in at 10 feet tall, this beast is built to serve you for long enough, just as the name suggests.

 It is made from a high-density polyethylene material that will withstand the rough cruises. It weighs just about 65 pounds and has a 500-lb weight limit. The tandem comes with two built-in seats that will remain strong even in rough paddles. There are multiple ridges on each side that act as footrests.


  • It is strong and sturdy 
  • It is lighter than most tandems
  • Has a 500-lb weight limit
  • here are multiple ridges that play the role of a footrest
  • There is a storage compartment at the back of the tandem
  • It has a massive 5-year warranty


  • The fitted plastic seats might be too hard, but there is some comfortable backrest on each seat.

6. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T

This is one of the tallest tandems, coming in at 12.2 feet tall. The first thing we loved about it is its captivating sea-breeze color. It is a little heavy at 86 pounds, which means it can handle a heavier weight limit of 500 pounds.

What’s more, it comes with two deluxe seats as well as two paddles. Luckily, there are two flush mount rod holders with caps, as well as four mounting-points rod holders – so you will be sure of enough rod holders onboard.

The tandem has two paddle parks to secure the paddles when not in use.


  • This tandem kayak comes with three seating positions
  • There is a water-resistant space for storage onboard
  • It has room enough to include two adults and a child/pet
  • It has a limited lifetime warranty for defects on new purchases
  • It comes with paddles


  • The buckles on the seat might not be as strong as the boat itself

7. Aquaglide Chinook XP

If you are in search of a tandem kayak that will not give you a hard time to use and move around, this should be the right pick for you. It is an inflatable tandem kayak, which makes it one of the lightest on the market. Amazingly, this kayak weighs just about 30 pounds.

So yes, you can carry it by yourself for a solo paddling experience. Even with its lightweight, the kayak has a weight limit of 500 pounds when inflated.

We loved the excellent comfort of the seats, along with the fin in the back that eases the steering of the kayak.


  • It is lightweight
  • You can adjust the seat positions
  • It has enough room for two people and a kid
  • It has a cool color blend.


  • You’ll have to purchase paddles and a pump to use on this kayak
  • It might not be the right choice to use in whitewater
  • The seats back might also be too low for some users

8. Perception Pescador

This 10-foot tandem is made for both anglers and recreational paddlers. It has a lower weight limit of 325 pounds, but it is still a reliable unit. It is lightweight and moderately-long to give you an easy time when paddling across the waters.

Furthermore, it comes with enough storage for your fishing supplies. Also, the seats are really comfortable – so you’ll enjoy your long hours on the water without experiencing soreness.

It is made of high-density polyethylene that makes it abrasion, impact and, UV resistant. There are two fitted rod holders at the back to store your paddles when not in use.


  • It has comfortable seats
  • It is lightweight
  • There are bungee cord lashes to secure your gears and other supplies
  • There is a dry storage compartment onboard
  • It is strong and durable


  • It doesn’t come with plugs and paddles, so you’ll have to buy them yourself
  • The round storage ports don’t secure tightly enough. However, a cat hatch bag can help to keep them shut.

9. Ocean Kayak Zest Two Expedition

This is a perfect tandem for touring and slow/calm paddling. It is one of the tallest on the market with a length of 16 feet. With such a size, it can accommodate two adults and a kid or your furry buddy.

 Being one of the longest tandems out there, it also has a maximum capacity of 600 pounds. Three young adults can easily cruise on this beast without any problem.

You might think it is slow, but it is also rated among the fastest sit-on-top tandems.


  • It is spacious enough to carry three people
  • It has a maximum capacity of 600 pounds
  • There is a stern oversized tank that offers enough storage space
  • There are two comfort plus seats
  • It comes with molded foot wells that act as footrests


  • It doesn’t come with paddles, so you’ll have to buy them separately
  • It might be too tall for amateur paddlers

10. Sun Dolphin Bali

This beast comes in at 13.5 feet, which will allow you to maneuver easily across the waters. Whether you want a solo paddle, a two-person adventure with your partner, or a family cruise along with your kiddo, this tandem will offer you all those options.

It weighs around 70 pounds and has a maximum capacity of around 500 pounds. There are three covered storage compartments to store your valuables. We also loved the deluxe adjustable seats that have decent back supports.

The tandem has adjustable foot braces, paddle holders, and well-placed carry handles. 


  • It has enough storage space
  • It has comfortable seats with higher backrests than most units
  • It is designed for one, two, or three people
  • It has paddle holders


  • The storage compartment might leak in high turbulence or when it is raining. You might be forced to empty them frequently. But this may not be a problem if you don’t need to carry anything.

Tandem Kayaks Buying Guide

Okay, now you know which are the best tandem kayaks you should go for out there. But what if you don’t have the money to buy one of these high-end tandem kayaks, but you still want to find the right kayak for you?

Here is where you need to have the right tips for finding the perfect tandem kayak. Here are factors you should look out for when shopping for a tandem.

• Who will be on board?This question comes in two ways: the total number of users on the tandem and if you will be using it with a child. First, you need to check if the kayak can withstand the total weight of the people on board. Check for its weight limit and only buy the one that can support the number of people that will be using it. If you will be kayaking with your child, choose one that the cockpit isn’t too deep for them to paddle, also, there should be enough support/safety features for the kid. • The weight/size of the kayak Yes, you should consider how heavy the kayak is before you buy it. Typically, the kayak will need to be moved from your home to the river/lake. For that, ensure that it isn’t too heavy for you and your partner to carry. Consider getting a kayak trailer to give you an easy time transporting it. If you will be using the kayak on your own, you will need to pick a shorter vessel. However, that shouldn’t be an issue if you are a pro kayaker. Longer kayaks tend to be more stable on the water, but also more difficult to maneuver. On the other hand, shorter kayaks are easy to maneuver but they can easily tip over. • Sit-On-Top or Sit-In?A sit-on-top tandem kayak is a perfect choice for beginners or less-experienced kayakers since it is safe and easy to use. On the other hand, the sit-in tandem kayaks are challenging to use and they need some training in order to control them appropriately.• Comfort Everyone wants to deal with a comfortable vessel on the water. When considering comfort in a tandem kayak, look for one with cushioned seats, sturdiness on the water, and enough leg room. Also, check for the paddle flexibility. Maybe consider one with some beverage holders when you want to enjoy a sunrise paddling/fishing session. Luckily, the seats are always replaceable. • Paddling skills Your paddling skills will help you choose the tandem that has the right features for you. If you are a pro kayaker, you can go for the delicate/advanced kayaks. On the other hand, beginners should choose the simple, easy-to-use kayaks. Above all, consider the manufacturer’s warranty when choosing the kayak. This will help you to be sure of a secure purchase with your kayaking vessel. Don’t forget to choose a kayak from a reputable brand.


• Am I too old to kayak? Generally, any adult can use the tandem kayak without any problem. Even the companies that organize kayaking tours have an age limit of 145 years, which means that any adult can participate. However, the elderly might need some supervision if they want to use the tandem kayak. • What is the minimum age limit?If you want to paddle with your child, you can feel free to do so. Nonetheless, it’s always advised to take your child if they are above 5 years of age. You will have to be with the child in the kayak at all times. • What should I wear when kayaking?Ideally, you should choose the right clothing and footwear that can dry quickly when you are on the kayak. For instance, you can go for synthetic clothing like polyester. Cotton clothing is never the best choice for kayaking since they take a long time to dry. Also, wear water shoes or sandals instead of sneakers. Don’t forget to wear a waterproof, windbreaker jacket and some sun protection glasses for your eyes. • Is a lifejacket necessary?Yes, you should try wearing your lifejacket whenever you go kayaking regardless of your skills in and on the water. It’s better safe than sorry. • Will my dog be safe in the tandem kayak?Yes, your furry buddy will be safe when you carry him in the tandem. These vessels come with enough room, for the dog and they also have a sturdy material to keep it safe from the dog’s paws and nails. Always remember to use the right lifejacket for the dog. • What is the right sitting arrangement for two people in the tandem?This is an important question to ask because it will affect the ease of maneuvering and overall control of the vessel. Normally, it is best that the kayak is loaded evenly. But if that is impossible, let the heavier person sit at the back, in the captain’s seat. The most skilled person should seat at the back.• What if I’m solo-kayaking?If you are on a solo tandem kayaking experience, you will need to ensure that the seat is well-placed. Luckily, most tandem kayaks will have the ability to customize the seat arrangement. So if you want to kayak solo, remove one of the seats and fasten the other seat in the middle of the tandem. This is the position that will give you enough control of the vessel. If the seats cannot be removed, you should opt to sit in the back seat and place some weight or fishing supplies in the front. This will help to balance the weight distribution of the vessel. • Where can you buy the tandem kayaks?Thanks to the online stores, you can now place an order online and get your tandem kayak without the need for going to the store. However, you should be cautious when buying the tandem kayak online. Only purchase from the official website of the kayak brand or from Amazon. This will minimize the possibilities of being conned or buying the wrong product without a return policy. 

Final Notes

In general, tandem kayaks are the perfect choice that will accommodate more than one person while offering enough space to carry some supplies/gears with you. Always consider picking a tandem with the right features and design to give you a wonderful experience on the waters.

Also, consider where you will be kayaking in order to pick a tandem that will offer enough safety as you cruise the waters. Don’t forget to check the users’ reviews to be sure that you are dealing with the right product.

Furthermore, don’t always go for the cheap tandems since they may not last for as long as you expect. Invest in a durable kayak that will serve you for long enough without wearing out. Above all, be interested in some kayaking teachings for you to know how to kayak appropriately and take care of your vessel accordingly. So, which is your preferred tandem kayak? Whichever model you go for, ensure that it is the wise pick for you and your needs.

Last update on 2021-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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