Tandem Kayaks 101

Are you looking for a fun, recreational hobby you can share with your significant other? Perhaps a tandem kayak that can support two or three people would be a wonderful investment. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we can help you find the best tandem kayak for your needs.

Our goal is to provide outdoor enthusiasts with well-researched information on the best gear available. Whether you are new to kayaking in general or a seasoned solo kayaker looking to spend more quality time with the people you love, a tandem kayak can take you on adventures for years to come.

 



 

FREE BONUS! Click here to download the AJ Quick Starter Guide to Kayaking

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST TANDEM KAYAK

PICTURE
TANDEM KAYAK
BEST USE
WEIGHT
LENGTH
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
TANDEM KAYAK
BEST USE
WEIGHT
LENGTH
PRICE
RATING
Ocean Kayak Malibu
Overall
68 lbs
13’4″
$$
5.0
Old Town Dirigo 155
Overall
72 lbs
15’3″
$$$
3.8
Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
Overall
56 lbs
15′
$$
4.4
Eddyline Whisper CL
Speed
73 lbs
18′
$$$
4.0
Delta Kayaks 20
Speed
83 lbs
18’6″
$$$
5.0
Lifetime Sport Fisher
Fishing
65 lbs
10′
$$
4.3
Old Town Twin Heron Angler
Fishing
62 lbs
13’6″
$$
5.0
Useful UH-TK181
Fishing
65 lbs
12’10”
$$
4.4
Intex Explorer K2
Budget
31 lbs
10’3″
$
4.3
Lifetime Manta
Budget
65 lbs
10′
$
4.3

 

 

TANDEM KAYAKS 101

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST TANDEM KAYAKS

 

1. WEIGHT

Tandem kayaks typically range anywhere from 75 to 100 lbs in weight. While you’ll have two or three people to help carry your kayak or take turns pulling it on a kayak cart, it’s important to consider how you plan to transport your kayak.

Hoisting a small vessel weighing 85 lbs above your head onto the roof of an SUV could prove very difficult. A better option is a kayak trailer, which can be towed by (almost) any vehicle with a hitch. Consider how much weight you’re realistically wiling and able to carry and transport.

 

2. LENGTH

Most tandem kayaks are between 10 and 20 feet of length. Your physical strength and mode of transportation will once again determine the length you are able to handle.

In addition, longer kayaks displace more water and are therefore more stable, but are subsequently more difficult to maneuver. Short kayaks, while easy to maneuver through tight spaces, can be prone to tipping over. Read more on choosing the best kayak length.

 

3. COMFORT

Kayaks aren’t always the most comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, but some are definitely better than others. To find a comfortable tandem kayak, look for ample leg room and sturdy, cushioned seats.

The flexibility of a snap-in middle seat can accommodate one child, or if not utilized, free up space needed to enjoy kayaking with your dog, or simply more leg room.

If you enjoy sunrise paddling sessions, look for beverage holders for your morning cup of joe. Should you find your dream boat but are unhappy with the seat, replacements are always available.

 

4. STORAGE

Do you anticipate taking a mobile phone or digital camera on the water with you? Watertight, dry storage compartments can provide you with peace of mind, allowing you to communicate with the mainland if necessary. It will also eliminate your anxiety over losing hundreds of dollars should your kayak tip over.

Dry bags are always another option if the kayak you choose lacks adequate storage. Bungee cords, criss-crossing the top of the kayak can hold shoes, jackets or other non-electronic items. This is usually enough for minimalist kayakers.

 

5. WARRANTY

Many kayak manufacturers only protect against manufacturer defects with limited warranties. As with all moderate to large purchases, look for the longest warranty you can find.

 

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/iofoto

 

TANDEM KAYAK REVIEWS

 

1. BEST ALL AROUND TANDEM KAYAKS

OLD TOWN DIRIGO

 

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
REI

BEST FOR: Cruising with family

WEIGHT: 72.0 lbs (32.7 kg)

LENGTH: 15’3″ (4.7 m)

COMFORT: Moderately comfortable

STORAGE: Plentiful

WARRANTY: Limited Lifetime

PROS: Cruises long distances with less effort, convertible to solo paddle, removable, snap-in child seat, adjustable Glide Track footbrace system, retractable carry handles, paddle holders

CONS: Price

 

 

 

OCEAN KAYAK MALIBU TWO XL

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: All around kayaking

WEIGHT: 68.0 lbs (30.8 kg)

LENGTH: 13’4″ (4.1 m)

COMFORT: Moderately comfortable

STORAGE: Minimal

WARRANTY: 90 day limited

PROS: Ample rocker and deep keel for tracking straight, convertible to solo paddle, middle seat for child or pet, adjustable padded seats, bow/stern bungee deck rigging, bottom skid plate, accessory eyelets, drain plug, paddle keepers

CONS: Lacks adequate storage

 

 

 

ADVANCED ELEMENTS ADVANCED FRAME

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: All around kayaking

WEIGHT: 68.0 lbs (30.8 kg)

LENGTH: 13’4″ (4.1 m)

COMFORT: Moderately comfortable

STORAGE: Minimal

WARRANTY: 90 day limited

PROS: Ample rocker and deep keel for tracking straight, convertible to solo paddle, middle seat for child or pet, adjustable padded seats, bow/stern bungee deck rigging, bottom skid plate, accessory eyelets, drain plug, paddle keepers

CONS: Lacks adequate storage

 

 

 

 

2. BEST TANDEM KAYAKS FOR SPEED

EDDYLINE WHISPER

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
REI

BEST FOR: Long day trips

WEIGHT: 73.0 lbs (33.1 kg)

LENGTH: 18′ (5.5 m)

COMFORT: Very comfortable

STORAGE: Plentiful

WARRANTY: 3 year limited

PROS: Infinity seat and backrest, foot-controlled rudders, adjustable foot pegs, front/rear watertight bulkheads and hatches add storage and flotation, bow/stern bungee rigging, 600 lb weight capacity

CONS: Price, fixed seats

 

 

 

DELTA KAYAKS 20

 

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
REI

BEST FOR: Multi-day touring

WEIGHT: 80.0 lbs (36.3 kg)

LENGTH: 18’6″ (5.6 m)

COMFORT: Very comfortable

STORAGE: Plentiful

WARRANTY: 3 year limited

PROS: Stable, maneuverable, hardshell hatch covers, multi-position neoprene-padded seat and adjustable backband, neoprene padding on thigh bracing for comfort and control, cockpit-adjustable foot braces, bow/stern bungee deck rigging, rubber handles

CONS: Price, weight

 

 

 

 

3. BEST TANDEM KAYAKS FOR FISHING

LIFETIME SPORT FISHER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Fishing with children

WEIGHT: 65.0 lbs (29.5 kg)

LENGTH: 10′ (3.0 m)

COMFORT: Moderately comfortable

STORAGE: Plentiful; 6′ storage hatch

WARRANTY: 5 year limited

PROS: Seats up to 3 people, ultra stable for standing, tracks well, multiple footrest positions, includes 2 double-sided paddles, paddle clips, 2 padded backrests, 3 fishing pole holders, 6’ storage hatch

CONS: Lacks rudder

 

 

 

OLD TOWN TWIN HERON ANGLER

 

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Couples who fish

WEIGHT: 62.0 lbs (28.1 kg)

LENGTH: 13’6″ (4.1 m)

COMFORT: Moderately comfortable

STORAGE: Minimal

WARRANTY: Limited lifetime

PROS: Adjustable Comfort Flex seat with padding, removable front seat, Auto Trim hull for easy solo paddling, Support Track foot brace system, comfortable carrying handles, cup holders, six rod mount receivers, two Cannon rod holders, paddle holders, rear bungee

CONS: Lacks adequate storage

 

 

 

USEFUL UH-TK181

 

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Fishing gear storage

WEIGHT: 68.0 lbs (30.8 kg)

LENGTH: 12’10” (3.9 m)

COMFORT: Moderately comfortable

STORAGE: Plentiful

WARRANTY: 1 year limited

PROS: Difficult to tip over, convertible to solo paddle, includes two aluminum paddles, two seats with rear storage pouches, rear cargo storage area, bungee rigging, 4 carry handles, 3 bungee paddle parks, 2 paddle rests, 4 flush mount and 3 adjustable rod holders

CONS: Not quite stable enough to stand on

 

 

 

 

4. BEST BUDGET TANDEM KAYAKS

INTEX EXPLORER K2

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Budget day trips

WEIGHT: 31.0 lbs (14.1 kg)

LENGTH: 10’3″ (3.7 m)

COMFORT: Very comfortable

STORAGE: None

WARRANTY: 90 day limited

PROS: Inexpensive, heavy duty puncture resistant vinyl, 2 separate air chambers, Boston valves for quick inflation and deflation, pump and 2 oars included, inflatable I-beam for floor rigidity, repair kit

CONS: Many users reported skeg falling out and getting lost

 

 

 

LIFETIME MANTA

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Ocean kayaking on a budget

WEIGHT: 65.0 lbs (29.5 kg)

LENGTH: 10′ (3.0 m)

COMFORT: Somewhat uncomfortable; lacks seat bottom

STORAGE: None

WARRANTY: 5 year limited

PROS: Designed for single or tandem use, includes soft backrests and 2 double sided paddles, lightweight, very stable, tracks well, difficult to tip over, drain holes, multiple foot rests

CONS: Lacks storage, not designed for comfort

The post Tandem Kayaks 101 appeared first on The Adventure Junkies.

Continue Reading

About the author

Note: Your password will be generated automatically and sent to your email address.

Forgot Your Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you a link you can use to pick a new password.