Tandem Kayaks are becoming more and more popular with outdoor enthusiasts as a way to get in shape, fish, or just enjoy a lazy afternoon in the great outdoors.
They have many advantages for the couple that enjoys fishing together, or the family that needs additional space for several people to go out and enjoy paddling together.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to ride in a twin kayak then you know that it takes practice and coordination to get down the movements of riding with someone else. Embarking on a journey with the wrong watercraft will make your experience unpleasant. So just which is the best tandem kayak? We’ve broken down our top 10 favorites below.
Our Top Three Picks
Comparison Chart Key:
- Best Overall: Our favorite overall twin kayak
- High End: Our favorite pick if budget isn’t a concern
- Best Inflatable: Our top choice if you want an inflatable model
Any of the three kayaks that you see above will get the job done if you are in the market for picking up a twin kayak. There are a few variables that you should consider before diving in.
Size: Twin Kayaks are much bigger than single rider models. You essentially have two seating areas that you have to accommodate for, so expect that most twin models will come in a heftier size. Plan appropriately and make sure that your vehicle is big enough to transport one of these safely.
Weight: Twins are heavier than single carriers. They carry double the person and often times double the weight load, so they are typically constructed of heavier and larger material unlike individual models. Again, making sure you have a vehicle that’s equipped to carry these is an absolute must.
Purpose: Are you just looking to leisurely stroll around the lake for an afternoon? Are you an avid angler that just wants space for your spouse or significant other on the boat so you can get them involved in your favorite hobby? Maybe you are a former competitive kayaker and want something that goes very fast and is a main source of exercise? Identify what your primary purpose for the watercraft before making a purchase.
Stand or Sit: Just like with individual rider kayaks, some models are specifically made for one person to be able to stand up. Usually this is a twin model that’s best for anglers, so you will need to decide ultimately if this feature is important to you.
Now that we’ve given you some food for thought on what options are important to think about, let’s dive in and look at our favorites. Below you will see a comprehensive list of the different models listed at the top broken out for you in more detail so you can find which model suits your needs the most.
1. Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher
Looking for something that you can fish with every Saturday? Look no further. We consider this kayak to be the overall best tandem fishing kayak. This is the model we’ve been the most happy with and the one that we’ve heard the most praise about when it comes to a good budget friendly watercraft specifically made for anglers.
It’s engineered to allow one person stand if the need arises, and the sit on top structure of this model makes it a prime choice for avid anglers that spend their weekends fishing on the lake. This model actually boasts that it can fit 3 riders (usually the 3rd should be a smaller adult or child) and it has 3 places to place your fishing rod if you are an avid angler. It also has a dry storage compartment and includes paddles with the purchase.
2. Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak
Another great model for those looking for something that transports easy and is inflatable. Coleman Colorado made our top fishing kayak list because it’s not only affordable, but it’s durable as well. It may be inflatable but the 840D nylon cover is engineered to help prevent punctures.
It comes well equipped with 2 rod mounts and throwing a trolling motor on the back makes this an excellent versatile choice for fishing if you are looking to hit the lakes with two people. It’s also excellent for fish that are easy to troll for, like crappies.
3. Advanced Elements Lagoon 2
This versatile model is great for lakes, rivers and bays. It’s not intended for you to take down the Colorado River by any means. It’s a very reliable middle of the road model that will do the job well and keep you from falling in the water.
It has great tracking abilities, but you should be cautious about the amount of weight you put into the kayak.
It’s only equipped to handle about 350 pounds, so two large adults will exceed the weight ratings pretty significantly. It’s best advised that if you intend to use this, and you have two people with larger frames to accommodate, you should look at a different choice.
4. Intex Explorer K2 Yellow
Need something cheap that gets the job done? The Intex Explorer is a fine choice for someone looking to get out there on the lake yet needs to stay within a tight budget.
This basic model has inflatable seats that are equipped with backrests, and carries the basic bare bones of what you need if you are just someone that likes to venture out on the lake a couple times a year.
5. Sea Eagle SE370 Pro Package
Looking for a solid recreational watercraft that you can take with you to the local lake?
This is an awesome choice that takes up little space when deflated. It’s extremely portable and it actually inflates in just under 10 minutes.
The seating is extremely comfortable for an inflatable version. This is a great choice for those on a budget that might just be looking for some occasional recreation.
6. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable with Deluxe Package
Need a cheaper alternative than the SE370?
The 33o with deluxe package not only performs great for occasional recreational use, but it carries a more budget friendly price tag when compared to it’s big brother the SE370.
It has a 500 pound load capacity and performs almost as well as more expensive model. If you are looking for a very popular cost effective alternative to the more expensive model, look no further as the 330 with Deluxe Package will get the job done.
7. Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Twin
The 10 Foot Manta is one of the more popular sit-on-top models. While it technically boasts it can fit 3 people like the Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher, it’s recommended that the 3rd space should be occupied primarily by a very small adult or child.
The Manta is a great alternative to the Lifetime 10 if you are looking for a slightly more mainstream option that doesn’t limit itself to fishing. It comes equipped with two paddles and is perfect for both single and twin functionality. It’s also a very popular option with casual boaters that get outdoors a couple times a month.
8. Hobie Mirage Oasis
Hobie is the arguably the top kayak manufacturer on the market today. I say arguably because the Hobie brand also comes with a very stiff price tag. They are fantastic at everything they produce, but you can also expect to pay for it. The Mirage Oasis is no different.
If you are a competitive kayaker and you occasionally like to break out the wind sail, then this model could be for you. Hobie’s are very popular with people that vacation at the beach frequently or live on the beach. They are extremely sturdy and are built to handle lots of abuse. If you live near water and plan on doing some sailing, then the Mirage is a great choice if you can afford it.
9. Hobie Mirage Outfitter
The Mirage Outfitter has all the bells and whistles of any kayak on the market today. Like the Oasis, it comes equipped with a sail mount, as well as 2 paddles and on hull paddle storage.
This is Hobie’s newest model and it’s also one that seems to resonate very well with most consumers. The pedal system with the outfitter allows you to move the vessel like a bicycle, pedaling along the water, similar to a paddle boat. It’s hard to beat out the Oasis from a popularity standpoint, but the Outfitter holds its own.
10. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame
Back to the people with a much larger budget, the Advanced Elements AE1007 is the Cadillac of inflatable versions. The structure is built extremely solid, with aluminum ribbing that outlines the structure of the boat and increases the overall stability of the boat.
The seating is extremely comfortable for an inflatable model, and it supports your upper back much better than the budget friendly versions do.
Wrap Up & Parting Thoughts
This is all obviously a lot of information to digest. We are confident that we’ve answered the question: “What’s the best tandem kayak for fishing?” Now that we’ve given you a good overview of our top 10 choices, it’s time for you to get out there and choose one for you.
Remember, there is no one size fits all solution, and finding the model that fits your activity level and budget doesn’t have to be too hard. Just make sure that you do your due diligence and ensure the kayak you ultimately end up with has the equipment that you need to support any heavy duty kayak fishing.
My articles appear in Marketing Edge Magazine, on Gizmogrind, and with various Medium publications. But one thing hasn’t changed in all of my life: no matter where I was or what I was doing. I’ve always loved to be outdoors.
A man needs nothing more than a good flannel shirt, a well-worn pair of jeans, and comfortable hiking boots. I don’t go for all the fancy luxury stuff. Suits are uncomfortable and shaving sucks.