Check Out Our Top 5 Tandem Kayak Reviews!

Tandem Kayak Rental - Aqua Adventures Kayaks and Paddleboards

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 9/29/2022

We can all agree that Batman and Robin are two of the best. Lucy and Desi are two of the best as well. Ren and Stimpy are a couple that, no matter who they are, we can all agree that life is more fun when you have a companion by your side. That is why tandem kayaking is such a great experience. It offers double the excitement, double the fun! Is there anything better than spending a day on the water with a friend or loved one? Do you consider yourself a beginner paddler? Are you apprehensive about paddling alone at first?

As a beginner, the overall greater stability of a 2-person kayak makes it an excellent choice for learning the ropes. Those who are not comfortable paddling by themselves may find a new appreciation for the sport by taking part in the bow excursion as a tourist! How do you decide which one to purchase once you decide that you want to invest in a tandem kayak?

It looks like you're in luck! We have compiled a comprehensive list of our five favorite two-person kayaks and a comprehensive list of FAQs and answers to your questions. Regardless of your preferences, we are confident that we have found the right tandem kayak for you. Look at the table of contents below and get started on your next adventure!

"Sneak Peak" Previews Of Top Tandem Kayaks

We have selected some of the best two-person kayaks for your paddling pleasure, no matter what type of paddling you are trying out. We know you prefer to paddle than read, so below are brief overviews of each kayak, followed by total reviews for those who want more information. Without further ado, here are our recommendations for each category of a tandem kayak.

Kayaking

Tandem "Sit On Top" Kayak: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

As one of the most popular choices for two-person kayaks, the Ocean Kayak Malibu is the perfect choice for dynamic duos looking for a lightweight, stable, and inexpensive kayak that is fun to use. It features three seating positions and two of their signature Comfort Plus Seats for the ultimate in comfort and versatility.

Kayak For Tandem Paddling: Pelican Argo 136 XP

The new and updated Pelican Premium Unison 136T is the latest version of the wildly popular Pelican Unison 136T, which is no longer available for purchase commercially. There will be plenty of space for two people to paddle comfortably in this 13-foot-6-inch kayak without feeling cramped or crowded. There are handy storage compartments for each paddler to be sure of a relaxing and fun kayaking experience.

Kayak Best For Beginners: Perception Rambler 13.5 Sit On Top Tandem

It is a good value kayak for those who want to have some fun and exercise. In addition, the kayak has a stylish, stable, and sturdy design. The Rambler kayak doesn't have many bells and whistles that other tandem kayaks provide, but that's understandable at this price.

Lifetime (Manta) 10' Two Person Kayak: Cheapest Tandem Kayak

This kayak is most commonly known as the Lifetime Manta kayak and is a tip-proof kayak that provides maximum stability for an uneasy paddler. Especially weekend warriors who want to start kayaking on a budget will find this kayak helpful. This two-person kayak has two backrests and two paddles, containing all the basics you'll need to get started. The only downside to this setup is that at only 10 feet, you might have to sacrifice a bit of comfort for the sake of affordability.

The Best 2 Person Sea Kayak: Borel Design Esperanto PE Rudder Kayak

It's important to understand that if you're intending to go on longer excursions in open water, whether in the ocean or a large lake, you're going to need a kayak that is both sturdy and reliable and whose performance is second to none. As a result of the Boreal's 2-person Kayak being a large rudder and moderate rocker, you will have the responsiveness you'll need to weather whatever journey you are going on.

The Complete Review Of Tandem Kayaks

Kayak: Perception Rambler 13.5 Sit-On-Top Tandem

Quick Specs:

  • Weight capacity: 550 pounds
  • Kayak Weight: 78 pounds
  • Kayak Measurements: 34 inches x 15.5 inches x 13.6 feet

Perception Kayaks | Rambler Overview

We will say it upfront - the Perception Rambler isn't the best overall tandem kayak. But for beginners or recreational paddlers, it's a good value. Ramblers are good for lakes, ocean bays, and rivers with slow currents. Rotomolded high-density polyurethane means it is a leak-proof piece of equipment. All 2-person kayaks on our list can hold more weight than the Rambler. 

Durability is a high priority with this kayak. Water-repellent colors, rustproof construction, and UV, impact, and abrasion resistance make this product a great choice. Bungee corded storage is also available in the back. There is not enough space for overnight gear and no dry storage is available. 

While the molded seats make it easy to get into and out of this sit on top vehicle, they are not the most comfortable for long-term travel. It would also be nice to add some extra fluff to the padded seat and the adjustable supported backrest. A molded center seat is provided for a child or a pet, however. In general, this fairly inexpensive kayak has some shortcomings that make it mostly just for fun, and those are discussed in the negative section. If you are more serious about kayaking, check out the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit on Top Kayak.

Pros
  • It is stable.
  • Different footrest positions to accommodate kayakers of different ages.
  • Made in the United States of America.
  • Comfortable bow, stern, and side handles.
  • U.S. Coast Guard-compliant hull identification number.
  • Limited Warranty of 5 Years.
Cons
  • Throughout the day, users will want more comfortable seats. 
  • An additional center needs to be mounted to make the middle area livable for the rider.
  • Rivet gun required to install pad eyes.

Tandem Sit On Top Kayak: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two

Quick Specs:

  • Weight capacity: 500 pounds
  • Kayak Weight: 68 pounds
  • Kayak Measurements: 34 inches x 24 inches x 13.4 feet

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Overview

This Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit on Top is one of the most popular kayaks in the world of 2-person ocean kayaks. This tandem has a few additional features that set it apart from its competitors, making it a desirable purchase. Besides the comfortable seats, the footwells are also molded to make for a relaxing experience on the water. In addition to paddle holders, you can also use two hands to grab pictures and snacks while you take a break.

A Malibu sleeps two adults, one adult, and a child or a pet. A Malibu can sleep one adult and two kids or one adult and four children. You can ride a solo or tandem bike, depending on what suits your needs at the time.

A slight indentation that acts as a third seat area" includes a "strap that runs across as a seatbelt. In place of a child, you can also strap down a cooler! A fishing vessel is the best on this list if you're interested in fishing, and four-deck mounts and two-rod holders come with it.

As a result of the tri-hull construction, cross-over sports are more stable, but at the same time, speed suffers. You can quickly drain water from the sit-on-top by opening the screw-in drain plate, overnighting on an island in the sea? There is a center hatch with a buckle system to reach your gear more easily. Dry storage is not available. The back and front hatches of the tandem can be fitted with up to two Gaspachi hatches to keep your stuff dry. 

Pros
  • Easy to carry with bow and stern toggle handles.
  • Simple to board.
  • Economical.
  • Second lightest on the list.
  • It can be positioned so the front seat faces the back.
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • Five-year manufacturer's warranty.
Cons
  • Speed is not the goal here.
  • There are scupper holes, but no scupper plugs included.
  • The length may cause damage.
  • The back support could be better.

The Pelican Argo 136 XP Is The Best Kayak For Tandem Paddling 

Quick Specs:

  • Weight capacity: 500 pounds
  • Kayak Weight: 67 pounds
  • Kayak Measurements: 13.5 inches x 31.75 x 15 inches

As you may know, the Pelican Argo 136 XP is the updated version of the Pelican Premium Unison 136T, which is probably why the kayak looks so familiar. The 2-person kayak is recommended for use in flat water, calm open ocean, and rivers or creeks up to class II in difficulty.

We also recommend bringing out your furry! Friend! The polyethylene vessel features a layer of protection to keep your tandem kayak safe from saltwater, UV rays, and damage from rocks and branches. Additionally, it is lightweight compared to some of the other tandem vessels listed.  

Pelican Argo 136 XP features adjustable footrests and two ERGOFIT G2 seating systems for all-day comfort. The front has bungees for quick access, a 4-inch hatch for easy grabbing, and a 60L dry storage bag at the back. Are you worried about getting waterlogged and sinking your Pelican Argo? Not to worry! There's a drain plug in the bottom for just such an occasion.

The paddle tie-down feature is excellent for taking pictures of your adventures. You won't lose your water wings while relaxing in your boat! 

Pros
  • It is lightweight.
  • It is stable.
  • Comfortable features.
  • The boat has two handles: one on the bow and one on the stern.
  • Each seat has two bottle holders, a table, and compartments.
  • There's plenty of space for a weekend on the water.
  • There's enough weight capacity for two people.
Cons
  • Quite expensive
  • There is no rudder system and no way to add one.

Lifetime (Manta) 10' Two Person Kayak: Cheapest Tandem Kayak

Quick Specs:

  • Weight capacity: 500 pounds.
  • Kayak Weight: 60 pounds.
  • Kayak Measurements: 120 x 36 x 19 inches.

Lifetime 10 ft Manta Tandem Kayak

If you are looking for the best cheap 2-man kayak, you should look no further than the Lifetime Tandem Kayak. In addition to the Lifetime Manta Kayak, it is also available in both yellow and green colors to meet the tastes of different people. Rotomolded low-density polyethylene is UV-resistant and Rotomolded as far as construction is concerned. Essentially, this means that the vessel is made from a continuous sheet of lightweight plastic with a cover to protect it from the sun's UV rays.

Lifetime Tandem Kayaks have a tunnel hull, also known as a pontoon hull. They're stable and significant for flat water and fishing. To topple it, you have to try pretty much. This vessel is not suitable for use in whitewater. The Manta is a sit-on-top kayak, which refers to the seats raised off the watercraft floor. It's ideal for fishing with minimal gear, whether you have one or two riders. This Lifetime Tandem Kayak is a great option if you're a recreational kayaker who wants to spend as little money as possible.

If you're an extreme kayaker, we recommend something like the Boreal Design Esperanto PE Rudder Tandem Sea Kayak pictured below. 

Pros
  • Included are two double-sided paddles.
  • There are two spongy backrests.
  • There is "tip-proof" stability.
  • The bow and stern have handles for easy transportation.
  • Dogs can ride along in comfort when there is a kayak seat for dog.
  • Warranty for five years.
Cons
  • The track is not straight.
  • It is too heavy, short, and comprehensive for advanced yakkers.
  • Trekkers find it too slow.

Sea Kayak For 2: Boreal Design Esperanto PE Rudder Tandem

Quick Specs:

  • Weight capacity: 260 pounds.
  • Kayak Weight: 97 pounds.
  • Kayak Measurements: 19.5 feet x 28.5 inches x 13.5 inches.

esperanto with the girls up front

Boreal Design's Esperanto PE Rudder Tandem Sea Kayak is a great kayak for a couple wanting to paddle together on the ocean. This 2-man sit-in vessel has the perfect length for cutting through the sea with ease. Furthermore, you can quickly turn in the ocean waves with the included rudder and rocker. Its front bungee, back bungee, and middle compartment provide storage space for you and your partner. A bulkhead or child seat can be attached to the middle. Take your camping gear for a weekend trip. There is so much room.

In addition to increased flotation power, you will also benefit from a dividing barrier bulkhead. Moreover, you are less likely to capsize if water invades your kayak! In addition, the two cockpit seats are far enough apart so that two people will not bump into paddles. The front hull is made of polyurethane and plastic, and it offers excellent tracking, animation, and stability. For ocean recreation and touring, we recommend using Esperanto.

It is perfect for beginners to learn and gain experience. Many happy users have described this tandem as bombproof and forgiving for novice kayakers because it is very stable and maneuverable".Most sea kayaks are long and prone to damage during shipping, which is also true for the Boreal. If you don't live near a specialty store, ordering online is still good. 

Pros
  • Long-distance kayak with excellent speed.
  • Reliable and maneuverable.
  • A child seat or bulkhead can be added.
  • Great for two people with different abilities.
  • Large storage compartment for days at sea.
Cons
  • It is heavy for weaker individuals.
  • Costly.
  • There is a low weight limit for two adults plus gear, a child, or a pet.
  • It can break during shipping because of its length.

Takeaways From Tandem Kayaking

You can find a kayak to suit your needs and budget in our list of two-person kayaks. Despite their similarities, each kayak is unique for its reasons. There are several factors to consider when choosing the best tandem kayak, and we have put together a list of 7 things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have enough storage space. What storage space does the vessel provide? Choose a double kayak with plenty of room if you plan to go fishing, camping, deep-sea diving, or on a multi-day expedition. 
  • Add up the weight of adults, children, pets, and gear. Check the weight capacity of the craft. I wouldn't ignore this. You shouldn't give up what you enjoy for a lower price if you have an outdoor sporting desire.
  • The seats and footrest should be comfortable. Will you be riding your tandem for more than half a day? If so, you'll need back support, padding, and footrests that are height-adjustable for you and your partner. 
  • It is essential to understand the hull shape. V hulls, tri-hulls, and pontoon hulls are some of the different front designs.
  • The budget is essential. Kayaks for two can cost less, the same, or more than boats for two people. Decide whether you want the freedom and companionship of being solo or tandem.
  • Your child might benefit from a kid's kayak if older or experienced. Although two people are good for learning, children tend to want their independence as soon as possible. You may save money by purchasing a solo watercraft in the long run.
  • Think about how you will transport your more oversized, heavier tandem to and from your vehicle and the water. You might need a cart and two people. Solo kayakers can use an adjustable kayak rack when they have a truck.

One of the most enjoyable summer activities is sailing on a tandem kayak. With our article, we hope you feel confident buying the best 2-person kayak for you and your partner! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Fast Are Tandem Kayaks?

A kayak paddled by two people would be faster than one floated by one. However, this only applies when you swim alone, and two people's weight will slow your speed.

Is It Possible To Use A Tandem Kayak Alone?

You can use a two-person kayak solo or with a pet, child, or other non-growing entity. It is also possible to convert a two-person kayak to a solo kayak, but it may be harder to paddle alone. You should place a child or pet in the front or center if you like to go out with them. But why? It is the back that drives and steers.

What Are The Steps To Paddling A Tandem Kayak?

Paddling a double kayak requires three essential skills: Paddle simultaneously. Put the strongest paddler at the back so he can steer. Paddle forward while paddling backward to turn.

Tandem kayaks Are They Safe?

As long as the kayaks are used in the recommended type of water, tandem kayaks are incredibly safe. They are usually broader and more stable than solo varieties when appropriately used. Make sure to wear a personal flotation device PFD at all times.

Why Are Tandem Kayaks Called Divorce Boats?

When you and your partner aren't on the same page, it can create arguments between you two. Try a 2-person kayak to test your communication and teamwork skills!