Tandem Inflatable Kayaks
Double the fun with two-person inflatable kayaks, which only reaffirm what we've known all along:
Traditional hard-shell tandems can be cumbersome, longer than usual, and tricky to maneuver. So, it's a no-brainer to opt for the best 2-person inflatable kayak as your go-to choice.
Now, let's dive in and find the perfect one for you and your paddling partner today!
Getting yourself an inflatable kayak might be your best decision – especially if you value portability and storage-friendly design.
Modern inflatable models are pretty much as durable as "traditional kayaks" but can be folded up and transported more efficiently, which is something that can't be said about hard shells.
Inflatable tandems can carry more weight on average and be incredibly spacious and stable, but they'll still weigh less than a single-person hard-shell kayak. How about that?
I have you covered if you're considering getting an inflatable two-person kayak. Let's discuss a few crucial factors you should consider in the process.
While many factors should be considered here, I always recommend starting with the basics – where and how you plan to use your kayak:
There are many types of kayaks – but inflatables are the only ones titled "space savers."
Surprisingly, even tandem inflatable kayaks are lightweight and more accessible to transport and store. So, no matter what, inflatable kayaks will spare you from back pain in the long run.
Most 'yaks I've tested weigh between 30 to 40 pounds – but there are always some extremes. So, you should still check the kayak's dimensions and weight – unless you are a regular at the gym and deadlifts are your favorite thing in the world.
So what about the actual size?
Well, once you inflate the kayak, the same rules that go for hard shells start to apply here, too:
Tandems can range from 12 to 15 feet long and a few feet wide. But you need to figure out how much room you and your paddling partner will need, how much gear you plan on bringing – and whether the kayak can accommodate all that.
Checking the kayak's packed (deflated) size also doesn't hurt. Better safe than sorry, right?
The following important factor you must consider is the kayak's weight capacity. We're talking about this two-person 'yaks here, and when you add gear into the mix, you get a pretty high number on the scale.
The good news is that, on average, inflatable kayaks have much higher weight capacities than their hard-shell counterparts.
These numbers vary; however, for the best inflatable kayaks for two people, you're typically looking at a weight limit of at least 400 pounds – and up to 900 or more in some models.
Even a 400-pound capacity sounds excellent, but two people and their gear eat up that weight in no time – and you want to have some room left. You don't want to sit on the edge of the kayak's capacity range when you hit the water, or you'll feel it performance-wise.
Most inflatable kayak manufacturers will give you virtually the same promise:
You can pack up the kayak in a backpack and carry it around – and when it's not in use, you can store it under your bed or in the closet. You'll hardly notice it's there!
And while that's generally true – especially compared to hard-shell kayaks – not all inflatables are made the same. So, be sure to consider the following:
I could go on and on about the convenience of inflatable kayaks when it comes to storage and transportation, but you still have to inflate the thing – which can be annoying.
I guess the portability and storage-friendly design has a price – and I think that's a fair trade-off here. It isn't that big of a deal – but it's worth considering how you'll inflate the 'yak and how long it'll take you to do so.
Now, you're probably wondering:
Can I use an electric pump – or am I stuck with the manual?
Many kayaks come with a simple, manual pump – which usually works fine. However, a manual pump might not be the most suitable solution for kayaks with a higher PSI – anything over 8 PSI. Well, not unless you want to return with arms like Popeye from your trip.
That's where you might need to upgrade to an electric pump.
As for how long it generally takes – well, that can vary from one model to the next. But you're looking at 10 to 15 minutes on average.
That said, high-end inflatable kayaks typically have a higher PSI, which is a definite advantage on the water – but it also means they often take longer to set up.
Lastly, I want to discuss the durability of inflatable kayaks – and their construction in general.
While some may still imagine a sort of boat-shaped balloon when they think of inflatable kayaks, the reality is that they're incredibly well built – especially with the numerous advancements made in materials and technologies.
Modern inflatable kayaks often use PVC or Hypalon materials, known for their durability and resistance to punctures, abrasions, and UV damage. Also, the construction methods, such as drop-stitch technology, have significantly improved the overall structural integrity of the kayaks.
Here are a few things you should pay attention to regarding the kayak's construction and durability:
By considering all these factors and doing thorough research, you'll be able to find the perfect inflatable two-person kayak that meets your needs, preferences, and budget. Happy paddling!
Modern inflatable tandem kayaks are made with high-quality materials like PVC and Hypalon, making them very durable and resistant to punctures, abrasions, and UV damage. With proper care and maintenance, an inflatable tandem kayak can last for many years.
Yes, inflatable tandem kayaks are generally quite stable on the water due to their wide design and multiple air chambers. Many models also use drop-stitch technology, which allows for high-pressure inflation, resulting in a more rigid and stable kayak.
Inflating a tandem inflatable kayak typically takes 10 to 15 minutes using a manual pump. If you opt for an electric pump, the inflation time may be shorter. Deflating the kayak usually takes about the same amount of time or less, depending on the model and valve system.
Yes, many inflatable tandem kayaks are suitable for taking a dog along for the ride. When choosing a kayak for this purpose, make sure it's made from durable materials that can handle your dog's claws and teeth. Also, ensure the kayak is wide, stable, and has a high enough load capacity to accommodate both you, your paddling partner, and your furry friend.
The weight capacity of an inflatable tandem kayak varies depending on the model, but most can support at least 400 pounds. Some higher-end models may have weight capacities of up to 900 pounds or more. Be sure to consider the combined weight of you, your paddling partner, and any gear you plan on bringing when selecting a kayak.
After cleaning and completely deflating your inflatable tandem kayak, fold it up and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid placing heavy objects on top of the kayak to prevent creasing or damaging the material. Proper storage will help extend the lifespan of your inflatable kayak.