The Best Three-Person Kayaks 

Person Kayaks

Person Kayaks

Abigail Scott

Abigail Scott
Mother, Professional Kayaker, and Software Engineer

Updated on 12/6/2022

For boaters who like to take to the water alone or with a companion in tow, solo and tandem kayaks are two great alternatives. On the other hand, if you want to go on a paddling excursion with more than one friend or even your children, a kayak with space for three people can be exactly what you need.

In contrast to their one-person and two-person counterparts, the issue is that three-person kayaks are not as readily accessible as their smaller-sized brethren.

We are, thankfully, here to offer assistance. In this piece, we will go through our picks for the top three-person kayaks currently available on the market, and we will also provide a brief guide on purchasing a kayak to get you started. Therefore, further ado, without further ado, here are the best hardshell and inflatable three-person kayaks for you to think about purchasing for your next water-based trip.

Quick Summary

Our top recommendations if you're pressed for time. You may also continue scrolling to browse our whole list and detailed evaluations.

  • Overall Best: Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack

"When performance and adaptability on the water are your primary considerations, it's difficult to imagine a better three-person kayak than the Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack," says Sea Eagle. “It's hard to imagine a better three-person kayak.”

  • The Best Value Is TAHE Beach LP3

The TAHE Beach LP3 is a high-performing and economical three-person kayak that can withstand a wide range of paddling experiences. It is our pick for the best value.

  • Best Budget: Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

The Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is an affordable option for families looking for a boat that is both exciting and comfortable for paddling excursions together as a group.

  • Sea Eagle 420x Explorer is the ideal boat for whitewater.

The Sea Eagle 420x Explorer is a three-person kayak designed specifically with river runners in mind. This kayak is as at home handling rapids as it lazes lazily on the surface of your neighborhood lake.

  • Hardshell Sit-On-Top For 2 Adults + 1 Child: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL is a sit-on-top hardshell kayak designed specifically for families. This kayak makes it incredibly simple to go on adventures with your children.

  • Old Town Dirigo 155: The Best Sit-Inside Hardshell Kayak For Two Adults And One Child

 "One of the most versatile sit-in kayaks on the market, the Old Town Dirigo 155 is an ideal choice for families with small children that want to make the most of their time on the water," says Old Town. "This kayak can accommodate two adults and one child."

Our buying guide, which appears at the bottom of the list, includes all the information you'll require to choose the most suitable three-person kayak for your travels.

The  Ses Eagle 465FT Fasttrack Is The Best In General.

 Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack

Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack

Dimensions: Length: 15 feet, three inches; Width: 36 inches; Weight: 44 pounds; Capacity: 795 pounds

The Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack is a highly flexible three-person kayak that is a delight to have on the water. It was crafted expressly with the idea that it would appeal to paddlers who enjoy a sense of adventure.

Because it can support up to 795 pounds of weight, this boat was designed by Sea Eagle to provide ample space for one to three adult paddlers together with all of their gear. Its length of 15 feet and three inches also provides excellent natural tracking abilities. While its 36-inch width, patented NeedleKnife keel, and generally flat hull give the boat excellent primary stability on calm waters, its secondary strength is not quite as good.

The 465ft FastTrack is constructed out of a resilient 1000 denier reinforced PVC fabric with double overlapping seams for additional sturdiness while you paddle, another feature that impresses us. This boat is equipped with a detachable high-pressure drop stitch floor, which may improve the vessel's stability on the water and allow it to be utilized in whitewater conditions up to class II.

A surprisingly large amount of storage space for gear is included with purchasing a 465ft FastTrack. Additionally, it comes with twenty D-rings built into the design, allowing you to safely secure your bag as you cruise about the nearby lake. Additionally, the entire boat can be packed down to an astonishingly tiny size, and it only weighs 36 pounds, making it very simple to move both to and from the water.

The high price point of the Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack is the major shortcoming of this boat in terms of advantages and cons. If, on the other hand, high performance and adaptability are at the top of your wish list, you should consider purchasing this boat seriously.

Pros

  • Very stable keel and hull design
  • The outstanding weight-bearing capability of 795 pounds
  • Made from cloth with a very high durability rating of 1000D
  • Provides ample storage space.
  • Lightweight and can be compressed into a tiny space.

Cons

  • Costs might go relatively high.

Best Value: The Beach LP3

BEST VALUE: TAHE BEACH LP3

BEST VALUE: TAHE BEACH LP3

Dimensions: Length: 12 feet, six inches; Width: 40 inches; Weight: 32 pounds; Capacity: 507 pounds

The TAHE Beach LP3 could be the boat of your dreams if you're searching for a three-person kayak that provides an exceptional balance of performance and value. If this is what you're looking for, keep reading.

THE created a kayak called the Beach LP3 with an inside that is noticeably roomier than usual. It has three detachable seats that may be adjusted in height and give a sufficient amount of lumbar support. In addition, the hull is vast, resulting in more legroom in the cockpit and good stability as the boat moves through the water.

Once inflated, this kayak features carry handles located at both the bow and stern of the vessel. It also includes a built-in drain stop to help keep the cockpit as dry as possible while you paddle and one set of stern deck bungees for additional storage space for your stuff while you are out on the lake. In addition, the tracking capability of the TAHE Beach LP3 may be increased thanks to its three detachable fins.

Even better, the TAHE Beach LP3 boasts an easy-to-inflate system that cuts the amount of time it takes to set up to just three minutes, and it has three distinct air chambers for additional safety. In addition to its compact size when packed into the supplied carry bag resembling a backpack, this kayak has a light weight of only 32 pounds.

Because this kayak has a weight capacity of just 507 lbs, it is recommended that it be used by no more than two people and one child rather than three adults. In addition, it is not recommended to use the TAHE Beach LP3 in particularly turbulent seas. On the other hand, this kayak is a fantastic buy for the money if you want to take your family on a short trip to a calm lake or river.

Tahe Inflatable Kayak – Beach LP3 Package

Tahe Inflatable Kayak – Beach LP3 Package

Pros

  • It contains three chairs that are detachable and adjustable.
  • Typically takes around 5 minutes to inflate fully.
  • Extensive and secure construction.
  • It converts into a carry case like a backpack included in the package.
  • It has three fins that are removable to increase its tracking performance.

Cons

  • This boat is not designed to bear the load of three people.
  • Not the best option for usage in choppy waters

Best Budget: Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak.

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak.

Dimensions: Length: 12 feet, three inches; Width: 37 inches; Weight: 35 pounds; Capacity: 490 pounds

Do you need a kayak that can fit three people, is affordable, and is enjoyable to paddle? The Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak is the one to choose.

This boat, which prioritizes affordability, is constructed using a heavy-duty PVC fabric and a tarpaulin bottom, which provide excellent durability and puncture resistance when you are out on the lake. In addition, it features several air chambers, which provide an additional layer of protection when used in rough environments.

In addition, the Sevylor Big Basin has three seats that are completely adjustable for increased convenience and comfort. It can be paddled as either a tandem kayak or a solo kayak due to the detachable chairs. The kayak comes equipped with a pair of user-friendly carry handles, making it as easy as possible to move the vessel to and from the put-in location.

The compact packed size and manageable weight of 35 pounds are a couple of the other significant advantages of the Sevylor Big Basin. The shape of this boat's hull, which is wide and flat, contributes to the vessel's exceptionally sturdy construction.

Although it is advertised as a three-person kayak, this particular vessel has a limited weight capacity, so it probably won't be able to hold three individuals. However, it is an excellent choice for two adults and one child. In addition, because of its limited length, it might be challenging to follow it across extensive distances. If, on the other hand, cost-effectiveness is of the utmost importance to you, it will be challenging to locate a kayak that is superior to the Sevylor Big Basin.

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak , Blue
Summary
Easy to inflate8.4
Easy to inflate
Comfort7.4
Comfort
Support7.4
Support

Pros

  • A hull with a wide, flat bottom is remarkably stable.
  • Each of the three chairs may be adjusted to any position and removed entirely.
  • Lightweight and can be compressed into a tiny space.
  • It can accommodate one, two, or three kayakers at a time.
  • Affordable pricing point

Cons

  • Due to its low weight capacity, it is typically unable to accommodate three persons.
  • Tracking is made more difficult by shorter lengths.

Best For Whitewater: Ses Eagle 420X Explorer

About the 420x Explorer Inflatable Kayak

About the 420x Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Dimensions: Length: 14 feet; Width: 39 inches; Weight: 44 pounds; Capacity: 855 pounds

The Sea Eagle 420x Explorer is an inflatable kayak that can accommodate up to three people and is ready to take on whatever challenge you provide, whether you choose to paddle over placid lakes or charge down whitewater rapids. It can do it all.

The Sea Eagle 420x Explorer is a kayak with a length of 14 feet that is constructed from tough 1000 denier reinforced PVC and has bonded quadruple overlapping seams for increased durability. In addition, it has wide outer tubes and a high-pressure drop stitch floor that is detachable, all of which work together to provide you the stability you want when paddling down rough rivers.

The Sea Eagle 420x Explorer certainly does not disappoint with its overall performance capabilities. It includes 16 super-fast self-bailing drain valves to keep your cockpit dry and a removable skeg that improves tracking on longer paddling sessions. The skeg is also included to help keep the cockpit dry. It is also certified for usage on whitewater of up to Class IV, making it a perfect boat for those who enjoy spending time on rivers.

In addition, the maximum weight capacity of this kayak is an astounding 855 lbs., which means that it can comfortably handle three paddlers of adult size. Additionally, it has a large amount of storage space for your gear and 26 D-rings that you can use to secure your bag while you are out on the lake.

However, the Sea Eagle 420x Explorer is on the heavier side of inflatable kayaks, and there isn't much room for the legs in a boat with three people. Nevertheless, despite these drawbacks, this three-person kayak is still among the best available on the market today and is highly recommended for everyone interested in whitewater paddling.

About the 420x Explorer

About the 420x Explorer

Pros

  • Whitewater usage up to and including Class IV is permitted.
  • Superb 855 lb weight limit
  • It contains 16 self-bailing drain valves to assist in keeping you dry.
  • Stability is ensured by the use of large tubes and a drop-stitched floor.
  • Included in the package are 26 D-rings for securing various items.

Cons

  • For an inflatable kayak, this is on the heavier side.
  • If three adults are in the boat, there is not a lot of place for their legs.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Is The Best Sit-On-Top Hardshell For Three People Consisting Of Two Adults And One Child.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak

Dimensions: Length: 4 feet and four inches; Width: 34 inches; Weight: 68 pounds; Capacity: 500 pounds

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL is an essential piece of equipment for any family that enjoys spending time together on the water since it is a spacious boat that offers plenty of room for two adults and a novice paddler.

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL is built with a single resilient layer of polyethylene, ensuring that it can survive years of use while enjoying the outdoors. It also has a respectable weight capacity of 500 pounds, making it ideal for carrying three people (two adults and a kid) and all of the equipment you will require for your journey.

This kayak's exceptional tracking ability over longer distances is made partly by its deep keel and adequate rocker, both of which contribute to its excellent maneuverability on the water. In addition, the Malibu Two XL's hull is vast and flat, which means that it provides a sufficient amount of stability for sailing around the lakes and streams in your area.

A set of molded-in footwells, which will offer you more control over the boat while you paddle, is another feature that wins points with us. It also comes with two adjustable and comfy seats for the adults and a third, smaller seat in the middle that can accommodate a novice paddler. This kayak comes equipped with some bungee deck rigging as a bonus, which will assist you in securing the stuff that is most important to you.

However, we can't ignore that the center seat on this boat isn't exceptionally comfy. Because of this, you'll need to bring a cushion pad or a blanket for your youngster to rest on if you want them to be able to sit there for the entire trip. Additionally, the scupper hole stoppers required to prevent water from entering the cockpit are not included with the purchase of this boat and must be purchased individually.

However, if you can work around these limitations, the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL is an excellent three-person kayak for enjoying the warm weather with your family.

Pros

  • A rockered hull promotes maneuverability.
  • The architecture is quite sturdy, and the deck is relatively spacious.
  • Integrated footwells that provide more control while you paddle.
  • Included in the purchase are two chairs that are movable, comfortable, and adjustable for adults.
  • Constructed with tough polyethylene to ensure long-term use

Cons

  • The center seat might be more comfortable.
  • The scupper plugs are available for purchase separately.

Old Town Dirigo 155 Is The Best Sit-Inside Hardshell For 3 People ( 2 Adults And 1 Child ).

Old Town Dirigo 155

Old Town Dirigo 155

Dimensions: Length: 15 feet 4 inches; Width: 29.5 inches; Weight: 72 pounds; Capacity: 475 pounds

The Old Town Dirigo 155 is a sit-in kayak unlike anything else you'll find on the market. It was designed for families that enjoy adventure but aren't willing to sacrifice on performance, and it is unlike anything else you'll find on the market.

In contrast to most sit-in kayaks, which have cockpits on the smaller side, the Dirigo 155 takes a conventional kayak layout and turns it on its head. This boat features two extremely spacious cockpits, one large enough to comfortably accommodate an adult and a young kid in a jump seat that detaches from the cockpit. Due to this, it is one of the very few sit-in boats that are truly capable of catering to the needs of an adventurous family.

The sturdy three-layer polyethylene Stabil-form hull that the Dirigo 155 has is another of its many revolutionary design elements. This hull provides outstanding stability when the boat is moving through the water. In addition, it comes with an optional rudder system that may be attached if you want better tracking for longer excursions.

In addition, this vessel has built-in paddle holders and dual glide track foot braces, all of which are essential characteristics. In addition to that, it has two dry hatches as well as deck bungees so that you can store your goods efficiently. This kayak features both adjustable seats and cup holders, making it easy to keep yourself hydrated even when you're paddling around in the great outdoors.

Despite this, there is no perfect kayak, and the Old Town Dirigo 155 is not an exception to this rule. Because of its weight and high price, this kayak is not the best option for paddlers of all skill levels. However, if you are looking for a sit-in kayak that can accommodate a growing family, the Dirigo 155 is one of the best options available.

Pros

  • The cockpits are roomy enough for two people and a youngster to sit comfortably.
  • Includes a child-sized seat that is removable.
  • Several storage compartments are included, as well as two dry hatches.
  • The Stabil-form hull ensures the vessel's steadiness on the water.
  • There is the option to install a rudder, which will increase tracking.

Cons

  • Heavy, even for a hardshell kayak
  • Costly for a kayak intended for recreational use

3-Person Kayak Buying Guide

Having an understanding of what to look for when purchasing a three-person kayak is the first step in finding the model that best suits your requirements. As you get started on the process of making a purchase, here are some important aspects and characteristics to keep in mind.

Intended Use Requirements And Requirements For Versatility

When shopping for a three-person kayak, you should first have an open and honest conversation with yourself and the other people who will be paddling with you about the purposes for which you want to use your kayak. This is standard procedure for the purchase of any boat.

As a result of the fact that the vast majority of 3-person kayaks are designed with casual and recreational paddling in mind, this stage of the purchasing process is typically not too difficult.

There are, without a doubt, specific whitewater kayaks on the market that are designed to accommodate three paddlers. Before you go out and buy a new kayak, you need to have a broad sense of whether you want to stay on calm water or whether you want to challenge yourself by paddling down rapid-filled rivers.

The number of people on your boat at any given moment is the most crucial factor to consider when buying a kayak that seats three people. You could be wondering, "Why?" You may not always have two paddling companions available when you want to go out on the water, even though three-person boats, as their names imply, have enough room for three people to fit inside.

An investment in a kayak that can seat three people and be paddled in tandem or single-handedly is a wise choice for many individuals. The adaptability of these boats is one of its most significant advantages since it ensures that you will always be able to get out on the water, regardless of how many of your friends are free to accompany you.

The Greatest Allowable Weight

When looking for a new boat, one of the most important technical specifications to pay attention to is the kayak's maximum carrying capacity, measured in pounds.

It may seem counterintuitive (a kayak designed for three people should be able to accommodate three paddlers, right? ), but the fact is that a boat's claimed paddler capacity and its maximum weight do not necessarily correspond with one another. For instance, the maximum weight capacity of specific kayaks designed for three people is around 500 pounds. This would be an excellent weight restriction for either tandem or a solo kayak, as it would allow the participation of the vast majority of adult paddlers.

However, please consider that you should not load a boat to more than 80 percent of its declared weight capacity to achieve optimal performance. A ship with a weight restriction of 500 pounds for three people can only truly support 400 pounds. If you have three adult paddlers, each weighing 150 pounds, the combined weight of all of your paddlers is 450 pounds, which is 50 pounds greater than the recommended weight limit for the boat.

Does this imply that kayak manufacturers are deceiving customers of the number of paddlers their boats can accommodate? A kayak designed for three people with a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds can usually handle two adults and one youngster without difficulty.

If you wish to paddle with three persons in one boat, you'll typically need a kayak with a maximum weight capacity of at least 600–700 lbs. This is especially true if you also want to bring some supplies for your trips in the boat with you as you paddle.

Performance

When searching for a kayak, performance is always an important consideration, and purchasing a three-person kayak is no exception. However, when it comes to three-person kayaks, the majority of which are designed to be used for recreational purposes, paddlers' primary concern is often stability.

Even while it is difficult to determine the stability of a kayak without first taking it out for a test paddle, you can make an educated guess about the strength of a watercraft, even from a distance. These are the following:

  • Hull Width: Assuming that all other factors are the same, a boat's ability to maintain stability on flat water is directly proportional to the width of its hull. Even if your minor child gets up and moves around while you are paddling, a wider boat can lessen the chance of capsizing in controlled circumstances if you plan on taking them with you in a kayak designed for three people.
  • Hull Shape: Most recreational kayaks are constructed with pontoon-style hulls or very flat hulls. This is a good reason: these hull shapes offer higher primary stability while paddling on flat water. Remember that pontoon-style and flat-hulled boats are not very stable in choppy seas, but they are often suitable for leisurely paddling about calm lakes and streams.

Even the most stable hull design is not a foolproof way to ensure that your boat won't capsize while you're out on the water. The individual who is paddling the kayak has as big of an effect on the boat's stability as the kayak's design.

Due to this, if you want to teach your young child how to paddle a kayak and you decide to buy a three-person kayak, you should put the boat through its paces a few times before going on your first trip with your family so you can feel confident about your paddling skills.

Portability

Figuring out how you will carry and store your kayak is one of the more complicated aspects of owning a kayak. The fact that 3-person kayaks are often larger and bulkier than their 1-person and 2-person equivalents raises this issue as a significant worry for owners of 3-person kayaks in particular.

Consider purchasing an inflatable three-person kayak if your home does not have a lot of space for storing gear or if you do not want to deal with the hassle of keeping a large boat. Many of these types weigh less than 40 pounds, and most of them can be packed down to a size suitable for storage in the trunk of a sedan.

You might also consider purchasing a hardshell three-person kayak if you have extra room at your house to store a kayak. This type of kayak is designed to withstand rougher conditions.

Bear in mind that these boats typically weigh more than 60 pounds, so check to see whether you are comfortable carrying anything that is that heavy before purchasing one. Your paddling companions will ideally be able to help you out with moving your kayak and loading it into your car. However, you don't want to wind up with a boat that is so heavy that it is difficult for you to carry to and from the put-in.

Features & Functionality

As a final consideration, you should give some thought to the supplemental features you might like to include in your kayak.

There are numerous characteristics that boat manufacturers include in their products, and it would be impossible for us to list them all here. Some deck bungees and dry hatches for storing gear may benefit many paddlers. Still, if you're a fisherman, you might also want to consider searching for fishing-specific features like rod holders while you buy a kayak.

Regardless of how you choose to paddle, the quality of the standard seats in any three-person kayak should be one of your top priorities when shopping for one of these boats.

Because it might be difficult to fit three people into a single kayak, some manufacturers cut corners on the quality of the seats that they install in their boats to save money. In the event that you spend a great deal of time paddling, you will want to ensure that all the passengers have seats suitable for their needs. This may be acceptable for very short paddling excursions; however, if you intend to spend a significant amount of time in your kayak, you will want to ensure that all the passengers have seats suitable for their needs.

In particular, you will want to search for chairs that either inflate or have ample padding. On the water, fully adjustable chairs can also ensure everyone has the necessary lumbar support.

Aftermarket kayak seats are often more comfortable than the standard seats that come on kayaks. However, this is not always possible. However, it is almost always preferable if you can get the boat you want directly from the manufacturer without spending additional money on extras.

The Verdict

A good three-person kayak may make all the difference when it comes to having fun on the water. When you go shopping for a kayak, there are a lot of different elements that you need to consider before you can select the one that is best suited for you and your paddling companions. After looking at the best kayaks for one, two, and three people currently available, it is abundantly evident that the Sea Eagle 465ft FastTrack is in a class all by itself.

The fact that the 465ft FastTrack can maintain the performance levels that we anticipate from a kayak while preserving its portability, durability, and adaptability is something that impresses us about this model. It is one of the few kayaks that can fit three adult paddlers due to the boat's weight capacity of 795 pounds, which is one of its other outstanding features.

However, the essential factor is that you end up with the most excellent three-person kayak available for your specific paddling requirements. We hope this article helped provide you with further information on the choices available to you while searching for your new kayak so that you can go out on the water as soon as possible.