Is there anything better than hitting the lakes with a buddy and spending some quality time in the great outdoors, nothing but great conversation and great fishing for days. A tandem isn’t strictly required, but set out in separate boats, and you might as well have come alone.
To make matters worse, fishing in separate but closely situated kayaks means your fish flashers will interfere with one another rendering them useless, and then you’re fishing blind and risk coming home empty-handed.
But we’re not going to let that happen, friend! We’ve done the research and found five of the best two-person fishing kayaks on the market. Go halves on one of these beauties, a crate of cold ones, and some quality bait, and get ready for good times with good friends.
OUR TOP PICK
Imagine you and your fishing pal settling into these adjustable, padded, aluminum frame seats and paddling out for some quality time on the water.
Loaded with front and rear molded foot holds, the TK19 is as much about comfort as it is about excellent angling.
The risk of taking two people out in a small kayak is stability, which is key for fishing, but thanks to the 34-inch beam and unique chines, this BKC kayak allows both anglers to stand and fight their own respective big bite battles simultaneously.
Crafted from roto-molded single-piece polyethylene, the 2K219 may be sleek, but it’s built like a tank and capable of supporting just shy of 600lbs - very impressive for a hardshell!
There’s only one external bungee cord storage zone in the rear, but valuables are kept out of harm’s way in dual, water-tight compartments, so you can let your worries drift away and enjoy the trip.
Hook up multiple lines to any of the four flush mounted or two articulated rod holders and the fish might as well be jumping directly into the TK219.
- Comfort - Strong, comfortable chairs and foot holds.
- Weight Capacity - Rivals some of the best inflatables.
- Visibility - Bright blue keeps you in view.
- Rod Accessories - 6 rod holders for ultimate productivity.
- Broad Beam - Stable enough for two to stand.
- Storage - Not so much storage for a tandem.
As an inflatable kayak, there are a few innate benefits to this Elkton tandem design. It only weighs 44lbs, it can support a mammoth 600lbs, it’s easy to pack, and on a price per feature ratio, it’s a hell of a good deal.
The rigid drop stitch floor provides an excellent platform to really get stuck in when you’ve got a possible catch on the line, and thanks to the 39-inch, flat hull, stability in calm waters is a given. Feel free to stand up and switch it up a bit with some sight casting.
Featuring seven hard mounting points, you can drop multiple lines, set up a fish flasher, or rest your oars, any of which will improve your catch rate, especially as you can stay out for longer by filling the ample bow and stern storage with extra supplies.
Capable of traversing anything from calm shallows to class III rapids, the Steelhead is for those with both adventure and serenity in their hearts.
- Inflatable - Lightweight, great weight capacity, and easy to transport.
- Durability - Fish the lake, then hit the rapids in the same kayak.
- Numerous Mounting Points - Easy fishing and boosted catch rates.
- Rigid Floor and Stable Hull - No capsizing for you.
- Poor Manual - The instructions for use could be clearer.
If you’re looking for a tandem boat that’s also suitable for solo fishing expeditions, we highly recommend this Lifetime kayak.
It’s only 10 feet long with an augmented, wide pontoon hull, which is the perfect combination for a stable fishing vessel. Hell, you can even sit on one side and dip your toes in the water without capsizing it.
It comes with three rod holders, so you and a buddy can increase your catch rate by 50%, and if you're on your own, by 300%. With bases made of molded plastic, the seating is a little lackluster, but they do come with padded back supports to keep you feeling fresh on the water.
Crafted from high-density polyethylene, you don’t need to worry about hidden obstacles in the substrate of shallows. It simply shrugs them off without breaking a sweat.
Tracking couldn’t be better for a 10 footer, making it good for both still and flowing waters, and the 500lbs weight capacity ensures you and your partner in crime stay dry.
- Multi Use - Suitable to use as tandem or single.
- Tracking - Tracking ability makes it suitable for flowing water.
- Durability - This thing is a brute.
- Stability - The unique pontoon hull is incredibly secure.
- Seating - Bring a cushion, folks.
- Speed - 10 footers tend to be slower.
As one of the most popular options on the tandem market at the minute, it would be fool-hearted not to consider the Excursion.
It’s an inflatable design weighing less than 40lbs - a doddle for two to carry, the I-Beam flooring is both comfortable and supportive, ideal for sight casting, and it can hold up to 400lbs.
Using a polyester core and high-density PVC layering, Intex has managed to create something, dare we say...unsinkable. Even if you do run a puncture in one area, the multiple air chambers keep you afloat until you make it to the bank and do some maintenance with the included repair kit.
The Excursion is also one of the comfiest kayaks on our list. The inflatable seats are supportive and fully adjustable, as are the footrests - a premium appointment at a budget price point.
It comes with two integrated rod holders, but features an extra adjustable mounting bracket, so you can hook up a fish finder or GPS and take your dishing adventure to the next level.
What’s more, oars and a pump are included in the purchase. Perfect!
- Inflatable - Lightweight, great weight capacity, and easy to transport.
- Comfort - Both chairs and footrests are adjustable.
- Price - Epic value for money.
- Mounting - Primed for some hands-free fishing.
- Storage - Pack space in both bow and stern.
- Weight Capacity - Not as impressive as our other picks.
Getting two anglers out on the water in the same kayak can be an expensive goal, but the very reasonably priced Coleman Colorado ensures that you can give it a go on a budget.
For roughly a third of the price of our top pick, you get an 18-gauge PVC inflatable kayak reinforced with a 1000D tarpaulin base rugged enough to reach even the most out-there fishing hotspots.
It’s multi-chambered to prevent sinking in the event of a puncture, and the airtight valves ensure there isn’t any gradual deflation as you kick back with a buddy and enjoy a dawn ‘till dusk stint on the water.
Featuring two articulated rod holders and two paddle mounts, you can both help yourselves to a snack or two in the easy-to-reach mesh pockets while you wait for a bite. It even comes with a trolling motor mount should you need extra propulsion.
Unfortunately, besides the pockets, there is no dedicated bow or stern storage, so you’ll have to just rest you pack on the floor, but you can hook it up to the lateral D-rings to ensure nothing is ever loose.
- Price - You can snag this boat for a song.
- Comfort - Lovely back supports.
- Inflatable - Lightweight, and easy to transport.
- Mounts - Go hands-free and enjoy your time on the water while waiting for a bite.
- Tracking - It takes some effort to sail dead-straight.
- Storage - No dedicated bungee or compartment storage.
Best 2 Person Fishing Kayak Buying Guide
We know you guys are probably itching to get out on the water, but even if you think you know which of our listed kayaks is the one, it’s important you consider these essentials first.
The great thing about a tandem kayak is that you can split the costs and splurge on something awesome, but you should know that these things can cost a pretty penny.
You can expect to be paying out roughly $170 each for a bare-bones design and upward of $700 each for an all singing, all dancing fishing masterpiece.
Inflatable Kayak vs Hardshell Kayak
Kayaks fall into two categories: inflatable and hardshell. Inflatable kayaks have found popularity over the last decade or so because they’re…
- Easy to manage and transport
- Normally able to carry more weight
However, cons include…
- Diminished durability
- More off the water maintenance
- Inflation and deflation times
Hardshell kayaks are often considered the premium option of the two kinds. Benefits include…
- Ultimate durability
- More storage and accessories
- Pedal propulsion (sometimes)
- Greater stability
But there are also a few downsides to consider as they’re...
- Require a roof rack to transport
Weight Bearing Capacity
Once you’ve settled on a type of kayak, you should consider how much it can safely hold in the water.
All you need to do is calculate the sum of the intended onboard weight including you, your fishing partner, your gear, your supplies, and of course, the fish you intend to catch, and pick a kayak with a capacity that exceeds it.
Putting too much strain on the kayak by ignoring capacity guidelines can be dangerous, so it’s not to be taken lightly.
Sure, there’ll be two of you lugging this kayak around, but ideally, you don’t want to throw your backs out before your trip has even begun.
This is why a lighter 2 person kayak is preferable.
Every little design aspect of the kayak has a bearing on its performance in the water.
Longer kayaks are faster and have better tracking, but aren’t as stable or easy to maneuver. Shorter, wider kayaks offer tons of stability at the expense of speed.
The shape of the hull defines what activities a kayak is suitable for. There are four main types, but for fishing, you only need to consider two of them, and these are flat hulls and pontoon hulls.
Flat hulls offer the stability required for fishing, without sacrificing too much maneuverability. Pontoon hulls, a concave shaping, offer ultimate stability at the expense of some maneuverability.
Chines are the sections that connect the side of the kayak to the hull, and there are two types: soft and hard. Soft chines are rounded and offer fantastic secondary stability.
Hard chines are more angular and offer enhanced initial stability. What does that mean? Let’s discuss it briefly.
Initial vs Secondary Stability
Simply put, initial or primary stability is how well a kayak handles the movements and weight of those on board, whereas secondary stability is how well a kayak handles the motion of water.
Therefore, hard chines are best for calm waters, and soft, for turbulent waters. Ideally, you need a mix of these two abilities, but you should lean more into one style depending on the body of water you intend to fish in.
Out on the water, safety is paramount. You need to be visible to others at all times. The best way to achieve this is to choose a bright-colored kayak, or failing that, slap on some reflective strips.
At the same time, the color must not spook the fish, so a striking yet natural color is preferable.
Two anglers means twice as much gear, so storage space is a must.
Water-tight compartments are essential if you plan on bringing valuables with you, otherwise, bungee cord storage and D-rings will do fine.
Can You Fish From a Tandem Kayak?
Yes, you absolutely can fish from a tandem kayak. It can be harder to control as it’s bound to be slightly off balance, but as long as you both know what you’re doing, there should be no problems at all.
You can actually use each other's weight strategically for leverage, so you can get closer to the edge and reel in larger fish.
Can 1 Person Use a 2 Person Kayak?
Most of the time 1 person can use a 2 person kayak. You may even find the extra space for gear and stretching out to be pretty swell.
The only issue is that you alone are responsible for lugging that thing into and from the water, so make sure it’s not too heavy for you before hitting the road.
Which is Better Single or Double Kayak?
They’re both great! It really doesn’t matter. If there are two of you, get a double. If you only ever fish alone. Get a single.
Where Should the Heaviest Person Sit in the Kayak?
Ideally, weight should be spread evenly across the length of the boat, but if one of you is significantly heavier than the other, it’s best you sit in the rear.
You can then rearrange your packs to try and balance things out a bit.
Are Tandem Kayaks More Stable?
While tandem kayaks are technically more stable due to the extra width, as they accommodate two kayakers, the stability is offset by imbalance and extra weight.
Therefore, a single-person kayak with a similar design is likely to be just as stable as the tandem kayak in the water.
Where Should the Stronger Paddler Sit in the Kayak?
In a tandem kayak, propulsion is generated from the front while steering is controlled from the stern.
As the directional pull-to or draw stroke takes more effort and ability, it’s best for the strongest paddler to sit in the back of the kayak.
What Happens if You Go Over the Weight Limit on a Kayak?
Exceeding the weight capacity of a kayak will push it further into the water and decrease stability, greatly increasing the chances of capsizing.
If you plan on doing this, don’t forget your water wings.
How Much Weight Can a Two Person Kayak Hold?
The weight-bearing capacity of kayaks varies from design to design, but a tandem kayak can usually hold upward of 400lbs.
Some can support more than 600lbs safely.
Are Inflatable Kayaks Good for Fishing?
Inflatable kayaks are amazing fishing vessels.
One of the most versatile compact boats, they can help you master a calm river, dominate ocean bays, and tame ferocious rivers.
We hope you’ve packed your bags, because with one of these kayaks, you two are in for the adventure of a lifetime. Now you don’t have to worry about conflicting flasher signals or having to shout across the lake to communicate and spooking all the fish.
You can share your gear, your stories, a couple of cold ones, and help each other reel in some prize catches.