We know how boring it can be sometimes when you’re out on the water fishing all day on your own, there’s no one to chat to pass the time with or to admire your biggest catch yet with.
Not only is it pretty boring, spending your kayak fishing trips all by yourself, but it can also prove tiring trying to paddle the entire kayak on your own.
Maybe none of your friends have their own kayaks or you’re still yet to meet someone who shares the same passion for fishing on a kayak as you, then you’ve come to terms with the fact that this hobby will always be done solo.
However, this need not be the case anymore as investing in a tandem fishing kayak will allow you to share the experience with another person.
Tandem kayaks are a great bonding activity not only when you’ve positioned yourself out on the water, but it also tests your teamwork ability when trying to navigate the boat around.
There are many tandem kayaks out there that are built to withstand the weight and movement of two people fishing at the same time. So why wouldn’t you want the extra company to pass the time with, feel safer in unfamiliar waters, and also share fishing tips and experiences?
We’ve found the best tandem fishing kayaks for you so you can begin looking forward to fishing as a duo sooner.
OUR TOP PICK
Dimensions: 123 x 36 x 20 inches
Our top pick for the best tandem fishing kayak is the Intex Explorer K2 kayak.
The kayak is comfortable and big enough for two people with adjustable seats and the large cockpit built to store on-board possessions. This Intex Explorer also happens to be our most budget-friendly recommendation.
The K2 kayak is made from heavy-duty puncture-resistant material that will enable passengers to paddle across rough terrain that you may encounter due to windy weather conditions.
The K2 is built to withstand smaller bodies of water including lakes and mild rivers and should not be used for anything stronger or larger.
The kayak also comes with a specialized repair kit that will assist with unexpected damages that can occur when kayaking.
The kayak is colored bright yellow to improve visibility in case of an emergency.
The kayak has a maximum weight capacity of 400lbs, which should be more than enough for two average-sized passengers to sit comfortably on board.
- Bright yellow color - Increases visibility
- Comes with a repair kit - Handy in emergencies
- Heavy-duty puncture-resistant material - Will be able to last you for ages
- Comes with Boston valves - Easy inflation and deflation
- Not suitable for larger bodies of water - Limits use of the kayak
Dimensions: 180 x 32 x 22 inches
If you’re looking for a kayak that can be used for both single and tandem use then this Advanced Elements convertible elite kayak will be for you.
The kayak is made from durable double-coated rip-stop fabric that will prevent any tears from occurring when hitting rocks or rough surfaces. The hull is also built with 3 different materials to increase durability.
As we said, this kayak is convertible and can easily be switched from single to tandem use within seconds.
The drop-stitch flooring makes this Advanced Elements kayak super rigid and stable on the water, making it effortless to stand up when fishing.
Many people comment on the comfort when sitting inside the kayak and also the generous legroom, even when the kayak is converted to a tandem style.
The external layer of the kayak is not completely waterproof and will soak up some water, so it’s recommended to leave it to dry out for hours until you begin to disassemble the kayak for storage.
- Convertible - Can be used for single and tandem use
- Strong materials - extremely durable
- 3-layered hull - Extra strength and stability
- Takes a while to dry after use - Will need to leave time before disassembling
Dimensions: 120 x 35 x 16 inches
This Drifsun Voyager tandem kayak is perfectly suited for beginners and amateur kayak fishers.
The unit inflates to full size within less than five minutes with the included deluxe high flow double action pump, leaving you to spend more time on the water.
The lightweight design is easy to handle and can be carried by only one person if necessary. When deflated the design is easily compacted and fits nicely into the included carry bag.
Despite being lightweight, the Driftsun voyager is made up of heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin to provide durable protection from punctures.
There are also double-threaded Boston valves that are guaranteed not to leak and the top cover is also rip and tear-resistant.
You’ll get everything you need with this kayak including the paddles so you can head out onto the water as soon as it arrives.
The kayak performs well on both calm and choppy waters on rivers, lakes, and streams and is stable enough to withstand the pressure of two people standing and fishing at the same time.
Those who are more experienced with kayak fishing will be slightly disappointed with the lack of features on this tandem.
- Heavy-duty PVC bottom - Prevents punctures
- Lightweight design - Easy to handle by just one person
- Inflates quickly - Only 5 minutes to get it ready
- Suited primarily for beginners - Professionals will be underwhelmed
Dimensions: 129 x 36 inches
The Sevylor Coleman has a big weight capacity of 480lbs, so is enough for two people plus any equipment or accessories you may need on board.
The 18-gauge PVC construction is rugged for lake use, but can also be used on rivers and ocean bays. The tarpaulin button and nylon cover provide durable protection from punctures.
If you do happen to hit a sharp rock, then the multiple air chambers allow another chamber to stay inflated if another is punctured.
Easy inflation is guaranteed with this kayak thanks to the double-threaded Boston vale.
The construction comes with a paddle holder to secure your paddle out of the way when you’re fishing in the boat, preventing you from having to keep them on board.
There are also integrated adjustable rod holders for your rods to be stationed when you’re not using them.
There are also built-in mesh storage pockets inside to keep gear and possessions close to you, as well as featured d-rings that make it easy to attach additional equipment.
- Lots of storage solutions - Can keep everything organized whilst on board
- Paddle holder - Secures your paddles when you’re fishing
- Double-threaded Boston valve - Easy to inflate and deflate
- Not as high quality as competitors - You can get better value for money elsewhere
Biggest Weight Capacity
Dimensions: 134 x 34 x 21 inches
This lightweight Sea Eagle 330 tandem kayak has a large weight capacity enabling it to hold a combined weight of 500lbs. The kayak is suitable for both beginners and professionals and is classified as safe for Class III bodies of water.
The 330 Pro features two movable, comfortable kayak seats that have good back support for long periods of sitting when paddling.
There are also 2 paddles, a foot pump, and a carry bag included with the kayak, so you can get started as soon as you receive it.
The hull features high-frequency welded seams so it's strong enough to meet the demands of the water without hindering the quality of the kayak. The construction is also fitted with deluxe one-way valves to make inflation and deflation efficient.
The inflatable i-beam construction provides a stable and firm padded platform making it easy to stand up, move around and throw your reel out to the water.
However, the seats are slightly narrower than most other tandem kayaks we’ve come across and may cause some people to feel too restricted when sitting in the construction.
- I-beam construction - Stable surface to stand up
- Comfortable seats - Suited for long paddling sessions
- Large weight capacity - Can have more items on board
- Seats are narrow - May be uncomfortable for some people
Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks Buying Guide
Length & Width
The length and width is an important factor to consider when investing in a tandem fishing kayak as it affects how stable the kayak is on the water.
Longer and wider kayaks are preferred as they provide a more stable platform, especially for moving around when fishing. People often prefer to go with shorter kayaks as they are easier to carry out to the water, however, they are more likely to capsize.
Having to carry your kayak out from storage, lift it onto your vehicle and then carry it again to your chosen body of water, then it can prove very tiring before you’ve even begun paddling.
So you’ll want to consider the weight of your tandem kayak before buying and if you’ll be able to easily transport it around. A light kayak is also easy to paddle around and offers higher speeds.
Regardless of if you’re a beginner at fishing on a tandem kayak, you should try to find one that comes with elevated seats. This will allow you to see the fish around you more easily without having to stand up.
It can take some passengers a while to build the confidence to stand up on the kayak to fish, but it is not always an option, especially if you’re out on the kayak in windy conditions.
Elevated seats are also a lot easier to slip in and out with minimal effort and reduces that feeling of confinement, something that is important when fishing on a kayak.
If you’re going to be spending long periods out on the water, you’ll want to make sure there’s ample space on board to keep important possessions like your wallet, phone, and car keys.
You may also want to bring food on board if you plan on being out fishing all day, which will require a sufficient amount of space. Fishing equipment will also take up lots of room, especially if you’re going to need a cooler box to store your catch in.
If you plan on kayaking to different areas in one day to catch various fish, then you’ll probably want to bring along various rods and reels with you.
Having multiple rod holders will allow you to have different combinations to hand so you can easily swap and change wherever you’re fishing. This will prevent you from having to waste time, changing your set-up when you’re catching multiple fish in different fishing areas.
If you think you’ll be wanting to use your tandem fishing kayak for solo purposes, then try to find a convertible kayak that can be changed around to be used as both. This will save you the money of having to buy two individual kayaks.
Some kayaks will offer a pedal drive system that will allow you to power the kayak without having to use your arms for the paddles, this will allow you to have your hands free for fishing. However, the more versatile a kayak is, the higher the price tends to be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best tandem fishing kayak?
The best tandem fishing kayaks are:
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Advanced Elements Convertible Elite Kayak
- Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Kayak
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
- Sea Eagle 330 Pro 2 Person Kayak
Can you fish from a tandem kayak?
Yes, it is safe to fish from a tandem kayak, as long as both passengers are aware of the risks and have taken the safety precautions before embarking out onto the water.
Can one person handle a two-person kayak?
Yes, one person can handle a two-person kayak. However, the kayak will be heavier for a solo passenger and will be more difficult to paddle and navigate your way around the water, so if you’re not blessed in the upper body strength department, you may struggle to move the kayak on your own.
Some 2-people kayaks can be easily converted into a solo kayak, so if you’ll want a kayak that can be both a single and tandem kayak you should purchase a convertible kayak.
Is a single or double kayak easier?
It will be easier to maneuver a single-person kayak rather than a tandem kayak as solo kayaks are more lightweight. Tandem kayaks offer more stability however as they are heavier and will be more difficult to tip over accidentally.
Tandem kayaks work better with two passengers who are of a similar build, strength, and level of kayaking, otherwise, it can be hard to work as a partnership to maneuver the boat around.
Where should you sit in a tandem kayak?
In a tandem kayak, the heavier, stronger, and more experienced kayaker should sit at the back of the boat, this person will act as a helmsman and it’ll be their job to paddle harder.
The person in the front will set the beat and the person in the back will have to adapt to the front person's paddling speed.
If there are really strong winds and you are paddling against them then you should seek to add more weight to the front end of the kayak. When it comes to fishing on a kayak, it’s recommended that the person who wants to fish should sit in the front and the navigator will sit in the back, however, there are no set rules on this and many people do as they wish.
How fast is a tandem kayak?
How fast the tandem kayak can be paddled will depend on the strength of the passengers and also the weight on board. You will also need the perfect wind conditions to achieve high speeds.
Beginners of tandem kayaking can look to achieve speeds of around 3-4 km/h whereas more experienced kayaks can look to build speeds of around 6-7 km/h.
How much does a decent tandem kayak cost?
Depending on the brand, tandem kayaks can cost anywhere between $150 to over $2000. Inflatable kayaks are a lot less expensive than plastic kayaks and they often work just as well, so sometimes it is not worth spending huge amounts of money to get a plastic one.
If you’re looking to buy your first tandem kayak, then anything from $150-$600 will be more than enough to get you a high-quality boat.
What safety equipment do I need to wear when kayaking?
Even if you’re going to be kayaking in shallow waters, you should wear a lifejacket or a buoyancy aid as it’ll help keep your head above water if you do happen to capsize or end up in the water.
If you’re going to be kayaking further out on the water and will be a considerable distance from shore, then you should think about taking a whistle, flashlight or flares and a GPS, just in case you get lost, an emergency happens, or you happen to lose track of time and have to travel back to shore in the dark.