Fishing is one of the best times someone can have on the water. But it turns into a lonely day if you don't have a 2 person fishing kayak. Many of us have plans to take our family or friends on a small excursion during busy days. Finding a fishing kayak can be a big mission, particularly when you notice the price labels, thats why were here to help. Our top pick has to be BKC UH-TK181 12-Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak, a flexible, high quality 2 person fishing kayak.
Some things you can find in this article:
- A summary of the best tandem fishing kayak that goes well with every budget
- An effective shopping guide about the things to look at while buying a tandem kayak.
- Looking more general?
Quick Summary: Top 10 - Best Fishing Kayak This Year
"The BKC UH-TK181 tandem kayak gives a decent price for fishers who are waiting for a fishing kayak. It comes with a protected cargo area that accumulates fishing equipment and water-sealed spawns to protect your materials."
"The Malibu Two XL Angler comes with a set of comfortable seats and can endure loads of weight. This kayak has a center hatch included with a buckle system, handles that are mounted to sides, and two pairs of deck mounts. "
"Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak is stuffed with features and systems that provide ultimate performance, which is an airtight system, 18-gauge PVC, adjustable seats, paddle holders, mesh storage, and the endless list goes on."
"Hobie Mirage kayak, though it is expensive it is a great package embedded with functions such as Vantage CT comfortable seat, mirage drive medal system, and Lowrance process."
"This kayak gives the best value for money and arrives with features like paddle holders, auto trim hull, huge cockpit, and many more. This is a great buy with the best stability, comfort, and adjustability. "
"This kayak is the best accessible kayak you can acquire with a budget under $1000 and it comes with a supreme rotomolded wide body, a pair of dual-sided paddles, flexible pole holders along with a set of adaptable premium kayak pads."
"Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak comes with a set of lightweight paddles, rod holders, numerous footrests, a storage hatch, and a pair of padded backrests. The high-density polyethylene gives maximum durability and exceptional vitality."
"The Yellowfin 130T Fishing Kayak offers great stability during standing and sitting. This kayak features four incorporated top-loading equipment tracks and it comes with watertight baggage hatches."
Our Top Reviews
No need to worry about where to keep your wallet, and other essentials. We tried their watertight storage compartment which allowed us to stockpile basic things. Like keys, backpacks, light snacks, and many more things. The waterproof storage hatches are effectively fixed between the paddler's leg space. You can loose up your hands without the constant fear of missing your paddles as the BKC UH-TK181 sit on top kayak points up a pair of safe paddle rests.
This tandem kayak comes with a front and rear cargo area that utilizes a comfortable bungee tie-down technique. This feature makes an easy way for you to accumulate massive chunks of equipment and excess clothing, which cannot be fit in the storage space. The Brooklyn Kayak Company sit on top tandem kayaks comes with four carry handles that make paddling a cinch.
What We Like
What We Dont
You can paddle this kayak either by yourself or with a companion including the gear and other equipment. This tandem kayak is stiffed with features like two sets of deck mounts, a pair of rod holders, along a hybrid lock center hatch.
You can have a relaxed foot bracing if you are a center-seated rower as it comes with patented overlapping footwells. This kayak comes with molded-in side grips, line bungee, a set of paddle holders which makes it one of a kind of kayak. Ocean Kayak Malibu is equipped with a screw-in drain plate along with a bow and stern toggle handles.
What We Like
What We Dont
You can broaden your angling skills with the possibility of operating a trolling motor on this kayak. The flexible pads will hold you drifting comfortably the entire excursion. However, if you prefer to stride further skillfully, you can often put in the Sevylor trolling engine and stock your paddles in the compartments.
You can receive a hands-free fishing adventure by adjusting the pole of the Berkley quick set rod holders. So, as your hands are free from rowing you can easily maintain your gear, which is stored sufficiently in the netting bags or connected to D-rings.
What We Like
What We Dont
You can retain enough space as it is a 33 inch wider body, which makes it easy to stand and unfold your legs to not cramps. We found the vantage CT seat very fascinating as you can take a break and rest for some time.
You can get loads of baits as this kayak gives birth to four holders with numerous fishing poles. However, this weighs like hell when you need to carry it outside of water.
What We Like
What We Dont
You can comfortably take a long trip as the cockpit has maximized space, so you can easily keep other equipment. We removed the beginning seat and got a lot of space which is suitable to accumulate additional gear and other essentials. Your extra gear will be conserved by the line bungee outfitting at the stern.
The auto trim hull prohibits the bulge from jumping even if someone is seated on the grim pad. You can be comfortable even if you are barefoot as the Glide Track paw shaft system alongside contoured rubber delivers a wonderful foundation for strong paddling.
What We Like
What We Dont
Length: 12.2 ft
Width: 36 inches
Item Weight: 60 Pounds
Weight Capacity: 650 Pounds
The Elkton Outdoors Tandem kayak comes with a rotomolded injected body which is very reliable and makes sure to last for a longer period. This tandem kayak spotlights a whole of four fishing rod holders, flush mount along with gunwales of the kayak. The rod holders are fixed precisely in front of the bow rower’s seat and almost behind the stern rower’s seat.
This Elkton Outdoors kayak brings into the world two above-deck storehouse containers that are stabilized in the bow and stern of the tandem kayak which features a bungee security strategy that solidifies the bigger hear during the fishing period.
The kayak comes with a platform at the center which enables you to accommodate coolers and frost chests where you can store your catches in a cool atmosphere or you can store your desired frozen foods or beverages. The Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak arrives with a pair of padded and flexible seatbacks which permits you to find your comfortable seating arrangement.
What We Liked:
- Comes with a heavyweight capacity
- It has an extremely durable rotomold inserted body
- This driver fits 3 people with ease
- Arrives with watertight repository
What We Didn't Like:
- It has no warranty period
Length: 10 ft
Width: 36 inches
Item Weight: 60 Pounds
Weight Capacity: 500 Pounds
This Lifetime Fishing Kayak is composed of UV-protected unbent low-density polyethylene which is one of the best durable kayak models. It comes with paddles along with backrests camouflage which shows resistance to cracks, peels, and fades, all these makes it long-lasting for you to use it for a lengthy period. Lifetime Fishing Kayak is very easy to store and transport and to stimulate this, it comes with a molded front carry handle.
This kayak is furnished with numerous footrests, a pair of lightweight paddles, a single molded seat, and cup holders along with a two. You don't need to worry if some water got into the cockpit as the scupper pins pipe out the water immediately. They have dry and elevated seats which keeps you away from the bottom of the kayak.
You can effortlessly enter the so-called hard-to-reach fishing sites as this kayak possesses a broader hull which extends considerable resilience for providing easy maneuverability. We loved this tandem kayak as it comes with a kayak paddle along with a total 5 year warranty period.
What We Liked:
- Broad, strong, and versatile tandem fishing kayak
- Can be rowed either by one or two angler
- Comes with plenty of deck slot for equipment
- It is made from durable high-density polyethylene
What We Didn't Like:
- Comes with a big profile design which is sometimes difficult to regulate in windy situations
- Chances of paddles bumping as it has a short length
- A bit pricey for a few folks
Length: 13 ft
Width: 35 inches
Item Weight: 80 Pounds
Weight Capacity: 500 Pounds
This kayak is one of the best tandem kayaks that come with a lot of stability. It also maintains an impressive broad stance which curtails happiness along with a precise weight distribution system. You can accommodate your fishing equipment or coolers as it has lots of space because of the flank mounted foot pins and broader upright decks.
This kayak is specially designed for two people along with a center pad which can be used for your child or pet or solo activities. It comes with an elegant hull layout which assures a quick and flexible hunt to fetch you instantly to the best fish spot. This kayak has a rudder inclined hull that conserves power during lengthy paddles, windy days, and powerful currents.
What We Liked:
- It has an open and a flat deck
- Comes with a core seating standpoint that is suitable for solo anglers or a kid or pet
- Arrives with color-coordinated paddles
- Comes with side mount foot braces
What We Didn't Like:
- This kayak might need additional outfitting as it has limited fishing choices
- Doesn't come with supplementary cliffs or poles
How to Choose
The tandem kayak can come in two basic forms. They come as sit on top kayaks and sit inside kayaks and both are available as singles or doubles. They also can have hard shells or be inflatable's.
Although there are some major difference between sit inside and sit on top tandem kayaks they share many of the same parts. The top of the kayak is called the deck, the bottom is the hull, while the front is the bow and the back is the Stern. On top of the deck you'll often find deck hinges or bungees. At the start of the kayak you should find black hoops and some kayak rudders move from side to side in the horizontal plane and some are controlled by foot pedals that simply drop straight in the water and help the kayak move straight.
The sit on top and sit inside tandem kayaks have seats and some form of back support.
There are foothills which slide on a track to adjust for different size riders which are convenient because you're going to be spending a full day on the water so using the foothills are a lot more comfortable and give you a lot more support.
The best tandem kayaks also have a built-in backrest which makes sitting in a kayak a lot more comfortable.
The biggest difference between the two types of tandem kayaks is that sit inside kayaks are enclosed, there is a cockpit where you sit. Around the cockpit is a place where you can attach a skirt to keep the water inside the cockpit. Within a tandem kayak you’ll find two seats and sometimes foot pedals which you can adjust according to your legs.
With hundreds of kayak options out there choosing the best tandem kayak can be overwhelming but it doesn't need to be and it's hard to make the wrong decision.
The best way to narrow out your options is to:
Identify how and where you will be using it
Will you be paddling at a sheltered Laker out on the beach? Will the temperature of the water be warm Are you looking for a kayak that can travel quickly? Are you looking for a kayak that is stable and is difficult to tip over?
Your first and biggest decision is to go for a sit on top or sit inside tandem kayak and there are pros and cons for both.
Sit on top tandem kayaks are the most user-friendly. They are very stable and easy to get in and there's no feeling of confinement. They are also self-bailing which means they have small holes like stopper holes that allow water to drain through them. Another thing about sit on top tandem kayaks is you can slip in and out of them as you please.
All these features make the sit on top tandem kayak a great choice.
The downside of the sit on top model is that you're guaranteed to get wet while paddling while sit inside kayaks of allow you to stay dry. Sit insides also shelter your lower body from the wind which make them much more beneficial for paddlers that want to be in cooler water and stay dry while paddling. One downside of the sit inside tandem boat is that you don't have the same freedom to move inside of the water and if you do flip for some reason recovering is a hard process because you're tandem kayak will be filled with water. Sit on top recreational kayaks are very stable fun and easy-to-use. They have large cockpits so they are not confined and some even have waterproof compartments that are accessible through hatches in the deck.
You’ll need to decide on a length of your tandem kayak
There is a general rule the longer a narrower a kayak is the faster it will travel and the wider a kayak is, the more stable and slower it will be.
Sit on top tandem kayaks are considered recreational and are ultra-stable. Sit inside kayaks can vary a lot more in shape and size and purpose in fact sit inside kayaks can be broken into two distinct categories there are:
Recreational sit inside Vs Sea kayaks
The recreational boats are wider, shorter and have a big cockpit so they do not feel confining. The sea tandem kayaks are longer, and narrower so that they travel faster. They also have a lot more control over the edge of the boat. The cockpits though are a lot smaller so they do tend to feel a lot more confining although it's very easy to get in and out of these ones as well if speed is in that important to you might as well choose a shorter kayaks. They are lighter and easier to move around. Most tandem kayaks have a hard shell made from a durable plastic that will last forever and it doesn't require much maintenance.
There are also tandem kayaks that are made from composition materials like fiberglass carving and Kevlar that make them significantly lighter. The downside is they don't take abuse as well and they also tend to cost a lot more.
You'll also have inflatable tandem kayaks. They are very comfortable to sit inside and they can be deflated and folded down and actually carried in a backpack. These kayaks are made from fabrics that are surprisingly durable. Inflatable kayaks are incredibly versatile.
Additionally thermal formed tandem kayaks are the new thing to hit the market they are gaining popularity because of their affordability, durability and weight.
Characterizes Things To Look At When Purchasing
We suggest you go with a fishing kayak that has immense stability as it doesn't wobble around much even when slammed by waves or breezes. Hold a gaze on the tandem kayaks that comes with a steady hull as this offers maximum vitality, instead of running for the triangular or round hulls as they are formulated keeping speed as the main factor. So we strongly recommend opening your choices for heavier fishing kayaks as they get on with enough durability.
You have to check the type of material used in manufacturing the kayak as the material is one of the essential element that defines how strong and portable your kayak is. If you want an affordable kayak then you can choose the kayak made from high-density polyethylene but this kind of kayak comes with a heavyweight which might slow down your pace. We suggest you choose kayaks made from fiberglass, or kevlar, or carbon fiber if you are ready to purchase an expensive kayak as they are comparatively very light yet strong and gives the best action. Here comes another extra durable and UV-resistant kayak made from ABS which is very easy to fix even in case of any damage and it comes with a higher cost as it provides the best performance and convenience.
Before buying a top tandem fishing kayak, you just need to evaluate its ultimate carrying potential. If you are going for a two-person fishing kayak then you have to check whether the fishing kayak can handle it or not. Besides, your fishing gear and the amount of fish that can be stored will influence your investment. We indicate you to buy kayaks on the market whose potential is more and more than you need.
During our testing period, we came across a lot of kayaks that didn't reach our comfort criteria.
There are high chances of you spending almost a long day in the fishing kayak, so the tandem kayak should provide sufficient comfort so that you can keep your entire focus on fishing. Some kayaks keep a strapping structure, which maintains your standing equilibrium. We tried a high seating kayak and these kinds of 2 person kayaks gave us a wide view of the surface of the water.
It is no wonder in saying that this feature is underrated. Likewise, a maximum number of the tandem kayaks are propelled by the practice of paddles, but there are still a few best tandem kayaks that do arrive with pedals which are excellent for fishing because it lets you set your hands for fishing or you can just seat relaxing. If you have stronger legs in comparison to arms then, of course, this is the best available option for you.
You have to keep in mind that the designs of the best tandem fishing kayaks differ from one to another. We examined kayaks starting from former kayaks, to modern kayaks to retro-looking fishing kayaks. If you want an old-school de signed kayak then there are many options for you in the market. The only element that needs to be taken care of is retro vibe kayaks are lacking in terms of fresh features.
Numerous Rod Holders
This is another significant feature that you have to keep a check on while purchasing the best tandem kayak because it fosters you to set up several rods at the exact time as it maintains additional fishing lines in the water. So you should look for a tandem kayak that comes with a variety of flexible mounts and also a flush-mounted that lets you have an accurate angle.
Our team faced quite some issues with the storing of the kayaks. Before spending bunches of green bills, you must make sure that the kayak is worth the value. Invest in the best fishing kayak that guarantees longevity and durability. We tested various kinds of drying and cleaning processes of the best fishing kayaks along with the storage bag quality. We found the lightweight kayaks are easier to get cleaned. Also, check the manual guide for the storage and cleaning of the kayak.
Make sure that you buy a tandem kayak that comes with numerous footrests which makes it easy for you to scoop deep and obtain the desired leverage for the enormous traps. Before buying a tandem fishing kayak check the fish finder attachments which makes it simple for you to allow transducers to depart skillfully with the assistance of built-in scupper gashes. \
Your Choice Checklist
There are a few aspects to consider while selecting the best tandem kayak. And if two of you are sharing the expenses, it’s vital that you both discuss these factors before you make your final choice:
Tandem kayaks are a bit more expensive than solo kayaks, so be ready to spend anywhere between $300 to $1500 for it. It’s better to spend at least $600 since anything cheaper will be of poor quality and come with limited features.
You’ll at least get a boat with sufficient storage space and room for picnics and camping, and it should offer high safety and security. Some people, however, buy tandems because it’s cheaper buying one than buying two separate solo kayaks.
2. Kayaking ability levels
You need to consider your ability levels as new paddlers are better off buying a shorter 10-12 feet boat as they are wide and offer more stability and control. However, expert and advanced paddlers may find the increased width of shorter boats inefficient.
Average paddlers should look for boats between 12-14 feet with the right balance between speed, storage space, and stability. Experts should look for tandem kayaks longer than 14 feet with better hull and keel designs. They make for faster sailing and tracking and have sufficient room for overnight gear and equipment.
When choosing the best tandem kayak they are either sit-in or sit-on-top where the sit-ins have cockpits as seats where you position your lower body into the gap by sliding in and out. This is better if you have stuff with you as they have open, storage spaces to avoid getting things wet.
Sit-on-tops offer excellent mobility and are somewhat stable and flexible in design.
Regarding the size of the tandem kayak, the shorter ones do not provide as much stability as the longer ones. It is the shorter kayaks that displace less water. Besides, it’s difficult for two people to maneuver smaller and shorter kayaks which also have restricted seating areas.
Tandem kayaks usually weigh between 75 to 100 pounds, which is somewhat cumbersome, if you compare the single kayaks weighing less than 50 pounds. The only option you have if you don’t want to carry such a heavy tandem from the car to the water is to buy an inflatable kayak. But of course, the inflatable versions have their share of cons, which you have to consider before buying.
Stability is an important feature, which is categorized into primary and secondary stability. Primary stability is felt and tested when the boat is at rest, and while you slide in or out of the vessel.
You can thus decide how comfortable you will be with the kayak when in suspended motion while you go sightseeing and fishing.
Secondary stability is seen while paddling which determines how comfortable you will be in tight spots and during rough water conditions.
Tandem kayaks are made using various materials like fiberglass, wood, hard plastic and inflatable plastic where tandems made from HDPE or high-density polyethylene are the strongest of them. While it’s always better to buy a tandem made of hard plastic that's highly resistant to impacts and collisions, remember that they are also heavy.
8. Hull design
Hull design is vital while making your choice as the U-shaped kayaks offer more secondary stability when compared to the V-shaped tandem kayaks which provide more of primary stability. The best way to choose and decide on the best hull design is based on the type of body of water you will be spending most of your time kayaking on.
While kayaks with U-shaped hull designs are better for kayaking in moving water like rivers and surfing, the V-shaped options are better for calm and flat waters.
It is always better to buy a kayak in a vibrant color as you will be kayaking mostly in broad daylight. Choose a color that’s unique from others, and quickly spotted even from a distance. Examples of colors with better visibility are orange, yellow and red.
Transportation is another feature to consider as you should be able to transport the boat you buy easily. Tandems are more comfortable to carry than other vessels as you will most likely have someone helping you. You’ll have to consider the kayak’s size to ensure it fits on top of your car or in your pickup’s bed.
While it’s possible to squeeze some kayaks into large SUVs, it’s not possible to do this with a tandem kayak! Also, make sure your roof rack will be able to support the boat’s length or you should consider investing in a trailer.
11. Distance between riders
Some people also choose their tandem based on the gap between the two riders when seated in the boat. You may want a tandem kayak with the right amount of distance between you two where you remain comfortable and are close enough to pass items when needed.
12. Additional strapping down surface
Some kayaks have an additional surface for you to strap down your gear and equipment while on a weekend river trip. With your gear strapped in, you know it will remain intact when you reach your destination!
13. Leg space
You have to choose your tandem kayak based on the amount of legroom on its deck. You could perhaps consider adjustable foot pegs which let you dial the distance required for your legs to be comfortable. You may prefer a kayak offering sufficient space for leg movement while sitting and standing.
Wider tandem kayaks are better for some of the improved stability it offers and let you stand while paddling or fishing. However, there is the possibility of your speed and tracking abilities reducing as the width increases.
It is during such situations that you could consider using rudders to solve the problem. Narrower kayaks, however, offer faster paddling as they quickly cut through calm and choppy waters.
15. Weight capacity
As many tandem kayakers love buying all types of gears, you should consider the tandem’s weight capacity. It’s better to add 150 pounds to your bodyweight to decide on the right weight capacity if you plan to carry fishing equipment while kayaking. However, if you plan to go kayaking for recreational reasons, then you need to add only 100 pounds to your bodyweight.
What length will you need?
The kayak length is essential to determining whether you will enjoy your trip or be uncomfortable. The shorter kayaks give better maneuverability on rivers and other narrow waterways. The longer kayaks are better options for those who are not particular about changing their kayak’s directions.
This is why longer kayaks are more often used on open rivers and lakes where there are no positional restrictions.
Kayak Length Considerations:
• Speed preferences
You will have to select the length based on your speed preferences. Long and thin kayaks measuring about 17 feet in length are best if your focus is on speed. However, if you are planning a recreational trip, then a shorter, nine-feet kayak is a better buy.
• Amateur or professional
Amateurs are better off buying a shorter, slower model and consider buying faster options only as their skill and ability improve.
• Your size
You also have to choose your tandem kayaks length based on your size. While the shorter ones are better for children and shorter adults, it’s also better to consider using a longer vessel for better comfort and mobility. A kayak that is too short can restrict movements and prove dangerous in a capsize.
• Storage and transportation
You’ll have to consider storage and transportation options while choosing your tandem kayak as you should have sufficient space at home to store the kayak when not in use. While the short, 6-feet kayaks can be stored in the corner of a room, the more extended 15-feet kayaks need a back deck or some outer space for storage.
It’s easy for people with car racks to secure longer tandems to the top of their car. Kayakers who don’t have car racks may be able to fit a recreational kayak in the rear of a pickup but may find it challenging transporting larger kayaks.
If you will be making a long trip, it’s better to choose a long kayak. They have various bulkheads and sealed hatch covers to use for storing camping items and gear. These long kayaks measure up to 16 feet in length and are perfect for adventures and overnight trips. The shorter kayaks are okay for short distance trips.
Advantages and disadvantages of a tandem kayak
You first need to ascertain that you want a tandem kayak by knowing all about its pros and cons.
• Useful if one person is an tandem kayak amateur
A tandem kayak proves most useful if one person is new to kayaking, and feels insecure about kayaking alone. You can quickly teach your amateur partner the right strokes to use so that they slowly gain the required confidence and experience. The beginner could sit in front at first, and once they are comfortable and grow more experienced, they can sit at the back to learn more about control and steering.
• Tandem Kayaks have more power
As two people are paddling in a tandem kayak, you will get more power to pick up high speeds quickly. This proves especially useful if you come across bad weather, and need all the power and strength to return to shore immediately.
• Workload can be shared
Just like the two of you add more power to your paddling, a tandem kayak also lets you share the workload by taking turns paddling. So this means that one of you can rest, relax and enjoy the surroundings while the other paddles!
• Hold conversations
It is difficult carrying conversations with a friend if you go kayaking in two separate solo kayaks. However things are different in a tandem kayak as there’s no need to yell to get attention, and you can also easily converse and share sights.
• Perfect to go kayaking with children or pets
If you don’t feel safe or comfortable sending young children alone on kayaks, a tandem kayak lets you carry them along, and even take your dog's kayaking.
• Tandem kayaks have less control
You may find it difficult maintaining control in your tandem kayak since it’s only if you two are in sync with your paddling and steering will you be able to generate extra power. You have more control in a solo kayak as it’s just you doing all the work.
• Less freedom inside the kayak
Sometimes you may not enjoy the other person’s company in the tandem kayak since you can’t make spontaneous decisions and have restricted freedom. You have to make decisions about your direction and participation with your partner, which isn’t as exhilarating as solo kayaking.
• Tandem kayaks are heavy
Tandem kayaks are naturally heavier, which can be difficult while traveling, and carrying them around.
You can grab any one of the best fishing kayaks from the above-mentioned best tandem fishing kayaks that arrive with favorable features, a decent significance, and most importantly they are customer's personal preferences. Still, we stand more towards the BKC UH-TK181 12-Foot Tandem Fishing Kayak, because of its glamorous design, remarkable spectrum, and reasonable price.
We will be happy to know that we were skilled to slim down the options and provide you a variety of tandem fishing kayak options that are first-class!
You may check other kayak guides and reviews below;
- Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV Kayak Review
- Pelican Unison-136 Tandem Kayak Review
- Best Tandem Fishing Kayak
- Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Review
- Benefits of Tandem Kayaks: Why You Need One
You may also click here for the best tandem kayak guide.
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