The Best Tandem Kayaks for 2021 (UPDATED)

What’s the Best Tandem Kayak?

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Some adventures in life are best experienced in pairs, and one of the first things that come to mind is tandem kayaking.

Not that we have anything against solo kayakers, but there’s something more fulfilling about grabbing a 2 person kayak and taking it into the great outdoors, bliss.

The fact that there are numerous tandem kayaks in the market gives you more reason to evaluate the crucial aspects of all your options before making a purchase.

To help you with that, let us take a look at the best tandem kayak uk edition, starting with a few basic questions.

What is a Tandem Kayak?

Just like a tandem bike, a tandem kayak is a type of water vessel designed for two people. It can comfortably accommodate two paddlers of varying skill levels and offers them good handling, manoeuvrability, as well as ample storage space. Tandem kayaks can be used for recreation or for sports, where the two participants attempt to out-paddle their opponents in a race on the water.

Should I Get a Tandem Kayak?

If you have a partner, you can save some good cash by buying one tandem kayak as opposed to two solo vessels. Tandems are relatively more stable than their single-person counterparts and make the whole experience more fun.

You can even use them to give your kids an introduction to the sport of kayaking without putting them in direct harm. The only thing is that you might be forfeiting the possibility of going on solo missions in the future.

Are Tandem Kayaks Stable?

Tandem kayaks feature a longer and wider design than single kayaks, which allows them to be more stable at high speeds. This is what makes them a nice option for kids, as well as old people. You can even take your dog on the water without much fuss.

For an experienced kayaker, your passenger may not have to paddle if they don’t know how to, so long as they are sitting at the front and you at the back.

Best Tandem Kayaks – Reviews

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Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak

Intex-Explorer-K2-Kayak

The Intex Explorer K2 is an inflatable tandem kayak that looks like a banana. It won’t cost you a fortune but delivers efficient performance that you’d ordinarily expect from high-end kayak models.

Made out of rugged vinyl, the boat is pretty durable and hardwearing, providing years of reliable use. It also offers an optimal balance between weight, ease of assembly, and compactness for an easy time on the water.

The floor of the boat is designed with an I-beam to give it better rigidity while a removable skeg at the bottom helps with directional stability in the face of windy weather.

You get two inflatable built-in seats with a backrest and these can be adjusted to align with the shape of your body for maximum comfort when paddling on the water. Meanwhile, 3 air chambers greatly reduce the chances of the canoe capsizing in the rare event of a puncture.

You will like that the package comes with a repair kit that you can readily use to fix any unexpected rips and tears. This is accompanied by 2 paddles and a high-output pump that allows you to set up the kayak in a matter of minutes.

Not forgetting the carry bag, which comes in handy when you want to transport the vessel. Another great feature is the conspicuous yellow colour used on the boat, which is easily noticeable from a distance.

This ensures that bigger boats can spot you on the water and increases your chances of getting help in case of emergencies. The boat only measures 36 pounds but has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds, which is enough for two adults to ride comfortably. The only downside to this boat is that it runs a little narrow, so it’s not a good choice for people with big bodies.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • 3 air chambers
  • Rugged vinyl construction
  • Removable skeg for stability
  • Easy setup
Cons
  • Not for big bodies

Intex Challenger 2 Person Inflatable Kayak

Intex-Challenger-2-Person-Inflatable-Kayak

The Challenger is another remarkable offering from Intex that you’d love to take on the water. This boat comes with an endearing design to go with a competitive price tag but manages to deliver a performance reserved for premium models on the market.

The bright green colour on the kayak’s shell makes it more visible in low-light conditions while at the same time providing an element of adventure.

Thanks to UV-resistant vinyl fabric, the boat is constructed to take the punishment in the water without showing premature signs of wear and tear.

The floor features an I-beam that ensures rigidity for your riding comfort while the cockpit is spacious with two inflatable and adjustable seats with a backrest. You also get a bottle holder, as well as a mesh cargo storage area to carry extra accessories.

Included in the package is a pair of strong but lightweight aluminium paddles and a high-output pump for effortless inflation. A handy repair set also means that you won’t struggle to get out of a sticky situation in the water.

With a maximum load capacity of 400 pounds, the Intex Challenger is perfect for tandem kayaking when you want to take your friend or spouse for an adventure at sea.

Another important feature on the boat is the removable skeg, which allows for directional stability during paddling. Also, the grappling rope allows you to be more steady when the waters get a little bit rough.

Overall, you’ll be surprised by just how reliable this kayak is despite being made out of generally lightweight materials. However, some people still have grievances about the low-cost build of some of the gear.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Ample storage room
  • Repair kit and pump
  • Easy to install
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Only two air chambers

Sevylor Riviera Two Person Kayak

Sevylor-Riviera-Two-Person-Kayak
If you’re tired of Intex’s monopoly in the market of blow-up kayaks, then Sevylor is a nice alternative that you can turn to. The Riviera is a two-man kayak that you can take anywhere from lakes and rivers to seashores.

This features a broad shape with dimensions of 312 x 92 cm, helping to deliver a mix of stability and comfort for the user. It can also support up to just under 400 pounds.

An enhanced backpack system on the boat allows for increased portability, meaning you can conveniently wear the kayak as a backpack whenever you want to transport it to or from the water.

You get two inflatable and adjustable kayak seats in the cockpit area, which you can remove anytime you want. These offer reliable comfort during paddling while an integrated pressure gauge allows for accurate inflation during setup.

Despite its relatively compact design, the Riviera is surprisingly durable thanks to its PVC construction. It features a strong PVC hull and a pair of PVC side chambers while the floor is made rigid by the inclusion of an I-beam.

This also ensures that you enjoy increased stability on rougher waters. Also, a repair set included in the package makes for quick fixes to avoid more trouble.

Overall, this is a nice choice of a vessel for anytime you want to have some unadulterated fun on the water. It also allows you to convert it from a 2-person to a single-person kayak whenever you see fit. One problem I have with this boat is that it doesn’t come with a skeg, which takes away from your stability on the water. Otherwise, the Sevylor Riviera will be a worthwhile investment.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Repair set
  • Pressure gauge
  • Highly portable
Cons
  • No skeg

Intex Excursion Inflatable Kayak

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With two of their products already appearing twice on this list, this is proof that Intex is one of the biggest players in the inflatable kayak industry.

The Intex Excursion impresses just as well as it’s brothers, the Explorer and the Intex Challenger. It comes with a raft of features to guarantee you a remarkable time on the water. These include a removable seat booster, adjustable footrests, mounting bracket, as well as a directional skeg.

The boat is built using a mixture of PVC and polyester core, which results in lightweight and abrasion-resistant construction.

It also features high-pressure inflation that helps to significantly boost its stability when rowing, helping you to stay afloat no matter how bad the weather turns.

You’ll appreciate the plenty of storage space both at the front and in the back, with included D-rings to help you tie down accessories such as dry bags.

A mounting bracket on the boat allows you to make the most of fishing accessories such as a GPS and fishing rod holders for when you want to try out some sport angling.

Furthermore, the boat comes with a variety of extra equipment to ensure you’re fully covered when you set sail.

From a high-output pump and repair patch to a handy carry bag, you won’t need to invest in extra accessories once you have the Excursion in your possession.

With two adjustable bucket seats in the cockpit area, the boat can accommodate a weight limit of up to 400 pounds. This makes it the perfect vessel for you and your friend to go on a fun fishing excursion with.

It also has 3 air chambers with high-pressure spring-loaded valves for fast inflation and deflation. On the downside, this might not be the most long-lasting inflatable kayak the market can offer.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • High pressure inflation
  • Multiple fishing accessories included
  • Repair set
Cons
  • Not very durable

Driftsun 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

driftsun-inflatable-2-person-kayak
Finally, we have the Driftsun 2-man inflatable kayak winding up our list of the best tandem kayak UK! This fun water vessel allows you to use it for solo missions if you wish to, giving you the best of both worlds.

You won’t have to worry about choppy waters on this boat, and this is a credit to the overall construction. It is designed with a pointed nose and a rocker profile while a tracking fin helps to significantly improve stability.

A sturdy PVC tarpaulin bottom, as well as the coated 840D nylon Oxford shell keep your vessel from punctures and tears on the water, allowing for durable use down the line.

The boat is also delivered with a pair of aluminium paddles, a rear tracking fin, and a hand pump as extra accessories. You also get a carry bag that comes in handy whenever you want to transport the deflated vessel.

Another important feature is the bungee storage space on the boat that allows you to bring along extra kayaking gear. One notable complaint from users is that despite the boat being rated for two people, some customers have found it hard to fit two paddlers comfortably inside it, which can be a huge disappointment once you take it out.

Other than that, you will have a fun experience with the Driftsun inflatable kayak.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Stable on the water
  • Tough build
  • Bungee storage space
Cons
  • Not big enough for two

Conclusion

So, if you want to bond with your friend or a spouse over your shared love for the sport of kayaking, then a tandem kayak will be the best investment you ever made! But before you decide to order one online, ensure that you know what kind of performance you want from the vessel. For the best tandem kayak UK, any of the above products in our review will easily fit the profile!

FAQ

Where Should the Heavier Person Sit on a Tandem Kayak?

Tandem kayaks are best paddled when the heavier person or more experienced person is sitting at the back. This allows him to take the role of a helmsman by adapting to the speed of the person at the front while paddling slightly harder.

This is a good example that more weight at the stern of the boat makes for better stability. It’s only when the weather gets a little rough and the wind stronger that having a heavier person at the front becomes advantageous.

The appropriate seating position is essential for two reasons. One, kayaks will generally tend to lift forward when there is more weight at the front than at the back.

This results in the boat being slowed down and also causes the vessel’s tip to dip into the waves. The second reason is that during long-range kayaking adventures, excess weight at the front may make the kayak drift sideways. This is a common phenomenon for kayaking in tours, whereby everyone is required to paddle at a uniform pace.

Can One Person Handle a Two-person Kayak?

Ideally speaking, tandem kayaks are meant to be used by two people, by this doesn’t stop a person from paddling them. The only thing is that they can be quite a challenge to manoeuvre if you’re paddling alone, especially for beginners.

Between the long shape of the boat and your amateur rowing skills, you’ll have an uphill task navigating the kayak in a particular direction.

Having said that, some expert kayakers have come out to say that it is possible if you settle at the back and put some weight at the front where your partner would ordinarily be.

This should help with weight distribution and make the boat easier to manage on the water. You’ll also realize that making turns will be a smoother affair.

What Features Should I Look for in a Tandem Kayak?

Before buying your tandem kayak, you must decide what features you’re looking for and what will be the deal-breaker for you! You also want to establish a budget from the very beginning and stick to it when you finally make your buying decision.

Some of the first aspects that you should keep in mind include things such as the construction material, type of engine, weight capacity, design peculiarity, etc.

If you’ve made up your mind to invest in a kayak, then you should have a rough idea of what you intend to use it for. This will mean that you get to choose from recreational kayaks, folding kayaks, touring kayaks, modular, kayaks, and inflatable kayaks.

Each of these options is best suited for different situations and you are in the best position to make that decision. Be sure to choose one that best fits your needs.

What is the Best Material for Tandem Kayaks?

Given that tandem kayaks can be a huge investment, you always want to buy something that will last you for the long haul. This is best determined by the kind of material used to build the kayak.

Ideally, it should be of high-quality and sturdy enough to cope with the punishment in the water. The best tandem kayak UK is typically made out of either PVC or plastic materials, and this is also used in the handles, paddle bars. Other elements may be built using steel or aluminum.

Is Weight Capacity Important in Tandem Kayaks?

The higher the weight capacity of your kayak, the more fun you’re going to have during your kayaking tours. This is because it will support your weight, as well as that of your partner, more comfortably and even leave some room to carry some kayaking accessories.

It comes in handy for those going for adventures like sport fishing or angling. Nevertheless, take care not to overpack the boast lest it tips over in the middle of the journey.

Are Cheap Kayaks Any Good?

Most people generally tend to associate premium product price with high product quality, which is not always true. The same applies to kayaks. You don’t have to deplete your savings to find a worthwhile vessel.

Cheap kayaks are especially a nice option for recreational purposes. If you are just looking to have a fun time on the water, then you shouldn’t think twice about getting one.

However, you should note that these kayaks are relatively limited as far as features are concerned. So, you won’t be in a position to use them in other environments, especially where the water is a little bit rougher and more demanding.

How Dangerous is Kayaking as a Sport?

Just like any other sport out there, kayaking comes with its fair share of risks. But it’s not as dangerous as some people like to put it. From dangerous aquatic animals like sharks to prolonged exposure to the sun, these are concerns you should be wary of whenever you take your kayak on the water.

Fortunately, the dangers can greatly be diminished if you take your time to conduct due diligence before venturing into the waters.

Should You Kayak if You Can’t Swim?

Just because you don’t know how to swim; that doesn’t mean that you should miss out on the fun sport that is kayaking. You can still have a great time on the water, only that you should be cautious enough for when anything goes haywire. This will mean that you equip yourself with safety gear like a life jacket and be sure not to paddle too far. If possible, you can get a good instructor as you get your feet wet so that you gain the basic techniques of the sport.

Do Kayaks Tip-Over Easily?

Considering their shape, it’s easy to assume that a kayak would tip over with the slightest turbulence in the water. But these vessels are generally safe and rarely tip over.

It is very hard for a kayak to capsize when used recreationally on a relatively calm river but if you decide to take on whitewater paddling, then the risk of the boat flipping significantly increases.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayak
https://www.quora.com/Can-a-two-person-sea-kayak-be-comfortably-used-by-a-single-person

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