Looking for an inflatable tandem kayak? Wondering which one is best? We know that getting out on the water in your kayak is always more fun with a friend. Not only do you have someone to chat to, but you’ll also have someone to help paddle and share the view with when out on a river or beautiful lake. One great option for those wanting to take a partner along on their next kayaking trip is inflatable tandem kayaks that have space for two people.
In this post, we’ll review what we think are the best inflatable tandem kayaks on the market in 2021 and take a look at some of the features you need to look out for when choosing which is the best inflatable kayak for you.
Quick Answer: The Best Inflatable Kayaks For 2 People
How To Choose a Tandem Inflatable Kayak: A Guide To Buying
Without exception, kayaking is always more fun with a friend. Thankfully, there are loads of great options available with enough room for the two of you. But, if it’s your first time buying a tandem kayak, you probably have a few questions and you are not sure what you should be looking for.
Before we get to the reviews of our favorite tandem inflatable kayaks, we thought we’d talk you through some of the questions you might need to ask before hitting the buy button. Below we break down the important features you need to think about so let’s get started.
2 vs 3 Person Kayaks
Although the word tandem means two, when it comes to tandem kayaks it generally refers to anyone that can carry two or more passengers. If you plan on just paddling with one other person then a typically two person kayak should be fine, but you could always opt for a three person one so that you can also bring along extra gear, another friend, your child, or even a dog.
There are some inflatable kayaks that hold more than 3 people but these aren’t as common and you’re most likely will need to buy a second kayak. That being said, it also depends on how big your passengers are as you and three smaller children could definitely fit in a 3 person kayak. They might not get a seat though. It all depends however on the next topic that we’re going to look at which is weight capacity.
A big consideration that you’ll need to consider before choosing which tandem inflatable kayak to buy is their max weight capacity. Inflatable kayaks have a much bigger ability to carry weight than their hardshell equivalents. That being said, a loaded kayak with two fully grown men can add up those pounds.
Make sure you check the weight limit of the kayak you’re choosing and consider how much you and your heaviest passenger might be before getting one. Not only should you consider your combined weights, but also how much gear and supplies you plan to take with you. You don’t want to go over its weight capacity or you’ll risk sinking or damaging the kayak.
Hardshell tandem kayaks can get pretty big. And with the additional size, you’ll inevitably gain a lot more weight. It goes without saying, inflatable tandem kayaks are very lightweight which makes them very portable and easy to carry around. They’re also built with lots of handles to make getting it in and out of the water easy.
If you don’t have upper body strength like Arnie then we’d strongly suggest going for an inflatable kayak to make things easier. You also won’t get the backache and sore neck the following day from hauling it to and from the water every time you want to go kayaking.
When choosing a kayak, you need to be very concerned with its durability. They can receive quite a beating when out on the water with rocks and potentially being dragged across the ground when launching so you want something that won’t break on its first outing.
Although punctures are often one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about inflatables, modern advances in the materials used these days mean they’re incredibly durable. The top brands will usually have them made from extra strong PVC or Hypalon that are typically anti-puncture and have anti abrasive qualities to ensure your tandem kayak lasts for years to come and doesn’t suffer punctures. Some, like the Sea Eagle 380x have almost indestructible materials that have been compared to crocodile hides!
Another factor to consider before buying a tandem kayak is how you plan to use it. Are you looking for one to just use on lakes with your kids, or maybe you’re looking for the best whitewater inflatable kayak to tackle some rapids. Either way, make sure to look for the specific features you need when choosing which one is best for you.
If you do plan to use it for whitewater you’ll need to make sure that it’s suitable and check what class of rapids it’s suitable for. If you plan to use it for fishing you might want to look for one with rod holders.
Another good thing about inflatables is their cost. They’re considerably cheaper than an equivalent hardshell so you can really save some money opting for one. You can also save money by not having to buy accessories. For example, you won’t need a kayak cart, kayak roof rack, or any storage racks as it packs down so small and fits in a carry bag.
But like everything in life, the more you spend, the better quality you get and it’s definitely the case with inflatable tandem kayaks. The cheapest ones are going to be around $150 but these won’t be very durable and probably won’t last without regular repair patches. The best ones however around going to cost more and for a best-in-class tandem inflatable is going to set you back around $1000 but you can spend a lot more with upgrades.
Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayak Reviews
Now that we’ve hopefully given you a better idea of what you’re looking for in our buyer’s guide it’s now time to look at some specific models. To help you choose which one is the best for you, here are our reviews of the top inflatable kayaks for two people.
#1. Sea Eagle 380x Inflatable Tandem Kayak
In at number one we have this great tandem inflatable kayak, the Sea Eagle 380X. It’s actually built to hold three people so you can take along one or two of your friends (although it only comes with two seats and three fully grown adults might be a little bit of a squeeze). If you are looking for a 3 person version though check out this slightly bigger version the Sea Eagle 420x which can comfortably hold three passengers.
It is made of a super-tough inflatable material that is so tough, you can even drive over it in a 4×4! as shown in the video above. As well as being incredibly strong, it’s an ideal inflatable kayak for rapids and has been certified for up to Class IV whitewater. You will get rock-solid stability, whether in waves, whitewater or out on a calm lake.
It comes with two comfortable seats, and there is a bit of room left over for some gear or someone small. It has three air chambers, as you’d expect for a quality kayak and it can hold an incredible 750lbs of weight which is one of the highest weight capacities we’ve seen on an inflatable kayak.
All in all, a great product that although at a premium price point, is one of the most durable inflatable kayaks on the market and comes complete with paddles, stow bags, a carry bag, a repair kit, and a pump that make it well worth the price tag.
#2. AIRE Lynx II Tandem Inflatable Kayak
Our number two choice for tandem inflatable kayaks is the 12 and 1/2 foot AIRE Lynx II. In our opinion, it perfectly combines quality, functionality, and style. It comes in five different colors: red, blue, green, yellow, orange so depending on what your preference is there should be one that you like. It’s built with high quality, durable PVC to ensure that it lasts for years to come and can take the knocks and scrapes that paddling demands.
It has 3 air chambers for added safety in case one suffers a puncture. But even so, it doesn’t take long to inflate and should be up in about 8 minutes, which is pretty fast compared to other inflatable kayaks. It also has a big weight capacity being able to hold 475lbs so plenty for you, a friend, and some gear for an extended trip.
The one downside is it doesn’t come with paddles or any extra items so you’ll need to get them separately. But, even though that’s the case, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range inflatable kayak for two people this is definitely one to consider.
#3. Driftsun Voyager 2 Person Tandem Inflatable Kayak
- INFLATES QUICKLY: The Driftsun Voyager Kayak inflates to a full size kayak (10ft. x 35” x 16”) in less than 5 minutes with the...
- COMPACT & MANEUVERABLE: When deflated for transport this inflatable kayak measures only 26”(L) x 16”(W) x 8”(H) and fits...
- DURABLE DESIGN: Heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin bottom provides durable protection from punctures, Double Threaded Boston valves are...
The popular Driftsun Voyager 2 is also another contender when it comes to inflatable tandem kayaks on the market. It is a great option for those looking for a lightweight and portable 2-person kayak for exploring rivers and lakes. When it comes to durability, the Voyager 2 kayak is great value for money as it is made of tough 840 denier nylon with a PVC tarpaulin bottom. This strong design means that, although it’s not usable in whitewater, it’s more than capable of rivers and flat water, a good option for recreational kayakers not looking to tackle any rapids.
It’s considerably cheaper than the two kayaks we’ve looked at above and is a good choice for a mid-range inflatable kayak for two people. It also comes with two seats, paddles, a travel bag, a deluxe double action hand pump, and a rear tracking fin (skeg).
#4. Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Inflatable Tandem Kayak
- Built-in aluminum ribs define the bow and stern and improves tracking
- Three layers of material for extreme puncture resistance.Folded size 35 X 21 X 12 inches. Max Weight-550 pounds. Weight-52 pounds
- Pre-assembled at the factory; simply unfold, inflate, and attach the seats
Next, we thought we’d include our Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame kayak review which is an awesome inflatable tandem kayak that’s great for touring and recreational kayaking. We’ll give you a quick overview of why we think it’s so good.
Firstly, the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame is one of the safest kayaks we’ve come across. It’s built with an amazing 6 air chambers to ensure you are always buoyant and won’t sink in an emergency. That, coupled with the triple-layer polyester that the hull is made of means that it’s an incredibly durable and rugged inflatable kayak that’s very easy to recommend.
#5. Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Tandem Kayak
- Super tough laminate PVC with polyester core: Light weight and highly resistant to damage from abrasion, impact and sunlight
- High pressure inflation provides extra rigidity and stability, with high pressure spring loaded valves for easy inflation and fast...
- Includes 2 removable skegs for deep and shallow water, 2 floor mounted footrests, 2 integrated recessed fishing rod holders, 2...
For those looking for an inflatable fishing kayak then look no further than the Intex Excursion Pro kayak. It’s designed with the modern angler in mind and has a number of features specifically for fishing. The first thing to mention is the strong fishing rod holders as well as the removable mounting brackets that you can use to store extra accessories like fishing gear or GPS systems.
Construction-wise, it’s solid and made with laminate PVC to withstand scrapes and abrasions when launching. It’s not designed for whitewater though and is best suited to calm lakes and lazy rivers. When it comes to performance The Excursion Pro excels and has great tracking in the water due to the two skegs that help to keep you on course.
To summarize, it’s the best option for a fishing inflatable kayak for two people and at a very reasonable price considering it comes with paddles and a pump. Check it out by clicking the link below.
#6. Intex Explorer K2, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
- Comfortable for anyone: Kayak includes an adjustable inflatable seat with backrest; Cockpit designed for comfort and space
- Dimensions: Inflated size 10 feet 3 x 3 feet x 1 feet 8 inch; Maximum weight capacity: 400 pounds
- Directional stability: Removable SKEG for directional stability
Lastly, for those on a real budget, we have another kayak from Intex, the Explorer K2. This stylish kayak is made for two, but there is plenty of room for gear and other personal items. It is sturdy and safe, making it an excellent choice for beginners and makes an excellent first purchase.
The cockpit is designed to give you the utmost comfort and space, while the adjustable seat with backrests adds extra support for a whole day of paddling. While not as strong and durable as the other models on this list, it’s still made of high-quality vinyl with an impressive puncture resistance that will last a good while. Considering the very affordable price, it’s not bad and it also comes as a complete package of paddles and pump.
Conclusion: Which one Should you Buy?
So that’s it for our post on the best tandem inflatable kayaks. We hope it helps you make a better choice when you’re thinking about which one to get. If you’re still undecided about which one to buy, we’d highly recommend the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer.
Sea Eagle are one of the leading brands of inflatable kayaks in the USA and for good reason. The quality of the materials means that they’re almost indestructible (seriously, watch the video in our review above) have loads of space for extra gear plus get amazing reviews from previous customers. For more information and to get the best price, click the button below.