Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks – 2023 Buyer’s Guide

// By Leonard Schoenberger
// Updated: July 5, 2023.

Last updated on December 21st, 2023.

Leonard Schoenberger
Latest posts by Leonard Schoenberger (see all)

When it comes to enjoying the art of fishing and making your family a part of it, there’s nothing better than a tandem fishing kayak.

If you have a fishing buddy or like to enjoy going for freshwater fishing, then a 2 person fishing kayak will always be a better and more efficient option than buying two single seaters. 

Tandem fishing kayaks come with much of the same functionalities and features as their single capacity counterparts, but a lot of models have upgraded storage space, better paddling experience, on-top or inside sitting, excellent additional features, and more. In light of this, we’re going to talk about some of the best tandem fishing kayaks money can buy and help you make an informed decision. But first…

Table of Contents

Best Tandem Fishing Kayak Quick Answer List

Important Considerations Before Buying a Tandem Kayak

The Best Tandem Kayaks for Fishing


Fishing Kayak at Sunset

Top Tandem Fishing Kayaks Quick Answer List

1. Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL Angler Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak

2. Riot Escape Duo Deluxe Sit-on-Top Kayak with Paddle

3. Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak

4. Driftsun Teton Tandem Kayak

5. BKC TK181 Tandem Kayak

6. Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak

7. Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Kayak

8. Oru Tandem Foldable Kayak

9. Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

Important Considerations Before Buying a Tandem Kayak

The Size of the Kayak and How Well it Balances

The weight of the tandem kayak along with its balance is a very important factor to consider. For example, if you want the boat to adequately support your weight along with another person, you have to ensure the kayak is designed with the right leg room. You won’t have any fun fishing in a boat that’s too cramped and uncomfortable to paddle or row. Moreover, you’ll need to also keep in mind that you’ll be keeping your fishing equipment in the boat as well. So, a tandem kayak needs to support the overall weight of two people plus your equipment. 

Kayak Length

This is another important thing to keep in mind. You see, the longer the tandem boat is, the more room you’ll have to maneuver. Moreover, you’ll also have a lot of storage space. So, if you’re going for a two-person kayak, go for a boat that’s longer. 

The Purpose of the Kayak

Recreational kayaks aren’t built for fishing – which is why you need to first determine what exactly you need a kayak for. A tandem fishing kayak offers a great balance between recreational boating and fishing. 

Should You Go for Hard-Shell or Inflatable Kayaks?

This can be a bit confusing for some – you see, both types of tandem kayaks are built for the same purpose. However, it’s easy to see that hard-shell kayaks are built to offer more durability because they’re made with high-density polyethylene and they’re less prone to frequent damage or long-term wear and tear. But hard-shell kayaks are also tougher to transport and aren’t portable at all. Inflatable tandem kayaks on the other hand, are portable and much easier to transport because you can inflate them on the spot. However, you’ll need to wait quite a bit for the kayak to be fully inflated. 

The Durability Factor 

Tandem fishing kayaks aren’t exactly cheap, which is why you need to go for a product that offers long-term durability. No matter how expensive your kayak is, if it easily springs a leak due to a sharp rock then you’ve made a big mistake. This exactly why you should go for hard-shell tandem kayaks because they’re built with sturdier materials, mainly HDPE. However, that’s not to say that inflatable versions haven’t come a long way. As a matter of fact, you can opt for inflatable kayaks that are built with much of the same materials as a hard-shell kayak. But that’s going to be more expensive. 

Fishermen on fishing kayaks
A fishing kayak – no matter if single or tandem – is a great way to explore new waters

Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks 

Notice: The Wading List is reader-supported. We take part in the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up making a purchase. We only recommend products we are convinced of and use ourselves. Thanks!

Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL Angler Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayak

The Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL Angler Tandem has everything you are looking for in a high quality tandem fishing kayak. The linear polyethylene construction makes this kayak surprisingly lightweight considering it can carry two people. The keel keeps it steady at all times. Integrated rod holders make it easy to have all your fishing gear in place and at hand when the action requires it.

Another great aspect of the Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL Angler Tandem is the fact that it’s also easy and comfortable to use as a single person fishing kayak. Its dimensions of 13ft4in make it easy to maneuver on your own. If you want to use it with your fishing buddy or kids, the adjustable and padded backrests will provide comfort on long fishing days out on the water.

In the front and the back of the Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL Angler Tandem you’ll find deck riggings and centre strap to safely stow your fishing gear. Drain holes make it easy to get rid of water that might have gotten into your kayak on your trip. Carry handles on each side facilitate the transport to and from the water. Made in the USA – great value for money. Weight capacity: 450-500lbs.



Riot Escape Duo Deluxe Sit-on-Top Kayak with Paddle

At 14ft1in, the Riot Escape Duo Deluxe is a fraction longer than the Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL but a little less feature rich. Also made from polyethylene, it boats a lot of stability. Four flush mount rod holders in the middle and back of the kayak give you ample possibilities to get your rod in the position you are looking for.

The Riot Escape Duo Deluxe features a width of 35in further increasing the stability when out on the water with two people. This brings its weight capacity to over 600lbs, making the Riot Escape Duo Deluxe a good choice even for two bigger fishermen or women. It also has integrated straps in the front and back to attach and safely store fishing gear.

The Riot Escape Duo Deluxe is available in two colors: a light blue (pictured above) and a bright yellow. The padded lounge chairs provide ample ventilation thanks to their mesh fabric. At 77lbs and 3.2oz, the Riot Escape Duo Deluxe weights almost exactly as much as the Ocean Kayak Malibu II XL but offers a higher weight capacity (600lbs vs 450/500lbs).



Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak

When it comes to durability, class, and comfort, the Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak can be a great investment for your fishing adventures. Coming at a four-figure price, the Elkton is more of a luxury fishing boat than your average product. Weighing in at 72-lbs, the kayak is 12.3 feet in length and 3 feet wide. 

The Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak is designed for novice, recreational, and veteran fishers. The boat can use used on rivers, calm streams, the ocean, lakes, and mild-current rivers. In addition, the kayak comes with two seats that are designed for a comfortable fishing experience. Plus, the seats are built with cupholders so that you can enjoy your morning coffee while waiting for a big catch. 

But perhaps one of the best thing about the Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak is that you can pack it with a lot of equipment. You see, the boat comes with a two independent storage units, one on each end of the boat. The boat has a total load-bearing capacity of 650-lbs! 

You can also bring your valuables such as smartphones and wallets on-board and have no worries that they’ll get wet. The Elkton Outdoors Hard Shell Fishing Tandem Kayak boasts waterproof storage for your valuables. The boat also comes with adjustable holders for your fishing rod and is built with rotationally molded and highly durable materials. 


Smooth handling and well-balanced

Excellent storage space

Waterproof and air-tight storage compartments

Durable materials





Driftsun Teton Tandem Kayak

When you talk about fishing and exploration, there’s nothing better than the Driftsun Teton Tandem Kayak. It’s designed for comfort, versatility, and streamlined balance. The kayak is made with molded HDPE (high-density polyethylene). In addition, the material is also UV-resistant. The tandem kayak is quite durable and very less likely to develop frequent wear and tear damages. It’s going to last you a long while. Moreover, the hull of the kayak is also built to withstand rough water conditions, guaranteeing stability and smooth handling. 

There are two secured mounting units on the Driftsun Teton Tandem Kayak for your fishing rods and the boat also comes with two independent, waterproof storage hatches. The storage compartments will be more than adequate for all your equipment plus your partner’s stuff. In addition, the tandem kayak also has a bungee cord attachment at the rear. 

The total weight capacity of the Driftsun Teton Tandem Kayak is 500-lbs and the boat provides comfortable leg space, allowing both fishers to relax, row, and catch a big fish. Moreover, the kayak is packed with several additional features such as two fishing rod mounts, four rod holders (flush mount), waterproof storage, and much more. 

Lastly, the Driftsun Teton Tandem Kayak also comes with an EVA fishing seats built with comfortable back support, making it simpler and comfortable for you to fish for extended periods of time. Overall, the hard-shell kayak is a very good option and offers great value for money. 


Built with highly durable material

Excellent, waterproof storage

Bungee cord 

Additional rod mounts





BKC TK181 Tandem Kayak

When it comes to aesthetics and design, it’s hard to beat the BKC TK181 Tandem Kayak. It’s one of the best 2 person fishing kayaks when it comes to looks. Designed with a nice mixture of camo-colors, the color palette is uniquely chosen to blend with the water and your overall surroundings. The best way to catch fish is to first make sure they’re calm enough to take the bait, and with the BKC, they’ll never know what hit them. 

The BKC TK181 Tandem Kayak is also built-in with streamlined tracking and handling is a breeze. Measuring 12 feet and 5 inches, the sit-on top kayak comes with a blend of features that makes the boat easy to maneuver. The hull is designed to tackle rough waters, sudden movements, or rapidly changing currents. You can use the kayak on mild-current rivers, the ocean, down current streams, etc. 

The total capacity of the BKC TK181 Tandem Kayak is 450-lbs, which is a bit lower considering the four-figure price tag. And yes, this also means that they kayak will feel a bit wobbly as the weight limit will not entirely support the weight of two people plus all their equipment, so you’ll have to compromise on the amount of things you take with you if you don’t want to go alone. Otherwise, the kayak comes with great storage compartments – one at the rear. Plus, the tandem kayak also features a bungee rope system.


Great color scheme

Good handling 

Reinforced kayak hull

Bungee rope system for excess equipment 



Less than desirable weight capacity 



Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak

While the Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak is a particularly newer entrant in the vast world of tandem kayaks, it’s fast-becoming a popular product. Why? Well, that’s all thanks to the boat’s wonderful features at a relatively smaller price tag. However, the Lifetime kayak is only designed for lake fishing, which automatically means the boat is going to be excellent for avid anglers. The total length of the boat is 10 feet and has a durable hull design that’s going to help you stand up and reel-in a big lake fish. 

What’s surprising is that the Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak is designed to be used by three people and has a total weight capacity of 500-lbs. This means you can accommodate two adults and a kid quite easily. However, when it comes to flexibility and practicality, the kayak performs better with just two people in it. The kayak also comes with rod holders for solo fishing and/or angling. It can also store your polls. 

In addition, the tandem kayak also boasts a water-resistant storage compartment that doesn’t hold a lot, but it will do the job. Moreover, the kayak also has additional storage capacity at the back of the seats and features a bungee rope system.  

The Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak is built with HDPE (high-density polyethylene) for durability, which means its going to last you a long while, not bad for a three-figure tandem kayak. 


Good storage 

Additional features

Comfortable seats

Durable construction


Smaller in size 

Less than desirable tracking and speed 



Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Kayak

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Kayak is an inflatable tandem kayak that comes with a couple of impressive features and functionalities. Measuring at only 10 feet long, the kayak is well-suited for lightweight fishing trips. For example, one paddler can carry a bag full of equipment while the other packs light. 

Moreover, when it comes to durable inflatables, it doesn’t get any better than the Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Kayak, the underside of the kayak is manufactured with high density, 1000D tarpaulin (nylon). The material effortlessly secures the boat against fishhook damage or sharp cuts from jagged edges. 

Moreover, the exterior of the boat is made with 840D nylon, adding more durability. The kayak features paddle holders on both sides of the kayak, and it also comes with two fishing rod mounts. You can easily adjust the rod holders for maximum comfort and effectiveness. 

What’s even more amazing is that the kayak comes with more than one air chambers. This means that in the event the boat is punctured, it will never sink as you restore the leak. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Kayak is also strong enough to be fitted with a trolling motor. 


You can mount a trolling motor

Air chambers 

Easy to carry and transport

Built with high quality and durable materials



Inadequate storage capacity

Not comfortable for two people



Oru Tandem Foldable Kayak

When it comes to versatility, high-end portability, and streamlined functionalities, you may consider going for the Oru Tandem Foldable Kayak. The boat features an incredible, origami-like structure that’s designed to easily collapse and fold. The boat is made from reinforced polypropylene. The product basically comes with the company’s own storage bag. Take the boat out, assemble it quickly and voila! You’re all set for a nice fishing trip on a serene, gentle stream. 

When fully assembled, the Oru Tandem Foldable Kayak measures 12 feet long, however, you can also opt for 16-footers. And one of the best things about the Oru is the fact that you can also take it out on the open sea. The kayak weighs 50-lbs, and you can carry it with you on an airplane as well. 

The boat also comes with additional features such as cup holders, camera and fishing rod mounts, durable holding rails for your things, and much more. 


Built with durable material

Quick assembly

Great weight capacity

Cup holders and rod mounts


Weaker hull




Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

While a majority of products on this list of best tandem fishing kayaks range from expensive to moderately expensive, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is by far the most affordable. The kayak is designed for fishing on gentle river streams and lakes and is delivered with the company’s very own carrying case. The boat is made with durable polyester with a blend of PVC on either side. While the boat is prone to damage, you can easily mend any damage thanks to the repair kit the boat comes with. 

The Intex Excursion Pro Kayak also comes with its very own inflating device – but because the device is rather small, you’d have to wait quite a while for the boat to fully inflate. The kayak comes with adjustable seats and footrests, and you can also strap the seat to the surface of the boat using a Velcro strip. All in all, not a bad investment if you’re a non-frequent fisher and are on a budget. 


Great portability

Adjustable seats

Highly affordable 

Comes with several accessories


Unsatisfactory built quality

Not load bearing

Not recommended for avid fishers



Bottom Line

So there you have it – a list of some of the best and most practical tandem fishing kayaks money can buy. Of course, what you plan to get primarily depends on your preferences. For example, if you’re good on budget and are looking for something feature-packed, durable, and comfortable – go for the Elkton Outdoors tandem kayak. It’s a hard-shell tandem fishing boat with an attitude! Similarly, if you’re on a budget and just want to experience the thrill of fishing, go for the Intex Excursion Pro. 

Notice: The Wading List is reader-supported. We take part in the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up making a purchase. We only recommend products we are convinced of and use ourselves. Thanks!

Why You Should Trust Us

Leonard Schoenberger and his team spend plenty of days out fishing. Their goal is to test and review products for you so you can make a solid purchase decision and improve your fly fishing game. We always express our honest opinions, never get paid for reviews and are proud of our editorial independence.

FAQs on the Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks

What features should I consider when choosing a tandem fishing kayak?

When choosing a tandem fishing kayak, consider factors such as stability, seating comfort, storage space, weight capacity, length of the kayak, and included fishing features like rod holders. The type of water you will be fishing in can also determine the best kayak for your needs.

How is the stability of tandem fishing kayaks?

Most tandem fishing kayaks are designed to be quite stable to accommodate the movement of two people. They are typically wider to enhance stability. This is especially important when fishing, as stability allows you to cast and reel without the risk of tipping over.

Can a tandem fishing kayak be used by one person?

Yes, many tandem fishing kayaks can also be used by one person. Some models have adjustable seating positions that allow you to center yourself when fishing alone. However, handling a tandem kayak alone can be more challenging due to its size and weight.

How do I maintain a tandem fishing kayak?

Rinse your tandem fishing kayak with freshwater after each use, especially after fishing in saltwater. Dry it thoroughly before storage to prevent mold and mildew. Regularly check for any signs of wear or damage.

Are tandem fishing kayaks suitable for long fishing trips?

Yes, many tandem fishing kayaks are designed with comfort in mind for longer fishing trips. Look for models with ergonomic seating, ample legroom, and plenty of storage for gear and provisions.

What is the weight capacity of a tandem fishing kayak?

The weight capacity of tandem fishing kayaks varies by model but typically ranges from 400 to 800 pounds. Always check the specifications of the kayak to ensure it can safely support the combined weight of all passengers and gear.