The best inflatable tandem kayak should obviously carry two or three people without tipping over or sinking under in normal use.
Just keep in mind that there are several considerations in choosing the best kayak for your needs – what your planned activities are, where you plan to go, and how many days and nights you plan to be away on your kayaking trip.
What Is An Inflatable Tandem Kayak?
This question has to be the first one to cross your mind if you have never heard of inflatable kayaks or any type of kayak in general.
Inflatable kayaks were first invented in 1844 and were made out of PVC. manufacturers still use PVC to produce inflatable kayaks, but they have also discovered other materials for making better quality kayaks.
Inflatable kayaks are kayaks that you can inflate when you need to use them or deflate when you are not.
As we previously mentioned, inflatable kayaks can be of two types. One is a solo, and another is a tandem.
A solo inflatable kayak is one that can carry one person.
A tandem inflatable kayak is one that can carry two persons.
So, knowing what an inflatable kayak is, you might be wondering why you should opt for buying an inflatable kayak? If this question was hovering around in your head, do not worry because we have got your back.
Advantages Of An Inflatable Kayak
In this segment of the article, we will cover the advantages of having an inflatable kayak compared to a regular kayak.
- Easy To Store: Inflatable kayaks can inflate or deflate when you need them, making them quite easy to store, unlike regular kayaks.
- Easy To Move: Being inflatable, it is easier to carry it around compared to regular kayaks.
- Unsinkable: Inflatable kayaks are made out of multiple air chambers. So even if there is a leak or puncture, it will still not sink.
- Affordable: A regular kayak can cost up to $3000, an inflatable kayak can cost something between $150-$1000.
- Stable: Due to their wider body, the inflatable kayaks are much more stable compared to regular kayaks.
- Long Lastingness: There is a reason why the U.S militaries use Hypalon kayaks and not any regular kayaks. While it is true that inflatable kayaks made out of PVC are not that durable, the Hypalon kayaks are top-notch when it comes to durability.
Inflatable Tandem Kayak Comparison Table
Regardless Of Your Plans, You Have To Consider These Factors:
- Stability: You want a kayak to stay steady on the water under calm and rugged conditions, especially in the case of fishing kayaks.
- Durability: You should look for thick, sturdy and strong PVC, vinyl or tarpaulin material, especially double-walled for added protection against punctures. You may want semi-rigid floors via an I-beam or a steel frame.
- Maneuverability: Your kayak should handle well, particularly in terms of quick response, easy maneuvering, and tight turns.
Be sure to consider sufficient storage space, ease of inflation and deflation, comfortable seats, and a high weight limit, too.
Best Inflatable Tandem Kayak Reviews
Here are our choice picks for a good inflatable tandem kayak, based on personal experiences and consumer reviews.
Each one provides high returns on your investment but your choice will obviously be influenced by your budget, personal preferences in features, and plans for using it.
1. Sea Eagle SE370K_P Inflatable Kayak
Be sure to use a manual hand or foot pump, not an electric pump, for inflating the kayak, a process that takes 8 minutes or so. You should also use an inflation gauge to ensure that the proper pressure is applied on the side tubes.
You can either fold the deflated kayak into a carry bag or just toss it into your car’s trunk for cleaning later.
This is a stable, solid and sturdy boat, even better than many commercial-grade inflatable boats in the market. Even its features, such as the tow point at the bow and drain plug at the stern, are well-designed.
In terms of its handling, you will find that the Sea Eagle’s higher center of gravity makes it feel more like a canoe, aside from its thick inflatable seat and floor contributing to the feeling. The kayak has dual skegs for aiding in keeping it on track, which many inflatables don’t have on board.
You can pack a day’s worth of gear, food and supplies, and equipment into your storage bag. Even the paddles, which are sufficiently long for paddling through rugged conditions, can be conveniently stored after disassembling them.
Your hours-long kayaking jaunt will be comfortable, thanks to the adjustable inflatable seats. You can use it for both one-person and two-person kayaking – just take out one set and reposition the other one.
- Puncture resistant
- Strong and durable
- Has great tracking
- Has a large storage space
- Comfortable adjustable seats
- Does not come with an inflation gauge
2. Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
When inflated, the kayak provides enough room for two people although their combined weights plus their gear should be under 400 pounds. Be sure to follow the weight limit for safety purposes, aside from easier handling of the kayak especially in rugged conditions.
You can also tow your gear behind your kayak without significantly affecting its handling, tracking and maneuvering capabilities. Your most important gear can be stowed in the spacious cargo net.
Accessories include a repair patch kit, a high-capacity pump, and two 86-inch aluminum oars. You should always bring the first two items for fast, easy and convenient repair of punctures as well as inflation and deflation of the kayak.
You will appreciate the comfort provided by the spacious cockpit, which included two inflatable seats and backrests. Even your feet can rest well on the semi-rigid floor. You want a balance between the comfort of an inflatable kayak and the rigidity of a hard-shell kayak.
The kayak is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Very stable
- Large storage space
- Great smooth handling
- High visibility for safety
- Made from tough durable vinyl fabric
- Comfortable seats and enough legroom
- Resistant to puncture and other damage-causing elements
- Takes a lot of time to fill when pumping
3. Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
You can even use it on whitewater rapids classified as Class III! The self-bailing drain valve comes in handy when dealing with whitewater rafting and open ocean kayaking, too. Your kayaking adventures will be more varied when you have such a versatile inflatable kayak.
While it’s as light as can be for a tandem kayak – just 26 pounds when deflated – its 500-pound load capacity is impressive. Aside from your combined weight, you can still stow a few days’ worth of your camping and fishing gear in its storage bag and cargo space.
You don’t have to worry about your cargo slowing down your water movements for as long as you keep within the weight limit.
Setting it up is easy, too, since inflation takes 10 minutes or under. A single person can pull it in and out of the water, although folding it after deflation may require an extra hand for fast results.
Just because you’re on the water doesn’t necessarily mean you like getting wet while in the kayak – and this is where the inflatable spray skirts come in.
You can remove one of the seats, too, when you want to go solo. Add in the two skegs for more effective tracking and speed and you have the best inflatable tandem kayak at an affordable price.
- Strong and durable
- A high load capacity
- Resistance to puncture
- Easy to inflate, deflate and set up
- Packaging after deflation requires a lot of effort and can take two people
4. Sevylor Fiji 2-Person Kayak
You will then sit in the fixed rear seat and enjoy more leg space, too. When fully inflated, the kayak can accommodate two people and their gear with a weight limit of 400 pounds.
Your kayak should stay afloat even when it’s fully loaded, thanks to the durable multiple air chambers, a design that also ensures the kayak will stay afloat even with a puncture. You also have the Airtight System no-leak guarantee to assuage your fears of sinking underwater.
The inflation and deflation process will be easier, too, thanks to the Double Lock and Mini Double Lock features. These are two locking points designed for convenience in assembling and disassembling the kayak.
You may think that an inflatable boat will sink under because of its inflatable construction. But you will find that the top rated inflatable tandem kayak has a semi-rigid I-beam floor with a three-chamber design, which keeps it strong and stable. Accessories include a carry bag and a pump.
- Easy to deflate and inflate
- Comes with a 5-piece foldable paddle
- Large storage space ideal for long trips
- Comes with comfortable and adjustable seats
- In case of a puncture, there is no chance of sinking
- Not self-bailing
5. Advanced Elements Lagoon 2 Inflatable Kayak
The built-in rigid panels combined with the high-denier polyester material with PVC laminate on the topside and the PVC tarpaulin at the bottom make it such a joy to ride, too.
You will love the smooth way that the kayak cuts through water, even with moderate waves, thanks to the defined shape of the bow and stern.
Of course, you shouldn’t use Lagoon2 in extremely tough water conditions, such as in whitewater rapids and Open Ocean, since it isn’t built for this purpose.
But you will also love it that this is a significant improvement in portability over hard-inflating kayaks and slow-inflating inflatable kayaks of old.
The inner tube cover adds stiffness resulting in better protection against abrasion from rocks, branches, and other debris.
You can keep an ergonomic paddling position because of the comfortable padded high-support seats. You and your passenger can hold on to the molded rubber-grip handles. Your on-water performance will likely be better, too, because of the tracking fin and landing plate.
Other notable features include a splash diverter, a mesh pocket for accessories, a deck lift tube, a bungee deck lacing, and a foam floor. Your days of lugging a heavy hard-shell kayak are over, especially as the Lagoon2 comes with a duffel carry bag for convenient transport, either on your shoulders or in your car.
- Great tracking
- Resistant to abrasion
- Padded comfortable seats
- Compact and lightweight
- Moves smoothly with high speed
- Ideal only for calm waters
Things To Consider Before Buying An Inflatable Kayak
How much kayaking experience you have can determine what type of kayak you choose. If you are a newcomer, you can find kayaks that are suitable for you. If you are a veteran in kayaking, you will surely find one suitable for you as well.
How much money you want to spend can also determine which kayak you want to buy. They are usually priced at around $150.
But if you have any special requirements, you can find one cheaper or costlier according to your requirements.
What type of fish you want to catch can change the type of kayak you will need. Suppose someone wants to catch smaller fishes, and someone wants to catch bigger ones. The amount of space each fisher needs will not be the same.
Before buying an inflatable fishing kayak, you have to consider the type of waterbody you want to fish in.
This is an important factor as choosing the wrong kayak can ruin your whole kayaking and fishing experience altogether.
Building material can determine how long your kayak will last so choosing the appropriate material is crucial. Kayaks are made out of three materials
The first kayaks were made out of PVC, and manufacturers use it to this day. PVC is by far the cheapest, and less durable material, of all three.
Nitrylon is sturdier compared to PVC but not as strong as Hypalon. Hypalon is the strongest material used for making kayaks and is used by the U.S military.
Similarities And Differences Of Solo And Tandem Inflatable Kayaks
Solo and tandem inflatable kayaks are mostly the same in terms of the build because, at the end of the day, both are inflatable.
The main difference between them is the number of people they can carry. Solo inflatable kayaks are made to carry a single person, whereas the tandem is made to carry two.
Their size and length are also different as they have different capacities. Another difference between them is that one person can use a tandem kayak, but two persons can not use a solo kayak.
Apart from these, a solo and tandem inflatable kayak are identical.
How To Choose An Inflatable Fishing Kayak?
We know we have mentioned a lot of information here, and it can be quite hard to process all of these at once. So in this segment, we will try to explain what type of inflatable tandem kayak you need based on your need. We will try to keep things as simple as possible.
The first and foremost thing about buying a kayak is the price. While it is the most important one, it is not the only thing you should keep in mind.
You can get an inflatable kayak for as low as $500, but getting the cheapest option might not always be the best one. The product you buy should fulfill your fishing requirements and habits.
Other things to consider are the capacity of the kayak, how much weight it can carry, and how durable it is.
Usually, it is better to get a balance kayak that can perform well under any type of situation and also consider the price and performance you will get for that price.
When you buy one of these products, you will be getting the best inflatable tandem kayak, period.
This isn’t just a matter of “if” since you will be buying an inflatable tandem kayak – it’s a matter of when, especially when you’re an avid angler, outdoorsman, or camper.
Each of these inflatable kayaks meets the standards for safety as well as durability in its materials and construction, functionality in its features, and beauty in its form.
You will not only have a kayak suitable for rugged water use but a kayak that will provide years of enjoyment on the water for you and your buddy. Buy one now and get started on your new kayaking adventures!