2 person kayaks are awesome.
You can bring a friend or family member along and have memorable conversations while exploring new spots and scenery.
But with so many brands and varieties of features, it is hard to zero in on a single kayak.
This is where this guide comes to the rescue.
In this guide, we review the best 2-person kayaks based on various factors such as build quality, performance, comfort and storage options. Here goes:
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top
Ocean Kayak Malibu is perfect if you are looking for a stable, comfortable and well-made 2 person kayak. It can also be used for a solo ride when you want some time away from the humdrum of life.
The kayak has a weight capacity of 425 lbs. which is decent for two average adults. It is made with polyethylene material that is strong and lasts a long time. It is tough enough to resist shocks and impact. Multiple footwells ensure that paddlers of all heights can fit in.
The Malibu glides smoothly through water. It is stable enough for you to take it through rough waters and ocean swells. One can even paddle it while standing and it won’t feel tippy.
The Malibu allows you to add stuff like pad eyes for customization. You can also use it for fishing because of how spacious and stable it is.
It is the best 2 person kayak for beginners since it is easy to get in and out of, and tracks really well with a keel underneath. Its wide hull gives it a lot of stability.
- Solid build quality
- Comfortable and stable
- Good for beginners
- Performs well in rough waters
- Adjustable seats
- Heavy for solo rides
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Sevylor Coleman Colorado is an excellent option for those looking for an inflatable 2-person kayak. The thing that makes it different from other kayaks is that it comes with rod holders that let you fish with ease.
It is made with 18-gauge PVC material, thick tarpaulin bottom and a tough nylon cover. This gives it enough sturdiness to take impact from underwater objects like rocks and submerged trees. Like any other inflatable kayak, its multiple chambers keep you afloat if one of the chambers gets punctured.
Paddlers love Colorado because of how spacious it is. Two adults taller than 6 feet can easily fit in this kayak. Or you can take your two kids instead of taking an adult with you. Its seating position is ‘high and dry’ so that you can enjoy your trip without getting wet. This also helps with fishing since you get a wider area for casting with more accuracy.
It has lots of storage options including backrest pockets, spots to clip storage bags and keep pump or whistle. It is clearly made with user experience in mind.
The kayak also has amazing stability – even with rowdy kids or a restless dog on board, you will never feel like it is going to tip over.
- Good build quality
- Spacious for two tall adults
- Multiple storage options
- Rod holders – rare on an inflatable kayak
- Tacks well
- Paddle holders
- No drain plug
Lifetime Manta Tandem Sit on Top Kayak with Backrests
Lifetime Manta is a great 2-person kayak for those who want a compact tandem kayak with user-friendly features. Although it is primarily a 2-person kayak, it has additional space for a kid or a dog in the center. There is a molded seat in the center for this purpose.
It can support a staggering 500 pounds of weight which is enough for two average adults and a kid. The major advantage that Manta has over most kayaks is superior stability. It doesn’t tip easily even when you try.
The boat is made with linear low-density polyethylene material which is sturdy enough to absorb shock and impact. It is better than the HDPE material that is used in most kayaks.
Removable backrests and multiple footwells allow you to stay comfortable even on long rides. However, the seat bottom has no padding, it is molded plastic. Another downside is that it doesn’t have storage tank wells or dry hatches.
Since it is just 10 feet long, it is easy to handle on the water. You can turn on the dime and maneuver with precise strokes. The boat stays its course even on choppy waters and you won’t struggle to keep it moving in a straight line.
Because of its superior stability, it is one of the best 2 person kayaks for beginners.
- Extraordinary stability
- 500 pounds load capacity
- Comes with paddles
- Compact and easy to handle
- No storage hatches or tank wells
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is the best budget 2-person inflatable kayak. At a minimal price, it offers a whole lot of value and comes with not just the kayak but also paddles and an inflation pump.
The seats are comfortable and you can adjust them for your height. The high backrest feels comfortable and allows you to sit for long hours. It comes with grab lines and grab handles to give you a stable posture when tackling waves.
It supports 350 lbs. of weight, which is good for average adults but not enough for bigger paddlers. The two paddles are 86 inches in length, but feel a bit short while paddling.
The boat is very stable – it won’t feel tippy at any point during your trip. You can even stand on it and it won’t feel tippy. You can get in and out of it easily as well.
On the bow and the stern are two skirts that prevent water from getting inside the kayak. Both ends are also curved that helps the Explorer K2 glide through water smoothly.
It is amazing that the kayak has boston valves at such an affordable price. Boston valves make inflation and deflation easy and quick.
The kayak is easy to set up and the inflation pump can get it ready within as little as ten minutes.
- Best affordable 2-person kayak
- Easy to handle
- Boston valves for quick inflation
- Comes with all necessary tools
- Paddles are short
- 350 lbs capacity may not be enough for some
BKC TK219 12.2′ Tandem Fishing Kayak
If you are willing to pay for quality, the BKC TK219 is an excellent 2-person kayak you can buy. It comes with a whole lot of features that most kayaks don’t.
The kayak has two padded seats that are so comfy that you can paddle all day without getting sore. It also comes with adjustable aluminum paddles – a rare feature in kayaks. Paddles are long enough for easy paddling.
It has two waterproof storage hatches so you can keep your stuff safe from water. If you want to store more stuff, you can use the bungee tie downs. This helps you keep loose, bulky or awkwardly shaped items safe and secured. But the list of features goes on – it has six rod holders that allow anglers to enjoy fishing trips.
The kayak is extremely well-made. It is made out of rotomolded single piece high density polyethylene material. Single piece construction makes it leak proof and HDPE material makes it robust and durable.
The kayak supports up to 595 lbs. of weight. It has a 34-inch beam that makes it stable enough to go through choppy waters or strong currents without losing balance.
- Superior build quality
- Comfortable seats
- Lots of storage
- 595 lbs. Capacity
- 6 rod holders
- 2 paddle parks
- A smaller third seat for a child
- A bit heavy for the average paddler
Pelican Recreational Kayak | River Gorge 130X Tandem
Pelican River Gorge 130X kayak is for those who want a premium 2-person kayak. The kayak is lightweight and comfortable. It has two retractable carry handles for easy transportation.
The seat has enough padding to keep you comfortable for long hours on the water. The backrest is padded and also adjustable so that paddlers of different body proportions can find a good fit. Apart from the two seats, it has a molded seat in the center to bring along a kid or a dog.
It has a rear tank well with bungee lacing to keep your camping and other gear secured. On top of that, it also has two dry storage hatches that can hold a substantial amount of stuff.
Its multi-chine hull design makes it stable so it won’t feel tippy on rough waters or when you stand on it. It also tracks well, so you can move faster than kayaks that don’t.
It supports up to 500 pounds of weight. This is usually enough for two average-sized adults and some gear. It comes with bottle holders so you can stay hydrated and refreshed through long journeys.
It also comes with paddles that work really well. So you don’t have to pay extra to buy your own.
- Superior build quality
- Sufficient padding
- Paddles included
- Center seat for a kid
- Stable and tracks well
- Heavy, so a bit hard to move to the water
Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak
Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak is perfect if you want a long and fast 2-person kayak that can slice through water like nobody’s business. The boat is made with high-density polyethylene material which is robust, impact resistant and has UV protection. It also doesn’t fade, peel or crack when left in sunlight. It has a skeg wheel on the bottom that helps with tracking. The wheel also helps you move it from one spot to the other.
The kayak comes with a five year warranty so you can have peace of mind when paying for it. There is enough space for two adult paddlers. The seats are comfortable with sufficient padding and multiple footrests allow you to position your feet comfortably.
The best thing is that it tracks really well whether you use it as a solo or a tandem kayak. Its maneuvering is really good, so you can make turns, go through narrow passages and practice different strokes quite easily.
It has a storage hatch to keep your stuff safe from water. But it doesn’t come with a storage hatch bag like some other kayaks. The seat backrests are high enough to be comfortable for long hours.
Overall, this kayak is value for money with practical features.
- Solid HDPE construction
- Tracks well
- Solo or tandem use
- Storage hatch
- Comfortable seats
- Skeg wheel helps you roll it
- Heavy but that’s expected from a tandem kayak
Frequently Asked Questions
Are double kayaks good?
2-person or tandem kayaks allow you to spend quality time with friends or family. You can explore new spots, take photos and make memories. It is almost like going on a short vacation.
Can 1 person use a 2 person kayak?
Yes, most 2 person kayaks can be used for solo kayaking as well. The key is to look for a kayak that maintains balance and tracks well even when used as a solo. You can sit in the center or on the rear seat when paddling solo in a 2-person kayak.
Where do you sit in a 2 person kayak?
Some 2 person kayaks allow you to remove one seat and position the remaining other seat in the middle for better balance. If this is not an option, you can sit in the rear seat. This gives you a solid level of control so that you can maneuver it effectively.
Is a double kayak hard?
The hard thing about a double kayak or a tandem kayak is that you have to sync your paddling rhythm with the other paddler. This can be hard for beginners and can feel annoying if you can’t do it – this is the reason they are sometimes called “divorce kayaks”. Tandem kayaks are also heavier so paddling them solo takes a sizable effort.
Where should the heavier person sit in a kayak?
There are many ways to evenly distribute the weight in the kayak. If one of the paddlers is heavier, they should sit in the back. And the luggage should be kept in the front to balance out the weight. As a thumb rule, the rear part of the boat is better equipped to handle more weight than the front.
There are many 2-person kayaks in the market. But not all are made equal.
When buying one, look for build quality, storage space, comfort, tracking and maneuverability.
If this is too complicated for you, check our top pick: The Ocean Malibu Two Tandem sit-on-top kayak.