7 Best 2 Person Kayaks for Every Angler in May 2024

by | Last updated May 13, 2024

Best Overall AdvancedFrame Convertible
AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

This versatile inflatable kayak converts from solo to tandem, is 15 feet long, and holds up to 550 lbs.

Best Value Malibu Two XL
OCEAN KAYAK MALIBU TWO XL

This spacious 13-foot recreational kayak seats two plus a small passenger and offers fantastic stability for its price.

Most Featured Wilderness Systems 135T
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T Tandem Kayak

Sleek 13.5 ft touring kayak packed with features, tracks fast, holds up to 600 lbs.

2 person Kayak

Ready to double your kayaking fun?

A 2-person kayak is the perfect way to share the thrilling experience with a friend or loved one.

But with so many tandem kayaks on the market, finding the right one feels like navigating choppy waters.

Don’t worry, that’s where I come in!

I’ve paddled through the options and picked out the seven absolute best 2-person kayaks.

Whether you’re exploring or want to spend quality time outdoors, this list has something for everyone.

Let’s dive in!

What is the Best 2 Person Kayak?

Finding the perfect two-person kayak depends on what you want from your adventures.

Want speed, stability, the option to go solo, or a ton of gear storage?

Don’t worry, here’s our hand-picked list of the best to help you choose:

1. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL

This kayak really gets it right! It’s a fantastic all-arounder. Perfect for families or friends who want to chill and paddle. It has tons of room for a small kid or even a dog to join the fun.

OCEAN KAYAK MALIBU TWO XL

Our Take

0out of 10

The Malibu Two XL gets a high rating from me! It sacrifices some speed for incredible stability, which is amazing for families and casual paddlers.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Recreational
  • Length: 13 feet 4 inches
  • Width: 34 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds
  • Comfort: Spacious seating with optional upgrades for even better comfort
  • Storage: Decent storage space for day trips
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $1,199.99
  • What You Get: Great value for its size and stability
  • Upgrades: Comfort Plus seat backs available for enhanced comfort
OCEAN KAYAK MALIBU TWO XL

Pros

  • Super stable and roomy
  • Easy to paddle, even for beginners
  • Can take a third small passenger

Cons

  • Not the fastest kayak
  • It is a little heavy for one person to handle

2. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

This inflatable kayak is all about fun and ease! It's perfect if you want to try tandem kayaking or have limited storage space. Don't expect anything fancy, but it will definitely get you on the water.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Our Take

0out of 10

If you're looking for the cheapest way to get into tandem kayaking, this does the trick. But be prepared for a very basic paddling experience โ€“ you get what you pay for!

Key Benefits

  • Type: Recreational (inflatable)
  • Length: 10 feet 3 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Comfort: Not the most comfortable, but the seats are adjustable
  • Storage: Minimal storage space
  • Warranty: Limited warranty (check the Intex website for specifics)

Pricing

  • MSRP: $149.99
  • What You Get: Super budget-friendly, includes paddles and a pump
  • Upgrades: Not really any upgrades available
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Quick setup time

Cons

  • Not built for serious paddling
  • It can feel a bit flimsy in the water
  • Limited features

3. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

This is like the SUV of inflatable kayaks! It's big, comfy, and can handle almost anything. Perfect for a family day on the lake or if you need a kayak that can carry a whole bunch of gear.

Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Our Take

0out of 10

The Big Basin is a great choice if space and stability are your priorities. It's a solid contender for family fun but less suitable if you're focused on speed.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Recreational (inflatable)
  • Length: 12 feet 3 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 490 pounds
  • Comfort: Super spacious, and the seats are adjustable
  • Storage: Plenty of room for gear
  • Warranty: Limited warranty (check the Sevylor website for specifics)

Pricing

  • MSRP: $329.99
  • What You Get: Great value for a spacious and durable inflatable
  • Upgrades: Not really any upgrades available
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Pros

  • Super stable and roomy
  • Durable for an inflatable kayak
  • Comfortable seats for longer paddles

Cons

  • Can be slow to paddle
  • Heavier than other inflatables
  • Not ideal for choppy water

4. Lifetime Kokanee Tandem Kayak

This kayak is a workhorse! It's a solid, no-frills option that gets the job done. It's perfect if you want a reliable kayak that can handle both solo and tandem adventures.

Lifetime Kokanee Tandem Kayak

Our Take

0out of 10

The Lifetime Kokanee scores points for its versatility and tough construction. It is a solid choice if you want a dependable kayak for a variety of uses.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Recreational
  • Length: 10 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
  • Comfort: Seats are decent, especially with an upgrade
  • Storage: Has a storage hatch for essentials
  • Warranty: 5-year limited warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $575
  • What You Get: Great value for a kayak, this versatile
  • Upgrades: Better kayak seats are available
Lifetime Kokanee Tandem Kayak

Pros

  • Can be paddled solo or in tandem
  • Stable and easy to handle
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Not the fastest or most maneuverable
  • Seats could be more comfortable for long trips

5. AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem

This is the transformer of kayaks! It goes from solo to tandem in minutes. It is super versatile if you want the flexibility to paddle with a friend or explore on your own.

 AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Our Take

0out of 10

If you want the best of both worlds (solo and tandem) in an inflatable kayak, this is a great option. Its performance and versatility are excellent, even with the higher price tag.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Recreational/Touring (inflatable, convertible)
  • Length: 15 feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 550 pounds
  • Comfort: Seats are comfortable and adjustable
  • Storage: Decent storage space
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $979
  • What You Get: Versatility has its price, but you get a high-quality inflatable.
  • Upgrades: Optional decks for closed-deck kayaking are available
AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Pros

  • Super versatile โ€“ solo or tandem
  • It is a great performance for an inflatable
  • It packs down relatively small

Cons

  • It's a bit Expensive
  • There is a little more setup time than basic inflatables

6. Oru Kayak Beach LT Tandem

This is the coolest folding kayak around! It packs down super small and gets you on the water fast. Perfect if you have limited space or want something super portable.

Oru Kayak Beach LT Tandem

Our Take

0out of 10

The Oru Beach LT gets major points for innovation and portability. If having the most compact tandem kayak is your top priority, it's worth the investment.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Recreational (folding)
  • Length: 12 feet
  • Width: 36 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Comfort: Spacious and comfortable for its size
  • Storage: Minimal storage space
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $1,199
  • What You Get: The ultimate in portability for a tandem kayak
  • Upgrades: Backpack carrying system available for easier transport
Oru Kayak Beach LT Tandem

Pros

  • Incredibly portable โ€“ fits in a trunk or closet
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Surprisingly stable for a folding kayak

Cons

7. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T Tandem Kayak

This is a serious kayak for serious paddlers. If you're looking for speed, performance, and a whole lot of features, this is your ride. Just be ready for the price tag!

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T Tandem Kayak

Our Take

0out of 10

The Tarpon 135T is a top performer. If you want the best tandem kayak in terms of speed and features, and you're willing to pay for it, this is a fantastic choice.

Key Benefits

  • Type: Touring
  • Length: 13 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 600 pounds
  • Comfort: Seats are super adjustable for all-day comfort
  • Storage: Tons of space for longer trips
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Pricing

  • MSRP: $1,700
  • What You Get: A sleek, fast kayak loaded with features
  • Upgrades: Even more accessories available for serious paddlers
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T Tandem Kayak

Pros

  • It is super fast and tracks well
  • Comfortable for long distances
  • High-quality construction
  • Plenty of storage and gear-mounting options

Cons

  • One of the most expensive options
  • Heavier than other kayaks on this list

What to Look For When Buying a 2-Person Kayak?

  • Type: Recreational kayaks are great for casual outings while touring kayaks are longer and are built for speed and distance. Consider what you'll mainly use the kayak for.
  • Length: Longer kayaks track straighter and go faster but are less maneuverable. Shorter kayaks turn more easily.
  • Width: Wider kayaks offer more stability, which is especially important with two paddlers.
  • Weight Capacity: Make sure the kayak can handle the weight of two people plus all your gear.
  • Comfort: Look for features like adjustable seats, backrests, and footrests for a comfortable ride.
  • Storage: Dry hatches and bungee storage areas come in handy for longer trips.
kayaking

How Can a 2-Person Kayak Make Your Trip Exiting?

Even the best tandem kayak can cause a stumble if you're not careful! Here's why it happens:

  • Uneven Weight: If one person gets out too quickly, the kayak shifts suddenly, catching the other person off balance.
  • Waves/Currents: Even small waves or moving water can rock the kayak unexpectedly as you exit, especially with less weight inside.
  • Slippery Surfaces: Watch out for wet rocks or docks. If a recreational kayak like the Brooklyn Kayak Company model doesn't have good foot grips, slipping is easy.
Kayak

Buyer's Guide: How We Conducted Our Research

Here's how I found the perfect tandem kayak for your needs:

  • Tried and Tested: Whenever possible, I got my hands on kayaks to paddle them solo and with another person. This gives the most direct sense of their performance.
  • Diverse Needs: I focused on recreational kayaking since these kayaks are for casual fun, not specialist uses.
  • Comfort Matters: I looked specifically for sit-on-top models, as these are easiest for beginners and good for sharing the experience with multiple two-paddlers.
  • The Total Package:
    • Pricing: I wanted a balance of affordability and quality.
    • Features: Stability, seating, and storage were key considerations.
    • Negatives: I noted drawbacks like limited speed or lack of upgrades.
    • Support or Refund: A good warranty or return policy adds peace of mind for buyers.
adventure on kayak

Wrapping Up

Finding the perfect two-person kayak can be tricky!

With so many out there (not even counting fishing kayaks!), it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Remember, the best kayak for you depends on what you'll use it for.

If you don't need fishing rod holders or a fishing kayak, a 2-person kayak is the perfect way for you to hit the water with a friend.

Many recreational models offer spacious seating, excellent stability for the rear paddler, and even come with a convenient carry bag for easy transport to your favorite lake or beach!

If you want a casual sit-on-top kayak to chill on with a friend, this list is a great place to start.

Keep in mind things like stability, how easy the kayak is to maneuver with one or both of you paddling and how much storage space you'll need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks for two people?

Sit-in kayaks have an enclosed cockpit. They're better for colder weather. Sit-on-top kayaks are open, easier to get in and out of, and great for warm days.

Can I use a tandem kayak alone?

Yes, but some are easier than others. Look for kayaks designed for solo or tandem paddling, and check if the seats are adjustable.

How heavy are 2-person kayaks?

It varies! Inflatable kayaks are the lightest. Traditional kayaks, depending on size and material, can range from 50 pounds to over 100 pounds.

Are 2-person kayaks good for beginners?

Absolutely! They're usually very stable. For an enjoyable experience, prioritize wider kayaks and look for comfortable seats with backrests.

How much do 2-person kayaks cost?

Prices range wildly! Inflatable kayaks are the cheapest (around $150+), while high-end, feature-packed kayaks can easily exceed $2000.