The power of one is a mighty force when a person puts their mind into their effort. Two people using teamwork to accomplish the same goal, however, go above and beyond the capabilities of any single person. It’s the power of working in tandem, and the principal applies to two person inflatable kayaks as much as any other dual act. When hard shell kayaks are not an option, inflatable models make a viable substitute. Single person inflatable kayaks perform well, but have their limitations. When your needs expand beyond the restrictions of one person models, the best inflatable tandem kayaks step in to meet your requirements.
Inflatable Tandem Kayaks – Buyer’s Guide
The Advantages Of Inflatable Tandem Kayaks
Just like single person models, inflatable tandem kayaks offer advantages that hard shell kayaks can’t provide. For some, the benefits of portability and easy storage make the difference between owning a kayak or not. They simply don’t have the ability to haul a hard shell kayak, much less the space to keep it. Inflatable tandem kayaks deflate into a compact form making them not only easy to store, but also perfect for your boat or tent trailer. Best of all, the majority of inflatable tandem kayaks cost much less than similar hard shell models.
Similarities Of Two Person Inflatable Kayaks & 1 Person Models
Before examining the differences between one and two person inflatable kayaks, consider some background knowledge. How do inflatable kayaks differ, besides the obvious, from hard shell kayaks? What are the disadvantages of inflatable kayaks, and how might they effect the purchaser’s decision making process? Click over to the best inflatable kayaks buyer’s guide for details and answers to these questions.
When you have a basic understanding of inflatable kayaks, you find that most of their characteristics are the same. Inflatable tandem kayaks use the same designs, materials, and features that 1 person models use. For details on their similarities, follow the link above. It helps to familiarize yourself with the choices in design and different types of material. You’ll have those same choices in tandem inflatable kayaks.
Differences Between Tandem Inflatable Kayaks & 1 Person Models
The biggest and only real difference between 1 and 2 person inflatable kayaks is their size. It seems obvious that tandem inflatable kayaks are larger than one person models. They offer more space on the outside and inside. Less obvious is how that extra size effects their performance on the water.
For one thing, there’s going to be extra weight which both helps and hurts. Extra weight is definitely not a benefit for transport or storage, but it is on the water. That weight helps the kayak track better, a common issue with inflatable models. Set up may take a few minutes longer for a tandem inflatable kayak, but they hold more weight. A big benefit for people of larger stature. One person might opt to use a two person inflatable kayak for the extra weight capacity and storage room. It happens all the time.
How To Choose The Best Inflatable Tandem Kayak
The same step by step process that the inflatable kayak buyer’s guide describes works if you apply it to two person kayaks. Budget is a concern for most people, but you don’t have to begin a search by price point. There’s enough options on the market in inflatable tandem kayaks, that you can choose the best type and design for your needs.
Decide whether you want a sit on top or sit inside kayak first. Make sure you check out flat, round, and v-shape hulls. All these kayak design feature are ones you can decide upon before considering price. By following this order, you’ll narrow down your selection of kayaks to a few models that fit your needs. There will still be a wide price range to choose from. 10 of the best inflatable tandem kayaks illustrate this point, each with their own review below.
The 10 Best Inflatable Tandem Kayak Reviews
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Following in the footsteps of their one person model, Intex makes inflatable kayaking about as affordable as it gets. This 10 foot 3 inch long by 3 foot wide inflatable kayak offers enough room for two average size people. With a max weight capacity of 400 pounds, the Intex Explorer K2 makes a good single person option. There’s hardly a price difference anyway, and you can use the extra space for a day pack or cooler.
On a calm lake or placid river, the Intex Explorer K2 holds two people of average weight and height. The flat bottom design doesn’t offer the most stability so it’s best to keep away from moderate to fast moving water. The low price of the Explorer K2 brings a sacrifice in durability as well as quality of manufacturing. A benefit of Intex inflatable kayaks is that they provide the complete kit. You don’t have to search for skegs, carry bag, pump, paddles, or repair kit.
The largest drawback of the Intex Explorer K2 is that it just won’t fit 2 bigger sized people. 5’6” is about the cut off for height. It’s weight capacities gives each person 200 pounds, but that puts the kayak at max with no additional gear. At least as a consumer you can decide if it’ll work for you and a partner, or is best for solo purposes.
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There’s a difference between freshwater and saltwater inflatable kayaks. Secondary stability becomes important to prevent tip overs, and to make an easier task of righting when they do occur. Another major difference shows through in the material saltwater models use. The Sea Eagle SE370K_P inflatable tandem kayak uses 38 Mil K-80 PolyKrylar, a durable material that is both sun and saltwater resistant.
At 12′ 6” in length and 34” in width, the Sea Eagle SE370K offers plenty of room for tandem use. Weight isn’t an issue either with a capacity of up to 650 pounds, one of the highest in an inflatable kayak this size. Everything you need for set up comes with the package. This includes two 7′ 10” paddles, foot pump, carry bag, and repair kit. Once you familiarize yourself with the two person kayak, it takes about 8 minutes to inflate.
Plenty of other features adorn the Sea Eagle SE370K_P inflatable tandem kayak. Two carry handles help with transportation, while two skegs improve tracking and speed in the water. Seats are inflatable, adjustable, and come with back rests. Spray skirts strap onto both the bow and stern to ward off water in those focal points. A middle to lower middle range price tag puts the Sea Eagle 370 into a high value category. Definitely a best bet for dual ocean adventures.
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It’s no easy task to bring the design of a sit inside kayak over to an inflatable model, much less a tandem one! Advanced Elements takes the same vision behind their one person kayak and duplicates it in their two person model. This is their AdvancedFrame concept that uses aluminum ribs for support in the bow and stern. All assembly takes place at the factory making set up a snap. Simply unfold the AdvancedElements 1007-R inflatable tandem kayak and inflate. It’s ready to use in minutes.
This true sit inside inflatable tandem kayak is 15 feet long by 32 inches wide. Three layers of durable waterproof material cover the hull and protect the bladders from puncture. Adjustable padded seats offer the ultimate in comfort and 6 air chambers provide an extra measure of safety. Load up to 550 pounds of total weight into the Advanced Elements inflatable tandem kayak. Place small items on the stern with a larger bungee storage area on top of the bow.
As it comes, two paddlers easily fit and sit inside the AE1007-R kayak. The deck, however, is open with an option of purchasing a separate cover. Available covers include a one person adapter or two person cover. Advanced Elements offers a couple other accessories that also improve the performance of the kayak. Invest in their BackBone accessory to make the inflatable model even more rigid. You also have the option of adding a hard drop stitch floor for even more support.
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If your needs in an inflatable tandem kayak include material that can stand up to saltwater, you have several options. You can go with a more expensive model like those the Sea Eagle offers. Spending more for a special saltwater design, however, isn’t mandatory. Just take a look at the HydroForce Bolt X2. A standard design keeps its price more than affordable, but it uses saltwater resistant material.
Perfect for bays, marinas, and lagoons, the HydroForce Bolt X2 floats best in calmer waters. Use the removable fin to keep this 12′ 8” X 37” inflatable tandem kayak on track. With two adjustable seats, there’s enough room to paddle tandem. Weight may be an issue with a capacity of 375 pounds. That’s not much for two adults. Single paddlers do well to consider the two person Bolt X2 for some extra breathing room.
Price is an obvious benefit of the HydroForce Bolt X2 along with its saltwater purpose. In addition, this inflatable tandem kayak comes with all the extras. Pump with pressure monitor, backpack style carry bag, and 2 collapsible 86” paddles come with its purchase. The HydroForce Bolt X2 makes a perfect inflatable tandem kayak to store on your boat. Don’t forget to break it out when friends come to play!
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Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Kayaks and fishing come next if you get the pattern that’s developing here. They go hand in hand, and inflatable models offer that aspect of portability. One of the concerns when moving from a single person to inflatable tandem kayak is additional weight. Sure there’s another paddler to help carry the bag, but it’s much better if one can handle it.
That’s where the Chinook XP Tandem comes in. At 31 pounds, it’s light enough for one person to carry while the other one handles the gear. 12′ 10” inches of length and 36” width provide plenty of space for both anglers, or even more with a single fisherman. Sturdy and rigid after inflation, the Chinook XP is a high quality inflatable tandem kayak. It offers superb stability with a max weight capacity of 550 pounds and rigid I beam flooring. Each seat comes with a built in rod holder and a mesh storage pocket for tackle.
Cost of the Chinook XP inflatable tandem kayak reflects its durability and quality craftsmanship. Aquaglide is the maker and they use proprietary technologies in both the floor design and material. “X Beam” technology gives the floor a hard shell kayak feel. Duratex material is a blend of PVC and polyester with the most durable properties. Take a friend and the Chinook XP out fishing for a day, or better yet. Take two Chinook XP kayaks on a multi day camping/kayaking/fishing adventure.
In areas of heavy boat traffic, visibility is a big safety feature. While orange and red do stick out, yellow on black trim shines like a headlight. The Blue Wave Sports Nomad inflatable tandem kayak is hard to miss, or hit as it were. While additional safety is a bonus, so is the extra portable nature of this 12′ 5” X 33” model. At 34.5 pounds, the Sports Nomad is lighter than most 45 – 50 pound inflatable tandem kayaks. It stuffs into a sleeping bag style sack with straps for carrying.
With a mid range price tag, it would be nice to more than a 375 pound weight capacity in the Blue Wave Sports Nomad. It’s roomy enough and lightweight, but might not hold two fully grown adults. Again, paddlers often turn to this inflatable tandem kayak for single use. It does offer the complete package with pump, paddles, and all.
Durability rises above the cheaper inflatable models due to h2 24 gauge PVC material. You’ll find much better puncture protection around the air bladders and very tight seam welds to keep out water. Discover fast inflation in the floor, I-beam, and hull with an oversize valve. Paddle out in minutes flat and break down the Sports Nomad just as fast. Store her in a closet, boat, or RV and she’s ready to go for next time.
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Paddlers looking for the highest quality in performance and durability turn to the 13′ Saturn Expedition. It takes a bigger budget to have the best, though the Expedition still costs less than the majority of hard shell kayaks. Turning your attention to the specs of this inflatable tandem kayak, one of the first things you might notice are the flat Halkey-Roberts valves. They are top of the industry and secure the air in oversize 13” bladders. Protecting the outside of these extra large hull tubes is 1,100 Dtex PVC fabric. Floors of the Saturn Expedition also inflate and hold high psi for a firm decking.
For the size of the Saturn Expedition, it doesn’t weigh as much as you might expect. Plan for carrying 40 pounds or getting help from your partner. From outside wall across, the kayak has a width of 3 feet. On the inside you have 14 inches of that space for elbow room. This is also a complete package kayak with carry bag, repair kit, and two paddles. It has the pump and 4 removable skegs for tracking.
A huge benefit of the Saturn Expedition inflatable tandem kayak is its weight capacity. Some of the better models within these inflatable tandem kayak reviews hold up to 500 pounds. How about 700 pounds in the Expedition? Pack extra food, gear, and be on your watery way anytime you like.
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With a focus on ocean going inflatable kayaks, Sea Eagle makes a strong bid for your saltwater needs. If you’re searching for an inflatable tandem kayak that is also easy to carry, the Sea Eagle 330 becomes more attractive. Sitting empty on the water the Sea Eagle 330 weighs 26 pounds, though it holds up to 500. The package also includes everything for inflation inside its carry bag, another feature in portability.
At 34 inches, the width of the Sea Eagle 330 is standard. It’s the length of 11 foot 2 inches that’s a limiting specification. A pretty tight fit for two taller people. Once again, a mid range price point and easy portability makes the Sea Eagle 330 fine for single paddler use.
Durability and performance of the Sea Eagle make it suitable for rougher water use. Skirts that unfold lash to the bow and stern, both helping to keep out excess water. A self bailing drain valve takes care of any water that does collect on the inflatable I-beam floor. As for durability, Sea Eagle claims your dog’s claws won’t puncture or tear its heavy duty polykrylar material.
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One of the top names in inflatable kayaks, Sevylor, offers anglers a true fishing vessel in its Coleman Colorado. This 10′ 9” X 39” inflatable tandem kayak holds up to 470 pounds of weight. With sharp fishing hooks in mind, it uses multiple air chambers for additional safety. Tough and durable, the Coleman Colorado features 1000 Denier Tarpaulin bottom along with 840 Denier covering the hull.
One drawback of the Sevylor Coleman Colorado inflatable tandem kayak is its weight. Forty pounds gets heavy after a while, even with a carry bag. Another disappointment is the lack of a pump or paddles, though it does come with a pressure valve.
Now for the Coleman Colorado’s prowess as a fishing kayak! Start out with one of its top features, a trolling motor mount ability. You can choose to forget about the paddling and concentrate on the fishing. Troll comfortably with Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders, choosing to adapt one to fish finder if you so desire. Store tackle in inside mesh pockets and tie down larger boxes to well positioned D-rings. The Sevylor Coleman Colorado takes tandem fishing to brand new waters.
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Saving the best for last brings you to the Airhead Montana Performance inflatable tandem kayak. Features fill this model not with bells and whistles, but truly practical concepts. The result? An inflatable two person kayak that offers the best bang for your buck. Stretch out with plenty of room in this 12 foot model. 500 pounds of weight capacity means you’ll be able to use that extra room for storage.
The AHTK-2 rates for calm to moderate white water, so it’s not the most stable of kayaks. It is easy to see with its orange color and 840 Denier PVC material brings durability. At just over 36 pounds it’s not the lightest model, but Boston valves make inflation and deflation a breeze. Carry bag comes with the purchase, but unfortunately the pump and paddles do not.
Other features that round out the Airhead Montana Performance two person kayak make the huge savings even more outstanding. Features like its 4 skegs for superior tracking, spray covers fore and aft, neoprene elbow guards, and 6 D-rings prove the point. Along with all that value, you have the warranty and customer service of a solid company should any issues ever arise. Airhead brings the full picture to inflatable tandem kayaks.
From guide to reviews, a few facts about inflatable tandem kayaks stand out. Some are quite similar to one another, while others are unique. There’s a few that use the standard 3 bladder design, then others that go to 5 or even 7 bladders. Their materials are different, but they’ll all puncture with a direct hit. Durability shows through over time and by resistance to scrapes and bumps. Consider all the elements and an inflatable tandem kayak substitutes hard shells without too many sacrifices. Find your style and price range, but watch out for the two biggest mistakes paddlers make. Leave some wiggle for space and weight capacity and your inflatable tandem kayak will perform to satisfaction.