Two’s Company – The 10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks in 2021


When life gets on top of you, fishing can be just the tonic.

And while it’s great with one, it can be just as good with two.

Providing you get on, of course.

So, if you have a friend or loved one you could happily spend time with on the water, we’ve got the best tandem fishing kayaks in 2021 coming right up.

They say that two’s company – and when you’re literally in the same boat – never a truer word was spoken.

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The 10 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks in 2021

Hobie 2020 Mirage Pro Angler 17T Dune

When it comes to fishing kayaks – tandem or otherwise – Hobie makes the world’s best.

Using the latest technology for their market-leading pedal power drives, they are the premium kayak manufacturers for anyone who is really serious about the sport.

This is their Mirage Pro model, a stunning tandem yak with dual Mirage Drive 180s and turbo kick up fins.

The Vantage XT seating is as comfortable as they come, fully adjustable and offering an unbeatable view given their raised position.

And then it just keeps getting better, with all the rod holders and mounts you could wish for, a tackle management system, and plenty of storage options to boot.

Pros

  • Premium-quality design and construction.
  • Name to trust.
  • Super-stable hull design.
  • High weight capacity at 900 lbs.
  • Fully customizable.
  • 20 feet of accessory railings.

Cons

  • Exorbitantly expensive.
  • Very heavy.
  • Regularly sold out.

Takeaway

Simply the best tandem kayak for fishing there is – providing you can get one, and you’re willing to part with a small fortune. This is a professional-level craft with all the trimmings and then some.

The only thing it doesn’t seem to have is illumination, so try these bowfishing lights if you’re out after dark.

BKC PK14 Tandem Pedal Drive Kayak

The Brooklyn Kayak Company offers an abundance of quality yaks at affordable price points (stay tuned for more) and this is their premium pedal drive model that gives both pilots the chance to use the pedal propellers and rudder system for hands-free fishing.

Two, ergonomic, aluminum frame seats are also included for superior comfort and elevated field-of-view, and it has a high weight capacity of 670 lbs.

Three, flush mounted rod holders will keep plenty of baits in the water as you enjoy a leisurely paddle down river, and the BKC even offers the widest choice of colors when it comes to kayak aesthetic.

Pros

  • Three waterproof hatches.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Bungee storage webbing.
  • Four accessory plates.
  • Comfortable and spacious.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Takeaway

Sure, it might be expensive, but this model from the BKC is one of the most affordable pedal power fishing kayaks on the market. Snap one up before they sell out – just like all the rest.

You might want to also wear a pair of good fishing shoes for extra comfort and control when you’re paddling.

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Of all the tandem inflatable fishing kayaks that are available, I think this is my personal favorite.

That’s largely down to a number of features, including its drop-stitch floor that can accommodate standing casts, the multiple Scotty-style mount points to add your own accessories, and its general versatility as a recreational craft.

Made from a durable 1000 denier reinforced, layered PVC, it’s built to last, and has self bailing drains in case you do take on water.

It tracks and paddles well, thanks to two skegs and a long waterline, and the comfort seating can be fully adjusted to suit the users of all shapes and sizes.

Pros

  • Durable build quality.
  • Cone and rear plastic tips.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Bag, paddles, and pump included.
  • Easy to set up.

Cons

  • Limited storage options.
  • Mounting accessories sold separately.

Takeaway

The Steelhead 150 from Elkton Outdoors is one of the best tandem inflatable fishing kayaks out there, but although you’ll need to purchase rod holders and mounts separately, this ensures the craft is highly versatile, and you can kit it out how and when you see fit.

Lifetime Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak

Lifetime offers some decent kayaks at the more budget-friendly end of the price range, and this is their tandem fishing version.

Capable of solo or duo paddling, the vessel has been blow molded from high-density polyethylene, which provides excellent strength and durability.

It can sit up to three people with a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs, so it’s ideal if you have a little one or a pooch that wants to come out, too.

Featuring three fishing rod holders, paddle parks, padded backrests and a six-inch storage hatch – there’s plenty to keep anglers happy here.

Pros

  • Great price for what you get.
  • Paddles included.
  • UV-protected.
  • Compatible with a trolling motor.
  • Multiple foot rests.
  • Very stable in the water.

Cons

  • As basic as they come.
  • Heavy.

Takeaway

Sure, it might be no frills, but it does what it sets out to do, and it does it well. And as a hardshell, this is one of the best tandem fishing kayaks for the money.

Just don’t forget to use one of these awesome saltwater fishing rods if you’re venturing out in more challenging conditions.

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 120T Tandem Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks are responsible for the famed Sea Ghost model, which is one of the best ocean fishing kayaks around.

The Skipjack is a tandem option, a 12 foot sit-on-top yak that is versatile for recreational and family use, as well as fishing.

Boasting two flush mount rod holders with caps and four mounting points for Scotty, RAM, or Railblaza mount rod holders, there’s plenty of scope here for pimping your ride out how you like it.

A 500 lbs weight capacity allows you to pack plenty of gear, and there are decent storage options with bungee tie down straps and watertight hatches.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Upgraded comfort seating.
  • Molded carrying handles.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Cup holders.
  • Highly customizable.

Cons

  • On the heavy side.
  • Limited storage.

Takeaway

A great tandem kayak from a reputable kayak company, Vibe continues to make some solid, sea-worthy craft.

And again – for the price – this is up there with the best 2-person kayaks for fishing available, especially considering it’s a hardshell.

Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Intex manufactures quality, affordable inflatables that are a significant step up from cheap play boats, without breaking the bank.

This is their professional series – the Excursion Pro – a versatile tandem kayak for recreation, that just so happens to be kitted out for fishing, too.

Made with a super tough laminated PVC with polyester core, it’s highly resistant to wear and tear, as well as being protected from UV rays.

With a total weight capacity of 400 lbs, it features two removable skegs, two floor mounted footrests, and two recessed fishing rod holders.

There’s also two fully adjustable bucket seats for added comfort, and storage space at the bow and stern.

Pros

  • Excellent price point.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Rugged, durable construction.
  • Paddles and pump included.
  • Stainless steel D-rings.
  • Removable mounting bracket for additional accessories.

Cons

  • Can be a challenge to pack up.

Takeaway

Another example of how good inflatable kayaks can be, this is a great recreational craft that manages to fit in some practical fishing features – including the option of adding more accessories. Top marks.

BKC TK181 Tandem Fishing Kayak

Next up we have another tandem fishing kayak from the Brooklyn Kayak Company.

Capable of fitting up to three people, it offers plenty of space for all your gear, so you have some room for one of these practical saltwater tackle bags.

Featuring four, flush-mounted rod holders and three articulating rod holders, it’s certainly been designed with fishing in mind, so you can have multiple baited lines in the water at the same time.

Two waterproof storage hatches keep your valuables dry, and the craft is stable enough for choppier conditions, thanks to the 34-inch beam, roto-molded from a single piece of high-density polyethylene.

A bungee cargo hold to the stern offers additional storage space, while ergonomic seats keep you comfortable all day long.

Pros

  • Affordable price point for what you get.
  • Paddles included.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Choice of colors.
  • High weight capacity.

Cons

  • The seating isn’t the best.

Takeaway

Another solid offering from the BKC, with plenty of features dedicated for anglers. You might want to wear a quality fishing jacket though if you’re taking it out in wetter conditions.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

One of the best inflatable fishing kayaks out there, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado is a true kayaking stalwart.

Gracing many a fishing kayak review, it’s absolutely packed with features – and it’s affordable, too.

Made with a rugged, 18-gauge PVC, it’s built for anything, fully NMMA certified with an additional 840 denier nylon cover to protect it from punctures.

The airtight system is guaranteed not to leak, but it does have multiple air chambers just in case there’s an accident you can easily get back to shore.

And the abundance of Berkley rod holders and accessory points are a real win for anyone who wants to customize this beast of a tandem yak.

Pros

  • Rugged, durable construction.
  • Trolling motor compatible.
  • Paddle holders.
  • Multiple D-rings.
  • Mesh storage pouches.

Cons

  • Lots of hardware might get in the way.
  • Not a lot of storage room.

Takeaway

Portable, tough, durable, and packed with features, this is a great option for any duo who are short on storage space and want to go kayak fishing. Remember to pack some decent fishing gloves to help protect your hands when you’re out there.

Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak

Here we have another Elkton Outdoors offering, this time a hardshell fishing kayak for two.

It features EVA padded seats, and is constructed from one-piece roto-molded high density polyethylene to ensure years of durable use.

Just over 12 feet in length, it has plenty of storage options, including airtight compartments for both occupants, tank wells with bungee cord bow and stern, and a dedicated ice chest spot for a fishing cooler.

Rod holders are in plentiful supply, and multiple carry-handles allow easy transportation.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Paddles included.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Scupper plugs.
  • Relatively lightweight.

Cons

  • You might want to upgrade the seating.

Takeaway

Another home run for Elkton Outdoors, this is a terrific two-person fishing kayak that is packed with quality features and comes with everything you need to set sail.

However, I think it’s been specially designed for you to upgrade to their premium seating, so be aware of that.

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler

The Malibu is one of Ocean Kayak’s tandem angler vessels, worthy of venturing onto choppier waters.

Specifically designed for kayak fishing, it has twin comfort seats, but it can be paddled solo, and being extra-large means that there is plenty of room and storage for all your gear.

And it’s simply loaded with quality fishing-friendly-features, including four deck mounts and two Scotty rod holders, a center hatch, molded-in side handles and bow and stern toggle handles for easy transport.

Capable of up to 500 lbs in weight capacity, this is a big kayak for big fishing.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Solid, durable construction.
  • Paddle parks.
  • Bungee deck storage.
  • Screw-in drain plate.

Cons

  • Paddles sold separately.

Takeaway

Another well-made sea-going kayak from Ocean Kayaks, this is great for two people, or if you just want to go out solo and take loads of equipment.

It’s the ideal kayak for bringing along a furry friend, too.

But you could always try these stable fishing paddle boards if you want an alternative way to fish and bring a pet with you.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Kayak for Two

Selecting the right kayak can be a bit of a tricky process – especially if you don’t know where to start.

Read on to discover our handy buyer’s guide to help point you in the right direction, and we’ll find you the best 2-person kayak for fishing in no time.

two kayakers in tandem fishing kayak at lake

Type of Kayak

So, you have established that you want a fishing kayak, and, since you’re already reading this article, you would like it made for two.

Now you need to decide between a hardshell and an inflatable.

Hardshell kayaks are faster and more maneuverable than inflatable versions. They also offer more in the way of storage space and customization possibilities.

However, they’re usually much heavier, cost more (everything being equal), and can be difficult to transport.

The major advantage with inflatables is the portability factor. Simply throw it into the back of your vehicle, and you can be on the water at a moment’s notice.

You might be surprised to learn that they can also be harder to damage and more durable than a hardshell. Prang a rock with an inflatable kayak, and it will most likely bounce off, but prang it with a hardshell, and it will leave a nasty mark, dent, or other such damage.

A whole article could be written on the pros and cons of each, suffice to say it’s up to you to decide what features are more important for your needs and circumstances.

Seating

Perhaps one of the most important considerations – particularly when it comes to tandem kayaks – is the seating arrangements.

Obviously, you’re going to want the most comfortable seating available, but that’s not always possible depending on how much space you have, whether it’s an inflatable or hardshell, and how much you’re willing to pay.

As a rule of thumb, manufacturers tend to plow the most cash into seating – and a pedal drive if applicable.

Kayaks that have lawn-style chairs with metal frames offer the most comfortable options – riding in one of those is like floating down a river in your armchair.

Consider the height of the seating, too, as you’ll want the best possible field-of-view over the water, so higher seating positions are preferable.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and upgrade if the seating a kayak is sold with isn’t to your liking. Most tandem fishing kayaks will be customizable, so you can improve it with after-market accessories if you choose.

Weight Capacity

For the most part, it’s rare that good quality kayaks actually sink when it comes to overloading.

That said, you should still keep an eye on how much you’re putting in it – particularly as there’s going to be two humans (and possible an animal or two) on board.

Weight capacity isn’t such a concern when there’s only one person piloting the craft, but with two people and taking your combined fishing gear into account – things can add up.

Double-check the maximum weight capacity before making your purchase – especially if one of you happens to be on the heavier side, or likes to bring all the fishing gear that they own.

fisherwoman on inflatable kayak at lake with fishing tackle and net holding pike

Fishing Accessories

It always amazes me when some review websites attempt to pass off any old kayak as a fishing kayak.

Sure, you might be able to fish from it, but it’s not going to be as good as a yak that features dedicated fishing accessories that are designed to assist the kayak angler.

You can always pack one of these telescopic rods and call it good – especially if you’re short on space.

But keen kayak anglers should really be on the lookout for fishing kayaks that are actually fishing kayaks – with rod holders, tank wells for storage, mounting brackets for additional accessories, and other useful fishing perks.

It’s also worth noting how customizable a fishing kayak is, as you might want to add GPS devices, fish finders, or similar tech at a later date.

And for tandem craft, you both need to be able to access these features, otherwise someone might not be happy. A tandem fishing kayak with only one rod holder, for example, isn’t really a tandem fishing kayak.

Storage Solutions

Double the occupants, double the equipment. With two people on board – you’re likely going to be carrying a lot more stuff.

So, it stands to reason that you’ll need more space in which to put it.

However, given the fact that there’s now an extra body on board, tandem kayaks don’t always have more storage space than solo versions. Humans tend to take up a lot of room.

Still, keep a look out for the kayaks that at least attempt to offer additional storage space for two people, or at least maximize the space available in the most efficient way.

In an ideal world, you’ll both have plenty of room to stash your own gear, extra clothing, saltwater fishing pliers, ham sandwiches, or anything else you might like to bring along.

And perhaps the most important storage feature, is considering if the kayak has room for one of these awesome fishing coolers for all your beer.

Propulsion

One of the best things about tandem kayaking, is that someone can fish while someone else pilots the craft.

Taking it in turns can be a really enjoyable part of the fishing experience, whereas when you’re alone – you need to do everything.

But when it comes to choosing the right kayak, having a pedal drive can also be a huge advantage for tandem yakking. It will just make things so much easier for both of you, which means more time and energy spent on actually trying to catch fish.

That said, a good set of paddles is still a must, and it’s nice when a kayak comes with them included – so look out for such offers in the review.

You might also want to consider a trolling motor at some point, so bear that in mind when choosing the right fishing kayak, as they’re not always compatible.

Water Conditions/Weather

From a safety perspective, it’s well worth thinking about the kind of waters you’re going to be fishing in, and the general weather conditions on the day.

With tandem kayaking, it’s doubly important, not least because you both need to be in sync when it comes to navigating.

Don’t try to use kayaks that are unsuitable for the conditions. A cheap yak isn’t going to cut it for fishing in open water, for example.

And always prepare yourselves for the weather. It’s not always about the best rain gear for fishing – you’ll also need a good quality fishing hat when you’re under those UV rays.

Last, but by no means least, both occupants should be wearing an approved fishing PFD – no matter the conditions. Not strapped to the boat, not left back at home, and not tied around your waist.

Cost

Tandem fishing kayaks tend to cost a little more than their solo counterparts.

That said, there are bargains to be had, and with some models there’s not a great deal of difference.

Inflatable models usually cost less than hardshells, but the price skyrockets if you’re choosing something with a pedal drive system.

It’s up to you to choose a kayak that fits your budget, but I always say don’t run before you walk.

Purchase something that’s suitable for your skill level – and how often you’re actually going to be using it.

If anyone has a $3K fishing kayak gathering dust in the garage, then that’s sacrilege to the fishing gods.

two fisherwomen on inflatable kayaks fishing at lake

FAQs

What is the best 2-person fishing kayak?

For the very best two-person fishing kayaks, then look no further than Hobie.

However, they are very expensive and not always readily available.

Any other kayak in this review can offer a solid alternative to a premium, pedal-driven yak. Just look out for something that’s comfortable and spacious, with enough storage options and fishing-friendly-features to keep both parties happy.

Which is better single or double kayak?

Both have their pros and cons – too numerous to go into detail here – and in the end it’s really up to your personal preference anyway. There is no “better” option.

Some people prefer to use a double kayak on their own as it offers more room.

But it basically comes down to whether you prefer to pilot the craft alone or with a buddy. Or, if you have anyone that’s actually willing to go out fishing with you in the first place.

Can you fish from a tandem kayak?

Of course! There’s nothing stopping you. Using a tandem kayak is great because it allows one person to fish while the other pilots the craft.

You can switch things up so you both take turns, and there’s a strong chance you’ll have more success as a result.

Aside from that, as previously mentioned, tandem fishing kayaks are often preferred by solo kayakers, as without the extra body on board, they offer unrestricted freedom for those epic casts, and much more room for tackle and gear.

Which means more space to store all your stuff – and more room to use it in. Like these razor-sharp fishing knives that are great for cleaning fish and cutting bait while you’re on the water.

Can one person handle a two-person kayak?

For the most part, yes. A small caveat here is you need to double-check with a particular tandem kayak if it is possible to pilot solo.

But as tandem kayaks are often 12-15 feet, they’re still around the same length as solo versions, so piloting one alone isn’t going to be that much different.

They’ve just been designed with an extra seat, where storage space might have been instead.

However, they do tend to be heavier, which might make an overall difference for speed, tracking, and control in the water. Regardless, fishing kayaks are heavier anyway – so it really shouldn’t be an issue.

The real difference is when you’re using a canoe – as they’re more suited for at least two people, minimum.

What makes a good tandem fishing kayak?

I would say plenty of space is essential. There’s nothing worse than getting a dead leg, cramp, or fatigue in a kayak when you can’t stretch out. It’s meant to be a relaxing day on the water, not a trip to the physio.

Primary stability is important – which is how stable a kayak feels when you first step into it. You want something with a wide, flat hull. The ability to do standing casts is a real plus point, too.

Fishing rod holders and accessories within easy reach is another key feature. And there has to be enough for both users – it’s no fun if there’s only one rod holder in a tandem kayak, for example.

Paddle rests are also non-negotiable. You need somewhere to dock your paddles when you’re fishing, as the last thing you want is your paddle floating off down the river.

Are tandem kayaks hard to use?

Not much more than a solo kayak, to be honest.

As there are two occupants, you certainly both need to be on the same wavelength when it comes to paddling, so it might take a bit of getting used to before you pick up the rhythm and technique.

They’re also much heavier than solo yaks, which might cause you a few problems when it comes to transportation, and getting to and from the water.

Watch the video below which offers some great advice for tandem kayaking for beginners.

Summary

Perhaps the only thing better than fishing alone is fishing with a good friend or loved one, and with the best tandem fishing kayaks in 2021 – you can do just that.

Just make sure that you’re not going to fall out, literally and figuratively.

Let me know which model you’ve gone for and why, and I wish both of you safe paddling, calm waters, and tight lines.

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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