Travel Gear

Best Inflatable Tandem Kayaks

March 28, 2020
Best Inflatable Tandem Kayaks

Looking for a portable, easy-to-store option when it comes to kayaking? Then check out these reviews to find the best inflatable tandem kayak for you!

Space, convenience and cost are all great reasons to purchase an inflatable kayak. We’ve spent the last few months camping up and down the coast in Northern California. If there is a bay or easy going river nearby, we usually rent a kayak to head out on the water for a few hours.

But, there are several downsides to renting a kayak, especially if you’re planning on going more than a few times. Many kayak rentals cost between $20 and $50 an hour, which quickly adds up. We realized after a few times renting, we could’ve been well on our way to covering the cost of purchasing a kayak. Plus, you have to go during open hours for the rental office, which means you’ll usually miss early morning or late afternoon when the water is calm and the light is best. 

We don’t have enough room to store a regular kayak, so we started looking into inflatable kayaks. Inflatable tandem kayaks can fit two to three people, they’re much more convenient to store, and you can pack them in the back of almost any car without needing a roof rack. 

Recently, we connected with Derek from the blog Floating Authority who writes about all things water sports. As an enthusiast and expert, we asked him to share his reviews for the best two person inflatable kayaks. We’ll let Derek take it from here!

Tandem Kayaking in Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe California

Since we don’t have a place to store a hardshell kayak, we usually rent. But we want the convenience and flexibility of having our own, so we looked into another option – inflatable kayaks!


Whether you’re planning a camping trip and you need a portable kayak or you’re simply looking to go kayaking on the lake with your friends one day, inflatable tandem kayaks are the easiest to transport and assemble for your paddling trips.

There are a lot of options when it comes to inflatable tandem kayaks. You can buy one for as low as $75, which is what it would cost you to rent a kayak for a few hours. There are also higher-end models that are more durable and have a lot of bells and whistles. Since every kayak comes with its own specific features, it can be difficult to find the best one for your particular needs. This guide provides reviews for 10 inflatable tandem kayaks also you can pick the best one for your situation.

FAQs for Inflatable Tandem Kayaks

Are inflatable kayaks safe?

Yes. All inflatable kayaks that you’ll find for sale are NMMA-certified. This means that they’re built to the standards of optimal safety and usability. You can also ensure safety because each kayak model sold on the market is physically inspected every single year.

What types of water can I use my inflatable kayak in?

Inflatable kayaks can be used in a variety of water types, ranging from calm lakes and ponds, to rivers and oceans. Keep in mind the water currents of each body of water before kayaking in them, and what you’re planning on doing. Inflatable kayaks are generally best used in waters that have little-to-no debris and are deep enough to eliminate the risk of puncture.

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Best Inflatable Tandem Kayaks $300 and Under

1 Sea Eagle 370 Deluxe 3-Person Inflatable Sport Kayak

Capacity:  1 to 3 people  |  Weight Capacity:  650 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  26 pounds

Best for: Up to Class III whitewater

Buy Now: Amazon

Classified as the best overall tandem and under $300, this inflatable kayak from Sea Eagle is recommended for anyone looking for an affordable, easy-to-use, high quality and high-weight-capacity kayak. This Sea Eagle kayak is capable of supporting up to 650 pounds and three people. Surprisingly, it also has one of the most lightweight constructions, coming in at just 26 pounds.

This three person kayak has two skegs located on the bottom of the kayak, which improves the overall tracking abilities of the design. It makes steering easier since it helps to push more water behind the kayak.

The kit includes two paddles, which are each composed of four different parts. The paddles are welded at the seams with high frequency, and they’re made with asymmetrical blades and an aluminum shaft. If you plan on taking this kayak for long paddles, consider upgrading the back support with the Sea Eagle Deluxe Inflatable Kayak Seat.

Sea Eagle 3 Person Inflatable Kayak

2 Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Capacity: 1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity:  400 pounds  |  Kayak Weight: 30 pounds

Best for: Calm water

Buy Now:  Amazon

At under $100, the Intex Explorer is the most affordable two person inflatable kayak on this list. It’s safe and sturdy, making it a perfect pick for someone new to kayaking.  The cockpit is specifically designed for comfort and space; it measure three feet wide and features adjustable seats with backrests.

In addition, this kayak comes with a removable skeg that improves the stability of the kayak’s directional capabilities in lakes and ponds.

Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Tandem Kayak

3 Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Capacity: 1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity:  400 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  33 pounds

Best for: Calm water

Buy Now: Amazon

The Intex Challenger is another great 2 person inflatable kayak for those on a budget (it retails for under $100). The kayak is bright green, so it’s easy for bigger boats to spot you in the water. And the heavy-duty vinyl material is puncture-resistant. This tandem kayak comes with a few helpful accessories, including a patch repair kit for emergencies and a high capacity pump.

I’ve taken the Intex Challenger K2 out for a few paddles. The water performance is what you’d expect for an introductory kayak in this price range. It is perfect for paddling for an hour or so in calm lakes. I would not recommend using this craft in the ocean because it would be no match for strong tides and currents. Believe me, I tried paddling against the tide in it and it wasn’t the best idea.

Intex Challenger K2 Inflatable Tandem kayak

4 Intex Excursion Pro Kayak

Capacity: 1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity: 400 pounds  |  Kayak Weight: 39 pounds

Best for: Calm water, fishing

Buy Now:  Amazon

Featuring a removable mounting bracket and removable skegs, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is perfect for anyone wanting a more customizable inflatable device. The adjustable mounting bracket gives you the option to store additional accessories if needed, like GPS systems or fishing gear. The removable skegs make it possible to adjust the kayak’s tracking abilities according to the types of water you’re trolling in. The Intex Excursion’s high-pressure inflation function also creates maximum stability. And the loaded valves are also high pressure as well, allowing for a fast and easy inflation method.

Intex Excursion Inflatable Tandem Kayak

5 Sevylor Tahiti Fish/Hunt 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Capacity: 1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity: 360 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  19 pounds

Best for: Calm water

Buy NowWalmart

If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight and easy-to-carry inflatable tandem kayak, the Sevylor Tahiti is the best option. It weighs under 20 pounds, making it extremely easy to transport if it’s a long walk between the car and the water. Additionally, it comes with spray covers to ensure that you stay dry even when traveling through rougher waters.

This two person kayak comes with adjustable seats, so each kayaker can set the seat to where they’re most comfortable. For easy inflation and deflation, there is a double-lock valve. This kayak has a lower weight capacity at 360 pounds, but the trade off is that it is smaller and has a more compact design — it can even fit into a backpack!

Sevylor Tahiti 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

6 Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

Capacity:  1 to 3 people  |  Weight Capacity:  490 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  35 pounds

Best for: Up to easy whitewater

Buy Now:  Amazon

For those of you looking for a larger inflatable kayak capable of comfortably fitting three full size people (i.e not just kids), the Sevylor Big Basin is a great roomy option. It features a durable PVC construction as well as a tarpaulin bottom that resists most kinds of punctures in shallow waters. It also comes with multiple air chambers to ensure the kayak is completely above the water’s surface at all times.

Additionally, this inflatable tandem kayak comes with foldable seats that can be adjusted according to your comfort level. It also has a splash cover to keep you dry throughout your kayaking excursion.

Selcylor 3 Person Inflatable Kayak

7 Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Capacity:  1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity:  470 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  41 pounds

Best for: Fishing

Buy Now:  Amazon

Offering an 18-gauge PVC construction as well as an 840-denier nylon cover, this kayak from Sevylor is especially great for fishing. The nylon cover is responsible for protecting against any punctures that commonly occur with fishing gear. And it features an airtight system to prevent any air leaks from developing.

The Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders are great for enjoying a hands-free fishing experience. And there’s even a Sevylor trolling motor sold separately that can make it easier to navigate through larger bodies of water. If you are looking for the best option for fishing, there are also several stand up kayaks that are optimal for fishing.

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak


Best Inflatable Tandem Kayaks $800 and Under

8 Airhead Montana Two Person Inflatable Kayak

Capacity: 1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity:  500 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  36 pounds

Best for: Up to Class III whitewater

Buy NowAmazon

The Airhead Montana Two Person Inflatable Kayak has three air chambers that contribute to the kayak’s excellent buoyancy. This kayak also features a durable 840-denier nylon material. The external material is UV and water-resistant, making it great for all-day kayaking trips.

Additionally, the Airhead Montana features neoprene elbow guards that provide maximum comfort while you’re steering the kayak. Even though it’s one of the more expensive vessels on this list at a retail price of $400, it does offer a longer design at 12 feet long to make tracking easier.

Airhead Montana Two Person Inflatable Kayak

9 Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Capacity: 1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity: 400 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  32 pounds

Best for: Calm water

Buy Now: Amazon

The padded foam seats and the retractable skeg tracking system on this inflatable kayak make this boat great for longer paddling trips. Most seats on inflatable kayaks have a simple inflatable operation to make them more compact and portable, but the seats in this kayak are made from padded foam to ensure long-lasting comfort for all-day trips. The seat positions can even be changed in order to ensure maximum comfort.

This inflatable double kayak from Advanced Elements is composed of multiple layers. There are different air chambers, each separated by a durable and reliable material that help resist air leaks and punctures. Lastly, this tandem inflatable has a durable 600-denier rip-stop deck material to ensure that no punctures occur on impact.

Advanced Elements Island Voyage Tandem Inflatable Kayak

10 Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak

Capacity:  1 to 2 people  |  Weight Capacity:  550 pounds  |  Kayak Weight:  52 pounds

Best for: Flat water

Retail Price: Amazon

This is the most expensive inflatable tandem kayak on this list (retail is $800), but it comes with a lot of premium features. The aluminum rib construction and rigid bow means its performance is on par with many hard-shell kayaks. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite Inflatable Kayak measures 15-feet long and has multiple air chambers for optimum safety in the water. It also features an integrated pressure relief valve in the flooring of the device, making it easier for you to control the amount of pressure throughout the kayak’s design.

Furthermore, this inflatable kayak has a durable double-coated rip-stop fabric and three layers of additional material to reduce the risk of any puncturing. It also comes with folding seats and is much easier to carry than other blow up kayak designs.

Advanced Elements Elite Inflatable Double Kayak


Derek of Floating Authority kayaking on a lake

About Derek from Floating Authority

Derek has been a water enthusiast for over 20 years and has vast amounts of experience with kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes. He also likes to fish from time to time. When he is not out on the water exploring what British Columbia has to offer, he is writing on his blog Floating Authority.

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply Phil July 17, 2020 at 7:42 am

    All the prices are off by a few hundred dollars. Is that due to Covid?

    • Reply nomanbefore July 17, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Phil, that’s probably a big part of it. I saw some companies note that they stopped manufacturing for a time, so I’m sure the decreased supply impacts Amazon’s dynamic pricing model. Hopefully things will start to normalize soon and you can find a better deal on an inflatable kayak.

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