Kayaks are a great way to get out on the water and sneak into your favorite fishing spot or other shallow water honey hole that isn’t accessible via boat.
But what fun is it to go yak fishing and not have anyone to witness the monster fish you just landed without being accused of telling fish tales?
That’s why tandem fishing kayaks are great because you can bring a friend or family member along to share a nice day on the water with.
So which is the best tandem fishing kayak for you? We’ve picked out 3 of the best two person kayaks out there that will be sure to have you telling fish tales for years to come.
Don’t have time to read the whole thing? Click on the table of contents to paddle straight for the review that interests you most.
I suggest people read through the more detailed reviews below but I know many people are pressed for time and just want the best recommendation.
Here are my recommendations for the best 2 man fishing kayaks on the market today:
- Lifetime 10 foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak – Stable, tough, and unsinkable. Great kayak for strictly fishing, but would not be a good dual recreational kayak.
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak – Lightweight and affordable because it’s an inflatable. Great for fishing while sitting, but not stiff enough to fish in while standing up.
- Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 Sit On Top Tandem Fishing Kayak, 12.5 ft – Feature rich and high performing. Not much brand recognition but still many satisfied customers.
- Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak – Industry leading 650 lb capacity plus ample space between seats for a cooler or ice chest. Spacious, but pricey and might need to upgrade the seats for ultimate comfort.
What is the Best Tandem Fishing Kayak?
There are plenty of excellent choices for tandem fishing kayaks by reputable brands. However, sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference.
Here are my picks, in order, of best 2 man fishing kayaks:
Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
For better or worse, this is a beast of a kayak. At 10 feet long, 3 feet wide, and weighing in at a hefty 66 pounds, this kayak has “Built Tough” written all over it.
The benefit to all this heft is stability. You will NOT tip over or sink this kayak. Users commented over and over again at how stable this kayak is. This is great for balance while fishing.
It’s also great from a safety standpoint giving users peace of mind that their kids or dog would not accidentally rock the kayak and fall overboard.
The other benefit to this sturdy piece of olive green plastic is that it has an excellent weight carrying capacity. This kayak will hold up to 500 pounds of gear and flesh.
Bring a cooler of beers, take Cujo for a cruise, get the kids out of the house, or grab your former football linebacker friend and frolic with the fishes — (something tells me football linebackers don’t really frolic, but whatever).
The downside to all this extra plastic polyethylene poundage is you lose a lot of speed and agility.
This is a slow kayak and it’s meant to be.
Users emphasized that this is a fishing kayak, not a touring or recreational kayak.
Because of this, it’s a much better flat water kayak. In current or waves, the concern is not so much that you will tip over, but that you will not be able to make headway against a strong current or headwind.
A couple other minor gripes people had were that the seat wasn’t the most comfortable. It’s a plastic seat with no padding for your bum, which can get uncomfortable after an hour or two.
Many opted to buy a different seat with extra padding and a higher backrest for added comfort for longer days on the water.
Related: If you’re looking for a more comfortable seat for your kayak, check out the following article —
6 Kayak Seats That Will Make Your Back (and Booty) Say Ahh!
One other minor complaint a few people had was with carrying the Lifetime kayak.
Due to the width of this kayak, the handle placement is rather inconvenient unless you have a wide arm span. Otherwise, people felt that the carry handle was a bit too flimsy to withstand the weight of the kayak.
Bottom (Bouncer) Line
If you want a safe, stable, and feature-rich two person fishing kayak that will probably last a lifetime, this should be a top consideration.
It’s great for one, two, or even three people thanks to its extra high load limit.
Just be sure that you have enough people or the right gear to be able to cart this beast of a kayak to your car and your launch point and back because its width and weight make it difficult to handle on its own.
Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
If a hefty tandem fishing kayak like the one described above doesn’t really appeal to you, then this inflatable Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak might be a better choice.
The Coleman Colorado kayak is 10 feet 9 inches long when fully inflated but only weighs in at about 42 pounds.
It also comes with its own carry bag so toting this 42-pound kayak around should be no problem for almost anyone.
Plus its weight capacity is only slightly less than that of the Lifetime kayak at 470 pounds, plenty for 2 people plus gear.
Of course, the first thing that springs to mind when imagining an inflatable fishing kayak is fishing hooks + inflatable boat = Marco Sink-o.
Rest assured, this kayak is built less like a beach ball and more like an inflatable RIB like the kind used in the military or on whitewater rafting trips.
The Coleman Colorado kayak features a 1000D tarpaulin bottom and an 840D nylon cover which provides supreme protection against punctures from either jagged rocks, logs, or fishing hooks.
Along with the supreme construction materials, multiple air chambers make it so that the other air chambers stay inflated if one does happen to get punctured.
The Airtight valve system is also guaranteed not to leak. If anyone was worried about this not being hardy enough for some of the water they’re fishing on, I think those fears can be safely laid to rest.
Even though this two person fishing kayak is attractively priced due to its being inflatable, many users did opt to add on a trolling motor with the kayak, which will increase the overall amount you spend on it.
This kayak does not come with paddles included, so that will be another additional purchase to add on to the cost if you don’t already have one — (most people recommended 96-inch paddles or longer, otherwise the rod mounts get in the way of paddling.)
*** If you need to purchase a paddle separately, check out our best kayak paddle review article here. ***
Lastly, one other important thing to note is that if you like to stand up to fish, this is not the kayak for you. The soft bottom is not stable enough for you to be able to maintain balance while standing and fishing.
One enterprising user mentioned cutting out a piece of plywood to put on the bottom to stabilize it, so that might be worth a try if that’s the only reason you have for not buying this kayak.
Bottom (Fishing) Line
If you’re looking for an easily transportable kayak at a low entry price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better two person fishing kayak than the Coleman.
So long as standing while fishing isn’t really your thing, then this kayak comes with rave reviews all around and is highly recommended.
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Sit on Top Tandem Fishing Kayak, 12.5 feet
The BKC UH-TK181 tandem fishing kayak is one of the most feature rich fishing kayaks on the market without sacrificing performance and maneuverability.
This has all the add-ons a good fishing kayak should have: 2 paddle rests, 4 flush mount and 3 adjustable rod holders, rear cargo area with bungee storage, and 2 storage pouches. What more could you ask for?
How about excellent maneuverability and tracking?
There are some fishing yaks on the market that provide nice stable platforms for casting but are too wide to paddle well or for long distances. Not so with the BKC UH-TK.
As one happy customer put it:
“Great kayak. Everything I expected. Stable. Tracks well. Works great with one or two people.”
As if that weren’t enough, there are even added features like padded seats and lightweight aluminum paddles included, items that would be additional costs with many other kayaks.
And one last little surprise are the pre-threaded bolt holes in the rear of the kayak. These can be used for mounting a little trolling motor or perhaps even a fish finder to the kayak.
Seriously, what more could you ask for?
It can’t all be good though, can it? Well, almost.
I’d say one of the biggest drawbacks to this kayak is its lack of a brand name.
As with any little known brand, trusting an unknown brand can be a risk. But with the rebranding of what was formerly the Useful UH-TK by the Brooklyn Kayak Company, they are sure to be a household name very soon!
Also, as with most other fishing kayaks, it’s quite a heavy kayak weighing in at almost 70 pounds. If weight is a concern for you, I’d look more closely at the Coleman kayak listed above.
The most serious concern reviewers listed was its tendency to take on water in choppy lakes or oceans.
If you plan on using this for flat lakes and rivers, no problem.
But if you had planned on taking this offshore or out in a windy, choppy lake, I’d offer a caveat emptor (buyer beware) on this one.
Bottom (Sinker) Line
If you can get past the lack of brand name recognition, this could be one heck of an angling kayak. With great risk comes great reward. With so many features and reasonably priced, this might be one of the best finds on the market today.
Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak, 12.2 feet
Some fishing kayaks are nothing more than your standard SOT kayak with a few flush-mount rod holders added in. <Yawn> — bo-ring!
Not so with the Elkton Outdoors tandem fishing kayak, which was designed and built with anglers in mind, optimizing every inch of space for the ultimate kayak fishing experience.
This kayak is like a car that comes loaded with standard features, not optional add-ons that you have to pay for later.
Standard features include 4 inset rod holders, 1 swivel rod holder, two adjustable premium kayak seats, two double sided paddles, and two built in dry storage hatches.
Not only that, there’s ample space in between seats for an ice chest or cooler so you can keep your catch or keep drinks cool while you fish.
I’ve noticed many other so-called fishing kayaks don’t leave adequate room for one of the most integral parts of the fishing kit: the cooler!
One feature that is neither bad nor good but is worth mentioning is that this is truly a 2 person fishing kayak.
Many other tandem fishing kayaks really only work if you’re fishing with a child or want the extra space to fish solo — it’s too cramped otherwise to fit two adults comfortably on it.
This one is the opposite in that a few users stated it’s best with 2 people in it. The kayak might be too bulky and heavy for just one person to paddle it otherwise.
On the negative side, despite billing their seats as “premium adjustable seats”, there were a few complaints at how flimsy the seats are and that they’re difficult to set up.
(Note: Elkton does offer a seat upgrade to their Outdoors Aluminum Frame Seat. Think of it like a little beach chair for your kayak! It offers an elevated profile, which keeps your butt dry and enables you to spot fish better. Plus the breathable mesh material keeps you cool.
For more info, click here.)
Also, the shipping weight of the kayak is already a scale-tipping 72 pounds, but when it’s properly rigged and ready to go, the kayak can easily weigh closer to 90 or 100 lbs.
Many kayak anglers are used to bulkier, heavier kayaks, but it’s something to beware of regardless.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the price of this fishing yak.
With its current price of $899.99, it’s by far the most expensive kayak on this list.
Most of that can be attributed to all the extras that come included with this yak. For some kayak anglers, especially ones just getting started, they might appreciate all the included accessories.
For others, all the extras might be overkill for what they need, especially for the price.
Bottom (Bait and Tackle) Line:
This is another kayak that doesn’t have quite the same brand recognition as some of the other kayaks on this list, but gets solid marks all around nonetheless.
When you consider all of the features that come standard on this kayak — seats, rod holders, paddles, etc. — plus the spaciousness of it, the Elkton definitely becomes a more attractive option than some of its competitors.
The Bottom Line on Tandem Fishing Kayaks
I really liked both the Lifetime tandem fishing kayak and the Coleman tandem fishing kayak; it really was a toss-up and it just comes down to preference.
The reason I gave the slight edge to the Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak is because I felt it encompasses everything that a true fishing kayak should be.
The ability to stand up seems too integral to fishing to overlook. Plus, being able to get a higher vantage point to sight fish or get leverage when reeling in that monster really does make a difference.
If that’s not as big of a concern to you as price or transportability, then the Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak will also be a fine choice. Easy to carry, easy to store, and attractively priced are always good qualities to have in a kayak.
The BKC UH-TK181 promises to be a fabulous find for a fishing kayak. If you want to take a risk on a largely unknown brand, you shouldn’t be disappointed with this one.
The Elkton is another great option, but is also the priciest. This is perhaps due to all the features that come included with the kayak, but if you already have many of them then those extras just amount to extra money you’re spending, not extra value.
Now go out and slay some fish!
Related: Think a fishing SUP might be more your style? Check out my picks for affordable and awesome fishing SUPs for shallow waters and exciting excursions!
Last update on 2019-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API