Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayak – Top 10 Inflatable Tandems In 2022

Inflatable kayaks are generally a great starter option. I mean, why would you spend money on a full-sized hardshell kayak when you can get reliable performance, lightweight construction, and portability of an inflatable – and at a fraction of the cost, too? 

Two-person inflatable kayaks only prove my point: 

Hard-shell tandems are extremely heavy, longer than average, and pretty unwieldy in general. It makes perfect sense to go with the best 2 person inflatable kayak instead. 

And today, I’m going to help you pick the right one!

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In A Hurry? The Winner After 41 Hours Of Research:

Winner

AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Inflatable Kayak

Why is it better?

  • Lightweight but durable, welded Duratex hull construction 
  • Feels rigid and responsive on the water 
  • Features a self-bailing drop-stitch floor 
  • The 600-pound load limit is more than enough for two adults 
  • Family-friendly kayak with a third seat for a child 
  • Multiple storage options, including bungee rigging and mounting plates
  • Suitable for casual use and long-distance paddling 
  • Comes with a backpack-style travel bag 

How To Choose An Inflatable Tandem Kayak: Things To Consider

Young man carrying 2 person inflatable kayak

Getting yourself an inflatable kayak might just be the best decision you’ll make – especially if you value portability and storage-friendly design. 

Modern inflatable models are pretty much as durable as “traditional kayaks” but can be folded up and transported more easily, which is something that can’t be said about hard-shells. 

That difference becomes even more visible when you look at two-person kayaks: 

Inflatable tandems can carry more weight on average and be incredibly spacious and stable, but they’ll still weigh less than a single-person hard-shell kayak. How about that?

If you’re thinking about getting an inflatable two-person kayak, I have you covered. Let’s discuss a few crucial factors you should pay attention to in the process. 

Kayak’s Dimensions & Weight

There are many types of kayaks – but inflatables are the only ones that carry the title of “space savers.” 

I’m sure you’re well aware of how compact, light, and portable they are – but does the same hold true for two-person inflatables? 

Surprisingly enough, yes. Even tandem inflatable kayaks tend to be pretty lightweight and easier to transport and store. So, no matter what, inflatable kayaks will spare you from back pain in the long run. 

Most ‘yaks I’ve tested weigh somewhere between 30 to 40 pounds – but there are always some extremes. So, you should still check the kayak’s dimensions and weight – unless, of course, you are a regular at the gym, and deadlifts are your favorite thing in the world.  

What about the actual size, though? 

Well, once you inflate the kayak, the same rules that go for hard-shells start to apply here, too: 

Tandems can range anywhere from 12 to 15 feet in length and a couple of feet in width. But you need to figure out how much room you and your paddling partner will need, how much gear you plan on bringing – and whether the kayak can accommodate all that. 

I already pointed out that one of the biggest perks of owning an inflatable kayak is that you can bring them anywhere because they’re light and don’t take up too much space. They’re made to fit on the backseat of your car or the trunk – and most come with a carrying case, too.

However, it doesn’t hurt to check the kayak’s packed (deflated) size, anyway. Better safe than sorry, right? 

Weight Capacity

The next important factor that you really need to consider is the kayak’s weight capacity. These are two-person ‘yaks that we’re talking about here, and when you add gear into the mix, you get a pretty high number on the scale. 

And you want to be 100% sure that your new kayak can handle it. 

The good news is that inflatable kayaks actually have much higher weight capacities on average compared to their hard-shell counterparts.

What is the average weight capacity for tandem kayaks, though?

I’m afraid there’s no simple answer to that question; the numbers can vary from one ‘yak to the next. 

However, for the best inflatable kayaks for two people you’re typically looking at a weight limit of at least 400 pounds – and up to 700 or more in some models. 

I know that even a 400-pound capacity sounds great, but two people and their gear eats up that weight in no time – and you want to have some room left. You don’t want to sit on the very edge of the kayak’s capacity range when you hit the water, or you’ll definitely feel it performance-wise. 

So, take a sec to do the math, see how much you, your paddling buddy, and all your gear weigh – and choose a kayak accordingly. 

Inflation Time

I could go on and on about the convenience of inflatable kayaks when it comes to storage and transportation, but you still have to actually inflate the thing – which can be annoying.  

I guess the portability and storage-friendly design has a price – and I guess that’s a fair trade-off here. It isn’t that big of a deal – but it’s worth considering how you’ll inflate the ‘yak and how long it’ll take you to do so.  

Now, you’re probably wondering: 

Can I use an electric pump – or am I stuck with the manual?

Many kayaks come with a simple, manual pump – but you always have the option of upgrading to an electric one to speed up the process. 

As for how long it will take you to inflate it – well, that can vary from one model to the next. But in general, you’re looking at 10 to 15 minutes on average. 

Construction & Durability

Lastly, I want to discuss is the durability of inflatable kayaks – and their construction, in general.  

While some may still imagine a sort of boat-shaped balloon when they think of inflatable kayaks, the reality is that they’re incredibly well built – especially with the numerous advancements made in terms of materials and technologies used.

Today, most inflatable kayaks are made from tough, puncture-resistant materials – PVC or the alternatives, such as Hypalon or Nitrilon – and can withstand quite a beating. 

Another plus is that, even if an encounter with a sharp rock doesn’t go well, they are pretty easy to patch up. Most inflatable kayaks already come with a repair kit. 

Here’s some advice: 

If you’re going with PVC, you should generally aim for three-layer construction. Thicker material equals improved puncture resistance. Welded seams are always an indicator of durability, too.

But if you’re willing to spend a bit more, consider Hypalon or Nitrilon. They are more resistant to temperature changes, UV exposure, as well as punctures, and abrasions. 

And always go for an inflatable with multiple air chambers. That way, even if it does develop a puncture, the whole ‘yak won’t deflate automatically; the other chambers will keep you afloat. 

Can One Person Use A Two-Person Inflatable Kayak?

Young active woman kayaking in inflatable kayak for 2 people

Look, I get why you’re worried about this. What if you buy a two-person inflatable kayak, only to realize that your paddling buddy won’t be able to join you every single time? 

Does that mean you’ve wasted money – and that you’ll have to spend even more to get another kayak for solo outings? Or can one person use a two-person inflatable kayak? 

The answer is – it depends. 

Yes, there’s generally a pretty good chance that you’ll be able to hit the waters solo and manage your tandem kayak single-handedly. However, I must warn you that your kayak’s performance is going to suffer – unless you played your cards right and got one of those “convertible” ‘yaks. 

The issue here is weight distribution

When you get a kayak built for two but decide to paddle it alone, it messes with the ideal weight distribution and, in turn, affects the kayak’s responsiveness, steering, and tracking performance. 

If all the weight is in the back, the bow will rise out of the water, making it inefficient and difficult to steer. But if you sit in the front, the bow will dip into the water, leaving the stern to sway left to right uncontrollably. 

Now, for some good news: 

Since we’re dealing with inflatable two-person ‘yaks here, there’s always room for adjustments – as in, you may be able to convert it into a single-seater by simply moving your kayak seat into the central position.  

Best 2-Person Inflatable Kayaks Of 2022: Reviewed & Rated

Best High-Capacity Inflatable Tandem

Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package

I’ll start things off with Sea Eagle’s 420x – a 14-footer constructed out of 1000D reinforced PVC, with a high-pressure, drop-stitch floor and three air chambers for additional safety. That alone is impressive – but it’s the 855-pound load limit that makes this tandem kayak stand out. 

One of the best things about this ‘yak is that it comes as part of a complete package: 

You’re also getting two adjustable aluminum kayak paddles, two seats, a double action hand pump, a carrying bag, two stow bags for your gear, a removable skeg, and a patch repair kit. So, essentially, Sea Eagle 420x has everything you will need to get on the water and have a good time. 

Oh, did I mention that it’s rated for up to Class IV whitewater rapids? If you are ever in the mood for some adrenaline-pumping whitewater, this ‘yak has you covered. 

While I appreciate that it comes as part of a complete kayaking kit, I’d recommend replacing the seats as soon as you can. 

Technical Specs 

  • 1000D reinforced PVC
  • 14 x 3.25 feet (inflated) 
  • 31 x 21 x 10 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 42 pounds 
  • 855-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Extremely durable and NMMA-certified
  • Spacious and stable due to the wide beam 
  • Above-average load capacity  
  • Rated for up to Class IV rapids 
  • Comes as part of a complete kit 
  • Inflates in about 9 minutes

Cons

  • Can be hard to steer in stronger currents 
  • The included seats could be better 
  • Expensive for an inflatable kayak

I know inflatable kayaks are supposed to be cheap – but if you want an NMMA-certified kayak with an above-average capacity and enough room for two adults, their gear, and perhaps a dog, this is it. With its extra large weight capacity it would also make the ideal vessel for kayak camping and multi-day outdoor adventures. 

Best Inflatable Kayak 2-Person For Calm Waters

Intex Excursion Pro 2-Person Kayak 

If you want quality at a budget-friendly price point, you want an Intex inflatable kayak, period. Or, to be more specific, you want the Excursion Pro – Intex’s 12.6-footer made for kayak fishing and casual use. 

The kayak’s constructed of three-ply laminate PVC – including a polyester core – which makes it surprisingly tough. Plus, it has three chambers for added peace of mind. 

Oh, and it comes with quite a few handy extras, including two rod holders, adjustable mounting brackets, D-ring tie-downs, and bow and stern storage. 

I’m not too thrilled with its 400-pound load limit, though. I guess that could be enough for some – but for a big guy like me, it doesn’t inspire much confidence, especially with a second person on board. 

I should add that you get two seats, a pump, two detachable skegs, and two collapsible paddles with it – which is pretty nice at this price point. However, the quality of the additional gear leaves a lot to be desired.

Technical Specs 

  • Laminate PVC with a polyester core
  • 12.6 x 3.1 feet (inflated) 
  • 24.4 x 22.8 x 12.6 inches (deflated) 
  • Weighs 39 pounds 
  • 400-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact when deflated 
  • High-pressure valves for faster inflation 
  • Adjustable mounting brackets for accessories 
  • Reasonably priced complete kayaking kit

Cons

  • The 400-pound capacity is somewhat low for a tandem kayak
  • The quality of included gear could be better 
  • Struggles to maintain its course in wind and currents

While it doesn’t have a high enough capacity to be considered a serious two-person kayak – let alone one for fishing – Intex’s Excursion Pro is still a versatile and budget-friendly inflatable that is worth considering. 

Overall Best 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Inflatable Kayak

I get that many hear the words “inflatable kayak,” and their minds jump straight to a simple ‘yak, designed for a casual afternoon paddle on a nearby lake – but not much more than that. 

Well, AQUAGLIDE’s Chelan 155 is here to prove how utterly wrong these assumptions are and that inflatables can, indeed, be more than suitable for long-distance paddling. 

The welded Duratex hull construction, coupled with the self-bailing drop-stitch floor, provides the much-needed rigidity and responsiveness while keeping the weight of this 15-foot kayak at only 38 pounds. 

Now, add the 600-pound load limit, with bungee rigging, MOLLE bars, and mounting plates into the equation, and you’ve got yourself a proper touring kayak. And the best part is: 

It includes a third seat, making it the perfect choice for families with kids. 

It is – unfortunately – one of the most expensive inflatables I’ve tested. So, be sure to keep that in mind.  

Technical Specs 

  • Duratex PVC construction 
  • 15.1 x 3 feet (inflated)
  • 39 x 21 x 13 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 38 pounds 
  • 600-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Incredibly lightweight for a 15-foot kayak 
  • Feels rigid and responsive 
  • Has a removable fin 
  • Convenient backpack-style travel bag  
  • Three-seat configuration with room for a child 
  • Mesh pocket storage and bungee rigging 

Cons

  • One of the most expensive inflatables I’ve tested 
  • Might be susceptible to stronger winds

Are you up for some long-distance paddling – and thinking of bringing your kid along? I’m pretty sure that AQUAGLIDE’s Chelan 155 is the inflatable kayak for you. 

Best Cheap 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Another fantastic option in the budget-friendly range is – surprise, surprise – an inflatable ‘yak by Intex. 

The puncture-resistant vinyl hull of this 10.25-foot kayak also boasts a three-chamber design for added safety and an I-beam floor for improved rigidity. Oh, and it’s NMMA-certified. 

So far, so good for a cheap two-person inflatable ‘yak, right? 

In addition to that, the Explorer K2 weighs a reasonable 30 pounds, so carrying it around isn’t a hassle. Plus, it comes with a carry bag – a flimsy one, though – which adds to the convenience. 

But it fails to impress in the same department that its brother, the Excursion Pro, does – and that would be the weight capacity. Explorer K2 can handle up to 400 pounds of load, which is decent – but it’s just not enough for a two-person kayak. 

Also, I found that it feels a bit “soft” due to the lower air pressure level. It doesn’t have that tough and rigid feel of proper inflatables. 

Technical Specs 

  • Vinyl construction 
  • 10.25 x 3 feet (inflated)
  • 13.5 x 23.13 x 16.25 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 30.6 pounds 
  • 400-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Comes with paddles and a pump 
  • Has a removable skeg 
  • Vibrant color and graphics for visibility
  • Multi-chamber design for added safety  
  • NMMA-certified 
  • A budget-friendly option 

Cons

  • The capacity is pretty low for a tandem kayak 
  • Feels slow at times and doesn’t steer very well 
  • The seats don’t provide any real support 
  • The lower pressure makes it feel soft

Safe, durable, and incredibly cheap, Intex’s Explorer K2 is a perfect choice for those just getting into kayaking. If it’s your first time considering a tandem ‘yak, this one might be worth a look.

Best Whitewater Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak

Driftsun’s Rover 220 stands out as one of the best inflatable whitewater kayaks. So, if you’re up for conquering some more turbulent waters with your paddling buddy, this might be the kayak to consider. 

This 12.5-footer is constructed out of 1000D reinforced PVC with a tarpaulin bottom, paired with a high-pressure drop-stitch floor that adds rigidity. That, and the high rocker profile, makes this a great choice for paddlers getting into whitewater kayaking. 

And at 28 pounds, the Rover 220 weighs close to nothing. It’s incredibly lightweight, even for an inflatable kayak. 

Here’s what makes it even better: 

While it’s feather-light, it still boasts a more than decent weight limit of 600 pounds, with front and rear cargo areas to boot. And you’re getting some handy additions – a removable skeg, adjustable foot rests and seats, and a mount for your action camera – too.

The included two-piece paddles won’t work for whitewater kayaking, though.

Technical Specs 

  • 1000D reinforced PVC 
  • 12.5 x 3.2 feet (inflated)
  • 24.5 x 21 x 10 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 28 pounds 
  • 600-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact when deflated 
  • Suitable for up to Class IV rapids 
  • Has a detachable skeg 
  • Features an action camera mount 
  • Eight self-bailing ports  

Cons

  • Can feel slow in flat water
  • The included paddles aren’t suitable for whitewater kayaking
  • Onboard storage space is somewhat limited  

If you’re looking for an inflatable two-person ‘yak that can handle some more serious whitewater rapids, Driftsun Rover 220 is the one for the job. 

Best Tandem Inflatable Kayak For Fishing

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak

I feel like Sevylor Coleman Colorado is one of those kayaks that somehow always find their way into my round-ups. And there’s a good reason for that: 

It’s one heck of a rugged, inflatable fishing kayak. 

Constructed out of 18-gauge PVC, with an 840D nylon cover and 1000D tarpaulin bottom – and multiple air chambers – it’s surprisingly resistant to punctures. And that, as I’m sure you’ll agree, is pretty important in a fishing ‘yak. 

And while it weighs a reasonable 32.9 pounds, it provides a 470-pound capacity and comes with some neat storage solutions and accessories, like D-ring tie-downs, mesh pockets, and multiple rod holders. 

Oh, and it has a dedicated trolling motor mounting spot, too!

Maneuverability isn’t its strongest suit due to the wide, 39-inch beam – but the added stability is worth it. Also, I always felt that the positioning of the rod holders seems off and messes with the paddling, but it’s nothing a quick DIY mod can’t fix. 

Technical Specs 

  • 18-gauge PVC construction 
  • 10.75 x 3.25 feet (inflated) 
  • 30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches (deflated) 
  • Weighs 32.9 pounds 
  • 470-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Multi air-chamber design for safety 
  • Features D-rings and mesh pockets 
  • Has paddle and fishing rod holders 
  • A mounting spot for a trolling motor 
  • NMMA-certified 

Cons

  • The positioning of the rod holders can interfere with paddling 
  • Doesn’t come with a foot pump or paddles 
  • Some may find the 470-pound capacity limited 

If you want a straightforward, not-too-expensive, and lightweight inflatable fishing kayak made for two, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado is always a safe bet. 

Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak

Next, I have one of those go-anywhere-do-anything, general-purpose kayaks. Airhead Montana is a fantastic choice for anyone who just wants a no-frills recreational inflatable kayak they could use wherever and whenever they get the itch to go paddling. 

It measures 12 feet (with a wide, 3.2-foot beam) and is constructed out of 840-denier nylon with three separate air chambers for added safety. What’s even better, it’s NMMA-certified, providing you with additional peace of mind. 

Now, as I said, it’s a do-anything kind of kayak, so it’s technically suitable for calmer lakes as it is for up to Class II rapids. Nothing too crazy, but enough to “scratch” that paddling itch of yours. 

And in true inflatable kayak fashion, it managed to stay relatively lightweight, coming in at about 36 pounds – but with a 500-pound capacity. 

Technical Specs 

  • 840D nylon construction
  • 12 x 3.2 feet (inflated)
  • 28.5 x 19.8 x 11.9 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 36.3 pounds 
  • 500-pound capacity

Pros

  • Neoprene elbow guards for comfort 
  • Lightweight and compact when deflated 
  • Suitable for traveling 
  • Multi air-chamber design 
  • Uses Boston valves for easier inflation 
  • NMMA-certified

Cons

  • Limited onboard storage options 
  • The overall quality could be better 
  • Requires a bit more maintenance

Want a durable, reliable, not-too-expensive all-purpose kayak that can accompany you on your road trips? If that’s the case, Airhead Montana is the way to go.

Best Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Now, here’s a kayak that proves that inflatables are so much more than kayak-shaped balloons – and does so by taking the construction to a whole new level. The name “AdvancedFrame” says it all: 

Advanced Elements took inflatables to new heights by incorporating an aluminum frame into the kayak’s construction. So, on top of the rip-stop fabric and polyester sandwiched between layers of vinyl, AdvancedFrame’s construction also boasts aluminum ribs. 

Of course, that makes the kayak a bit heavier; it clocks in at 52 pounds. But given its rigidity and tracking performance, and the 550-pound weight capacity, I’m willing to overlook those few extra pounds. 

And to add to it, this model is a convertible, too. It’s versatile enough as is – because it allows for solo or tandem seat configurations. However, you can also get a convertible deck and turn it into a sit-inside kayak. 

Technical Specs 

  • PVC with aluminum ribs 
  • 15 x 2.7 feet (inflated)
  • 35 x 21 x 12 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 52 pounds 
  • 550-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Built-in aluminum ribs add structural rigidity 
  • Versatile, with three different seat locations 
  • The optional deck turns into a sit-inside kayak 
  • Six-chamber design for safety 

Cons

  • It’s definitely expensive for an inflatable kayak 
  • You have to buy the convertible deck add-ons separately 
  • The 52-pound weight isn’t ideal 

I love the unique construction, versatility, and flexibility of Advanced Elements’ AdvancedFrame Convertible kayak – but I should warn you that these features also mean additional weight and a higher price tag.

Best 2-Person Kayak For Multi-Day Trips

HO Scout 2 Kayak

Next up is HO Scout 2 – a 15.5-foot inflatable tandem designed with on-the-water performance in mind. It’s one of those kayaks that show how far inflatables have come over the years when it comes to their durability and capability. 

Boasting ArmorShark reinforced side bladders, an ultra-reinforced bow and stern, coupled with a drop-stitch floor for rigidity, the Scout 2 is as durable and reliable as inflatable kayaks can be. Oh, and it features three air chambers, which adds to the overall safety. 

I have to say that it’s not exactly the definition of lightweight and portable. The Scout 2 weighs a massive 68 pounds – which is insane for an inflatable kayak. 

With that extra weight, comes a lot of carrying capacity – a whopping 675 pounds to be precise! That means that you can take your gear, your dog, and whatever else you might need for a multi-day camping trip – without having to worry about whether the kayak will be able to handle it or not. 

Another potential downside would be the price tag, given that it’s among the most expensive on my list. 

What do you get for the money? 

Besides the actual kayak, the package includes a dedicated backpack-style bag, a hand pump, an adjustable paddle, a Lever-Lock fin, and two adjustable seats. Not too bad, right? 

Technical Specs 

  • Welded tarpaulin base and waterproof skin 
  • 15.5 x 2.8 (inflated)
  • Weighs 68 pounds 
  • 675-pound capacity 

Pros

  • ArmorShark reinforced side bladders
  • Quick-dry waterproof skin
  • Front and rear bungee storage 
  • Has a detachable skeg 
  • Includes a pump, carry bag, and paddles 
  • Three-chamber design for safety 

Cons

  • One of the most expensive ‘yaks on this list 
  • Extremely heavy for an inflatable kayak

It’s not the most affordable option – and it certainly isn’t the most lightweight, either – but I still believe that some adventure-seekers out there would fall in love with HO’s Scout 2. 

Best 2-Person Whitewater/Recreational Hybrid

AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak – 2 Person Whitewater Kayak

I know I’ve already highlighted Driftsun’s Rover as one of the leaders in the whitewater-specific portion of the market, but AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125 might just be the one to blow it out of the water. 

You’re looking at a 12.2-foot ‘yak with a hybrid design that sits somewhere between recreational and whitewater kayaks. 

It’s constructed out of Duratex reinforced PVC, paired with EvoBeam Technology. And to add to it, it has three air chambers, and four mesh drains to get out of trouble quickly while conquering those rapids. 

I should add that the 600-pound weight capacity is impressive by any standards. That number is even more remarkable when you consider that it weighs a mere 30 pounds. 

Seriously, the weight-to-load-capacity ratio of the McKenzie 125 is insane.

Unfortunately, though, there aren’t any actual onboard storage solutions. You only get a couple of tie-downs – and that’s it. 

Technical Specs 

  • Duratex PVC construction 
  • 12.2 x 2.9 feet (inflated)
  • 30 x 22 x 17 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 30 pounds 
  • 600-pound capacity 

Pros

  • Hybrid recreational/whitewater kayak design 
  • Multi air-chamber design for safety 
  • Four mesh drains for self-bailing 
  • Comes with two moveable kayak seats and a carrying backpack 

Cons

  • The pump and paddles aren’t included in the package 
  • Tie-downs are the only storage option available

If you’re looking forward to whitewater paddling through some rough rapids with a friend – the AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125 better be on your shopping list!

Two-Person Inflatable Kayaks: Summary 

Okay, you’ve reached the end of this best 2-person inflatable kayak round-up – and you know what that means: 

It’s time for the final verdict. 

I’ve tried dozens of inflatable tandem kayaks – especially since I became a father – and I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing as the “best tandem kayak for everyone.” Each paddler’s needs differ – and so do the requirements they might have regarding their inflatable two-person ‘yak.

But I do believe that the AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Inflatable Kayak may have a slight edge over the competition. From the hull’s surprising rigidity and on-the-water performance to the capacity of 600 pounds and three-seat configuration, the Chelan 155 is one heck of a ‘yak.

Let me know if you agree!