Best 2 Person Inflatable Kayak – Top 10 Inflatable Tandems In 2023

Two-person inflatable kayaks only prove my point: 

Hard-shell tandems are extremely heavy, longer than average, and pretty unwieldy. 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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At A Glance – Our Picks For Top 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

  • Best Overall:  AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Inflatable Kayak
    “Lightweight and easy to carry around, but can handle two adults with a child, while staying stable and secure. If there’s another inflatable kayak with the same offer, I have yet to find it!”
  • High-Capacity Tandem:  Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
    “The 420x is NMMA-certified, its rated for up to Class IV rapids, and it has an almost 900-pound weight capacity. Need I say more? “
  • Great For Calm Waters:  Intex Excursion Pro 2-Person Kayak
    “The Excursion Pro 2 might just be the go-to model for relaxing in calm waters. Not only that, I consider it the perfect starter ‘yak for people trying to get into the sport. “
  • Budget-Friendly:  Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Inflatable Kayak
    “Its 400-pound weight capacity is nothing to write home about, but considering that it comes in at a fraction of the price (especially compared to almost every other ‘yak on this list) it’s just an offer that you can’t miss out on if you’re on a budget!”
  • Whitewater Ready:  Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak
    “The Driftsun has its flaws, but they all seem negligible when you start testing it out in extreme whitewater situations. It’s lightweight, extremely durable, and handles class IV”
  • Tandem Fishing Pick:  Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak
    “Clever storage options, impressive comfort for long trips (even with two adults on board), and a competitive price. For my money, this is the two-person fishing kayak to consider before anything else!.”
  • All-Around Inflatable Tandem:  Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak
    “It doesn’t have a lot of space when you climb in, but it makes up for it in pretty much every other department! If you’re looking for a tandem kayak that does a little bit of everything, you have to check out the Airhead Montana.”
  • Most Versatile:  ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak
    “Do the unique construction, versatility, and flexibility make up for the added weight (hefty price included)? Without a doubt – yes, the framed design alone should bring you in for a consideration! “
  • Great For Multi-Day Trips:  HO Scout 2 Kayak
    “The HO Scout 2 has a high asking price, but if you’re looking to go out on the water for days on end, it’s worth every penny.”
  • Most Durable:  AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak – 2 Person Whitewater Kayak
    “Is there an inflatable kayak out there that can handle 2 people, all their equipment, AND some rough whitewater? Well yes, and it’s called the McKenzie 125!”

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. 

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. 

How Will You Use Your ‘Yak?

While there are many factors that should be considered here, I always recommend starting with the basics – where and how you plan to use your kayak:

  • Recreational: A jack-of-all-trades kayak is the way to go when it comes to recreational paddling. There’s no need to shell out on all the bells and whistles of specialized kayaks. You want a kayak that’s stable, comfortable, easy to manage, and, in a sense, “average” at everything it does – in a good way, of course. In short, recreational use calls for a good all-rounder; nothing more, nothing less. 
  • Fishing: Fishing kayaks boast some additional options and fishing-specific features that you won’t get on a recreational ‘yak. Do you want a ‘yak you can stand up in, or do you prefer the comfort of the captain’s chair? How much gear do you typically carry, and how will that play into the storage options and maximum weight capacity you’ll require? Consider your needs – and preferences.  
  • Touring: Long-distance trips usually require more gear and supplies – especially if you’re planning a camping trip – so good onboard storage options and high weight capacity are crucial. Other than that, look for an efficient hull design with a skeg – or a rudder system – to help with maneuverability and make long distances easier to conquer. 
  • Whitewater: Whitewater paddling is a serious challenge – and you will need a kayak that can handle the different classes of rapids you may run into. On that note, look for a good drainage system, removable skegs, and large side tubes for additional protection. 
  • Taking Your Pet or Child: Tandem kayaks are generally a great choice for taking a child – or a pet – along with you. However, there are still a few things to consider. You will need a wide, stable, and spacious ‘yak with a high enough load capacity. Also, ensure that it is made from materials that can handle your dog’s claws and teeth – or any other dings and scratches that may occur. 

Kayak’s Dimensions & Weight

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

Surprisingly enough, 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.  

So what about the actual size? 

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. 

It also 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 need to consider is the kayak’s weight capacity. We’re talking about these two-person’ yaks here, and when you add gear into the mix, you get a pretty high number on the scale. 

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

These numbers vary; 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 900 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. 

Portability

Male paddler carrying inflatable boat kayak

Most inflatable kayak manufacturers will give you virtually the same promise: 

You can pack up the kayak in a backpack and carry it around – and when it’s not in use, you can store it under your bed or in the closet. You’ll hardly notice it’s there! 

And while that’s generally true – especially compared to hard-shell kayaks – not all inflatables are made the same. So, be sure to consider the following: 

  • Pack Weight & Size: You won’t just be carrying a kayak – but the accessories that come with it, too. Besides, the bag itself can sometimes weigh a few pounds. Make sure you’re comfortable with the total weight of the carry bag. On a related note, check if the bag will fit in the trunk of your car or the back seat – otherwise, you won’t have a way to transport it. 
  • Storage Bag: Getting a free kayak carry bag with your purchase is always a plus – but I still recommend checking its quality. Is it sturdy enough to handle everything an average paddling trip might throw its way? Does it feature wheels or padded straps? Lastly, is it big enough to fit all the accompanying accessories? 
  • Time & Ease Of Packing: The good thing about inflatables is that you can simply throw them in a bag and carry them with you. And the bad thing? You’ll need to drain, deflate, and fold them up after each use. Have you ever tried to fold a map only for it to end up twice the size? That’s kind of what happens with poorly designed inflatables, too. Having drain holes helps a bunch with speeding up the packing process since the excess water drains faster.

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 – which works fine in most cases. However, for kayaks with a higher PSI – anything over 8 PSI – a manual pump might not be the most suitable solution. Well, not unless you want to come back from your trip with arms like Popeye. 

That’s where you might need to upgrade to an electric pump. 

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

That said, high-end inflatable kayaks typically have a higher PSI, which is a definite advantage on the water – but it also means they often take longer to set up. 

Construction & Durability

Lastly, I want to discuss 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. 

Inflatable Kayak torture test - SeaEagle.com

Materials 

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. 

Here’s an overview of your options: 

  • PVC: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is cheap to make but incredibly durable – especially since it forms a strong bond with other materials (nylon, for example), which makes it relatively tear-resistant. And even if it does tear, you’re still looking at a simple fix that can be done with the included repair kit. 
  • Hypalon: Another common alternative to PVC is a synthetic rubber patented by DuPont called Hypalon. It’s a high-performance material reserved for more expensive inflatables, but it boasts better UV, abrasion, mildew, and temperature resistance.

Eco-friendly alternatives are available; the most prominent of which is Nitrylon. While it’s tougher and more resistant to UV exposure than PVC, it’s also much heavier.

Construction 

Another thing to look at when choosing an inflatable two-person kayak is the construction and how everything is welded and glued together. 

You should generally take note of the following:

  • Drop-Stitch Floors: The “standard” inflatable kayak construction starts with an inflatable beam, while drop-stitch technology works with low-stretch fibers that hold the bottom and top layers at an equal distance from each other. Thousands of fine-stitch fibers per square inch distribute the load equally, forming a rigid slab once the chambers are inflated. 
  • Multiple Air Chambers: Inflatable kayaks aren’t that easy to damage, but it can happen – and if it does, the addition of multiple air chambers makes a world of difference. There’s more than one chamber holding the air – and even if one of them pops, you’ll still be able to remain afloat and reach dry land safely. 
  • Inflation Pressure: The higher the recommended inflation pressure, the more rigid your kayak will be; it’s that simple. Rigidity is vital when it comes to inflatable kayaks since it affects on-the-water performance, handling, and tracking. 
  • Quality Seams: The seams are in charge of holding the whole ‘yak together and making sure there’s no way for air to escape – or water to get in. So, in that sense, yes, they’re a pretty big deal. For maximum durability, you want an inflatable ‘yak constructed using the so-called heat fusion or heat welding rather than one where the seams are merely glued together. 

Budget – How Much Do Inflatable Tandems Cost?

Smashed piggy bag highlighting the cost of kayaks

Inflatables are generally cheaper than hard-shell kayaks – often up to 30-40% cheaper, might I add. 

The cheapest tandem inflatables will set you back a few hundred dollars – although most tend to range somewhere between $400 to $800. The most expensive ones, though, come in at around $1000 – and up to $2000. 

I know what you’re thinking: 

That’s a wide range to consider. What exactly determines the cost?

Well, the kayak’s construction, intended use, and additional features will often indicate what kind of prices you can expect

A recreational tandem kayak will rarely cost more than $1000, but a specked-out tandem fishing ‘yak can easily cost between $1500 and $2000. The most expensive of the bunch are almost always the high-end inflatable touring kayaks; they can sometimes cost over $2000. 

The additional equipment can sometimes influence the cost, too. While getting pumps, paddles, and other goodies out of the box is generally a great deal, even the high-end kayaks sometimes don’t include these in the package. 

Why is that? 

Kayak manufacturers are focused on – well, manufacturing kayaks. So, while you can expect to find the basic equipment in the box, you’re generally better off buying it separately; the chances are that the included gear won’t be of the best quality.

Frequently Asked Questions on Tandem Inflatable Kayaks

Can one person use a two-person inflatable kayak?

Yes, a single person can use a two-person inflatable kayak. In fact, many people do it all the time. But be warned, the performance will be impacted as the kayak will be a bit more difficult to maneuver – but it’s totally doable. 

The key is weight distribution; 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. So it’s important to distribute the weight evenly throughout the kayak.

However, 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.  


Are two-person kayaks worth it?

Tandem kayaks can be quite an investment – but they’re worth it if you’re looking to paddle with a partner more often than going solo. It sure beats owning (and carrying) two separate kayaks. Then again, if “tandem trips” aren’t that common on your calendar, you might want to stick to a one-person kayak – or even a “convertible” one.


What is a drop stitch kayak?

Drop-stitch technology in inflatable kayaks is predominantly used for constructing the floor, as it offers a more rigid and flat surface when compared to traditional I-beam constructions. The floor’s made up of thousands of fine-stitched fibers that hold the top and bottom layers together.


Can inflatable kayaks handle rapids?

Yes, inflatable kayaks are perfectly capable of handling whitewater rapids. There’s a reason why there’s a whole category of kayaks known as “duckies” – inflatable sit-on-top kayaks designed to be used in up to Class III rapids. 


Best 2-Person Inflatable Kayaks Of 2023: Reviewed & Rated

How We Tested & Rated Our Top Picks

The round-up features what I believe to be the best picks for each category. Each kayak is rated based on a few factors crucial to its performance, comfort, overall durability, features – and how it compares to the competition. Here’s the set of criteria used: 

  • Set-Up Time: How long will it take you to get on the water? 
  • Build Quality: What’s the quality of the construction and materials, and how well do they stand up to the different environmental factors?
  • Weight Capacity: Do the kayaks have enough capacity for two paddlers and gear – and does the specified capacity hold up in real-life use? 
  • Performance/Handling: How well did the kayaks perform when it comes to primary and secondary stability, speed, and turning in varying water conditions? 
  • Portability: How much does the kayak weigh, how easy is it to pack and store, and does it come with a carry bag?
  • Value for Money: Did we feel the kayak provided good value based on the asking price?

Each pick is rated on a 1-10 scale. The lowest rating (1) means that it performed poorly and was below the standard of quality required for it to be “usable.” The highest rating (10) means it met – or exceeded – those standards.

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. 

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. 

The first set-up took about 15 minutes – counting the time I’ve spent figuring out how everything worked, that is. The second time around, it took less than 10 minutes – and the included manual pump worked like a charm. 

Carrying it from the truck was also a breeze, even though the bag isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world.

On the water, it was clear that we were on an incredibly stable vessel, especially in compassion to some of the other inflatable kayaks in this review. The 855-pound capacity can easily accommodate two adults and still leave enough room for a child – even a larger pet – and the thing wouldn’t even be wobbled!

The tracking was impressive – even in rough waters. What also helped in these conditions were the 16 self-bailing drain valves, which did a pretty good job when it came to keeping the kayak’s deck dry.

But considering the model is rated for up to Class IV whitewater rapids, that’s no surprise. 

While I appreciate that it comes as part of a complete kayaking kit, after about 4 hours on the water, I recommend replacing the seats with high-back ones as soon as possible. 

Technical Specs 

  • 1000D reinforced PVC
  • 14 x 3.25 feet (inflated) 
  • 31 x 21 x 10 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 42 pounds 
  • 855-pound capacity 
  • 9 mins to 3.2 psi inflation time
  • Weighs 64.1-pounds packed 
  • Packed size: 31x21x10-inches

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

  • It 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.

Its extra large weight capacity makes it the ideal vessel for kayak camping and multi-day outdoor adventures. But if you do not want or need an inflatable with a whooping 855-pound capacity and want a save a few dollars – then check the other smaller and cheaper models in the Sea Eagle Explorer range.

Best Inflatable Kayak 2-Person For Calm Waters

Intex Excursion Pro 2-Person Kayak 

In my experience, the Intex inflatable models are usually great deals in the price-to-quality ratio. The Excursion Pro is no exception. 

This Intex 12.6-footer is 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. 

The addition of a pump is another plus; the high PSI requirement would have been a hassle if it weren’t there. On the first go, the inflation took 15 minutes – which is impressive for a kayak this size. 

Unfortunately, once out on the water, I could only think about the not-so-impressive 400-pound load limit.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. 

The high pressure makes it more rigid, which adds to the stability – as long as you’re not close to the weight limit, that is. But I found that the Excursion Pro generally struggles to maintain its course – especially when winds and currents are involved. 

Does that ruin the overall experience? No, not really. It’s still a great kayak, as long as you know (and respect) its limits and stick to calm waters. 

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 
  • 15-minute Inflation time 
  • Weighs 39-pounds when packed
  • Packed size: 28.2 x 25.4 x 13.5-inches.

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 kayak fishing – Intex’s Excursion Pro is still a versatile and budget-friendly inflatable worth considering.

Overall Best 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Inflatable Kayak 2 Person

The AQUAGLIDE’s Chelan 155 is here to prove that inflatable yaks are not only suitable for long-distance trips, but they can also even be the go-to!

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. 

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

What’s not so great is that it doesn’t include a pump or a storage bag, which is unfortunate since it’s also one of the most expensive inflatables I’ve tested. 

Anyway, the set-up took less than 10 minutes. I can’t take credit for the efficiency, as my electric pump greatly sped up the process. Manually, the specified 12 PSI was reached in roughly 10-15 minutes – and it was quite a workout. 

Deflating it and packing it up was just as fast: 

The six drain wells and seven drain plugs helped dry everything off. Once it’s dry and deflated, folding it down and securing everything using the included bungee cords shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. And since it folds to a compact size, it can easily be stowed in the back seat.

Now, if you can show me another 15-foot touring kayak that can do that, I’m all ears. But I have to say; you might just have to go with the Aquaglide here!

Technical Specs 

  • Duratex PVC construction 
  • 15.1 x 3 feet (inflated)
  • 39 x 21 x 13 inches (deflated)
  • Weighs 38 pounds 
  • 600-pound capacity 
  • 10-15 minutes of inflation time
  • It weighs about 55 pounds when packed. 
  • Packed size is 30.02 x 22.12 x 15.8-inches

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 sure AQUAGLIDE’s Chelan 155 is the inflatable kayak for you. You only need a pump (and a deep pocket) to make it one of the best two-person inflatable kayaks out there. 

Best Cheap 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

Intex Explorer K2 2-Person Inflatable Kayak

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. Plus, it’s NMMA-certified. 

In addition, 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. 

The weight capacity was my first real annoyance. The K2 has a 400-pound load capacity, which is fine for a solo kayak. But with two grown adults on board, it’s far from perfect.

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. The lower PSI does cut the set-up time short, though. It takes 10 minutes to inflate it with the included manual pump.

Granted, the pump isn’t that great – and I was hunched over while using it. But 10 minutes won’t kill you, I suppose.

The real issue, though, is the kayak’s performance in windy weather. The handling was bad, to say the least – and the K2 feels a bit “insecure” when going against any current.

Would I still call it a good deal after all that? 

Well, honestly, yes – as long as you’re aware of the weight limit and keep yourselves in relatively calm waters. 

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
  • It takes about 10-minutes to inflate
  • It weighs 36 pounds when packed
  • Packed size is 23.5 x 17 x 14 – inches

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 we tested.

This 12.5-footer is constructed out of 1000D reinforced PVC with a tarpaulin bottom and a high-pressure drop-stitch floor that adds rigidity. 

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

It takes time to set it up, though. 

While I managed to get to the 6 PSI with the included dual-action pump within about 12 minutes, moving past 4 PSI took a great deal of effort. Furthermore, the advertised 8-minute inflation time was impossible – at least in my case.

With that said, once you get it on the water, it still boasts a decent weight limit of 600 pounds, with front and rear cargo areas to boot. And you’re also getting some handy additions – a removable skeg, adjustable footrests and seats, and a mount for your action camera.

The eight drain holes worked great in rough currents, but one of the included paddles broke on the first whitewater outing – so I wouldn’t recommend relying on the included equipment for any serious paddling. 

That aside, the kayak’s performance was impressive. 

We tested it out on a Class III whitewater adventure, and the Driftsun showed exceptional tracking performance and maneuverability. I can say – without a doubt – that it’s one of the best inflatable whitewater kayaks currently available. 

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 
  • Inflation time of about 10-15 minutes
  • It weighs 55 pounds when packed.
  • Packed size is ‎35 x 24.5 x 14 – inches

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. Just make sure to invest in some quality paddles alongside it, and you’re set.

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 a well-priced and rugged inflatable kayak, that is fully rigged for fishing, and takes a mere five minutes to inflate – sounding good so far?

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. 

The thing weighs 33-pounds, so lugging it around isn’t that fun – but it’s absolutely manageable. The 470-pound weight capacity isn’t the most impressive number in the inflatable world, but this ‘yak made up for it with some clever storage solutions and accessories. 

All across the deck, you get D-rings, mesh pockets, and multiple rod holders – and there’s even a trolling motor mounting spot. Two people eat up a lot of weight that it can handle, but the wide 39-inch beam made it so that we never felt unstable – far from it! 

Maneuverability isn’t its strongest suit due to the already-mentioned wide 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 
  • It takes 5-10 minutes to inflate
  • It weighs about 39 pounds when packed
  • Packed size is 30.75 x 18.5 x 11 – inches

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. Make sure to have a set of reliable paddles that fit it, and you’re golden.

Best All-Around Inflatable Tandem

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 can use wherever and whenever they get the itch to paddle. 

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. Even better, it’s NMMA-certified, providing you with additional peace of mind. 

There’s an included foot pump – and it works like a charm. It took me nine minutes to inflate it – and if I’m being honest, three of those were spent fiddling with the Boston valves. But that’s on me; the addition of these valves is a great one.

In true inflatable kayak fashion, it’s lightweight and easy to carry around, clocking in at about 36 pounds. And yet, it boasts a 500-pound capacity. 

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. 

So it’s comfy, it handles well, and it has a great weight capacity – where’s the catch?

Well, the onboard storage left a bit of a bad taste. You’d think that with the 500-pound capacity, you’d be able to bring as much stuff as you like, and you technically can – but only if you are up for paddling with a backpack on your shoulders. 

It’s a confusing slip-up on the manufacturer’s end, but I’m willing to overlook it; everything else about this kayak is top-notch. 

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
  • It takes 5-10 minutes to inflate
  • It weighs 45 pounds when packed
  • Packed size is 28.5 x 19.8 x 11.9 – inches

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. Just don’t over pack doing it.  

Best Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

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 it’s well worth it. With its rigidity and tracking performance (plus the 550-pound weight capacity), I’m willing to overlook those few extra pounds. 

By the way, there’s an “elite” version available, too. It comes with a drop-stitch floor but will set you back an extra $200-300. 

I wouldn’t go for it – and here’s why: 

The stability and tracking on the “standard” model were something else – even with two people on board. And since it is a convertible kayak, I obviously tested it both solo and with a paddling buddy – and it held up well in both scenarios. 

It genuinely is an incredibly stable kayak that tracks and handles like an actual hard shell – and yet, it fits in the trunk of my car. 

It took about 10 minutes to set up – two seats and all – but I had to use my own dual-action hand pump, as the package doesn’t include one. You get a duffle bag with removable shoulder straps, though, which sort of makes up for it – although a pump would’ve been nice.

What sets the AE AdvancedFrame Convertible apart from other inflatables is its ability to be configured as a solo or tandem kayak, thanks to its multiple seating anchor points and exchangeable cockpit cover adapter – this makes it one of the most versatile kayaks on the market today.

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 
  • It takes about 5-10 minutes to inflate
  • It weighs 63 pounds when packed
  • Packed size is 36.61 x 22.13 x 12.36 – inches

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 is HO Scout 2 – a 15.5-foot inflatable tandem designed with on-the-water performance.

Boasting ArmorShark reinforced side bladders, an ultra-reinforced bow and stern, and a drop-stitch floor for rigidity, the Scout 2 is as durable and reliable as inflatable kayaks are. There are also three air chambers, which adds to the overall safety. And it also feels safe while on the water, thanks to its 8-10 PSI rigid drop-stitch floor. 

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! 

We packed up supplies and equipment for a two-day trip, and this thing barely felt the weight. I could’ve brought my dogs or an extra person on board – and it still would have felt safe enough to go on the water.

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

Granted, 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? 

Well, it depends: 

For all that money, the Scout 2 still looks – and feels – like any other mass-produced, drop-stitch made-in-China kayak. I’ll give credit where credit is due; it did perform well during my tests. But the price tag is too steep not to be considered a downside. 

Technical Specs 

  • Welded tarpaulin base and waterproof skin 
  • 15.5 x 2.8 (inflated)
  • Weighs 68 pounds 
  • 675-pound capacity 
  • It takes about 10-15 minutes to inflate
  • Weighs 75-pounds when packed

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 between recreational and whitewater kayaks. There’s also a single-seat version (the McKenzie 105), but considering that there’s only a 2-feet difference between them, I would go for the two-seater and ride it solo any day of the week. 

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. 

It took me about 10 minutes to set everything up – six of which were spent inflating it using the included dual-action pump. But once out on the water, though, I couldn’t help but be amazed by its stability. 

You just don’t expect that from a kayak this light. 

It has a 600-pound weight capacity, which is impressive by any standard. That number is even more remarkable when it weighs a mere 30 pounds. 

I was initially a bit concerned, considering how much gear I had – but even with all my stuff loaded, the darn thing didn’t budge! 

Unfortunately, though, there aren’t any actual onboard storage solutions. You only get a couple of tie-downs – and that’s it. I don’t get why AQUAGLIDE didn’t incorporate storage solutions with this kind of weight capacity, but I guess you can solve that with some after-market accessories.

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 
  • It takes 5-10 minutes to inflate
  • Weighs 50-pounds when packed
  • Packed size: 30 x 22 x 17-inches

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!

A Quick Side-by-side Comparison

We went through many suggestions, reviews, and technical specs – but we’re almost at the finish line. Before we part ways, how about we compare these ten kayaks side-by-side; so that you can get a comprehensive idea of what the options are:

High-Capacity Tandem
Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
Great For Calm Waters
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
Best Overall
AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Tandem Inflatable Kayak
Budget-Friendly
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Whitewater Ready
Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Kayak
Tandem Fishing Pick
Sevylor Coleman Colorado
All-Around Inflatable Tandem
Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak
Most Versatile
Advanced Elements AE1007-E AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
Great For Multi-Day Trips
HO Scout 2 Kayak
Most Durable
AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak
Model
Model
Sea Eagle 420x Inflatable Kayak with Pro Package
Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
AQUAGLIDE Chelan 155 Tandem Inflatable Kayak
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Kayak
Sevylor Coleman Colorado
Airhead Montana Kayak Two Person Inflatable Kayak
Advanced Elements AE1007-E AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
HO Scout 2 Kayak
AQUAGLIDE McKenzie 125 Inflatable Kayak
Our Rating
Our Rating
8.7/10
8.3/10
9.2/10
8.3/10
8.1/10
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8.2/10
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Ease of Inflation
Ease of Inflation
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Performance & Handling
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Construction
Construction
1000D reinforced PVC
Laminate PVC with a polyester core
Duratex PVC construction
Vinyl construction
1000D reinforced
18-gauge PVC construction
840D nylon construction
PVC with aluminum ribs
Welded tarpaulin base and waterproof skin
Duratex PVC construction
Size (Inflated)
Size (Inflated)
14 x 3.25 feet
12.6 x 3.1 feet
15.1 x 3 feet
10.25 x 3 feet
12.5 x 3.2 feet
10.75 x 3.25 feet
12 x 3.2 feet
15 x 2.7 feet
15.5 x 2.8
12.2 x 2.9 feet
Size (deflated)
Size (deflated)
31 x 21 x 10 inches
24.4 x 22.8 x 12.6 inches
39 x 21 x 13 inches
13.5 x 23.13 x 16.25 inches
24.5 x 21 x 10 inches
30.1 x 11.6 x 19.2 inches
28.5 x 19.8 x 11.9 inches
35 x 21 x 12 inches
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30 x 22 x 17 inches
Weight
Weight
42 pounds
39 pounds
38 pounds
30.6 pounds
28 pounds
32.9 pounds
36.3 pounds
52 pounds
68 pounds
30 pounds
Capacity
Capacity
855-pounds
400-pounds
600-pounds
400-pounds
600-pounds
470-pounds
500-pounds
550-pounds
675-pounds
600-pounds
Inflation Time
Inflation Time
9 mins to 3.2 psi
15-minute
10-15 minutes
10-minutes
10-15 minutes
5-10 minutes
5-10 minutes
5-10 minutes
10-15 minutes
5-10 minutes
Packed weight
Packed weight
64.1-pounds
39-pounds
55 pounds
36 pounds
55 pounds
39 pounds
45 pounds
63 pounds
75-pounds
50-pounds
Packed size
Packed size
31x21x10-inches
28.2 x 25.4 x 13.5-inches
30.02 x 22.12 x 15.8-inches
23.5 x 17 x 14 - inches
35 x 24.5 x 14 - inches
30.75 x 18.5 x 11 - inches
28.5 x 19.8 x 11.9 - inches
36.61 x 22.13 x 12.36 - inches
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30 x 22 x 17-inches

Best Inflatable Tandem 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.

If for some reason, you’re not impressed by the Chelan 155, I highly recommend checking out the ADVANCED ELEMENTS AdvancedFrame Convertible. It’s a great offer as is – even for the slightly high price tag. But what I found most impressive is that it offered an almost identical performance level, whether I took it out solo or as a tandem!

Let me know if you agree!

Photo of author

Sam OBrien

As the founder of one of the top-ranking websites in its niche, WaterSportsWhiz.com, Sam has dedicated himself to educating people on water-based activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and diving. When he's not busy writing about water sports or testing out the latest gear, Sam can be found enjoying a good surf or kayak session with friends.