There’s nothing quite living the kayak life on the open water with a paddling mate. Of course, not all kayaks are created equal, and that’s definitely true of a two person fishing kayak. Are those variables you need to consider when selecting a regular kayak? Double that and add a whole set of other issues and needs unique to the two-person kayaks, and you have an idea as to how challenging it can be to find a good model.
However, kayaking is all about meeting challenges, and there’s no challenge a good kayaker can’t overcome, so let’s take a look at some of the best 2 person kayak and see which rise to the top.
What to Look For Before Purchase
There are several factors one should consider before purchase.
Size & Balance
First and foremost with a 2 person fishing kayak is size and balance. If you intend for your kayak to hold two people, you’d better make sure it’s actually equipped to do so. You don’t want to feel cramped while kayaking, and you certainly don’t want to find out too late that your boat can’t handle the weight of both of you combined, plus that of your fishing gear. Too often people forget to account for the latter when calculating kayak weight, so remember to add some weight in addition to your own when determining how much your kayak should weigh.
You’ll also want to think about length as well as weight, with longer options typically being better for two-seat kayaks since it usually means more space for both users.
In addition, you’ll want to consider the purpose for which you want the kayak. Some are better suited for fishing, others are better at recreational kayaking, and some boast a blend of the two.
Inflatable vs. Hard-shell
Then there’s the question of inflatable versus hard-shelled kayaks. The divide and debate between the two here is well-established by this point, with hard-shelled variants having a reputation for being more durable while inflatable options are often lighter and more portable. Hard-shelled options can be harder to transport and store, but you don’t have to wait for them to be inflated and deflated as you do with inflatable options.
You definitely don’t want to overlook the importance of durability. You can have the largest and most comfortable kayak imaginable, but if all it takes is a tiny rock or the slightest of sharp edges to spring a leak, you might wind up with an overly-expensive sunken mess. Again, hard-shelled kayaks have a considerable edge, though inflatable models have made good strides in recent years with special heavy-duty scratch-resistant plastics.
Another positive of hard-shelled kayaks is that they can be easier to stand up in and fish. Maintaining that degree of balance while one or both of you are fishing is naturally harder with a two-person kayak.
Finally, there’s the inevitable and inescapable question of cost. Larger kayaks with more features naturally tend to cost more, but there is a lot of variety here in terms of cost and overall performance. This is best reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but you’ll definitely want to set a budget ahead of time and really think about which features you’re willing to spend on.
Best 2-Person Fishing Kayaks on the Market
Now that we know what to look for, let’s check our winners.
1) Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
If you have looked for or used kayaks for any length of time, there is a good chance you have heard of Intex. They are one of the most famous names on the market, and certainly one of the most ubiquitous. That can cut both ways, of course. On the one hand, it’s good to go with a brand that you know and trust, but on the other hand, there’s something to be said for trying something new.
This model does offer something quite new for this list thus far, however – hyper affordability. This kayak is by far one of the most affordable on this list, available for just a few hundred dollars. Compare that to the Sea Eagle FastTrack above. Again, that model is incredibly well put together and definitely a good choice for someone, but if you’re short on cash or new to kayaking, you probably don’t want to (or can’t) shell out four figures. This option from Intex represents a much safer, accessible investment.
But how does it hold up in terms of overall performance?
At first blush, this two-person kayak can appear remarkably generic. It doesn’t stand out from the crowd as especially heavy-duty like the Sevylor and doesn’t boast the feature list of the FastTrack. Once again, you get what you pay for, and in this case that means a more no-frills fishing and kayaking experience.
However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and this model from Intex still has a lot of good points where they count. It is made from durable PVC with a polyester core. The model is yet another one that tops 12 feet in length and weighs 43 pounds, meaning it’s not especially lightweight but not a heifer either. It does come with stainless steel D rings as well as a mounting bracket that can allow you to attach rod holders or other fishing accessories to the kayak.
2) Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2 Person Fishing Kayak
This model measures 10 ft x 9 in. x 3 ft 3 in. and weighs in at 37.61 pounds – about half as much as the Lifetime kayak mentioned above. That makes it a great choice for anyone looking for a lightweight model.
Even more impressive is how this kayak is actually constructed. As mentioned, kayaks nowadays make use of heavy-duty plastics, and that’s the case where, with this model employing 18-gauge PVC, giving it a rugged and durable nature. The bottom is made from 1000D tarpaulin while a 840D nylon cover keeps this model from being punctured. The model is quite airtight and engineered against leakage. Even if it does suffer damage, this model makes use of many air chambers, meaning if one is punctured, the others can keep this kayak afloat.
Adding to that is the fact that this model is NMMA certified.
Beyond all of that, this model offers some of the features you would expect from a quality inflatable two person fishing kayak, such as Boston valves to allow for fast inflation and deflation. The D-rings and mesh storage pockets included also make it easier to store things.
3) Lifetime 10 ft Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
At over 10 feet long (10ft 3in., to be exact), this kayak is on the larger side, though there are bigger models on this list. One area in which it does distinguish itself, however, is in its paddling – namely, that it allows for single as well as tandem options. Let’s say you’re going it alone on the water for the day, or are with someone who simply doesn’t want to paddle. This boat is built such that one rower is enough to propel the boat, while still allowing a second to join the fun and improve performance if they choose to do so.
On top of that, for a model that weighs 73 pounds, this model is surprisingly easy to grip and transport.
That said, this model’s biggest claim to fame and one of the big reasons it’s a contender for the title of best 2 person kayak is its sterling weight capacity of 500 pounds. That should be more than enough to support yourself, another guest, and a healthy amount of fishing gear. Speaking of which, this kayak also comes with three fishing rod holders as well as a rear storage hatch, which can make it that much easier to store your fishing gear while you fish.
However, while this model has gotten good reviews for its sturdiness and stability, it has seen less glowing responses from those trying to use it for fishing. Once again, it’s a very different game balance-wise keeping the boat upright while sitting and rowing versus doing so while standing and fishing.
4) Sea Eagle FastTrack 385ft
The first thing you are bound to notice about this model is that it boasts a slightly asymmetrical shape, being more pointed in front and rounded in the back. This is intended to help it cut through water faster. Whether it does so or not, what is true about this model is that it’s a well-balanced unit, measuring 12.5 feet long and 3 feet wide while weighing 32 pounds.
Even better, however, and a big reason why this model is on our list for inflatable two person fishing kayak options, is the fact that it can support an impressive 635 pounds. That’s enough to potentially handle three people if you can somehow manage to bring a third (or a pet!) along for the ride.
On top of that, this model can be inflated and deflated relatively quickly in about seven minutes.
On the durability side, this model features high-pressure drop stitching to give its floor added durability. It has spray skirts at the front and rear for storage as well as an elastic rope which allows for even more storage. The model is woven from 1,000 denier base cloth and features PVC coating, a one-two punch that makes it highly durable even among the best 2 person fishing kayak fishing on this list and creates an airtight, waterproof seal.
In addition, it also comes with a fair few extra features, including an additional skeg, carrying bag, paddle, and another inflatable seat.
This is definitely one of the pricier kayaks on this list, but you get what you pay for, and in this case that’s one of the best 2 person kayak options here or anywhere.
5) Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak
Here we have another model that tops four figures in its pricing, meaning it’s more of a deluxe than entry-level item. It weighs 72 pounds, which is once again on the heavier side, while it measures 123 ft 3 in. long and 3 ft wide.
Users have reported a couple mild durability issues with this kayak, such as minor damage to the hull or seat buckles breaking. That shouldn’t be anything too concerning, and overall the response has been good, but given the price, you definitely want to be aware of potential issues like that before buying it.
On the flip side, the Elkton also does quite a lot to earn that price, starting with the fact that it handles extremely smoothly on the water. If you’re looking for the best 2 person kayak on this list in terms of just how it glides along the water, this may be it. The unit also features two carrying handles, which make transportation quite easy (at least as easy as it can be for something over 70 lbs). The unit features two storage areas at either end of the kayak and an airtight compartment, making it very easy to store fishing gear.
6) Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181
It isn’t the most well-known kayak brand in the world, but with models like this, the Brooklyn Kayak Company looks to be due a bit more respect. Here we have another model that’s on the heavier side, albeit not quite as heavy as those topping 70 pounds, since this one “only” weighs in at 68 pounds.
However, it puts that weight to good use, offering a weight capacity of 595 pounds and extra space for a third seat. Taken together, therefore, this is yet another 2 person fishing kayak on this list that can easily be expanded to fit a third person, and with a weight capacity of just under 600 pounds, can support that extra weight easily.
This makes it a great choice for families, even if it has a slightly less family-friendly plus-four figure price tag. That said, this model is the “cheapest” of those in the four-figure ballpark, so if you’re willing to splurge a little bit but not too much, this model offers some of the best value in return for its higher price tag.
In keeping with that, this model also comes with a lot of features, from adjustable aluminum paddles to paddle parks to waterproof hatches and a bungee cargo tie.
Perhaps most importantly, this model boasts soft foam-padded seats. Whether or not you want a hard-shelled kayak, you definitely do not want hard-bottomed seats that leave you sore after just a few minutes of sitting, let alone hours on the water. This model’s seats are well-cushioned and are thus built for long-term comfort.
This model also features a 34-inch beam to provide extra stability, which can be helpful when standing up to fish.
7) Advanced Elements StraitEdge 2 PRO
This is an interesting choice, since it tries to combine some of the different approaches we see from different models here. On the one hand, it isn’t as heavy as some of the models mentioned above, weighing only 45 pounds. On the other hand, it’s also a couple feet smaller at 10 ft 6 in. with a width of 38.5 in.
Its weight capacity is far below the heavy hitters here but still serviceable at 400 pounds.
In terms of durability, it features a sturdy drop-stitched floor.
This is another model that offers good seating, with the Airframe Pro seats being highly airier and more comfortable than harder options.
You also get a shoulder strapped duffel bag and repair kit among other accessories.
This search for a solid 2 person fishing kayak pulled up a pretty surprising contender in the Brooklyn City model. It may not be as famous as Intex or some of the other names on this list, but it boasts a great features list and can offer high-quality returns on its investment.
That said, the Intex model is no slouch either considering its role as a budget option. If you are low on cash or new to two-person kayaking and want to try it without a high monetary commitment, that’s by far the most affordable and least risky option to try.
The Elkton is arguably the best option for those looking for smooth handling, while the Sea Eagle FastTrack offers a bunch of great features and can inflate and deflate pretty quickly, making it a good inflatable option.
From these feature sets, you should be able to determine which two-person fishing kayak best suits the wants and needs of yourself and your fishing partner as you share the kayak life together.