Nothing sells a product faster than the ability to share it with friends. A video game’s solo or story mode may be great, but it’s multiplayer that really sells it to a mass audience. A film or TV show may be critically acclaimed, but it’s film festivals, movie nights with friends, and sharing clips and memes on social media that really makes them become a cultural force. The same holds true of equipment for outdoor adventuring, especially those most conducive to experiencing those adventures together, such as kayaking.
However, not every kayak is conducive to cooperative adventuring. Many are too small or narrow to seat multiple people and are strictly solo kayaks. By contrast, the best thing about the Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak (aka the Lifetime 12 Kayak) is that it’s big enough to house two or more passengers as they hit the water together.
Note: As the Lifetime Beacon Tandem kayak is currently unavailable in most online shops, we suggest trying out similar rigid kayak, the Lifetime Tandem 10-foot.
Key Features of Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak
The biggest feature offered by this model is without question its immense size. At 12 feet long and 35 inches wide, it is a nice big kayak that offers a ton of space inside. If you’re tired of feeling cramped in smaller kayaks and want room to stretch your legs or store more equipment while out on the water, this may be a good kayak to consider. That said, with that added size comes a good deal of added heft, and at 84 pounds, this model definitely can’t be considered “light.” True, it’d be unrealistic to expect a lightweight kayak that size, but it is still worth keeping in mind.
That size feeds into some of the other features of the Lifetime 12 Kayak, including:
- Weight capacity of up to 500 pounds
- Storage hatch beneath the deck
- Cargo net for additional storage
- Four carrying handles
- Molded footrests
- Padded backrests and seat cushions
- High-density polyethylene
- Paddles and paddle keepers
Here you can check the kayak “real-life” on the water:
What Do Users Say
One of the most acclaimed aspects of the Lifetime 12 Kayak is its storage capacity. All that extra space afforded by this immensely spacious unit makes for plenty of room in which to store gear, especially given that you get both a storage hatch and a cargo net. Users have found this more than enough room to store plenty of gear for fishing and other activities.
Weight and Stability
In addition, users have tended to appreciate how well this model tracks on the water. Some might find that surprising given how heavy this model is, but that just makes it all the more impressive that it’s able to cut across the water as smoothly as it does.
All that weight doesn’t go unnoticed, however. Users have definitely noticed how heavy this kayak is, which can make moving it to and from the water a schlep. That said, one nice thing about having a kayak this big is being able to share it with others, so if you are hitting the water with family and friends, you should have plenty of extra hands to help you haul it out there.
That being said, it isn’t all sunshine and roses for the Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak. By far the biggest issue users pose is durability. Multiple users have reported opening the package in which it was shipped to find their new Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak dented or even punctured. While you might be able to put that down to a shipping issue, this has happened to more than just one or two people. What’s more, when you receive a kayak in the mail and it arrives already banged up, it raises serious questions about its long-term durability. That is especially surprising given the high-density polyethylene build.
Plenty of Space
Still, for most users, this question of durability has been dwarfed by the sheer size boasted by this model. It is big enough to accommodate two people easily and can potentially hold more and even some pets, depending on their weight. With a 500-pound carrying capacity, this model can hold more than a lot of other kayaks in its price range.
That’s the other thing that has caught users’ attention. This model is relatively affordable for a kayak of this size. Many kayaks this big tend to be several hundred dollars more expensive, regularly reaching into four figures. The fact that you “only” have to pay several hundred dollars for this model can make it a high-end bargain option.
Pros and Cons
Armed with the information from above, let’s summarize it into pros and cons.
- Immense size, being both long and wide and thus offering plenty of room
- Padded cushions and backrests, which further improve the overall comfort
- Vast storage space, with plenty of room to keep fishing and other equipment
- Paddle keepers, which do a good job keeping the paddles in place
- Affordability, which is especially notable given its size
- Fantastic carrying capacity, which can accommodate several people by themselves or two to three people and plenty of equipment
- Its heavy build, which even with the handles can be hard to handle
- Its frame, which some have questioned in terms of its long-term durability
Is Lifetime Beacon Tandem Kayak (aka the Lifetime 12 Kayak) Worth It?
Our rating: 4.3 / 5
There is a lot to recommend this model. It’s huge, is comfortable, comes with lots of storage, is steady and tracks well out on the water, can hold tons of people, and more.
The big question is whether all those platitudes plateau or go downhill when faced with the prospect of its potential fragility. To be fair, it’s worth noting that some users reporting scratches, dents, and holes in packaging isn’t the same as users saying that the kayak experiences durability issues on the water. Still, it’s something to be aware of and it is a question mark that lingers.
Even so, there are so many factors that recommend this model that it is hard to ignore them. As long as your kayak arrives in the mail and doesn’t boast any premature problems, chances are that it will be fine and could be a fantastic investment for years to come.