The 8 Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

If you’ve never tried an inflatable paddleboard, kayak, or canoe, you might think they are unstable like old-fashioned floatation rafts. Inflatables have come a long way, and in many cases, it’s hard to tell that some of these are inflatable once they’re filled.

Modern inflatable kayaks can be heavy duty with plenty of stability. Many fishing and angler kayaks have sturdy floors that are so rigid once they get filled with air that full-sized adults can stand up to cast a line. Some inflatable models also come with motor mount capability so that you can hook up a trolling motor.

Whatever features you’re looking for, the best tandem fishing kayaks can deliver. With 2- and 3-person inflatable fishing kayak reviews and a complete buyer’s guide, here’s everything you need to know to get on the water fast.

Tandem Inflatable Kayaks Vs. Single Kayaks and Safety

There is a vast array of blow-up kayaks these days, and we reviewed one-person models in a separate article. When considering an inflatable kayak for two or three people, there are other factors to consider, such as legroom, how many seats come in the package, and how many fishing rod holders (if any) are available.

You want to make sure all riders are safe and comfortable in a two or three-seater. Make sure to follow water safety guidelines and wear life jackets. For more information, visit the interactive resource for US Drowning Statistics, Worldwide Drowning Statistics, and Drowning Prevention.

Multiple-seat inflatable kayaks have their own specifics. So, we rounded up some of the best two-to-three person fishing kayaks and reviewed each one.
(You might be interested in reading Best Single Inflatable Fishing Kayaks)

The Best 2- and 3-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak Reviews (Editor’s Picks)

These are some of our top picks for the best 2- and 3-person inflatable fishing kayak, in no particular order.

1. Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak

If it’s more vital for you to find an inflatable kayak that features components for fishing, instead of it being crucial to seat three people, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead is worth checking out. This travel-friendly kayak is one of the high-quality models on our list, and the designers know what anglers want.

The rigid drop-stitch floor can handle stand-up casting and is also self-draining if you get into choppy conditions and take on a little water. There are also five hard mounts for fishing rods, a bait tray, and your fish-finder.

This set also comes with lightweight paddles that break down, a travel bag with backpack straps, a removable skeg, a high-volume hand pump, an adjustable footrest, and a padded high-back seat. This inflatable kayak can handle up to class III rapids.

You can also use this kayak in freshwater, salt, or brackish waters, and both shallow and deeper depths. The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead measures 10’10” in length and 39.5” wide when inflated.

Pros:

  • Stand-up casting capable floor
  • Self-draining and suitable for rougher conditions
  • Comes with a one-year warranty on workmanship and materials
  • Designed for fishing with Scotty-style attachments
  • Storage compartments and paddle docks for fishing

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Best for one person
  • Poorly-written user manual

2. Sea Eagle Fast Track Inflatable 2-Person Kayak

The Sea Eagle Fast Track two-person kayak is ideal for those who want to cast a line now and then, but most importantly, want a model that will seat two with ease and glides fast. For the most dedicated anglers, this may not be the top choice as there are no attachments for fishing rods.

However, Sea Eagle is a reputable brand for inflatable kayaks, and this is a fantastic tandem unit with comfortable seats and sleek design. The rigid floor features a drain valve in case you take on water. The large, removable skeg allows for improved speed and better yaw control.

This package comes with the 12’6” long, 3’ wide kayak, upgraded paddles, a waterproof carrying bag, a repair kit, and a manual pump. The manufacturer states that it is suitable for up to class III rapids, although not all reviews agree with it being ideal in rougher conditions.

Pros:

  • Seats two people comfortably
  • UV and saltwater-resistant hull
  • Removable skeg
  • Self-bailing drain valves in the drop-stitch floor
  • Up to 635-pound weight capacity

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No fishing attachments
  • Not the best for choppy water conditions

(You should also try reading Best Inflatable Fishing Boats once)

3. Intex Excursion Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak

The Intex Excursion Pro Series inflatable kayak is one of our favorites for those who want a durable two-person model but don’t want to spend a ton of money. This model is one of the more affordable kayaks on our list and still turns out incredible ratings from users.

The three-ply abrasion-resistant PVC is tough and resists scratches, dents, and UV as well as saltwater damage. In this package, you get a manual pump, two paddles, two fishing rod holders, removable footrests, and two adjustable seats. You also get a dry bag, a directional skeg, and a shallow-water skeg.

This canoe has storage space in both the bow and stern. We like the rapid inflation and deflation of this model, which cuts down on time both launching and storing the kayak.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortably seats two people
  • Removable mounts for a fish-finder, GPS, and swivel rods
  • Includes one booster seat cushion
  • Relatively quick inflation and deflation

Cons:

  • Weight capacity tops off at 400 pounds
  • Paddles are on the shorter side
  • Minimal leg room with both seats installed

4. Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado two-person inflatable fishing kayak is ideal for those who want a model with motor mount capabilities. This canoe features Sevylor trolling motor fittings and also has Berkley quick-set rod holders.

The 18-gauge PVC is durable and even better; this kayak has multiple air chambers for safety. If one air chamber is punctured, the others can remain inflated to keep you afloat. The company also guarantees a leak-free airtight system.

Mesh side pockets help stow items like fishing tackle or sunscreen. Paddle holders allow you to keep the oars out of the water while fishing and D-rings make attaching other accessories a breeze.

The forest green of this kayak and black bottom camouflage well into many environments while fishing. Take note, though; this unit does not include paddles or a pump. So, you will need to purchase those items separately if you are interested in this inflatable tandem fishing kayak.  

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Multiple air chamber design
  • Thick tarpaulin bottom
  • Seats two people
  • Several fishing attachments include rod holders and mesh pockets
  • Trolling motor fittings

Cons:

  • Spotty customer service
  • Does not include paddles or a pump
  • Difficult to return to storage bag

5. Sea Eagle TC16 Inflatable Travel Canoe

The Sea Eagle TC16 is ideal for those who want a seriously rigid, sturdy inflatable canoe/kayak with decent legroom. This model is one of the top-quality units on our list, and the price does reflect that—it’s not cheap. However, this kayak is unlike many of the typical models you will find.

Two to three people can fit in this ample travel kayak, and it has a weight capacity of 800 pounds. This canoe is also rated for up to class IV rapids and features 1000 Denier reinforced material. There are only two seats included in this package, but they are firm, inflatable, and comfortable.

The high-pressure bottom and sides are only three inches thick but can inflate up to 10 psi. This design allows for a more spacious interior with rigid construction. You get an inflatable, foldable kayak that weighs only 60 pounds but feels as stiff as a traditional canoe.

Pros:

  • Super rigid bottom and sides
  • High weight capacity of 800 pounds
  • Non-skid foot pad on bottom
  • Molded bow and stern for streamline design
  • Suitable up to class IV rapids
  • Includes two comfortable, inflatable seats 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No fishing rod attachments
  • No paddles included

6. Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak

If getting a lightweight three-person inflatable kayak is your primary goal, this is one to check out. The Sevylor Big Basin canoe only takes about 10 minutes to inflate and not only has room for three people; it includes three seats, which many competitors lack.

The rugged PVC material and tarpaulin bottom make this kayak robust even as an inflatable model. We like that the spray cover minimizes splashing, especially in the front. This kayak also has multiple air chambers to keep you afloat, even if one gets punctured.

You do have to purchase a pump and paddles separately, as they are not included with the kayak. For the price, we don’t mind too much. 

This canoe is one of the more affordable models on our list, and it seats three people comfortably. So, the cost of getting your pump and paddles is still within reason. This kayak measures roughly 12’3” long and 3’1” wide.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Three seats
  • Spray covers to prevent splashing on riders
  • Durable tarpaulin bottom
  • Lightweight for easy carrying
  • Multiple air chambers

Cons:

  • No fishing rod attachments
  • Weight capacity of 490 pounds (not ideal for three large adults)
  • Minimal back support in seats

7. BRIS Inflatable 3-Person Kayak

We like the BRIS inflatable three-person kayak for those who want a super stable canoe that can handle a small trolling motor. The large side tubes make this kayak suitable for both lakes and rivers with small rapids.

You can also add a Bimini top to this inflatable kayak, which is fantastic for long days fishing out in the sun. Not every canoe allows you to have a sun canopy, so we consider that a significant perk for some individuals.

This model is also an excellent option for a few adults, as the weight capacity is a very ample 770 pounds. This kayak measures roughly 14’ long and just over 4’ wide. It’s not the narrowest option out there, but if you plan to fish on the open water or in lakes that don’t require you to navigate down

Pros:

  • Super-rigid inflatable floor for stand-up casting
  • Can support a small trolling motor
  • Heat-welded seams and 1000 Denier PVC
  • Very stable
  • Can attach Bimini canopy top to it
  • Comes with three-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • No back support on seats
  • No rod holders
  • Paddles and pump sold separately

8. LXT PANDA 2-3 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak Boat Set

The LXT PANDA boat set is an excellent option for those who don’t necessarily need the most high-tech inflatable kayak but instead want something affordable and straightforward. This kit includes the boat itself, two paddles, two cushions, a tool bag, a high-speed manual pump, and a patch kit.

For the reasonable price of this set, it is a fantastic value for everything that is included. We do not recommend this canoe for severe open water or rapids, but for calm lakes, this is a fair option.

This inflatable is super lightweight, has carrying ropes, and plenty of room for a couple of people. This kayak is best for casual fishing close to shore and can be used as a lounging canoe, too.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Full set with paddles, pump, and more
  • Roomy for a couple of people
  • Three color options

Cons:

  • Not the most robust, durable model
  • Not back support on seat cushions
  • No fishing rod holders

Two and Three-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Buyers Guide – What to Look for in Foldable Kayaks

There are some key features you want to consider when purchasing an inflatable tandem or three-seater kayak, especially when you plan to use it for fishing. Before you buy the first one you see, consider some of the pros and cons of an inflatable, and which components you should look for in your kayak.

Advantages of Using an Inflatable Kayak

If you haven’t tried an inflatable paddleboard or kayak, it’s shocking how much they can feel like a rigid fiberglass construction. So, what are some benefits of modern inflatables?

Simple storage and travel

One of the most significant perks of an inflatable kayak versus a traditional one is the ease of storage and travel. Even if you live in an apartment, a small house with minimal room, or have a tiny car, you can still own a kayak when it’s inflatable.

With a decent pump, many inflatable kayaks and canoe can be ready to launch within ten minutes, sometimes less. Most kits with accessories will come with a manual pump, but you can always get an electric pump that will inflate your kayak much faster.

Once you deflate your kayak and clean it off, you can simply fold it up and store it in a travel bag. This feature makes traveling with one in the trunk of your car so much easier. There is no dealing with a kayak that needs strapping to roof racks.

Lightweight design

Inflatable kayaks are also almost always lighter to carry around than a traditional model. There are some exceptions to this, but it is common to see an inflatable model that only weighs around 40 or 60 pounds. For many two to three-person traditional kayaks, you can see them weigh well over 100 pounds.

Lower cost

The cost can be another advantage to inflatables. Again, some of the highest-quality canoes will still have a hefty price tag. However, compared to high-end standard kayaks, the price is generally much less.

Disadvantages of Inflatable Kayaks

With everything, there are the inevitable trade-offs. Inflatable kayaks don’t have too many aside from the obvious: the potential to leak.

You will want to take a close look at reviews to make sure your money will be well-spent on a quality inflatable. Even the best out there will have an occasional lemon, and sometimes owners neglect to care for inflatable kayaks properly.

With most well-built inflatables, you shouldn’t have problems with air leakage unless you encounter damage or do not maintain them to preserve the integrity of the material. Luckily, many kayaks now get made with multiple air chambers, so you can stay afloat, even if one spot gets punctured.

The only other disadvantage worth mentioning (in our opinion) is the time it takes to inflate and deflate them. However, with an electric pump, this can take only a couple of minutes. 

You’ll need to clean off debris and saltwater before storing your kayak again. When you measure that against strapping a traditional model to a roof rack, this should not take much more time, though.

Using Your Inflatable Kayak the Right Way

Properly maintaining your inflatable kayak is crucial, as neglect can cause the material to wear out, and folding it too hard can weaken areas or seams. Make sure to keep your kayak in excellent condition with the following steps:

Avoid over-inflating

Read the user manual or specs for your kayak and pay attention when pumping it up. If you can measure the psi, do so. You don’t want to strain the seams or the PVC by over-inflating.

Be extra-cautious about stumps and rocks

While an inflatable kayak can feel just as rigid as a fiberglass model, you do need to pay attention to any potential rocks, coral, sticks, and stumps that could scratch or tear the bottom or sides of the boat.

Clean off all sand, dirt, and saltwater

Saltwater can damage the material on inflatables if they have prolonged exposure, and debris can scratch the PVC if it’s packed in too tight. Furthermore, you don’t want to open up your kayak again to find mold, mildew, and stench from your previous outing.

Dry, fold properly and store out of the sun

UV rays can damage the materials and weaken the seams of inflatable kayaks. Even if they’re UV resistant, this only means they can handle plenty of days out in the water in full sun. However, you should never store your inflatable in direct sunlight for extended periods.

After you clean and dry your kayak, fold it down to return it to a storage bag. If possible, avoid folding it along the same creases every time, as this can weaken those spots on the PVC or other material. Try to alternate the spots you crease when folding with each use.

Features to Look for in an Inflatable Kayak

Not all inflatable fishing kayaks will have the same features, and it’s nearly impossible to get one with all of the following. If you pick the elements that are most important to you from this list, you’re on your way to getting an excellent fishing kayak.

  • Rigid floor for stand-up casting
  • Fishing rod holders/mounts
  • Comfortable seats with back support
  • Trolling motor adaptable
  • Pouches and attachments for bait and supplies
  • Ample weight capacity
  • Heat-welded seams or reinforced seams
  • Carrying handles or hooks
  • Multiple air chambers

We also recommend one that is either NMMA certified or USCG certified, if possible. Multiple air chambers are a must if you are taking your kayak out into open water a ways from shore. You don’t want to be stranded without any flotation if you realize you have an air leak far from help.

Safety Tips

You should always adhere to water safety guidelines, regardless of the type of vessel you’re paddling. Wear a lifejacket and make sure every passenger has a life vest that fits properly. Tell someone where you are going if you are planning a fishing trip.

We recommend an open-water compatible GPS if you lose cell phone service while out on the water.

You should always have lights with you while out on the water, as well. Even if you have no plan to stay out beyond dark, having a boating lantern, or a couple of flashlights could save your life if you get stranded, or an emergency arises that keeps you out after other boaters are unable to see your kayak.

As mentioned, be extra cautious about potential dangers that could hide just below the surface, such as rocks, coral, and sticks, or stumps. 

Keep a patch kit on board, if possible. Again, we recommend visiting the interactive resource for US Drowning Statistics, Worldwide Drowning Statistics, and Drowning Prevention.

Best 2- and 3-Person Inflatable Fishing Kayaks Comparison Chart

Product NamePriceSize in CMs (LxW)Weight Capacity (Pounds)Distinct Features
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak$$$100.33x33.2600Storage compartments and paddle docks for fishing
Sea Eagle Fast Track Inflatable 2-Person Kayak$365x182635UV and saltwater-resistant hull, removable skeg
Intex Excursion Professional Series Inflatable Fishing Kayak$$383x1824002 removable skews, 2 floor mounted footrests, 2 integrated fishing rod holders, 2 adjustable bucket seats
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak$$$325.2x92.71470Trolling motor fittings, thick tarpaulin bottom
Sea Eagle TC16 Inflatable Travel Canoe$$$$487x91.4800Two comfortable, inflatable seats, non-skid foot pad on bottom
Sevylor Big Basin 3-Person Kayak$$$374x94490Heavy-duty PVC construction, durable tarpaulin bottom
BRIS Inflatable 3-Person Kayak$$$426x132750PVC Hull, Drop stitch air floor, 3 x Marine Plywood Bench Seat, Repair Kit, 2x Aluminum Oars, Carrying Bag, and Foot Pump
LXT PANDA 2-3 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayak Boat Set$-$$272x149462Full set with paddles, pump, roomy for a couple of people

Wrap Up

Modern inflatable kayaks are a small wonder of contemporary convenience. Even with compact apartment living, you can get out on the water with your own kayak, while anglers can enjoy features designed for fishing.

For a reasonable price and only a few minutes spent inflating your kayak, you can have a fully-rigid floor that is suitable for standing up and casting—even fly fishing in some cases. Then you can pack your water vessel away in a closet when you return home.

Keep an eye on quality construction, fishing-friendly features, and comfortable seating, and you’ll be on your way to bringing home the day’s catch without towing a boat or strapping on a kayak onto roof racks. Check out some of our top picks here and see the benefits of an inflatable fishing kayak for yourself!

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