Best Tandem Fishing Kayak in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

Whether you want to go fishing with a friend, teach your kid fishing, or just have a great time on the water with your partner, a tandem fishing kayak is often better than two separate kayaks.

Major brands such as Hobie, Old Town, Vibe, Crescent, and Ocean Kayak offer capable fishing kayaks for 2 people. There are sit-on-top and sit-inside models, hard shell and inflatable options, paddle-propelled and pedal-driven kayaks. How do you choose the one that’s right for you?

RELATED: Best Fishing Kayaks: Reviews and Ultimate Buying Guide

In this overview, we take a look at the most interesting models in 2023 and factors to consider when looking for the best tandem fishing kayak for your needs.

Quick Answer: Best 2 Person Fishing Kayaks in 2023

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Comparison Table: Best Fishing Kayaks for Two People

PictureSpecsWhere to Buy
Crescent Crew Tandem
Crescent Crew
Size: 13′ x 35″
Weight: 79 lb
Capacity: 600 lb
Crescent Kayaks
FeelFree Lure II Tandem
FeelFree Lure II Tandem
Size: 14’2″ x 36″
Weight: 105 lb
Capacity: 500 lb
Eco Fishing Shop
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T
Size: 13’6″ x 34″
Weight: 88 lb
Capacity: 600 lb
Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem
Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem
Size: 13′ x 35″
Weight: 77 lbs
Capacity: 500 lb
Native Ultimate 15 FX
Native Ultimate FX 15
Size: 15’3″ x 31″
Weight: 80 lb
Capacity: 600 lb
Native Watercraft
Intex Excursion Pro
Intex Excursion Pro
Size: 12’7″ x 37″
Weight: 39 lb
Capacity: 400 lb
WHY TRUST US: Here at, we spend more time on the water than we do in the office. We paddle, kayak fish, and camp as often as we can, so we know exactly what kayakers and kayak anglers need. Each year, we independently research, review, and rate the best kayaks, canoes, and paddling gear. Our experts analyze hundreds of products to find out key differences, pros, and cons of each product. We only make money from ads or if you purchase through our links. No sponsored posts or biased reviews here, period.

Crescent Crew

Crescent Crew

Length: 13’ (396 cm)
Width: 35” (89 cm)
Weight: 79 lb (35.8 kg)
Capacity: 600 lb (272 kg)

Introduced in 2020, Crescent Crew takes the best from the popular LiteTackle model and adds enough capacity and room for family, kids, and dogs.

This kayak is 13 ft (396 cm) long and weighs 79 lb (35.8 kg), so it’s not too huge even as a solo boat. Still, it offers a generous capacity of 600 lb (with scupper plugs), two comfortable frame seats and an open, clean deck, so you can easily take a couple of kids and a dog with you.

Crescent Crew

It does not come with any fishing-specific features out of the box, but you can easily add gear tracks and rod holders in the pre-molded flat spots to turn it into a proper fishing kayak. For fish finder, however, you’re limited to side-mounted options because the Crew does not have a transducer scupper.

Crescent Crew features molded footrests in the front, four molded cup holders, adjustable footrests for the rear paddler, and five sturdy carrying handles. A huge tank well on the stern can hold a lot of fishing or camping gear (not every tandem has that).

The kayak can be converted from tandem to solo in a matter of seconds. You can also reverse the front seat for a face-to-face seating position. It retains the awesome paddling performance of the LiteTackle model and is equally great as a recreational kayak or (with some modifications) as a tandem or solo fishing platform.

FeelFree Lure II Tandem

FeelFree Lure II Tandem

Length: 14’ 2” (431.8 cm)
Width: 36” (91.4 cm)
Weight: 105 lb (47.6 kg)
Capacity: 500 lb (227 kg)

The FeelFree Lure II tandem kayak is the most feature-rich fishing platform in this roundup. It is a stable, comfortable, and versatile fishing vessel for two people. You can also paddle or pedal this kayak solo. 

FeelFree Lure II Gravity seat

The most attractive feature of the Lure II is, of course, the super-comfortable Gravity seats. These padded, adjustable seats offer as many as ten height adjustment points and are perfect for long days on the water. The front seat can be removed if you want to paddle the kayak solo. Sadly, you can’t turn the front seat around and sit face to face (some people do it without fully securing the seat, but we would not recommend it).

Another unique feature is that the Lure II can be converted to a pedal-driven kayak. Feelfree’s Overdrive pedal unit pops into the sonal pod opening. You will also need the rudder kit.

Feelfree Lure II can be converted into a solo fishing kayak. You can remove the front seat and have tons of deck space all for yourself. Remember, however, that transporting this kayak alone is not an easy task.

Feelfree Lure II features multiple gear tracks, two sonar pods for no-drill fish finder installation (I can’t think of any other tandem that offers those), adjustable footrests for both paddlers, a dry storage hatch, two flush-mount rod holders, a large rear tank well, and FeelFree’s patented Wheel in the Keel for easier handling.

With its 36-inch beam and 500 lb of capacity, the Lure II can hold a lot of gear and is stable enough to stand on. There are soft pads on the deck to improve traction and dampen any noise that might scare the fish.

At 105 lb (47.6 kg) without the seats, this kayak is the heaviest in our list. That weight is manageable for two adults, but if you plan to go out with a kid, it might be too heavy to handle alone, so think about a trailer and a kayak cart.

  • Stable
  • Fast
  • Overdrive, Motordrive, and rudder ready
  • Limited capacity for two people
  • Limited storage space

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T

Length: 13’ 6” (411 cm)
Width: 34” (86 cm)
Weight: 88 lb (40 kg)
Capacity: 600 lb (272 kg)

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T takes the performance of the classic Tarpon hull and lets you share it with a friend or family member. It’s a great option if you need to cover some distance to get to your favorite fishing spots.

At 13’6” long and 34” wide, the Tarpon 135T is not the most compact boat in our overview but totally manageable for two adults. The kayak weighs 88 lbs, so you’d better get some help putting it on top of your vehicle and bringing it to the water. The maximum capacity of 600 lbs is on par with Crescent Crew, but the Crescent offers a little more storage space in the rear tank well. The Tarpon, however, has a bow tank well, which the Crew lacks.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T footrests

Other features include adjustable footrests for both paddlers, two day hatches on the deck, comfortable AirPro seats with adjustable backrests and thigh support, paddle holders, molded bottle holders, and a replaceable skid plate. The Tarpon 135T is also rudder-ready.

RELATED: Wilderness Systems Kayaks in 2023: Full Model Lineup and Reviews

In terms of fishing features, there’s not much to look at. The Tarpon has four gear tracks on the gunwales which you can use to mount rod holders, electronics, or other fishing equipment. It does not offer any flush mount rod holders, nor does it have a transducer scupper for your fish finder.

What’s also missing from the Tarpon 135T is the ability to convert it to a solo kayak or to turn the front seat around and sit face to face. The AirPro seats are not removable and limit the boat’s versatility.

But what it lacks in features, the Tarpon 135T makes up for in performance. Deriving from the Tarpon legacy, It is still one of the best paddling kayaks on the market today. So if you enjoy paddling as much as you do fishing, or if you need to go distances to get to your fishing holes, the Tarpon should definitely be on your short list.

  • Very comfortable
  • Some dry storage
  • Tracks for accessory mounts
  • Stable in the water
  • Very heavy
  • Needs a rudder for best performance

Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem

Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem

Length: 13’ (396 cm)
Width: 35” (88.9 cm)
Weight: 77 lb (35 kg)
Capacity: 500 lb (227 kg)

Vibe Yellowfin 130T is another tandem sit-on-top that also works great when you’re solo. At 77 lbs (35 kg), you can still handle (and even cartop) it alone if you have to. The wide hull, framed seats, useful hatches, and adjustable footrests all work together to provide comfort on the water.

Vibe Yellowfin 130T seats

Vibe Yellowfin 130T is 13 ft (396.2 cm) long with a 35-inch (88.9 cm) beam, just like Crescent Crew. The weight is also similar (77 lbs vs 79 lbs for the Crew), which makes the Yellowfin fairly portable, even when going solo.

The Yellowfin tandem offers a stable and dry ride, efficient paddling performance, and just the right balance of tracking and maneuverability. You also get a reasonable amount of fishing-specific features such as four gear tracks, two flush-mount rod holders at the stern, two plates for Scotty mounts, and a square-shaped rear tank well that can fit a milk crate or a small cooler.

Vibe Yellowfin 130T deck

This kayak is also very versatile. You can remove one seat and put the other one in the middle to convert it to a solo kayak in seconds. You can also turn the front seat around and sit face to face. The seats even have high and low positions (the difference is only about an inch, but still).

RELATED: 12 Best Stand-Up Fishing Kayaks for 2023 Reviewed

The great-performing hull, relatively low weight, and versatility make the Yellowfin 130T a strong contender as the best tandem fishing kayak.

  • Stable
  • Maneuverable
  • Comfortable seats
  • Adjustable footrests
  • Dry ride
  • Quickly converts to solo
  • The deck might flex with time

Native Ultimate FX 15

Native Ultimate 15 FX

Length: 15’ 3” (465 cm)
Width: 31” (79 cm)
Weight: 80 lb (36.3 kg)
Capacity: 600 lb (272 kg)

Native Ultimate FX 15 Tandem is a sit-inside kayak/canoe hybrid with an unconventional design and a unique feature set. This kayak is a great platform for fishing, camping, hunting, and just about anything else you want to enjoy on the water. It is a comfortable, high-performance kayak that can be paddled as a tandem or solo.

Native Ultimate FX 15 Tandem is 15’ 3” (465 cm) long and just 31” (79 cm), which makes it the narrowest kayak in our roundup. The narrower hull translates into paddling efficiency and higher speed, so you’ll get to your fishing spot in less time and with less effort.

The kayak weighs 80 lbs (36.3 kg) without the seats and 90 lbs (40.8 kg) fully rigged. It is not the lightest fishing tandem around but certainly something that two adults can handle without too much trouble. Note, however, that the extra length may present additional challenges for storing and transporting this kayak.

The overall capacity of 600 lbs (272 kg) lets you paddle and fish comfortably even if you’re both on the heavier side.

Native Ultimate FX 15 seats

The Ultimate FX 15 Tandem features two removable framed seats with high and low positions. You can convert it into a solo kayak within 5 minutes by taking the front seat out and sliding the back seat forward.

Both paddlers get adjustable footrests, molded-in cup holders, and some short gear tracks with space to add more if needed. The kayak also comes equipped with an anchor trolley. Unfortunately, there are no rod holders out of the box, so you’ll need to buy and install those yourself.

A unique feature of the kayak’s pontoon hull is that when you stand, your feet are below the waterline. This brings a lot of stability despite the narrow hull.

The open, canoe-style cockpit offers a lot of storage space, especially when you go solo.

Overall, the Ultimate 15 FX is an interesting option in Native Watercraft’s range for those who want to enjoy various activities on the water either with a partner or solo. Fish today, hunt tomorrow, go for a paddle with your kid on the weekend. The Ultimate 15 FX can do it all.

  • Tandem/solo mode
  • Comfortable seating
  • High capacity
  • Canoe/kayak hybrid
  • Good price
  • Anchor trolley
  • No rod holders
  • Not transducer ready
  • No dry storage

Intex Excursion Pro

Intex Excursion Pro

Length: 12’ 7” (383.5 cm)
Width: 37” (94 cm)
Weight: 39 lb (17.7 kg)
Capacity: 400 lb (180 kg)

Intex Excursion Pro is a step up from other Intex kayaks. Unlike cheaper models that are made from vinyl, the Excursion Pro is made from 3-ply PVC laminate with a polyester core. This material is way more abrasion resistant and durable.

Intex Excursion Pro is 12’7” (383.5 cm) long and 37” (94 cm) wide. At 39 lb (17.7 kg), it is the heaviest kayak in Intex’s line but still pretty lightweight.

Intex Excursion Pro

The capacity of 400 lb (180 kg) means that the kayak can take two smaller persons with limited gear or one average-sized adult with a reasonable amount of fishing or camping equipment.

Intex Excursion Pro comes with two inflatable seats that slide fore and aft on velcro strips and can be easily removed. It also includes one removable seat booster that lets you sit higher.

Other features include two collapsible paddles that you’d better replace ASAP, a hand pump and a pressure gauge, adjustable footrests, two skegs (a large one and a small, shallow water skeg), and even a mounting bracket for your fishing accessories. There are also two flush-mount rod holders but those are hardly usable.

Overall, Intex Excursion Pro is pretty well equipped for its price. The better, more durable construction makes this kayak suitable for longer fishing trips or even overnight camping trips – if you paddle it solo, of course.

See other great inflatable fishing kayaks in our detailed review here.

  • Robust build for longevity
  • Quick to inflate and deflate
  • All-in-one package
  • Versatile
  • Seat pads for extra height
  • Low capacity
  • Seating lacks long-term support
  • Large sidewalls can feel restrictive to larger paddlers

Buying a Tandem Fishing Kayak: Things to Consider

Do You Need a Tandem Kayak?

The first question you should ask yourself is “do I REALLY need a tandem kayak?”. It’s not uncommon to overestimate your partner or kid’s interest in kayak fishing and end up mostly going out alone. In that case, you won’t be happy with all the extra bulk and weight of a tandem kayak.


The next important factor is how much weight the kayak will need to support. This includes not only your body weight but also the weight of all the gear you plan to take with you. For many kayak anglers, this is A LOT of additional weight, so pay close attention here.

Also consider that for optimal performance and drier ride, you should aim to stay within about 70 percent of the kayak’s advertised maximum capacity.

So if you weigh 200 lbs and you plan to take your 200 lbs buddy on board, and each of you brings 25 lb of gear, that’s 450 lbs total. To be comfortable on the water, you need a kayak with the maximum capacity of at least 450 / 0.7 = 642 lbs.

Chart by Visualizer

Length and Weight

Consider how you will transport and store the boat that’s really long and usually pretty heavy. This is usually not a problem for two adults, but if you’re going out with a kid, in some cases you’ll have to handle the kayak alone. 

Chart by Visualizer

In terms of weight, the inflatable Intex Excursion Pro is a definite winner at only 39 lbs. FeelFree Lure II Tandem is the heaviest in our roundup, weighing in at an impressive 105 lbs.

Chart by Visualizer

Storage Space

 A typical shortcoming of tandem models is limited storage space. Some models, such as the Crescent Crew and the FeelFree Lure II, do provide a decent amount of storage at the stern for your cooler and tackle boxes. Jackson Big Tuna, on the other hand, opted to have a dry hatch on the back, so there’s really not much space for your fishing gear. The Tarpon 135T and the Yellowfin 130T both offer dry hatches for each paddler, which are great for small items but offer little value as tackle storage.


Another factor to pay attention to is how comfortable you and your partner will be on the water. First of all, consider the legroom. Make sure there’s enough space to sit without bending your knees too much and to make casts without “catching” your partner.

Look at the seats. All kayaks in our roundup, with the exception of the Tarpon 135T, offer comfortable framed seats that will keep you on the water longer. Those seats can be easily removed from the kayak for transportation. They can also double as beach chairs for camping. Crescent Crew and some other models let you turn the front seat around and sit face to face, which is super useful and also safer when paddling with kids. Imagine how much easier it is to teach your son fishing when he can actually see what you’re doing.


Pay attention to the fishing specific features the kayak offers. Tackle storage, rod holders, gear tracks, fish finder compatibility. Depending on your specific needs, some features may be more important than the others.


Another differentiating factor is how versatile the kayak is. Some models offer better paddling performance and can be used for recreational and touring outings. Some kayaks can be converted into a solo configuration and used as a spacious fishing platform for one. 

Paddle vs. Pedal Drive

Finally, do you like to paddle the kayak or pedal it? Pedal drives are great for fishing kayaks as they keep your hands free, but they come with additional weight and cost. FeelFree Lure II in our roundup lets you start with the simpler, paddle-propelled version and upgrade to a pedal drive later on. Hobie Mirage Compass Duo, on the other hand, comes with two pedal drive units but is still narrow and lightweight enough to be paddled efficiently.

Alex Buchnev

Alex Buchnev

Alex loves kayaking, fishing, and all things outdoors. When he's not out there in the wild, he's probably typing away at his laptop or trying to be the world's best father for his two lovely daughters.

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