Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking to explore the water with a partner? If so, you may be interested in 2-person inflatable kayaks. These kayaks offer a versatile and portable option for paddling adventures, whether on a calm lake or navigating rapids in a river. However, with a wide range of options available, including models with advanced features such as built-in fishing rod holders and durable construction, choosing the right 2-person inflatable kayak can take time and effort.
In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision, highlighting the top options on the market and key considerations to keep in mind. Read on!
Our Topmost Picks
- Best Sit-Inside: Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
- Most Versatile: Sea Eagle 380x Explorer
- Best Budget: Sea Eagle 370
- Best for Whitewater: Aire Outfitter II
- Best for Fishing: Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series
- Best Pedal: Hobie Mirage iTrek 14 Duo
1. The Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
We begin our journey into the world of 2-person inflatable kayaks with the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite. Its unique design combines the best features of a folding frame kayak, making it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.
The kayak is constructed with rugged 3-layer polyester fabric with a double PVC coating and welded seams, which makes it incredibly durable and puncture-resistant in various water conditions. In addition, its unique bow and stern design and a built-in aluminum frame provide excellent maneuverability and tracking, making it an ideal choice for touring and recreational kayaking.
Comfort is not compromised either, thanks to the adjustable padded seats and lumbar support, which provide maximum comfort and support during extended paddling sessions.
Additionally, this kayak is compatible with a spray skirt kit (sold separately), allowing you to create a closed-deck kayak. This makes it an ideal choice for colder weather or rougher waters.
While the AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite kayak has many positive features, there are some drawbacks. One downside is its weight, making it challenging to transport and maneuver, especially when fully loaded. Additionally, this kayak’s price point is higher than other inflatable kayaks on the market.
• Convertible design allows for solo or tandem paddling
• Aluminum rib-frame technology helps you slice through the water
• Adjustable padded seats provide comfort for hours of paddling
• Compatible with a spray skirt kit (sold separately)
• High 550 lbs maximum weight capacity
• Higher price point
• Weighs 72 pounds when fully inflated, making it heavier than some other inflatable kayaks and more difficult to transport
• Requires an electric pump to get the correct pressure
2. Most Versatile: Sea Eagle 380x Explorer
The Sea Eagle 380x Explorer is the ultimate tandem kayak that can make your wildest adventures come true. Thanks to its versatile design, this kayak can be ridden by one or two persons, making it perfect for various activities such as whitewater, open-water, and even down-wind sailing.
Constructed with 1000 denier reinforced PVC and glued quadruple overlapped seams, the Sea Eagle 380x is built to last and can handle even the roughest waters. The kayak features three air chambers that provide added safety and a separate drop stitch floor that adds rigidity and provides a hard-shell kayak feel.
In addition to the front and rear spray skirts with carry handles and bungee cords, the Sea Eagle 380x also has one-way air valves that make it easy to inflate and deflate. The kayak even has Sea Eagle motor mount receivers for those who prefer a motorized experience.
One downside of the 380x is its no dry gear storage space. However, it offers plenty of deck space for equipment and comes with two dozen integrated D-rings to secure gear and seats. The kayak also includes 16 high-capacity self-bailing drain valves to keep water out of the kayak.
• Constructed with 1000 denier reinforced PVC
• Three air chambers provide added safety in rough waters
• Suitable for whitewater and flatwater
• Can accommodate three paddlers
• No dry gear storage space
• Take about 10 minutes to inflate
3. Best Budget: Sea Eagle 370
If you’re looking for an affordable, portable, and versatile inflatable kayak that can handle a variety of water-based adventures, the Sea Eagle 370 is an excellent option. This kayak is the big sister of the SE-330. It is slightly heavier but offers a much larger carrying capacity, making it ideal for long-weekend fishing, camping, or river running.
The Sea Eagle 370 is designed to be functional and stylish, with a sleek and attractive appearance that will turn heads. It’s made from super durable 38 mil PolyKrylar PVC with high-frequency welded seams, making it puncture-resistant and ready for various adventures. The seams are all high-frequency welded to ensure maximum strength and durability.
One of the standout features of the Sea Eagle 370 is its versatility. It can be paddled by one, two, or three people, making it an excellent choice for families or groups of friends who want to explore the water together. The kayak is also equipped with plenty of gear storage space, which makes it an excellent option for long trips. And the best part? It is incredibly lightweight and portable, weighing just 32 lbs, which means it can be easily transported and stored in the trunk of almost any vehicle.
The Sea Eagle 370 has several additional features that enhance its functionality and performance. It features an I-beam construction floor, providing extra rigidity and water stability. The kayak has lashed-down inflatable spray skirts, two skegs on the bottom for better tracking and speed, and sun and saltwater-resistant hull material. Additionally, it has five deluxe one-way valves for easy inflation and deflation.
While the Sea Eagle 370 has many benefits, it also has a few drawbacks to keep in mind. The included seats on this kayak must be adjustable, making it challenging to get comfortable on long paddles. Additionally, the kayak’s highly rockered hull design can limit its tracking ability, making it harder to navigate in choppy or windy conditions.
• Lightweight and highly portable
• High weight capacity, suitable for long trips
• Versatile, can accommodate up to 3 paddlers
• Made from durable materials for puncture resistance
• Stable construction, suitable for use on flat water
• Limited tracking ability due to hull design
• Non-adjustable seats
4. Best for Whitewater: Aire Outfitter II
The Aire Outfitter II is one of the best 2-person kayaks available for those who enjoy whitewater. It’s a durable boat with a large tube diameter and a low seat position, making it incredibly stable. This makes it perfect for novice kayakers and experienced paddlers who need a sturdy boat for rough conditions.
One of the standout features is its rugged construction. It’s made from extra durable PVC outer fabric and features welded seams that enhance its durability and abrasion protection, even in rocky waters. In addition, the extra-wide tubes provide additional stability, which is essential for navigating rapids and turbulent waters.
This kayak has a weight capacity of 525 lbs and can carry two paddlers and all their gear for extended river trips. The Cheetah Chairs that come with the Outfitter II are also a big plus. They offer plenty of back support and storage pockets for small items like sunscreen, snacks, and water bottles. Additionally, the kayak has two grab handles that make it easy to flip the boat back over if you capsize, and self-bailing drain holes to quickly clear any water from the kayak.
The Aire Outfitter II is a high-end kayak, so there may be better choices for those on a budget. However, the investment is well worth it for those who want a top-performing tandem kayak that can handle even the roughest whitewater conditions. Additionally, with a 10-year no-fault warranty, you can trust that the Outfitter II will be a reliable and long-lasting investment.
• Very stable tandem kayak
• Best for big water and whitewater paddling
• Extra durable PVC outer fabric
• Grab handles and self-bailing drain holes help quickly clear any water from the kayak
• Has 17 cargo loops to store and lash down all the gear
• Expensive compared to others
5. Best for Fishing: Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series
Are you looking for a kayak that is perfect for fishing and built to last? Look no further than the Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series. This is one of the Best 2-person kayaks designed with the avid angler in mind.
The Sea Eagle 385fta is designed with a 1000 denier reinforced PVC fabric and quadruple overlapped seams, which enables it to handle rugged environments and improve puncture resistance. In addition, the kayak comes with a high-pressure drop-stitch floor, providing stability on flat water and making it easier to stand and cast your line.
Performance-wise, the 385fta FastTrack Angler Series features a slightly rockered hull and a large removable skeg for better maneuverability and tracking. This makes it an excellent choice if you want a reliable 2-person inflatable kayak that can handle rugged fishing environments.
But what sets it apart is its fishing-specific features, such as the customized front and rear spray skirts with a built-in rod, hook, and lure holders. It also has a built-in 36″ fish ruler, eliminating the need for an extra tool. In addition, full-length non-slip crocodile hides EVA foam protective padding to prevent slippage and protect against punctures and lacerations.
On the downside, this kayak only offers a little gear storage when paddled by two kayakers, and the included carry case could be improved. However, for the avid angler, the Sea Eagle 385fta is one of the best 2-person kayaks available, designed to provide unmatched performance and durability on the water.
• Designed with fishing-specific features
• Rugged 1000 denier reinforced PVC fabric
• Full-length non-slip crocodile hide EVA foam protective padding
• Removable skeg included for improved tracking
• Included carry case could be better and not comfortable for long distances
• Limited gear storage when paddled by two people
6. Best Pedal: Hobie Mirage iTrek 14 Duo
Finally, if you’re in the market for a lightweight and streamlined tandem pedal kayak, the Hobie Mirage iTrek 14 Duo is a top contender. This kayak is perfect for those looking for a fun day out on the water with friends and family while enjoying the convenience and comfort of pedal power.
The Hobie Mirage iTrek 14 Duo features a rugged 550 denier PVC fabric that is puncture-resistant and durable enough to handle rough waters. Additionally, its inflatable drop-stitch hull and lateral pontoons offer excellent stability and a wide platform, ensuring a comfortable ride for two people.
One of the most significant advantages of the Mirage iTrek 14 Duo is its pedal-powered propulsion system with Glide Technology and Kick-Up Fins. And with comfortable nano-mesh fabric seating and cup holders, you can relax and enjoy the ride. Plus, the vibrant colors make it highly visible when you’re out on the water.
The kayak’s EVA deck pads are a nice touch, providing excellent underfoot traction if you want to stand up and stretch your legs. It also has bow and stern deck rigging to secure your kayaking gear.
The Hobie Mirage iTrek 14 Duo also has a rolling travel bag, high-volume electric pump, and high-pressure hand pump, making it easy to transport, store, and inflate.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that this kayak is relatively expensive and heavy, weighing 73 pounds when outfitted with the pedal drive system. Additionally, it may have less gear storage than other options, making it less suitable for longer trips.
• Heavy when outfitted with the pedal drive system
• Pedal-powered system
• Detachable rudder adds to maneuverability
• Wide design provides added stability
• MirageDrive technology for easy propulsion
• Limited gear storage space
• Heavy when outfitted with the pedal drive system
2-Person Inflatable Kayak Comparison Table
|Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite
|Sea Eagle 380x Explorer
|Sea Eagle 370
|Aire Outfitter II
|Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series
|Hobie Mirage iTrek 14 Duo
Buying Guide: How to choose your 2-person inflatable kayak
To fully understand how our comparison was designed and ensure you find the most suitable canoe for your needs, we present some points to consider when choosing your 2-person inflatable kayak.
It is important to consider the intended use when choosing the 2-person inflatable kayak you will buy. For example, do you always plan to sail with two or sometimes plan a trip alone on the water? In this case, a kayak like the Sea Eagle 385fta, which easily goes from 2 places to 1, may be suitable for you. This is ideal, for example, for fishing trips.
If you are planning slightly longer rides, it will be interesting to turn to a long enough 2-seater inflatable kayak like the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite, which has a better attack in the waves and a better average speed.
When buying a 2-person kayak, weight capacity is an important consideration. In addition, you want to ensure that the kayak can safely carry you and your partner and any gear or supplies you plan to bring along on your adventures.
The weight capacity of a kayak is typically listed in pounds and refers to the maximum amount of weight the kayak can hold without compromising its stability and performance. It is important to note that the weight capacity includes the weight of the paddlers and any additional weight, such as camping gear, coolers, or fishing equipment.
Avoid overloading the kayak beyond 80% of its stated weight capacity to ensure maximum performance. In other words, if your kayak has a weight capacity of 500 lbs, it’s best to stay under 400 lbs of people and gear. This ensures the kayak remains stable and maneuverable, reducing the risk of capsizing or tipping over.
Exceeding the recommended weight capacity can also put undue stress on the kayak’s frame, causing damage or failure. Therefore, remember that it is always better to err on caution and choose a kayak with a higher weight capacity than you think you will need.
It is also important to consider the distribution of weight within the kayak. Make sure to distribute weight evenly between the bow and stern to maintain balance and stability. An overloaded kayak at one end may become unstable and difficult to control.
At the end of the summer, your 2-person inflatable kayak must not become a constraint by taking up too much space in your garage. To avoid this, manufacturers are doubling their imagination to offer storage bags that are easy to use and, above all, very compact. So when the season ends, you can easily fold your 2-seater inflatable kayak and store it in the corner of the garage.
These kayaks are generally quite lightweight, with most weighing less than 45 lbs, although some models are slightly heavier at 50 lbs or more. This means that they can be easily transported in the trunk of a car or carried by hand to your desired location.
An inflatable kayak is not a toy, even less so when it has two people on board. Therefore, it is important to ensure that it offers sufficient manufacturing quality and reliability to ensure the safety of both kayakers. A couple’s ride can turn into chaos to a technical problem.
For this, it is best to turn to the main brands on the market who know how to offer 2-seater inflatable kayaks of very good quality, whether at the level of the sewing of the flotation fabrics, the inflation valve, seating elements, and safety equipment.
The ease of inflatable
The whole point of having an inflatable kayak is to be able to deflate it when you put it away and inflate it before setting sail. As this is a two-person inflatable kayak, you must ensure it is easy to inflate for a maximum of 2 people.
The models we recommended above all have an easy inflatable mode allowing the inflatable kayak to be set up in 10 minutes maximum!
The comfort of the kayak
Kayaking should be fun. It is, therefore, very important to ensure the quality of comfort offered to the two kayakers on board the boat. Some manufacturers offer padded seats that allow you to be well wedged in the boat, which can be lifesaving when the outing extends over time. However, if your seat is not comfortable, this can cause some tension on your back.
It is also necessary to ensure enough room for the legs and any waterproof containers you wish to take.
Be careful, though. Paddling two on the same kayak allows you to rest alternately. But if you buy a canoe that is too big, the person who will have to paddle will easily tire.
Accessories & Extra Features
Accessories and extra features can greatly enhance your 2-person kayak experience. Some common accessories include
- Two paddles
- Two properly sized life jackets
- Two outfits that are not afraid of water
- Waterproof shoes
- A container or waterproof bag to carry your items
But it’s also important to consider extra features that can make your kayaking experience more enjoyable and comfortable. For example, some 2-person inflatable kayaks have adjustable seats, padded backrests, footrests, and even built-in cup holders.
Additionally, some kayaks may have storage compartments for your gear, bungee cords for securing items, and even fishing rod holders. Consider your needs and preferences to determine which accessories and features are essential for your 2-person kayak.
As you have seen, the 2-person inflatable kayak market offers various options to suit every paddling need. They are very easy to use, and no intensive training is required. They are also easy to transport and store, perfect for summer use. Therefore, take your time to evaluate your needs and choose the kayak that best fits your requirements.
In conclusion, we highly recommend the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Elite. This kayak offers exceptional durability, portability, and performance, making it a great option for adventurous kayakers. And with the right accessories and careful consideration of weight capacity, this kayak can provide a comfortable and enjoyable paddling experience on any waterway.
Finally, by considering the key factors outlined in this article, you can confidently select a kayak that meets your needs and helps you make the most of your time on the water. So why not take the plunge and explore the world of 2-person inflatable kayaks?