Kayaking can be great fun for all the family. More and more resorts offering specific kayaking holidays, and there’s always as the temptation just to take the kids out on the water at the weekends. Taking the kids out though can be a tough task, not just because kayaks aren’t the best place to use an iPad, but there’s the worry of safety. Well a great way to combat your inner worrying parent, is to invest in a tandem kayak. Tandems allow you to get out on the water with your kids, which will no doubt result in them turning on you in some kind of splashing frenzy, but at least you’ll be able to supervise it.
Tandem kayaks can be a bit of a minefield, with some doing the job well, and others with questionable carrying capacity make for a very wobbly ride. Aiming to avoid the latter is the 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak from Lifetime. This tandem is designed with families and safety in mind, but also can also be used as a solo vessel for when you need to put some distance between you and the never ending noise of children. Throughout this review, we’ll be assessing the features of the Manta Tandem, breaking them down into positives and negatives, as well as touching on the price and how it compares to similar models. All you need to make the informed purchase you’re after can be found below.
So let’s begin with what the Manta Tandem does well. The first thing, and it’s a big plus, is the flexibility it offers. Now where this is not to be mistaken for an inflatable, it has a lot of flexibility in it’s design. Although made from a lightweight plastic, this kayak is capable of housing anywhere between one and three people.
That’s right, three people. Taking tandem to a whole new level, both you, the wife and the kid can get on board in this beauty. Because of the fact that it’s designed for three people, it’s unerringly stable. You can stand up, move around and not have the risk of too much wobble. If you intentionally try to topple it, you probably good, but it’s stability and buoyancy mean that getting back in once you’ve proved your point is an easy task.
The fact that it’s lightweight is great for when the kids arms get tired and suddenly one person is paddling for three. It has a tunnel hull that is designed to not only add stability but also improve tracking. This kayak moves across the water like a knife through butter, it doesn’t deviate from it’s course and you can really build up an impressive speed when you work together.
The hull also has an area for storage in the front, meaning that the packed lunches can also feature on your voyage, as well as the valuables you don’t feel comfortable leaving at the waters edge.
Where we have touched on the safety provided by the stability and the buoyancy of the kayak, Lifetime also included a fluorescent yellow coating. This color added to the hull isn’t a fashion statement, but a safety precaution.
Due to the kayaks low profile, it would easily be missed by other water users such as larger boats, meaning collisions and subsequent swimming trips would be plentiful.
By having a bright, high contrast color scheme, visibility is assured, reducing the risk of sailing around unnoticed. This also makes a parent’s job of watching from the shore much easier, as your kids will be glowing brighter than the sun and therefore easy to keep an eye on.
Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Video Review
Want some more information on this great kayak? Here’s a short video I thought you might like.
No kayak is without fault, and the Lifetime 10 Foot Manta Tandem is no exception to that rule. Where it has a lot going for it, it also has a few features that take away from it’s potential success. As usual with, the included accessories fall under this section. The kayak is shipped with two sets of two-piece sports paddles, which as a potential buyer you will think is great.
However, the standard of this paddles is very poor, and you’ll soon find that your two-piece paddles are turning into three and four piece paddles. The quality is so poor that it’s not unknown for them to cleave completely in two. Obviously this is an issue as if it happens out of the water, paddling back to shore is going to be a tough task. I’d therefore recommend investing in a couple of good paddles before taking any extended outings.
This extra cost brings me nicely onto the next negative, the price. This kayak, and hence this review, is aimed at families, and getting more than one person sharing the experience of being out on the water at once. However, Lifetime seem to have forgotten that having a family is an expensive business.
Therefore pricing the Manta Tandem at over five hundred dollars immediately takes it out of most families kayak budget. You can buy four single person inflatable kayaks for that cost, so you really need to consider your needs before diving in with a purchase here.
To summarize this kayak, it really does have a lot going for it. The flexibility provided by the lightweight hull and extensive seating arrangements is great to see, and the fact it can support three people is a big selling point. However, with an price tag over half way into three figures, it’s going to be out of some peoples budget.
Also, the included accessories are relatively useless, so you have to consider the additional cost of inevitably replacing them. What it really boils down too, is if you want the three people on board at once. For big families, it’s going to work out very cost effective, however if it’s just the two people you’re looking to take out on the water, you can achieve that for a fraction of the cost.