Best Inflatable

The Razor Kayaks R2 is a fantastic lightweight and affordable option for those wanting to get on the water with paddlers of any skill level. It’s also the perfect option for those who don’t have storage space for a hard-shell kayak or the means of transporting it on the roof of their car or a trailer.

Packed down, the R2 measures 31” x 20” x 14”, meaning you can easily throw it into the trunk of your car along with multiple days’ worth of camping gear. Although the boat doesn’t have waterproof hatches like its hard-shell counterparts, there is plenty of space in the boat for dry bags and is equipped with front and rear bungees to attach your waterproofed gear.

Although this tandem kayak would not be suited for bigger swells or the open ocean, the R2 can still tackle choppy water, meaning you won’t panic when the wind picks up. With a beam of 33”, this is an incredibly stable kayak, and the fin adds balance while improving tracking and performance.

Made from 1000 denier PVC, you don’t need to worry about bumping into rocks, and with its Tech-Stitch™ floor, you can slide the R2 onto a shelly beach without fear of punctures.

The Razor Kayaks R2 comes with removable double padded foam seats. It can be paddled by either one or two paddlers making it even more versatile for those wanting the option of a solo or tandem adventure.

We recommend the R2 for recreational paddlers who don’t have a lot of storage space and want a safe and economical way of getting out on the water with their family, friends, and paddlers of all skill levels.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight
  • check-mark
    Compact
  • check-mark
    Affordable
  • check-mark
    Suitable for one or two paddlers

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo waterproof storage
  • check-markNot suitable for open ocean or multiday expeditions

Where to buy:

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Product Image

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem

Specs & Features

  • Material: 1000 denier PVC
  • Length: 14’ 1”
  • Width: 33”
  • Max load: 635 lbs.
  • Weight: 26 lbs.
  • Set up time: 5 min
See the complete list of the best Tandem Kayaks here!

Inflatable kayaks are a low-barrier way to get your entire family out on the water. Inflatable kayaks are generally a lot more stable than a hard-shell boat, can withstand some neglect and wear and tear, and won’t cost an arm and a leg to own.

Inflatables are also low-barrier because they don’t require a lot of storage space or a car with roof racks to transport. Inflatables can be assembled when you arrive at your destination and then packed away in a closet or shed for the next adventure.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem

The Razor Kayak R2 Ultra is an inflatable kayak that can be paddled on flatwater or in choppier conditions with small waves. The kayak has the speed and maneuverability to be taken on longer trips and also the storage capacity for your desired gear.

The construction of the kayak is impressive, although the durability and quality of materials mean the R2 Ultra is more expensive than cheaper brands. The trade-off you get for high performance, durability, and comfort is weight, size, and expense.

Materials

Razor Kayaks are built to last and withstand hard knocks and wear and tear. The R2 Ultra has a durable Tech-Stitch™ floor and is made from 1000 denier PVC, which is virtually indestructible compared to Nylon or Polyester used in kayaks like the Airhead Montana or the Advanced Elements Firefly.

razor-kayaks-r2-ultra-tandem-materials

The bow and stern are also reinforced, aiding the boat in both gliding through the water and withstanding a vast amount of punishment.

Because these sorts of materials are used in white-water rafts and safety boats, they make for a more durable yet heavier kayak. This is pretty standard for tandem kayaks–being heavier than smaller, solo models. Because the R2 Ultra is built to accommodate two paddlers, it’s a lot longer and 8 lbs. heavier than the single version (R1 Ultra). The R2 Ultra is 14’1” and 26 lbs., making it a bit of a burden for one person to carry it in its backpack.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Cover

Set-Up

Setting up the R2 Ultra is incredibly simple. Because the floor and side chambers only need to be pumped up to 7 or 8 psi, I didn’t get the same kind of muscle burn I experience when blowing up paddleboards like the Isle Switch SUP & Kayak, which require 10-15 psi.

Once the three chambers have been inflated, the two foam-padded seats are secured using four separate cinch straps per seat, allowing the seat to be adjusted for the comfort of each paddler. The D-Rings on the R2 have also been designed to accommodate just one seat in the center of the boat if a single person is paddling.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Set Up

Although the Advance Elements AdvanceFrame has this same feature, it has little storage area, which doesn’t give a single paddler much advantage. With the R2 Ultra, however, a single paddler has a lot more space in the boat for additional gear if you want to take it on a light overnight adventure.

The footrests are made from padded nylon straps with Velcro that allow the paddler to adjust the positioning of the footrest to match their leg length and paddling style. I love the simplicity of this design.

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It is similar to the footrests on the Elkton Outdoors, which are adjustable using Velcrow on the floor. But I prefer the design on the R2 as it leaves the floor clear of straps and only takes one quick adjustment to alter the length.

The R2 also comes with a detachable fin used to aid in tracking the boat in windier conditions. Be careful when paddling in shallow water where the fin could catch or scrape along the ground. If you know you’ll be paddling in very shallow water you can paddle without the fin. Just be aware the kayak will not track as well and will be more affected by the wind and small waves.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Fins

Deck and Storage

The R2 Ultra has a splash-proof storage area at the bow and stern of the boat used to store items you want to keep dry and secure while paddling. Similar to the design of the Driftsun 2-Person, this storage is not completely watertight, so it’s advisable to store your items in dry bags to keep them protected and dry. The advantage of the R2 is that these compartments are a lot deeper and will keep larger amounts of gear dry.

A tandem kayak requires more space, double up actually, and Razor has done a decent job of taking account of that.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Deck And Storage

There is also additional storage space on the bow and stern deck under the bungee cords where you can keep items you don’t mind getting wet and want within arms reach.

Carry Handles

I was impressed by the quality of the carry handles on this inflatable kayak. Because of its weight, the carry handles are necessary to transport the boat once it has been inflated. Compared to the bare bones straps of the Airhead Montana, the handles of the R2 Ultra are made from the type of strong, durable plastic you would find on any hard-shell boat so that hauling your kayak long distances with another person is comfortable and easy.

Backpack

The R2 Ultra comes complete with a backpack carry bag designed to transport and store your kayak when it’s fully deflated. The backpack is large enough to store the kayak, folded seats, footrests, fin, and a pump to inflate the kayak at the water’s edge. However, because the bag is the same size as the backpack for the R1 Ultra you have to ensure you use the correct rolling method as stated on the instruction card.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Backpack

Admittedly, I found the R2 Ultra a lot heavier to carry on my back than the R1 Ultra. Depending on your own size and strength, I would only recommend carrying the boat in its backpack for short distances.

Performance

The R2 Ultra is a powerhouse of an inflatable tandem kayak. It isn’t as maneuverable as the R1 Ultra, but all tandem boats, including hard shells, take a lot longer to turn. What I love about this kayak is the simplicity of it. It doesn’t have a rudder system or require any knowledge of paddling to be able to get this boat onto the water.

Because of the high-quality materials, narrow bow, and streamlined design, the R2 Ultra cuts through the water and can move at a good speed with two paddlers. The only other inflatable tandem kayak I’ve paddled with this type of performance is the Elkton Outdoors.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Performance

On flat water, you can travel a good distance in this boat, and if you are only paddling it as one person, you can load it with a fair amount of waterproof gear for an overnight or weekend adventure.

The only downside is that you and the items in your boat will invariably get wet from either water splashing into your boat or simply from the drips of water falling off your paddle. Most inflatable kayaks suffer from this issue, although some designs like the Advance Elements AdvanceFrame or the Advance Elements FireFly will keep your legs a little dryer.

If you were paddling this boat in cooler temperatures, it would be a good idea to wear a dry or wetsuit, or at the very least rain pants and a jacket.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Foot

Because the R2 Ultra is not self-bailing, it’s also advisable to take a pump, bailer, or at least a sponge with you to extract water from the boat. If you end up taking on lots of water, the boat can be emptied on dry land using the bung, which is a cap that unscrews at the stern of the boat to drain out water like a white-water boat.

Maintenance

Although the R2 Ultra is made from durable materials, care should always be taken to keep the boat out of direct sunlight when storing it, and the boat should always be rinsed with fresh water, especially after paddling in salt water.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem Maintenance

Also, make sure that the boat has been dried off while deflated (it’s much harder to get in all the crevices when deflated), so the boat doesn’t become covered in mold after being stored for a while.

The kayak comes with a repair kit that includes a wrench to tighten or replace the valves and a puncture repair kit containing sheets of PVC for patching. If the chambers seem to be losing air, try tightening the values a little before looking for a puncture. If you suspect the boat has been punctured, the best way to find the hole is to immerse the boat in water and look for any bubbles escaping from the boat and rising to the surface.

When cleaning the boat, you should only need to use fresh water or a mild soap. Harsh solvents can destroy the PVC.

Razor Kayaks R2 Ultra Tandem On Waters

More Than Just a Tandem Kayak

The R2 Ultra is a super versatile inflatable kayak that can be paddled by one or two paddlers. It’s the perfect boat for those new to paddling and more advanced paddlers looking for an inflatable option with superior performance.

The R2 Ultra can be used on a cottage lake or flat river without the seats and can accommodate more than two people if you’re out for a lazy day enjoying the sunshine with the family. Or it can be used in lower class white-water or in choppier conditions if you have the ability.

This inflatable kayak is built to last and withstand manhandling, punishment from kids, and the paws of your favorite K9. It costs more than your typical low-cost brand, but what you get in return is an inflatable kayak that will survive a generation of torment, hold a large amount of weight, and will perform well in a variety of conditions.

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight
  • check-mark
    Compact
  • check-mark
    Affordable
  • check-mark
    Suitable for one or two paddlers

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo waterproof storage
  • check-markNot suitable for open ocean or multiday expeditions

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