The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two is one of the best sit on top tandem kayaks of 2023. Of the reviews and opinions we collected, it’s clear that all agree that one standout feature is how stable and maneuverable the Malibu Two is once hitting the water! This is a rocksteady, durable two-person kayak that’s reportedly comfortable and versatile to handle.
The only major areas of concern for reviewers appear to be a lack of storage support at first glance, and that it’s fairly heavy. That said, experts had no problems carrying and storing the vessel. It’s built for recreation.
The Ocean Kayaks Malibu Two is a big winner with reviewers as far as stability and tracking are concerned. It’s reportedly a beach rental staple and is likely to appeal to beginner paddlers or parent-and-child combos looking for extra confidence.
The recreational kayak receives positive reviews for comfort and customization, with multiple seat positions available at built-in foot plates likely to support most riders. It’s even ideal for a solo paddler. Experts advise taking caution if riding in the back, as legroom may shrink!
Where the Malibu Two tandem kayak struggles, however, is in terms of storage availability. Reviewers note that there is ample potential for storage upgrades here, but beg the question – why aren’t there dry hatches on board in the first place?
Where this boat really shines is in its superior durability. Ocean offers a lifetime warranty with this vessel – and reviewers are confident you’ll need to do some serious damage to cause even a scratch.
All in all, it’s lots of fun to paddle, and it’s never likely to tip!
Expert Reviews of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
6.9Dave The KayakerThe Ocean Kayak Maibu Two is a huge, super versatile tandem kayak! It's built with beach rentals in mind, and it shows. If you're looking for a boat built for speed, however, then better to look elsewhere. That said, I think the Malibu Two is perfect for gentle trips and fun excursions like most recreational sit-on top kayaks. Read more
7.3Happiness WithoutThis is a great little boat that's ideal for paddlers looking to get started on recreational journeys. I find it extremely stable on the water, and its versatility to move between paddling solo and paddling tandem ride is a definite plus point. I'd recommend upgrading to the XL version if you're a taller rider or want more storage.Read more
7.2Paddling MagazineThis is a great sit-on-top tandem that's easy to move on the water, reasonably supportive, and ideal for paddlers just getting started. It's a little bulky, but you get a lifetime of protection back for a little added weight.Read more
Handling of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Expert Rating: 7.0
6.5Dave The KayakerThis boat really isn't built for speed! It's a recreational kayak built for fun and leisurely paddling excursions. It won't travel long distances well, but it's super easy to relax and take your time on.Read more
7.0Happiness WithoutThe relatively short stature of this tandem kayak makes it very easy to move around. I haven't had any difficulty maneuvering the boat around tight obstacles, and I dare say it works well on narrow stretches, too. It's not ideal for complete beginners, so get trained up before you buy. It's certainly not a fast boat, but the tracking's good for recreational journeys.Read more
7.5Paddling MagazineWhile the Malibu Two is probably a bit longer than I'd normally expect from other recreational kayaks, it's shorter than most tandem kayaks. Overall, that means you can expect reasonable speed and handling - it feels very reassuring once you're on the water. It tracks straight thanks to its hull chamber design - and the rocker onboard makes paddling much easier on beginners.Read more
Stability of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Expert Rating: 9.0
9.0Dave The KayakerThe sheer width of this boat - 34 inches - makes it amazingly stable when you take to the water. I always feel really safe riding this boat - there's next to no chance of flipping.Read more
9.5Happiness WithoutThe Malibu Two is a very stable kayak - I've never flipped this boat, and honestly, I'd like to see you try! It's ideal for beginners in this regard. I think it's worth investing in if you want to have comfortable conversations on the water with a paddling partner.Read more
8.5Paddling MagazineThe Tri Form hull design here makes this a super-stable boat that lives up to Ocean Kayak's seal of quality - it's not going to tip while you're paddling straight. I think that's ideal for giving confidence to beginners.Read more
Comfort of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Expert Rating: 6.5
6.5Dave The KayakerThis kayak comes equipped with two seats and backrests strapped into the main body, with a series of foot slots. There's not a huge amount of legroom here if you're in the back, to be honest - but the presence of comfort features is a plus, at least.Read more
6.5Happiness WithoutCompared to other boats in similar lines, the Malibu Two Ocean Kayak is pretty comfy all around. I found it straightforward to adjust and remove the seats, and there's enough support for a couple of hours on the water. I like the footrests, too, but as they're molded in, they're not the most supportive. I'd recommend taller paddlers look for a longer boat (like the XL in the same range, for example).Read more
6.5Paddling MagazineThe seating onboard the Malibu Two is impressively supportive, and the fact I was able to remove and readjust the seating to convert from solo to tandem is a massive plus. That said, if you're taking two adults out on the water, there's not a huge amount of space for you both. It's probably most comfort for parent-and-child trips. The molded foot braces offer a lot of flat support.Read more
Onboard Storage of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Expert Rating: 5.0
5.5Dave The KayakerThere's not a ton of storage onboard here, but on the whole, that's pretty understandable - it's built with two paddlers in mind.Read more
4.5Happiness WithoutThere's really not much space onboard the Malibu Two at all. It has bungee straps, but they're pretty short compared to the XL version. You can also drill in and install dry hatches, but... why weren't hatches just provided outright?Read more
5.0Paddling MagazineI'd recommend upgrading your storage when purchasing this boat - there's a Malibu Two hatch kit that will easily drill into the kayak for day trip storage.Read more
Portability of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Expert Rating: 7.0
7.0Happiness WithoutThe boat's low bulk and four-handle setup make it very easy to carry to the water and back, though they're not the most comfortable - it's a caveat worth swallowing. The side handles make it pretty easy to get on and off a vehicle. I found it really simple to just drag the boat, thanks to its built-in skid plate.Read more
7.0Paddling MagazineIt's a pretty heavy boat on the whole, but the built-in handles make it easy enough for two people to carry for short walks to the water. The weight and dimensions of the Malibu Two make it versatile to store and transport on most vehicle roof racks.Read more
Durability of the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two
Expert Rating: 8.8
9.0Happiness WithoutThis is a highly durable kayak that - if you'll check the finer detail when you buy - is protected by a lifetime warranty. If you care for this boat well, I don't doubt it'll last for years and years on the water.Read more
8.5Paddling MagazineThe single-layer polyethylene build makes the Malibu Two a seriously robust boat. It won't let you down providing you care for it - and in my experience, it sails over cutting edges with ease. That said, the extra durability here certainly adds to the bulk.Read more