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BKC TK181 12.5 Tandem Sit On Top Kayak Review


This is a great multi person kayak, ideal for family holidays, day trips for fun on the water and/or maybe fishing trips! It offers good seating capacity for up to 3 people. There is ample storage for valuables in some nicely positioned waterproof hatches, too – and paddle parks are strong and fixed conveniently.

Stable enough to take along children, it’s a great choice for parents and big kids, too.


  • Manufacturer: Brooklyn Kayak Company (BKC)
  • Construction: High density polythene
  • Weight: 68lbs
  • Supports: Up to 595lbs
  • Length: 12 feet 8 inches
  • Beam: 34 inches
  • Seats: 2
  • Hatches: 2
  • Paddle Parks: 2
  • Other features: Bungee tie-down for cargo, 4 flush mounted rod holders, 3 articulating rod holders.

About The BKC TK181

From the specification above it’s easy to see that this kayak can be used for a range of leisure pursuits. It’s a great way for adults to introduce youngsters to kayaking, or for experienced kayakers to take along a novice or two.

The kayak is comfortable, spacious and is reported as being very well balanced. This is an important feature for people new to kayaking and is reassuring for experienced kayakers too! For 2 or 3 adults, this kayak has the strength and space to comfortably give an enjoyable ride. It is tough enough to be used on lakes, rivers and even the ocean.

Molded in a single piece of strong polythene (in high density), it’s a good indicator of the build quality. This means that the kayak is strong enough to withstand regular active use and feels robust enough to allay any fears. Cleaning is no problem either – it can be hosed down if necessary after use and folded away ready for its next trip.

Storage for transportation as well as carriage is something for buyers to consider here. Suitable to be transported in a car boot/trunk, van or trailer, it is easy to fold or roll, and pack with other equipment.

High density vinyl is flexible for folding or rolling by design. It is also supple and easy to clean, usually by just rinsing. A light brush may be needed, for example to brush off sand, if the kayak has been pulled onto a sandy beach. Stationing the folded kayak against other equipment should be done with care to ensure it is not at risk of penetration or less invasive damage.

Of course, storage at home is usually easy for those with inflatable kayaks. You may need to give a little thought about how often you will use a kayak and therefore how easy it is to access in a garage, shed or outbuilding. Weighing just under 68 pounds, it is quite heavy. It will be easier if there are two people to lift and maneuver it, either for storage, inflation or deflation!

Once on the water, this kayak is well-known for being a great all-around performer. Described as good for use even on choppy waters, this kayak is known as being predictable to handle and relatively stable. Those with experience on fast flowing currents have also commented on its balance and stability.

What are the best features of this kayak?

As described above, even seasoned kayakers prefer to feel they can rely on their boat – why wouldn’t they?

This model has gained a great reputation in that regard, as it is considered to be very stable. For many, this is the most important feature for safe kayaking. If there is a high risk of capsizing, it may be difficult to instill confidence in novices and children.

The seating is nicely padded, meaning you won’t expect numbness or pain on long stints in the water. The comfort of this kayak is not only about the seating, however. You can focus on the activities in hand without worrying about storing valuables – the water resistant hatches are positioned by the seats, so can be easily reached or swiftly closed up!

There is also a rear storage space for your outdoor gear and/or fishing tackle. For those who have had experience embarking on fishing trips, you will know just how much tackle to take! Of course – what you need to use and how much you desire to take, can vary.

This kayak has plenty of options for securing rods, too – with seven spots. The rod holders are well spaced and allow for maximum flexibility whilst facilitating good weight distribution. It’s therefore likely to be a great choice for novice and experienced anglers alike.

The length and beam of this boat means that in terms of comfort and predictability, you will soon feel confident about taking to the water. It is large enough for someone or a couple of friends to be given some instruction or training by an experienced kayaker. For experienced users accustomed to kayaking and choppy models, this is a proven model. It means that you can expand your skills or explore further in different conditions!

A major advantage is that this model comes supplied with two adjustable aluminum paddles. Aluminum is lightweight and strong. The paddle parks are conveniently located and help secure them if you need to do something else or simply want a rest!

Four of the rod holders are flush mounted. This means that there is minimum of obstruction due to fixtures and fitting. Apart from a visually more appealing, streamlined design, this is a very practical feature. It prevents any catching of materials and snagging of cords, and reduces protruding obstructions. Even some more expensive kayaks have a more cluttered and/or old fashioned appearance!

Does it have any drawbacks?

Offering the capacity for up to three people means that this model is larger than many other kayaks on the market. Even some kayaks offering space for up to 3 people can be found with smaller dimensions – if your carriage space is limited, this may be simply too big for your transporter. Size matters when it comes to kayaking and taking to the water, so buy carefully!

Of course, it may also be a little too heavy for you to lift, too! At 68 pounds, unloaded, it is quite a handful. The pay off is that it is robust! It’s really up to you to decide if you have the space to transport it and if those using the kayak will manage to lift it in and out of a vehicle.

Once unpacked, it will also need carrying to the water. With a beam of almost 1 metre (34 inches) and a length of over 2 metres (12 feet 8 inches) it will be easier to maneuver if you have help!

Therefore, I probably wouldn’t recommend this particular boat for solo kayakers – it’s certainly better suited to couples and family trips.

Should I buy BKC TK181 ?

If you want to bring people with you on a seafaring expedition, this is a great kayak. According to buyers online, it was awarded 4.5 stars out of a possible 5. Of those voting, a whopping 70% of them gave it top marks at 5 stars! As always, pay attention to verified buyer reviews – they will know best, 9 times out of 10.

This kayak offers a stable, durable, and sizable sailing option. It is suitable for people to train on, as well for more advanced kayakers.

Owning a kayak of this quality and type means that you are not compelled to go alone or with only one other person. Stable enough for fishing or tuition, it is also sturdy enough for trainees to feel confident. More experienced kayakers can venture into some unfamiliar waters or those with variable currents!

A major advantage of owning a BKC TK181  is that this kayak can grow with you! You can gain experience at your own speed and comfort level. You can also encourage children, other relatives or friends, to experience the joys of kayaking with this vessel – it’s an amazing starter choice.

If you have small children, there will be no need to upgrade for a bigger kayak for some considerable time. Even in adulthood, this model can accommodate up to 3 people. Family kayaking experiences, or fishing trips with friends will make for happy memories.

This BKC kayak is a solid, sizeable and reliable vessel that I highly recommend for a variety of different trips. Again, it’s unlikely to suit solo adventurers, but if you are taking a few people along with you to explore the great outdoors, there are few kayaks or canoes out there likely to give you the same level of stability and enjoyment.

With these factors in mind, I think it’s certainly worth looking closely at this BKC model – keep in mind the size and weight when it comes to your own storage and maneuverability, and you’ll be certain to have years of fun to come.


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