A Fantastic Family Boat: Review of Lifetime’s 10-Foot Manta Kayak

Lifetime’s 10-Foot Manta Kayak Review

  • Lightweight at 60 lb
  • Tunnel hull design provides ultra stability and tracking; Almost impossible to tip over!
  • 5-year limited manufacturer warranty

Our Rating

10
Out of 10

When kayaking and outdoor publications put out their lists of “This Year’s Best Kayaks,” the pages are filled with descriptions of boats that are the lightest, fastest, “most capable in whitewater,” etc. Rarely is attention paid to categories like the best boat for beginners or the best family kayak. Maybe it just doesn’t seem worth it to market these low-cost boats, but in excluding them, they’re ignoring a huge group of paddlers who just want something that’s easy to paddle and isn’t going to leave them capsized. 

Child Kayaking

The Manta Tandem  is a perfect example of what a family boat should be: stable, reliable, and with enough room to take a few relatives who may or may not have much experience paddling.

What to Look for in a Tandem Family Kayak

A family kayak is the kind of boat you keep in the garage for whenever a couple of family members want to spend some time on the water. It should be easy enough to use that one of the paddlers doesn’t really need to know what they’re doing. Most tandem kayaks are fairly long, making them difficult to turn. 

Compared to touring kayaks, a family kayak should be shorter, because it’s okay to sacrifice some speed in favor of maneuverability. It should also be wider to make it more stable, because nothing will cause a newbie to give up the sport quicker than tipping the boat over on their first outing. Lastly, the kayak should be comfortable when you’re not paddling, with a comfortable seat and ample room to move around. Most people using a family boat want to enjoy the scenery, and they’re not going to be paddling all the time.

Lifetime 10-Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Review

This kayak is ideal for taking two adults, and perhaps a child, out for a day of paddling on calm waters. With a length of 10 feet and a width of 30 inches, it’s incredibly stable, easy to track in a straight line, and not too difficult to get turned around. It also has a unique tunnel hull that helps the bow ride up on any wave the boat might encounter. The boat’s superb stability also means you won’t have to worry about an inexperienced paddler or a wriggling child tipping it over.

The Manta can also be a great kayak for fishing when carrying one person. The boat isn’t well configured for storing gear, but its stability is ideal for reeling in something big. When in the tandem configuration, the Manta is probably too small for two people to fish from; if nothing else, it would lead to some serious arguments between the two people as they constantly bump into each other.

Lastly, the Manta Tandem retails for a little more than $500. That’s more than a tandem inflatable would cost, but is quite reasonable for a hard-shell, sit-on-top boat.

What’s Great About It?


  • It also has a built-in paddle cradle, which is convenient for when you want to take a rest and not worry about where your paddle is.
  • This boat is so stable because it was designed for three people to paddle. In fact, it’s stable enough that you can actually stand up in it like a canoe. The stability-enhancing tunnel hull design also improves the boat’s tracking.
  • Despite only being 10 feet long, the Manta has a weight capacity of 500 lbs., which is generally enough for two adults and a child or some gear.

What’s Not So Great?


  • There’s no dry storage area; in fact, the only storage space is a small section on the front of the deck that can hold a milk crate-sized box using some bungee cords. That’s fine if you’re just carrying a couple water bottles, but not great if you want to bring much gear. 
  • While padded backrests are included with the boat, the bottoms of the two main seats are just molded plastic. They could become uncomfortable if you’re out for very long, so it’s best to buy some cushions if you will be.
  • It ships with two paddles. As this is a tandem kayak, that sounds like a great deal. Unfortunately, the paddles are of such poor quality, they probably shouldn’t be used at all. Many buyers have reported that they snap in half mid-trip. Invest in a quality pair of paddles, and just write off the included ones as a useless gift.

Lifetime’s 10-Foot Manta Kayak

  • Lightweight at 60 lb
  • Tunnel hull design provides ultra stability and tracking; Almost impossible to tip over!
  • 5-year limited manufacturer warranty

Our Rating

10
Out of 10

Conclusion

This Manta Tandem review shows that it is well suited for recreational kayakers who want to bring their friend or significant other along for a leisurely paddle on flat water, maybe with a little fishing thrown in. It’s not a good choice for kayakers who want to go fast, explore rough waters, or paddle for an extended period of time. Otherwise, the Manta is an excellent addition to the underserved market of families and beginner paddlers who still want a great boat.


Lifetime 10-Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Review


When kayaking and outdoor publications put out their lists of “This Year’s Best Kayaks,” the pages are filled with descriptions of boats that are the lightest, fastest, “most capable in whitewater,” etc. Rarely is attention paid to categories like the best boat for beginners or the best family kayak. Maybe it just doesn’t seem worth it to market these low-cost boats, but in excluding them, they’re ignoring a huge group of paddlers who just want something that’s easy to paddle and isn’t going to leave them capsized. 

 

The Manta Tandem[RV1]  is a perfect example of what a family boat should be: stable, reliable, and with enough room to take a few relatives who may or may not have much experience paddling.

 

What to Look for in a Tandem Family Kayak

A family kayak is the kind of boat you keep in the garage for whenever a couple of family members want to spend some time on the water. It should be easy enough to use that one of the paddlers doesn’t really need to know what they’re doing. Most tandem kayaks are fairly long, making them difficult to turn. 

 

Compared to touring kayaks, a family kayak should be shorter, because it’s okay to sacrifice some speed in favor of maneuverability. It should also be wider to make it more stable, because nothing will cause a newbie to give up the sport quicker than tipping the boat over on their first outing. Lastly, the kayak should be comfortable when you’re not paddling, with a comfortable seat and ample room to move around. Most people using a family boat want to enjoy the scenery, and they’re not going to be paddling all the time.

 

Lifetime 10-Foot Manta Tandem Kayak Review[RV2] 

This kayak is ideal for taking two adults, and perhaps a child, out for a day of paddling on calm waters. With a length of 10 feet and a width of 30 inches, it’s incredibly stable, easy to track in a straight line, and not too difficult to get turned around. It also has a unique tunnel hull that helps the bow ride up on any wave the boat might encounter. The boat’s superb stability also means you won’t have to worry about an inexperienced paddler or a wriggling child tipping it over.

 

The Manta can also be a great kayak for fishing when carrying one person. The boat isn’t well configured for storing gear, but its stability is ideal for reeling in something big. When in the tandem configuration, the Manta is probably too small for two people to fish from; if nothing else, it would lead to some serious arguments between the two people as they constantly bump into each other.

 

Lastly, the Manta Tandem retails for a little more than $500. That’s more than a tandem inflatable would cost, but is quite reasonable for a hard-shell, sit-on-top boat.

 

What’s Great About It?

This boat is so stable because it was designed for three people to paddle. In fact, it’s stable enough that you can actually stand up in it like a canoe. The stability-enhancing tunnel hull design also improves the boat’s tracking.

 

Despite only being 10 feet long, the Manta has a weight capacity of 500 lbs., which is generally enough for two adults and a child or some gear.

 

It also has a built-in paddle cradle, which is convenient for when you want to take a rest and not worry about where your paddle is.

 

What’s Not So Great?

There’s no dry storage area; in fact, the only storage space is a small section on the front of the deck that can hold a milk crate-sized box using some bungee cords. That’s fine if you’re just carrying a couple water bottles, but not great if you want to bring much gear.

 

While padded backrests are included with the boat, the bottoms of the two main seats are just molded plastic. They could become uncomfortable if you’re out for very long, so it’s best to buy some cushions if you will be.

 

It ships with two paddles. As this is a tandem kayak, that sounds like a great deal. Unfortunately, the paddles are of such poor quality, they probably shouldn’t be used at all. Many buyers have reported that they snap in half mid-trip. Invest in a quality pair of paddles, and just write off the included ones as a useless gift.

 

Conclusion

This Manta Tandem review [RV3] shows that it is well suited for recreational kayakers who want to bring their friend or significant other along for a leisurely paddle on flat water, maybe with a little fishing thrown in. It’s not a good choice for kayakers who want to go fast, explore rough waters, or paddle for an extended period of time. Otherwise, the Manta is an excellent addition to the underserved market of families and beginner paddlers who still want a great boat.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Foot-Manta-Tandem-Kayak/dp/B015OXVP0Q


About the author

Ian Waterman

Ian Waterman Here, my true passions in life are all things water related like kayaking, fishing and most water sports. I love being outdoors and trying new things. Some of my fondest memories are camping as a small boy and fishing with my family

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