Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review

With the Challenger K2, Intex has expanded the nimble, sporty, inflatable K1 model to fit two people. The Intex Challenger K2 kayak has the same easy setup, durable construction and fun ease of use of the K1, but with room for a friend. 

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Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and...
  • The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is sporty and fun with a streamlined design for easy paddling
  • The bright green color and sporty graphics make the kayak highly visible in the water
  • Two 86 inch aluminum paddles and an Intex high output pump for easy inflation and deflation

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Overview

The Intex Challenger K2 kayak is an inflatable kayak with fast and simple setup that packs down into a small size, making it easy to take anywhere and store when it isn’t in use. It is made of a durable vinyl that resists puncture and abrasion, making it both safe to use, and extending the life of the kayak. The streamlined design, comfortable seating, and easy navigation make this kayak fun for the whole family. 

Specifications

  • Inflated size – 11 feet 6 inches x 2 feet 6 inches x 1 foot 3 inches
  • Deflated size – 24.25 inches x 17 inches x 9.5 inches
  • Weight – 33.5 pounds
  • Weight capacity – 2 people or around 400 pounds 

Quality and Safety Certification

Certified by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association to comply with US Coast Guard standards and regulations. TUV approved 

What did we like about how it’s made?

  • Rugged vinyl construction – The thick, 30 gauge vinyl plastic is pretty durable and can withstand getting knocked and minor scrapes. Avoid very sharp objects though. It’s also UV resistant to protect it from the sun.
  • Adjustable inflatable seats – The seats and integrated backrests are adjustable to make it a bit more comfortable. While this is a two-person kayak, you can choose to only install one seat if you are using it alone. 
  • Inflatable I-beam floor – The unique inflatable I-beam floor adds rigidity, stability, and durability. 
  • Two air chambers – The two air chambers improve the safety and reliability of the kayak, as well as making setup simple. 
  • Boston valves – The large, rugged Boston valves make inflation and deflation of the kayak fast and easy. 

What we like about the design?

  • High visibility graphics – The colors and graphics on the Challenger K2 are fun and sporty, but also highly visible for additional safety in the water.
  • Removable skeg – The removable skeg provides directional stability, but it can be easily removed for use in shallow water conditions. 
  • Comfortable cockpit – The cockpit is designed for comfort, to make long boat rides more enjoyable. 
  • Low profile – The low profile of the Challenger K2 makes it ideal for lakes and mild rivers. 
  • Streamlined shape – The sleek, streamlined shape of the Challenger K2 makes it easy to paddle. 
  • Grab line on both ends – The grab lines make it easy to handle the Challenger K2, and simplify anchoring and towing.
  • Cargo net – The onboard cargo net keeps stored items convenient. 

What else is included? 

  • Repair patch kit – In case of unexpected leaks or punctures, the Challenger K2 comes with a repair patch kit. 
  • Pump – The included Intex high output dual action pump makes inflation and deflation fast and simple. 
  • Carrying case – The carry bag is durable and water resistant. 
  • Two paddles – The two 86 inch aluminum paddles break down for portability and are lightweight for easy use. 

How to use the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Setup on the Challenger K2 is fast and easy, and detailed inflation instructions are in the owner’s manual. There are two valves, each numbered in the order that they should be inflated. Next to each valve is a measuring line, to check against the included ruler for proper inflation. The kayak should never be over- or under-inflated. Total setup takes less than 10 minutes with the included high-output pump. 

To see how it works, YouTuber Camp Life bushcraft shows his setup of the Intex Challenger K2 here: 

Unfortunately, he simply tests proper inflation with his hand, rather than using the included strips, but it’s a good overview of how the process works and lets you know what to expect. 

When you receive the Challenger K2, you should open the box and unpack and inflate the kayak, just to make sure everything is there and you understand how to use it, and to check for leaks. That way you can avoid disappointment when you are ready to take it out on the water. 

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Pros

Portable and easy to store

The fact that the Challenger K2 can fit anywhere, and be inflated and set up in just minutes, makes it incredibly convenient for travel, use, and storage. Unlike a conventional kayak, it’s easy for people who don’t have a roof rack for transport or garage and extra space for storage. It’s friendly for apartment living or for spontaneous getaways and fishing trips. 

Simple and fun to use

The easy setup, navigation, and lightweight of the Challenger K2 make it fun and simple for the whole family.

Holds one or two people

Even though it is so light and easy, you can comfortably hold two adults in the Challenger K2.  

Complete kit

Because the Challenger K2 comes with the pump, paddles, and case, there’s no need to buy anything else to have a great time kayaking. We’ve suggested a couple of extras that you might want to consider but it’s ready to go straight out of the box.

Durable construction

The thick, rugged vinyl of the Challenger K2 make it much more durable than many other inflatables, so you can use it for much longer. If it does get a leak though, inflatable kayaks are very easy to repair and the Challenger K2 even comes with a repair kit.

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Cons

Paddles are not great. The included paddles aren’t very long and aren’t very sturdy. For easier use and more long-term enjoyment, you may want to upgrade the paddles. 

Small space for cargo and storage

The Challenger K2 can comfortably fit two average-sized adults and has some room in the bow and stern, as well as the cargo net for storage. However, there isn’t a lot of room for supplies, a cooler, and other things you may want to transport on a longer excursion. 

No drain hole

While the Challenger K2 doesn’t typically take on a lot of water, if passengers and cargo are near the weight limit and the boat is riding low, there is no way to remove water from inside the kayak without turning it upside down. A scupper hole would also be helpful for getting the water out of the craft after using it. 

Related useful products

To get the most out of the Challenger K2, here are a few things to consider: 

Upgrade your paddles

If you plan on using the Challenger K2 for long excursions or over long periods, you may want to get better paddles. The Leader Accessories Marine Aluminum Kayak Paddles have several advantages over the standard Intex paddles that come with the K2. They are available in two lengths, both longer than the included paddles, which reduced fatigue over time. The Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle is lightweight and sturdy, strong enough to push off with, but can be taken apart into two pieces for easy portability. It has a comfortable grip, and the drip guards are effective at preventing water from coming into the kayak. 

A good life vest

You should never use any boat, including an inflatable one, without a life vest. The super comfortable, super buoyant Slimerence Fly Fishing Vest is a good choice to go with the Challenger K2. It has the floatation you need for your safety, but so much more. The many storage pockets keep small personal items close and safe, making up for some of the lack of space in the Challenger K2. It also has reflective strips for low-light visibility, all while being lightweight and breathable, to stay comfortable and avoid overheating. 

About the Intex brand

Intex Recreation was founded in 1966, and their first product was a beach ball. Since then, the company has become a leading manufacturer of all kinds of inflatable products, including pools, toys, boats, and air beds. They have a history of innovation with inflatable technologies, holding more than 30 patents for their products, pumps, and valves. 

Intex has also spent the last decade helping to preserve the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels and improving their carbon footprint. 

Today, Intex products can be found around the world, and their line of inflatable boats meet US and international standards and regulations. When trusting your safety to an inflatable boat, it’s good to know that the Challenger K2 is produced by a company with this kind of record and reputation. 

Conclusion 

The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is a fun, portable, easy to use inflatable kayak, perfect for holidays and weekends with the family. It’s surprisingly durable and can last for years with light use and good care. It’s a great choice for lakes and calm rivers and comes with everything you need to open the box and be on the water in minutes.