The Explorer K2 from Intex could be the best cheap kayak on the market with a sleek design and durability you may not expect from an inflatable. With a 400-pound capacity and enough room for two adults, it’s a great way to enjoy the space savings and convenience of an inflatable, with all the fun functionality of a hardshell kayak.
Overview Of The Intex Explorer K2
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.
The Intex Explorer K2 kayak is made for lakes and rivers, but has a curved prow and extra rigidity at the ends to manage waves and slightly rougher waters than the Intex Challenger series of inflatable kayaks.
It comes with everything you need to get on the water in just a few minutes, and is made of a durable vinyl that resists punctures and abrasions, so you can enjoy it season after season. It seats two adults and holds up to 400 pounds, and is a vivid, high-visibility yellow for improved safety. It’s a great choice in inflatable kayaks.
- Inflated size – 10 ft 3in x 3ft x 1ft 8in
- Weight – 30.6 pounds
- Weight capacity – 2 people / 400 pounds
Quality and safety certification
Certified by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association to comply with US Coast Guard standards, and comes with a US Coast Guard ID. It is also TUV approved.
What did we like about how it’s made?
- Rugged vinyl construction – The 30-gauge thick vinyl makes the kayak resist punctures and abrasions, for extra durability.
- Adjustable inflatable seats – The seats and integrated backrests are adjustable for additional comfort and optional seating arrangements.
- Inflatable I-beam floor – The unique inflatable I-beam floor adds rigidity and sturdiness to the kayak.
- Three air chambers – Three air chambers improve the safety and reliability of the kayak.
- Boston valves – Big, durable Boston air valves make inflation and deflation fast and easy.
- Rigid prow – The curved prow and reinforced inflatable supports provide increased rigidity and shape in the kayak, allowing it to manage light waves and not take on water.
What we like about the design
- High visibility graphics – The colors of the Explorer K2 are attractive and sporty, but also highly visible for on the water for improved safety.
- Removable skeg – The skeg provides directional stability, but it can be easily removed for shallow water uses.
- Comfortable cockpit – The cockpit is designed for comfort, perfect for long excursions.
- Drainage hole – The Explorer K2 has a drainage hole in the stem, which (of course) must be sealed when in use. But it helps to make removing excess water and drying of the kayak easier during breakdown.
- Low profile – The Explorer K2’s low profile makes it perfect for lakes, mild rivers, and other calm bodies of water.
- 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 – The repair patch kit can be used to quickly repair punctures and leaks and keep you safe in the water.
- Pump – The Intex high output dual action pump makes inflation and deflation fast and easy.
- Carrying case – Everything comes in a single bag, making it easy to transport and store the Explorer K2.
- Two paddles – The included 86 inch lightweight aluminum paddles break down for easy portability.
How to use the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
The Intex Explorer K2 comes with complete inflation and deflation instructions in the owner’s manual. There are 5 inflation valves on the kayak, and each valve has a printed number that shows the order in which it should be inflated. There is a printed gage near each valve, and an included measuring strip. Simply use the included high output air pump to fill each section until the reference strip is even with the line on the kayak, for optimal inflation.
YouTuber Adventures du Seudre does a detailed review of the setup of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak on his channel here:
This review is a helpful overview of the experience of inflating and using the Explorer K2, and lets you know what to expect.
The Explorer K2 should never be over-inflated or under-inflated, so follow the instructions carefully. In warm weather, air expands, so on hot days you may need to keep an eye on inflation levels and let some air out of the kayak after a few hours. Likewise, in cold weather, air condenses and you may need to top up the Explorer K2 after a while.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Pros
Compact and portable
With the Intex Explorer K2, you can have a kayak that is ready to go when you are, where you are, without complicated setup or difficult transport and storage. It’s a great solution for light use, small spaces, and camping holidays.
Rugged and durable
The thick vinyl of the Explorer K2 can handle some shallow water abrasions and rough treatment without puncturing or leaking. In the event of a leak, the included patch kit prolongs the life of the kayak.
Fun and easy to set up
The Explorer K2 is so simple and light that it is fun to use for the whole family. Inflatable kayaks are very stable compared to their hardshell counterpart
Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Cons
Not the best paddles
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.
Not much leg room
At just 10 feet 3 inches long, the Explorer K2 is low on leg room for the rear passenger, and a pair of taller people may have a hard time being comfortable over prolonged periods in this kayak.
The paddles should be longer
The Explorer K2 sits fairly high in the water, so longer paddles would be more useful and comfortable during long excursions.
Takes longer to inflate than others
Because the Explorer K2 has three air chambers, along with stem and stern supports, it takes a bit longer to inflate than other Intex inflatable kayaks. Some people feel that it takes too long, or that using the included manual pump is a bit tiring.
About the manufacturer Intex
Intex is famous for their inflatables and has been making inflatable pools, toys, air mattresses, and related products since 1966. The innovative company has more than 30 patents, with cutting edge design, valves, pumps, and attention to detail at every step. Their products are sold in over 100 countries around the world, and their kayaks are certified internationally and meet the standards of the US Coast Guard and the German TUV.
Intex is focused on helping preserve the environment so that future generations can enjoy it as well, and has spent the last 10 years reducing their carbon footprint and use of fossil fuels.
If you are concerned about the safety or reliability of an inflatable kayak, it’s good to know that the Explorer K2 comes from a company with so much experience in the industry.
Intex Explorer K2 Alternatives
If you’re still on the fence about whether to go for the Intex Explorer it might help to have a look at some of its main competitors in a similar price range. Below are a couple of options that we’d recommend looking at before you make a decision.
Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak
While the Intex Explorer K2 is not a bad kayak it’s one downside is its durability which isn’t the best on the market. One option if you have a bit more budget to spend is the Sea Eagle 330. It’s still incredibly affordable and only a little bit more expensive but with that you get a lot more in terms of weight capacity, comfort and the much thicker material that will last a lot longer. It’s also suitable for up to Class III whitewater which shows you how much strong it is. In our opinion it’s a no brainer but for more information and to read reviews click below.
Intex Explorer K1 Inflatable Kayak
If you like the look and feel of the Explorer but need something cheaper and don’t need a second seat for a friend then a kayak in a similar ball park is the Intex Challenger K1. It’s not as good as the Explorer but still gets lots of good reviews from people looking for a low cost and accessible kayak . It’s not nearly as durable as the Explorer or Sea Eagle 330 though but for the cost you can’t really go wrong. For more information check out our Intex Challenger k1 kayak review here or click below to read reviews and check the latest price.
- Comfortable for anyone: Kayak includes an adjustable inflatable seat with backrest; Cockpit designed for comfort and space
- Dimensions: Inflated size 10 feet 3 x 3 feet x 1 feet 8 inch; Maximum weight capacity: 400 pounds
- Directional stability: Removable SKEG for directional stability
The Explorer K2 is a fun, easy inflatable kayak that can go anywhere you want to. It’s rugged and safe, big enough for two adults, and comes with everything you need to enjoy lakes, ponds, rivers, and make the most of the nature around you. It’s durable enough to withstand long-term use, so you can enjoy it season after season, and have healthy outdoor fun for the whole family.