Kayaking is an excellent hobby to get into. It’s a fantastic way to keep fit and spend time outdoors, and it’s also a lot of fun! But oftentimes, we don’t want to invest a lot of money into a hobby we might decide we don’t like after all or don’t have the time for.
In a nutshell, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is an ideal kayak for those just getting started kayaking. It works a treat for just cruising around in relatively calm, flat water going mostly short distances. It’s also easy on the budget.
That’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks to the kayak, however. Take a look below where we go more in-depth as to what we like, and don’t like, about the Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak in this complete review.
Product information and specs
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a best selling inflatable kayak that is certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. The inflated size of the kayak is 10 ft 3″ x 3 ft x 1 ft 8″.
The kayak has a maximum weight capacity of 400 pounds, which is better than a lot of other inflatable kayaks on the market.
One of the best things about inflatable kayaks is that they are easy to store and transport. This kayak is lightweight and compact, and only weighs 35 pounds when deflated.
The Intex Explorer K2 does come with a carry bag, although many people indicate that it is not particularly robust. Nevertheless, it does just fine for short walks and taking the kayak to and from the car. It’s also very handy for storing the kayak.
The kayak is made from polypropylene, a heavy duty puncture resistant vinyl. Although it is quite durable, it is not as puncture resistant as some other inflatable kayaks.
Setting up your Intex K2 Explorer
The kayak comes with a high-output air pump and it takes less than 10 minutes to inflate the kayak. That said, inflating the seats is a bit wonky the first couple goes until you get the hang of it. Once the seats are inflated, you attach them to the kayak with secure buckles. From there, just adjust the position of the seat by changing the lengths of the velcro straps.
The straps for the back seat are longer than the front, so there is more adjustability and you can control how much leg room you have. Keep in mind that the more leg room you have the less space there is behind you for your gear.
There are 3 separate air chambers, which means if one of them receives a puncture then your kayak will stay afloat long enough for you to get to safety. Feel total peace of mind that you’re safe while in an inflatable kayak.
The kayak has an inflatable I-beam floor which helps to make it stable on the water. I-beams run the length of the kayak and look like long tubes. They are softer than drop stitch floors, so they are not suitable to stand on, but the softer floor makes it more comfortable to sit in for longer periods of time.
The kayak needs to be unfolded before it can be inflated. Over-inflating the kayak can make it more vulnerable to punctures, but under-inflating it can compromise the performance of the kayak.
On the side of the kayak is a printed measuring scale that allows you to make sure each chamber has the right air pressure and they are all inflated equally. There are also inflatable spray decks.
One of the great things about this kayak is that you can easily re-enter it from the water, which allows you to swim in the middle of a lake. If this is your plan, then you might want to get an anchor for your kayak to stop it floating away while you swim!
The side chambers of the kayak are nice and high which helps to prevent water coming into the kayak and protects you from the wind. The kayak is designed with an upturned nose which also provides additional protection from splashing water.
Comfort and performance of the Intex K2 Explorer
The cockpit is designed to be comfortable and spacious. It fits two adults much easier than many other inflatable kayaks. The downside of this is that with two people in the boat there isn’t an awful lot of room for bags and personal items.
This makes long outings challenging, but it’s not really what this kayak is designed for. There are also no nets for storage of personal items on the deck.
When you are out on the water, the kayak is nice and stable and feels very safe. You are able to build up some speed, especially with two people paddling. The kayak responds quite slowly to directional change, but it does keep its direction well due to the removable skeg.
The air pressure can be a little low, which makes the kayak comfortable for leisure use but not robust enough for sportier outings or lengthy outings.
The kayak does not perform well on choppy water, but is ideal for small bodies of water, lakes, and mild rivers. You should avoid taking this kayak out in adverse weather conditions.
There are grab handles and grab lines on both ends of the kayak which make taking it in and out of the water much quite easy. Once you have finished using your kayak, the boston valves allow you to deflate it quickly and easily.
The drain valve enables quick draining of any collected water, and the kayak dies very fast. It is also easy to fold up so it fits neatly back in the carry bag.
In addition to the carry bag and high output pump, this kayak also comes with two 86 inch aluminum paddles. They are okay for short distances but you might want to replace them at some point with higher quality paddles.
The kayak also comes with a repair patch kit. Given the low price of the kayak, it is impressive that it comes with so many accessories.
This kayak is perfect for families. It is nice and stable for children, but also has enough weight capacity to be comfortably used by adults. This kayak is a very affordable way to make those days at the lake more exciting.
Pros and Cons
- Kayak has adjustable seats with backrest
- Removable skeg allows for directional stability
- High visibility color improves safety
- Kayak comes with good accessories
- Grab handles make it easy to get the kayak in and out of the water
- Easy to store and transport
- The kayak is slow to respond to directional change
- The air pressure can be a bit low
- The paddles are not the best quality
- Lacks room for storage
Frequently Asked Questions
What Other Equipment Will I Need?
Although this kayak comes with some good accessories, there are a few other items you will need to get yourself set up for kayaking. In particular, safety items are essential.
We recommend that you get a life jacket to keep yourself safe on the water. Preferably, one with some high visibility material, especially if you plan on going out on the kayak in low lighting conditions.
You probably won’t need a helmet if you choose this kayak, as you won’t be taking it out in choppy weather conditions.
It’s a good idea to get yourself a dry bag. Dry bags keep all of your personal belongings safe and dry, even if the bag falls into the water. Floating dry bags are great, because if your bag does go overboard you can recover it really easily.
Are inflatable Kayaks Better Than Foldable Kayaks?
If you struggle to transport a hard shell kayak then a foldable or inflatable kayak will be a great option for you. They each have good points and downsides, so it depends on what you are looking for.
Inflatable kayaks fold up quite small, are lightweight, and are quick and easy to set up. However, they are vulnerable to being punctured. You also have to remember to bring the pump with you.
Foldable kayaks require no additional equipment – you just unfold it and fix the clippings in place. The issue with foldable kayaks is that they are often not as comfortable.
If they take on water, then it can put pressure on the joints and clippings and cause the kayak to fold in on itself. It can also be challenging to click them into place, and can take quite a bit of strength!
What Other inflatable Kayaks Are Made By Intex?
The Intex Excursion Pro is another inflatable kayak suitable for two people, and it is a bit more streamlined than the Explorer.
The Intex Challenger is a one person inflatable kayak with a large front deck with bungee rigging to store personal items. If you are looking for an alternative brand, Sea Eagle makes some very good models.
So, now that you know more about the Intex K2 Kayak, should you buy it?
Overall, it is a great kayak for beginners and families. It is easy to use, stable on the water, and has an excellent structure. It is very affordable and comes with a great range of accessories.
Even if the paddles aren’t the best quality, they are good enough for gentle leisure paddles and are fine to get beginners started. The seats are comfortable and there is enough room in the cockpit for two adults to sit with enough space, as long as they don’t take too much gear with them.
Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API