Looking for the best cheap kayak or best beginner kayak, but also get best quality for your money? Our Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review shows you how you can get all of that rolled into one! We think that this model beats the cheap kayak market hands down. In fact, we aren’t even comparing the cheap market here vs the Explorer K2. There really is no comparison. Instead, we compare it to the other top models in the renowned Intex brand. The review covers the inexpensive Intex Explorer K2 vs Intex Excursion Pro, vs the Intex Challenger K2, and vs the Intex Challenger K1. We’re here to do all of the annoying research and deliver the information to you in this Intex Explorer K2 review. Keep reading to learn what’s what with the Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak.
What’s So Good about the Intex Explorer K2?
Intex specializes in aquatic sports equipment, so right away you know you’re coming to the right place with the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. Intex specifically focuses on inflatable and affordable products, so if price and convenience are what you’re looking for, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to be satisfied with the Explorer K2.
Without giving away all of the juicy details, the Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak is great for beginners because of its cheap price and simple design. On top of that, it has all of the features necessary to make sure that it’s sturdy and reliable. Keep reading to learn more about the three top features that make the Intex Explorer K2 kayak such a popular product.
Important Feature #1: Quick Inflation and Deflation
The obvious appeal of an inflatable kayak is that it’s much easier to bring along for a weekend trip or longer vacation than a solid kayak would be. If you’re doing most of your boating a little farther away from home, you’ll definitely want an inflatable kayak that you can simply deflate and pack in a suitcase or throw in the back of your trunk.
And in that regard, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a step ahead of the competition. This inflatable kayak has three different air chambers which means that you have three smaller tasks instead of one big one when you’re either inflating or deflating this kayak. You’ll be able to pack this kayak up in a hurry and not feel like you have a daunting task waiting for you when it’s time to blow it up again and go out on the water.
Important Feature #2: The Cheap Price
We mentioned that the Intex brand focuses on cheap prices and that the Intex Explorer K2 kayak is one of their cheaper offerings, but we really can’t stress enough the extent to which this Intex inflatable kayak is one of the cheapest kayaks on the market. As one reviewer very eloquently stated, “The averagely performing shavers cost more than this.”
And on top of that, this kayak comes with everything you need, including a pump and oars, so it’s especially perfect for beginners who want to buy their entire kayak kit all in one place for one cheap price. It’s worth mentioning that reviewers complained about the oars that come with this kayak, but for most rookies, that won’t really be a top concern. And anyway, you can always replace the oars with something more to your preference and still come out on top in terms of your savings.
Important Feature #3: High Weight Capacity
It’s probably not too surprising to hear that most inflatable kayaks, especially the kayaks at this price range, aren’t very heavy, and, as such, can’t exactly support a lot of weight. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, on the other hand, can support up to 400 pounds, and it fits two people so you can kayak with a buddy and actually test that out. It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have to feel you’re giving the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak more than it can handle.
Important Feature #4: Inflatable I-Beam Floor
How can we write a kayak review without talking about comfort? You’re obviously going to be spending a lot of time sitting down in your new kayak, whichever one you choose to buy, so it might as well be comfortable. The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak comes with an inflatable I-beam floor that gives you some extra support to make this inflatable kayak as comfortable as possible. You’ll have a firm surface for your legs and backside instead of being forced to feel like you’re sitting on a poorly inflated bean bag chair, and you won’t have to worry about flopping and swaying all over the place in the waves.
Important Feature #5: Removable Skeg
So far we’ve spoken about almost everything except for actual performance, and we should probably fix that. In addition to the other key features we’ve discussed, the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak has a removable skeg that the user can install in the base of the kayak that keeps the kayak in a straight line and provides efficient tracking. This is in contrast to most lightweight kayaks which typically don’t track well.
The Pros and the Cons
We just gave you the rundown on all of the best selling points of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, but we’re not here to pretend it’s all sunshine and rainbows. In this section of our kayak review, we’re going to quickly recap the pros and the cons of our Intex Explorer K2 kayak so that you can know exactly what you’re signing up for if you decide to purchase this two-person inflatable kayak.
- Incredibly cheap price
- The three air chambers make it easy to inflate and deflate this kayak
- High 400-pound weight capacity
- Inflatable I-beam floor
- Included oars are not the best
- The back seat is smaller than the front, so the second rider may be less comfortable
- Other kayaks have fishing rod holders, which the Explorer K2 is missing
What Do the Reviews Say?
Reviewers don’t have much bad to say about the Explorer K2 and, to be honest, most of the complaints aside from our listed cons are a little nitpicky, if you ask me. In terms of the positive, the price is definitely what most users appreciate about this kayak. On top of that, multiple reviews mentioned how easy it is to set up and put away, and the high weight capacity is definitely a solid selling point.
As for paying customers, this kayak has over 15,000 reviews on Amazon, and they’re pretty glowing. The praises from customers were pretty similar to those from the blog posts, with an emphasis on the convenience and the size limit. The Explorer K2 Kayak definitely has the crowd’s approval, so you can rest easy knowing you’re buying a tried-and-true product.
How Does It Compare?
Well, we’ve pretty firmly come to the conclusion that the Explorer K2 Kayak is a solid kayak. But is it the best kayak for you? It’s not always a good idea to just grab the first viable product you find, so we’re going to show you the rest of the competition. We’re going to compare the Explorer K2 to Intex’s other top products so you can decide if maybe there’s another one more deserving of your hard-earned cash.
Intex Explorer K2 vs Intex Excursion Pro
I’ll say right off the bat that the Intex Excursion Pro is the better kayak, so if you’re a pro who wants the best product, then that’s the choice for you. Of course, as is usually the case, you get what you pay for, and it’s also more expensive than the Explorer K2. The “Pro” in the name of this kayak isn’t just for show; it’s Intex’s premium product.
The Excursion Pro, just like the Explorer K2, seats two people, has a weight limit of 400 pounds, and has 3 air chambers. However, it’s both heavier and longer than the Explorer K2, which may be less convenient but will also give you more stability. It comes with both standard directional and shallow water directional skegs. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, then you should stick with the Explorer K2. The Excursion Pro is made from 3-ply laminate with a polyester core, and it comes with an inflatable booster pad for elevated seating and integrated fishing rod holders.
All in all, as long as you know what you want, the decision between the Explorer K2 and the Excursion Pro should be pretty straightforward. If you don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars and you’re not a kayaking expert who needs a really fancy kayak, stick with the K2. But if you’re willing to splurge for everything but the kitchen sink and a sturdier kayak, then the Intex Excursion Pro is one of the best kayaks out there.
Intex Explorer K2 vs Intex Challenger K2
Right up there with the Explorer K2 inflatable kayak, the Challenger K2 is one of Intex’s more popular inflatable kayaks. The Challenger K2 has a thinner build that makes it a bit faster than its Explorer counterpart. In spite of this narrower frame though, it is heavier than the Explorer, but not by much. The Challenger K2 only has two air chambers compared to the 3 of the Explorer, so it’s possible you’ll find inflating it more tedious.
The biggest drawback of the Challenger K2 is that, despite seating two people, it has a weight limit of just 220 pounds. There are plenty of healthy lone adults that go over that alone, so if you need something a bit bigger, the choice is clear. But if you’re small enough that the weight limit isn’t an issue – and maybe if you plan on only using it solo or with a smaller partner – and you want that rush of speed, then the Challenger K2 is the choice for you. Both inflatable kayaks cost about the same, so you only have to weigh the pros and cons of your tastes and preferences.
Intex Explorer K2 vs Intex Challenger K1
If kayaking is just not a team sport to you, then it’s worth knowing that there are single-seater options out there. If kayaking is your “me time” then you should definitely consider the Challenger K1 over the Explorer K2. Naturally, the K1 is notably smaller than the Explorer, which may offer less support but will also provide more speed and maneuverability.
Ironically, the K1 actually has a higher weight limit than the Challenger K2, and it can support the same 400 pounds as the Explorer. Just like its big brother, the Challenger K1 only has two air chambers, and it comes with the same standard direction skeg as both the Explorer and Challenger K2.
The Challenger K1 is actually more expensive than both the Challenger K2 and the Explorer K2, so some users may feel like they’re paying more for less in a certain sense. But if you want the full control that can only come with the small size of the K1 and you want to ride solo, then it’s the choice for you. Otherwise, you’re definitely better off with the Explorer K2.
All in all, the signs are clear, and the Explorer K2 is definitely a worthwhile kayak for you, especially if you’re a beginner who wants something that’s easy to use and not crazy expensive. On top of the price and ease-of-use, it’s convenient, sturdy, and it comes included with everything you’ll need.
Of course, there are other valid options out there, and if you’re a pro who wants a pro-grade kayak, then you’ll probably be more interested in the Intex Excursion Pro. If you’re smaller and want a faster ride, then the Challenger K2 is the Intex kayak for you. And if you want to enjoy your thoughts and ride solo, then you’ll probably be more interested in the Challenger K1. And if you just don’t really know, then our Explorer K2 is a great choice for the uncertain beginner.