The Intex Explorer K2 is the best-selling inflatable. On the internet a lot of customers share positive experience with this inflatable Intex kayak. Most of the customers can only make a limited evaluation since they have never paddled any other inflatable kayaks than the Intex Explorer K2. We have examined the Explorer K2 carefully and have paddled it on a bathing lake. We have already paddled many inflatable kayaks and are able to give you a solid recommendation for who the Intex Explorer K2 is best suited for.
No. of Persons: 2
Length: 10ft 3in
Weight: 30.6 lb
Pack Size: 10’3″ X 3′ X 1’8″
The Intex Explorer K2 comes in a thin transport bag which doesn’t make a robust impression. Nevertheless, the bag should be sufficient for a short transportation and is good for storing the kayak at home. The bag contains the boat and the complete accessory. It’s quite surprising that so much accessory is already included for such a low price. Paddling is immediately possible without buying anything extra.
The folded kayak is quickly out of the bag. At first, the material makes a pretty rough impression, but reminds us of a bit stronger material at the second glance, which air mattresses are made of. Compared to higher quality inflatable kayaks, there are huge differences in the roughness of the used material. That’s why you should be very careful with the Explorer K2 and prevent any contact with stones and branches.
The kayak must be unfolded for the setup. The air chambers can be inflated with the included high-output air pump. The Intex Explorer K2 features two side and one ground chamber. We really like this multiple air chamber design because it makes the boat safer. If the kayak were to get a puncture, only one air chamber will deflate and the other two will remain still inflated.
Inflating the kayak was simple and quick (less than 10 minutes). Intex has printed a measuring scale on the chambers. With this scale you can see with the included measuring strip or ruler if the right air pressure is on each chamber. This is very useful and important at the same time. A too high air pressure would damage the chambers for sure and a too low air pressure would reduce the driving performance of the boat. As well as the boston valves have been working great.
The two seats were a bit more cumbersome to inflate. But we really liked the Veclro straps on the floor of the boat. They hold the seats in the right position when paddling. The Velcro strap for the backseat is longer dimensioned so that you can adjust the position of the backseat more individually, either more legroom or more space for you gear behind the backseat. Both seats have a backrest with adjustable belts which are attached to the side chambers. All in all, the seats are a good feature of the boat in this price segment.
Stern and bow are equipped with small spray decks that can be inflated as well. The side chambers are pretty high compared to other Intex kayaks. Moreover, the Intex Explorer is not suited for white-water at all. The question remains for what the spray decks are. We assume that these spray decks shall give a better look to the boat. The carry handles on the bow and stern are really practical for lifting the boat.
After inflating, the boat must be turned to mount the included skeg. The skeg is recommended for a better directional stability. Finally, the Intex is completely set up. We are especially pleased by the appealing design of the boat. The last thing to do before paddling is to plug the paddle together. You will notice immediately that the paddles are not made for longer paddling tours. They are quite wobbly and that even in new state. But nevertheless, two functioning double-blade paddles for that low price, hard to believe.
A big difference between the Intex Explorer K2 and other higher-quality inflatables is the low air pressure that results in very soft air cambers. The Intex Explorer reminds us more of a fun boat than a proper inflatable kayak.
Due to the soft chambers the Intex Explorer is really comfortable to sit in. Also, the seats are very nice to chill on the water. But the seats would not provide enough support for longer or more sportive tours. We were surprised by the speed. You can reach a reasonable speed with the Intex Explorer K2. A change of the direction by the paddler in the back worked well but the boat reacts quite slowly. The skeg is aop really good feature which supports the directional stability. We must also say that we had very good weather conditions (sunny, no wind and no waves). That’s the kind of weather the Explorer K2 is made for.
The side chambers are wide and high. That’s why you touch them with the paddle when paddling. That might be disturbing on longer paddling trips. In the front, there is no space for storing any luggage, such as a day pack. Otherwise the front paddler would have no legroom.
After the use, the Intex Explorer K2 dries quickly. Deflating the kayak is easy as well. So, there is no problem to fold the kayak as it was before. We really liked the drain valve. The boat can be tipped backward, and the left water runs out of the drain valve easily. The boat can be wiped dry without using a sponge to get out the water.
The greatest strength of the Explorer K2 is not the boat itself but the offer, i.e. the included accessory and the really low price for an inflatable kayak. The less robust boat skin the main weakness of the Explorer K2 which should not be a surprise considering the low price.
+ complete accessory already included + practical carry handles to lift the boat + very affordable + appealing design + sensitive boat skin
– rather a fun boat than an inflatable kayak – little space for luggage – low air pressure – wobbly paddles – short warranty period of 90 days (from the day of purchase)
It’s not without reason that the Intex Explorer is the best-selling inflatable kayak. It’s especially for people who like spending time on water to chill out and to explorer the immediate environment a bit. Everyone who wants to make longer distances or bigger tours of several hours is better off with another inflatable kayak. Those should spend more money for an inflatable kayak (e.g. the Gumotex Solar or Swing 2). The Intex Explorer is not designed for longer trips for the following reasons: the seats don’t provide enough support, the space is too little regarding legroom and space for your gear, the air pressure is too low in order to have good or similar driving performance as you would have with a hard-shell kayak. Furthermore, the boat skin is pretty thin and makes the boat suitable for a careful use only. We don’t recommend the Intex Explorer K2 for trips on the water with grounding included, that can happen on rivers.
For just a little more money, there is the Sevylor Adventure that is also a two-person inflatable kayak. The kayak additionally features a nylon cover to protect the rest of the boat from holes. The side chambers have a higher air pressure which makes the Sevylor Adventure stiffer than the Explorer K2. Everybody who is really sure about paddling as a hobby should choose an inflatable kayak consisting of a woven fabric. Woven fabric (e.g. Nitrilion or polyester fabric) is much more resistant than PVC. Even rafting boats are made of woven fabric. The manufacturer Gumotex offers affordable inflatables (e.g. Gumotex Twist or Solar), made from of woven fabric. These boats are really rugged and have a 3 times higher air pressure which results in considerably better driving performance.
If you want to go on longer tours and get the best performance out of a inflatable kayak, then take a look at Advanced Elements. These kayaks are much more expensive than any model from Intex but they meet the demands of ambitious kayakers. The bestseller AdvancedFramce Convertible is one of our favourite tandem kayaks. The 1-person AdvancedFramce is a great alternative if you are looking for a compact single kayak. Both kayaks are made of robust materials and have a great durability.