Intex Explorer K2
Review

The Intex Explorer K2 is the best-selling inflatable kayaks. 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.

If you are hasitating between the Challenger K2 and Explorer K2,  make sure to read also our review about the Intex Challenger K2 and our  Intex Explorer vs Challenger article.

Technical Specification

No. of Persons: 2
Length: 10ft 3in
Width: 3ft
Weight: 30.6 lb
Pack Size: 10’3″ X 3′ X 1’8″

Max Load: 400 lb
Pressure: 0,069 bar
Material: PVC
Manufacturer: Intex

Set-up and first impressions

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.

Intex_kayak_transport_bag
Transport bag for the kayak.
intex kayak accessoires
The kayak comes with two double paddle and a pump.

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.

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The Intex Explorer K2 folded.

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.

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Three chambers must be inflated.
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The included airpump fully serves its purpose.

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 boston valves are easy to handle.
intex_explorer_k2_measuring_scale
The printed measuring scale helps to check the air pressure with the included measuring strip.

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.

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Two inflatable seats are inlcuded.
The seats are attached via Velcro Straps to the floor.
intex_explorer_k2_seat_backrest
The backrest of the seat is attached via belts to the side chambers and is individually adjustable.

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.

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The Explorer K2 features small spray decks and handles on the bow and stern.

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.

The supplied skeg is placted underneath the boat for a better directional stability.
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The kayak is ready to use. A major advantage of an inflatable is the low weight which makes it easy to transport.

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 low air pressure the air chambers are pretty soft.

Review of the Intex Challenger K2 on the water

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.

intex explorer k2 review
An inflatable like the Explorer K2 offers you endless possibilities to explore calm lakes and rivers.
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The Intex Explorer K2 with two paddlers on the water.
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The kayak can also be paddled as 1 person kayak.

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.

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The space sufficient for a short canoeing tour.

Dismantling of the Intex Explorer K2

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.

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The drain valve is good for emptying the boat of water.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Intex Explorer Kayak

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.

intex_explorer_k2_lake
The Intex Explorer K2 is a great offer for those who don't have high demands.

+ 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)

Final notes on the Intex Explorer K2

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.

A lot of people wonder what the differences between the Intex Explorer K2 and Intex Challengers K2 are. We have reviewed both in our article Intex Explorer K2 vs Challenger K2. Check also out our article about Intex to get an overview of all his products.

Recommended kayak equipment

The Intex Explorer K2 already comes with two paddles and a pump. However, you should also get a life jacket and consider buying a dry bag as well as a backpack.

Life Jacket

Life jackets should always be used when paddling, no matter how well you can swim and how nice the weather is. Large and flowing waters can be unpredictable, and your own clothing can make it difficult to swim if you capsize. A life jacket also gives you the buoyancy you need to get back to the surface quickly. It can also be very helpful to bring the capsized boat to shore. When buying a lifejacket, buoyancy should be chosen according to your body weight.

Dry Bag

A dry bag should not be missing on any paddling trip. Dry bags are available in many different sizes. As a beginner and for smaller trips we recommend a small and compact bag. It offers enough space for valuables like your mobile phone and wallet and protects them from loss or damage. A small packsack does not take up too much space in the boat and can also be placed between your legs if necessary. Make sure that the dry bag  has a strap so that you can easily carry it around when leaving your kayak.

Backpack

Many inflatable kayaks come without any backpack, but only with a light carry bag. This is perfeect for storage or to transport if on short distances. But if you want to take your inflatable kayak with you on public transport or carry it without any bid efforts, we strongly recommend a comfortable and large transport backpack. Normal hiking backpacks are not suitable for this because of their small opening. Sevylor offers an additional backpack designed for the transport of inflatable boats. A large opening makes it easy to put the boat inside the backpack. The outer pockets are the perfect place for the paddles.

Other Intex kayaks

A similar inflatable kayak is the Intex Challenger K2. The biggest difference is the design. We have also an article where we compare both boats: Intex Challenger vs. Intex Explorer.

The Intex Excursion Pro looks quite similar to the Explorer K2 but here there are especially differences regarding material and quality. The Excursion Pro is the most expensive inflatable kayak from Intex but the boat skin is much thicker and it has much more features. If you are willing to pay more, then this one might be the better choice for you.

Intex Excursion Pro

2 persons kayak

Intex Explorer K2

2 persons kayak

Intex Challenger K1

1 person kayak

High-quality inflatable kayaks

Intex is by far not the only brand when it comes to inflatable kayaks. There are many other brands that sell entry-level kayaks as well as high-quality ones. Sea Eagle for example has a very wide range of inflatable boats and if you look for an affordable kayak from them, the you should check out the Sea Eagle 330.

Another good inflatable kayak, which is a bit more pricey, but worth checking out is the Itiwit x100+. It has a drop-stich floor that gives the kayak some more stability on the water. The quality and material are pretty good regarding the price.

If you are asking us for the best inflatable kayak on the market, then we could barely answer your question because it depends on your needs. However, we personally like the inflatable kayaks from Advanced Elements, especially the Advanced Frame Convertible Elite. We went on many paddling tour with it and it has a really good performance on the water.

Sea Eagle 330

2 persons kayak

Itiwit x100+

2 persons kayak

AE AdvancedFrame Convertible

2 persons kayak

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I have bought an Intex Explorer K2 and I inflated it in my living room to be sure it is OK (because it is too cold here to try it on the water for now). I inflated the boat correctly and checked with the enclosed ruler. The 2 main floats are not at the same height. The right float is lower than the left float. There is an height difference of at least 1 inch. Since the 2 main floats are not at the same height, will the kayak tilt to the right? Do you think it will be a problem on the water or the kayak can be unbalanced? Is it possible that the kayak flip over or goes always on the right?.Thanks for answering.

    1. Hello Jacie,

      this is something I can’t tell you from distance. I am sure that it shouldn’t flip over due to this difference of height of the side chambers. Regarding unbalanced paddling characteristics on the water it is something to try out on the water. If you have any doubts about the boat then I would rather return it and let it replaced.

      Best regards
      Christian

  2. We recently purchased the Explorer K2 and took them out for out first and only time so far. After we deflated our kayaks, we noticed small bumps on the outer skin of one of the chambers of the K2. Is this normal or should we have some concerns? Thank you

    1. Hello Scott,

      without any picture it’s difficult to tell. But the skin of intex explorer k2 kayak is not the thickest one and hitting stones, rocks, etc. can damage the skin in worst case.

      Best Regards
      Christian

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