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.
312 cm (10’2”)
91 cm (3′)
160 kg | 353 lbs
59 x 34 x 41 cm |
1’9” x 1’1” x 1’3”
14 kg | 30.9 lbs
0,069 bar | 1 PSI
Which model has been reviewed?
Intex Explorer K2 from 2018
How did we organize the review?
We have purchased the Intex Explorer K2 ourselves.
How intensively has the product been tested?
2 bars = min. 1 day/ 2 half-day tours
3 bars = min. 4 tours
4 bars = min. 8 tours
5 bars = min. 12 tours (very intense)
Where have we tested the product?
Table of Contents
First impressions and assembly
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
+ 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)
Conclusion on the 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.
Accessories for the Intex Challenger K1
The scope of delivery of the boat includes the following accessories:
- Kayak paddle
- Inflatable foot brace
- Air pump
- Repair patches
- Transport bag
In addition, we recommend the following accessories:
- Life jacket: Itiwit BA 50N+ * (good life jacket for beginners, very good price-performance ratio, more details in our test report).
- Dry Bag: Itiwit dry bag 10L* (ideal for protecting items from splashing water and short immersion in water, good workmanship, with carrying strap, available in different colors and sizes)
- Transport backpack: only a bag is included, which is intended for storage and short transport of the kayak to the water. If you want to transport the kayak longer distances and more comfortably to the water, we recommend the Itiwit transport backpack*, which is comfortable to carry and has enough space for the kayak and accessories.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
What size dry bag would fit the kayak and the accessories? A 40L?
it depends on how you place the back seat and how much space is left behind the seat. The accessories should fit in a 40L dry bag and a dry bag is always easy to squeeze in a kayak when you don’t load it completely.
Just used the explorer 2 on the sea, large split developed rendering it unusable, Not up for the job
Would this be suitable for me to use with my 3 year old? Would the weight imbalance affect its use? Thanks!
it depends on the weight difference but you could have the same situation when two adults have a very different weight. You can still paddle the kayak like that but sure the weight imbalance will have some affect on the paddling performance. You could place some additional weight in the front where the child sits.