The Intex Explorer K2 is an affordable 2-person kayak for beginners. In this article you learn about the use and performance as well as the features of this inflatable kayak. At the end the Explorer K2 is compared to the very similar Intex Challenger K2 so than you can make a better buying decision.
Use and performance
The Explorer K2 is designed for calm lakes and slow flowing rivers. In good weather conditions you can also use the Explorer K2 in the sea near the beach. Considering the size of 312 x 91 x 51 cm and the maximum weight capacity of 160kg, the Explorer K2 belongs to the smaller kayaks which is however capable of carrying 2 adults. You should only keep in mind that the kayak won’t offer a lot of space and load capacity for extra gear and is primarily made for smaller trips on the water. The kayak is quite short and wide for a kayak. This makes the kayak very stable and maneuverable but slower at the same time. On large lakes or rough ocean water the Explorer would show its limits due its dimensions and low air pressure. It’s not recommended to use the Explorer K2 for these waters.
The Intex Explorer K2 consists of 3 separated air chambers. If the kayak were to get a puncture, only one air chamber will deflate and the other two other will remain still inflated. This gives you enough time to get back to shore safely. The main air chambers have boston valves which is a two-way screw valve for easy and safe inflation and deflation. The Intex Explorer K2 is equipped with a removable skeg for a better directional stability. The inflatable seats are attached with Velcro straps to the floor that you can adjust the seats according to your needs and remove a seat if not needed. The backrests have adjustable straps to give more back support. Behind the back seat there is some space for a daypack for example. Other features are the grab handles and grab lines on the bow and stern of the boat. Especially the grab handles are great for setting the boat into the water and taking the boat out of the water. The slightly raised bow and stern, which are covered with small spray decks, ward off spray.
The Intex Explorer K2 comes in a set with the following accessories:
- 2 x aluminum double paddles
- Air pump
- Repair kit
The double paddle can be taken apart into 4 parts for easy storage. But the length of the double paddle is not adjustable.
Difference to the Intex Challenger K2
There is another similar kayak from Intex, the Challenger K2. Many now question what are the differences between these two kayaks. Both kayaks basically differ in design, especially in form and color. Which is better looking is purely a matter of personal taste. Regarding the material, quality or accessories both boats are the same. The differences can be identified in detail. The Explorer K2 is wider which makes it more comfortable to sit in. In the Challenger K2 you sit a bit narrower. In contrast, the Challenger K2 offers more legroom due to its greater length. The Challenger K2 features no grab handles and can’t be lifted as easily as the Explorer K2. But the Challenger K2 has a luggage net on the bow for placing some light luggage.
In summary, the Explorer K2 is more the exploration kayak. It’s easier and more comfortable to transport in inflated state. The open cockpit facilitates getting into and out of the boat. The wider and shorter hull makes the inflatable more agile. So, the Explorer K2 is the better kayak for rivers than the Challenger K2. For children and adults with respect for water, the Explorer K2 is the better choice as well. It has higher side chambers and is more stable on the water. The Challenger K2 is more the sportive kayak. It has a narrower and longer hull which has a positive effect on speed. Moreover, the wind has less of grip on the Challenger K2 due its lower height. For kayaking on lakes you’re better advised to consider the Challenger K2.
Conclusion to the Intex Explorer K2
The Intex Explorer K2 is an affordable inflatable kayak that is perfect to start paddling on calm water in your region or during your next holidays. The kayak comes in a complete set which includes all the necessary accessories to start directly. But you should not expect a high-end kayak at this price. Anyone who is willing to pay more for an inflatable kayak should take a look at the Gumotex Twist.