Intex Explorer K2 Inflatable Kayak Review

The Intex Explorer K2 is one of the most affordable inflatable kayaks on the market. With numerous positive customer reviews available online, it has gained a reputation for providing you with a wholesome kayaking experience at a low cost.

If you have read our articles before then you may remember this one as being one of the best inflatable kayaks on the market right now and we had to take a deeper look into the inflatable.

However, most reviewers have limited experience with other inflatable kayaks, making their evaluations somewhat restricted. To provide a more comprehensive review, we have thoroughly examined and tested the Explorer K2, including paddling it on a calm lake and inflating it with our Airbank Puffer Pro and Topump TPS300.

Having tested many inflatable kayaks, we can offer a solid recommendation for who the Intex Explorer K2 is best suited for. If you're deciding between the Challenger K2 and Explorer K2, be sure to read our Intex Challenger K2 in-depth review article which is also a popular option right now. 

If you are undecided between a kayak and a paddle board then it might be worth checking out our best inflatable paddle board guide to give you a few more ideas.

Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak Review

First Impressions and Assembly

The Intex Explorer K2 arrives in a thin transport bag, which, while not particularly robust, is adequate for storing the kayak or carrying it short distances to the water. If you plan to transport the kayak and accessories over longer distances on foot, a larger and more durable transport backpack is recommended.

Inside the bag, you'll find the folded kayak (weighing 9.45 kg / 20.8 lbs) and its accessories: two inflatable seats, an air pump, a skeg, two double-blade paddles with drip rings, a measuring strip for checking air pressure, and repair patches.

The included Intex Double Quick II pump is a small-volume double-stroke pump, which means it expels air both when the piston is pushed down and when it is pulled up, making for more efficient pumping. In truth, it’s not quite as efficient as one of the best inflatable kayak pumps but the fact that so many accessories are included at such a low price is impressive, enabling you to start paddling immediately. You can even buy a rechargeable electric air pump now so that you don't need a car or a power source nearby, just charge it at home and plug it in when you are near a lake.

Compare features vs Rivals

A globally trusted brand loaded with premium features

Intex Explorer


Rugged Vinyl Construction

I-Beam Floor

Low Profile Deck

Removable Skeg

Cargo Net For Extra Storage

Grab Line On Both Ends

Adjustable Seat

Includes Repair Patch


Unfolding the kayak reveals a material that initially feels rough but on closer inspection, resembles the thicker PVC material used in air mattresses. This material, while functional, is less robust than the materials used in higher-quality inflatable kayaks, making it important to avoid contact with sharp objects like stones and branches.

The kayak features three air chambers (two side chambers and a bottom chamber), each of which is inflated using the included air pump. The side chambers have Boston valves, common in beginner kayaks, while the bottom chamber has a simpler plug valve reminiscent of those found on air mattresses. This valve functions but feels quite cheap.

Inflating the kayak is quick and straightforward, taking less than 10 minutes. A printed measuring scale on the chambers allows you to check the air pressure using the included measuring strip, ensuring you don't overinflate or underinflate the chambers.

The seats, while more cumbersome to inflate, are held in place by Velcro straps on the floor of the boat. The backrest straps are adjustable, allowing you to find a comfortable position. The seats are a nice feature at this price point, providing decent support for short trips.

On the Water

Carrying the inflated kayak to the water is easy with the provided handles. The open design makes getting in and out simple. However, the low air pressure results in a softer, less supportive feel, reminiscent of a fun boat rather than a serious kayak.

Once on the water, the Explorer K2 is quite comfortable for leisurely paddling. The high and wide side chambers provide stability but can get in the way of paddling, which might be annoying on longer trips. Despite this, the kayak can reach reasonable speeds of between 5.1 km/h and 5.6 km/h (3.2 mph to 3.5 mph) under good conditions. However, pushing too hard can make the boat feel unstable.

The included skeg helps with directional stability, making the kayak more maneuverable than the Intex Challenger K2. The paddles, while functional for beginners, are quite wobbly and not suitable for long-distance paddling.

Intex Challenger Inflatable Kayak K2 Review

Space and Storage

There is just enough space for two adults and a small daypack. A larger dry bag can be placed behind the rear seat, but there's no room for luggage at the front due to the foot space needed by the person in the front seat. The open design makes the seating less cramped than in the Challenger K2, but the person in the back will need to place their feet on the sides of the front seat.

Single-Person Configuration

The Explorer K2 can also be used as a single-person kayak by positioning the front seat in the middle of the boat. While this configuration provides ample space for storage, the kayak's trim, straight-line stability, and speed are reduced compared to when it is used as a two-person kayak.

Dismantling and Storage

After use, the kayak dries quickly, and deflating it is straightforward. The boat can be folded back into its original size without any issues. The drain valve is a helpful feature, allowing you to easily empty any water from the boat before storing it.

Wrapping up!

The Intex Explorer K2 is popular for a reason. It is easy to paddle for beginners and comes with all the necessary accessories. It's perfect for those who want to spend time on the water without the need for long-distance paddling or high-performance expectations. However, for those interested in longer tours or frequent use, it might be worth investing in a higher-quality inflatable kayak. The Explorer K2's thin boat skin and low air pressure make it less suitable for more demanding conditions.

For those who want to explore other options, the Intex Challenger K2 is a similar inflatable kayak with a different design. Our article comparing the Intex Explorer K2 and Challenger K2 provides a detailed comparison of these two models.

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