The Intex Explorer K2 is one of the most popular inflatable kayaks on the market. As an affordable and portable option, it appeals to novice and recreational kayakers alike. But how does it actually perform on the water?
In this in-depth Intex Explorer K2 kayak review, we’ll help you decide if this budget kayak is worth buying for his 2023, features, Take a closer look at the pros and cons and real customer testimonials.
Table of Contents
The Intex Explorer K2 is a two-seater inflatable kayak made from durable vinyl. Finished in bright yellow, it features a streamlined design with an adjustable inflatable seat. The kayak is 10 feet 3 inches long and weighs just under 35 pounds.
When deflated, the kayak folds into a compact carry bag. This makes storage and transportation very convenient. The kayak comes with two 86 inch aluminum oars and a powerful hand pump for inflating.
The Intex Explorer K2 two-person inflatable kayak is lightweight, easy to get in and out of the water, and very stable and safe.
- Type: Inflatable sit-in kayak
- Capacity: Up to 400 lbs
- Number of passengers: 2 adults
- Length: 10 ft 3 in
- Width: 3 ft
- Depth: 1 ft 8 in
- Weight: 30.6 lbs
- Material: Heavy-duty vinyl
- Boston valve for quick inflation/deflation
- Inflatable I-beam floor for rigidity
- Removable/adjustable seats
- Directional skeg for stability
Set Up and Inflation
One of the biggest advantages of inflatable kayaks like the Intex Explorer K2 is that they are quick and easy to set up. The kayak is equipped with a powerful hand pump for easy inflation.
A Boston valve allows you to quickly inflate your kayak. There are three independent air chambers, two side chambers and an I-beam bottom chamber. This means that the kayak cannot be fully retracted if there is a hole in the chamber. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to fully inflate each chamber with a hand pump.
When the Explorer K2 is inflated, it feels very stiff and solid. Inflatable I-beam bottom improves kayak tracking and stability. Insufficient air pressure in your boat will reduce performance, so it is important to inflate your kayak to the correct air pressure.
It deflates as quickly as a Boston valve. Simply open the valve to deflate your kayak in minutes. The kayak he can fold into 3 parts and roll up to fit in the included carry bag.
Comfort and Seating
The Intex Explorer K2 has two inflatable seats with adjustable backrests. Most customers find the seats relatively comfortable and the ability to adjust their position increases their level of comfort.
The two adult seats have inflatable backrests and bottom panels for support. Larger passengers may find their legs cramped as there is not much legroom in the kayak. However, the interior is quite spacious for an average body size.
The kayak has heavy-duty D-rings for attaching cargo bags and other accessories. But there isn’t much built-in storage space, no dry hatches or extra pockets. Therefore, extra gear should be kept loose or in an extra bag.
As an inflatable kayak, the Explorer K2 works pretty well on flat water lakes and calm rivers. Inflatable I-beam floor improves tracking and planing. A removable skeg ensures excellent directional stability.
The Explorer K2 isn’t particularly fast. It can reach speeds of 3 to 4 miles per hour. Active paddlers should therefore not expect to zip through the water at high speeds. But when it comes to recreational swimming and paddling, stability and maneuverability are key.
Class I rapids can be managed under control. However, this is not an ideal whitewater kayak as it offers limited protection. A light wind will do just fine, but a strong gust will push the inflatable kayak away.
The vinyl material is fairly tough and impact resistant. However, you should be careful with sharp objects that can puncture. And since kayaks don’t have swim bladders, they can’t be fully rescued.
Who is the Explorer K2 Best For?
With its affordable price and portable design, Intex Explorer K2 is ideal for:
- Beginner paddler – easy to operate and very stable.
- Recreational kayakers – not intended for serious whitewater use
- Calm lakes and rivers – great for paddling in shallow water
- FISH AND RELAX – Spacious and stable space ideal for fishing
- Light expedition – packs small for travel
- Families or groups – fun for one or his two rowers
The Explorer K2 is suitable for paddlers up to about 5’10” tall. Tall users may feel cramped. Also, kayaks are best kept in sheltered waters, not in big waves or rapids. All in all, it offers a great introductory experience before getting into the hardshell kayaks.
Thousands of Amazon reviews give the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Real Customer Testimonials:
“My wife and I had a blast with this kayak! Easy to inflate and get in the water. Very comfortable and surprisingly fast.”
“I was able to fit this kayak in my trunk along with a cooler and backpack for a nice day trip. Works perfectly and so easy to inflate.”
“Used this on a calm lake and it worked very well. Super stable and allowed me to relax and take in the scenery.”
“The inflatable seats are comfortable but I wish there was more leg room. I’m 6’ 2” and felt cramped.”
“Doesn’t track very straight, especially in wind. Hard to keep paddling in a straight line.”
“Paddles seem cheap but that’s expected for the price. Wish it had a bit more storage space.”
As these reviews show, customers find the Intex Explorer great for recreation, but not for high performance. Most users agree that it is affordable and good value for money.
Alternatives to Consider
The Intex Explorer K2 is a popular choice, but not the only one on the market. Other top quality inflatable kayaks to consider in this price range are:
- Intex Challenger K2 – More streamlined and lighter than the Explorer at just 23 lbs.
- Sevylor Coleman Colorado – Rugged multi-chamber construction great for fishing.
- Advanced Elements Straitedge – Aluminum ribbing offers better tracking and speed.
- Driftsun Voyager 2 – PVC tarpaulin hull is durable and lightweight.
- BIC Sport Zodiac – A bit more expensive but very sturdy and comfortable.
The Explorer K2 can be your budget choice, but upgrading to one of these alternatives will give you more power and features.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to inflate the Intex Explorer K2?
It takes about 5-10 minutes to fully inflate each of the three chambers using the included hand pump. Expect total inflation time to take approximately 15-20 minutes.
What is the weight limit of the Explorer K2?
This kayak has a total load capacity of 400 lbs, so about 200 lbs per person. Perfect for lightweight paddlers.
Can you use a motor on the Intex Explorer K2?
No, Explorer K2 is not designed to be compatible with trolling motors. Adding a motor can compromise the integrity of the vinyl construction.
Is the Intex Explorer K2 UV and sun resistant?
Vinyl is treated to provide UV protection from the sun’s rays. However, exposure to direct sunlight should be limited as much as possible.
Are The Seats Of Intex Explorer Removable?
Yes, the seats of the Intex Explorer kayak are removable and adjustable. You can change the seats and you can adjust to your comfort.
Can you roll over the Intex Explorer K2?
Although unlikely, if you encounter very rough conditions or rapids, you may flip this inflatable kayak. Buoyancy bags do not allow self-rescue.
Does the Intex Explorer K2 come with paddles?
Yes, the kayak and hand pump are included, as well as two 86″ aluminum oars.
Can you use a spray skirt with the Explorer K2?
No, the cockpit does not have an integrated spray apron attachment. Aftermarket aprons can be adjusted for fit.
Is there a warranty on the Intex Explorer K2?
Intex provides a 90 day limited warranty against defects. Registering your kayak gives you a full warranty.
Does Intex make replacement parts for the Explorer K2?
Yes, Intex sells replacement components such as seats, skegs and valves on their website.
Should You Buy the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak?
Bottom line, the Intex Explorer K2 is one of the best inflatable kayaks under $200. For recreational paddling, the Explorer offers a versatile and affordable option. It works well in calm lakes and rivers, but not so well in rough rapids.
The Explorer K2 trades durability and performance for price and convenience. Since it is an inflatable boat, it can be packed much smaller than a rigid kayak. It’s also easy to inflate for quick setup and takedown. This kayak is highly packable and portable.
On the water, it offers decent stability and tracking for a two-man boat. The material is strong enough for light impacts and the air chambers provide additional safety. It may not win races, but its maneuverability and comfort provide a fun, casual paddling experience. Overall, the Intex Explorer K2 is a proven and affordable kayak with great versatility.
Recommended as an entry-level choice for new paddlers or those on a tight budget. On the other hand, more advanced users may want improved functionality in the long run.