Nowadays, it can be difficult to find a recreational kayak that’s stable, comfortable, and lightweight but that also doesn’t break the bank, after all, it will only be used for having fun and not professionally.
The Intex Explorer K2 is one of the best-selling recreational kayaks around, with lots of raving reviews online from both beginner and experienced kayakers.
You’d think anyone who took one glance at the ratings and reviews of the Explorer K2 online would immediately purchase it, however, one thing that also held us back was the very budget-friendly price tag which made us skeptical about the true quality of this inflatable kayak and how reliable it would be for frequent kayaking, regardless of it was recreational.
We wanted to see for ourselves what the fuss was all about, so we took the plunge and purchased the K2, and now we’re here to offer our opinions on this hyped kayak.
Continue reading to find out our thoughts on the Intex Explorer K2 kayak and see if we thought it was worth all the hype it gets online.
Dimensions: 11.5ft x 2ft 6in
Maximum Load: 400lbs
Passengers: 1-2 people
Material: Heavy-duty PVC
Number of Chambers: 2
Fins/Skeg: 1 Removable
Dog Friendly: Yes
Warranty: 90-day Limited
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- 2 Inflatable Seats
- A Storage Carry Bag
- 1 Repair Patch
- 1 Skeg
- 2 Oars
- 1 Air Pump
- 2 Paddles Included - Always you to paddle on kayak straightaway
- Puncture-resistant material - Won’t rip if you bump into obstacles in the water
- 90-day limited warranty - Adequate time to find problems with the kayak
- Stable construction - Can do minor maneuvers onboard without tipping the kayak
- Adjustable seats - Can move into positions most comfortable for you
- Paddles are cheap and flimsy - Will probably get damaged eventually
The K2 kayak comes with a lightweight storage carry bag with all the included accessories as well, so you can immediately start to set up your kayak and head out on the water.
For such a budget-friendly kayak, it’s surprising how many accessories come included with it, particularly the oars which normally you would have to buy separately to be able to paddle with your kayak.
We got our K2 kayak out of the carry bag and began to unfold it onto the grass (we recommend a soft surface with no puncture-possible materials to protect your kayak).
Once the kayak is completed unfolded then you can begin to inflate the air chambers using the included high output air pump.
One notable feature of the K2 kayak from Intex is that it comes with multiple air chambers, which means if an accident did occur and one of the air chambers were to get punctured then the kayak would remain afloat because the other air chambers would still be inflated.
We were able to inflate the kayak in around 15 minutes or so with minimum effort and made sure the right pressure was in each chamber using the measuring ruler on the design.
Next, we tackled the inflatable chairs which took no time at all, and then were able to position them inside the Intex Explorer to the velcro material on the floor of the kayak.
The seats are adjustable and cater to what position you’d prefer whether that be more legroom if you’re tall or opening up more space for your kayaking gear behind the seats.
Both myself and a friend climbed on board and adjusted the seats a few times until we were happy and comfortable, this would be recommended before you head out on the water.
We then inflated other components of the K2 and also attached the skeg before assembling our oars.
All in all, setting up and assembling each component of the Explorer K2 seemed pretty effortless and took no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.
The K2 kayak is inflatable, so it will be more lightweight and portable than hard plastic kayaks you’ll come across, that being said though, the K2 is equipped with two carry handles on the bow and stern which makes it more convenient to carry down to the water with two people.
However, if you’re kayaking on your own, you could always choose to tip the kayak upside down and hold it above your head as it only weighs 30.6lbs and should be no bother to transport a short trip to the water.
The K2 is pretty comfortable when sitting down and padding inside regardless of if you’re kayaking solo or in tandem. The inflatable seats are comfortable and also adjustable so you’ll be able to find the perfect sitting and paddling position to suit your height.
You may want to take into consideration that much of the interior of the kayak is made up of grey coloring, which can absorb the heat from the sun quite quickly, so you may want to give kayaking on the hottest days a miss unless you want to be in discomfort from not being able to rest your legs or arms against the grey interior.
As long as you’re sticking to the maximum weight capacity and not moving around too much on board, you’ll find this Intex kayak offers good stability due to the high-buoyancy side chambers and also the attachable keg which provides good directional stability.
The Intex K2 is suited for good weather conditions, with no wind and no waves, and paddling in bad conditions or exceeding weight capacity will make the kayak unstable and possibly cause it to flip.
The K2 can be used as both a tandem or solo kayak depending on your preference, however, we’d be wary about having two tall passengers on board as there won’t be a lot of legroom for both of you.
Solo kayaking on board this kayak is very comfortable and offers lots of space inside for legroom and also additional gear or even your lunch box. When solo kayaking there is also adequate space to bring your dog on board, however, we’ll touch on that a bit further down in this article.
The K2 is only built to hold a maximum load of 400lbs, so ensure to weigh all passengers and gear before getting on board as exceeding the maximum load could be detrimental to not only you but also your kayak’s construction.
The Intex Explorer K2 is made of heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl so will be able to last you a long time without incurring any punctures or tears when you’re brushing against rocks or other rough surfaces in the water.
However, we wouldn’t recommend taking this kayak on extremely shallow waters or anywhere with sharp rocks on the water edge as you’ll be asking for trouble.
The skin of this kayak is only built for recreational use and any sort of white water activity will hinder the quality or damage the exterior of the kayak.
Durability is a slightly different story when it comes to the included paddles, however.
Now don’t get us wrong, for such a budget-friendly kayak it’s crazy to think they chucked in not one but two paddles, but they do feel like they’re made out of cheap material and they’re quite wobbly when you’re using them.
However, this kayak is built for casual recreational use so it should be able to withstand this sort of activity.
If you’re someone who’s not particularly gentle with equipment, then you’ll probably find these paddles breaking on you within no time, so you may want to invest in some higher-quality ones as they’ll be more reliable.
Is It Dog Friendly?
If you’re like us and try to bring your dog to as many places with you as possible, then you’ll be happy to know that this kayak is dog-friendly, not only due to the generous space inside the kayak but also because of the puncture-resistant material that it’s made out of.
This means your dog will be able to sit and move around inside the kayak without damaging the material or puncturing it. Nevertheless, you should avoid bringing dogs with extremely sharp claws, who like to bite things or dogs that misbehave on board.
The K2 comes with a 90-day limited warranty to cover you for any defects or damages that may occur during shipping or your initial usage period.
So we would highly recommend you set up and get on the water as soon as possible when you get your K2 hopes so you'll notice any problems quickly and the team at Intex will be able to help you.
Overall, for such an affordable price, you can not go wrong with this K2 kayak as it’ll serve you well for recreational use whether that’s solo or tandem kayaking.
If you’re a beginner kayaker and looking to learn the basics and get comfortable then this would be a great option due to the budget-friendly price and quality of the construction.
It’s a stable construction that will be great when kayaking solo with a dog or even tandem with another person with gear on board and the puncture-resistant material should allow the K2 kayak to last for years to come without any problems.
Finally, we’d recommend this kayak to anyone who was previously on the fence about buying it, but as long as you only intend to use it for casual recreational use.