Intex Inflatable Kayak Review

Intex Recreation Corp. is a well-known purveyor of inflatable products, including air mattresses and their inflatable kayak lines. They also manufacture and sell above-ground pools, inflatable furniture, inflatable playhouses, and a wide variety of inflatable water toys.

This company’s range of inflatable kayaks are very accessible, with many models sold at nationwide retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target. Kayakers that have purchased and used Intex inflatable kayaks often remark on how lightweight and easy to use these kayaks are.

Still, there are several inflatable kayak brands, which begs the question: Are Intex inflatable kayaks worthwhile? And is Intex a good brand? This guide will explore each Intex inflatable kayak model to answer these questions and help you make an educated decision about which inflatable kayak might be right for you!

Intex Inflatable Kayak Reviews

Below are some of the most popular Intex models that you can buy.

KayakDimensionsWeight Max CapacityActivityPrice
Challenger K19′ X 30”23.9 lbs400 lbRecreation$
Challenger K211’6″ X 30”33.53 Lbs400 LbsRecreation$
Explorer K210’3″ X 3630.60 Lbs400 LbsRecreation$
Excursion Pro12’7″ X 38”39.01 Lbs400 LbsFishing/ Recreational$$
Dakota K210’3″ X 36”30.60 lb400 LbsRecreation$

Intex K1 Kayak Review


  • Length: 9ft/108in
  • Width: 30in
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Weight: 23.9 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 220 lbs

Who Is It For?

The Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak is the most lightweight and affordable of the Intex kayak product lineup. However, it’s also the thinnest and shortest Intex inflatable kayak. 

As such, this model is best for beginner-level kayakers, those on a tight budget, and smaller adults weighing less than 220lbs.

On-Water Performance

This kayak does relatively well on the water, especially on calmer lake waters or slow-moving rivers.  Users can improve its overall stability by removing the included seat, as this inflatable chair positions kayakers at a higher level within the craft, making it a bit more challenging to balance as a beginner.

In terms of tracking, the flat bow of the Challenger K1 can make it challenging to move in a straight line, even with the detachable skeg. The bow also impacts speed. However according to J Baikoff’s tests it was actually one of the better performing inflatable kayaks of its budget range.

The lightweight nature of this craft ensures that maneuverability is not an issue. Which is good for those tighter waterways.

Features and Design

One of the first things we noticed about the Intex Challenger K1 is that it’s the only Intex inflatable kayak designed for one person. All other models accommodate two kayakers. As such, this seemed like the best model for individuals who are of a smaller stature.

The second thing that caught our eye was the flat bow. Most kayaks feature a raised, curved bow that helps absorb waves better which keeps kayakers afloat in choppy, turbulent conditions

But the Challenger K1’s bow was perfectly aligned with the body of the kayak. This makes it easier to get pushed around by exterior elements. So it’s best to stick to calmer waters with this craft. 

But with the exception of the Challenger K2, this Intex inflatable kayak is the only one that features a fully closed deck. This design choice ensures that users can enjoy a little extra security and some protection from the elements. 

However, there’s been a few complaints of the legroom being a bit tight if you are a taller individual.

Sadly, the inflatable seat features a short back and is somewhat flimsy. It can also add an uncomfortable amount of height, raising kayakers far above the cockpit level and reducing craft stability.

What Customers Think

Some of the most common comments made about this product are that it’s a great value, budget-friendly option that’s easy to inflate and get out onto the water

Other customers have remarked on the expansive legroom beneath the closed deck top, a feature that ensures that small to medium sized kayakers are comfortable during shorter paddling trips. 

However, some customers have also pointed out that the inflatable seat and backrest leave much to be desired. The backrest doesn’t offer much spinal support, making longer kayaking adventures somewhat straining.  


  • Includes everything you need to get kayaking, including a travel bag, hand pump, and kayak paddle
  • Is the most affordable Intex inflatable kayak available
  • Well-suited to children, teens, and smaller adults
  • Closed deck design keeps legs protected and adds some stability to the craft


  • Not a suitable option for adults weighing more than 220lbs
  • An inflatable seat doesn’t offer much back support and may be uncomfortable
  • Unsuitable for use on choppy waters due to the flat bow
  • Thin vinyl material is prone to punctures and tears

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review


  • Length: 11.5ft/138in
  • Width: 30in
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Weight: 33.53 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Who Is It For?

The Intex Challenger kayak inflatable set with aluminum oars is essentially a two-person version of the Challenger K1. It features an identical body shape and flat bow, and its coloration and design are also identical to that of the Challenger K1. Notably, the Challenger K2 also shares an identical width.

The Challenger K2 Intex tandem kayak is for beginners, teens, and adults weighing less than 200lbs. However, you might want to stick to calm waters when using this model, as it isn’t the most stable Intex blow-up kayak.

On-Water Performance

Because this model is a two-person version of the Challenger K1, its performance is quite similar to that vessel. The included skeg improves tracking slightly, though it’s far too long for use in shallow water. 

And while this model is fairly easy to maneuver, the shallow hull sides don’t add much stability. In terms of speed, the Challenger K2 moves at about the same pace of the Challenger K1. 

Features and Design

The Challenger K2 has everything that the Challenger K1 has: A netted bow storage space, grab lines on the bow and stern, inflatable seats, and a partially covered cockpit. Overall, the primary difference between these models is length and the number of included paddles.

This inflatable kayak is 2.5ft longer than the single-person version, accommodating a second kayaker. It also comes with two aluminum paddles instead of one. 

What Customers Think

Most customers have noted that the Challenger K2 is an affordable alternative to pricier two-person Intex inflatable kayaks. Several users have also commented on the expansive legroom this kayak offers, allowing users to stretch their legs out comfortably while paddling around. Taller individuals over 6 feet may feel more comfortable paddling this kayak solo over the K1.

However, taller and larger kayakers feel that the legroom is lacking or slightly snug if you are using it as a tandem. Notably, this kayak seems to be most suitable for smaller adults, teens, and children if used in it’s tandem formation

It’s a fine beginner-level option, but its flat bow and relatively shallow hull sides make it more likely to tip over when used on choppy waters.


  • Slightly higher hull sides make the inflatable seats more comfortable
  • Bowside cargo net makes it easy to store gear and dry boxes
  • Offers plenty of legroom
  • Partially enclosed cockpit helps protect kayakers from the elements


  • Lacking in stability due to the level bow 
  • The front inflatable seat doesn’t offer much back support
  • Not suitable for rough, choppy, or fast-moving water

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review


  • Length: 10.25ft/123in
  • Width: 36in
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Weight: 30.6 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Who Is It For?

The Intex Explorer K2 is built for experienced kayakers looking to explore calm and slightly choppy waters. It features a raised bow that easily accommodates small waves and adds stability to the craft when going over them

The higher raised sides also help make this model more stable while also making it easier for kayakers to maneuver around obstacles like rocks and weeds. Still, the Explorer K2 is slightly shorter than the Challenger K2, so there isn’t as much legroom available for taller folks.

On-Water Performance

The Explorer K2 is one of the better ones for on-water performance. in no small part due to its increased hull width and height. The thicker hull adds an exceptional amount of stability that decreases the likelihood of kayakers going overboard. It also makes you food more secure than a kayak with a lower profile.

The angled, lifted bow also makes this model far easier to maneuver across small waves or smaller chop. The removable skeg allows for better tracking, but kayakers may struggle to guide this vessel across shallow shores or streams. In those cases you will have to remove the skeg.

Features and Design

This inflatable kayak is one of the brightest and widest options from Intex. It features the tallest and thickest hull sides of any Intex kayak, making it one of the most stable options.

Though the inflatable seats leave a lot to desire, this model may be the best option for beginner-level kayakers looking to enjoy the water with a partner. It’s easy to spot, incredibly easy to maneuver, and far more tandem friendly than other Intex makes.

What Customers Think

Owners of the Explorer K2 have many positive things to say about this inflatable kayak. For example, many have noted that this model is surprisingly affordable, often retailing at a lower price than the similar Challenger K2

This vessel’s bright yellow exterior is also a feature that many kayakers appreciate, and it makes the kayak easy to spot, especially during emergencies.

As with other Intex inflatable kayaks, customers are generally dissatisfied with the amount of back support the inflatable seats offer. For that reason, many kayakers choose to simply remove them altogether. Legroom might also be an issue, especially for taller adults.


  • Has a raised bow that increases stability and maneuverability
  • Bright yellow exterior is easy to spot, aiding in emergencies
  • It is more affordable than the Explorer K2
  • Thicker, taller hull sides reduce the likelihood of tipping over


  • Doesn’t offer as much legroom as other models
  • Detachable skeg may be challenging to remove
  • Included carrying bag is prone to ripping apart

Excursion Pro Review


  • Length: 12.58ft/151in
  • Width: 37in
  • Material: PVC, plastic, polyester
  • Weight: 39.01 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Who Is It For?

The Excursion Pro is the longest, widest, and heaviest of all the Intex inflatable kayaks. It’s also the only model with a laminate PVC exterior and polyester core, making it one of the most durable Intex kayaks available

Additionally, the Excursion Pro is the only Intex inflatable kayak that comes with an adjustable interior mounting bracket to help users store crucial gear, thick mounted footrests, and recessed fishing rod holders.

Overall, this model is designed for serious anglers looking to spend several hours out on the water. 

On-Water Performance

The Excursion Pro is built to last, and kayakers are bound to appreciate the thicker construction when traveling across shallow waters or tackling rough currents. This durable design also improves overall stability, maneuvering, and speed. 

Thanks to the two included detachable skegs, users can also customize this kayak’s level of tracking. So, whether you’re planning on floating on shallow shorelines or exploring deeper waters, you shouldn’t have too much trouble traveling in a straight line.

Features and Design

There are quite a few features and design changes that set the Excursion Pro apart from other Intex inflatable kayaks. Firstly, it’s made of multi-layer PVC that’s far more resistant to punctures and tears. This ensures that the Excursion Pro won’t deflate during use.

Secondly, this model comes with hard plastic footrests to keep kayakers comfortable and may improve kayaking posture. No other Intex inflatable kayak features these footrests.

But perhaps the most notable aspects of the Excursion Pro are its angler-friendly features. This kayak has built-in fishing pole holders, and adjustable mounting bracket for additional gear, and interchangeable skegs for varying water depths. 

What Customers Think

The Excursion Pro was built for longer journeys and anglers, and many of its users appreciate the unique design features that facilitate these adventures. 

Several customers report that this model’s material is thicker and more durable than the material found in other Intex inflatable kayaks. As such, the Excursion Pro may enjoy a longer product lifespan than other models.

Others have noted how advantageous all the included accessories are. The footrests prevent kayakers from unintentionally digging their feet into the vessel or the inflatable seats, and the built-in fishing pole holders are a unique touch that anglers admire.

The only major drawback customers have noted are the unsupportive seats, which is an issue for all Intex inflatable kayaks.


  • Exterior is made of multi-layer abrasion-resistant PVC
  • Comes with adjustable plastic footrests
  • Has built-in fishing pole holders
  • Includes both a shallow-water and standard directional skeg
  • Pressure gauge included for optimal inflation


  • Is pricier than all other Intex inflatable kayaks
  • May not be suitable for beginner-level kayakers
  • Is far heavier than other Intex inflatable kayaks

Dakota K2 Review


  • Length: 10.25ft/123in
  • Width: 36in
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Weight: 30.6 lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 lbs

Who Is It For?

The primary differences between the Dakota K2 and the Explorer K2 are the included number of accessories, exterior vinyl color, and skeg lengths. 

Consequently, this model seems like it’s designed for kayakers looking to get the largest number of included accessories with their Intex inflatable kayak, as well as users hoping to kayak through shallow waters.

On-Water Performance

For all intents and purposes, the Dakota K2 should perform just as well as the Explorer K2. After all, both vessels are identical in terms of length, height, width, and weight. But the addition of a shallow water skeg is a nice touch that makes the Dakota K2 a better choice for those shallow slow moving creeks or bays.

Unfortunately, the potential improvement in tracking and maneuverability is ruined by the thinner vinyl material. Numerous kayakers have reported significant issues keeping the Dakota K2 inflated, afloat, and hole-free

Overall, this craft’s stability and speed are negatively impacted by the poor material quality.

Features and Design

As we mentioned above, the primary difference between the Dakota K2 and the Explorer K2 is the included accessories. While these vessels differ in coloration (with the Dakota K2 being mostly gray and red while the Explorer K2 is bright yellow and black), their dimensions and weight are identical.

But unlike the Explorer K2, the Dakota K2 comes with an upgraded manual air pump, two detachable skegs, and two dry bags to keep gear safe. Still, these added goodies may not be enough to make the Dakota K2 a solid choice.

What Customers Think

Customers seem to appreciate the included accessories that come with the Dakota K2, including the detachable skegs (one for shallow water and one for standard conditions), the more powerful hand pump, and the two dry bags.

But customers have also noted that this model is almost double the price of the Explorer K2 while remaining the same size and weight. Users have also noted that this model seems especially prone to developing leaks and tears, even after only a few uses.

As a consequence, the primary advantage of this model may be the included accessories, and not much else.


  • Comes with two dry bags to keep your gear safe while on the water
  • Includes two skegs; One for shallow waters and one for standard use
  • Also comes with a more powerful hand pump for faster inflation


  • Is pricier than the similar Intex Explorer 2
  • Vinyl material may tear or burst after repeated use
  • Does not come with repair patches
  • Neither of the detachable inflated seats offer much back support

Intex Add-On Accessories

There are a couple of add-on accessories for Intex inflatable kayaks that could improve your kayaking experience. The most popular of these accessories include:

If you’re looking for a convenient way to inflate your Intex kayak while on-the-go, the Intex Quick-Fill Air Pump allows you to get on the water quicker. 

It comes in several types, including battery-operated models and models that can connect to your car’s 12V plug. This pump eliminates the need to hand pump your kayak, reducing the amount of time it takes to reach optimal air pressure inside the kayak. It also will save your back and arms!

The 86-inch paddle is also a useful accessory, especially if you happen to lose or damage the paddle that comes with your inflatable Intex kayak. This paddle is made of lightweight aluminum and features an angled blade that helps propel kayakers gently through the water. 

Intex Customer Service

Many customers have reported that Intex’s customer service is frustrating, unhelpful, and generally of poor quality. The current TrustPilot score for Intex is only 1.5 out of 5 stars. That said, not all of the negative reviews are targeted toward Intex inflatable kayaks.

Intex inflatable kayaks purchased via Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers may fall under those retailers’ customer service policies. Generally, users have found that experiences communicating with these retailers are far more positive than those with Intex.

Photo from Intex FB Page

Still, you can submit your concerns about Intex inflatable kayak products directly to Intex via their Contact Us page. The page states that any inquiries will receive a response within 48 hours.

Intex Warranty and Returns Info

Intex offers a 90-day warranty on their inflatable kayaks and a 30-day return limitation. While many other popular kayak brands offer a similar 30-day return period (with the exception of Sea Eagle and NRS), Intex is one of the few brands that doesn’t offer a one-year or longer warranty.

This is because the majority of their kayaks (except for the Excursion Pro) are made of vinyl material. While it can take some scuffs it usually doesn’t hold a candle to PVC kayaks.

Consequently, those looking for a high level of warranty protection may feel unsatisfied by Intex’s limited 90-day warranty. It’s also worth noting that if you purchase an Intex inflatable kayak from Amazon or a third-party retailer, Intex may not honor their 90-day warranty. 

Additionally, returned Intex products must be returned in their original packaging. So, if you open up your Intex kayak and then decide to return it, you may be unable to do so.

Where to Buy Intex Inflatable Kayaks

Intex inflatable kayaks are available in the US, in-store at several major nationwide department stores chains, including Walmart. You can also find these inflatable kayaks at Target, REI, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

If you’re shopping online, you’ll order Intex inflatable kayaks from many of these retailers’ websites, as well as major retail marketplaces like

Those living outside of the US can also order an Intex inflatable kayak from Amazon. Some of the countries where these products are available via Amazon include:

Available models for each country vary depending on current supply numbers. If your preferred model is sold out on Amazon, be sure to check back regularly to see if it’s back in stock.

Similar Inflatable Kayak Manufacturers

Are you looking for similar inflatable kayaks from non-Intex manufacturers? If so, you might want to check out inflatable kayaks available from similar companies like Bestway Kayaks and Sevylor. 

Let’s find out a little more about these manufacturers to discover which might be the right option for you.

Bestway Kayaks

Bestway Inflatables & Material Corp. was founded in 1994 and incorporated in 1999. It’s a company that’s based in China and sells spas, inflatable beds, above ground pools, and inflatable water sport products like kayaks.

There are currently five Bestway inflatable kayaks available on Amazon, though products are bound to vary depending on stock availability and country. 


sevylor kayak pic

Sevylor has a long company history that dates back to 1948. Initially, the company rose to prominence due to their high-quality inflatable beach ball and water sports products. Today, that legacy continues via their inflatable kayaks and canoes.

There are nine unique models of Sevylor inflatable kayaks, as well as several kits from which to choose. You can purchase these kayaks from Walmart, Amazon, and Tractor Supply Company. Smaller, independent sporting goods stores throughout the US may also carry Sevylor inflatable kayaks. 

Final Thoughts

There are five types of Intex inflatable kayaks currently available from retailers, including the: Intex Challenger K1, Challenger K2, Explorer K2, Excursion Pro, and Dakota K2. Each has unique features, benefits, and potential drawbacks. Our personal preferences are:

Intex Challenger K1/K2: For beginner paddlers

Intex Explorer K2: For a fill tandem paddling experience

Intex Excursion Pro: for Intermediate and angler paddlers

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn more about Intex inflatable kayaks and their related accessories!