When it comes to hobbies, you require two things; spare time and spare money. It is not like everybody has $1000 lying around or it’s their priority to spend $1000 for leisure activity. However, when it comes to kayaking, it has the essentials to serve a wide range of individuals.
Be it kids or adults, beginners or pros, spenders or savers, it caters to all of them. In this piece, we are going to review an unbelievably inexpensive yet quality kayak which is Intex Explorer K2 Kayak.
Explorer K2 is a budget-friendly inflatable two-person touring kayak. The good thing about this kayak is that it comes with all the necessary accessories to put you on water. It has a high-quality puncture-resistant vinyl construction which makes it withstand different objects. Moreover, it has two separate air chambers which means if one chamber is punctured, it would still take you ashore safely.
K2 additionally has a removable skeg which improves its tracking in choppy water. While the oars it comes with may not be the best around, they are not the worst either and does their job. It comes in a combination of yellow and grey color which improves its visibility which is an important part of its safety profile.
Table of Contents
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review - Is It Good Enough
- Construction - Puncture-resistant Vinyl
- Stability - Better than you would expect
- Speed - Perfect for recreational trips
- Tracking - Tracks well with Skeg
- Seating - Comfortable enough for short trips
- Capacity/Storage - Unique selling point
- Ease of Use - Perfect for beginners
- Transport - Easy Enough to Carry on Plane
- Accessories - Everything You Need
- Price - The Best Thing About K2 Explorer
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Vs Intex Challenger K2
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Vs Sea Eagle 330
- FAQs about Intex Explorer K2
- Intex Explorer K2 Specifications
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review - Is It Good Enough
Intex knows one thing in the world and that is to make quality inflatables. They make all sorts of inflatables including airbeds, above-ground pools, and of our interests the kayaks.
Explorer is one of their best-selling two-person kayaks. In this section, we are going to see how K2 fares against different criteria for judging its performance, construction, and user-friendliness.
Construction - Puncture-resistant Vinyl
This kayak has a puncture-resistant vinyl construction which makes it chambers. Some properties of vinyl include being durable, strong, can withstand rust and corrosion, and is abrasion and moisture resistant.
In terms of quality of material, I would not say it is super-strong, but it does the job. We have been around on this in lakes with bushes and trees sticking out and it fared well against them. However, do not expect it to be the same over a period of time. It will be more prone to punctures and holes over time. However, it comes with some repair patches and you can fix the hole there and then.
No matter how strong the material is, there is always a risk of it getting punctured. To improve the safety profile, the manufacturer has designed two separate air chambers.
Stability - Better than you would expect
For a kayak that comes at this price, I did not have high expectations but surprisingly it performed pretty well. K2 was exceptionally stable in calm water which is probably because of its width. K2 is wider than average kayaks which increase the area that is in contact with water. This makes the kayak stable and prevents wobbling and flipping.
When it comes to choppy waters, it does not perform well there. This has to do with its weight that is very light and even a little tide is enough to push this kayak off course. It should not come as a surprise because for a price like this, you can only get so much.
Talking about maneuverability, the lightweight of the kayak makes it easy and simple. All it takes is one or two strong strokes to change the direction of it.
Speed - Perfect for recreational trips
The lightweight kayak provides the speed you need for simple recreational trips. It would not disappoint you in a casual competition as long as you paddle effectively. However, this kayak cannot compete with the other expensive kayaks when it comes to speed.
Tracking - Tracks well with Skeg
Normally, the lightweight kayaks do not track well, but this is not the case with K2 Explorer. Unlike, other lightweight kayaks, it stays exactly on the intended path and does not go off course. This is because of the removable skeg that the user can install in the base of the kayak. It keeps the kayak in a straight line and provides efficient tracking.
In shallow waters, this skeg is not needed because even without it, kayak tracks well. You can remove the skeg in shallow water and reinstall it when you want to hit deep water.
The port in the base of the kayak holds the skeg firmly. There are very few chances of it getting displaced while you are on the water.
Seating - Comfortable enough for short trips
Explorer K2 comes with two removable inflatable seats. These seats are comfortable enough to provide two to three hours of kayaking. However, when both seats are in place, the leg space for the rear seat gets congested. Tall people may find it difficult to sit at the back but at the front, there is more than enough space.
Capacity/Storage - Unique selling point
The carrying capacity of the explorer is the second-best thing (the first being the price) about this kayak. K2’s carrying a capacity lot more than expensive kayaks, let alone its competitors.
The capacity of the K2 explorer is 400 pounds. It can easily carry two average adults and a medium-sized dog on it. However, there are no specialized storage compartments on board and you would have to keep all of your stuff in the cockpit.
This kayak has enough capacity to carry your camping gear on board. Since there is no specialized compartment, you would need separate dry bags for electronic stuff and your wallet.
Ease of Use - Perfect for beginners
Explorer K2 is perfect for people who are just getting started. Simple to use, easy to assemble, smooth tracking and maneuverability make it perfect for beginners. It comes with an easily operable pump to inflate the boat.
There are several different points where the air has to be pumped. Moreover, each point is numbered so you have to start with number 1 and go till number 5. It takes almost 10 to 15 minutes to inflate and assemble the boat. You have to operate the pump manually. It would take a little effort to inflate the boat. This pumping provides the warmup you need before hitting the water.
Deflating is simple as well; all you have to do is to remove air plugs to deflate the boat. In addition, all the other components like seats and skeg are also easy to install and remove.
The rudder system is absent which is good riddance for the people who find it hard to operate. The tracking is done with simple paddling.
Transport - Easy Enough to Carry on Plane
The compact size of the inflatable kayak makes transport easy. When deflated, K2 Explorer becomes compact enough to be stored in a shoulder bag. You can carry this bag anywhere even at places where you can not take your hard-shell kayaks.
If you are traveling to a different city, you would not have to rent a kayak there. However, you can store this kayak in the trunk of a car and on the backseat of those that lack a trunk. You can also carry this kayak with you on the plane without any sort of difficulty. In addition, it does not occupy a lot of storage space and you can easily store it in an average closet.
Additionally, what also adds to its easy portability are the high-duty handles on each side of the kayak. These handles make it easy to transport kayak to and from the water.
Accessories - Everything You Need
The Explorer K2 comes with a paddle, puncture patches, a carrying bag, and an inflating pump. The pump is very efficient. The best thing about this pump is that it pumps air even when you are pushing the piston or out. However, the other accessories are not more than average and some are incomplete.
The puncture patches don’t come with glue so you have to purchase them separately. Moreover, the blades of the paddle that comes with it are too thin. These paddles do not provide the strokes one might desire but you can live with them. The carrying bag is not that strong and can be ripped off easily.
Price - The Best Thing About K2 Explorer
The price of this kayak is THE BEST thing about it. It would be an understatement if I say it is affordable. The averagely performing shavers cost more than this. The features it has to offer at a price like this are not less than fascinating. It is amazing to see how the company has managed to produce a product like this at such a lower price.
If you have been following me, you would know I am a kayak geek, and trust me when I say; the features of this kayak are a lot better than some of the expensive kayaks.
Kayaking is trending nowadays and it has left traditional canoeing far behind. A lot of people want to start this, but the major hurdle is the price of the equipment. This kayak is a treat for such people. It comes at a very affordable price and you do not need to save money for this. All you need is some spare cash and you can get your hands on it.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Vs Intex Challenger K2
When it comes to this comparison, for starters, there is a major difference in the design of both of these kayaks. The Explorer K2 is a wider boat and the width of the kayak remains almost the same throughout its body. However, the width of the Challenger K2 is a little less than the explorer. In addition, the width is even less at the ends of each side to make the ends streamlined. This streamlined design provides better speed than Explorer K2.
However, this design makes the kayak a little congested, unlike Explorer K2. In Explorer, if you remove both seats, there is enough space for a person to lay down. However, this is not the case in Challenger K2.
Moving on, there is a bungee network at the front of the Challenger K2 to store the stuff, Explorer K2 lacks it. The carrying capacity of both of these kayaks is the same, but Challenger K2 weighs a little more than Explorer.
The material of construction in both kayaks is pretty much the same, but the Challenger K2 has the benefit of being UV resistant. Both of these kayaks can carry two persons, come with two paddles and seats and both are inflatable kayaks.
The Challenger K2 is also an affordable kayak but it comes at almost double the price of the Explorer K2.
Both of them have their own pros and cons, but to sum it up we can say;
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Vs Sea Eagle 330
Sea Eagle 330 has some better features than Explore K2 and the reason behind it is the price. The Sea Eagle 330 comes at a much higher price than Explorer K2.
The material of construction in Sea Eagle 330 is extra-thick K-80 polykrylar hull material. This material is much more strong and rugged than the material used in K2. This makes the Sea Eagle 330 more durable than Explorer K2.
Although both these kayaks do not have storage compartments, Sea Eagle 330 has 100 pounds more carrying capacity than Explorer K2.
The inflating pumps of both of these kayaks are also different. The inflating pump of K2 operates with hands while the pump of 330 operates via foot.
Moreover, the accessories like paddles and carrying bags that come with Sea Eagle 330 are better than K2’s. The speed of Sea Eagle 330 is more than K2 because of its weight which is less than Explorer K2.
The rest of the features like tracking, maneuverability, and stability of both these kayaks are pretty much the same.
Sea Eagle 330
2 Persons + 1 Kid
FAQs about Intex Explorer K2
If you want to spend a summer on the water and do not want to put a large investment into a kayak, Intex Explorer K2 provides a perfect solution. It comes at a very reasonable price and does the job.
Moreover, it is stable on calm waters and tracks well with the removable skeg it comes with. What else makes it a good option is its good weight capacity of 400 pounds which can cater to a wide range of individuals. It also comes with all the necessary accessories to put you on water and you would not have to put an extra dime if you do want to.
Intex Explorer K2 Specifications
Sit-on-top inflatable touring kayak
400 lbs/181 kg
Material of construction
30 lbs/13.6 kg
Around 10 minutes