Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review & Buyers Guide

This article is about the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak which you definitely should get to know. Anyone who has ever been into kayaking understands that this is a great way for beginners to simply pick up a skill set and paddle away happy. Kayaking has become affordable and easy to handle, fun sport that more and more people are getting interested in. 

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

Of course, due to this, you need the right equipment, so let’s get you started.

As the kayaking industry has changed and the manufacturing methods have become better for the public, increasing its popularity, and of course decreasing in expenses, the time is now for you to learn about new kayaks on the market, especially Intex Challenger K2 Kayak.

As this will be an extensive review of this product, we feel it is important to give you all the information, including the pros and cons of it. In this article, we will also give you some tips on how and when it is best to use this product and all the methods of choosing the right kayak for you. So if you are a person who loves to be near the water and enjoying the nature, this will be your perfect excuse to get into kayaking in an easy and affordable way.


BEFORE YOU BUY: 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER 

Before we jump into our reviews, here are some things you should keep in mind before choosing a kayak.

There are numerous types of kayaks to choose from, and we know the internet today offers them all with just a few clicks. But as always, before buying to your liking, a little bit of investigation and knowledge never hurt anyone. So here are 5 things to consider before buying an Intex Challenger K2. 

1. STABILITY

As there are a lot of beginners getting interested in kayaking, we must talk about stability first as it is a major concern for them and also well- experienced kayakers. One of the issues of kayaking has always been getting habituated with the water or getting used to being on water without capsizing. But, there is good news for you kayak enthusiasts: you can rest assure that the Intex Challenger K2 is almost impossible to capsize or flip over. Of course, there are a few things you need to make sure you do before getting on the water, but mostly you are good to go.

One of those things is to know that every kayak has a weight limit, which you should try to maintain under. For this kayak, that number is around 400 pounds. Another thing you need to make sure of is the number of people allowed on the kayak, as it is a question of not only stability but safety as well. K2 is built for two people, possibly a small passenger or a dog and your gear of course, but we will discuss this further on in the review.

Another good thing about Intex Challenger is that its cutting-edge technology of the I-Beam in the floor gives it more stability and reliability. This means that you can get up easily and still maintain balance in the kayak. 

2. FUNCTIONALITY

As we mentioned before, this kayak is made for two people, possibly your dog - who you don’t want to leave out of adventures, and your gear which has a storage place upon the kayak. Intex K2 is very easy to handle and more importantly, easily portable and easy to store. For a lot of people living in apartments, this was a huge plus, as they didn't have to worry about transportation or storage. Saving you time is what this kayak is also for as it inflates and deflates in circa 10 minutes.

On the other hand, its functionality is built for slow-moving rivers and lakes, in which you can take your time enjoying the moment and nature that surrounds you. 

3. SAFETY

The safety feature of this product speaks well for the product.This kayak is made of the durable and ultra-thick vinyl, this material effectively resists UV rays and punctures and allows you stability when taking it on a ride on the lake.

This means that Intex ensures you will not have to deal with scrapping or run into any obstacle while kayaking, which is one of the main concerns when buying inflatable kayaks. Generally, people worry about this the most, as it is their safety in question when a kayak deflates in the middle of the river or lake due to sharp objects, jagged rocks or unexpected circumstances.

One more of the positive safety features of this kayak is that if you ever encounter such a situation in which you have teared up the kayak, don’t worry. Intex made sure you have an included repair patch when you buy K2.

4. RELIABILITY

As K2 is designed for any individual looking for an affordable, stable, and durable kayak, its reliability starts there. As a long-lasting kayak, you will have the opportunity of many trips to the middle of the lake and just enjoying the sun and your day. As we mentioned before its reliability comes interconnecting with safety as it is puncture resistant and stable.

This is a vessel in which you can easily climb into, out of and handle with ease as it comes with two light aluminum paddles. As not all kayakers are professionals, but beginners also, it is important to mention that it is going to take you some time on how to best steer past jagged rocks and it is okay if you hit a few. If it happens that you have made a puncture for about 5cm, which is unlikely to happen due to manufacturing methods of this kayak, there is a puncture kit available for you as you know. If we are being honest, nobody plans on tipping over or puncturing the vessel but, in case you do, you can easily return to the upright position and patch the hole up.

5. PRICE

And now it has come to the price. As always we left that part until the end but fear no more as this is one of the positive features of this kayak.

As we mentioned before, kayaking has become a new and popular water activity. Due to the number of people getting interested in kayaking, the prices have gone down, from 300$ to even half of the third, which is, of course, amazing news. Now you can find an affordable Challenger K2 and enjoy your outdoor activity without the fear of missing out. As you can see, there has never been a better period than it is now to start kayaking. 

About Intex Challenger K2 Kayak

The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is, as already mentioned, a sporty and fun vessel with designed for easy paddling. It is recognized for its bright green color and interesting graphics which makes it visible on the lake or river. It is specially designed for mild rivers and calm waters which you can enjoy with your loved ones. Its lightweight and compactness make the kayak easy to assemble, inflate and deflate in 10 to 15 minutes.

It is made with a long-lasting vinyl construction which resists the UV rays and any type of puncture. It is particularly built for good performance with the inflatable I-beam in the floor build in for better stability, comfort and your own safety which also include a low-profile deck and high-buoyancy side chambers.

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is consisted of 2 inflatable seats with a backrest with the aim of comfortable seating, a removable skeg which provides exceptional directional movement (be careful not to misplace it), a grab line at each end, a repair patch kit in case of ruptures and a cargo net for extra storage for those long kayak trips on the water. Its total weight limit goes to 400 pounds.

According to Intex, it also comes with its own NMMA certified U.S. Coast Guard I.D.

As every kayak needs oars, the Challenger K2 Kayak comes with two 86 inch aluminum paddles and a high-output pump for quick 10 to 15-minute inflation and deflation.

The product follows instructions on how to assemble and inflate before going onto the water. Its inflation chambers are well marked with numbers in the order of 1 to 5, marking the order in which you need to inflate the vessel alongside with small ribbons to tell you when you have inflated it enough so be careful not to misplace those.

INTEX CHALLENGER K2 VS INTEX EXPLORER K2

Now that you have some information on challenger K2, and you have its performance in mind, we are here to get you acquainted with the explorer K2 and offer you insight in order to help you decide which one is more suited for you.

Let’s begin with the similarities between these two before we get onto what makes them special.

As you are here it must mean you are in the market for a budget-friendly inflatable kayak that will allow you to have an amazing time on the water. Both of these kayaks are affordable when it comes to bank accounts and opening up your wallets for a good purpose. To be clear, both the Intex Explorer K2 and Intex Challenger K2 kayaks offer excellent value for your money and are hard to beat. Of all the benefits you get with buying one of these, their variations are small and will not affect you choosing the right one for yourself. 

Choosing between one of these really comes down to what you wish to use it for and individually what your personal preferences of performance, stability, and use are. You can learn more about either in the full Challenger K2 review or the Explorer K2 review.

As we are discussing similarities, these are mostly focused on what these kayaks come included with two paddles, an air pump, and carry bag. To focus more on the similarities, one of their best features are also combined and present in both.

* Storage and portability – As we already mentioned, challenger K2 can be packed down to a small bag or a suitcase making it extremely easy to transport or simply keep in your car or apartment. This is a value both of these kayaks share alongside with the size measurement of over 10 ft. This is one of the positive sides of inflatable kayaks as they do not need special shelves in your garage or generally storage rooms as the hard-shell type kayaks do. They can easily be carried any time you need it, or stored in a closet with enough room to spare.

* Skeg – Each of these kayaks comes with included and removable skeg that will help you minimize excessive swerving during your paddling through the water and it will stabilize your vessel.

Now let’s get onto the differences between these two.

Based on the specifications of both, the explorer is not much wider and not much shorter than the challenger which is more so built for taller people to have more leg room and they both weigh nearly the same where the Intex Challenger K2 is 2 pounds heavier than the Explorer K2.

As we mentioned stability is very important in a beginners kayak experience and so, let’s find out what are the differences in stability with these two kayaks:

As both of these are inflatable, they have good stability, but sadly for the Challenger, Explorer takes the lead as it has an edge of being wider and having larger air chambers. The Challenger is still stable enough but due to its 30-inch narrow hull, it has a tad lower stability than the Explorer. 

Next on our topic is performance as it is key for your enjoyment out on the water.

Of course logically speaking, hard-shell kayaks will perform better on water and would be easier to go on open water with, but as we are speaking of inflatable kayaks and comparing the Challenger with the Explorer, we have to bring to your attention that the differences are small and but yet again about the wider and narrower hulls.

As the previous comparison went to Explorer for its wider hull, this is exactly the reason why the Challenger takes the lead as it will glide better on the water, due to its narrowness. Also, the dimensions of the Challenger gives it better performance in the windier conditions as it has a lower profile than the Explorer which would get more wind friction and be pushed around in the wind.

Reliability and the Durability of both is a very important issue to discuss. Again, both of these kayaks are very similar in their terms of durability, but the Explorer does have a tad bit more edge over the Intex Challenger K2. The Explorer simply has a reinforced bow and stern which allows it to have more protection during unexpected collisions with jagged rocks or objects.

On to the storage of both these Intex K2’s. The Challengers takes the absolute lead with its built-in cargo storage net while the Explorer has none of the mentioned storage space. Kayakers who use the Challenger know that this storage space comes in handy for carrying food, water, extra clothing or other supplies they might need in their trip across the river or lake, while the Explorer ones can just use the small space in the front or back of the boat to store a bit of the necessary gear.

While the design of both is quite obviously different, we are still going to mention the differences between both as their design is clearly better for some situations. The Explorer’s design gives it an edge due to its curved bow and stern used to cope better choppy conditions. Don’t get us wrong, neither of these kayaks is to be used in bad weather conditions!

Then again, the design of the Explorer will help it with waves and protect the kayaker from being exposed to the water using its curvature to climb over it, while the Challenger would get exposed and allow water to come into the seating area.

Let us mention that kayaks are not just used for paddling across rivers or lake but also to enjoy some swimming and diving while having the platform to jump from. Between the two, the Explorer makes a better platform due to its better stability as we mentioned before. This also includes the kayakers getting back onto the vessel and continuing their paddle. And while the Challenger is a close second to Explorer, its cockpit doesn’t allow as much stability to the kayaker while climbing back onto the boat.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE INTEX CHALLENGER K2 KAYAK

As this kayak needs you to follow the process of inflating and assembling it, we are here to help you with this process.

Let’s start with inflation:

We don’t have to emphasize the importance of locating an area free of sharp objects before you unroll the kayak so it is laid on the ground. Before starting to inflate the boat, find all the inflation chambers which are numbered according to the order you need to pump your kayak.

It helps to use a hand or your foot in order to operate the air pump, just do not use high-pressure air compressors.

Many kayak users have advised to the beginners that the best way to fill your boat with air is to fill each chamber until it is stiff to the touch but not hard. As a part of the purchase, you get an enclosed ruler to check the main chamber for proper inflation.

Again: do not over inflate the vessel.

To deflate: unscrew the quick-deflation cap which is found under the first valve.

Attention: The double valve does not operate when this cap off so does not unscrew this cap while boat or inflatable is in water.

Moving on onto the seat installation

It is important to inflate each seat cushion slowly and to its 75% capacity. Some kayakers offer advice to inflate your back support of the seat more than the actual seat as it provides more comfort. Using the ruler you have to inflate the seat cushions will help you determine when the seat is firm but not hard.

Last but not the least important part of the assembly are the oars. In order to connect them, you need to press and align the push-bottom on the short shaft with the paddle blade hole, ensuring that the push-bottom is securely snapped onto the paddle blade hole. Join the 3 shafts together with the couplers and securely tighten the coupler covers. To disassemble, reverse the assembly steps.

Of course part of every assembly is also the safety measures you need to take before going on to the water. There are a few steps every kayaker advises before starting your kayak adventure:

  1. Check the inflation pressure of all parts and inspect the valves caps to see they are closed well.
  2. Check if the load is evenly distributed in the front, back and side to side.
  3. Make sure that all required safety equipment is on board (One personal flotation device per person, air pump, oars, repair kit and toolkit, and any other mandatory equipment). It is also best to keep your boat papers and your license (if your country needs one) present on the boat. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

As we are close to bringing our article to an end, we think it is best to go over all the pros and cons of this great vessel and all that it has to offer.

For now, we know that the Challenger K2 is a sporty version of an inflatable kayak that offers many benefits of being easily stored and transported but what are some other cons?

  1. It is a strong and easily portable vessel in which you can store your equipment and have extensive legroom in both front seat and back.
  2. It offers light aluminum paddles and rupture kit in case you run into some jagged and sharp rocks and end up with a hole in your boat which needs to be fixed fast.
  3. It is light to carry and floats easily on the water due to its dimensions and stability, without you having the fear of capsizing the boat.

Sadly as every product can be enhanced more, this one also has some room to improve. As you know by now, this vessel was intended for calm water kayaking via calm rivers or lakes, so it limits you to those conditions.

What are your thoughts about the Challenger? Do you have a preference between the Challenger or Explorer? Have you tried any of these before? Your feedback and suggestions are important to us, and we’d love to hear from you!