Intex Challenger K2 Review

Bottom Line:

Experts agree that the Intex Challenger K2 inflatable is great for relaxing on the water in, but not so much for bigger adventures. Its major benefits include ease of access storage, quick inflation, and reasonable ease of portability.

However, you get what you pay for in the ‘budget’ build of this inflatable kayak – the vinyl is very thin so caution is advised. You need to be gentle with the Intex Challenger K2; if you treat it right you likely won’t have any problems, but be aware that the thin material might not stand up too well to punctures if you’re paddling in rough or rocky areas. On the plus side, however, reviews show this tandem boat handles reasonably, provided you don’t paddle it too fast!



based on 4 reviews

Performance Ratings:

  • Handling
  • Stability
  • Comfort
  • Onboard Storage
  • Portability
  • Durability


Size (length x width)11'6" x 2'6"
Weight39 lbs
Capacity400 lbs
Material30-gauge vinyl

Comparison to Similar Kayaks:

Intex Challenger K2 Advanced Elements Expedition Elite Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Sea Eagle RazorLite 393rl Sea Eagle 380x Explorer
Expert Rating
Size11'6" x 2'6"13' x 32"11'2" x 37"12'10" x 28"12'6" x 39"
Weight39 lbs42 lbs31.5 lbs35 lbs40 lbs
Onboard Storage6.

Intex Challenger K2 Review

Reasons to Buy:
  • Reasonably comfortable for short periods
  • Pretty durable in calm weather
  • Inflatable seats are versatile and easy to secure
  • Good tracking for an inflatable
  • Bag provided fits a lot of kit inside
Reasons Not to Buy:
  • Not very durable
  • Will wobble once up to speed
  • Will take on water

Performance of the Intex Challenger K2

The Intex Challenger K2 inflatable kayak performs well, according to experts, if you are looking for a simple float to take out on the water. It’s one of the cheapest inflatable tandem kayaks on the market, and in some respects, reviewers believe it’s good value.

For example, experts believe the comfort and security are worth the money, and it’s a very stable boat by all accounts – providing it’s on calm water. The boat is also easy to set up according to reviews, though it’s best to do so with two people.

The boat turns reasonably well according to kayakers – though it can get a bit tricky for rear paddlers at times.

The downsides of the Intex Challenger K2 tandem inflatable kayak really seem to revolve around durability. The boat’s built from 30-gauge PVC, which, while waterproof, doesn’t give much confidence against the elements. It’s also built in such a way that, apparently, it will take on and retain water.

Experts suggest that you should ideally take this inflatable boat out on calm days only. The bag and portability divide opinion, with some reviewers suggesting you invest in a separate bag to better distribute weight.

The general consensus here appears to be – there are other inflatable kayaks that will do a better job, but for a glorified pool float, it can provide lots of fun for recreational paddlers.

Expert Reviews of the Intex Challenger K2

4.4Gear LabThis tandem kayak performs reasonably well thanks to its shape and comfort standards. That said, it's extremely flimsily-made and is likely to pop on a sharp edge when you least expect it. I also found air in the boat to travel around, making it wider at random moments! It's good for short trips and nothing more.Read more
5.8PaddleVenture.comThe Intex Challenger K2 is a little disappointing, but it seems to sail fine if you just want a relaxing trip out on calm waters. It's by no means a "proper" kayak. It has a very thin build, and while it tracks reasonably well, it wobbles if I dare get it up to much speed.Read more
6.3DiveInI'd probably recommend the Intex Challenger K2 inflatable kayak, but only really if you're looking for a fun boat. It tracks and performs well on short distances and on calmer trips. Just don't expect it to fare well in high winds or up against jagged rocks.Read more
7.1Outdoor CanucksThis is a nice inflatable kayak that surprised me in terms of its comfort and ease of setup. It's nice and portable, and there's lots of security onboard.Read more

Handling of the Intex Challenger K2

Expert Rating: 6.2

4.5Gear LabThe Intex Challenger K2 inflatable kayak is pretty much an oversized floatie - it doesn't look like it'll perform well, but it actually handles better than it looks. It's a nice, low rider with a long removable skeg that helps it to track. However, there's no scupper hole, meaning it's going to retain water, and the kayak paddles included really don't inspire confidence.Read more
6.5PaddleVenture.comThe Intex Challenger K2 inflatable kayak seems to be a fairly speedy boat with a big tracking boost from the fin provided. However, it gets pretty wobbly if you hit high speeds too fast. It's not the fastest at turning, either - and the rear paddler really needs to work hard to shift.Read more
7.5DiveInThe handling onboard the Intex Challenger K2 is pretty adequate. It has a central removable skeg that boost tracking, and it has a stern that cuts through water surprisingly well. It's also really easy to turn.Read more

Stability of the Intex Challenger K2

Expert Rating: 6.5

6.0Gear LabThe fact this is a low rider makes it pretty stable when paddling. It tends to do well in the wind and it's easier to manage than, say, a taller boat.Read more
6.0PaddleVenture.comThis is a reasonably stable boat, but we experienced a fair bit of unevenness when getting up to speed. This really is an inflatable kayak you'll want to take nice and slowly, especially thanks to how sensitive the build is.Read more
6.5DiveInIt's not an unstable boat by any means, but I'd advise against loading it to the max capacity. It doesn't fare well in strong winds, so take it out in calm weather only.Read more
7.5Outdoor CanucksThis is a fairly wide boat and doesn't seem to rock or wobble too much! I never rode too high in the Intex Challenger K2.Read more

Comfort of the Intex Challenger K2

Expert Rating: 6.1

3.5Gear LabThis inflatable kayak seems fairly comfortable for shorter trips. It's easy enough to get out of as you'll ride pretty low. There's also decent space here for two riders without much complaint. The paddles are pretty comfy, if not too inspiring. The backs on the inflatable seats are fairly short, meaning inclining is an issue. What's more, the sides really encroach when you're trying to paddle. That said, I enjoyed an hour or so - max - on this boat.Read more
7.0PaddleVenture.comThis is a highly relaxing boat that's super comfortable for short periods. The inflatable kayak seats are easy to move and reposition if needed. We didn't get much support any further than an hour or so on the water, but that's somewhat expected from inflatable kayaks.Read more
5.5DiveInI love the versatility in the seating - and it's reasonably comfortable in terms of basic support. It's not the best in that regard - and for two paddlers, it's always going to be a little bit of a squeeze!Read more
8.5Outdoor CanucksThe back support in this inflatable kayak is surprisingly efficient! I was surprised after looking at the seats initially, but you'll actually get a fair amount of comfort. The back supports buckle into the boat, too, for extra security. The adjustability is a nice touch.Read more

Onboard Storage of the Intex Challenger K2

Expert Rating: 6.0

5.0Gear LabThere's a nice bit of cargo netting to the bow of the boat, and there's plenty of room onboard otherwise. However, anything we placed under the cargo was at serious risk of getting soaked - plan ahead!Read more
6.0PaddleVenture.comThere's a nice, roomy cargo net to the front of the boat that easily holds a day bag. There's also some room onboard the boat for more, too. A word of warning with the cargo net, though; it's going to let water in! Something to be aware of if you don't have a dry bag.Read more
7.0DiveInThere's a nice piece of cargo netting on top of the inflatable kayak, towards the front - it holds things nice and secure. There's also some decent bungee holding here, and there's room in the boat for a few bits and pieces.Read more

Portability of the Intex Challenger K2

Expert Rating: 5.9

5.0Gear LabThis is a reasonably portable kayak for the size, mainly thanks to a sizeable duffel provided and the fact the boat folds down pretty tight. It's also one of the absolute lightest tandem kayaks I've ever tested, and that's a definite plus. That said, the duffel bag positions the boat towards one side of the body - it adds a bit of strain if you're walking long distances.Read more
5.5PaddleVenture.comThe transport bag supplied is pretty thin here - I think it'll handle some short trips or storage at home, but I can't rely on it for much more. That said, you can at least fit most of the kit in here. The boat itself can seriously benefit from some carry handles.Read more
6.5DiveInThis is a really easy kayak to store and transport, even as a tandem kayak. It's impressively lightweight in its bag. However, I found it fairly clunky to manage out of storage, carrying the boat on its own.Read more
6.5Outdoor CanucksEverything goes back in the bag provided nice and easily - no complaints here. It may be a little heavier than what many inflatable kayakers expect otherwise.Read more

Durability of the Intex Challenger K2

Expert Rating: 4.1

2.5Gear LabHere's where the Intex Challenger K2 falls down - it's not a confident ride at all. The boat bulged along the hull on first inflation, and the inflatable kayak actually got wider as I traveled. There's 30-gauge PVC on board here, which isn't exactly ideal for kayaking in rough waters. It survived a "dog test," but even the tiny puncture patches provided didn't offer much confidence.Read more
3.5PaddleVenture.comThis boat's skin is pretty thin - I wouldn't recommend risking riding it over sharper objects or on rougher journeys just in case.Read more
4.5DiveInThe thin skin on this inflatable kayak makes it pretty sensitive, though it has a vinyl sheet that should resist calmer journeys. I'd just keep it away from tougher rides. 30-gauge vinyl can be durable and waterproof, you just have to treat it carefully. It could use a drop-stitch floor, but ultimately, it's a budget kayak!Read more
6.0Outdoor CanucksIt's a pretty durable craft, but you'll need to make sure you're gentle with it!Read more