Intex Explorer K2 Review

Bottom Line:

When it comes to inflatable kayaks, having a durable, lightweight boat that packs down easily is a must. The Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak ticks these boxes, and all testers we reviewed agree that it’s a reasonably priced leisure craft that will handle calm waters well. However, this isn’t one of the best inflatable kayaks for rougher conditions.

The Intex K2 can accommodate two paddlers, but can also be used as a solo boat, and it arrives with enough accessories to get you started! However, it doesn’t score as highly as some of our other inflatable kayak reviews; its thin material and relatively poor tracking don’t rate highly with experienced paddlers compared with other inflatable kayaks in the same category.

However, as far as Intex inflatable kayaks go, the K2 is one of the brands best-selling models. This is one of the lightest tandem inflatable kayaks on the market, with its portability being a notable selling point, as well as its low cost. While it isn’t the most durable boat when compared to other inflatable kayaks, this isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker.




based on 5 reviews

Performance Ratings:

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


Size (length x width)10'3" x 3'
Weight36 lbs
Capacity400 lbs
Material30 gauge vinyl / 1200 denier
Warranty90 days

Comparison to Similar Kayaks:

Intex Explorer K2 Advanced Elements Expedition Elite Advanced Elements Island Voyage 2 Sea Eagle RazorLite 393rl Sea Eagle 380x Explorer
Expert Rating
Size10'3" x 3'13' x 32"11'2" x 37"12'10" x 28"12'6" x 39"
Weight36 lbs42 lbs31.5 lbs35 lbs40 lbs
Onboard Storage5.

Intex Explorer K2 Review

Reasons to Buy:
  • Reasonably comfortable for solo travelers
  • Extremely easy to pack down - nice and light for easy transportation
  • Removable skeg helps boost tracking
  • Great stability for an inflatable of its size
  • Impressive weight capacity
Reasons Not to Buy:
  • Very thin construction, will struggle if punctured
  • Doesn't track well thanks to hull shape
  • Draining is awkward to manage on the go

Performance of the Intex Explorer K2

The Intex Explorer K2 is a tandem inflatable kayak. While acceptable for very leisurely paddling in calm waters, experts agree that, despite its marketing, the Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak is made from very thin material with no extra layers to support it. Experienced paddlers claim that it won’t last well if handled roughly, although it may stand up to gentle knocks here and there.

Reviewers, however, are full of praise for the kayak’s ease of packing and portability. It packs down in just a few minutes using the included manual kayak pump, and stows away easily in the storage bag. This seems to be the best reason to invest in the Intex Explorer K2 outside of its comparatively low price.

However, some reviewers say that it’s difficult to get up to the correct air pressure, claiming that the K2 is far from rigid at full volume, and it’s too easy to over-inflate.

The five air chambers are an impressive feature, though, despite it having three valves. Reviewers also note that the removable skeg adds quite a bit of tracking support, though handling isn’t the boat’s immediate strong point, thanks to its shape.

The inflatable kayak scores well on stability, with most experts claiming tipping isn’t likely to be a concern.

There’s not much discussion regarding onboard storage despite the fact that – variously – experts find the boat a little cramped. It’s not the sort of boat you’ll be loading up with fishing gear, but there’s enough room to provide a comfortable paddling experience for casual or shorter trips, and the adjustable seats do help.

The Intex Explorer K2 does get high praise for its “complete” kit, while receiving the “beginners only” accolade from most experts. It includes everything you need to get started, making this a reasonable first inflatable for beginners who want a boat that can carry two paddlers on easy, recreational trips.

Finally, reviewers praise the look of the boat for its high visibility – it’s bright yellow color makes it hard to miss!

Accessories Included with The Intex Explorer K2:

  • Two aluminum paddles
  • High output air pump
  • Two inflatable seats
  • Repair kit
  • Storage bag


Expert Reviews of the Intex Explorer K2

5.5Gear LabWe were impressed at the price of the Intex Explorer K2, but sadly, it's a fairly thin-walled inflatable kayak that's a little cramped for two users. It's not uncomfortable to ride in, and seems to be fine for very quick, calm trips. That said, we have low confidence in its durability, and the drainage system is a bit of a headache.Read more
6.8DiveInWe think this inflatable kayak works best as a beach toy rather than a serious kayak! We like the portability and the fact we could easily convert from single to tandem, and it tracks reasonably on slower rides. But, it's just not built for longer trips or anything stronger than a breeze! Its basic accessories leave much to be desired, too.Read more
7.3Paddling MagazineWe found this to be a great value package with lots of accessories - with the inflatable kayak's portability and storage potential being its main asset. It's easy to paddle alone or as a duo and is impressively stable. We'd recommend it for beginners, though - as it rides low and is fairly rigid, it'll start sinking fast if it springs a leak. We found this boat performs best on calm waters and clement days out.Read more
5.8PumpupBoatsWe found this kayaking package reasonably good value for all the accessories you receive, but it's a fairly poor quality boat. It's a leisure craft - the material is surprisingly thin, and we didn't find that it tracked well even with a skeg attached. That said, it's impressively stable on most waters - but stick to shallow rivers and calm lakes.Read more
5.9Kayaks ReportThe Intex Explorer kayak performs reasonably on calm waters, but it suffers on rapids and ocean trips. It's comfortable enough, and the boat's material gave us reasonable confidence - take care of this boat on gentle trips and it should give you a couple of years of adventuring.Read more

Handling of the Intex Explorer K2

Expert Rating: 6.1

5.0Gear LabCompared to other tandem kayaks, we found the Intex Explorer K2 to sink a lot with two adults, regardless of weight. It comes with a removable skeg that we did find helps to track a little easier, but it doesn't cut through the water well. The drainage valve is also pretty fiddly, meaning you can't empty and paddle at the same time.Read more
8.0DiveInThis kayak seems to handle reasonably well, with a removable skeg proving useful for extra steering during a paddle. Its rounded bow means it won't chop through waters like hardshells, but the skeg should give you a lot of confidence back.Read more
7.0Paddling MagazineThe Intex Explorer K2 tracks pretty well even without setting up the removable skeg - we had no problems reaching cruising speed here. Yes, it's probably slower than we've experienced in hard shell kayaks, elsewhere, but we must take into account the boat's size. It never gave us any kind of "sinking feeling!" On the flip side, this boat doesn't inflate too rigidly - meaning it can get sluggish to track around.Read more
6.0PumpupBoatsThis inflatable kayak turns fairly easily thanks to its buoyancy, and it's not difficult to get up to a reasonable speed. However, we struggled with the tracking - the hull is poorly shaped to slice into the water, which means we needed the removable skeg for much of our adventuring. Even then, the skeg doesn't breed perfection - we would avoid using this boat in strong weather and on choppy waters.Read more
4.5Kayaks ReportThis boat's handy removable skeg makes tracking much easier and won't affect the speed of movement - not that it's particularly fast in the first place! The hull's shape doesn't help with drag, and it really performed poorly when we paddled it on faster waters.Read more

Stability of the Intex Explorer K2

Expert Rating: 6.8

7.0DiveInOn the whole, we found the Intex Explorer K2 to be pretty stable, and it should give most kayakers a sense of stability and added confidence on calm waters. It's strong and buoyant, but it's easy to over-inflate if you're not careful - inflating this boat takes a keen eye. It'll also bend out of shape a little depending on how weight is distributed in each section of the boat. It isn't the most stable in rough weather or choppy waters.Read more
7.0Paddling MagazineSurprisingly, we found that the boat's bow and stern coped well in fairly choppy conditions, and kept us dry on uncalm waters. The bow's deck itself is also fairly sturdy, meaning we had no problem bringing dogs on board to enjoy the sights. That said, we never loaded the kayak to its maximum capacity of 400 lbs - so experiences may vary. A word of warning - it has a large cockpit and rides low, which means you'll likely get water into the boat at some point. Take it on calmer waters and on calmer days.Read more
8.0PumpupBoatsDespite its relatively poor tracking, we found the Intex Explorer K2 to be surprisingly stable. We never tipped over accidentally during our travels, but all the same, this feels and performs much like a beginner's boat.Read more
5.0Kayaks ReportWe found this kayak to wobble considerably on choppier waters, meaning it's likely best to keep on the calm and straight. This is even the case with the skeg attached - it capsizes on ocean trips.Read more

Comfort of the Intex Explorer K2

Expert Rating: 6.2

6.5Gear LabThe Intex Explorer K2 inflatable kayak is super squishy and molded nicely to our shapes, and the seats clip in nicely with added velcro to strap in. This helped to prevent sliding around - but it seriously restricted the legroom! The K2 is nice and easy to get in... but not so much getting out again. The cockpit is also fairly small - it's like sitting inside a giant hot dog bun!Read more
4.0DiveInIt's not the most comfortable boat to ride over long distances or for long periods - the inflatable seats and backrests, while seemingly comfy, started getting uncomfy after a while. It's reasonable for short excursions, but nothing more.Read more
7.5Paddling MagazineThe Intex Explorer K2 seems comfortable and supportive enough when you first get in, but you'll need to make sure you adjust the straps carefully. We found there was more than enough legroom here for up to two paddlers.Read more
6.0PumpupBoatsThe Intex Explorer K2 is soft and comfortable to sit in when you first head to the water, but we found the seats aren't ideal for long trips (that's to be expected). It's a nice little boat to sit and relax on at a calm lake for a short while. That said, we did find the legroom cramped for two people.Read more
7.0Kayaks ReportThe Explorer K2's seats are pretty soft with supportive backrests, and we found the velcro strapping to help add to stability. The cockpit should have enough space for two people to ride comfortably, though we anticipate plus-size paddlers may find it a little cramped.Read more

Onboard Storage of the Intex Explorer K2

Expert Rating: 5.0

5.0PumpupBoatsThe boat holds a maximum weight of 400 lbs, but there really isn't much room for gear when traveling tandem. We'd like there to be paddle holders onboard, too - it'd make relaxing and cruising a lot simpler.Read more

Portability of the Intex Explorer K2

Expert Rating: 7.5

6.5Gear LabAt a lightweight 36 lbs, this tandem kayak is on par with several single-person boats we've tested - this is mainly thanks to the thin material. It has a big, oversized bag that isn't a drag to move around, but as it's a duffel, it's not exactly comfy to cart over long treks.Read more
8.0DiveInWe found this inflatable kayak to be really light and portable - there's never any worry about having to lug around a huge, cumbersome kayak. The compact design is one of our favorite selling points.Read more
8.0Paddling MagazineThe Explorer K2 inflatable kayak compacts down amazingly well into its own bag, and we found it easy enough to pop in the trunk. It's also pretty easy to carry between two when fully inflated, or via shoulder as a single traveler. That said, the velcro doesn't really hold the seats in great while you're shoulder carrying - but it's not a deal-breaker.Read more

Durability of the Intex Explorer K2

Expert Rating: 5.5

4.0Gear LabThe Intex Explorer K2 hasn't got a great reputation for durability, and we noticed this is largely thanks to its thin walls - and there are no extra layers! It also has oddly deforming sides that let the side down a little when fully inflated. That said, we didn't experience any tearing or puncturing during our adventures - but that's not to say problems won't arise if you're careless.Read more
7.0Paddling MagazineThe vinyl construction certainly feels robust, but it could benefit from drop-stitch flooring for added rigidity. We found the hull was pretty resistant to blunt impact, and it tested well with dogs on board. However, it won't be very UV-resistant long-term, and we'd recommend patching up as soon as possible if you spring a leak - buoyancy will immediately start to fail here.Read more
4.0PumpupBoatsWe found the Intex Explorer K2 to arrive built with thin material - which, disappointingly, goes against some of its marketing. That said, it took a beating, but treat it roughly, and this boat will likely start springing leaks. We'd recommend taking this inflatable kayak out on shallow river rides only - it's just not protective or durable enough. That said, it's certified as strong enough to ride by the NMMA, so there's added confidence.Read more
7.0Kayaks ReportIf well cared-for, we believe this kayak should endure two to three years of casual boating - the exterior straddles the line between thin and thick. We found it safe enough to ride on calm waters and even mild rapids.Read more