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Intex Challenger K2 Kayak Review – Affordable Fun

If you are in the market for an inexpensive and versatile inflatable kayak, you are in luck. This Intex Challenger K2 kayak review will show you what makes this inflatable kayak so popular. Stay tuned as we look at the unique features and benefits of the Challenger K2.

Many people love to spend a day on the water kayaking.  The problem is, kayaks and equipment can get really expensive. If you are a casual paddler or a beginner, you may not want to break the bank on a kayak. 

With a kayak, you can explore flat water, including lakes and slow-moving rivers.  You can drop a line and try your hand at fishing. Or you can soak up the sun on a warm summer day. Whatever you enjoy about kayaking, the Intex Challenger is a budget-friendly option you can take with you just about anywhere.

Portability and affordability are two features that make the K2 kayak so appealing. 

Intex Challenger K2 kayak summary

Number of Paddlers:1 or 2
Weight Capacity:400 lbs
Kayak Weight:About 33 lbs
Length:11’6″
Width:30″
Material:Vinyl construction
What’s in the box?Kayak, two 86-inch paddles, high-output pump, repair kit, removable skeg, carry bag, two inflatable seats

Inflatable kayaks are extremely popular and have come a long way in recent years. Intex is an industry leader in inflatable products.  The K2 kayak is not a pool toy, that’s for sure!

The K2 is a sit-inside style kayak as opposed to a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak.  You can read more about the differences here.

The Challenger K2 is made from puncture-resistant vinyl.  The heavy-duty construction gives you a very durable and easy to inflate kayak. It’s super easy to take with you just about anywhere you go.

The kayak is designed with two separate air chambers and an I-beam on the floor for extra stability. The kayak measures 11’6” long, 30 inches wide, weighs about 33 pounds, and has a 400-pound weight limit.

The Challenger K2 is a two-person inflatable kayak, but you can remove one of the seats and paddle solo if you want. The kayak comes with everything you need to hit the water. We will get into all of this and more in a bit.

Challenger K2 inflatable kayak features

Comes fully equipped

One of the things that make the Intex Challenger K2 so attractive is that it comes fully equipped. The K2 comes with two 86” paddles, two adjustable, inflatable seats, a high-output hand pump, a removable skeg (for improved tracking), and a bag to carry everything.

Here’s a word of advice…use the skeg. If you paddle without the skeg, there is a good chance you will find yourself spinning in circles on the water. The skeg is very easy to install, it just slides in place. There are two release points to push when you remove the skeg when you are finished kayaking.

Challenger K2 kayak - Paddling on a lakePin

You don’t have to spend a lot of extra money on accessories since pretty much everything you need (except life jackets) is included. The Challenger K2 gives you a durable inflatable kayak that you can enjoy for a long time.

Not everyone wants to spend a lot of money on a kayak.  The K2 is a great option that includes everything you need at an affordable price point. You can be ready to hit the water in no time. 

Easy to set up and takedown

Another essential feature of this lightweight, portable kayak is how easy it is to inflate and deflate.  The included high-output hand pump and Boston valves make inflating the K2 a snap.  Once you get the hang of it, you have the kayak ready to paddle in about 10 minutes.  You get to spend less time pumping and more time paddling.

Boston valves are great because it’s a one-way valve.  The valve will let air in and not let air escape, so all your hand pumping will not go to waste.

Also, the kayak comes with two inflatable seats, which are adjustable and removable.  These seats will provide the paddler with some back support, but they are not the best seats on the market. 

Tip: Don’t inflate the seat cushion, only inflate the backrest. This allows the backrest to sit up higher on your back for support. If you are short, this might not matter, but for taller paddler’s it’s the way to go.

Excellent price

The price point of the Challenger K2 makes it appealing to a lot of people.  Plus the fact that you have all the accessories you need are included.  The K2 inflatable kayak is an excellent buy for beginners and fits easily in the trunk of a car.

The K2 is super portable, making it an excellent option for folks who want to travel or pack the kayak in an RV.  You don’t have to lug a heavy, hardshell kayak with you when you travel. When you are ready to go, just toss the K2 in your vehicle, and away you go.

Versatile

We touched on this earlier, but the inflatable seats are adjustable and removable. The kayak is perfect for two paddlers, or if you want to go solo, you can remove one of the seats.  The removable seats make the Challenger K2 inflatable kayak very versatile.

Intex Challenger K2 - paddling on a calm lakePin

If you want to go solo and remove one seat, this leaves more room to pack equipment. You might even be able to take your dog. Mind you, it does depend on how big your dog is. 

The point here is that the kayak is configurable and versatile to meet your needs. 

The power of two

A tandem kayak is great because you have twice the paddling power. That is if your partner holds up their end of the bargain.  The downside is that no matter how fast you paddle, you are not getting away from your partner!

Who is the Intex Challenger K2 inflatable kayak for?

This kayak is great for people who want to enjoy flat water, like a lake or slow-moving river.  It’s great for beginners because you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started.  You will have everything you need in one convenient carry bag.

The K2 kayak is also great for people who travel and want to keep an affordable inflatable kayak with them on the road. You can easily store this kayak in the trunk of a car or in the backseat.  If you are traveling in an RV, this is an easy kayak to transport.

If you are looking for an affordable, all in one kayak pack, this is worth a try.

Who is the Challenger K2 kayak not for?

If you are in the market for a high-end kayak, you need to choose another option. The K2 is an affordable, entry-level kayak that is great for beginners. It’s also a good option if you plan to take your kayak with you on road trips.

If you are specifically looking for speed or a fishing kayak, there are better options. This kayak is great for its intended purpose, which is a relaxing day on flat water. 

Other things to consider

Storage

Storage on the Intex Challenger K2 is limited.  There is netting on the front of the kayak where you can store some items. You can use the front of the boat for extra clothes in a dry bag.

Keep in mind that the weight capacity is 400 pounds, so by the time you have two paddlers and some gear, that can often add up in a hurry.

If you choose to paddle solo, there is a lot more room for gear. You can put a cooler behind the seat and still have room upfront for other items. You might be able to take your dog with you if you are paddling by yourself.

Transportation

One of the main reasons people buy an inflatable kayak is because they are easy to transport. You don’t need a roof rack or a trailer to take your kayak with you.

The K2 folds up nicely into a carry bag with all the accessories. It will easily fit in the trunk of a car or in the backseat. This is one of the big selling points, how easy the kayak is to get from one place to another.

It’s also great for camping.  You can put the kayak in with your camping gear and take it with you to lakes and rivers.

Maintenance

Inflatable kayaks do require a bit of maintenance to make sure they last a long time. First of all, the kayak needs to be completely dry before you store it.  It’s best to dry the kayak right after you pull it out of the water. 

You want to make sure you get any mud or grime off the boat too.  After you get home, you can spray it off with a hose, dry it with a towel and let it dry before you store it long term. Water gets caught up under the coaming, so make sure you use a towel and air the kayak out before you store it.

Another thing you need to do with inflatables is check for leaks. If you don’t use the boat during the winter months, blow it up and check for leaks before heading out for the first time in the spring.  There is nothing worse than finding a leak when it’s too late.

Fortunately, the Challenger K2 comes with a repair kit in case you need it.

Storing your kayak

Part of the allure of owning an inflatable kayak is how easy they are to store. The Challenger K2 kayak will fit nicely in a closet or on a shelf in the garage. You don’t have to worry about locking your kayak up to protect it from would-be thieves.

The K2 inflatable kayak, and accessories, pack up nicely into the included carry bag for easy storage. A hardshell kayak is much more challenging to store and requires some forward-thinking.

PROS

Easy to setup and take down
Comes with paddles, pump, skeg, carry bag
Can be paddled tandem or solo
Easy to transport
Inexpensive

CONS

Does not have a lot of storage space if you paddle tandem
Vinyl is susceptible to punturing

FAQ’s

Can you fish from the K2?

Yes, you can drop a line in the water from the Challenger K2. The kayak is not designed specifically for fishing. Fishing kayaks come equipped with accessories, like rails, to mount fishing gear. Plus, with a fishing kayak, you have more room to cast.  Some models you can even stand up and cast.

If you are just out for a casual day on the lake, you can definitely fish from the K2 inflatable kayak. Be careful with your hooks since you are dealing with an inflatable kayak.

Can I take my dog with me?

Depending on how big your dog is, you might be able to take him or her along.  If you are paddling tandem, there isn’t a whole lot of room, and you need to keep the weight limit in mind.  Many people paddle solo and take their dog with them.

Be aware of the vinyl construction as well. Yes, the K2 is a durable kayak. But a dog’s nails could potentially puncture the kayak.

Does the kayak puncture easily?

This really depends on how you are using the kayak.  Try to avoid sharp rocks, tree branches, and other obstacles as much as you can.  These kayaks are durable, but they are not indestructible.

If you use the kayak on calm water and watch out for sharp objects, then your kayak can last a long time.

Is this a good kayak for tall people?

Yes! Especially if you remove one seat and paddle solo, this is an excellent kayak for tall people. 

Conclusion

Challenger K2 kayak - K2 inflated sitting on grassPin

The Challenger K2 inflatable kayak is an affordable, versatile kayak. It’s easy to inflate, deflate, and comes with the accessories you need to hit the water. The price and included accessories make this a popular kayak. 

This is an excellent kayak for beginners, casual kayakers, or people who want to travel and take their boat with them.

Steve Morrow Founder of Paddle About
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve is an avid kayaker and founder of Paddle About. When he is not on the water, Steve enjoys outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, and hiking with his family. Read more.

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