Home » Intex Explorer vs Intex Challenger: Which Inflatable Kayaks are Better?

Intex Explorer vs Intex Challenger: Which Inflatable Kayaks are Better?

If you are looking for an adventure on the water, treating yourself to an inflatable kayak is a great place to start. Whether you want to paddle across a lake or meander down rivers, Intex has an inflatable kayak for you.

Today we will look at the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger. We will consider their size, materials, and ease of use. We will add a comparison chart to recap the specification and then look at some pros and cons before we decide which kayak is the better buy.

Intex Explorer vs Intex Challenger

The Intex Challenger has 2 models, the K1 and the K2. We are going to focus on the K2 version. The Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger have several features in common, so we will start here.

Intex Explorer vs Intex Challenger – Similarities

Quick Glance

The comparison chart below will recap the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger specifications for a quick overview.

Name
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Our Pick
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Image
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Size
122.8 x 35.8 inches
138.2 x 29.9
Weight
30.6lbs
33.53lbs
Capacity
2 people/400lbs
2 people/400lbs
Materials
Rugged, heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, I-beam floor
Rugged, heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, I-beam floor
Valves
Boston valves/3 chamber
Boston valves/2 chambers
Seats
X2 inflatable with backrests, removable
X2 inflatable with backrests, removable
Skeg
Standard directional and removable.
Standard directional and removable.
Grab line/handle
On both ends
Rear-end grab line, cargo net on the front
What’s Included
86” aluminum, oars, high output pump, repair kit, carry bag. U.S Coast Card ID.
86” aluminum, oars, high output pump, repair kit, carry bag.
Certifications
National Marine Manufacturers
National Marine Manufacturers
Warranty
90 Days
90 days
Prims tatus
Name
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Image
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Size
122.8 x 35.8 inches
Weight
30.6lbs
Capacity
2 people/400lbs
Materials
Rugged, heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, I-beam floor
Valves
Boston valves/3 chamber
Seats
X2 inflatable with backrests, removable
Skeg
Standard directional and removable.
Grab line/handle
On both ends
What’s Included
86” aluminum, oars, high output pump, repair kit, carry bag. U.S Coast Card ID.
Certifications
National Marine Manufacturers
Warranty
90 Days
Prims tatus
Our Pick
Name
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Image
Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump
Size
138.2 x 29.9
Weight
33.53lbs
Capacity
2 people/400lbs
Materials
Rugged, heavy-duty puncture-resistant vinyl, I-beam floor
Valves
Boston valves/2 chambers
Seats
X2 inflatable with backrests, removable
Skeg
Standard directional and removable.
Grab line/handle
Rear-end grab line, cargo net on the front
What’s Included
86” aluminum, oars, high output pump, repair kit, carry bag.
Certifications
National Marine Manufacturers
Warranty
90 days
Prims tatus

Capacity

The Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger are both 2-person kayaks, although the Intex Challenger K1 is a 1-person kayak. The maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds.

Materials

Intex uses its own rugged, heavy-duty vinyl that is puncture resistant and UV damage-resistant, so they are made for long-term durability. The Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger have rigid inflatable I-beam floors.

Seats

The two seats that come with the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger are inflatable and adjustable. If you want to remove one or both of the seats you can give yourself extra room.

Intex Explorer comparison

The Skeg

The skeg on a kayak is what will help you to remain in a straight path in crosswinds and following waves. The standard directional skeg with the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger is removable.

What’s Included

The Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger come with two 86-inch oars, a high output pump, and a repair kit. There is also a carry bag for easy transportation. The Intex Explorer also comes with a U.S Coast Guard ID.

Certifications

The Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger are certified by the National Manufacturers using ABYC standards.

Warranty

It’s not great but better than nothing. The Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger come with a 90-day warranty.

Now that we know how the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger are similar, we will turn our attention to their differences.

Differences Between Intex Explorer and Intex Challenger

Appearance

Despite having so many similarities, the design of the kayaks is very different.

Intex Challenger comparison

Intex Explorer

This is the smaller of the two kayaks measuring 122.8 x 35.8 inches and weighs 30.6 pounds. It is bright yellow and black.

Intex Challenger

It is quite a bit longer and a little narrower which makes it look sportier. It is 138.2 x 29.9 inches and weighs 33.53 pounds. It is black and green with blue features.

The Winner Is- The Intex Challenger

Read next – Intex Mariner 3 vs Intex Mariner 4: Which Inflatable Boats are Better?

Valves

The number of values isn’t listed on either but logically, there should be one for each air chamber.

Intex Challenger Review

Intex Explorer

There are three air chambers with this kayak. The Boston valves allow for fast inflating and deflating.

Intex Challenger

You also have the benefit of Boston valves. There are only 2 air chambers.

The Winner Is- A Tie

Grab Lines/Handles

These features add to the safety as well as ease of use when it comes to transporting your kayak.

Intex Explorer Review

Intex Explorer

There is a carry handle and a grab line on both ends of the kayak.

Intex Challenger

On the rear of the kayak, there is a grab line and handle. On the front, there is a cargo net for storage which can also be used as a grab line.

The Winner Is- The Intex Challenger

Pros and Cons

Before the final verdict, we have some pros and cons of the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger.

Intex Explorer

Intex Explorer

Pros:

  • Set up and deflating is easy and fast, especially as the air pump is so good
  • It’s extremely sturdy, easy to get back in from the water without it filling
  • It’s incredibly smooth on the water for an inflatable kayak

Cons:

  • It might not live up to those who are expecting the same experience as a non-inflatable kayak

Intex Challenger

Intex Challenger

Pros:

  • There is plenty of space both behind and in front of the seats
  • The skeg is solid, well secured and the kayak tracks well
  • Good value for money for what’s included and the experience

Cons:

  • The seats aren’t the most comfortable

The Final Verdict

There is one thing to bear in mind that they aren’t the same as a solid kayak. That being said, they are also far from the same price. These are ideal if you want to leave your expensive kayaks at home and safely transport these inside your car instead of on the roof. They are great on smooth water but perhaps not the best for choppy waves. The materials of the Intex Explorer and the Intex Challenger are good, solid, and in general, they feel well made. The quality of the oars is also good, and the pumps are excellent. The only question about the quality comes with the carry bag. It doesn’t feel like it will last that long.

The overall winner today was the Intex Challenger. The Intex Explorer is wider but we found the additional length provided more legroom and comfort. It was also handy to have the cargo net to keep a few things in. The Intex Challenger looks nice, is great fun, and good value for money.


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