The Intex Challenger K1 kayak is a single person inflatable kayaks that is extremely affordable and easy to use. Getting this kayak inflated is a breeze with the Hi-output hand pump. The Challenger K2 kayak is a two-person model and is just as affordable. This review will cover both given the only real difference is the seating capacity.
The Intex Challenger K1 and K2 kayaks both feature a single Boston valve. The single valve system makes inflation quick and easy. The Intex Double Quick II Hand Pump that is included with the kayaks inflates on both the upstroke and the down stroke. You will be inflating either of these wonderful kayaks in half the time with half the effort.
The Intex Challenger K1 and K2 kayaks have a removable skeg system. This allows for incredible directional stability when paddling. Many owners have reported tracking problems due to the size of the skegs. There have been YouTube posts about how this can be corrected and it should not stop you from enjoying either of these kayaks. The kayak hulls do move through the water easily and smoothly. Inflatable kayaks tend to have short skegs and it should not reflect on the Challenger K1 or Challenger K2 specifically. It is just a trade-off when selecting an inflatable kayak.
The K1 kayak and K2 kayak both feature low profiles in the water. The low profile lessens any feeling of “tipping” as a result of riding too high on the water. This kayaks is not built for whitewater. Do not expect either to work well on anything above a Class I river. The rugged vinyl construction is durable for when you bump into the rocks and plants on the lake or in the river but it cannot handle ocean shells or jagged rocks. Although durable, these are still inflatables. I do have to point out that the United States military regularly employs inflatable craft, so I would not should not shy away from either of these kayaks because they are inflatables. Inflatables are not only safe to use, but are fun to ride in. They also are much easier to haul around when deflated.
The I-beam floor gives a good solid feel to both the K1 kayak and K2 kayak. These kayaks maintain their rigidity very well. They do this without sacrificing any of the comfort you are looking for in inflatable kayaks. The seats are adjustable to provide optimal comfort. The Intex Challenger K1 kayak has a 220 pound capacity, while the Intex Challenger K2 kayak has 350 pound weight limit. The Intex Challenger K1 kayak comes with a single collapsible 96-inch aluminum paddle. The Intex Challenger K2 kayak comes with two paddles. The Intex Challenger paddle has rubberized grips, making paddling very comfortable. The included inflatable leg rests relieve the stress placed on your legs if you are on the water for hours at a time, and the color is much ‘cooler’ then the Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak.
There is cargo storage areas behind the seat and in the cargo net located in the front of the kayaks. You can also use some of the ample space around your legs for additional storage. You can easily bring along your cooler and picnic gear. There are no water tight compartments but plastic storage bags will keep your gear dry.
Overall, both the Intex K1 and the Intex K2 are terrific kayaks at a great price. The only thing you will really need to decide is whether you want to go tandem or solo. If you will be spending time in the kayak by yourself, the Intex K1 is the better choice. If you will always be going with another person, then purchase the Intex K2. At the price that these kayaks sell for, you can get two Intex Challenger K1 kayaks and go out side by side down the river. Be sure to get a strong dolly to transport this kayak, we recommend the boat kayak canoe carrier dolly. This kayak also featured on our best beginner kayak article.
What I Like about the Intex Challenger K1 and K2 Kayaks
- Low profile in water
- Brightly colored to increase visibility
- Easy to paddle
- Cockpit is comfortable and spacious
- One Boston valve makes kayaks easy to inflate and deflate
- Two different models allowing for either single or tandem kayaking