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Inflatable canoes and kayaks have their advantages. In addition to being portable and lightweight when aired up, they offer people the opportunity to spend time on the water affordably and immediately. Gone are the days where you load canoes and kayaks onto luggage racks on tops of vehicles. Now, they remain largely unseen until they’re ready to be inflated and put into the water.

This guide helps you identify the differences between two of Intex’s most popular models, the Challenger K2 and the Explorer K2. By the time that you finish reading about the different features offered by each, you’ll be an expert in buying inflatable kayaks. You’ll know which of the two you prefer and why. It won’t be just price that you’re considering, either, because value also plays a role in the decision-making process.

#1. Intex Challenger K2

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If the Intex Challenger K2 has anything going for it, it’s the extra seating and storage area it provides. If you’re planning a trip of any length, you want to make sure that you’re well-prepared for the journey. Having extra space to sit and keep your gear is imperative. It makes you ready for the trip and optimizes your safety to a degree, too, because you’re not so cramped you can’t move with a moment’s notice.

As a person who wants to get the most out of every outdoor experience, you likely want to know a thing or two about what makes the Challenger K2 outstanding. A special feature section below highlights these things, so you’ll know if you want to buy it or the Explorer K2.


There are many features offered by the Challenger K2. They are Velcroed seats, a hood on the bow to keep water from splashing into the kayak, and included paddles. Although the Explorer K2 offers some protection, it does not have the hooded bow.

Velcroed Seats

You can remove the seats in the kayak to make it more compact when deflated. It also allows you to let them dry thoroughly before putting them back in with their Velcro attachments. You’ll be more comfortable that way and prevent the material from mildewing because of the humidity.

Hood on the Bow

It’s a type of splash-guard that makes sure that you and your gear stay as dry as possible while kayaking. The Explorer does not have this feature. It’s one you’ll come to appreciate more with each trip on the water you take.

Paddles Included

Although they are a little on the short side, you do get a package deal that includes paddles. If you decide to make them work, you’re not out the expense of buying other paddles. They can also serve as backup paddles in case one of your longer ones breaks or gets lost while on the water.

#2. Intex Explorer K2

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Slightly more spacious than the Challenger K2, the Explorer K2 provides extra width for seating. It is 91 cm wider than the Challenger, making it a great contender in the fight for your purchasing dollars. It also has many premium features that add value to its design. Intex products last, and the Explorer K2 is rugged and capable of providing years of regular use.

The features are what make a good kayak great. You’ll explore some of the most notable ones below. Then, you’ll be able to decide between the Challenger and Explorer by determining what your non-negotiables are.


The Explorer dries faster, has greater speeds, and provides ample protection while on the water. It’s an excellent choice if you’re kayaking for sport as opposed to leisure because of how swiftly it moves on the water. It comes with extras such as the paddles that the Challenger has.

Faster Drying Capabilities

If you want an inflatable kayak that dries quickly, this is the model to go with. Heat and humidity take their toll on the material, making it mildew if stored while not fully dry. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about that problem with the Explorer because of its faster drying capabilities.

Greater Speed

More of a sporting kayak than a leisure kayak, you’ll find that you move quickly across the water when inside the Explorer. If swift movement is a priority for you, you’ll be able to invest in longer paddles and make fast work out of the longest river, stream, or lake. The broader shape of the Challenger makes it slower than the Explorer.

Lots of Extras

The kayaking package comes with the paddles mentioned above. It also comes with an air pump which allows you to inflate it with great ease. Some brands sell these extras at an additional cost, so it’s highly beneficial to get them as part of a package deal.

The Best Option

The Explorer is the better option because it offers many of the same features like the Challenger but dries quicker and achieves greater speeds. If you’re serious about kayaking, you appreciate getting from point A to point B succinctly. You’ll also have access to the paddles and air pump as well as the removable seats that you can take out and Velcro back in.

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