Yachting journalist Drew Maglio delivers his verdict on the Intex Challenger K2 inflatable kayak after using his heavily for 10 years...
The Intex Challenger K2 is the company’s mid-range inflatable kayak and the one that I have owned and enjoyed for years.
Like the other models, the Challenger K2 features a fully-inflatable construction, detachable skeg that slides into place, and inflatable seats that are actually very comfortable.
Despite the similar cost, the Challenger K2 has one benefit over the Explorer that is noteworthy: the cargo net is actually surprisingly useful as I always find myself stowing gear like lifejackets, waterproof cameras, etc. underneath it.
Both streamlined and stable, I have kayaked the Challenger K2 with another paddler up to 2.5 miles to two offshore islands in the Florida Keys on one occasion.
While these are far from turbid waters, it does demonstrate how capable the Challenger K2 is, as the inflatable kayak kept pace with multiple two-occupant plastic rental kayaks while also being much more stable and forgiving than its rigid counterpart.
Compared to rigid kayaks, the Challenger K2 is also much easier to handle and carry because it is so light and as it’s an inflatable boat it can also be bent and manipulated easily.
Set up takes all of five minutes, while breakdown takes about ten minutes to clean any sand and squeeze out all of the air – the latter task is greatly sped by the include proprietary valve for rapid deflation.
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All things considered, the Challenger K2 has paid for itself over nearly 10 years of ownership in spades as it still looks and performs like new. It has even outlasted seven other proper boats that have come and gone in that time! As a satisfied owner, I cannot recommend this inflatable kayak enough!