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Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review in 2022

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review in 2022

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is a portable, inflatable kayak perfect for getting out on the water no matter where you are.

It’s easy to transport, easy to use, and it folds up into a bag that’s smaller than a carryon when you’re done.

This kayak has been around for a while because people love it. Reviewers can’t get over its portability and ease of use.

If you’re looking for a kayak that you can take anywhere, this may be the best kayak for you.

Who is the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak For?

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak with Paddles and Pump Design for Easy Paddling Cockpit Design for Best Comfort and Space

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The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is for individual paddlers who weigh less than 220 lbs.

It’s perfect for people who don’t want to store or don’t have space to store a full-size hard kayak. It’s also great for people who want to be able to pack their kayak up and take it with them no matter where they are going.

This is the perfect beginners’ kayak because it floats well, is easy to maneuver, and doesn’t require any background knowledge or experience to use.

It is ideal for people who have never owned a kayak before or who want one that is both no frills and no hassle.

It’s affordable, too, so the price doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your day out on the water.

What’s Included in the Box?

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, 1-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak comes with:

  • One durable, inflatable kayak
  • One inflatable kayak seat with a backrest
  • A cargo net that you can attach to the kayak to store extra gear
  • A grab line for each end of the kayak
  • One 84” collapsible paddle
  • An inflatable wedge for the front of the kayak, to aid with comfort and buoyancy
  • A high-output hand pump with an attached hose, for kayak inflation
  • A carrying bag that will hold the kayak, pump, and paddle
  • One repair patch and kit in case the kayak suffers damage on rocks or other debris
  • One removable skeg (or fin), to keep the kayak straight in the water
  • One instruction manual

Basically, the kayak comes with almost everything that you need in order to get out on the water fast. Note that it does not come with a lifesaving device of any type. You will need to find and purchase your own life jacket separately from your purchase of the kayak.

Intex Challenger K1 Review *unboxing, setup, use, and packing away*

An Overview of the Features

Weighing less than 20 lbs., the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak still manages to be durable enough that most people never even need to use the patch kit.

Its durable material is welded together. It also features bright graphics to make you more visible than ever when you’re using it on the water.

This kayak is designed to be maximally stable, featuring inflatable I-beams across the floor and wide base so that it’s less likely to tip. It’s comfortable and features plenty of legroom for most riders.

Not only is the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak light, but it’s also easy to set up. Using the included pump, it only takes a few minutes from your arrival at the water to you getting out there and enjoying yourself.

The Boston valves on the kayak mean that the air you pump into it stays there and cannot escape once it’s in.

Intex includes a collapsible paddle with this kayak so you literally have everything you need to go on your first water adventure. It even comes with a skeg that will help keep your kayak straight no matter what the wind or the currents are doing.

What we like

  • This kayak is so easy to set up so you can get out on the water in minutes.
  • The Intex Challenger K1 kayak is durable. Unless you hit a rock, you shouldn’t have problems with holes.
  • The kayak is light enough that adults should not have a problem carrying it, loading and unloading it, or folding it.
  • Many kayaks don’t come with a paddle but this one does, and it comes apart so you can store it in the bag with your kayak.

What we don’t like

  • The bag for the kayak is flimsy and may require some extra care so that it doesn’t fall apart.
  • Larger kayakers or those who want to bring a dog or gear will need to buy a different kayak because this one only holds up to 220 lbs.

How to Use the K1 Kayak

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Set Up

To set up the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak, simply take it out of the box and unfold it with the opening facing up. Attach the hose to the pump and then to the Boston valve on the inside of the kayak.

Start pumping and pump until you reach your desired level of inflation. Remove the pump, close the valve, and attach the pump to the valve on the outside of the kayak.

Once again, pump until the kayak is full of air but not so much that the material is straining or you fear that it might pop when you get inside it. Remove the pump and use it to inflate the wedge, seat, and backrest.

When you’re finished with the pump, stow it in the bag and place the wedge and seat with backrest into the kayak. Clip the seat into place using the attached clips.

Slide the pieces of the paddle together according to the enclosed instructions and slide the skeg into its slot on the bottom of the kayak. Never leave the kayak sitting on the skeg on dry land.

Carry your kayak into the water, placing the back end of the kayak in first. Put on your life jacket, and make sure that you don’t drag the bottom of the kayak on the rocks when you get into it. Note that the setup process only takes 10-15 minutes, so you should be on the water fast.

Alternatives to the K1 Kayak

If you want to kayak in tandem with a friend, the Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is the two-person version of the kayak reviewed here. It includes all of the same features, except that it has two seats and can carry up to 400 lbs. of weight.

Intex Challenger K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output...
  • The Intex Challenger K2 Kayak is sporty and fun with a streamlined design for easy paddling
  • The bright green color and sporty graphics make the kayak highly visible in the water

If you’re not a beginner and you know you love inflatable kayaks or you’re a larger rider, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead 130 Inflatable Fishing Kayak might be perfect for you.

Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak - One-Person Angler Blow Up Kayak, Includes...
  • Solid drop stitch floor for a solid bait-casting position. Cast your bait expertly! The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing kayak has a solid drop stitch floor that allows anglers to steadily stand and...
  • Especially designed for fishing. From its front bungee storage to its multiple universal hard mounting points, the Steelhead kayak is especially designed for fishing. Keep your rods, fish finders,...

This kayak is great for so much more than fishing and offers an upgraded experience from the entry-level Intex Challenger K1 Kayak.


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is the perfect first kayak for most people. It is inexpensive, durable, and easy to set up. It’s nimble out on the water and you can literally take it anywhere – even in a suitcase or on an airplane!

Find out how much fun it can be to get out on the water today! Try the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak and get off the beach. Come on in, the water’s fine!