Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review



# of Individuals


Weight Capacity

220 lbs

Kayak Weight

23.9 lbs

Activity Type


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is a good option for anyone seeking a nimble, sturdy, single person inflatable kayak. It is made of quality, durable material, giving you your money’s worth. Its key features provide you with support, convenience, and safety both on and off the water. It comes with everything you need, with the exception of a personal flotation device, to get started, including a paddle and manual air pump.

This kayak performs best on slow rivers, calm lakes, and ponds. If you are looking for a thrilling, intense kayak ride on rapid, choppy waters, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you are interested in some relaxing, recreational fun, the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak may be perfect for you.


Supportive Design and Sturdy Material

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is made of a durable vinyl material that is built to withstand scrapes and bumps on the ground or bottom of ponds and lakes. The kayak is supported by an inflatable I beam along the bottom that provides additional stability as you kayak. On calm waters, I feel stable while I kayak, allowing me to maneuver with greater ease. Its supportive design is great for those new to kayaking and need extra help balancing while they kayak.


According to the manufacturer’s site, the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak 30 inches wide by 108 inches long by 15 inches high. Its full package is just over 27 pounds, making transporting and assembly much easier.


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak comes with an 84 inch aluminum paddle. Though it is not adjustable, it does break down for convenient and efficient storage. If the paddle is too long for you or your children, you may have to upgrade to a new one, yet I find that it fits well to the arm span of an average adult.

Removable Skeg

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is equipped with a removable skeg, which enables the boat to track, or move forward, in a straight direction. In my experience, when attached, the skeg feels secure, yet you may be at risk of losing it if it scrapes along any rocky shores or bottoms. If you are afraid of losing it, I would recommend attaching a line or wire to the skeg to ensure that if it does fall off, it is not lost.


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is easy to get in and out of, making it a good fit for older or less mobile kayakers. In addition, it also has features that provide the user with a safe and convenient kayaking experience.

Features that Aid in Safety

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is brightly colored, making it noticeable on the water. This is important when kayaking near larger motor and sail boats; being able to be easily spotted at a distance helps prevent serious collisions on the water, keeping you all the more safe as you kayak. There are also grab lines on either end, making it easier to stay with your boat if you fall overboard.


This kayak is collapsible, making it easy to store and transport. It takes from ten to fifteen minutes to set up or break down with the provided manual hand pump. Being such a small, compact size, the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is easy for me to transport in my small sedan-style car. Hence you don’t need a large car, truck, or roof racks to be able to take your kayak from lake to lake; you can just throw it in your trunk.

Though it is a smaller kayak, there is still a decent amount of space to store enough gear for a day trip. In addition to space behind the seat, there is a cargo net on the front of the boat that allows you to easily access your equipment.


Though this kayak presents multiple quality and useful features, as with anything, there are a few downsides to this product.

Not Self-Bailing

One inconvenient downside to the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is that it is not self bailing, meaning that you have to manually remove any water that gets into the kayak. In this kayak, it can be tricky to remove water when you are out on the lake or river because of the design of the kayak. As it has a smaller interior where your legs are covered, it is hard to reach any water at the tip of the boat. So if for some reason a good amount of water gets into the boat, your best choice is to pull ashore and step out of the kayak in order to reach and remove the water. Because I take this kayak on calmer bodies of water, I don’t encounter this problem too often. Yet when I do, it is a bother to deal with.

A Snug Interior

The interior of the boat it on the smaller side; because your legs are covered, there is not much excess room. For anyone under six feet or so, this shouldn’t present much of a discomfort. However, if you are a tall, long legged person, it will most likely be a snug fit.

Does Not Take Well to Wind or Choppy Water

Because the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is an inflatable kayak that is both is small and lightweight, it does not take well to large, choppy wakes, fast currents, or waves. It performs well on calm waters, but when it presented with intense water conditions or wind, it can be hard to control. This is not a kayak that can handle the fast rapids of whitewater rafting or large waves of the sea, but rather is best for relaxed, recreational use.


The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak gives you a good quality kayak for your money. It has many of the same beneficial features as the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak regarding safety, convenience, and efficiency, but in a single person kayak. To get the best performance out of this kayak, I recommend using it for recreational purposes on calm bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds, and slow rivers. If you are new to kayaking and looking for a way to have a fun, relaxed experience on the water, but don’t want to break the bank, then the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is a good option to look into.

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