Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review


When it comes to inflatables from above ground pools to air mattresses, Intex offers some of the best products. This kayak is no different. It is really well made, strong, and able to hold its own in all but the choppiest waters. It works best for leisurely kayaking in lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving rivers, and the low profile design suits these waters. Features of the Challenger K1 are as follows: 

  • Streamlined design for easy paddling.
  • Inflatable I-beam floor for rigidity, stability, and comfort.
  • Highly buoyant side chambers for stability.
  • A removable skeg for tracking straight.
  • Adjustable inflatable seat with backrest for back support.
  • Two air chambers – if one of the chambers pops, the other will stay inflated and the kayak will remain buoyant.
  • Grab ropes lining the bow and stern make it easy to get back on the kayak should you decide to take a swim.
  • The cargo net provides an additional storage option.
  • Bright coloring and sporty graphics for easy visibility on the water.


Length: 9ft (2.74m)

Width: 2ft 6in (76cm)

Height: 1ft 1inch

Weight: 27.2 lbs.

Maximum Weight Capacity: 220 lb (100 kg)

Material: Rugged vinyl for sturdiness and durability.

Compliance: Certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) using ABYC standards.

Included Accessories: kayak paddle, manual pump, Inflatable kayak seat, inflatable bulkhead support, clip in tracking fin, an inflation indicator, repair kit, and user instructions. 

User Experience

Portability: Carrying and transporting the K1 Challenger isn’t a challenge. Ultralight and ultra-compact when folded up, the K1 inflatable kayak fits into a compact bag that will easily fit in the trunk or backseat of even the smallest of cars and stows well in a closet offseason. Once inflated, it is easy to carry into the water without help. 

Setup: Inflating this kayak is easy and takes anywhere from two to ten minutes. The provided pump is actually really good and works very well. The provided measuring strip makes it easy to know when you’ve achieved the ideal pressure. The valves are one-way so the air doesn’t swoosh out when you remove the pump. It is a good idea to inflate it at home once you get it to check for leaks and to familiarize yourself with the process so it will be easier to blow up when out there.

Break Down: Breaking down the kayak and packing it up takes more time and effort than setting it up. With its design and lack of a drain plug, drying it is a chore. Wiping it with a packable but super absorbent camp towel can speed up the drying. Don’t leave the kayak in the direct sun for too long, as the sun’s heat can degrade the material. Once dry, unscrew the lower part of the valves and it will deflate on its own. 

The material is as thick and tough as it is, folding it to fit into the bag that it came with is no easy feat. Be sure to pay attention and capture the image – in mind or camera – of how it is folded when you first unfold it.

Capacity: This is a one-person kayak. With an upper weight limit of 220 pounds, it is a very strong kayak and you can kayak with a small dog. There’s tons of storage space on this kayak for short leisure and fishing trips. You can stash gear behind the seat, where the feet go, and a dry bag with your extras can go into the cargo net.

Comfort: The Challenger K1 is a very comfortable kayak. The inflatable seat it comes with is very comfortable and customizable. Blowing up the seat bottom can make it feel more like a sit on top than a sit-in kayak. You can leave the bottom uninflated and only inflate the backrest for back support. 

If you find the legroom too snug, just slide the inflatable green thingy provided into the front of your kayak to lift the front-top portion of the kayak a little bit. You can also sit cross-legged, stretch your legs on top, or lay down on the kayak.

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Maneuverability, Performance, and Stability: Slow moving rivers and calm reservoirs are where this low profile kayak is at home and performs beautifully.

With its streamlined design, it is very easy to paddle and it moves easily through the water. The tracking fin it comes with helps it move straight. Many a skeg has been lost in the water so make sure yours is all the way in and clipped in securely or add a lanyard for more security.

This is a nimble kayak that turns very easily and can go pretty fast in calm waters. Since it has a lot of surface in contact with water, which causes more drag, it can’t go as fast as a regular kayak.

It’s extremely sturdy and buoyant and has a flat hull, which makes it very stable on the water. You won’t be nervous riding this one even if this is your first time on a kayak

Because it is lightweight, paddling it in windy conditions and rough waters is more work than fun. We wouldn’t take it on wild rivers, choppy waters, or the ocean.


  • Awesome price and incredible value
  • A complete package with everything needed to get on the water provided
  • Quick and easy to inflate and deflate
  • Super lightweight and easy to carry and transport
  • Streamlined design
  • Very strong and stable
  • Nimble and maneuverable
  • Tracks straight with the included skeg
  • It is very comfortable
  • Tough material and good quality kayak


  • The lack of a drain plug
  • The included paddle and carrying bag could be better
  • It is ironic that the skeg gets lost easily in the water but is tricky to remove

Overall Rating

  • Material: 90% – It is made of a very thick and tough vinyl that doesn’t puncture easily. It can withstand scrapes against sand, twigs, and rocks without puncturing. You can bring your dog along without worrying about punctures. 
  • Design: 90% – The streamlined, low profile design with a closed deck makes this kayak nimble and great for calm waters. Two inflatable chambers reduce the risk of the kayak deflating while in the water and sinking.
  • Price: 100% – You just can’t beat the price! That there is no skimping on the quality or performance makes it one heck of a deal and an excellent value.
  • Overall: 93% – For the money, the Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is surprisingly good. It’s well-made and sturdy and it’s very easy to use. It isn’t perfect but we can confidently call it the best kayak at this price point. 

Globo Surf Overview

The Intex Challenger K1 Kayak is a great recreational kayak for paddling leisurely in lakes and rivers. A super convenient kayak you can keep in your car all the time and take it out on the water whenever you feel like it. 

It is also a darn good deal. Few things are as useful, fun, and lasting for such little money as this kayak. If you’re just getting started kayaking, shopping on a tight budget, or want a kayak for kids<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> or teens, go ahead and order this one. You won’t regret your purchase. With proper care, you should get a couple of years of fun out of it. 

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Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review