Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review

  • Comfort
  • Construction Quality
  • Stability and Handling
  • Portability
  • Safety
  • Speed of Inflation/Deflation
  • Value for Money


The Intex Challenger K1 kayak offers fantastic value for money and is a great option for beginners, and indeed anyone who doesn’t need the highest performance under the most testing conditions. Highly recommended for the budget conscious.

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak Review

Although it has one or two minor faults, the Intex Challenger K1 kayak has raised the bar for inexpensive inflatable kayaks. Kayaking itself is a fast-growing sport and inflatable kayaks provide ease of storage and portability, and offer a great way for beginners to try out the sport without investing too much money. So let’s take an in-depth look at just why we consider the Challenger K1 to be such a good choice for beginners and indeed anyone looking for a budget but high quality inflatable kayak…

What’s Good About The Challenger K1?

The first thing we should say about the Challenger K1 is that it looks great! With its streamlined design and striking green and black colors it, really does look the part and you’ll definitely be noticed. You’d never guess it was one of the cheaper inflatable kayaks on the market.

And the impression of quality continues with the build construction. It’s made from tough and durable vinyl that doesn’t scuff and is puncture-proof, and at the same time it’s really lightweight. Even when it’s fully inflated it only weighs about 10kg, so it’s still very portable.

You get a really nice ride from this kayak. The seat is comfortable and includes a backrest which is great for longer journeys, and the inflatable I-beam floor gives great stability to your ride, not something you always get from an inflatable. Indeed, the overall experience is one of stability and reliability when it comes to handling and performance, with paddling and steering being easy.

A hand pump and aluminium oars are included, there are grab lines at both ends of the kayak and it also has a cargo net to allow for more storage.

Being an inflatable kayak, you obviously need to pump it up before you can use it but this takes only a matter of minutes with the included pump. Deflating the Challenger K1 is also a breeze and of course one of the big advantages of being an inflatable is that once it’s been deflated, it’s easy to fold it up and fit into the boot of your car.

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What’s Not So Good?

As we mentioned, there are one or two minor quibbles with the Intex Challenger K1.

Firstly, the included oars aren’t the best quality. That’s not really an issue for a beginner, but if you want to get the absolute maximum from your kayak you’ll need to invest in quality oars, which will obviously increase your outlay. Having said that, we’ve yet to see an inflatable kayak that does come with high quality oars included, so this issue isn’t exactly unique to the Challenger K1.

Secondly, this kayak isn’t really suited to choppy sea conditions. Nor would we recommend taking it out on white water rapids or any fast flowing water. So this does restrict your options somewhat when it comes to where you can use it. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend a beginner kayaker going out in those conditions in any kayak until they’ve gained more experience anyway.


The Intex Challenger K1 inflatable kayak is a great budget option which offers fantastic value for money. Indeed, it’s our recommended option for anyone looking for an inexpensive kayak, especially beginners. With it’s sporty looks and comfortable, easy ride and maneouvrability, you’re sure to have many great days of kayaking fun.

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