Intex Excursion Pro K2 Review
Cons: Small paddle blades, unimpressive attachments, materials less durable
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Intex Excursion Pro K2
|Price||$314.99 at Amazon||$540 List|
Check Price at REI
|Check Price at REI|
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|$199.28 at Amazon||$269.10 at Amazon|
|Pros||Complete package, doesn't soak up water, spacious, can paddle solo also||Handles well, high durability, fast, stable, fabric is water resistant||Extremely portable, maneuverable, stable, easy set up||Very inexpensive, everything included, low and stable||Inexpensive, easy to set up/break down, everything included|
|Cons||Small paddle blades, unimpressive attachments, materials less durable||Heavy, floor difficult to inflate, hard to drain||Low durability, poor tracking, weight doesn’t include pump or paddle||Not durable, pump is inefficient, average portability||Narrow, sits high in water, unstable, seats unsupportive|
|Bottom Line||Everything you need to get out on the water with a friend or by yourself for a great price||With excellent handling, a long lifespan, and great comfort, this kayak will go the distance||Getting on the water miles from any roads has never been easier than with this extremely portable kayak||What it lacks in finesse and durability it makes up for with a shockingly low price tag and decent handling||A mixture of decent durability and reasonably low cost, this kayak will get you and a friend on the water with relative ease|
|Rating Categories||Intex Excursion Pro K2||AdvancedFrame||Advanced Elements P...||Intex Challenger K2||Sea Eagle 330|
|Ease Of Set Up (20%)|
|Specs||Intex Excursion Pro K2||AdvancedFrame||Advanced Elements P...||Intex Challenger K2||Sea Eagle 330|
|Measured Weight (boat and storage bag only)||34.6 lb||33.25 lb||5.25 lb||27.5 lb||28.9 lb|
|Capacity||Tandem; 400 lbs||Single; 300 lbs||Single; 250 lbs||Tandem; 400 lbs||Tandem; 500 lbs|
|Kayak Size (length x width)||12' 6" x 2' 8"||10' 3" x 2' 9"||7' 6" x 2' 11"||11' 5" x 2' 11"||10' 10" x 2' 10"|
|Packed Size (length x width x height)||26" x 19" x 19"||33" x 16" x 15"||14" x 12" x 7"||28" x 18" x 12"||41" x 21" x 14"|
|Included Accessories||Paddles, pump, repair kit, GoPro/phone mount, fishing rod holders, and pressure gauge||Repair kit||Repair kit||Repair patches, pump and paddles||Repair kit, pump and paddles|
|Material/Construction||3-ply PVC vinyl laminate with polyester core||Aluminum ribs in bow & stern, PVC-coated polyester||Polyurethane-coated ripstop polyester||30-gauge PVC vinyl, I-beam floor||33 mil Polykrylar (K80 PVC), I-beam floor|
|Features||Adjustable backrest, drainage hole, foot braces, carry handles, fishing rod holders, phone/GoPro mount, skeg, tracking fin, converts to solo boat||Adjustable backrest, bungees, pressure relief valve in floor, skeg||Rubber-molded handle, mesh carry bag doubles as onboard storage, accessory D-rings||Bow & stern grablines, cargo net, skeg||Inflatable spray skirts, bow & stern grab lines, skegs, scupper hole|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Excursion Pro K2 is a convertible tandem inflatable kayak with a 400-pound capacity that can be paddled with one or two people. It weighs 34.6 pounds and is made of three-ply PVC vinyl laminate with a polyester core. Aside from its conversion between single and tandem paddling, it features adjustable seats, foot braces, fishing rod holders, a phone/GoPro mount, a drainage hole, and carry handles. It also comes with two paddles, a dual-action pump, and a pressure gauge, as well as a small repair kit.
The Excursion Pro may not look like much, but it handles pretty well in the water. An optional tracking fin marginally improves the already above-average tracking of this 12.5-foot long boat. Riding on top of the water, turning is a breeze, though the higher profile can catch the wind more than other lower-profile boats. By eliminating any water-soaking fabric from the hull of the boat, the Excursion manages to have fairly low drag and be faster than we expected from a flat-bottomed kayak without a keel. Simple plastic foot pegs slide into one of three possible spots to provide a small surface to rest or brace your feet.
One of the reasons we enjoy the handling of the Excursion Pro is due to the adjustability of its seats. Not only can you easily switch between solo and tandem paddling, but each configuration also offers plenty of space to move paddlers forward and backward without running them into each other. This helps you find the best balance within your boat and better accommodate the space needed for paddle strokes. It's not a picky paddling experience either, as we often noticed that even an imbalanced boat handled quite well. This isn't a craft we'd recommend for intense paddling situations, but for flatwater and calm days, it's pretty ideal.
Upon initial inspection, we were worried the Excursion Pro wouldn't be particularly comfortable to paddle. Every component — including the seats and backrests — is inflatable. We're happy to be wrong about this, finding the boast comfortable enough for leisurely paddling on calm waters. Adjustable footpegs add further comfort or can be removed completely for extra storage space. The Excursion comes full of extra features as well, including fishing rod holders, paddle holders, and a GoPro mount that converts to a smartphone mount. We're not convinced we want to entrust our phones to a rather flimsy mount dangling over the water, but perhaps with a floatation device attached, we'd be more open to it.
The Excursion Pro also comes with two paddles. They're not bad, though they are a bit short and taper a little too quickly at the ends, not giving them as much power as better-quality kayak paddles. The sides of this boat are lower than average, helping to keep them out of the way as you paddle. They're a bit low for us to feel good loading the vessel full of gear, but that's not what we would use this casual-focused kayak for anyway. This craft's 2'8" width is an excellent middle ground, providing stability for entry and on moderately choppy waters without being so wide that it's difficult to paddle.
Ease of Set Up
As one of the few models we tested that comes with its own pump, we appreciate the all-inclusive nature of this kit. The pump is small, though, forcing you to bend over quite far to use it. However, its dual-action nature does help cut down inflation time to something a little more reasonable. The Excursion Pro has simple valves with double lids — the outer cap opens to a one-way valve for inflation, while the inner cap unthreads the whole valve, leaving a gaping hole for rapid deflation. It's effective, though we don't like the double cap leashes, as they frequently get in the way of each other and compromise the valve's seal. We also aren't fond of the aforementioned gaping holes, which had sand kicked into them more than once.
A drain in the boat's bottom helps you more easily get water out of this kayak before you put it away. Without the water-soaked top fabric of so many other models we tested, the Excursion Pro dries out more quickly than most and is easy to wipe down with a towel if you don't feel like waiting. Once dried, deflated, and folded, it easily fits into its oversized storage bag. Deflated seats also pack up easily into this bag, while the paddles can be broken down into five pieces. This is one of the only boats that truly fits everything — kayak, pump, and paddles — all into a single bag.
The Excursion Pro weighs 34.6 pounds, coming in just under the weight of most other tandem boats we tested. Nothing fancy, it's stored in an oversized duffel bag with long straps that can be looped over your shoulder. It lacks additional padding for the straps but is okay to carry for (hopefully short) walks from the car to the beach.
Alternatively, you could inflate everything in the parking lot and leave the storage bag, pump, and extra pieces in your car instead. A carry handle on each end of the boat makes it easy to cart it down to the water with a partner. It doesn't have paddle keepers on the sides, but we didn't find we missed these much.
The materials and construction of this PVC laminate boat aren't particularly impressive compared to the many beefier boats we tested. This isn't something we would fearlessly paddle over submerged sticks and rocks without a solid exit strategy. We didn't have any issues with it during our several months of testing, but we read plenty of other online testimonials that lead us to believe our fears aren't unfounded.
Yet, we appreciate the simplicity of the material used to make this boat. Because it doesn't soak up water, letting it dry more quickly, it's less likely to get put away still wet and grow mold down the line — which definitely happened to some of the other kayaks we tested. So while we're not about to take on a technical outing in the Excursion, it does well enough for all the casual paddling adventures you can muster.
Even for the boat alone, the cost of the Excursion Pro is well under most of the other kayaks in this review. Once you add in all the extras — particularly the paddles and pump, this complete kit more than makes itself a high-value item. If you want a super durable boat you can really beat up, you probably won't be impressed. But if you want something to get out on the water a couple of times a year, this package is perfect.
The Intex Excursion Pro K2 is a low-cost inflatable kayak kit that comes with everything you need to start paddling (minus the legally required PFDs, of course). It's not built to tackle rough conditions, but it does well in calm waters and handles mini-adventures like a pro. We love its spacious interior and the ability to be comfortable for two adult paddlers or a solo expeditioner. For a complete kit you can share with your friend or enjoy on your own, it's hard to beat the value of this budget-friendly model with solid on-water performance.
— Maggie Brandenburg