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best kayak for multi day trips

Are you looking for the best kayak for multi-day trips? Are you trying to stay on a budget? I think I have found the kayak for you! A few years back we purchased an Intex Explorer K2 Kayak and it has has been an amazing purchase for our family. When we bought it we were total kayaking beginners and were simply hoping to find good sit-in kayaks for my husband and myself as well as our children.

We were not looking to go sea kayaking or to kayak for long distances, but we wanted to be safe and we wanted a recreational kayak that we could easily use as beginners. As a family without a lot of of storage space for a large, hard plastic kayaks, we knew it needed to be more compact for storage, but we wanted it to be sturdy enough to take with us on an occasional kayak camping trip. We were really just looking for a good kayak that would mean our goal of spending more time on the water was an easy reach for a family on a budget.

The Best Kayak for Multi Day Trips with the Family: Intex Explorer K2

What Type of Kayaking Have We Done with The Intex Explorer K2?

We have kayaked in small lakes, scenic rivers, large lakes and more. While the majority of our trips have been on calm waters, we have taken them into rivers and larger lakes. We have felt comfortable and safe with each trip. These kayaks are extremely stable and comfortable for all of the types of kayaking we have done so far.

Our first kayaking trip on water that was more “adventurous” than a no boats allowed small lake, was at Loon Lake in Southern Oregon. This was during a busy, holiday, summer weekend where there were speed boats all around us and we had to paddle through their wakes. While dealing with those large wakes, we discovered that this Intex Explorer was a stable kayak that moved smoothly on the water the entire time.

What Bodies of Water Have We Done with this Inflatable Kayak?

After we experienced the wakes from the boats on Loon Lake, we decided we could handle some faster moving water and some larger bodies of water.

Ollala Reservoir

No motorized boats are allowed on this small lake and it is where our kayaking journeys began.

Loon Lake

Loon Lake is a 2 mile long, 190 feet deep lake that is 20 miles west of Reedsport on the Southern Oregon Coast. This camping and kayaking trip was also our first time ever seeing a bald eagle in the wild! We have been outdoorsy people for a very long time, but I was well into my 30s the first time I ever saw them and it was awesome. We were out in the middle of the lake and there were bald eagles flying above us over and over again. It was so cool! I didn’t realize that kayaking was such a great avenue for wildlife viewing.

Klamath River

Klamath River is located in Southern Oregon and California and is great for kayaking!

Multiple Lakes Near Florence Oregon

Honestly, I cannot remember the names of the lakes that we took our kayaks in near Florence, Oregon (there are quite a few nearby lakes). It was here that we experienced very windy conditions and while paddling against the strong winds wasn’t necessarily fun, it was still quite easy to keep the kayak moving in a straight line. I saw several other inflatable kayaks out on that lake that were rocking back and forth and the kayakers looked like there were not even close to having fun. It was then that I realized that the Intex Explorer K2 has greater stability than many of the cheaper inflatables out there because we were not dealing with that at all.

After that experience we were no longer nervous to take them on larger bodies of water. We have since gained much more kayaking experience with ger, faster moving bodies of water and don’t always stress about staying on flat water.

Here are a few more lakes that we are planning to take the kayaks this summer.

What is the Best Thing About This Inflatable Kayak?

In addition to this being a stable, reliable kayak, what I find to be the best thing about this kayak is that it is one of the best options for people who are low on space. They deflate and fold up into their own storage bag, which is quite compact compared to the saize of the kayak fully inflated. As a matter of fact, we can fit two of these kayaks in the trunk of a Toyota Camry along with our life vests, coolers and the rest of our camping gear. It’s amazing how easy it is to transport.

What Other Things Make The Intex Explorer K2 and Excellent Choice?

Here are some of my other favorite things about this kayak:

Adjustable Seat

The seats in this kayak inflate and then buckle into place. The great thing about this is that they are adjustable in several ways. First of all, you can adjust the strap to determine how far back you want the seat to lean. You can also adjust the placement of the seat in the kayak per the heavy duty velcro placement. At first I wasn’t sure about them, but as it turns out, it’s quite a comfortable seat.

Plenty of Storage Capacity

Even with our kids along with us, we have always felt that there was plenty of storage capacity in this kayak. We would each pack up dry bags with our phones and extra gear.

It’s a Great Tandem Kayak

I love that 2 people can fit into these kayaks comfortably. My husband and I have kayaked together in one and we have each taken one of our teens with us. My husband and teen son are each over 6 foot tall and over 200 pounds and they can each comfortably fit into this kayak with another adult. That should tell you how comfortable they are.

It Stays Inflated for Multiday Trips

We have found that this kayak stays inflated fully for multiple days in a row without fail. When we go camping at at lakes, we prefer to leave the kayak inflated while we are at camp and have never had an issue doing so.

Are There Any Negatives to This Kayak?

The only negatives that I can think of is that they could use larger paddlers. We upgraded ours after the first year or so. The ones that they come with work fine so upgrading isn’t necessary. After after using a high quality paddle while kayaking with friends I thought that they felt as though they paddled a bit more smoothly.

Is this Kayak Good for Open Water?

Listen, I’m not a professional kayaker. I like to think that after the last 5 years, I’m pretty experienced, but I have never taken one of these out on open water, nor would I. It is worth noting that I haven’t even looked into whether or not it is safe. I really don’t think it would be though. I think they are too small for that.

Plus, I really don’t like being out on the open water in small vessels. A commercial fishing boat on the ocean was too small for me. Plus, I get ridiculously sea sick and being in a tiny kayak floating in the waves does not sound like the best way to have a good time to me. Additionally, I really don’t think that these are big enough for the ocean and I don’t think they are recommended for fast moving bodies of water.

I would 100% recommend that you speak to experienced sea kayakers if that is the type of trip you are looking for.


The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a good option for a first timer kayaker or someone with more experience. They are great for transporting, they are easy to inflate and deflate, they are sturdy and strong and they are very comfortable!

If you are still trying to decide, here is a review I wrote of this kayak several years ago and we have still been using them often and have never yet had any issues. No holes that need patched. No rips or tears in the straps. Nothing. No issues at all.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review

Are you considering buying a kayak this year? If you are thinking about buying an inflatable kayak either for portability or for budget, I strongly suggest checking out our Intex Explorer K2 Kayak review. Yeah, you can go onto Amazon and read the thousands of reviews on Amazon, but if you are anything like me, you are always a little skeptical of those types of reviews, because you just never know if they are genuine or not.

We purchased 2 of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayaks WAY back in 2017. We are a family of 5 and at the time had a 13 year old, a 10 year old and a 1 year old. These two kayaks were perfect for us because while they are technically for 2 people each, our kids were smaller and it worked perfectly for us to go with one adult per kayak.

I have quite a bit to say about these kayaks, but let’s start with the basics. What is the price?

What is the price of the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak?

The price varies on this kayak, so it’s best to keep checking. As you can see from the attached screenshot, we were able to snag a really good deal on these kayaks (the minute I saw the price drop on them I hit order). I haven’t seen them priced this low for quite a while, but they do still drop down in the $80 range from time to time.

Is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak safe?

I was nervous putting my kids in these kayaks when we first got them. Not for any reason other than the fact that at the time it was an unfamiliar activity for us. 3.5 years later and I can honestly say that our first float was the only time I felt nervous like that. These kayaks feel secure on the water, I’m never worried about it flipping over, sinking, etc.

We do take a lot of safety precautions, which helps me feel safer with my children out there with us.

What safety precautions do we follow while in these inflatable kayaks?

We may be a little bit more safety conscious than other people. That’s okay though. I’m a big believer in water safety, so it is what it is. Here are the safety rules we always follow when we are spending a day on the Intex Explorer K2 Kayaks.

  • Life Jackets – We all wear safe life jackets, all the time. No questions, no arguing. My kids know that this is a rule that they are not allowed to disagree with.
  • Still water kayaking. 75% of the time that we kayak, we do it in a lake that is a still water lake. No motorized boats allowed. At the beginning of our kayaking journey, any thoughts of moving water made me nervous. Now that we have been doing it for a while, I really like peace and quiet of it. The other 25% of the time, we do other lakes that do allow boats, and now that we are more experienced, I don’t get too nervous about it.
  • Good weather. We only kayak in good weather.

Where can you use an inflatable kayak?

These inflatable kayaks are best for kayaking in lakes, ponds, reservoirs or mild rivers. It is not recommended that you take them onto fast moving water. It’s okay though, we have had a ton of fun kayaking on bodies of water like this!

If you are in Oregon, check out this list of great lakes to kayak!

Is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak well made?

We have made quite a few trips every summer and have never experienced an air leak or any other issue. As a matter of fact, every piece of both of the kayaks are still in great shape. We haven’t had a single issue in all of this time. I’m very impressed with the quality.

Is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak comfortable?

I would say that for a budget friendly inflatable kayak, these are very comfortable. My 13 year old son is often in the kayak with me and he is not a small child. He is almost 6 foot tall and has very broad shoulders and the two of us comfortably navigate the waters in this kayak.

Is the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak easy to transport?

These kayaks air up or down in about 5 minutes. They are also easy to fold up and store in the bags that they come in. The oars break down easily too. Plus, they are surprisingly compact. I drive a Toyota Camry and we can easily fit 2 kayaks in the trunk with extra space for our lifejackets, cooler for lunch, etc.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Review

In case I haven’t really expressed it yet, we all love the Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it is one of our family’s favorite purchases. We have had many days of fun in these kayaks, soaking up the summer sun from the comfort of these kayaks.

We often head to the lake with some family members who have the hard shell kayaks. Our kayaks do a good job keeping up with them.

My favorite thing to do is to kayak over to a private beach area of our favorite kayaking spot and let the kids swim while I lay back and float in the kayak. Talk about relaxing!

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