by Sue Markovitch
Since moving to Arizona in 2019, I’ve done a lot of exploring. One of the things that surprised me most was the number of gorgeous lakes and reservoirs.
I think it’s time to do some exploring on the water.
I started my research by posting on my Facebook page, looking for recommendations for inflatable kayaks. I got just as many “following” as I did recommendations, so I must not be the only one wanting to try this.
First, let me tell you my criteria for an inflatable kayak.
- Must be easy to carry and use solo
- This will not be a whitewater rafting situation – I want to explore the calm waters where I can see the shoreline
- I will not be paddling miles through the Colorado River – more like heading up to Watson or Woods Canyon Lake and putting my feet up in the autumn sunshine
- This is a brand new sport to me, I’ve never owned a kayak because of the hassle of transporting them. I have taken a kayak out when I rented one with a group. Loved it.
- I want to go as low budget as possible to fit my downsized, minimized lifestyle.
- Safe, highly rated, reputable company.
Once I was clear on what I wanted, I started researching.
You can spend a lot of money on a kayak, if you want. Even some of the inflatables are over a thousand dollars. For example, there is a BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak and SUP for $1099. Since that’s not in my price range, I kept looking.
A few brands were brought up on my looking-for-recommendations FB post. Sea Eagle. Sevylor. Intex. So, I checked out their websites. There are also a number of websites that have already tested and reviewed all the popular brands. For example, boatinggeeks.com. You can find youtube video reviews of any brand you are considering, from unpacking to set up to launch and repacking. Thank you, internet recreation world.
After watching those, I went to Amazon and searched on “inflatable kayaks”, then narrowed my search to Average Customer Review.
Intex came up as a top seller and highest rated.
They offer one- and two-person kayaks in the Challenger and Explorer versions. According to boatinggeeks.com, the Intex Explorer K2 kayak is better, roomier, more comfortable, lighter and more durable. The Challenger, however, is more budget friendly.
A few stats for you:
The Intex Challenger K1 (one person) and K2 (two people) at $169 and $229 respectively have over 13,000 reviews and 4.5 stars.
The Intex Explorer K2 at $275 has over 11,000 reviews and 4.5 stars.
To compare, the Sevylor K1 at $279 has 902 reviews and 4.0 starts, and the K2 at $349 has 26 reviews and 3.5 stars.
I was almost set on Intex, but I wanted to read about the company first. Intex Recreation is an international company headquartered in California and founded in 1975. They make pools, spas, air mattresses (I have two of those!), pool floats and sporting goods. http://www.intexcorp.com
I was sold. For $169 I would get a brand new Intex inflatable kayak, carrying case, aluminum oar and high output air pump. I also ordered a life jacket for $23 dollars. It should all be here this week, and I can’t wait to try it out.
That’s really the most important part of my decision-making process. I want to try things. I want to explore. Just like I did with my tent and cooler for camping, I don’t want to invest a lot, to try new things.
(I’ll be telling you about my tent and cooler soon for those of you who want to try low budget camping.)
I am so excited to get out there on the water.
Reminder to self. It doesn’t have to be complicated, terribly expensive, or intimidating to try new things. Even solo.
It just takes an adventurous spirit and a commitment to get up and out whenever possible. Up is mandatory. See you out there.
Here they are :
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