Intex Excursion Pro Test
The Intex Excursion Pro is the latest inflatable kayak from the manufacturer. At first glance, it looks a lot like the Intex Explorer K2. The differences are not only in the design but above all in the material, equipment, and accessories. With the Excursion Pro, Intex has a significantly higher quality inflatable kayak in its range than the Explorer or Challenger. In this test report, we would like to show you whether the extra charge is worthwhile and where the boat’s strengths and weaknesses lie.
The kayak has some of the features of an inflatable fishing boat. However, we will not go into these explicitly in this test, as we are not anglers ourselves.
Which model was tested?
Intex Excursion Pro from 2022
How did the test come about?
We bought the boat ourselves for the test. Our test report is independent of the manufacturer or shop and reflects our own opinion of the boat.
How intensely has it been tested?
First impression and structure
The Intex Excursion Pro comes with a very large carrying bag. Compared to the bags of other Intex boats, it is coated and much more stable. With this tote bag, we don’t have the feeling that it tears or gets a hole after a few uses. The dimensions of the backpack are very big. But that makes perfect sense. As a rule, you will never get the boat folded as compactly as it was when it was delivered. You also have the option of putting the boat in a messy way (if you have to go fast) in your pocket.
As usual with Intex, the boat is offered in a full set. In addition to the bigger and more powerful carrying bag, there is a larger double-stroke air pump for quickly inflating the kayak such as well as two plug-in double paddles. In addition to the other Intex inflatable kayaks, the following accessories are included in the scope of delivery:
- Valve key for tightening the valves
- a really useful repair kit
- Footrest for the front and rear paddlers
- Manometer to check the correct air pressure
- inflatable seat pad for an elevated seating position in the boat
- several fishing rod holders
- One fin each for shallow and deep water (instead of a general fin)
Although the instruction manual says that the boat should be built on a surface without stones or other sharp objects, we did not fully adhere to it. If the boat skin couldn’t withstand these little stones, we would like to know. Of course, we don’t want to challenge any damage, but the boat skin inspires confidence, as this is not just a PVC film. The boat skin consists of a polyester fabric, which is coated on both sides with PVC. In the event of damage, the boat skin can be mended with the enclosed repair kit.
First, the floor and then the side chambers are inflated. The bottom and the side chambers are separate from each other, ie each air chamber also has its own valve. This multi-chamber system is common in inflatable boats in order not to drown in the event of a hole in the water.
Inflating works well with the supplied pump. Admittedly, the air pump is still quite small and not very robust. The base is also very small. However, this is not surprising. You shouldn’t expect miracles from the included accessories, especially if they are in the scope of an inexpensive complete set.
As soon as the air chamber has reached its final shape, check the air pressure with the pressure gauge provided. The chambers can be swollen up to 0.08 bar. That’s not much for an inflatable kayak, but a little more than the Intex Challenger and Explorer. If you are on the water with the boat for a longer period of time, you should check the air pressure when you take a break on the bank. If the air and water temperatures differ significantly, the air pressure in the hoses will drop and the air hoses will become a little softer. But that is quite normal with an airboat and here it helps to pump up. In the case of airboats with higher operating pressure (e.g. Gumotex or Grabner), however, this effect is not so important,
We build the handling of the valves less good. It’s a little fiddling to open and close the valve spring. The valve spring is covered with a screw cap so that the valve is not accidentally opened on the water. The cap is only attached with a very thin cord.
Inflatable kayaks generally have a disadvantage compared to rigid hull kayaks in that they have poorer straight-line stability. Therefore, a fin can be attached to most inflatable kayaks to improve straight-line stability. With our model, we, unfortunately, had to find out that the fin bracket is not in place. The sloppy attachment of the fin mount is annoying because it will give the kayak even worse straight-line stability.
Both the footrests and the seats can be positioned in different positions in the boat. For the footrest, there are 3 positions each for the front and rear paddlers. You can also attach the seat to the floor using a long Velcro strip. We were particularly surprised by the footrests, as this is not common in this price range. Since we are quite large, we use the entire interior space to place the seats and footrests. The backrests of the seats are attached using two straps, each of which can be attached to the side tube with a plastic carabiner.
There is a small spraydeck each at the bow and stern. A wave from the front (e.g. from a passing boat) would still get into the boat cause the spraydeck bends downwards.
The spraydeck is primarily used to attach the handles. The boat has a sturdy handle both at the front and at the back so that two people can carry the boat to the point of deployment. The handles make a robust impression. Unfortunately, the opening of the handles is a bit too narrow for large and strong hands.
In addition, there are small safety lines at the front and back of the outer edge of the boat. These are quite handy for pulling the boat ashore. In addition to the D-rings, which are used to attach the backrests, there are two additional D-rings at both the front and rear for attaching equipment (e.g. a packsack strap).
On closer inspection, apart from the fin finish, we couldn’t see any processing errors or unclean areas during the gluing.
The scope of delivery also includes a seat cushion that can be placed under one of the seats. The chair cushion increases the sitting position and is intended for kids youngsters or very small people, which makes it simple to stick the paddle blade into the water.
Experiences with Intex Excursion Pro on the water
The open construction of the kayak allows easy entry into the kayak. Nevertheless, the floor chamber gives way noticeably when entering. If you use the deepwater fin, you should only enter when the water depth is sufficient (30 – 40 cm).
Thanks to the variable placement of the seats, the Intex Excursion Pro can also be paddled on its own. In the photo below you can see that the effective length of the boat on the water, i.e. the waterline, is significantly shorter than the total length of the boat. This effect is increased by solo operation because the weight is mainly distributed in the middle of the boat. Nonetheless, the Excursion Pro can be paddled with a deep water fin. The speed and directional stability of a single kayak are okay for short tours.
The seat cushion is high enough so that you don’t sit in the wet right away if water (e.g. splashing water when paddling or waves from a passing boat) gets into the boat. The backrest only provides limited support and makes a rather unstable impression. It only supports a small area of the lower back when paddling. If we have learned in properly, it bends backward.
Inexpensive inflatable kayaks (under € 500) rarely have a footrest. A footrest not only gives you a much better hold while paddling. A footrest also makes paddling easier overall. Since the feet and therefore your torso have a better best hold in the boat, you can get the necessary power for the paddle caress mainly from your upper body instead of your arms. This will make you less tired when paddling. But since cheap inflatable kayaks are not designed for long paddling anyway, the manufacturers often leave out the footrest.
Although the Intex Excursion Pro is simply designed for short and leisurely tours due to its lower air pressure, the wide & yet quite a brief hill for a 2-person kayak, the footrests are a nice feature as long as the paddlers are no too tall. For each seating position in the boat (front and rear as a 2-person kayak and in the middle as a 1-person kayak) there are 3 positions for the footrest.
For tall paddlers, the footrests are rather impractical on longer tours. Because even with the attachment in the outermost loops, we have to bend our legs too much when using the footrest (see photo below). For short tours, this is not a problem. However, this becomes uncomfortable on half or day tours. For small people, however, the footrests can be nice support to find sufficient support in the boat.
If you paddle the boat alone and are tall, we recommend that you use the foremost floor loops (which are actually intended for the 2-person configuration). Apart from the footrest, the interior offers a lot of space for a solo paddler.
In contrast to the 1-person use, the kayak with a 2-person occupation is much better in the water. A lot has also improved compared to the other Intex air kayaks. The running properties are noticeably better due to the length of the boat, the air hoses have become somewhat more dimensionally stable and the payload has increased by 20 kg. A speed of 5 – 5.5 km / h is quite realistic. The interior is spacious enough that two tall paddlers have enough space.
The boat is primarily a 2-person kayak
The double paddles (with a length of 218 cm) are well matched to the kayak and for the average beginner paddling, but too shaky for longer tours. Unlike other divisible double paddles, they are not only 2 or 4-part, but even 5-part. This increases the compactness of the paddle, but at the same time reduces its stability. For intensive use, the plug-in system of the paddle shafts seems to wear out quickly, which would make the paddle even more wobbly in the long run.
For occasional and small paddling trips on the water, paddles are still useful. Nonetheless, the paddles also show that the complete set is only designed for occasional and short paddling tours.
After a two-hour paddling tour with numerous landings on the bank, the kayak remained undamaged. The stresses on the boat skin and on the boat itself were comparatively low in our test. The conditions were good (no wind) and the lake only had gravel banks. This is exactly what we think the boat is suitable for. For river tours with possible ground contact as well as half or day tours on lakes, the kayak is not the best choice in our opinion.
Dismantling the boat
If there is water in the boat, the bilge opening in the stern can be used before dismantling the kayak. This will ensure that most of the water can drain out of the boat. To do this, the boat is tipped at the front and the water in the boat runs out of the open bilge opening. All you have to do is wipe the interior dry without using a sponge to remove the water. The boat skin can also be easily wiped dry. The seats, on the other hand, have a slightly fabric-like coating that cannot be wiped dry. These should be allowed to air dry separately.
The air went out of the air chambers without much effort and the boat folded them up so that they fit back into the carrier bag. However, The original pack size did not arrive but the folded boat
Strengths and weaknesses of the Intex Excursion Pro
It is difficult to identify a specific strength of the kayak. For an inflatable kayak in the less price range, it has reasonable dimensions and comes with a lot of helpful accessories. Due to the charitable dimensions, the kayak offers significantly more space in the interior than similar kayaks in this price range.
The running characteristics are good for leisurely tours on lakes and rivers.
Nevertheless, from our point of view, the Intex Excursion Pro is an entry-level inflatable kayak for occasional use. The air hoses are not stiff enough due to the low air pressure, the backrests do not give enough support when paddling on longer tours and the paddles are too wobbly. The boat skin is much more robust than that of the Intex Challenger or Explorer. But it doesn’t make as robust an impression as the boat skin of a Gumotex or Grabner inflatable kayak.
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