Intex Excursion Pro kayak opinion
The Excursion Pro is arguably Intex’s best product. It has a lot of things going for it: it comes with a barrage of accessories, the material is semi-tough, it tracks reasonably well, and is stable. However, it has several cons, and comes with a short 90-day warranty. If you can find it for under $280, it is worth considering.
Putting “Pro” into the name of a product is a bold and aggressive statement, so I wanted to review the Excursion Pro kayak and see if it deserves the title in its name?
I bought the K2 (tandem) version of the kayak as a gift for my nephew, but I asked him to let me use it as well. Call me “Uncle of the Year” 🙂
Here is my full review of the Intex Excursion Pro inflatable kayak after using it a few times.
Features of the Excursion Pro kayak
The Excursion Pro is the latest inflatable kayak from Intex (released in 2019), and represents the top-of-the-line offering in their inflatable boat/kayak business.
But Intex isn’t exactly known for quality, which isn’t helped by their extremely short 90-day product warranty.
Nevertheless, this kayak has a lot of things going for it. If you can find it for around $270-$280, it is worth considering.
The body of the Excursion Pro kayak is made of a polyester fabric core with laminated PVC on both sides, creating a 3-ply 30 gauge material. Intex says that it uses “high molecular PVC”, whatever that may mean.
It feels pretty rugged, much thicker than the Intex Explorer. You can safely take your dog with you in the Excursion Pro.
The kayak is made up of 3 air chambers:
- Two side chambers
- Floor chamber
You inflate the bottom chamber first, then the ones on the sides. Each compartment is separated, so if one of them punctures out on the water, you still have air in the other ones to stay afloat and make it to shore.
The floor of the Excursion Pro is an I-beam, which is typical of kayaks in this category. It is firm enough to sit in without much sagging, but you won’t stand up in it.
The valves are spring-loaded Halkey-Roberts valves in functionality, but not official Halkey Roberts valves. My regular pump nozzle would not fit. You have to use the Intex-provided pump to inflate the kayak, which is a bit bothersome. If the hose of the supplied pump fails, you need to replace it with an Intex-specific one.
There’s a screw cap covering the valve spring to keep the valves from accidentally opening while on the water, but that also makes opening and closing the valves for inflation and deflation a bit harder.
The Intex Excursion Pro weighs 39 lbs, making it easy to transport in and out of the water. It is 5 lbs heavier than the Sea Eagle 370, a comparable kayak in the category.
The kayak has front and rear spray covers to keep water from splashing into the boat, but there is a design flaw. There is no ledge to the spray covers, so water will get in because they sag downwards a bit.
The Excursion Pro has 4 D-rings installed, 2 in the front and 2 in the back.
It also has fore and aft carry handles, as well as safety ropes.
The kayak has 2 built-in fishing rod holders. I didn’t use the Excursion Pro for fishing, but I could see that the rod holders lean inward. If you had 2 fishing rods, they would cross each other, rendering the rod holders incapable of performing their job. What you could do though, is bridge a pipe between the rod holders, and mount Scotty rod holders onto the pipe.
The package also comes with a fishing mounting bracket, that is situated right in front of you. If you go fishing, you can mount various accessories onto the bracket, such as your GPS or fish finder. The mounting bracket will be useful if you go fishing, since you won’t have to bother with glueing your mounting systems onto the hull.
You also get a seat booster, which raises your seat while fishing, giving you a higher vantage point to cast. It’s a thoughtful touch.
However, the soft I-beam floor and the inflatable seats are not that great for fishing. I would build a hard floor for the kayak, if your main goal with it is to fish.
Paddling performance and tracking
The Excursion Pro has surprisingly good paddling performance and directional stability. The included skegs do their job nicely. In fact, the package comes with 2 skegs that can you can swap. The smaller skeg is for shallow water, and the larger one is for deeper water.
It is not the fastest of inflatable kayaks, but I felt that good maneuverability makes up for it.
Reading other people’s reviews of the Intex Excursion Pro, it seems that sometimes the fin holder on the bottom is not glued on straight. This was not the case on our kayak. It was perfectly aligned.
The K2 package comes with two paddles that break down into 5 pieces. The K1 version only comes with one paddle.
Unfortunately, the “Pro” in the name of the package does not apply to the 86″ paddles, don’t expect much from them. They are for beginners, so if you’ve used proper “pro” paddles before, these will be a disappointment. You should probably replace them, it will make a world of difference.
Also, I’m not too fond of the fact that the paddles break down into five pieces. I understand that it makes them more compact, but it also makes them more flimsy when assembled. Two or three-piece paddles are firmer and nicer to use.
The Excursion Pro seats are quite comfortable on short trips, considering the fact they’re inflatable. There is a Velcro strip to fix it to the floor and vary its position.
The back support is adequate.
You also get a footrest that can you can adjust in 3 positions. I am 6′ tall (185 cm), the furthest position is about right for me.
Here is a video review of the Intex Excursion Pro kayak:
You get a LOT of goodies with this kayak. I’ve never seen so many accessories included in a kayak kit.
And the great part is that the monster-sized carry bag will fit everything, and then some. Whenever in a hurry, you’ll enjoy how the boat fits in nicely, even when not folded neatly. It also seems like it is of good quality, so hopefully, it won’t tear for a few years.
The boat arrives in a complete set. Apart from the carry bag, you get everything you need to hit the water.
Here’s a list of the accessories included in the Intex Excursion Pro package:
- Dual-action pump with inflate/deflate feature
- 86″ paddles
- fishing mounting bracket
- Valve key, for tightening air valves
- Footrest for both ends of the rear paddler
- 1 removable seat booster
- Inflatable seats
- 2 fishing rod holders
- 2 skegs (shallow water and standard)
- Manometer (pressure gauge)
- Repair kit
Intex Excursion Pro assembly and disassembly
Inflation is a breeze, thanks to the valves and the double-action air pump. The kayak inflates to 0.08 bar (about 1.1 PSI). It will take no more than 7-8 minutes to assemble the entire kayak.
The kit comes with a pressure gauge you can use to check the air pressure in the tubes. The gauge also has a button on it to let the air out while the device is still in the valve, making it easier to adjust the pressure.
You can also check pressure at various intervals during your kayak trip; you can do that when you come up to the shore.
The Excursion Pro is easy to take apart as well. The material dries quickly, so you don’t need to take it out again at home and dry it if you had to pack up quickly.
There is a drain opening in the stern to drain out any water that is in the cockpit. Just tilt the boat backward and let the water run out. From that point, it’s easy to wipe the kayak dry.
The spring-loaded air valves will let the air out quickly.
You can even use the air pump to suck out any air left in the tubes, but I didn’t feel the need to do that.
The air valves are in the back of the boat. Make sure you start folding it from the front, so the air valves are free to let out any air that is still in the tubes.
Intex Excursion Pro technical specifications
You might not know that there are 2 versions of the kayak:
- a solo paddler version (K1)
- a tandem (two-person) version (K2)
|Excursion Pro K1||Excursion Pro K2|
|Capacity||220 lbs (100 kg)||400 lbs (180 kg)|
|Dimensions||10′ x 3′ x 1’6″ (305 cm x 91 cm x 46 cm)||12’7″ X 3’1″ X 1’6″ (384 cm x 94 cm x 46 cm)|
|Weight||38 lbs (17.2 kg)||39 lbs (17.7 kg)|
|Vinyl||3 ply 30 gauge PVC||3 ply 30 gauge PVC|
When you look at the details of the Intex Excursion Pro K1 vs K2, you can see that the only difference is that the K1 is shorter.
I really think that if you’re going to buy this brand of kayak, it should be the K2.
You can make good use of the extra space even when you’re paddling solo. The only reason you would need the shorter K1 is if you needed the extra maneuverability that a shorter kayak can provide on rapids. But if you’re buying something for whitewater rafting, it shouldn’t be this boat.
What other Excursion Pro users say
When you visit the Amazon product page of the kayak here, you’ll see that it has thousands of reviews.
The kayak has a 4.4 aggregate rating (October, 2023), which is very high.
Browsing through the written reviews, a few common themes are clear:
- The Excursion Pro is easy and quick to inflate with the included hand pump, and people find the pressure gauge helpful.
- There is plenty of legroom in the kayak for 2 people and gear (or a cooler).
- The included paddles are not of great quality, but they do their job.
- The built-in fishing rod holders lean inward, and the fishing rods cross. This makes the holders unusable with 2 fishing rods. Fishermen end up mounting extra rod holders onto the mounting bracket to circumvent this.
- People that get faulty kayaks have problems contacting Intex and warranty claims.
The last point above is worrisome.
I would suggest you take it out of the box as soon as you get it, inflate it and leave it inflated for a few days. Make sure there are no air leaks. You don’t have much time to send it back, and it looks like contacting the company can be problematic.
Intex Excursion Pro vs Explorer K2
When you see the Excursion Kayak for the first time, it looks similar to the Explorer K2. Not color-wise, but overall.
However, a closer look will reveal that things are very different.
The Excursion Pro is much tougher and made of better parts than the Explorer K2. It feels more rigid as well,
It also comes with extra accessories that you won’t find on the Explorer, such as standard and shallow water skegs, a pressure gauge, fishing rod holders, foot braces, etc.
Also, the valves on the Excursion kayak are Halkey Roberts-type valves, while the Explorer has Boston Valves. Halkey Roberts are more advanced valves, but Boston valves also get the job done.
With the improved design and construction material, the Excursion Pro is the highest-quality kayak ever from Intex.
Intex Excursion Pro vs Sea Eagle 370/330
Many people compare the Excursion Pro with the Sea Eagle 370.
The two kayaks are similar in price, but there are a lot of differences:
- Thickness: The PVC of the Sea Eagle 370 is about 30% thicker than the Excursion Pro, making the Sea Eagle more rugged.
- Whitewater rating: Partly due to the above, the Sea Eagle is rated for Class III whitewater. The Intex is not rated for whitewater.
- Capacity: The Sea Eagle 370 has a capacity of 295 kg, vs the K2’s capacity of 180 kg.
- Warranty: The Sea Eagle has a 3-year warranty, vs the 90-day warranty of the Excursion Pro.
- Accessories: The Excursion Pro comes with way more accessories.
- Tracking and paddling: Both kayaks have plastic skegs, they perform about the same.
As you can see, in terms of quality, Sea Eagle beats Intex by a mile.
If you are looking for a beginner kayak to maybe do some touring in, the Sea Eagle is a better choice as it is more rugged, and has a larger capacity.
However, if you need all the accessories that come with the Intex Excursion Pro for fishing, it may just be a better choice.
Is the Intex Excursion Pro worth it?
It is worth it if you can buy the Intex Excursion Pro for around $250-280. It comes with a bunch of accessories, and it performs well enough to make it on my list of the best kayaks of 2023.
I’ve noticed that pricing can fluctuate greatly though. Post-Covid logistical issues around the world have caused the price of this kayak to soar to $399 plus tax for a while, but now the price has dropped back down. It is not worth $400, especially considering that it has a short 90-day warranty.
The manufacturer – Intex
The company that makes the Mariner inflatable raft is Intex. It was founded in 1997, and is based out of California. During the years, it has grown to sell its products in over 100 countries.
Intex manufactures many types of inflatable products, from air beds to pools to toys to boats.
It’s good to know that they do provide support for their products, unlike far-eastern “brands”. You can buy replacements part directly on their site. So remember, if you ever lose the Boston valve cover, you can order replacements from Intex directly.
The Excursion Pro kayak has a 90-day limited warranty, which is very short.
Make sure you test the kayak at home right after you receive it.
Here are some pages you might find useful if you’re considering this kayak.
Opinion of the Intex Excursion Pro
Apart from a few design misses, the Excursion Pro is a good kayak for casual use in lakes and mild rivers. It’ll give you longer service than other Intex boats, however, take note of the warranty period; it’s only 90 days long.
If you can find it at a good price (around $280), I say go for it. Otherwise, have a look at the Sea Eagle 370 instead.