Intex Excursion 5 review – A day on the water

  • Features
  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Speed

Intex Excursion 5 opinion

This boat is a comfortable SIB for a weekend getaway on the lake. It has plenty of room for families looking for a relaxing time, as well as hobby fisherman. The Excursion 5 has several modding possibilities, like attaching a motor, a canopy, or even building a hard floor.

The Intex Excursion family of boats are definitely among the most popular boats on the market. The Excursion 5 is among the biggest boats you can find.

I had a chance to use one on the lake a while back, and think the Excursion 5 makes an excellent vessel for large families that are trying to find a portable and price-friendly boat for a summer outing on the lake.

The following is a review of the Excursion 5, in which I’ll give you valuable insight into the features, specifications, and overall qualities that this raft offers on the water.

Features of the boat

Being a rather large and feature packed SIB, there are a lot of things to talk about. Let’s start with a summary of the pros and cons of the Excursion.


Triple layered heavy-duty PVC material
Large, loads of room in the boat
Can be fitted with a trolling motor or a 1.5-2hp outboard motor
Very good price for such a large boat with many features


The oars are very basic, but maybe enough for light paddling
No quick deflate valve on air floor
Not too easy to row due to size and design


Let’s begin by considering the level of comfort that the Intex Excursion 5 offers.

As the name suggests, the official capacity of the boat is 5 people, or 1320 lbs. I would say that there is ample room to comfortably accommodate four adults. It measures 12 feet in length and 5.5 feet in width, so it is huge. If this size seems too big for you but you like the features of the boat, Intex makes a smaller version called Excursion 4.

Inex Excursion 5 Vs Average Person Size

There are two inflatable seats that are located on both ends of the boat, equipped with backrests for comfortable sitting.  The seats feel cozy, especially when you consider that you are in an inflatable boat. This is a convenient feature for anybody planning to spend a long time in the water.

Excursion 5 Seat

You are also able to remove them entirely if you want more space and have 4 adults in the boat at the same time. Especially if you want to bring extra things, like a cooler. The seats are comfortable, but take up a lot of space.

There is an extra inflatable seat in the middle, but I always remove that one because it sort of gets in the way.


The Excursion 5 features 4 built-in fishing rod holders that make it perfect for a hobby fishing expedition. You can comfortably bring aboard two of your fishing buddies when going for a boating trip, as well as fit in bait and tackle boxes. Mind you, this boat is not a full-fledged fishing vessel, so don’t expect to stand up in it while fishing.

Intex Excursion 5 review - A day on the water 1

You’ll also find a pair of 54″ aluminum oars that you can use for paddling. The oars hook into their holders smoothly. There are actually 4 welded-on oar locks, so you can row the boat from either end. The oar locks are very basic though.

By the way, the boat has oar holders on the side, so you have somewhere to store the oars when you’re not using them.

You also get a manual pump (Intex Double Quick II High-Output Hand Pump) that you can use to inflate the boat fully in about 15 minutes. The main tubes have Boston Valves, so you can get a lot of air in pretty fast (and out when deflating).

Of course, getting an electric pump makes inflating/deflating a lot quicker and easier. Here are the pumps I have used and can recommend.

The package also includes a carry bag, so you basically get everything you’ll need for an outdoor adventure.


Just because the boat is big, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is challenging to carry and move around with when inflated

On the contrary.

The boat features an all-around grab line, which allows you to hoist the vessel from the car to the water and vice versa with very little hardship. Don’t forget that the boat weighs an unbelievably low 44 pounds, which is quite impressive given that its weight limit is 1,320 pounds.

The grab line around the boat makes it easy to carry the boat and can serve as a safety feature: you can grab it if somebody goes overboard.


This inflatable boat is manufactured using top-of-the-range, durable PVC vinyl. This gives it a sturdy build that is said to be totally puncture-proof if used sensibly.

The design features two layers of PVC vinyl to go with one polyester layer. Whether you scratch it against a rock when dragging it down to the river or along the beach, you can trust that it will come out unharmed and undamaged.


All Intex boats come with a 30-day warranty, which is not much.

Even though these boats have a low price, they are usually good quality and provide good value for money.

BUT being priced this low means that a few of the boats will have manufacturing defects. Not all, just a few.

This is why it is important to inflate the boat at home right after it arrives, and keep it inflated for a few days. You only have a 30-day warranty, so don’t run out of this time window.

If the boat stays inflated (which it probably will), you’re golden. If you notice a leak, send it back and get a new one.


Here is a nice table of all you need to know about the Intex Excursion 5.

Capacity5 people or 1,320 lbs (600 kg)
Size144″ L x 66″ W x 17″ H
Weight44 lbs
Air chambers3
Vinyl30 gauge
Accessories3 inflatable seats, duffel bag, repair patch, grab line, gear pouch, 2 oars, U.S. Coast Guard I.D.
Features4 oar locks, a pair on both ends of boat
 oar holders
 2 Boston valves on main hull chambers

Who is the boat best for?

For anybody looking to spend some quality and relaxed moments on the lake, the Excursion 5 will prove to be the perfect vessel. The setup is quite easy and it will only take you a short while to inflate it and put it on the lake.

The Excursion 5 can hold a maximum load of 1,320 pounds and has ample room for a family of 4-5 people.

Two adults and their kids will fit comfortably, but 4-5 adults would be crammed.

It comes with 2 pairs of built-in fishing rod holders, making it the ideal option for hobby fishermen who are looking to get on the water and enjoy a relaxing day of fishing in an affordable inflatable boat. Keep in mind that the boat has a soft floor, so you can’t stand in it and cast. You would need to build a hard floor to be able to do that.


Intex Excursion 5 modifications

The Excursion 5 offers a lot of modding possibilities.

Trolling motor

For those who just want to enjoy an easy-going boating experience, pairing the Excursion 5 with an electric trolling motor is a great way to go.

Things you’ll need:

  1. Intex motor mount (here it is on Amazon)
  2. Trolling motor
  3. Battery
  4. Battery box (power center)

I discuss optimal motor + battery pairings specifically for Intex boats in this article.

Intex Excursion 5 review - A day on the water 2

The motor easily attaches to the Excursion 5s motor mount, saving you the trouble of having to row the boat while in the water. And even with the motor attached, your vessel will still be able to move at an easy 5mph.

You could even attach a gasoline-powered motor to the Excursion 5, just not a strong one, otherwise, you might damage the boat. Intex recommends a max 1.5 HP outboard motor.

An important thing to note is that you’ll probably need to have your boat registered if you decide to attach the motor.


Adding a canopy (bimini) over the Excursion 5 can make your time out on the water much more comfortable on a hot, sunny day.


A canopy can easily be fastened to the boat and will do a good job of offering protection from elements like harmful UV rays, or even downpours that catch you unprepared.

You can buy a canopy best suited for the Intex 5 that has a similar build of durable polyester coated with PVC, featuring aluminum tubing that makes it even sturdier. Once you’re done with using the canopy, simply fold it and keep it inside the boat.

Here is a guide on installing a canopy.

Hard floor

If you have a bit of time on your hands, the Excursion 5 is a great boat to build a DIY hard floor for.


This is a very popular mod for the Excursion 5, since it can turn the boat into a sensibly priced fishing boat. You’ll even be able to stand up in the boat while casting.

I have a complete guide on how to build a hard floor here.

Swivel chairs

If you do build a hard floor and want something more functional that would make a great alternative to inflatable chairs fastened to the floor of the boat, you can try installing swivel chairs.


These would make a fishing trip even better.

You’ll find a lot of people installing a pair of swivel chairs that have folding backs to their Excursion by simply bolting the seats into tiny plywood pieces on the floor. Of course, this will require handyman skills and a bit of effort and improvisation.

All in all, having a pair of raised chairs on your boat that can spin is definitely worth the trouble.

Supply boxes

If you have a hard floor, you can build boxes to store your supplies in.

You can even put a swivel chair on top of the boxes, so you have an elevated view of the water.

Intex Excursion 5 review - A day on the water 3

Excursion 4 vs 5

The Intex Excursion 4 is a smaller version of the 5 version. Here are 2 photos comparing their length.

Excursion 4

Intex Excursion 4 Top

Excursion 5

Intex Excursion 5 Top.jpg

And here are the exact specifications of each boat for comparison.

 Excursion 4Excursion 5
Capacity4 people – 880 lbs5 people – 1320 lbs
Size124″ x 65″ x 17″144″ x 66″ x 17″
Price checkAmazonAmazon

The most notable differences in specs and features between the Excursion 4 and 5 are the following:

  • 4 person vs 5 person capacity
  • The Excursion 4 is shorter by 20 inches, and narrower by 1 inch.
  • The Excursion 4 has 2 fishing rod holders instead of 4 on the Excursion 5.
  • The Excursion 4 has 2 (front and rear) seats, while the Excursion 5 has an inflatable middle row seat.

Other than these, the 2 boats are identical in terms of build and accessories as well.

Note that the Excursion 4 is only narrower by 1 inch, which is negligible. The Excursion 4 will actually fit 4 people, it is a very wide boat.

The manufacturer: Intex

The name of the company that makes the Excursion is Intex. The company was founded in 1997, and has grown to sell its products in over 100 countries. It is based out of California.


The company makes all sorts of inflatable products, from air beds to pools to toys to boats.

They do provide support for their products, which is good to know and provides peace of mind. You can even buy replacements part directly on their site. So in case you lose the Boston valve or the fishing rod sleeve, you can order replacements from Intex.


Is there a recommended motor size for the Excursion 5?
You can attach any electric trolling motor, or a gasoline power up to 2 HP. Attaching a motor which is too strong will damage the boat.

An outboard motor like a trolling motor or 2 HP gas motor will work. Anything larger than that is not recommended.

What happens if the boat develops a leak?
Small holes are easy to fix using the patch kit which is included. You should also read my article on how to find and fix air leaks.

Does the Excursion 5 need to be registered with the local authorities?
If you put a motor on the boat, it probably needs to be registered. Here is a guide for all US states. You will need to contact Intex to get a Certificate of Origin for your boat as well. Have your Hull ID Number ready when contacting them.

Is it possible to face all the seats forward, instead of them facing each other?
Unfortunately not, the seat mounts are fixed. You can take either seat out, but that’s about it. What I would do is keep the rear seat in, and take the front seat out.

Does it take long to inflate the boat?
The Excursion 5 will take about 15 minutes to inflate with included the manual pump. If that’s too long, you can get an electric pump which will do it in 7 minutes.

Is it possible for a single person to row the Excursion 5?
It is possible, yes. Daddy does the rowing, while the family sits back and relaxes.
But if you plan on using it alone for fishing, you should definitely get an outboard motor or a smaller boat, maybe the Excursion 4.

Can I go whitewater rafting with the Excursion 5?
You can go river boating, but not on whitewater. This boat is meant for relaxing in the sun, or light fishing trips. 

Can I go fishing with the Intex Excursion?
If you are looking for an inflatable fishing boat on a budget, the Excursion 5 is a good choice. Many fisherman choose it and convert it to a full-fledged fishing boat, since it is of good size and stability for fishing. You should build a hard floor for it, to make it stable to stand on as well.

With a hard floor in place, you can even add swiveling fishing chairs.


Here is a list of pages/documents you will find useful if you are considering this boat:

Final opinion of the Excursion 5

When you combine all the onboard features, extra mods, and upgrades, as well as the boat’s durable build, you’ll realize that the Excursion 5 is a great recreational vessel for boaters on a budget. It is made using a thick PVC vinyl material and features three air chambers that keep it from sinking if it is punctured.

When it comes to spending quality and exciting time on the lake affordably, the Excursion 5 gets a solid A, thanks to its numerous features and low price. This boat will provide you with some well-deserved relaxation time on the lake or river, although it wasn’t designed for raging waters.

I liked it so much, I had to put it on the list of the best inflatable rafts you can buy.

Intex Excursion 5

Excursion 5

review rating stars

Fine entry-level inflatable

Good value

This inflatable raft has a lot of features, is large enough for families and fishermen, and can support a large payload. I like it!

Check today’s prices on:

Are you new to the world of inflatable boats? Then my Getting Started Guide is for you. You’ll find tips, tricks, and how-to articles to start off right.

6 thoughts on “Intex Excursion 5 review – A day on the water”

  1. Tom,

    I have a question about oars: do you have a suggested set of oars, or at least length/diameter of oars that would be a upgrade from the included pair? I found them useable but they felt a bit short and awkward. I would appreciate any guidance you can give. I am a newbie as far as inflatable boating is concerned. Thank you in advance.

    1. Tom @

      Hi Martin, they are awkward, but we got used to them, but we just use the boat for family fun. They are 54″ long. If you want to buy longer ones, measure the diameter of the oar locks on the boat to make sure the new oars you buy will fit.

      I’ve seen newer Excursion 5s with swiveling oar locks, does yours have that? Ours has the old plastic insert oar lock.

      Please let me know which oars you get and how you like them!

  2. Got one in late spring, before the seasonal price hikes. Unfortunately, got a lemon – there was a small hole in the “welded” seam, which wouldn’t make sense to tackle in the field (the patch kit that comes with the boat is kind of like glorified clear duct tape, and wouldn’t hold anywhere near the seam). Luckily, the 30 days were not up yet, so got a warranty replacement.

    I have a question for Tom – in your opinion, would it make sense to reinforce the seams all around with, say, a 4cm pvc tape, covering the seam and 2cm pf the top and the bottom of the airchamber ( I kept the original body of the boat, so have a ton of PVC to spare)? How would you go about it? Glue the protruding “edge” of the seam to the body of the boat and then apply tape? Would you go with the PVC tape cut out of the top of the boat (grey, seem lighter gauge) or the bottom (dark grey, seems heavier)?

    I really really don’t like how they look – more like an inflatable toy than a real boat, and have concerns about durability. I’ve been using an old Soviet 2-chamber inflatable rubber boat for the past 30-some years, and, other than a couple of punctures, using chalk powder for long-term storage, and a valve replacement here or there, it’s been all smooth sailing (rowing) – but I’m totally new to all this PVC stuff, pvc glues, MEK, and welded seams. No to mention the size of this thing, which is easily 4 times bigger than my trusted Нырок-2.

    1. Tom @

      The Excursion 5 seams are welded, but not overlapped, so they are not as durable as more expensive boats. The fact that they have a 30-day warranty tells it all. This boat used to cost $120, so you can’t expect too much from it. I know it costs $250-$300 nowadays, but that price point is just way too much in my opinion. At that price, you can get a Sea Eagle 370 with a 3-year warranty…

      So anyhow, back to your question. If the seams fail on a boat like this, I’m not sure you could make a watertight cover over it with PVC tape. If a seam fails and it has tape over it, I would think the air pressure would push the tape off. I think I understand how you would use the material from the old boat to reinforce the new one. If you do try it, please let me know how it goes.

  3. Hi Tom,

    Loved everything about your article and website. Easy to maneuver, read and understand; all the information I was looking for and more. It has made my decision easier. Thank you very much and keep the articles coming . I now know where to go when I need information on water related sports.


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