Intex Challenger 3 Review: Ultimate Review + Guide [2020]

Intex is a well-known manufacturer of affordable yet well-made inflatable boats, and its Intex Challenger 3 is no different. This raft is one of the cheaper but durable options you can find in the market today.

Intex provided, yet again, an inflatable boat that is fitting for a fun and challenging boating experience for a small family or group of friends. Whether you want to have a relaxing afternoon on the lake, develop your rowing skills, or go fishing, the Challenger 3 boat can get you where you want to go.

The overall quality of this boat is impressive, like any other inflatable raft from Intex. It has a heavy-duty design that makes the boat puncture resistant. It’s both durable and sturdy while also offering maximum comfort if you want an all-day boating experience.

If you want to make sure if this vessel meets your boating needs and preferences, out Intex Challenger 3 review should give you an overview of the fantastic features this raft has to offer.

Intex Challenger 3 Review: Your Complete Guide

intex challenger 3

If you are looking for a good-quality inflatable boat that doesn’t break the bank, there’s no need to look beyond the Intex Challenger 3. It’s the only watercraft you need to savor the best water adventures and boating experiences during the summer.

At first look, especially considering the price of the boat, you wouldn’t think that you’re going to get high-end features in the Challenger 3. However, that’s what this boat is all about. It’s long-lasting, thanks to the top-quality materials that Intex used to make this raft. The inflatable floorboard and air chamber, in particular, ensures that the vessel has maximum durability to last for years.

There’s no doubt in saying that the Challenger 3 is worth your investment and more. Plus, it works best on all adventures in small water bodies, especially fishing.

If you’re not convinced yet, check out the raft’s specs and features. It will show you why the Challenger 3 remains a top-selling Intex inflatable boat and why many boaters love it.

Specifications

  • Passenger Capacity – 3 persons
  • Weight Capacity – 560 pounds
  • Length – 116 inches
  • Beam Width – 54 inches
  • Height – 17 inches
  • Hull Weight – 27 pounds
  • Vinyl Material – 20-gauge PVC
  • Motor – up to 1 HP motor
  • Floor Type – inflated I-beam
  • Valve Type – Boston Valves

Features

  • (3) separate air chambers (two main hull chambers and one secondary floor chamber)
  • 48-inches long collapsible aluminum oars for space-saving storage
  • (2) Boston valves placed on the main hull chambers for quick inflation and deflation of boat
  • 20-gauge PVC material
  • (2) inflatable seat cushions
  • all-around grab line
  • heavy-duty grab handle
  • oar holders on opposite sides
  • (2) welded oar locks
  • NMMA Certified
  • Package includes:
  • Inflatable boat repair patch kit
  • High-output hand air pump
  • Motor mount fittings
  • US Coast Guard ID
  • Optional accessories:
  • Motor mount kit

Looking at the features and specs of the Intex Challenger 3, it’s evident that the boat offers durability and overall quality. The 20-gauge PVC material is resistant to common outdoor damages like sunlight, impact, and abrasion. It’s also unaffected by saltwater, oil, and gasoline, making it long-lasting in all water settings.

Also, the motor mount fittings of the Challenger 3 can handle up to 1.5HP motor, although you will need to purchase a motor mount kit for that.

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Design

intex challenger 3

Although it’s smaller than other watercraft, the Intex Challenger 3 can comfortably seat three adults with a little bit of room for other boating essentials and gears.

It’s a well-made watercraft with a 20-gauge high-quality vinyl material. However, the best design feature of the Challenger 3 is its three separate air chambers. You get two main parts are in the hull, while the secondary is on the floor. This innovative chamber design makes the boat still safe to use in emergencies when a chamber accidentally deflates.

There are two Boston valves on the boat, so it’s quick to inflate using the high-output hand air pump included in the package. Deflating the raft is also fast and convenient with the valves. It also features two 48-inches long aluminum oars on each side of the boat with reliable welded locks. The oarlocks are convenient to have, so you don’t need to keep holding the paddles. You can leave them with the clasp on, and the oars will stay in their place.

For maximum convenience, Intex added an all-around grab line and a garb handle on the Challenger 3.

Capacity

Intex advertises the Challenger 3 as a 3-person inflatable boat. It can handle a functional weight capacity of up to 560 pounds, which should cater around two to three adults.

However, it may be a bit tricky to fit three non-average weight adults in the raft, although it’s still possible. If you are using the vessel to go fishing with a friend, there should be enough space to hold all your fishing gear.

Overall, the boat holds its advertised capacity very well.

Durability and Safety

intex challenger 3

Considering the specifications of the Challenger 3, it’s easy to identify that the boat offers optimum durability. Intex made sure to use only quality materials to make this raft long-lasting.

Overall, it’s a well-constructed inflatable boat. Its nylon construction provides the vessel optimum durability and rigidity. The 20-gauge PVC material is also resistant to common boating obstructions. It quickly bounces off of obstacles and is resistant to impact and abrasion. If accidents happen and there’s a puncture in the boat, you can quickly fix it using the inflatable boat repair patch kit included in the package. If there are giant tears on the surface, which is nearly impossible unless you purposely do it, you may need a professional technician to repair the boat. Otherwise, the package already includes everything you need to keep the raft in good condition for a long time.

The separate chambers provide an extra safety feature to the boat as well.

Comfort

In terms of comfort, Intex also incorporated several features that make this vessel extremely comfortable to use, especially for fishing. You can attach your fishing rod holders, and the boat’s fishing seat is comfortable to lounge while in the water.

Aside from fishing, the Challenger 3 boat is also perfect for rafting and rowing. You can place all your tools and gears on the raft comfortably.

Intex Challenger 3 Configuration

intex challenger 3

The Intex Challenger 3 is an excellent option for rowing and fishing or lounging on the pool or the lake for a relaxing afternoon. However, Intex made sure that you can get far better use from its affordable and durable watercraft model. You can quickly turn the Challenger 3 into an excellent sports boat with a bit of modification.

The mount motor fittings in the Challenger 3 package make sure that you can get more value out of your investment and more. While you can use the boat for a relaxed boating experience, you can also use it for a challenging competition with friends, thanks to the motor mount fittings.

The Challenger 3 supports motor mounting if you wish to upgrade the boat for a faster vessel. A motor will also help you cross the river or the lake quicker and with more efficiency. If you want, you can race with your friends too.

You will need to purchase a suitable motor for this configuration. The Challenger 3 can cater to a trolling engine up to 1.5 HP. However, it’s worth noting that you also need to buy a separate motor mounting kit to attach the trolling motor on the boat.

Also, you should purchase the optional motor mount kit directly from Intex. Otherwise, it might not fit in your vessel. Intex offers dedicated motor mounting kits that are specific for their inflatable boat models.


Pros

  • Easy to set up and inflate and deflate when not in use
  • Made of quality and durable materials, built to last for a long time
  • Ideal for use in rafting adventures
  • Extremely affordable boat model
  • The seats are comfortable for an all-day boating
  • Well designed and can take minor hits without tears and punctures
  • Lightweight and compact hull for space-saving storage and easy transport
  • Foldable design so it’s easy to carry around
  • Inflatable floor chambers offer maximum support and stability while in the water

Cons

  • The air pump and oars could have a better quality
  • Three adults in the boat can feel a bit squishy

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What Is Intex?

Intex is a top brand providing inflatable products in over 100 countries worldwide. They have a wide variety of inflatables from toys, pools, beds, and watercraft. Intex offers some of the best and most affordable inflatable rafts, from kayaks and boats, like the Intex Challenger 3.

The brand’s primary goal is to offer good-quality inflatable products that come well-built, safe, and fun, all within a fair price tag. The company also provides an incredibly high priority in providing all its customers an excellent service, so it’s not surprising that Intex has been in the manufacturing business for more than 40 years.

Intex is mainly famous for its inflatable boat lineup, which currently has four different well-designed models. Their watercraft offers services two categories: Professional Series inflatable boats, and Sports Series inflatable boats.

The Sports Series, in particular, houses some of the more affordable models that are ideal for recreational use like boating in calm rivers and lakes or fishing. On the other hand, the Professional Series provides maximum durability, comfort, rigidity, and top performance to seasoned boaters.


Conclusion

Intex is one of the most famous manufacturers of a wide variety of inflatable products. Its line of inflatable rafts is also renowned for a lot of boaters. If you visit a lake or river that boaters frequent, you’ll most likely see an Intex boat floating around, and the Challenger 3 is a favorite for most.

Whether you are going into the water with family or friends, the Challenger 3 is a great option. It has excellent durability and construction, although the raft’s strength doesn’t compromise the comfort that you can get from the boat.

It includes top-notch features that can make it an excellent fishing boat and available modifications to turn the Intex Challenger 3 into a dedicated sports boat.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Is Challenger 3 ideal as a fishing boat?

Intex designed the Challenger 3 inflatable boat specifically for fishing excursions, although it can also tackle other water adventures without issues. The raft has ample space for all your fishing tools and gears, with comfy features to make fishing as comfortable as possible. The only challenging part of using the boat for fishing is attaching the rod holder, which you have to fasten on your own.

Q: Can I take the Challenger 3 on larger water bodies?

Inflatable boats, like the Challenger 3, are not advisable for use in the sea or ocean. This type of watercraft doesn’t have the necessary design to handle the waves, so it’s ideal to use it on smaller water bodies. However, it’s worth noting that the materials used for the boat are resistant to salt water, so there’s no issue.

Q: Is there another way to mount the motor other than using the kit from Intex?

The only way for you to attach a motor on the Intex Challenger 3 is through the specific kits Intex designed itself. They have unique designs and fittings that you can’t find in generic motor mounts or those other brands. If you plan on adding a motor on the boat, you need to purchase the motor mount kit.

Q: How long can the battery of the trolling motor last?

The battery timing will depend primarily on the type of motor battery and how frequently you are using it on the raft. However, most motor batteries used for the Intex Challenger 3 can last between two hours to nine hours.

Q: What should I do with the trolling motor if I’m not using it?

You don’t have to carry the trolling motor on the boat with you all the time. If it’s not in use, the best way is to clean and dry it before storing the component away. However, make sure that you keep it in a place with the ideal temperature, which shouldn’t be too low nor too high.

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