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Reviews for Mirage Outback Kayak by Hobie Cat Company


Rated: 9.17/10 Based On: 30 Reviews


Mirage Outback Kayak by Hobie Cat Company

Length: 12' 1" - Width: 33.00" - Starting at: $2299.00
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09-02-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     LOVE THIS YAK!!! I bought this boat a couple years ago with the idea I would use it for fishing. I have taken it out around the gulf coast of Florida several times. I give it an 11 for stability.

The features make it simple to use. Rod holders are in the right place, plenty of space behind the seat for sizable ice chest, convenient hatch between your legs for tackle. The Mirage Drive makes this a fishing dream. Pole in one hand, drink in the other, no problem. You can create a bit of a wake without much effort at all. The speed is amazing if using the peddles. If you plan to paddle it very far, be prepared for a serious workout. It's like paddling a cinder block. Its size is built for stability, not paddling speed. Never leave shore without your fins. I have the anchor trolley which is very easy-to-use.

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08-27-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I like the stability and the way the mirage system works. I bought mine used (2014) and have been in it once. Your knees are a little high when working the peddles. My biggest con is the weight of the kayak. If I were 30 years old I wouldn't have an issue with the 80 plus lbs. but I'm 66 . All in all, it's a fun kayak.
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08-17-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently had the chance to try a family members Mirage Outback. It is an interesting craft with it's unique pedal power feature but I'm not sure it is what I would consider a kayak. But that said, it certainly is fast and fun. With little effort I could best my all out sprinting speed in my traditional kayak. Using only pedal power I can see how the Outback would be great for fishing. You do have the option with the Outback to paddle and pedal at the same time but I think few will do that.

The only cons I see with the Outback are one the weight 75 pounds a lot for a single kayak and two it draws a little more water than a normal kayak making beach landings a little more difficult. I think the Outback is a good choice for anyone looking for a different kayaking experience and especially for someone with shoulder problems that wants to enjoy a paddle. Or should I say pedal.

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08-10-2014
Submitted by: MarkSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have been using my Hobie Outback for four years now and love it. It provides what I need to fish and is stable and roomy enough but not super heavy.

Pros: mirage drive, plenty of storage space, rudder system, stable, rod holders.

Cons: Wish was a bit lighter, hatches not completely waterproof, price.

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07-10-2014
Submitted by: cbSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have owned this kayak for about 5 years, and it has been excellent in several ways. first, the peddle system is THE way to travel even in shallow water. We have also found the kayak to be very stable and user friendly especially with beginners. It also paddles just as easily as our other kayaks. It has been very durable and easy to keep clean even when put in sites were super mucky. I am planning on purchasing another larger mirage in the future to add to the fleet.
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07-03-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great all around boat I fish - very stable. With sail kit it is a lot of fun and good for every kind of water from creeks to lakes and rivers Durable and a and all around affordable Kayak for every one
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07-02-2014
Submitted by: Angela BakerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We purchased two Hobie Outback Mirage Kayaks. We are so happy with these. They are easy to fish from, they are very well balanced and the mirage drive feature on this kayak makes it easy to navigate through the waters and fish, photograph, just have a hands free day. LOVE THEM!!!!!
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06-04-2014
Submitted by: DOCSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My Hobie Outback is a pleasure. Steering, paddling, and the peddling (Mirage drive) is a blast. I find it easy to fish from. Easy to load on my trailer. I've been out a half dozen times and can't wait to go again.
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01-16-2012
Submitted by: ChrisSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife bought me a 2010 Outback for an anniversary present. Best present I have ever received. I fish lakes and rivers throughout the Ottawa Valley. The Outback is stable, fast, manueverable, and well equipped. I use a Ram tube rod holder for trolling and a Lowrance fish finder. I would recommend the Outback to anyone. It truly is the king of fishing kayaks. The Outback is also great for just enjoying the scenery or taking the kids for a ride. Worth every penny.
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06-29-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought a Hobie Outback SUV about a month ago after selling a Kevlar Current Designs Kestrel 140. I had fallen in love with the Kestrel and it's a great boat. 38 lbs and sleek but it was like a beautiful woman you have nothing in common with. I couldn't fish from it or do photography because I had to brace constantly or it would capsize. It went in a straight line great. I had to evaluate my needs and decided to test the Hobie.

After several paddles or peddles, as you will, I think the Hobie is brilliant. Hobie has also fixed most of the problems that people seemed to have with earlier models mentioned before. There are two handles built in amidships for carrying, there are no leaks into the hull that I have found, there is no hatch under the seat now, the paddle is fairly large and works well for me at 6'3" 235 lbs. It is tricky to paddle and work the rudder system but if you are going in a straight line the rudder control has enough friction you can set it and it will hold straight.

The seat was quite comfortable after 4 hours of use. I can't wait to take it fishing! I have done some photography from it with a waterproof Lumix and a Nikon D90 and felt very secure. You could probably set a tripod on it! It is still a porker but necessity is the mother of invention and I have devised workarounds to loading and storing. I have the heavy duty cart which works well. Still, it's lighter than my Mad River Royalex Explorer canoe which is 75 lbs.

All told it's a engineering wonder and gets attention whenever I take it out and I usually have to show somebody how it works or take a test peddle.

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03-20-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have owned a Hobie Mirage Outback SUV Hank Parker Edition since I got it in 2005. It has the sail kit too.I live on Lake Erie/Sandusky Bay area and used this amazing and FUN craft 2-3 times a WEEK all of 2005. My last time out was the first week of October 2005. I have owned a power boat here for over 20 years, but I can truthfully say that I have had more pure fun and exercise on this kayak than I ever did on my powerboat, not to mention, no gas,no dockage, no repair bills. Getting to learn all the parameters of this boat took awhile, but as much as I've used it, nothing has ever broken or failed to perform as it was touted.I am under 6 foot tall and keep a low profile even though the seat sits high, which I find keeps you drier. The recomended wind parameters are I believe, 7-10 mph. I have had this thing out on Sandusky Bay in winds of closer to 15-20 mph.I would not recomend that to someone with no experience, but if you really want to FLY...this thing is a GAS ! Sometimes, in these higher winds, my legs may have to be over one side, and my head and shoulders over the other side, to maintain stability, but that thrill for me is the best part.It really feels like you are flying through the water.The drive system is great for being able to power tack in these higher winds.I have NO complaints, but my earlier version doesn't have the wider fore hatch, that is a good improvement. The built in holes for the transport wheels is another great idea.I am looking foreward to another great season of using this craft.
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08-10-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently purchased a slightly used Mirage Outback and love it. I am new to kayaking, so also wanted to develop paddling skills as well. I quickly discovered that a short paddle doesn't function well on the Outback. This is both because of the beam as well as the squared off sides in way of the cockpit. Last week I purchased a Werner Skagit 240cm paddle and what a difference! I attribute that to both the increased paddle length as well as a true touring blade design. The other thing I quickly discovered is that adjusting the seat into a more upright position when paddling makes a significant difference. I only wish there was a better way of controlling the rudder when paddling, but I guess we can't have it all! All in all, the Outback has put a big grin on this 60 year old face!
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08-01-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I did the 55 mile trip around the Cape Sable of the southern Florida Everglades. I paddled a standard touring yak and the wife took the Outback as she claims to more leg muscle than arm. The first nice thing was how much poundage of gear the boat was able to carry. It boasts 400 lbs capacity and I'm sure we put that to the test. We went with current and against current, in the glade and out in the bay and the Gulf. It performed great in every instance. After the trip was over and the wife peddled it on another short cruise almost empty, she claimed that the boat actually preformed better with the extra weight. Only down size is the boat is still a bit pricey and it is a bit tippy with the sail in a brisk wind. But still a load of fun since you can peddle yourself back into or out of the wind. Great all around control.
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06-16-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned my Outback for a month now and have had it both in the ocean and the rivers here in North Florida. So far, I have been very impressed. The Mirage pedal system is a great way to travel. It has plenty of storage and the seat is extremely comfortable for more than just a few hours of pedaling. The only down side that I have experienced is when paddling. This thing can be a real pig to paddle. I think that Hobie should offer a longer paddle with this model in order to address the limitations of paddling this kayak seeing as how it is quite a bit wider than some of the other Mirage models sporting the same paddle.

I have my first fishing trip this weekend and it is an overnighter. Storage openings in the hull could be a bit larger, but with the right dry bags and some trial and error when packing, Iím sure that the average user will find that this kayak has plenty of usable storage.

I donít like the storage hole under the seat very much. Unlike the other storage areas, this one is not fitted with any rubber gaskets allowing for water to creep into the hull if you are in the ocean or rinsing it off after a trip.

I have purchased the sportsman package and sail kit. Both are well worth the money. If you want a craft that can be very versatile and fun to useÖ this is the craft for you.

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11-07-2004
Submitted by: JLSSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased the Outback about a year ago and have been out a couple dozen times at least. Using the foot system this boat is fast and turns on a dime. You can also adjust the rudder and drift-fish the shoreline all day long. I really haven't had a problem with seat comfort as others have mentioned. Five hours in any kayak and you'll know it. But I've had it in choppy lake conditions and surf off the Texas coast and it was a dream. The boat is also a trolling monster. I've trolled for stripers and bass with two rods and it worked great, although you have to work quick or you could have a mess. I usually have one long line in the holder and hold a short line in my hands. The best part of it is you are hands free, which is an amazing feeling after switching a pole and paddle back and forth for years. Also, great for taking pictures or just cruising. That alone is worth the price. The boat is heavy but not unmanageable. I carry it in the back of my pickup with no problem. They need to provide a better way of lifting it. Everyone seems to have devised their own awkward method, none of them good. Sometimes after a day on the water it's like trying to lift a big wet watermelon with no handles. But it's easy to transport long distances to the water with the wheel unit. This kayak is one of a kind and if you use it for what it was intended, you'll love it. However, the yak is so different from others, I would definately suggest an extensive test drive before buying. It ain't cheap.
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08-05-2004
Submitted by: T.H.
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have had my mirage outback for two years. I have the peddle kit, the sail kit and a paddle with it. My opinion of this yak is mixed. First the good - the mirage peddle drive system truely is amazing and fast, and the yak is quite stable. The sail is easy to set up too. Next the bad - this yak is very heavy and cumbersome to carry anywhere. It is a lousey "paddleing" craft as it refuses to stay in a straight line for even a few feet. And even though it has a rudder you can't use it along with your paddle because it is a hand controled type system. The sail seems like a good idea but it is only suitable for use in "very" light wind or she will capsize quickly. This boat can do a lot of things but it does not do most of them all that well. I probably would not purchase another one unless I got tired of kayaking and just wanted a nice foot powered peddle-boat for fishing. It also is rather expensive for what you get. It's not a bad boat but it also was not really what I expected and still prefer to go out in my other "typical" kayak. Just my opinion.
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07-01-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After trying Ocean Kayaks Drifter and Prowler, I decided to buy the Outback. At 6'5", 215lbs, my choices for a SOT fishing kayak were somewhat limited. First the downsides. I think it is rather heavy for its size, however, the optional cart makes things much easier. I can load up my boat, roll it into the water until it floats, then grab the wheels and tuck them under the rear bungee. Furthermore, loading any kayak onto the roof of my old Suburban would be work, so I figured I'd get a boat I could move with my legs. Plus, after a couple of tries, and with the help of a Thule Outrigger, a step ladder, and a protective cover for the bow, I've gotten a pretty good system down for loading the boat by myself. Dry storage is lacking as the hatches are too small for anything but the smallest gear, and the inside of the hull will take on some water. One full size hatch in the bow or stern would've been nice. Another problem is that there is only one handle around the cockpit. A minor nuisance is that it isn't easy to paddle, and I found it almost impossible to paddle without the rudder, but I'm a beginner and I didn't buy a pedal boat to paddle in, so that isn't really a big deal. The last problem, and potentially the biggest, is that the metal bracket that the rudder lift line passes through has very sharp edges. I nearly wore through the line after only four uses. It could be that I had the rudder lines rigged too tightly, but I wanted to make sure the rudder was fully out of the water when I lifted it up. Why didn't Hobie put a pulley there instead of the metal bracket? The assembly instructions could be more explicit about how tight to make the rudder lift cable. I rigged a splice using some heavy snap swivels and fishing wire which will be easily replaceable. We'll see how that works.

Now for the good points. I find the boat extremely comfortable; however, I haven't spent more than 4 hours in it. The high back seat is really nice. It's very stable and seems like hit handles waves well. I haven't had it out in the real chop yet (it has been rather calm lately in my part of the Chesapeake), but I don't have any worries. I think it's also very maneuverable. Lastly, it is pretty fast. Without working too hard, I was able to keep up with a 13ft Dagger and a 17ft touring kayak. Admittedly, they weren't going full tilt, but I wasn't blown away by them either when they were paddling at a comfortable rate. Unfortunately, I didn't have a GPS to see how fast we were going. There is plenty of room for fishing equipment, and plenty of bungees. The detachable bag included with the seat is a nice touch and a good place to keep small tackle boxes. There's also a spot under where your legs would go for a larger flat tackle box. Fishing from it is definitely the best point. I can make all but the very finest adjustments to my position in the water with the pedals and the rudder without putting down my rod. That's a big plus. Meanwhile, my buddies in traditional yaks are constantly alternating between paddle and rod while I'm catching fish. In all, I think it's an excellent day-tripper and could be an overnighter with some dry bags. Given that you get a seat, a paddle, and a rudder in addition to the pedaling mechanism, the Outback is definitely money well spent, and I highly recommend it.

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06-02-2004
Submitted by: CSRSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had the Outback for a year now. I love it and the family fights over it. We also have a Mirage Classic and the Outback is the workhorse, it carrys the food and the smaller kid in the wider boat. Yes boat, it is a little heavy and bulky but handles smoothly in the water and is almost as fast as the sleeker sisters that Hobie makes. The hatches are great, no significant leakage and fast access. Not bad on fast water but tracking is only fair. The sail is awesome, not perfect, but sure adds to the kayak's versatility. With a light wind the boat moves out and the pedalling added to the sail power is a rush. Excellent workmanship and very durable. The ATV of kayaks in my opinion.
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06-01-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is an update to last Sept. review below. My wife & I have now been out about 50 times together in our matching his/her single seat Mirage Outbacks. I've noticed that my 25 sq.ft. sail (old version) is too much for this kayak compared with the current 20 sq. ft. one my wife uses in our bay waters on FL west coast. The 10-knot limit still holds, though.

Also, I am re-building an old flatbed utility trailer to haul the kayaks, having tired of loading/unloading the pickup truck. I still recommend the Hobie cart, but only hand haul the boat itself, with accessories (pedals, sail, anchor, etc.) carried separately.

Lastly, I have involuntarily tested the ability of this vessel to upright itself from being completely "turned turtle" or hull up/sail down (under water). This was in our Intracoastal Waterway in a rather narrow section & I was able to flip it by myself with the grace of God & the encouragement of my wife.

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05-19-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 5 of 10

     i've had my outback for two months now, and got the sailrig option. I use it on canyon lakes in arizona, and have not been to pleased. the only thing i can see this pool toy being good for, is fishing on still ponds. the sailrig is designed for wind speeds of 4-10 mph. i've bent the mast already. you also have to bring tape to hold the mast together (recomended by hobie) or one of the poles will slip off and stay in the sail hem on disassembly. as far as other posts about it taking water in the hull, it does!!! having fun in three foot waves means alot of water in the hull. the bow acts as a shovel and directs the water to the outbacks weekest point; the hatch/ maststep area. e-mails with hobie were replied to by hobie saying to there knowlendge, there isin't a waterproof hatch on the market. maybe they should by one of those watercoolers with the screw-off lid to teach there engineers something. the only plus to this boat is the mirage drive. 5 mph on the water is a desent workout, and 4 mph can be sestained by a person in average condition. the boat is on the heavy side, and the lack of carrying handles makes it difficult for one person to cartop. special note... if your going to cartop, put better deck hardware on yourself, or your outback could end up landing on the side of the freeway. the rudder is a little small and ineficient in anything more then still water. it will turn, just give it time. so, dont by the sail rig... and as far as a little fishing boat that you can peddal, maybe the water in the hull is a good place to put the fish you catch, since it leaks badly, and the hatches are to small for a drybag with gear to fit through. the drain hole is very badly located, and hobies advice is to pick the bow up tp about waist level, and turn it on it's side. head level is more like it, and you have to hold it for a while. so, if your a stillwater fisherman, and would like a good deal on a used outback in arizona. i will try to get this engineering disaster in the classified ads shortly. i just hope I don't lose to much money. ahh...maybe a 5 is even to high
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09-05-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife & bought his & her Mirage Outbacks with sail option on 7/12/03 & have done 15 local trips & 3 out of town (spring-fed rivers in Florida). We transport via an old Ford Ranger with nifty "truck extender" from the hitch. For short portages, we use the lightweight Hobie cart & for longer ones we now have the heavier Roleez. It can strap to the bow & be pulled by a bicycle (only in practice, so far). We sail/peddle/paddle in the bays of W. Fla. as 50-something novices, so most any half-fit person can do this, too. We love these kayaks, & recently gave away our long-unused canoe.

We added cushioned stadium seats from Wal-Mart (& an inflatable neck pillow for occasional lumbar support), eyebolts (instead of Phillips screws) for the paddle bungees on the side (gunwale), silicone-lubed the hatch seals, glued the rubber grips on the bow/stern carrying handles, & repaired the popped cable tie on the up/down rudder lever (not fun; watch for rudder during launch, landing & take-out).

This boat definitely needs a better located drain plug & tighter seals---the ever-present slosh always sounds like gallons of water aboard, even though it might only be a gallon.

Cleats on the port side would be nice, too. For self-rescue, I grab the brass seat clip on the opposite side. A bimini-type top would be nice, too, for the sunny, no-sail river-peddling/paddling trips. I recently used a large golf umbrella as a parasol on Silver River. Great work, Hobie!

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08-26-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Outback about 4 months now and I love it. I must agree with previous reviews concerning the rock hard seat though. believe me, after 4 or 5 miles, you really feel it. The pedal mechanism is next to none. In Florida, there are large numbers of slow and medium moving streams. I have found pedaling up 4 or 5 miles, and paddling down is an excellent workout, and leaves you quite satisfied.

I also have the optional sail. The sail is well designed and sturdy enough. The only issue is sailing in anything above 8 or 10 knots. You can tip over before you know it. Perhaps a small keel to install in the pedal slot may be in order.

Generally, if you love kayaking, fishing, and touring. You can't beat a Mirage. My other kayak (Oceankayak Frenzy) is easier to load and unload, but this baby is a day tripper and well worth the extra trouble.

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08-25-2003
Submitted by: atljoeSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Originally I did a review on the Outback on my website (http://flatsfisher.com) when it first came out. In fact I ordered mine based on the Hobie web sites pictures and description. I did try out the Mirage pedal yak at a dealer before ordering and the pedal system was a big part of the boats appeal. It was only part of it though. I was replacing a Tribalance used to fish out of. The fishing oriented Outback had so many features for the angler it was a hands down best choice. There is no other fishing oriented kayak that offers the features of the Hobie (including the new 'Fisherman' in development by Emotion).

Admittedly the rod holders in front are not usable if you are casting from the cockpit. It is not so much heavy as unwieldy due to the width. I have learned to manage it by using the pedal opening and a finger in the rear rod holder to get it up to shoulder (and eventually head) to load it. Other nags are the water in the hull. I now suspect the useless under-seat screw down hatch. The rudder could be more robust but I am impressed that the material for the controls has withstood use and time.

The bottom line is that there is no more capable boat for fishing. Even at a lower initial price you can not outfit a yak comparably for much less. It is faster than the WS Tarpon, as stable as the biggest Fish'n'Dive and you can go and go and go using your leg muscles to propel the craft. You can see my rigging and pictures on the water at my site.

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08-19-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just got mine 2 weeks ago.... WOW!! Fast, stable and dry ride. I have been bass fishing, twice so far, at a local lake here in So Cal and this Outback has really helped my numbers due to the fact I can handle the wind, with the peddle drive, while I fish---hands free! I just nose into the wind and kick now and then, to keep myself stationary, or to slow the drift. In my previous paddle kayak I got tired of fighting the wind and went in. I also didn't feel safe anchoring, in my old kayak, in the wind swells. Now...NO worries! BTW: 2 half day lake trips-- 17 fish with 4 in the 4-pound range.

The serious negative I have found is the hard seat. I don't know what Hobie was thinking. It is hard as a rock. Since you use your legs your butt bone/muscles and they grind on the seat--ouch!! After a few hours of peddling I am still in pain 2 days later. I have ordered a cushion but why Hobie didn't think of this floors me. That is the only negative I have found but it can be easily remedied.

I have also been out in some pretty good ocean swells and kept dry and felt very secure.A bit pricey and heavy but I have zero regrets selling my WS Ride and getting it.

SHRED---Encinitas, CA

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07-14-2003
Submitted by: Dave WakefieldSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought my Outback three weeks ago and so far have only been out three times in the Derwent River estuary in Tasmania. It can get a fair amount of chop. I've found the Outback to be stable, heavy, really well made and thoughtfully designed. You don't need any extras with this. It is somewhat awkward to get on and off the roof of my Subaru but the handle is useful when carrying. The pedal propulsion system is amazingly effective, easy to install and when you find a comfortable cadence you can just keep on going for ages. The seat is dry, easy to adjust and very comfortable. I leave the rudder down when paddling unless I'm going to be doing some manoeuvring. I do get a little water inside and I'm not sure whether it's through the front hatch ( most likely ) or possibly the mast step. Build quality is excellent - what I expected given the reputation of the company. In wind and chop yesterday I did get some spray blowing onto the foredeck but the bow does a good job of deflecting the waves. I don't want to get too adventurous yet - the water's cold here in winter and I'm not well equipped in terms of wet gear. In summary, although expensive, I think it's money well spent. I can't wait to go fishing on it.
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07-14-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've only had the Outback for 2 weeks and been out in it 3 times. It's not easy to get from the carrying position to overhead and vice versa but OK otherwise. Last time out was in medium chop to a foot and although there was some wind driven spray coming on board, the bow does a good job of deflecting the waves. The seat is dry which I'm grateful for because it's winter here and I'm not well equipped with cold/wet weather gear. It's also very comfortable.

It paddles well but I keep the rudder down unless I want to do some manoeuvring. The pedal system is amazing, ultimately faster than paddling. When you find a comfortable cadence you can go for ages without tiring but it's good to switch over and paddle every now and then. It feels very stable and at this time of year I don't want to deliberately tip it to find out exactly what I can do on it.

It is, as I expected from Hobie's reputation, very well made. The design is thoughtful and complete for what I want to do - fish. May need an anchor for sea fishing though. It seems quite expensive, but when you factor in all the extras that come standard, I am happy with my purchase.

I was fairly impressed with the Perception Swing and to get that to as close as possible in specs to my Outback would have cost me to within $300 of what I paid for the Outback and I wouldn't have had the pedal propulsion system. I'm also fairly confident my arse would have been dragging in water most of the time. Can't wait to take it fishing and will post again in a few months.

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05-07-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I took my new Outback out on the lake this weekend and was absolutely floored by its capabilities. Even after reading other reviews of the pedal system, I was still amazed by how efficient it was. You can tool around all day with a leisurely pedal, or kick it up and really fly. I admit that I am not the most proficient paddler around, but I can pedal this boat a lot faster than I can paddle it. After being on the water all day Saturday (over 11 hours) the only thing sore on me Sunday morning was my right arm from casting! I pedaled through milfoil (our southern water weed) with no problem at all, although to be honest I did bring the pedals up against the hull and paddled when I got too deep in the weeds. Results? 6 keeper bass, 8 bluegill, and 5 big crappie.

This boat is extremely well thought out. With all the cutouts around the hull, I was able to keep everything at my fingertips: soft drink, pliers, fish scent, etc. The 2 rear rod holders keep the rods in easy reach, but well out of the way of casting. My only complaint with them is that the holes for the rod holders are too small to accept a pistol grip rod Ė but you can still strap one on the other side from the paddle holder. I had a full size tackle box in the area directly behind the seat, a cooler behind that, and a small bag with my soft plastic baits in the area right in front of the seat: and everything was well within easy reach!

This boat is very stable. I really donít believe that you can tip it. Getting in and out is a breeze, 10x easier than the canoe I fished out of last year. The rudder system works perfect. It looks too small to be that effective, but it really is. You can cut donuts with this thing.

Is it perfect? Nope. It is a heavy little beast, but not so heavy that I canít put it on the rack myself. The biggest complaint I have is the lack of handles Ė this makes it very hard to get up over your head. I have learned to strap one of my rack tie downs through one of the rear scupper holes and then the hole for the pedal system. Cinching it up tight against the hull gives one a centered ďhandleĒ that you can use to pick the boat up off the ground.

This boat is so much better than the Kevlar Canoe that I used last year that it ainít even silly. Easier to get in and out of (docks donít worry me any more), you have your arms free all day, it is tons faster, and it is a lot more stable. No more casting once and paddling 5 times Ė you just cast all day! I love it and give it a 10 out of 10.

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03-31-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The literature describes it as an SUV and, in this case, it's not hype. It facilitates many activities. However, it is in a genre of its own, so comparisons with most other kayaks is not relevant. Much is made of the fishing accommodations. There are four rod holders (two upright and two at angles), a bungee to hold down a tackle box in a convenient location, "trays" for hooks, lures, etc. and other storage. The high seat is good for casting, as well as boarding/deboarding at docks. Even with the high seat, the boat is rock stable, due to the wide beam. The pedal system is surprisingly fast and will get you to all corners of the lake with minimal effort. There are cleats for anchoring. Do not mistake this with your garden variety paddlewheel boat. This is a unqiue flipper system that flies (as verified by the speedometer that came with mine). Hobie supplies a paddle of appropriate length for the wide beam, and there are two paddle holders. Even if you don't care to paddle, it's good to have it for backing up. I use both propulsion modes for an overall workout. There are also two drink holders and numerous bungees. The provided seat is very comfortable. The kayak comes with three hatches and a stern well for cooler, scuba tank or whatever. I've had kids ride the bow and stern decks. The rudder is very effective and operates via a hand lever (as does the rudder flip-up). The hands-free drive and stable platform make it an excellent vehicle for birdwatching, photography and many other activities. Weight is a downside, but it is a rugged boat with a high freeboard. It's a little pricey, but what unique vehicle isn't? Besides, the quality is very high. The boat could use handles amidships, but they can be added. The hatches will not handle high volume gear, like tents and sleeping bags, but they can be drybagged and carried on deck. It wasn't intended to be a tripper anyway. This is a versatile kayak that does many things well. It's very user-friendly and can be mastered by anyone.
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09-04-2002
Submitted by: ChanceSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought the Outback Mirage in July. I love it. I found it stable and forgiving. I went as far as purchasing all the available options. None have failed me yet. I have the bimini top to protect me from the sun on a slow paddle or while fishing. I got the sportsman package which included the cart for land transport and a cooler. Both are used often. I also purchased the sail. This feature is a blast. I am not an accomplished paddler or sailor. I only started in July. I can say that I have had more fun with this kayak than any other water toy I can think of. The major draw back for this unit is the weight. When alone I push it into the back of my Forester. I cannot get it on the roof rack alone.

I think it tracks well. I never operate it with out the foot pedels in place but I do paddle it and allow the fins to act as a centerboard the same for sailing. I find the rudder very responsive regardless of the mode of travel.

I am still learning the capabilities of this kayak and finding out that it is a very talented machine. Even under sail I have not tipped this, but I do think we need a better rigging set up for the main sheet.

All in all I give it a 15 - I know the scale is 1 - 10.

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07-18-2002
Submitted by: John AfdemSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Recently purchased an outback after reading the review of other Hobie pedalers here. Great boat. The ONLY downside to my thinking is weight. The boats a heavyweight to carry on dry land. And I'm REALLY PO'd they didn't mold in some grab spots on the hull. Dumb! But, with the wheels it's a breeze to move around on land, and on the water it's a rocket. I was VERY surprised at how efficient the pedaling is. Tracks like an arrow and it's FAST and powerful compared to paddling. The outback is built for fishing, wide and stable. Great all around boat that I plan to use for fishing the kelp beds, scuba and just exercise. Mounted on the top of my 27 ft sportfisher it's a bit of a pain to get on and off at 70lbs or so, but other than that I LOVE this boat.
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