Kayaking is easily one of the most popular watersports in the world right now and if you’d like to join in the fun, we’d highly recommend sticking around for our Hobie Mirage Outback review.
Kayaks are awesome because they’re so incredibly versatile.
From roaring rapids to choppy ocean waves, you can take them out to just about any body of water imaginable.
They also double as an alternative workout for those who are sick of the morning jog. The difficult thing is finding a kayak that fits your needs.
The reason we chose to talk about the Hobie Mirage Outback this time around is because it is one of the more versatile kayaks and has tons of great design features that work for an array of activities.
Before you get out there, make sure to read through our Hobie Mirage Outback review to see if it’s the right model for you.
The Mirage Outback Review
Features and Benefits
Let’s start off with the design of this bad boy.
The Hobie Mirage Outback is made out of rotomolded polyethylene, a very popular material for higher end kayaks because of its sheer strength. The single person kayak is incredibly durable and rocks or other harmful artifacts won’t be any match for it. It’s a bit on the heavy side for a kayak at 99lbs, but still very easy to paddle around.
While many people might have a bone to pick when it comes to the width of the Hobie Mirage Outback, we love it because it is plenty stable enough to fish with without fear of tipping. The size gives you plenty of room to not only sit and spread out for long periods of time on a seat that is incredibly comfortable, but also store tackling gear or whatever else you have on board, without a fuss. Oh yea, there are also tons of colors to choose from so that you can find the Hobie that fits your style!
Let’s get a bit further into the comfortable aspect of this thing. The Hobie Mirage Outback is equipped with a Vantage CT seat that is super easy to install and uninstall when not in use. It folds up nicely when you need it to and is adjustable for anyone that’s riding it. Depending on who is taking the Hobie Mirage Outback out for a spin, you can adjust the seat-back, bottom, height, and lumbar support.
In use, the kayak works through the included Mirage Drive 180: a unique propulsion system designed by Hobie that works front ways and back ways. Essentially, it makes the Hobie Mirage Outback one of the more maneuverable kayaks out there. Yes, it may be a bit difficult to get a hold of at first, as it will probably be much different than any other kayak you may have used, but it glides like a dream once you get the hang of it. One of the cool features that they added was the ability to bring the fins up when you are getting close to shore by simply pushing down completely on one pedal. You don’t have to worry about hitting any shallow water and busting up your drive system.
The rudder system on the Mirage Hobie Outback is interesting too. Typically you’d see rudder systems on kayaks that are controlled by your feet, though since you are already using your feet to control the drive system, they’ve rigged it so you use your hand instead. Again, it might be difficult to get used to, but if you decide to paddle out on choppier days, having that option available is very convenient. You essentially get the utmost control from all angles of the kayak.
If you want to outfit your Hobie Mirage, there’s a pretty solid amount of space onboard. You have four molded trays that are built-in along the gunwales, four molded rod holders, a rear cargo area with bungee tie downs, and a mesh stowage pocket on the inside of the cockpit. If you decide to use your paddles rather than the drive system, this is incredibly helpful to store them when they’re not in use. It also comes equipped with an anchor trolley, a feature that is absolutely essential for someone wanting to fish.
Lastly, the Lowrance Ready System makes installing a fish finder an absolute breeze. The Hobie Mirage Outback comes equipped with a transducer mount and pre-installed through-hull cable plugs. This separates the Hobie brand from many other brands of kayaks and really takes the guess out of trying to install a fish finder on your own.
The cool thing about the Hobie Mirage Outback is the customization is endless. Hobie has created a plethora of accessories so that you can set up Hobie kayak however you’d like. To list all the accessories on here would be madness because there are so many, but some that have caught our eye include the Hobie Sail Kit (perfect for attaching to the sail mount located on the Mirage Outback), the outrigger AMA kit, the kayak welder, and the drain plugs, just because you’ll probably have to replace them a million times.
If you want to make transportation a little easier, we would also highly recommend purchasing the Hobie Kayak Cart Plug In Standard. It’s pretty much a small set of wheels that fits nicely into the bottom of your Hobie Kayak that makes it a thousand times easier to haul down to the water. Carrying a kayak is heavy and awkward, especially at almost 100lbs, so why not make it a little bit easier by adding some wheels?
Hobie Outback vs Pro Angler
A few years ago it was very easy to say that the Pro Angler was a far superior kayak to the Mirage Outback. The Mirage Outback has come a long way since then and we’re now able to compare them fairly.
If you’re looking at the Pro Angler, know that it is much bigger than the Hobie Mirage Outback and you will DEFINITELY need wheels for it. Seeing someone trying to haul one of those across the sand without wheels would be pretty hilarious. That being said, it’s incredible on the water, mostly because of the turbo fins that it comes with. The Pro Angler gives the user a ton of stuff to work with including a massive onboard platform for dry storage and moving room, a very comfortable seat, and other things.
Overall, the Outback is much lighter and easier to lift and it’s much easier to paddle in all kinds of water. It’s certainly more versatile in our opinion. That being said, the Pro Angler is a dream on the water with the extremely comfortable and higher elevated seat and far more stable. To be honest, the weight is the worst part about the Pro Angler and that’s why we’re giving the victory to the Hobie Mirage Outback.
Hobie Outback vs Revolution
To begin, the Revolution kayaks are a bit longer than the Outbacks at about 13ft, and are much skinnier with barely any sidewalls. You don’t have the luxury of the sidewalls with trays and flush mount wall holders. There’s not a ton of space for dry storage to keep tackle boxes or rods on board. You really have to minimize what you take out on the water. If you want something you can jump up and stand in, the Hobie Mirage Outback is your guy, as the Revolution is far too skinny and flat to really jump up in.
That being said, the Revolution is incredibly fast and much faster than the Hobie Outback. They also have a tighter turning radius and the rudder it comes with helps it to cut at a very sharp angle.
Just like the Outback, you can easily adjust the Vantage seat and a lot of the other accessories are pretty similar. It’s difficult to say which one is better than the other, as they both have their own pros and cons, so you should pick based on what you are looking for in a kayak.
Hobie Mirage Sport vs Outback
Size and weight is always the first thing we look at when comparing two kayaks. The Hobie Mirage Outback is bigger, heavier, and offers tons of space, while the Mirage Sport is smaller, more agile, and doesn’t have a ton of onboard space. If you’re anywhere over 200lbs, we would highly recommend going with the Outback instead of the Sport for its sheer size. If you’re a lightweight and simple type of fisherman who doesn’t need to carry out an array of tackle boxes, the Sport might just work for you. Remember, the more weight you put in your kayak, the less freeboard you’ll have.
With all the same general accessories and features as the Hobie Mirage, we would only recommend the Sport to people who are lighter, are carrying lighter loads, or want something that is a bit easier to transport.
Sit-on-top Kayaks vs Recreational Kayaks
Recreational kayaks are the types of kayaks you’ll probably see most often, especially if you’re kayaking in popular tourist areas. They are by far the most casual of all the different types of kayaks and are usually the cheapest. You’ll usually be able to find them in between 10 and 12,ft and instead of sitting on an elevated seat like the Hobie Sit-on-top, you place your body inside the hull of the kayak. We’d only recommend a recreational kayak if you’ll be paddling out on water that is more relaxed, as sit-in recreational kayaks aren’t the best for controlling when in choppier or windier conditions.
Sit-on-top kayaks vs Touring Kayaks
Touring kayaks are much longer, anywhere from 12-17ft, and are far skinnier than other models of kayak. If you’re looking for speed over storage and fishing capabilities, a touring kayak might work in your favor. They are also much easier to maneuver because of their thin builds, so even those who are just getting into the world of kayaking won’t have a difficult time trying to turn out in the water. The reason they are called touring kayaks is because most people that use them are in it for the long haul, literally taking their kayaks over much longer distances than usual.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I store my Hobie Mirage Outback?
Having a supported storage space is key for any kayak. You can either keep it in the ground or put it upside down atop two crossbars. The Hobie Mirage Outback is equipped with very tough rails, though you’ll definitely want to make sure whatever storage you put it on is padded so that you won’t leave and dents, scratches, or marks. If you need to store it right side up, make sure that it is NEVER resting on the bottom. This could cause the bottom to indent, misshaping its contour. In that case, we would highly recommend getting a molded cradle from Hobie as well.
If you're on the lookout for a more portable kayak, we recommend that you view our FinBin page with our best kayak reviews.
Is it easy to repair the Hobie Mirage Outback if anything happens to it?
Absolutely! Luckily the Hobie Mirage Outback is made from an incredibly strong polyethylene material that won’t really need repairs unless you truly do something harsh to damage it, though if you do, Hobie and other companies have simple repair kits so that you can patch it up and get back on the water quickly.
Is it possible to fit two people on this Kayak?
Yes. Even though it is a one-seat kayak by design, you can certainly have someone that is lighter weight riding on the back in the dry storage area if you’d like!
What does it mean when it says “Lowrance Ready”?
Lowrance is a manufacturer of sonar and GPS receivers. They make fish finders that utilize sonar technology to help anglers catch more fish. Think of them as a GPS device that you would have in your car that help you find fish rather than tell you where you are going. The fact that Hobie makes their kayaks Lowrance Ready is awesome, as it can sometimes be problematic trying to figure out how to install a Lowrance device on a kayak that wasn’t necessarily built for it.
Can you install a motor on your Hobie kayak?
Hobie has created what they call the Hobie Evolve and it is essentially an alsmost silent and incredibly efficient electric motor kit that is very easy to attack to your Hobie Mirage Outback. It is very lightweight and comes with a strong lithium battery that is completely waterproof. It includes all cables for mounting as well.
Does the Hobie Mirage Outback come with any sort of warranty?
Hobie has a two-year warranty on the hull and all other components for any manufacturer defects that you might find. That being said, they do not cover normal wear and tear or improper use.
Conclusion – Should You Buy?
If you are really serious about getting into the world of kayaking, or if you already are and are looking for a new kayak for the season, we hope you pick the Hobie Mirage Outback as one of your first choices.
If you want a kayak that you can use a few times a year or less, this might be overkill.
Assess your needs first and foremost, as everyone is different.
We can tell you, however, that this kayak is awesome and has tons of pro features that make it a one-of-a-kind beast in the water.
Hobie Mirage Outback