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Wilderness Systems “Commander 140”

Wilderness Systems “Commander 140” Hot

 
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Wilderness Systems Commander 140

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Wilderness Systems
Model:
Commander
MSRP ($):
1,049.00
Length (ft):
14

The Wilderness Systems “Commander 140” is a hybrid kayak with two seating options. There is a lower Phase Three seat that slides out of the way, and an upper Captains Perch. The angler edition has rod holders and comes ready to fish. The C140 tracks well, and is a pleasure to paddle on lakes and slow moving rivers. The open configuration is great for hauling camping gear for multiple day fishing trips.

Features:

  • AirPro Freedom Elite Seating System
  • Elevated Seating Area
  • Drain Plug
  • Partial Stern Bulkhead
  • SlideTrax System
  • Skid Plate
  • Comfort Carry Handles
  • SlideLock Foot Brace System
  • Rudder Ready
  • Tankwell w/ Bungee

 Specs:

  • Width: 30.5" / 77 cm
  • Max Capacity: 475 lbs / 215 kg
  • Deck Height: 13.75" / 35 cm
  • Weight: 69 lbs / 31 kg
  • Cockpit Length: 55" / 140 cm
  • Cockpit Width: 20.5" / 52 cm

 

Photos

Wilderness Systems Commander SUP paddling
Paddling the Wilderness Systems Commander 140
Wilderness Systems Commander 140

User reviews

5 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.9
Speed 
 
3.8  (5)
Stability 
 
4.4  (5)
Durability 
 
3.8  (5)
Features 
 
3.6  (5)
Value 
 
4.0  (5)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
Comments
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

140 Commander fishing Kayak

I had a great day fishing in my Wilderness Systems
> Commander
> > 140 fishing kayak I purchased it from Outfitters three
> years
> > ago. This little Kayak is very
> versatile.
> > I have used this kayak on the ocean, ponds and lakes in
> this
> > province with no problems. Sometimes in rough water
> within
> > reason. The kayak is very stabile and can handle any
> fish
> > you haul in. There is great all round recreational
> > value in this kayak that shouldn't go unnoticed. Since
> these
> > pictures were taken I have installed a fish finder,
> GPS, and
> > phone mounts

Pros & Cons

Pros:
stability, speed, storage
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Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

Wilderness Commander 140 ROCKS!

Lightweight!
First let me just say that this boat is light. So light! For a 14' boat, it's a real PLEASURE to load at the end of the day. I used to stay out later than I should on the water because I dreaded loading that god forsaken heavy boat on top of my car after fishing all day. Not the Commander. After a year or more of trying to portage the former boat over mangrove islands, alligator nests, ant hills and whatever other obstacles got between us and fishing new water on Adventure Tuesdays, the Commander is a godsend. No more sprained uteruses (uteri?) or torn spleens from trying to push, pull or slide a boat easily 20 lbs heavier than the manufacturer's rating. Even with a full Yeti sitting in the Commander, getting it across water moccasin infested mud pits is a breeze. Also, it's light enough that loading and unloading it at the ramp leaves one hand free for slapping mosquitoes off any part of your body not slathered in 100% DEET or thick clothing. Always a plus!

COMFORTABLE!
Not just one, but TWO places to plop my big fat butt! Now there's a plus. When you have a big fat butt, it gets tired of sitting in the same place, no matter how comfortable the place. You gotta move that thing. The people who made the Commander thought of this! I can plop my big fat butt down in the seat (which slides comfortably forward and back) or I can plop it up on the captain's perch, though on a hot day, I'd suggest having a towel or something there. Not much worse than a big fat butt blistered from heat. Blistered big fat butts aren't really comfortable anywhere they sit. The Seat is comfortable and the back adjustable. The Captain's Perch is a nice break from the seat and a great transition to standing. Paddling is simple from either sitting position, though it's easier to get out the winds blowing mach jesus on the flats since December here from the seated position and easier to see the fish turn down your lures from the Captain's perch. Very versatile and convenient indeed!

STABLE!!
Let's face it. Nobody has ever used the word "graceful" to describe me unless the words "not at all" were in front of it. I can pretty much trip and fall over my own very large feet on flat ground without trying very hard. So standing in a kayak? Yeah, not since I was 80 lbs lighter and 15 years younger and standing on a Drifter (anyone remember THAT particular tank?). Why hasn't Tammy flyfished much since moving back to FL? Because flyfishing sitting down all the time sucks. Let's face it. I've known that since the first time I plopped my big fat butt into a float tube in Canada in 33 degree water to midge fish for trout. Flyfishing sitting down sucks. But now that I have a boat even I can stand in, it's time to pick up the flyrod again! Standing up in the boat is a breeze. Even remaining in the standing position is easy! Even standing up and leaning down and standing up again because you saw a fish and need to put your paddle down and pick your rod up is easy. Of course you lose sight of the fish, but hey, that's why I've got more Yak-Gear/Railblaza gear coming! I've heard people say that they had to have their feet crooked to stand in the Commander but I've experienced no such thing. The boat is so stable that I can lean my big fat butt over the side in a sitting position and a person can sit on either end of the boat. Yes. We did that. I can stand all day in that boat until I get tired and need to sit my big fat butt down again.

SPACIOUS!!
I'm not sure if it's a fishing thing or an estrogen thing, but I have a lot of fishing stuff. I also feel the need to take it with me when I go fishing. One just never knows when they are going to encounter a blue marlin in 8 inches of water in the No Motor Zone. One must be prepared. The Commander is perfect for that! I can even fit my purse in there when I'm done! Because yes I CAN justify carrying that compact. You never know when you might need to powder your nose or use the mirror to signal for help when you've become lost. You just never know. In fact, I've got so much space left in my boat that I am in the process of buying more stuff to fill it. KBB Outfitters, Kayaks by Bo, Yak-Gear/Railblaza and Harry Goode's beware!

ALL THE REST!!!
It's faster, more stable, tracks well without the rudder, is going to track better with it and it's QUIET! And it's camo. Which means it accessorizes my pink paddle perfectly! It holds my big fat butt as well as the rest of me, all of my stuff and even with all of that on board, it floats! Floating is ALWAYS a plus when you are talking kayaks. Even standing and poling along with my paddle, it turns easily, tracks straight when I need it to and moves stealthily through the water. All in all, I couldn't be happier with this boat. Easily the most underrated of all of the fishing kayaks out there.





Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stability, Space, Silence
Cons:
Drainage
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: March 06, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0

A Kayak You Should Demo

This winter I was able to acquire a kayak I've been eyeing for over a year: The Wildy Commander 140. I first demoed one last year at Fly Fish Texas in Athens, TX and had been thinking about it since that time. I've had several trips out on the water now and it is time to report in.

THE RIGGING

My Commander, nicknamed "Winter Soldier" by my son, is the 14 foot version with a front bow skirt and a rudder system. I've added a Lowrance Elite 5 fish finder, a Super Nova Fishing Lights LED light kit, several RAM and YakAttack accessories, a Bullwinkle mount, an anchor trolley and switches for the electronics. I move it from place to place with a C-Tug cart and transport it either via trailer or in the bed of my truck with a bed extender. It is the camo color offered by Wilderness Systems.

THE GOOD
The Commander 140 is the second easiest kayak to stand on I've ever tried, just short of the Hobie Pro Angler (but let's be honest, that thing is a barge, like standing on a cruise ship). Because the Commander is a sit in/sit on hybrid, the point of balance for your body when standing is not your ankles, it is actually your knees because of the padded side rails. Imagine trying to extend your arm perpendicular to your body while standing. Now, in that extended arm, with just your fingertips hold out a six foot long broom handle with a tennis ball on the end from the opposite side. Now try it again, two feet closer to the ball with your whole hand. The second way is easier. Much easier. This is the same thing with the Commander. Using a support point closer to your head eliminates sway in your torso and allows you to balance better.

Standing isn't the only nice thing though. The kayak is spacious. I can store my BlackPak and C-Tug in the back without a problem. There is even enough space that I usually bring a bag of snacks and drinks to stow back there as well. In the main area, the seating options also shine. The lumbar support offered from the Wildy seat is good with adjustable leg straps, back rest straps and tensioners to keep the seat in place. If you need to get a little higher up just fold the seat back down and slide it under the Captain's Perch. The Perch is molded like a seat and getting up and down changes your angle and can also relieve stiffness after long hours on the water. If the Captain's Perch still isn't high enough up, just stand up and paddle.

In front of the main area is a cross bar for mounting items or carrying or resting items. This separates another front area that when you add the bow skirt with the mesh pocket can become additional storage that is not on the floor of the kayak.

As for tracking, the Commander 140 stays pretty straight when paddling and doesn't deviate course. For long paddles with wind, this helps your paddle stroke be more efficient.

So it is pretty easy to stand in, tracks well, has good seating options and ample storage space. There is one more thing that shines about this kayak: The Weight. Listed at only 68 pounds, this 14 foot kayak can be carried on your shoulder and has padding provided to do so. Going from Point A to Point B is easier than with most.

THE NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
As with most hybrid sit in/sit on kayaks, there are no scupper holes. You need to keep a sponge or pump handy if you are fishing in heavy chop or rain. With a bow skirt you'll eliminate most of the water that could potentially get in on normal paddling days. I also don't recommend this kayak for anything surf side but bay side adventures will be a great fit.

Another thing that is difficult is inside the side track you have these bungee connectors that can move back and forth to be tightened. The tightening happens with a hex key. The hex key is a size that isn't included in a normal $10 set at the hardware store so hang on to the key. I don't have mine and it's been a bear trying to find a size to match it. If Wildy could make a place, possibly under the Perch that had a couple of clips and a couple of the hex keys it would help. At least for me.

Bow and stern skirts currently need to be purchased separately but in the future it would be cool to see a retractable skirt integrated into the front and rear hatches. If you need it you extend it and if you don't it rolls back into its self on the hull. Think of it like those retractable window shades for cars.

It could also be a nice addition to include rod tubes for the main area. I currently store rods in my BlackPak and two on a Bullwinkle mount up front. Rod tubes would store a few of the rods out of the way of limbs etc and also not have them in the way of a sweeping hookset.

The final thing is maneuverability. Because the Commander 140 tracks so well and is long, it needs some extra effort to turn. It takes some extra strokes (as does any 14 foot kayak) to turn but the added rudder can greatly ease that burden. I don't see this as much of an area of needed improvement as a "just be aware of it" item if you don't get a rudder.

FINAL THOUGHTS
If you are in the market for a kayak you can stand in, camp in, store tons of gear in, and just all around enjoy, this is a kayak you should look at. With 450-475 pounds of capacity it will accommodate most paddlers and sometimes an additional guest. The Commander is stable and can make a long day of paddling seem short. I'd highly recommend a demo of one.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Tracking, Storage, Lightweight
Cons:
No scuppers
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
3.0
Features 
 
3.0
Value 
 
3.0

long time coming

This review is a long time coming. I no longer have my commander 140 but it isn’t because I didn’t love that boat. My fishing needs changed and I found myself in faster moving water with larger waves than I was comfortable with in the Commander so I sold it and went to a sit on top kayak. I spent many a good day in that kayak, doing just exactly what it was designed for. It was only a change in my needs that put her on the choppin’ block.
Being a long time canoe paddler, the hybrid design of the C140 felt right at home to me. The Phase 3 seat was comfortable for long trips and it impressed me being able to slide it out of the way for standing or sitting on the captain’s perch. The captain’s perch is a great concept and really made it easy to transition from sitting to standing. It also made a great spot to fly fish from as any added height really helped my casting distance.
Being able to transition from low on the Phase 3 seat to high on the captain’s perch was great when you were spending hours out on the water. The older I get, the more I can appreciate not being stuck in any one position for too long. The stability of the C140 is outstanding. The one downside to me was not having a flat surface to stand on. Some folks love the tunnel hull design on the bottom but for a chubby footed fella such as myself, it wore on me if I stood for too long. That is one aspect that folks will have to form their own opinion on.
Tracking of the Commander was laser-like, almost to a fault. It was outstanding on lakes and large, slow moving rivers, but if maneuverability is a need, you will not find it in this boat. It was after almost being wrapped around a bridge abutment that I decided my vessel needs were changing. If you need a straight tracking boat though, this is one of the best I have ever paddled.
The C140 had plenty of room in the cockpit and in the tankwell for carrying large amounts of gear for fishing, hunting, photography or camping. The slide bars for the seat made for a great place to grab the kayak before hefting overhead and the flat gunnels worked well with every rack I put it on. The only issue I ever had design wise was the foam bulkhead coming loose under the seat. These foam pieces are a thorn in all kayak manufacturers sides and I did what most good yakkers do, applied an ample amount of Goop and fixed it myself.
I would give the C140 high marks on fishability, it would make a great wildlife photography platform or duck hunting vessel as well. I really enjoyed mine while I had it. I would not recommend it for fast moving rivers or any place that is subject to waves big enough to swamp a hybrid but if flat water is your playground you will be fine in the Commander.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
straight tracking
Cons:
no maneuverability
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
2.8
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
3.0
Features 
 
2.0
Value 
 
3.0

Commander 140

I found the commander to be a somewhat quick little kayak. However I did not like the foot pegs. They are located under the side rails and my feet barely fit. Someone with really large feet would have a real problem fitting in. This kayak can be paddled from the regular seat or an elevated position. The elevated position was not the least bit tippy feeling and it actually paddled very nice from that position. I did not like standing in it, my feet were positioned too far apart and the bottom felt very flimsy.

Wilderness Systems Commander SUP paddling
Paddling the Wilderness Systems Commander 140
Wilderness Systems Commander 140
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