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Hobie "Mirage Outback" 2015

Hobie "Mirage Outback" 2015 Hot

 
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2015 Hobie Outback Fishing Kayak

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Hobie
Model:
Outback
MSRP ($):
2,299.00
Length (ft):
12

The Hobie "Mirage Outback" has everything a kayak angler needs, the comfort of the new for 2015 "Vantage CT" seat, the speed of the updated MirageDrive with Glide Technology, and the standability of the clean flat cockpit. The Outback includes a paddle as well as the Mirage Drive, molded-in rod holders and trays, storage compartments, Lowrance-Ready capability and a gear bucket that fits in the round hatch. The Outback has ample above and below deck stowage for all of your fishing gear.

Photos

Editor review

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0

An original fishing kayak just got a whole lot better!

If you have pedaled or fished out of a pre-2015 Hobie Outback and think you know what they are all about think again. The new 2015s have the same basic lines below the water but the changes above the waterline make this kayak one of my favorite fishing kayaks to use.

When you first get into the new Outback you will immediately feel how comfortable the new Vantage seat is. You will wonder how you ever sat on the deck of the old Outback’s once you fish out of this kayak. You no longer feel like you’re are pedaling a kayak uphill, the Vantage seat raises your hips so everything feels like it is in line with the Mirage drive.

Speaking about the Mirage drive, the updated “Bluefin” Mirage drive feels SUPER SMOOTH. Hobie has taken an already great propulsion device and made it even better. The drive feel like it is geared slightly lower than the Mirage Drive with Turbo Fins but you seem to be going just as fast (This is all just from personal experience I have no idea what the old one and new ones were geared at).

Remember the bulbous hatch that you were always trying to stand on, they flattened that out so you have a more comfortable standing platform. I still don’t understand why they went with the round hatch. I prefer the rectangle hatch they added to the Limited Edition Outback’s.

Hobie also updated some of the rod holders, mesh pockets, and rudder cable all for the better. All in all Hobie took their number one selling fishing kayak and made it a whole lot better!

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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Speed 
 
4.3  (3)
Stability 
 
4.7  (3)
Durability 
 
4.7  (3)
Features 
 
4.7  (3)
Value 
 
4.3  (3)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
Comments
(Updated: June 26, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

2015 Hobie Outback Review

Here is a video of my review. https://youtu.be/DVcY4kXHADc

In 2015 Hobie revamped their Outback kayak and redesigned the deck to accommodate their vantage seat, which is a framed style chair. It is adjustable in 4 different ways and allows for maximum comfort. The Outback comes with their signature Mirage drive allowing the angler to pedal the kayak. I was able to use one of their new Outbacks for 2 days and fished for some Lake Michigan Smallmouth out of Sturgeon Bay, WI and a small northern Wisconsin lake for Northern Pike for a total of 18 hours on the water.

One of the first things I noticed was that rear cargo area. I have an oversized crate and it fit perfectly! The bungees in the back were one long cord and held the crate in securely. The next thing I noticed is that the Outback has 3 access points into the hull. In the front you have a hatch that is secured with a bungee, and directly in front of the seat and in the back they have a twist seal hatch. The front and middle hatch are easily accessed while on the water. As mentioned before this kayak comes with their mirage drive. Hobie has improved their drive by adding ball bearings and making it smoother than the previous systems. They have two small netted cargo areas on each side by the legs and areas on the top of each side that perfect for holding fish grips, lures, and more!

After launching I deployed the rudder, latched in the mirage drive and started pedaling. It was very smooth and easy to pedal. The rudder control, which is located right where the left hand falls on the side of the kayak. It was more sensitive than I expected and turned the kayak quickly. Being able to pedal was a huge asset because as I was heading to my next spot I was able to get my rod and lures ready so when I arrived I was ready to fish. In both outings pedaling continued to be extremely helpful because I was able to slowly pedal across the shoreline and piers and work them as slow or fast as I wanted. You are able to do this in a non pedal kayak by utilizing the wind or paddle and coast but with the drive I was able to do it in either direction, wind or not, and my own speed. Plus the speed I was able to achieve was amazing. As I pedaled steadily at a decent pace I was able to get over 5mph without working hard at all. When I was booking it I was able to get over 6mph without any assistance from the wind. The pedals can be easily adjusted while on the water so you can get the perfect length for you, whether you are a shorter or taller person you will find your perfect stride. Many people wonder about the muscles you are using and that the motion is different than a bicycle. Although it is different it took just a matter of minutes to get comfortable and be able to pedal without thinking. After hours of pedaling my legs never got sore.

The stability is impressive. Just after minutes of launching I was standing up, turning, twisting, and casting all around with no concern of tipping. The wind picked up the first day and was blowing across the bay and we had some decent waves moving us around. The Outback handled the waves amazingly. It cut through the waves with ease and even when the waves were slapping it sideways I never felt like I was going to tip.

I was impressed with the Vantage seat. You could adjust in a multitude of ways in the front, the back, and adjust the lumbar support for the perfect fit. It was very easy to adjust when on land and when you are on the water adjust the front and lumbar support was very easy. Moving the back to a different height was a little tricky because you had to either put your weight in the front of the seat or off the seat completely.

Storage on the Outback is pretty nice. The front hatch is easily accessed when on the water. You can store rods and gear but what worked really well for me was to store my extra gear, including rain suit, waterproof bag, jacket, etc. In the center was a twist and seal hatch that allowed access to the inside of the hull, albeit not much. It did have an insert that had compartments for tackle or whatever you wish. There was another twist and seal hatch in the back which did not have an insert but would give you limited access to hull. The netted areas and recessed areas on the side are a fantastic side to put some extra gear and tackle. It was the perfect spot for putting lures that I was exchanging, my fish grips, and I even had more room!

One factor to consider with the Outback is the weight. The hull alone weighs 81 pounds and fully rigged with the seat and drive makes puts it at 99 pounds. You don’t notice the weight at all on the water but if you are portaging it any distance, you will notice. If you plan on car topping this kayak it isn’t horrible. It weights about 10 pounds more, without the seat and drive, than a Jackson Cuda or Native Slayer. It is a bit cumbersome to car top, but not impossible. If you have a trailer, that would make it that much easier.

Some people may consider pedal kayaks not suitable for rivers and only used for bigger water. But as I was out on the water with Hobie Rep AJ McWhorter he was describing how a pedal kayak can be a huge advantage. “You take out the drive before the rapids, paddle through, and then pop it back in right after the award. Turn around quick and use the drive to stay in place and fish the rapids, where the fish are.” Now I have not used it in a river but thought I would share what he told me.

The redesigned 2015 Hobie Outback retails for $2299. It comes with the vantage seat, installed and aligned rudder, paddle, and mirage drive. The improvements they made this year have made this kayak a contender. Although the price is higher than paddle kayaks the pedal system makes it worth it. With the big improvements like the new vantage seat, the smoother drive system, and convenient layout makes this kayak a CATCH!

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Fast, Stable, extremely comfortable
Cons:
Weight, Price
Review of the 2015 Hobie Outback
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: November 25, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0

Hobie Outback

I have owned a few kayak before this one and have nothing but good things to say abouit it. It really can do everything very well.

Speed: Fast for a boat this wide. The Outback paddles and pedals quickly with little effort from spot to spot. Tracking does suffer a little when paddling without the rudder.

Stability: Exccellent. Only the Pro Angler is better. I can fish from any where on this yak, from bow to stern. The first time I went out, I walked around on it. The 2015 model was redisigned and the deck was flattened. I did like i did with all kayaka I am in and tried to purposely flip it. I fell out before I could get it to tip. It has excellent volume in the rockers and you can lean hard without worries.

Value: Great. It comes ready to fish with seat, paddle, mirage, and a few additional goodies, included. This yak should serve me well for years to come.

Durability: Good. I have fished it hard for 13 Months and it only shows little signs of any wear.

Features: Ample. Out of the box the Outback comes ready to fish. No additional modifications are needed. The new CT seat is the bees knees. I can stay out for hours and feel almost no fatigue. The hi, mid, and low seat positions offer additional veratility to this alrerady incredible yak. I did modify the seat to default to the high position. The raised deck height is also great for keeping the cockpit almost completly dry. Storage is more than ample. I can fit every piece of gear and all the rods I own and still have room for more.

I have fished from this yak in many enviroments and have never been left wanting.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, quick, comfortable seating.
Cons:
None.
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(Updated: April 29, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0

2015 Hobie Outback

After having owned at one time or another most of the line of Hobie Mirage Kayaks I finally decided to give the Outback a try, especially considering the additions of the vantage seat and a few other small changes from earlier models.

At the end of February I picked up my 2015 Blue Hobie Mirage Outback. It sat in my garage for a few weeks as I tried to consider the best rigging. One of the reasons that I never tried the Outback was that I could never figure out the best way to install a deck mount for the rod holders. In the past I had tried using a YakAttack GT 175 Gear Track with a ram ball. I couldn't get used to it and decided to keep things simple and use the same Scotty mounts and rod holders through my other kayaks. One of changes to the 2015 Outback is the length of the pockets on the side of the kayak. Hobie increased the length which makes it easy for installing a Scotty 244 Flush Deck Mount that just fits into the pocket nicely and in a good position for setting your rods for trolling. A note here to make sure you don't use the 244L, Locking flush Deck Mount as you cannot seal it with Marine Goop and would be a place where water could drain into your hull if you were out in rough conditions. Using the flush mount makes for a clean install and unless I am trolling I would resort to using the molded in holes in the kayak to place a rod for rigging or unhooking a fish. The only other essential rigging would be for a fish finder where I installed a one inch Ram Ball at the bottom of the smaller cup holder on your left side of the kayak. Using an extension I am able to fasten my Humminbird 788ci HD DI unit in a perfect position for having easy access. I added a couple GT90 Gear Tracks on both sides up front and a GT175 Gear Track behind the seat on the left. The Gear Tracks are for mounting GoPros and my YakAttack VisiCarbon Pro Pole. If you plan on anchoring the Hobie Anchor Trolley Kit is a good fit for the Outback. The 1 inch ram on the right side behind the Scotty Flush Mount is for attaching my iPad which I am using at times with a Garmin Glo and the Navionics App.

A must modification to the Hobie Outback is upgrading to the larger sailing rudder. This is important if you are going out in rougher weather or considering the optional sail from Hobie. I switched out my ST Fins for a set of ST Turbo Fins, which I was told wasn't really necessary and I wouldn't even notice the difference in speed. So now I can carry the stock set of ST Fins, in case I damage my Turbo Fins.

Once I was done rigging the weather finally broke and I had my first outing at the beginning of April in New Buffalo, Michigan. Within the first few minutes in the kayak I noticed the comfort of the Vantage Seat which I have to say may be even more comfortable then the Vantage Seat in the PA. The new Hobie Mirage Drive with Glide Technology really did seam much easier than the older drives. I was surprised at the responsiveness of the Outback and decided to take it out on Lake Michigan where there were some nice rollers to test the stability and ride in rougher weather. Again I was very impressed how the Outback handled the rolling waves and wind that was picking up.

Having mostly fished out of both the PA12 and 14 the last couple of years I didn't find the Outback to restrictive for me. Using a YakAttack Blackpack for a crate it allowed me to hold 5 rods and quite a bit of gear.

My second trip was on the Detroit River, fishing for Walleye and it was equally as good in the fast current of the Detroit River. One of the biggest differences I found from the Pro Anglers was that I wasn't as affected by the wind in the Outback.

The mesh pocket that was directly behind the round hatch has been removed and now there is a mesh pocket on each side as in the Revolution.
Even with the water temperatures still in the 30 to 40 degree range I tried standing to climb out of the kayak from a dock. Again another surprise as I would never have attempted to climb from a standing position in my Adventure or Revolution 13.

I was caught out in a storm on a small river and had to fight 30 mph wind with pelting rain to get back to shore. With only a foot of water, I had to paddle against the wind. Leaving the rudder down I found the Outback easy enough to paddle against the strong head wind.

After about six outings this year I have split my use of the Outback and my PA14. In comparison to last year where I used the Pro Anglers most of the time and only used the Revolution a few times, I can see where the Outback is a better overall fishing platform than my Revolution.

I can see a second Outback in my near future that will replace my PA12. Being able to car top a couple of Outbacks and pull our 24 foot Travel Trailer would make for a perfect fishing, camping vacation.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
speed, stability, comfort, space
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