Learn About Hobie Mirage Touring Kayaks
The Hobie Mirage pedal kayak lineup is 11 models strong.
As with just about anything, more choices sometimes means confusion in trying to determine which Hobie Mirage Pedalling Kayak model is right for you. While this isn’t an official Hobie doctrine, I like to think of the eleven models as falling into one of three categories the names of which broadly describe what the boats are best used for; Touring boats, SUV boats and Inflatables. While there certainly is crossover between some of these categories, thinking of the boats as falling into one of these three categories will help you decide which boat is right for you.
As the name implies, the Touring Group Boats are the best boats for folks that are thinking they’ll be covering some distance in their boat. These boats are our sleekest boats with very pretty traditional kayak lines. They are our best paddling boats and they differ from the other groups in that they are our sleekest, most efficient kayaks. A single pedal stroke in a touring boat moves the boat slightly further forward in the water than the same pedal stroke in an inflatable or a SUV boat. Therefore over longer distances, whether that means an easy meander around your favorite bay with a friend or long distance packed touring, the Touring boats are slightly less fatiguing.
The smallest boat in the Touring line is the 13’5” Revolution- single user. This is the lightest of the four boats in the line and as such is easiest to get up onto a roof rack. The boat will accommodate kids, men or women from about 4’ to about 6’4” in height.
The other single user boat in the Touring line is the 16’ Adventure. This is the longest kayak that Hobie makes and it is by far the fastest single. The unique thing about the Adventure is how smooth the ride is. Its long length spans wave tops and makes the ride as smooth as a new Cadillac on fresh pavement. The Adventure is also a very dry boat. The bow wave is very far up front from the cockpit so the splash from the front of the boat that happens in windy weather doesn’t reach the cockpit. The Adventure also has the longest leg room of any of our kayaks so it’s the best boat for tall people.
The Tandem (2 user boat) in the touring line is the 14’6” Oasis. This is Hobie’s fastest pedaling kayak. Even though it’s a bit shorter than the Adventure it has twice the pedal power so it really flies. One of the cool things about Hobie tandems is that the Mirage Drive units are not linked. The person in the front can pedal at a differentpace than the person in the back and the boat works just fine. Comparing the Oasis to the hard-shell tandem in the SUV line, the Outfitter, the Oasis has sleeker lines and is faster. The Outfitter is a bit wider (which makes it a smidge more stable when you’re not pedaling) and has stowage trays along the side for fishing gear and has fishing rod holders built into the hull.
The question everyone asks about any of the tandems Hobie offers is, does it make more sense to have two single kayaks or one tandem?
Answer is this. If you’re always going to go with two people the tandems make a lot of sense. If you’re ever going to go alone, particularly the smaller of the two pedalers, having two singles makes quite a bit of sense because singles are lighter and easier to maneuver than tandems. Also, with two singles you can go side by side with a friend which makes for easier conversations. Lastly if kids are involved and they are going to go alone, two singles are a great choice.
Known by its followers as the “AI”, the last boat in the Touring Line is the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island.
The Adventure Island comes standard with 58 sq ft of sail on Hobie Cats patented roller furling mast and 9’ folding outriggers. The most unique thing about the AI is that it’s actually three boats in one. In its full up mode when you’re pedaling and sailing at the same time it is the fastest sailing kayak on the planet and is as stable as a pontoon boat. Pop out the sail and snap off the outriggers and the AI becomes the standard Adventure kayak. With the Mirage drive out and the drive well plug in place, it is Hobies fastest paddling kayak. The Adventure Island caught fire faster than any new kayak that Hobie has introduced and is the boat of choice for both inland lake and blue ocean adventurers.
The Mirage Touring kayaks are the right choice for a lot of people; fishing folks looking to cover a lot of ground, cabin people that are looking for relaxing comfort and easy pedaling, thrill seekers looking sailing speed and stability or anyone that thinks they may want to paddle their new pedaling kayak.