Fishing Kayaks, Hobie Cat, Pedal Kayaks, Review

Hobie Mirage Outback

Hobie 2020 Mirage Outback (Papaya Orange)


high performance great features

  • Price = 5/5
  • Design = 5/5
  • Stability = 5/5
  • Features = 5/5
  • Quality = 5/5
The Hobie Mirage Outback has been a staple of high end paddling kayaks it has been reviewed constantly as one of the best kayaks with pedals out there and continues to impress. With the older version version we saw a great kayak with a few small issues but overall something very popular and useful with consumers.

Now we see the new version with some great improvements and were excited to bring you this walk through and review. If you want a certain kayak that gives you both stability and functionality to get the most out of the outdoors, you should consider this Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak. Fishing, taking photos, or hunting this kayak does it all. The wide hull gives great stability with stillness to help you focus on reel in fish. The Mirage Drive system it uses providing it controlled by pedals instead of paddles, which gives more storage space for storing your gear, not to mention there are storage hatches, a large on-deck cargo area, and 4 built-in fishing rod holders featured.

So Why The Hobie Mirage Outback?

There a few differences from the new and the older models of the Hobie mirage outback. In the overall exterior hull design there isn’t very much of a change, where the main changes within the hull come is within the cockpit area. There is also a very nice new seat which is much better than the old. With the older model you had a fixed handle and a webbed handle on the newer model you now have two soft grip handles on the inside of the hull which is perfectly balanced when you want to lift it up and put it on the roof racks. More about the best fishing kayak here.

Within the actual cockpit itself the older model was heavily ribbed for paddling as well as peddling. In the newer model there is very light ribbing around the sides and a much bigger flatter area for you to stand in. Also in the older model it had a little pocket in the center and that has been removed for the hull to be flatter and now you have two storage pockets in the sides which is perfect for any of your soft plastics and any other gear you wish to carry.

With regards to comfort the hobie mirage outback has a new seat and its a huge improvement and is one of the most noticeable changes. You are now higher and dryer with many adjustments that can be made to make you completely comfortable. The thing about the seat being higher too is it’s a lot easier now to get up and stand if you want to do some casting. The seat can adjust forwards or backwards to get the right angle you need. You also has lumbar support at the back so that you can create the right tension for your back support. The seat also has the ability to be raised up to a much higher level. With the pro angler series you can get up and really sight fish well and while in the seat changing the balance in the seat allows you to drop it down to any of the four settings that are available.

It will take you a little bit of time to get your balance right when you’re forwarding the seat. You can try a few stability tests to get better.

Originally I thought being in the upright position you would feel tippy but rocking the kayak you actually have no worries with stability. Going sideways you can access the rear you can get into the cargo hold very well without risk of the kayak tipping. Sitting sideways the kayak still is rock solid stable and maintains its positioning perfectly. When standing up the kayak also remains perfectly stable.

With the seat the life jacket selection is going to be very important. It’s still comfortable to sit sideways.

I am definitely convinced that the glide technology on the mirage drive on the newer model is equally as good as the old version and even better. I think if you are going to be using it in areas where you have a lot of shell like ground there may not be a need to upgrade.

I quite liked having the seat raised I felt that there was a much larger improvement in the action and you definitely feel it in the calves when your peddling with the seat raised position. You may want to switch to paddling if you want to get a full body workout when going to your destination.

They say the kayak is 10% more efficient, I think that number is pretty conservative.

Features and Specifications

  • 12'1" 33" width 15" height, 400lbs capacity, 81lbs fitted hull weight, 99lbs fully rigged weight
  • Four Molded-In Rod Holders
  • Large Covered Bow Hatch
  • Lowrance® Ready
  • Mesh-Covered Stowage Pocket
  • MirageDrive with ST Fins
  • Rear Cargo Area with Bungee® Tie Downs
  • Sail Mount
  • Twist and Stow Rudder
  • Two 8” Twist and Seal Hatches with Gear Bucket
  • Two-Piece Paddle with On-Hull Storage
  • Vantage CT Seating

Pedals let control the boat with pedals leaving your hands with more freedom for fishing. There is not so much effort in peddaling so you can go even faster and further. These Hobie kayaks are suited for you if your a fan of biking. Your leg recovery is much faster than your arms and shoulders so you can do more work with them. The Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak rides quite high so it keeps you dry in windy weather. However, the pedals also have some downsides. Thick kelp can get them stuck and it requires maintenance once in a while to loosen-up the pedals.

The drink holders featured in the cockpit allow you to have some cool drinks on a sunny day. There is prevention of the items getting wet with a front hatch which comes with an insert, while there is also a bungee system placed on both ends. The cockpit is quite deep so it seems like you are sitting in it even though you sit on it. The width offered from the hull offers great stability and provides greater center of gravity.

The backrest and the seat of this model is the most comfortable thing I have seen in a kayak. It is a well suited feature because your feet are positioned on the higher plane rather than the conventional sit-on-top kayak. You can definitely lean your back into it. To control it, you just need to use the rudder controls for getting it going in a straight line once you pedal. This is a truly hands-free kayaking experience where you can rest, sit back, or do anything you like. The fish finder feature enables me to cast, retrieve, and find fish easily. I can cruise across the lake while sorting through my tackle box for the next lure.

Customer Reviews

“We debated forever between the Outback and the Revo 13. We made the right call. We live on a lake and these are the perfect social kayak. Very stable, very comfortable and a breeze to took around in. The turning is amazing and Hobie did a great job on design. The way the rudder pulls out of the water with cables is slick. The Mirage Drive pops in and out very easily. For sure worth the money for the newer modek. The seats are awesome. Totally happy with purchase. Hobie is not cheap, but they are well designed and worth it.”

“I bought this for my husband, he loves it. It's very comfortable and fast. He fishes and gets great exercise. I have a Hobie Pro Angler, both are awesome. They are very stable to fish in the wind. We love them!!!!”

Our Conclusion

The Hobie Mirage Outback is an amazing piece of kayaking technology. The kayak is fast sturdy and amazing at doing what its meant to do. The price is a bit higher then other kayaks but most kayakers will agree what you get with the price is well worth the extra hike in cost. Definitely a recommended buy!

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About Julian Thompson

cb787c59d2808e1f609076e790ca977e?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: Certified Kayaking Instructor (AKA)
Education: American Kayak Association
Lives In: Denver Colorado

I am a kayaking expert/instructor who has been fishing for over 15 years. Fishing is my passion, but kayaking keeps me on the water. I love to share my knowledge of techniques and tips with others. I live in Colorado with my wife and two kids and own a small kayak rental business On Grand Lake where I rent and instruct.

1 thought on “Hobie Mirage Outback”

  1. Hi Andrew, thanks for the article on the mirage! I live in Fort Myers, FL. I am taking a kayak lesson tomorrow and thinking about buying a kayak soon. Petal drives add about $1000 bucks addl to the price and added space and weight. I would like an all round kayak, fishing, picture taking, paddling and hanging out by myself. I think about buying a used hobie 2016 mirage or maybe A Wildness new kayak. I am 70 and retired 5' 10" & 180 lbs. I workout 3-4 days a week for about an hour each day. I would appreciate learning from your experience and knowledge. Thank you in advance.

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