Hobie Mirage Outback Review

Bottom Line:

Stable, comfortable, and highly customizable, experts rate the Hobie Mirage Outback as a great fishing kayak in all categories. It gets high praise for its innovative rudder system and innovative storage across the front and rear of the vessel.

What’s impressive about this kayak is that it seems to be a great all-rounder – never scoring too low in any category. However, it’s clearly built with fishing in mind, meaning it’s probably not the quickest off the mark! But this is a small price to pay for an all around great fishing kayak.

Price Comparison:



based on 2 reviews

Performance Ratings:

  • Handling
  • Stability
  • Comfort
  • Onboard Storage
  • Portability


Size (length x width)12'9" x 34"
Weight85 lbs
Capacity425 lbs

Comparison to Similar Kayaks:

Hobie Mirage Outback Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Old Town Topwater 120 Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Vibe Sea Ghost 110
Expert Rating
Size12'9" x 34"9'5" x 30"12' x 33.5"13' x 33"11'6" x 33"
Weight85 lbs44 lbs82 lbs75 lbs84 lbs
Onboard Storage8.

Hobie Mirage Outback Review

Reasons to Buy:
  • One of the most responsive rudder systems on the market
  • Lots of storage potential and customization support
  • Extremely stable to stand and sit
  • Seat offers fantastic lumbar locking and angle adjustment
  • It's light and easy to carry and store
Reasons Not to Buy:
  • Not ideal for non-fishing trips
  • Not much commentary on durability

Performance of the Hobie Mirage Outback

The Hobie Mirage Outback is a hugely popular fishing boat that’s seen plenty of reissues and upgrades over the years, but the core of the experience hasn’t changed all that much. Experts feel that with this kayak, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!

This is one of few kayaks in its class and price range that scores well on most categories (if not all). Therefore, reviewers are comfortable stating it’s one of the best all-around angling vessels for the price tag.

The boat’s handling is easily boosted by its famous Mirage drive and turbo rudder, which got a lot of praise in recent years for its “kick” setup, meaning it pops in and out if you brush up against something in the water.

Experts claim that the drive works extremely hard with very little encouragement, and that it’s always easy to handle the steering with dual controls at your seat. In terms of responsiveness, there don’t seem to be many complaints. Just don’t expect this boat to win any sprints!

Experts are also quick to confirm this boat is built for stand-up angling. Foot pads coupled with intrinsic stability (thanks to a classic hull design) mean you’re never likely to topple in. It’s also apparently hardy through tougher waters and weather, and it’s unlikely to let water ingress.

The seat onboard the Mirage Outback is something of a marvel all on its own, with simple yet effective securing widgets to help protect your lumbar and keep your posture in place on longer trips. It’s reportedly very easy to stand up and sit back down again without issue, and you can even remove the seat to use as a deck chair if you prefer.

There’s ample (if not excessive) storage onboard this kayak, with incredible flexibility for customizing gear, fishing equipment and more thanks to easy-access tracks and holders. There’s a large central bucket ideal for dry gear, and the manufacturer has gone to extra effort in making the hatches onboard extra resistant to water ingress.

Anglers will also like the presence of lure storage on either side of the vessel, as well as a huge well of space for ice boxes and crates.

As a very lightweight boat for its size and class, the Mirage Outback score highly on portability. It’s got a large handle towards the rear of the vessel, with extra supports if you’re carrying with a partner. It’s great for streamlined storage and for moving on cars and other vehicles.

A standout theme across this kayak is that there’s lots of security and lockability – you’re always likely to be secure if you tip, which doesn’t seem to be very likely. If you want to release transducers and rudders, you can do so from your seat – and at the same time, if you prefer to paddle, there are holders on either side of the boat (which isn’t always a given).

Check out the reinforced scuppers on the underside of the kayak, too. These give paddlers extra confidence that the Mirage Outback simply isn’t going to submerge without a fight.

Lastly – and certainly not least of all – there’s even a bottle opener on the inside of the central hatch door. Hobie really have thought of everything!

Expert Reviews of the Hobie Mirage Outback

7.9Yak HuntersThis is a brilliant kayak with tons of surprises in store. I honestly can't fault it on any categories - and I'm looking forward to taking it out on many adventures to come. It's stable, easy to control, and it's endlessly customizable.Read more
8.0Mike MoralesThis is easily one of my personal favorite fishing boats. It's easy to use, it's lightweight, very comfortable, and gives you pretty much everything you're looking for from a tournament-style fishing vessel. It's a great investment.Read more

Handling of the Hobie Mirage Outback

Expert Rating: 8.3

8.5Yak HuntersI like the kickback rudder - it snaps back easily when I run into something and allows the boat to move as normal. Steering is a breeze as there's two rudder controls on either side of the boat. The Mirage drive onboard allows for forward and reverse movement - a huge plus if you get stuck in a tight spot.Read more
8.0Mike MoralesThe Mirage drive onboard is a really solid model - it's an absolute workhorse. The pickup fins, too, help to keep the boat handling well while avoiding any maintenance issues. Forward and reverse is always easy to handle right from the cockpit, and the rudder controls do everything you'd expect. It's very responsive, and there's not much slap to the front while riding.Read more

Stability of the Hobie Mirage Outback

Expert Rating: 7.5

7.0Yak HuntersI have absolutely no problems standing up in this boat, and despite the fact it's built to support you and your gear if you capsize, it's honestly pretty unlikely to happen. It barely lets water in, even in choppier conditions.Read more
8.0Mike MoralesIt's an amazingly stable boat, and it's clearly designed with simple navigation through choppy waters in mind - it holds steady.Read more

Comfort of the Hobie Mirage Outback

Expert Rating: 8.0

8.0Yak HuntersThis kayak's standing pads show it's a boat built for anglers who love to stand. The seat's nice and easy to lower and adjust when I need to, and the tensioner system locks in the backrest so it won't move during fishing. It's reliable for lumbar support, too.Read more
8.0Mike MoralesFoot pads on the base of the boat make it nice and steady for stood-up fishing. The seat's nice and comfortable, and I always find the backrest extremely easy to adjust for different styles of fishing and paddling. The lumbar tensioner is a great addition if you want to ensure the back support goes nowhere fast. Use the kickstands, too - I like getting this seat up nice and tall, personally, but it's your choice. Accessing the dual steering is always comfortable from a seated position.Read more

Onboard Storage of the Hobie Mirage Outback

Expert Rating: 8.3

8.5Yak HuntersThere's tons of storage onboard this boat, and it's even built ready for Hobie Power Pole tech. What's really impressive is the rear storage capacity - it's absolutely massive! I use it for an ice box, still with tons of space for other kit. There's also a handful of tracks and bungee cords for other fishing gear - and I love the storage wells on either side of the boat for storing lures. Check out the watertight central hatch, too, if you want to keep gear dry. I also keep my dry gear in the front storage hatch.Read more
8.0Mike MoralesThe storage here ticks pretty much all the right boxes. The big central bucket is easy to reach with a mesh compartment if needed. Racks, holders, tethers - all are onboard here if you want to fully customize your boat for rods, cameras, and more. Built-in electronics ports are a must if you want to keep your tech dry, too. The seal on the front hatch is a major step forward for this line, though you'll need to buy your own liner if you want one. Tackle boxes and H crates are really easy to store and secure towards the rear of the boat.Read more

Portability of the Hobie Mirage Outback

Expert Rating: 7.5

7.5Yak HuntersIt's a pretty light kayak, which makes it easy to carry around - and I like the solid handle towards the end of the boat that makes it super simple to lift on and off a roof rack. Carry handles further along the boat are nice additions as and when you need to move it out of or towards the water.Read more