Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Hobie Mirage Passport R

WHAT IS IT?

Hobie Mirage Passport R Series

WHAT SETS IT APART?

Broadening its lineup with entry-level fishing kayaks that look and feel more like pricier paddle craft, Hobie introduced the Mirage Passport 12.0 R and the Mirage Passport 10.5 R. Both are powered by MirageDrive with Glide Technology and Kick-Up Fins, which easily avoid obstructions thanks to the automatic retraction. With rotomolded hulls available in seagrass green and slate blue, the new R models include hand-deployed rudders, which lay flat on the stern for stacking and flat spaces for electronics and Power-Pole Micro units.

HOW DO I USE IT?

Features include bow, stern and side handles for carrying and carting, criss-cross bungie cords to secure bow and stern cargo, a molded space for an optional storage hatch and rail-mounted tracks for accessories from rod holders to fish finders. The molded form includes raised sections to elevate cargo for drainage, rod leaning slots and recessed areas for easy accessory installation. A lightweight aluminum and mesh seat ensures comfort, while an 8-inch twist-and-seal hatch allows access to a spacious storage cavity.               

HOW MUCH?

$1,649 and $1,869

MORE INFORMATION:

www.hobie.com

ANGLER’S INSIGHT:

Hobie has been at the forefront of kayak innovation for decades, but quality and performance are not cheap. Now, Hobie has found a way to incorporate a lot of the features found on some of its high-end offerings into budget-conscious, customizable models that allow you to customize the kayak without breaking the bank. Made sturdy enough for stand-up fishing (two EVA pads enhance traction), the Passport design includes a mast space for an optional sail kit or Bimini that make this a nice option for more casual outings.