Ideal for small-to-midsize kayakers, or bigger kayakers out for an unencumbered cruise, the Revolution 11 allows you to adroitly stalk fish and confidently explore reefs. With generous belowdeck stowage, smart rigging on top (what's a kayak trip without a cold drink right at hand?), and optional sailing kit, the Revolution 11 is ready to roam. Now comes standard with the MirageDrive 180 with new Kick-Up Fin Technology.
Read and submit reviews for the Mirage® Revolution® 11.
The Revo 11 with reverse was a decent kayak, but after using the kayak for a year, I decided to sell the kayak. Pros: reverse, lightweight - it was easily to lift into kayak carrier, good storage inside the kayak, elevated and adjustable seat. Cons: top heavy with the new seat design - quick turns might put you in the water, mirage drive. Very difficult to stand up while on the water due to the narrow hull I had two mirage drive kayaks and one native with propeller drive. For kayak fishing, I find the propeller drive works better for long distances on the water. Will be looking at the native manta ray this fall.
Update: In my 3rd year with this kayak, the hull cracked. Through an informal poll of 80 other Hobie users I learned that Hobie pedal drive kayaks have more than a 10% failure rate for these cracks. And they don't seem to be repairable. The Hobie warranty on their kayaks only lasts 2 years, This kinda sucks since most kayak makers warranty their hulls for 5 years to lifetime. Hobie will sell you a discounted replacement hull but it doesn't come with any warranty at all. I finally had to file a complaint with the state of California to get a one year warranty on the new hull. Too bad, because I love the Mirage drive. Be warned.
The listed weight is 55 pounds. That isn't horrible as standard USA plastic yaks go, but I guess I am just getting spoiled by much lighter kayaks. In my opinion anything over 60 pounds is not fun to use.
Adjusting and installing the drive is easy. The rudder is excellent in the way it stows for launch and landing. I do have some problems deploying the rudder because it catches on the rudder bungee retaining clip.
Without the rudder the kayak is almost impossible to handle. Hobie should have done a much better job with this aspect of hull design. Yes, you normally operate with the rudder. However, if it breaks you are in deep trouble. There are also situations like surf launches and landings where the rudder should be stowed.
With the rudder up, tracking is nonexistent. You will fight to keep this kayak on course. I have heard that this is just a problem created by poor user paddle technique. I assure you, it isn’t. I have been paddling all kinds of kayaks for many years, and I know how to paddle using corrective strokes and lean-steering. This kayak flat-out sucks without the rudder.
I miss the fact that the Hobie won't back up or turn on a dime with the drive. It does circle quite tightly, even with the standard rudder. Stability seems good, both primary and secondary. Not as good as some of my other kayaks, but adequate. It is at its worst with following seas.
For a short, rather wide kayak, the Revo 11 has good speed. I measured an average cruising speed of 3.3-3.5 mph with the Mirage drive and Turbo fins. A fast pace that I could hold with the Mirage drive for a couple hundred yards or so was 4.0. The max I could get was 5.0. That seemed slow, but it is what it is. A well-conditioned pedaler might up these by 10% or so.
“Hands free” operation:
This is really a bogus claim. In reality there is a frequent need to adjust the rudder and that takes one hand. So, it is really HAND free operation. Also, when fighting a fish if you want to turn, you must take one hand off your reel. With a paddle kayak you operate the rudder with your feet. The mirage drive does let you advance the boat to pick up line or use the drive to fight a fish away from obstructions. Good and bad.
My mirage drive has developed problems 4 times in the 2 years I’ve had it. Most were easy fixes. It did require me to replace the idler pulley. You need to check the drive often and even then it is not trouble free. In addition, the plastic hull material seems softer than most. It scratches easily and will develop divots and dents if not stored properly.
I also purchased the turbo fins. They definitely make a huge difference getting up to speed or towing something but once you're moving it doesn't really matter.
My personal favorite, however, was easily the Rev 11. Maybe because I have other kayaks for paddling and exploring. However, I really want a kayak for fishing. Thus, the need for the peddles and Mirage system. This kayak turns on a dime yet is very stable, great for peddling as well as paddling. And, especially for car topping. At 57 pounds, it was 20 pounds lighter than the Outback. Thus, a no brainer for my Thule Rack on top of our CRV Honda.
I didn't feel the Rev 13 added that much difference. Longer by a few inches but felt the Rev 11 had everything I needed. I plan to buy the Hobie Rev 11 this summer and replace my Old Town Pack canoe. The Mirage peddle system sold me on the advantages for a great fishing system.
The strengths of this model is easy to store, transport and launch due to its size and weight. It is very nimble and responsive when it comes to turning. It is very fast. Frees up your hands for fishing etc.
Weaknesses are its ruggedness. My other kayak is a Native Watercraft Manta Ray and this Hobie can't come close to its ruggedness but that is why the Hobie weighs half as much. I would not think the Hobie would be ideal for shallow oyster beds, rocks etc. You have to be very careful with the Mirage drive in shallow water and oyster beds etc. I see plenty using it in these conditions but you just need to be more careful than lets say my Manta Ray which plows thru anything.
This is a great kayak and for what it does and compared against other fishing and rec kayaks I give it a solid 10.
This is my wife's kayak and she loves it.