A cruiser capable of taking on boisterous water, the Revolution 13 is a smooth, stable kayak that feels like one—one oozing go-all-day creature comforts such as the Vantage CT seat. It is catchy too, with dual rod holders and plentiful tackle storage. If you crave a change of pace from hands-free MirageDrive motivation and pick up the paddle, the "Revo 13" still makes tracks. If this is a floating SUV, it's one that loves a twisty, challenging track. The lightweight, rotomolded hull sings when under optional Sail kit power.
Read and submit reviews for the Mirage® Revolution® 13.
Hobie took the paddle out of the hands of the masses, and changed kayak fishing forever. Ive heavily fished the 'Revo' since 2011 and feel its about perfect for my use. As a serious cyclist its a natural fit, and it can cover huge distances. The torque the Mirage drive generates in rough conditions is often overlooked. I feel it could easily pull any propeller driven kayak backwards in a tug-o-war. I recently weighed my bare hull at 69#s, and that's not too shabby for ANY pedal yak. I still fish from paddle yaks, but I spend more time with the rods in my hands when on the Revo.
I purchased this kayak after paddling an 11 foot sit on top kayak for years. It was like night and day going from paddling to peddaling. The peddaling is sooo much easier which lets me traverse longer trips. Of course, I can pull up the pedals and paddle if I want to for a break from peddaling. I have equipped my kayak with a depth finder. This words well with the transponder mounted inside of the hull. I also have a sail for my kayak. This works well even without outriggers. When the wind comes up, I get a fast ride.
The Hobie Revolution 13: No kayak is a perfect 10 as no one kayak can perform exceptionally in all conditions. But the Revo 13 is so close... Hands-free kayaking is the game changer for kayak fishing and Hobie's attention to detail makes the Revo shine! I paddle a 2011 Revo 13 (since new) and fish so much more of the time on the water because I rarely pick up the paddle. The Revo 13 doesn't have a reverse unless you flip the Mirage Drive around 180 degrees so I plan my route carefully and rarely need to back up. The peddles and the rudder make fighting a big fish much more manageable!
The 2011 Revo 13 is a wonderful kayak but does have it's drawbacks. The cup holder is more useful as a lure holder and the seat area can hold water. I took the bottom of my seat apart and added a cut-to-fit 1 inch closed-cell foam pad to the existing pad and sewed it back up. The added height does keep me much drier and the balance is essentially the same. The seat is comfortable and I have sat in the Hobie for 9 hours without getting out--it was a long day of fishing! The Revo 13 is a fast kayak and you can peddle all day. If the wind picks up, the Hobie really shines!
I have upgraded the rudder to the sailing rudder to make tighter turns. I like the standard Mirage Drive fins as I mostly fish inland and don't need the extra speed. I have added slide tracks to the rear and used them as an attachment point for rod holders (on the rear left) and a bait bucket. I also have a slide track mounted in front right side and I mount a rod holder here (which is cut down a few inches) where I place my rod when I land a fish. To this rod holder I have attached a magnetic fly drier (to hold my hemastats), a rubber O-ring (to hold my Boga Grip 15) and a Bomerang Tool Snip (for cutting fishing line). I have YakAttack Mighty Mounts in the front left for my GoPro camera and in the center back for a YakAttack Visicarbon light/flag (highly recommended). I have a Ram 1 inch ball mounted in the front right for my Garmin fish finder and have the fish finder battery mounted in a glued-in closed-cell foam cradle located beneath the rear hatch. Everything else is I need is carried in the milk crate.
After peddling the Revo 13 for 5 years, I can honestly say that it is money well spent. It is a solid fishing kayak and I have enjoyed it in rivers, lakes, inshore flats, and a couple of miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. The only kayak I would exchange it for is a new Revo 13 or Revo 11 with the elevated seat.
I also paddle a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 and a Perception Pro 100.
I was a bit stumped in trying to get into things in the boat as nothing but a center hatch was reachable, but I guess that is an issue with all kayaks. I am sure in more stable water and perhaps with an optional pontoon (rigid I hope - I don't think the inflatable is good with fish hooks) I will be able to shift weight enough to gain access to more of the boat.
All in all this is a fantastic kayak!
Overall an excellent boat, very spacious and stable, able to mount transducer under kayak. Drawbacks-heavy (but it is 13.5'), could use keel protectors, should come with turbo fins and sailing rudder.
I felt stable and never in danger of rolling. I could not stop to fish or throw in a crab trap. But, it was a good maiden voyage building the confidence I will need to eventually, once I have acquired the necessary safety gear, take this kayak out on the ocean. I am very please with the handling, speed, and especially the comfort of this kayak.
The new 2015 seat is amazing. I would encourage anyone seriously considering a Hobie to save up the additional money and forgo a second hand kayak from years past, treating yourself to the new and improved 2015 model.
I gave this kayak a 9 as opposed to a 10 simply because the rudder broke off on my first attempt to take the kayak out. The dealer I purchased it from, Scappoose Bay Kayaking saved the day and repaired the kayak free of charge, despite Hobie's reluctance to do so. The dealer you get your kayak from really does mean a lot.
Fishing from this platform is really where this boat shines, the hands free pedal action makes it easy to troll to the fishing grounds and back. Stiff winds, chop, swell, and current are easily overcome and the Hobie user enjoys a clear advantage over similar paddle only plastic boats. Plus, once hooked into a large fish the paddler is "hands free" to facilitate the safe efficient landing of dinner. Having the ability to navigate an ever changing surging ocean while controlling a trophy fish puts these yaks in a class of their own.
If you want to fish, its stable and has dual rod holders. There is even an optional sail kit power. I took a break from pedaling and used the paddle, which otherwise attaches to the side, and that makes this operate like a standard type of kayak.
This is a fantastic product that I highly recommend to every kayaker on rivers and lakes.
I will at some point upgrade to the turbo fins and larger rudder, then get the AMAs and sail kit but that will be after I get a feel for the boat and am ready to go to the next level. I plan on keeping it for a LOOOOONG time and I think it will make me very happy.
Easy to peddle and maneuver
Tracks pretty well
Very easy to learn to ride
Right out of the box it's ready to go, all you need is a PFD!
at 13' it's a bit on the heavy side for smaller people, although the grab handles are well placed at the balance point.
It's pricey, but the resale values are amazing if you want/need to sell it.
Overall, it's a great boat.
The tracking stinks w/o the rudder. I use a sailing rudder and ST Turbo fins on this one, and love it. I have bad shoulders and knees, but I can go farther and longer with my legs than paddling. Fishing is just pure joy when pedaling vs. paddling.
I'd been considering a peddle kayak for some time now and had narrowed it down to the Hobies because of the ability to tuck the fins flat against the hull when shallow. The Pro Angler is too big for me as a 5'5" female, the Outback too slow and so the Revolution 13’ it was. Earlier this year I test drove a Revo 13 in deep water but I am a marsh rat and if it isn't useful in the super shallow marshy stuff then it's not for me. I needed to take a Revo shallow first before I committed. Well, about a month ago, I won one in a kayak tournament! After several delays, I finally got a chance to add a little rigging and get it out on the water. It did not come with an anchor trolley so that was the first addition.
The stock paddle that comes with the Revo isn't a great paddle, a little heavy, but its decent and functional enough. I don't care for the black blades since they do nothing to aid visibility of the kayak on the water but the paddle does feather one setting each direction so that's good. It also came factory set up with a bungee paddle keeper on each side so I use one for the stake out stick anchor. The bungee paddle keepers aren't going to be easy to switch out to paddle clips if you are so inclined because of the way they are mounted but they are sturdy and wont be breaking any time soon.
The Mirage drive is VERY easy to pop in and out, couldn't be easier really. I leave it out until I actually launch the kayak and then pop it in because I launch into deep water off my dock. When launching in shallow water you are going to have to put the drive in first and use two people or a cart because the fins need to be straight down to get through the scupper in the floor of the yak (I wouldn't try sliding the kayak on the bottom because you will catch the fins.) Either that or launch and paddle out deeper and then pop the drive in. I realized that this would also work in reverse for taking the drive out if you get too shallow. I wont be able to get the drive out if I am already grounded and will have to back up into deep enough water to get the fins vertical under the kayak. Fortunately it doesn't look like this will be an issue often, maybe only rarely. I can see the fins under the kayak being a problem for hanging up feisty redfish that like to dive under the kayak. I didn’t have any bad wrecks in the 8 reds I brought to hand on the maiden voyage but it will happen eventually.
The storage seems to be adequate. The front hatch is big enough to store the mirage drive if you have to take it out while on the water. I do like the hatch right in front of the seat and thought I would use the specially made round tackle box provided by Hobie that fits right into the hatch but what I found instead is that I preferred to use it for things I wanted to keep in easy reach like my dry box with phone, camera, etc. I traditionally have used a short milk crate in the tankwell behind me for my small tackle box, stringer, lunch, and a few other odds and ends but I am used to having my dry box at hand. I ended up putting the dry box, lunch, scupper plug for the mirage drive hole (in case I needed to take the drive out), rain jacket and a few other things in that tackle box hatch which means the tackle box was in the way. I might have to come up with a better system but I can still forsee using that center hatch for things other than tackle which makes the round tackle box that fits in there useless for me. I do like the netted "nooks" on each side of the hull for waterproof camera, sunblock, etc. Those were very useful but I can see them being treble hook magnets so the jury is still out on those.
I do not like the factory molded rod holders but then I rarely like factory mounted ones on any kayak. The ones on the Revo are too far back to be useful for me. I prefer to mount a couple of rod holders on my milk crate and have my rods (2) right behind my left shoulder vertically so that I don’t catch them on a backcast. Plus I like having the reels higher up away from the water since I fish salt. Since I don't troll or fish offshore I don't forsee using those factory holders. Its possible to make a pvc rod rack of sorts to fit in them though. What I have found that I was wanting is a vertical short rod holder right where the cup holder is. When peddling, I want my rod right there at my right hand but I don't really want to be hanging onto it all the time. I may try to find a way to mount a short rod holder vertically down in that cup holder. This will render the cupholder useless but I don’t use those anyway. Even though you will have to put your rod behind you when paddling, that rod holder still needs to be short or you will bang into it on your paddle stroke.
As for comfort, it's ok. The seat that came with mine (not sure if it’s the standard Revo seat) was adequate although I found myself squirming around after a few hours. When shallow and needing to paddle, I thought the mirage drive would be in the way since one peddle has to be all the way forward and one all the way back but its not bad, there is still room for my legs and knees to be comfortable. The product reps will tell you to "feather" your peddle stroke when shallow, meaning to take little half peddles with your legs so that the fins aren't going all the way vertical. What I've found is that yeah, this works but its annoying and slow so I just end up paddling when too shallow to make full peddle strokes.
As to how it did in the really shallow stuff, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought that perhaps even with the fins tucked up as far as they would go up against the hull that the inch or so that the mirage drive sticks down would be inhibiting. I purposely took my maiden voyage around a very familiar 8-mile loop that I have traditionally made in my Ultimate. There are many spots where I am shallow enough to rub the hull along the bottom. I found though, that the Revo does fine. Sure I have to paddle quite a bit but that's expected. I do rub in some of the same spots as with the ultimate but I don’t think I rub much more, maybe a hair. I think I lost maybe a half inch of draft with the Revo which is acceptable for me. Now what I haven’t done yet is take it in many oysters. I know they will tear up the fins and I'm not ready for that yet. An added bonus when peddling is that it is very quiet.
When the rudder is up, it has a tendency to wind cock pretty strongly. The rudder is short enough that it can be down most of the time when shallow although you may not be able to lock it down. I did have to put it up part of the time and was a little bit frustrated at the way the wind likes to catch the stern. I am used to paddling a rudderless ultimate and the Revo seemed worse than the ultimate in the wind with the rudder up, rudder down it did just fine and it turns very responsively with use of the rudder.
All in all, now I can say that I would buy one and may end up getting one for my husband. I loved peddling down my canal and out into the bayou to the mouth of the marsh, a journey of a mile and a half that is always slow and irritating to paddle. I could finish my morning coffee since I had at least one hand to use (the other was on the rudder control). There are many occasions when the fishable marsh is a paddle of some distance though deeper water. This Revo will make it so much easier!
Sorry this is ridiculously long but I wanted to be detailed. Take it for what its worth. Hopefully this info will be of aid to someone who is on the fence like I was.
With the readily available paddle snugly stored via bungy cord, the pedal system allows for hands free and moderate speed...occasional left hand rudder corrections maintain a desired track... holding and maneuvering in currents while fishing is a snap.
Fairly dry ride and stable in moderate chop and blustery winds...
The "plug in" cart is convenient and effective but, if I'm going over soft sand for an extended portage, I prefer my over-sized "roll eez" fat wheel cart.
I've added a hi-viz orange mast topped with a 360* light and orange flag to be better seen by boaters and have position lights for night ops... On and on, you know how it goes!
I have and enjoy the aesthetics of paddling a Redfish by Heritage but the Revolution is my choice for a day chasing Striped Bass and enjoying this place called Cape Cod...FAR from route 28 gridlock, boat ramps, and the maddening crowd
I gave it a 9 because only a few things in life are "perfect"... NO REGRETS and NO WORRIES!