Over the last several months I've borrowed and tried my friends Mirage582-IRT and loved it, although I've had some issues with pinching from the seat pad at rear and back of thigh pressure from seat front. An added gel seat cures this. So, after much deliberation I finally purchased a 582-KEV, and have several hrs up already. Heres my thoughts in point form.
-Fiberglass - Too Heavy, But Very Durable!
-Kevlar - Just right I think, stronger than Lighter IRT.
-IRT - Best female/Elderly choice.
-Front Hatch - Much improved 8"
-Seat - Still basic, take a lesson here from Prijon Guys. Back of leg pressure and pad pinching.
-Rudder - Second to None in effect ! PITA for loading and beaching.
-Wave Handling - Love the positive pitch rides over waves.
-Decks - Stronger and Improved.
-Bulkheads - Awfully thin behind seat.
-Deck Lines - No cockpit side lines.
-Cargo Net Front - Cross bungee only, poor TBH, so much could be done here for improvement and made standard, like the under-Glovebox.
-Cargo Net Rear - None at all. Not even an option on site. Will be adding my own.
-Paddle Clamps for Self Rescue - Poorly fitting and overall usefulness. A deck recess and bungee is far better.
I've deducted 2 pts on my score:
1 for Broaching or Nose Diving; 1 for Tracking.
This kayak has so much storage space and large hatches, you can almost take the kitchen sink, the neoprene and plastic covers will keep the compartments 99% dry, I have been out on rough days and not seen a drop enter front or rear.
The glove box could have been just a little bigger in my opinion. The Seat is by far the best I've seen and is very comfortable. The knee braces on my model lack adjustment and have sharp manufacturing lines that have cut me when doing a heel-hook manoeuvre. The interior hull coating seems tacky to the touch, easily marked over time.
The lack of day-hatch is one thing I really miss (want and need). The hull chines certainly keep a good track and offer siding abilities other kayaks don't, but initially your abs will get a good workout as you'll feel like your balanced on a beam. I've passed straight over 2m waves and had 2ft waves hit me from the side with no problem, but as I said above, waves from behind at about 3ft will have you nose diving.
Using a Sail has also been a lot of fun and speeds of 12.8kmh have been achieved in this kayak, but of course this is approaching less fun and more peril
The speed is great but yes there are faster kayaks, then they may lack this or that, there's no perfect kayak, I think we'll all own a few eventually
IMHO, great Touring, Camping, Semi-Expedition Kayak, just remind yourself of its limitations, and for that matter any Kayak you paddle !!!
And one more thing, it's certainly the shiniest and best looking sports car in the shop