Read reviews for the Mirage® Revolution® 16 by Hobie as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
The best feature for me is the hands free operation and steering which frees up both hands for fly fishing. I can make a slight change in the rudder control lever for a course correction, and I'm back to fishing with 2 hands. When trolling I used to do a 180 degree turn after hooking a fish to land it. Now before I begin trolling I reverse the mirage drive in the kayak so the boat backs up and I can see the fish jumping to fight it properly without the 180 turn.
My only negative is a sometimes wet butt due to water entering through the scupper holes and/or drive well. Current models with an elevated mesh chair have corrected this problem.
If finances would have allowed, I would have purchased the $3,400 Adventure Island; the trimaran sailing version of the Adventure. The Outback looked like a nice boat for fishing but at 33" wide is a tank. I wanted something to get me from point A to point B with as little effort as possible. I just so happened to choose an Adventure.
It has a sleeker shape than the Revo and I'm 6'3", so the extra length is useful. I immediately ordered the Hobie sail kit, turbo fins and sailing rudder. These all give any Hobie Mirage boat the ability to fish, pedal, paddle or sail. The Adventure is the best most versatile kayak on the market! I really can't say enough about Hobie's patented Mirage drive system. For the technical details, see Hobie's web site.
With the Mirage drive you use very little effort to get up to and maintain cruising speed. I can only compare it to walking, but you aren't supporting your weight. You can adjust the pitch on the turbo fins, just as an outboard motor would use different pitch props. I had mine about ten turns down from the maximum setting.
I've taken the Adventure out twice so far. On 7 and 10 mile group lake trips. Both groups averaged 2.6 mph on the GPS and it was as easy as a leisurely bike ride around your neighborhood. I had short bursts of over 5 mph, and I think I could have maintained 4 mph on my own.
Storage is adequate, but you should expect that in a 16 foot SOT. The Twist & Stow rudder system looks a little over-complicated compared to a sea kayak rudder, but it seemed to work OK, even with the extra weight of the larger sailing rudder.
The boat is heavy, but no heavier than poly sea kayaks of the same length. My only complaint is the seat. My rear was hurtin’ on the first trip. I added a 3/4" closed-cell foam pad on the bottom cushion the second time out. Problem solved. I still rate it a 10, just because the Mirage drive more than makes up for this shortcoming. I hope to take it out with the Hobie sail kit sometime soon. I'll write up another review of the Adventure as a sailing kayak.
To date I have paddled on 5 rivers, 7 bays, at least a dozen lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. I have paddled/pedaled 8-10 miles with little fatigue.
The boat is remarkably stable, as I have to TRY to tip it over, and I can stand in the boat a cast and fish. Open water is no problem, as I have paddled/pedaled 2-3 miles out into the Gulf to fish and was never once worried.
There is more storage space than I can fill (in the hull and on top of the boat, and even fully loaded, it sits high in the water and tracks straight and true.
I like this boat so much, that now, 3 years later, I am getting ready to purchase a second so I can take people out with me! It is fast, stable, and easy to work.
As for any cons... the first boat I purchased had a severe crack in the hull where the mirage drive inserts into the water. I took the boat back and two weeks later I received a brand new boat. Also, because of it's length, it can be awkward to move around out of the water. That's it!
Overall, great boat, even it it is a little pricey. You can't go wrong with the Hobie Mirage Adventure.
The Hobie folks have done a wonderful job engineering the bells and whistles (cup holder, accessible dry storage, rod holder, etc.). My only complaints are the weight (60 lbs) and length make it difficult for one man transport. There are wheels available, but I launch and recover either over Rip Rap or off a pier. The second issue I have encountered is the seat adjustments seem to loosen with constant pressure.
I purchased the new turbo fins and this baby really flies through the water. I haven't used it in chop yet but have read the reviews and am not concerned. One of my neighbors purchased the tandem for he and his wife. They too are now converts.
Easy to get in and out of, the Adventure has great secondary stability. If you need more like the 30+" battleships for what ever reason, add Sidekick a small inflatable ama system that can be stored inside. You will want the sail to use the wind as your friend and get out of trouble, versus viewing wind as the enemy. Sailing also helps when your trolling a lure versus bait. Sidekick and the smaller 20 sq ft sail work well if you can find an older '06 model.
Unfortunately the new models only accept the Adventure Island mast now. However if you don't want the large Island ama configuration try putting a Sidekick on and furl the 57 ft sq sail down to 25 or 20 sq ft. Someone should also post on the Adventure Island itself. Most comments I have heard from users say this it it, particularly for long day tours and tolling speed while fishing for pelagics..
Internal storage on the Adventure isn't very good. But then most yaks I have seen on the market aren't any better in this regard. As an ocean guy I'd rather see great internal storage for fish and gear, then the tankwell solution. You can still paddle if you want. I do on long fishing trips for a change of pace, and to keep loose in the yak. You'll also need to carry a paddle as a backup, and for navigating around harbors, etc if you have to go backwards. There is no reverse for the Mirage Drive. However in a pinch you could remove it, and re-insert backwards.
Hobie offers three different fin configurations for the Mirage Drive. Check with your dealer. I prefer the Turbos as the fin edge can be tensioned to your needs. Like adjusting gears on a bike. If one views a kayak as a means of transport for touring, fishing, etc Hobie opens a new window on the industry with it's trifecta system of underwater pedaling penguin wing propulsion, sailing, and paddling.
With a newly designed hull and lower seating position, the initial and secondary stability are both excellent. The seat, with two mounting positions and an adjustable back -- is comfortable. Handling on the water feels more refined, compared with the Hobie Classic and Tandem. It is faster than it feels and very quiet in chop with almost no hull slap. Tracking while paddling is good. Storage is everythere and easily accessable on or below deck. With a 350 lb. capacity, one can load it up quite a bit. Bungee cords abound for keeping everything secure.
In rough or choppy conditions, one can expect to get a little wet, but there is noticably less bow spray than the other Hobie kayaks.
My favorite feature is the Adventure's ability to quietly slice through chop and swells upwind.
The only negative I found was the large turning radius and weak rudder response with the original rudder. The optional larger rudder corrects this condition very nicely and is highly recommended.
There are a lot of nice touches such as drink holders (2), rod holders (2) (although positioned behind the seat), mesh pockets (2) and a detachable pouch (for personal effects) on the back of the seat.
I won't elaborate on the many benefits of the outstanding Mirage pedal drive since they have been well reported elsewhere, but I should mention that it has evolved over time. It is about a pound lighter than earlier models and now has a really neat quick and easy pedal adjustment system for different leg lengths. There is a larger "turbo drive" fin kit coming out this Spring that really adds a new dimension and will adapt to all the existing drives (got to test drive one last Nov.and am on the waiting list. it gets a 10+!)
I like to take pictures, and can approach wildlife with little motion, no noise and hands on the camera with this kayak.
Of the three Hobie kayaks I've had, this is easily the most versatile, fastest and most capable. Beyond that, it imparts a feeling of oneness with the water that is hard to describe. It's definitely my favorite.