Hobie Introduces new Mirage Compass Duo and redesigned Outback | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
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Hobie Compass Duo Alex Traynor

New and redesigned boats continue to wow pedal fans

After two decades designing and building innovative pedal kayaks, we always wonder what Hobie will come up with next and Hobie never disappoints. At Paddlesports Retailer On-the-Water demo day in Oklahoma City, the pedal-boat icon had a redesigned Outback and new two-seat version of their wildly popular Compass ready for action. Last summer, we were wowed by Hobie’s budget Mirage Compass model that included the best features off their other models with a price under $2000. This summer, they doubled the value with a tandem Compass Duo that runs off two Mirage Drives with Glide Technology. Hobie put in hours of R and D to balance the Compass Duo for ultimate performance. Mesh seats in the bow and stern are comfortable and sturdy to dry fast and stand up to abuse. Gear tracks and molded rod holders make the Compass Duo fishing ready without aftermarket rigging. On the water, the MD Compass Duo is quick and stable making it easy for anyone to operate. The waterline is short enough to improve handling with enough cockpit space for two anglers to cast and fish without incident. As the single-seater Mirage Compass makes big waves with Hobie fans, we expect the Mirage Compass Duo to be doubly popular.

While we were kicking tires on the Compass Duo, everyone was lining up to check out the new Outback, a redesign of their first pedal kayak. Even after years on the water, the Outback is Hobie’s most popular model. With a complete redesign from bow to stern, the boat is an Outback in name and spirit. Borrowing popular features off other models, like H-Rails and integrated retractable rudder, the new Outback adds its own twist. Our favorite feature is the tackle tray holders that combine gear tracks and the H-Rail accessory system. The new Outback comes with Hobie’s MD180 drive with ARC Cranks and Turbo Fins. Molded rod holders and tons of below-deck storage carry more tackle than most anglers own. The Vantage CTW seat can be adjusted for a perfect fit. It’s easy to lift and lower in high and low positions without leaving the seat. The seat back stays up so you don’t have to lift it each time you sit down. Hobie replaced the hanging rudder on the original Outback with a kick-up rudder that is controlled with levers on both sides of the seat so you can steer the boat with either your left or right hand. Including their latest and greatest features, the Outback now has the new retractable transducer shield that accommodates any model transducer and protects it from damage. On the water, the boat is a vast improvement over its namesake. It’s more stable, faster and more ergonomic than the original Outback while retaining the all-around fishability that runs in its DNA. The biggest improvement is in handling. The most remarkable improvement is in handling. Twin rudder controls and the integrated rudder allow the new Outback to turn on a dime. To protect the rudder when loading the Outback onto a rooftop or truck bed, Hobie includes a molded block that attaches to the rear handle to elevate the stern off the ground. If your going to buy one pedal kayak for all types of fishing, the Outback remains a your best choice. 

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