Tested July 2012
The spitting image of the original pedal-powered Revolution (a 13-footer), the new 11-foot, 11-pounds-lighter Revolution is a near-perfect blend of maneuverability, cargo capacity and fishability. In other words, it's a lot of boat in a small package. The Revolution 11 has all the essentials: molded-in rod holders, multiple hatches for easy gear storage, and a sizable stern storage well. What's more, with its svelte size and sleek hull shape, Hobie's industry-leading Mirage pedal drive feels supercharged. It also means that you never have to put down that fishing pole. Lightning fast off the line, it carved the tightest urns in the test fleet. Compact kayaks come with their own special strengths, of course--they're easier to haul, store in less space, and are easy to maneuver--but naturally, there's a tradeoff. The Revolution 11 can't carry as much freight as longer boats. It's asking a lot to load it down with a large bait tank, tons of tackle, a plump stringer and 200 pounds of man-angler. It's also too slender a reed- for stand-casting. But if you're a smaller paddler, the Revolution 11 might just be the perfect boat for you.
Hobie Mirage Revolution 11
A lot of boat in a small package
($1,749 in roto-molded polyethylene, hobiefishing.com)
L: 11'6"; W: 29"; 47 lbs., 300-lb. capacity