Hobie Mirage I11S
The Hobie Mirage I11S is a great choice for those in search of a highly portable kayak that can be taken anywhere. This inflatable kayak fits into a suitcase style bag that can be checked in at the airport, letting you take your kayak adventures overseas and anywhere else. The I11S is no slouch when it comes to performance as it’s crafted according to Hobie’s standards of excellence. This kayak is the lightest hands-free inflatable kayak made by Hobie and offers plenty of great features that anglers want and need.
- Excellent portability
- Fast and stealthy
- Great stability
- Good tracking
- Quickly inflatable for fast setup
- Made of tough material
- No transducer capability
- No dry storage
- No gear tracks
Size and Weight
Part of what makes the Mirage I11S so attractive to serious kayak anglers is the ability to pack it up and take it literally anywhere. With a length of 11’3” (340 cm) and a width of 39” (100 cm), the I11S stacks up quite well against traditional kayaks on the water. It’s fully-rigged weight of 64.5 lbs (29.3 kg) makes it light enough to take it to and from the water single-handedly.
You may be surprised to learn that the I11S has an overall capacity of 400 lbs (181.4 kg). The Vantage CTI seat capacity is rated at 275 lbs (124.7 kg), which means you’ll be able to load this kayak down with enough gear for an all-day trip or even an overnighter.
The I11S is powered by Hobie’s patented MirageDrive 180 foot pedal system that gives users the ability to go forwards and backwards with the pull of a string. The square fins underneath have the unique “kick-up” ability that protects them from underwater obstacles.
The I11S’s rudder also has the kick-up capability, which means you’ll be able to fish in shallow water without worrying that you might damage the rudder or pedal fins.
Hobie has also chosen to go with an extra tough 1000 Denier PVC hull that can resist just about anything in the water and keep you afloat when conditions get rough.
The I11S offers plenty of storage in the bow and stern areas. Your gear can be secured by adjustable bungee straps which will keep your tackle and other items high and dry.
The rudder control is conveniently located to the left of the seat, so right-handed anglers can steer with their left hand and hold their fishing rod in the other, ready to cast when you reach the spot you want.
The three air chambers can be fully inflated within 15 minutes of unpacking the I11S. Anglers have noted that the reinforced deck in the cockpit area is stable enough to stand on in choppy water as well as river currents.
The Vantage CTI seat is crafted with a reinforced aluminum frame and padded mesh material that allows air to circulate to your back, keeping you cool when the weather heats up. The I11S also comes with a paddle for those who decide to leave their foot pedal system behind or simply give their legs a rest.
Hobie I11S is not fish finder ready out of the box, which can be a drawback for some users. However, Hobie sells a fish finder installation kit for its inflatable models that lets you mount a battery and a fish finder unit directly to your seat while the transducer is attached to the rudder.
The suitcase style bag has wheels on the bottom, so transportation of a packed kayak is a fairly easy task.
Being made of a more lightweight, inflatable material allows the I11S to demonstrate a surprising level of speed on the water—even when pedaling at a leisurely pace. The Kick-Up rudder helps this kayak track well while being very maneuverable.
Anglers note that this kayak is fast, quiet and very easy to handle in just about any kind of water conditions. The wide deck offers plenty of stability for those who prefer to occasionally stand and fish. The I11S might lack some of the features most anglers look for in a premium fishing kayak, but it is as solid as any other kayak model on the water.
KFVM2: Hobie i11S Review
Jerry McBride of Kayak Fish magazine reviews Hobie's i11S inflatable fish-stalker.
Specification: Hobie Mirage I11S