Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight
The Hobie Itrek 9 Ultralight is the lightest and most easily portable kayak in the Hobie range. It easily packs down into a small package that is perfect for fitting in the trunk of your car or in the back of an RV or can be carried into the backcountry to your perfect fishing spot. This SUP style kayak is ideal for fishing from either a seated or standing position and the drop stitch seams let it get to a high enough pressure that it performs like a rigid-hulled kayak.
- Ultralight design makes it easy to transport
- Efficient Mirage drive and rudder system
- Stable platform for fishing
- High-pressure design for control and functionality
- Low draft limits tracking
- No reverse drive
Size, weight, capacity
The inflated length of the Hobie Itrek 9 Ultralight is 9 ft. 5 in. (2.87 m) and it has a width of 40 in. (1.02 m). Although it’s not a particularly long kayak, the width makes it stable enough to stand and fish from and lets you enjoy the comfort of a high seat without feeling unstable.
A capacity of 350 lbs. (158.8 kg) is plenty to allow most adults and their fishing equipment on board, but there are larger models in the range if you prefer more capacity.
The hull of the Itrek 9 Ultralight weighs just 20 lbs. (9 kg), light enough to easily load up onto your back and carry to some of the most remote fishing spots. Fully rigged, the kayak weighs 37 lbs. (16.8 kg), so even if you choose to take the seat, drive system, and rudder with you, you won’t struggle to load and unload the Itrek 9 Ultralight from your trunk.
The hull of the Itrek 9 Ultralight is based on a traditional SUP rather than a kayak. The seams are all made using drop stitch technology, which allows you to inflate the hull to 10 PSI, a high enough pressure to make this kayak paddle like a hardshell model. Hobie has included a three-piece SUP paddle so you can just carry the lightweight hull into the backcountry or even check it in on a flight.
The Mirage Drive is an innovative pedal-powered system that uses ‘Kick-Up Fins’ to drive the kayak across the water. This couples with the rudder drive, controlled by a lever on the arm of the seat, to give you seamless power and steering control. Though it doesn’t have a reverse drive, the system allows the Itrek 9 Ultralight to turn in confined spaces and remain nimble on the water.
The seating system is a framed and raised seat, giving you a comfortable elevated platform to fish from. This has a breathable mesh back system that dries quickly and remains breathable, so you don’t overheat on long days on the water. The backrest on this seat is fully adjustable.
Just ahead of the seating position is an EVA floor pad which gives you the grip and comfort you need to stand and fish. There are carrying handles at the front and rear of the kayak as well as one in the center for solo, un-rigged carrying. The shock cord towards the rear of the kayak lets you secure your fishing gear. Hobie also includes an electric pump to inflate your kayak and a high-pressure hand pump to get it up to pressure.
Probably the most notable feature of the Itrek 9 Ultralight is its portability. This is a fishing kayak that you can easily load up in the car or truck bed on your own and won’t ever need to ask for assistance carrying down to the water. Sure, once it’s fully rigged up it weighs a little more, but it’s still light enough that you can check it in on an airplane and take it around the world.
The Mirage GT drive is one of the most innovative drive systems on the market. The fins on the underside of the kayak propel you effectively through the water but fold up and out of the way in shallow areas to avoid breaking them or grounding the kayak. There’s no reverse drive, but the rudder system allows the kayak to be maneuverable enough that you probably won’t miss it.
Perhaps the only negative to this kayak is the shallow draft. Because it’s based on a SUP, there is no defined keel line on the underside of the Itrek 9 Ultralight. The rudder helps it to remain on course, but in windier conditions or in waves, you might find that controlling this kayak becomes more difficult.
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Specification: Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight