Hobie Outback VS Compass – Which Kayak Should You Choose?

Pedal kayaks have become very popular in the past years and are great for fishing. Most pedal kayaks are similar, so you may have trouble deciding which one is best for your needs. 

So, what’s the difference between Hobie Outback vs Compass? The most significant difference is that Hobie Outback has a Mirage 180 reverse pedal system. In contrast, the Mirage Compass has a Standard Mirage Drive with no reverse. Mirage Outback also has a front and rear storage hatch, while the Compass is lighter and easier to transport.  

If you’re trying to choose between a Hobie Mirage Outback and Hobie Compass, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out how these two fishing kayaks compare and which one is better for you. 

Hobie Mirage Outback

The Hobie Mirage Outback is a pedal kayak suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing adventures. This fishing kayak is powered by the revolutionary Mirage Drive 180 pedal system with Kick-Up fins that allow you to pedal forward and backward.


  • Length:  12’ 9”
  • Width: 34”
  • Capacity: 425 pounds
  • Fully rigged weight: 103 pounds

The Mirage Outback features an extra-wide standing deck that serves as a fishing platform and offers a good vantage point for sight fishing. The EVA grip pads on the deck provide traction for added stability when standing. 

The adjustable Vantage CTW seat is built to keep you comfortable on long days on the water. It provides 1.5” extra width and superb lumbar support.

This pedal kayak also features a kick-up rudder system that works in shallows or when the kayak hits underwater objects. While this system is automatic, it can also be controlled using knobs on both sides of the deck.

This pedal kayak for fishing has a lot of storage room for fishing gear, including four-rod holders, H-Rails, H-Tracks for accessories, a covered bow hatch, and a large rear tank. The rectangular center hatch provides additional storage room for gear and tackle. 


  • The forward and backward pedal system
  • Lots of storage
  • Kick-Up rudder
  • Stable
  • Standing platform


  • Heavy

Mirage Compass Kayak

The Mirage Compass is a relatively lightweight kayak designed for kayak fishing and paddling. This kayak features a Mirage Drive 180 pedal system, Kick-Up fins, and a two-piece paddle. 


  • Length: 12’
  • Width: 34”
  • Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Fully rigged weight: 87 pounds

The Mirage Compass is equipped with a patented Kick-Up technology that automatically retracts fins upon impact. You don’t have to worry when kayaking in shallow or rock-filled waters, thanks to this feature. 

The biggest disadvantage of this pedal system is that you can pedal forward but not backward. 

The Compass has an incredibly durable anodized aluminum alloy frame seat. This comfortable seat has a mono mesh and ripstop nylon construction that is at the same time durable and breathable. 

This kayak is designed to offer maximum stability. It has an oversized cockpit and a flat deck ideal for standing. 

When it comes to storage, the Mirage Compass has a mesh-covered cargo area at the bow and a larger cargo deck at the stern. This pedal kayak also features pre-installed rod holders, H-track accessory mounts, and a transducer cavity.


  • Stable
  • Lightweight
  • Kick-up rudder 
  • Comfortable seat


  • Forward-only pedal system
  • Sparse fishing features

Hobie Outback vs Compass – Difference 

While both the Mirage Outback and Mirage Compass are made by Hobie, they are two very different pedal kayaks. Both models are designed for kayak fishing and provide the ultimate fishing experience whether you are a beginner or a pro angler.

To get a better idea of everything these pedal kayaks have to offer, check out the comparison table below.

SpecsHobie Mirage OutbackHobie Mirage Compass
ColorsFour (Papaya orange, ivory dune, camo, and seagrass green)Three (Seagrass green, papaya orange, and camo)
DriveMD 180 Turbo W/Kick-Up Fins +ARC CranksMirage Drive 180 with Kick-Up Fins
Length12’ 9”12’
Capacity425 pounds400 pounds
Seat Capacity275 pounds275 pounds
Fitted Hull Weight85 pounds68 pounds
Fully Rigged Weight103 pounds87 pounds
Hull ConstructionRotomolded polyethylene  Rotomolded polyethylene  
Height From Floor To The Middle Of The Kayak12.5”12.5”
Height From Floor To The Highest Point Of The Kayak 12.5”13.5”

Is the Hobie Outback Worth the Money?

The Hobie Outback is worth the money if you are a pro angler or extremely passionate about fishing. If you’re planning to take your kayak out on the water regularly, the Hobie Outback is a sound investment.

The Outback is definitely one of the more expensive pedals kayaks out there. But, when you consider everything this kayak offers and the intricate reverse pedal system, the higher price tag is completely justified.

However, if you aren’t a very passionate angler, the Hobie Outback may be a waste of money. Especially if you don’t plan on going out on the water all the time. 

If you are looking for a first kayak or are new to fishing, consider buying something cheaper to start. If you end up liking kayak fishing, you can upgrade to a Hobie Outback at any time. 

Is the Mirage Compass Worth the Money?

The Mirage Compass is a more straightforward and budget-friendly Hobie design. This lightweight pedal kayak is designed for everyone and combines the best Hobie design features and a reliable pedal system.

The Hobie’s Compass is an excellent kayak for recreational use or fishing. It is also a good choice for beginner anglers. If fishing is an occasional hobby, a Mirage Compass kayak is worth the money.


The Hobie Outback and Hobie Compass are similar in so many ways but yet different. Both are incredibly stable pedal kayaks designed for fishing.

The biggest difference between these fishing kayaks is that the Compass only goes forward. In contrast, the Outback can go both forward and backward. The Compass is lighter, but it doesn’t have as much storage room as the Outback.

In the end, the Hobie Outback has more fishing features and is a better choice for pro anglers.

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