Hobie Mirage Passport 12 Kayak Review

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Hobie’s Mirage Passport 12 is a 12’ long, 34” fishing kayak. It’s designed to be a hands-free watercraft that takes advantage of your lower body strength. Because it's a lightweight and portable kayak, you'll be able to comfortably ride on open waters and squeeze into smaller canals.

The Mirage Passport 12 lets you get to where you need to by pedaling and leaves your hands free to cast a line, set up a lure, or capture a picture of some breathtaking scenery.

Here, we’ll offer a comprehensive review of the Mirage Passport 12, so you can decide if it fits your needs.

Hobie Mirage Passport 12 Pros

Hobie is a trusted brand in the watercraft world. Founded in 1950, the company has more than half a century of experience with creating superior boating products. The Mirage Passport 12 fishing kayak is just one example of Hobie’s superior products.

Check out everything we love about it below:

It’s Light

The Hobie Mirage Passport 12 weighs 73 pounds. This is relatively light, especially when you consider that fishing kayaks tend to weigh around 120 pounds or more.

Even though it doesn’t weigh as much as a typical fishing kayak, the Mirage Passport 12 offers superior stability that you can rely on.

This kayak’s weight will let you easily transport it wherever you need to go. Take it with you for a day at the lake or a weekend by the beach without any trouble. As long as you have a buddy, the two carrying handles on opposite ends make getting this kayak to the water simple.

These kayaks are designed with storage in mind, as they stack conveniently. You and your fellow adventurers can store them on campgrounds, in pickup trucks, or in trailers without worrying if there’s enough room available.

It’s Powered by MirageDrive Technology

Hobie introduced its famous MirageDrive technology in 1997. Over the past 23 years, the company has perfected it to make kayaking easier than ever. The Mirage Passport 12 incorporates this exact technology to grant users a seamless kayaking experience.

All of the propulsion takes place when you use the two pedals located comfortably at your feet. The MirageDrive technology features roller bearings at key friction points that limit resistance. As a result, you will experience a smooth ride, even in the roughest of waters.

Its Inclusion of ST Fins

Hobie’s products with MirageDrive technology, including the Mirage Passport 12, come with ST kick-up fins. These fins will automatically retract upon impact. As soon they come into contact with rocks, sand, or other objects, they will withdraw to prevent damage.

Users will love the following fin features:

  • Unique square-top design. This design grants the fins a larger surface area but still allows them to maintain a one-foot mast length.
  • Smooth pedaling experience. This kayak’s fins make propulsion so easy that some customers even say that they sometimes forget that they’re pedaling at all.
  • If you’re worried about a particularly rocky area, you can rest assured because of the Mirage Passport’s recessed hull. This feature further protects the fins from catching on rocks and other debris in shallow water or when you’re near the coast

It Offers Plenty of Storage

If you don’t want to make sacrifices as you're packing your kayak, the Mirage Passport 12 offers all of the room you’ll need. There are multiple storage options on this kayak including:

  • Bow Storage with Bungee Cords: The Hobie Mirage Passport 12 features a flat space for storing items like towels and life jackets. At the front of the boat, these items are held down by flexible yet reliable Bungee cords.                     
  • 8” Twist and Seal Hatch: When you’re out on the water, you should have convenient access to all of your essential items. The Mirage Passport 12’s Twist and Seal Hatch rests right in between your legs so you can access your stuff without having to get up. It’s designed so that you can open and close it with one hand. The lid is hinged so that you won’t risk losing it. Plus, the hatch has a rubber gasket that prevents water from getting into it. You can safely store your phone, wallet, keys, and other valuable items without worrying about them acquiring water damage. While the standard hatch is circular, you can upgrade to a larger rectangular hatch.
  • Accessible Tackle Storage: On either side of this kayak within arm’s reach, you will find accessible tackle storage. Here, you can keep your lures, bait, and small tools safe.

It Comes with a Two-Piece Paddle

Oftentimes, pedaling kayaks won’t come with paddles. A lot of companies assume that users won’t need them and that they’ll be more of a burden than a benefit.

Most kayakers like to have a paddle on board because of the peace of mind it offers in case a cable breaks.

One thing we love about the Hobie Mirage Passport 12 is that it comes with a two-piece aluminum paddle. It's lightweight and has a durable build so you can use it to propel you through rough waters. And, the kayak itself features a handy spot to store it so you won’t lose it overboard. When the paddle is not in use, you can safely store it out of the way, so it doesn’t interfere with your fishing.

If you want to have a spare paddle lying around, you will not have to go out of your way to purchase one separately.

It Has Plenty of Extra Features

One of the best things about this kayak is all of the extra features it offers. For example, it has:

  • A transducer cavity so you can install a fish finder device
  • Two fishing rod holders
  • Accessory mounting tracks
  • Additional under-the-seat storage
  • Steering system and stowable rudder

These extra features are nice to have and will make your fishing expeditions go much more smoothly. However, they can be a pain to install on your own. Luckily, the Hobie Mirage Passport 12 comes with all of them included, so you don’t have to do any handiwork to get them installed.

It Offers Extra Standing Room

Do you anticipate having a lot of long days on the water? If so, you may want to be confined in your seat all day. The Mirage Passport 12 will let you stand up and stretch your legs. On both sides of the storage hatch, this watercraft has an ergonomic padded standing platform.

When you are sitting, you can relax in comfort. This fishing kayak features a breathable mesh seat. It’s also suspended a little bit, which gives you a great view of wherever you’re going.

Hobie Mirage Passport 12 Cons

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As much we love the Hobie Mirage Passport 12, there is one potential flaw worth noting.

It doesn’t come with Hobie's ST Turbo fins. While the standard ST kick-up fins work great, the Turbo ones are Hobie’s most advanced design. When you purchase the Mirage Passport 12, you will miss out on even greater mast length and fin surface area.

The ST Turbo fins offer maximal water displacement and resistance, but the standard ST fins still offer a great user experience. Most amateur kayakers won’t notice the difference, so this drawback to the Mirage Passport 12 isn’t something to lose sleep over.

Final Verdict

Through our research and hearing others’ experiences, we can’t recommend the Hobie Mirage Passport 12 enough! It’s a reliable, well-built fishing kayak that you can use on your next fishing expedition or a casual day on the water.

Check out our Ultimate Hobie Pedal Kayak Guide!

See you on the water!

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