Hobie Mirage i9S Inflatable Kayak Review

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • Spectacular

  • Hobie Mirage i9S (Single 9”)
  • Reviewed by: 
  • Published on: October 25, 2015
  • Last modified: December 6, 2015
  • Design
    Editor: 100%

  • Material
    Editor: 100%

  • Quality
    Editor: 100%

  • Price
    Editor: 85%

Review Summary:

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If you’re a kayaker that loves paddling, fishing or even sailing, then the Hobie Mirage i9S would be a great deal for you. There’s no doubt that the performance of this inflatable kayak matches those from rigid ones, but it gives more comfort for the ones who’s using it. It’s for the people who would give up storage space, but would rather spend the whole day in the water. This inflatable kayak is offers stability and comfort to the highest level with its PVC lamination and adjustable seat.

What make this inflatable kayak above from its competition are its undoubting features. Here are three of its best features that I find very important in this kayak:

  • It has a higher level of paddling: This kayak is powered by the MirageDrive with a support Glide Technology that makes kayaking more efficient and easier in a whole new level.
  • Easy to set up and portable: The Hobie Mirage i9S can be set up within just 10 minutes this already includes inflating and installing the accessories. With the same amount of time, you can easily deflate it and put it in its rolling storage bag.
  • Comfort: Because it’s inflatable, you’ll be comfortable in every adventure you take. You can also adjust the high back padded seat and the pedals where the MirageDrive is located to ensure that your legs are can perform with comfort.

The Hobie i9S is not limited to only these three features, here are some of the other things that you’ll find when you buy it:

  • Fin options where you can choose between the ST Fin (increases fin surface) and ST Turbo Fin (increases fin surface and gives more thrust because of its water displacement.
  • MirageDrive that replaces your regular paddling to increase efficiency.
  • Drop Stitch Floor where you’ll experience higher inflation pressures.
  • Twist and stow rudder system to improve maneuverability.
  • Has rear cargo area with bungee tie-downs.
  • Has bow and stern carry handles.
  • The package includes a high back padded seat, a four-piece paddle with an aluminum shaft, repair kit and a hand pump in order for you to inflate it easily.

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The Hobie Mirage i9S has received 5-star reviews from all of its buyers. Here are the reasons why this kayak is praised:

  • Durability and toughness: You can rely on the construction of this kayak even when you’re on open seas and rocky beaches. Because it’s made from 1000 Denier PVC, you can be sure that you’re safe even in tight or rocky spots.
  • Stable and great performance: The drop stitch floor is a big contributor to the rigid feel of this kayak because it adds stability in the inflation pressure.
  • Support and maneuverability: The steer and rudder of this inflatable kayak is easy to use and very accurate even when you’re in tight conditions.
  • Light and portable: The total weight of this kayak is 66.5 pounds and you can easily store it away with its rolling storage bag. Transporting it is also very because the rolling bag can be carried anywhere and anytime, including airports.
  • Easy to set up: You only need 10 minutes in order to inflate and fully set up this kayak which means you can have lesser time on the sand and more time kayaking or sailing.


Although this kayak has received a perfect score from its users, there are still some things that I think this kayak lacks and needs to improve.

  • Slow: This kayak is considerably slower than hard-shelled kayaks, but the MirageDrive and comfort you’ll experience will make up for it.
  • Recommended electric air pump: I recommend you use an electric air pump for inflating it so that you’ll save your time on inflating.

User experience

Though there are not many kayakers who have bought this product, they all agreed that the Hobie i9S performs really great. They mentioned that the construction is very stable and is solid in every way. They loved the accuracy of the steering and rudder and the comfort it feels when you’re riding it. Other people mentioned that what they like about this kayak is they have a lot of optional accessories like the sailing package, plug-in cart, cup holder and rod holder.

The benefits you’ll get from this kayak

With all its exciting features, there’s no doubt that you’ll get a lot of benefits when you use this kayak. Although it’s a little expensive compared to other kayaks, spending a little more extra dollars will give you undeniable performance and enjoyment. Here are some of the benefits if you choose to buy this kayak:

  • Extra comfort with your seats and leg support.
  • Less time setting up and more time in the water.
  • Easy transportation, portability and storage.
  • You can use it in both calm and rocky seas.

My overall rating

With all the information given above, here’s what I think about this inflatable kayak:

  • Price: 97% – Although it’s pricey, the features and performance of this kayak is outstanding.
  • Material: 100% – I love the toughness of the material that was used in this kayak and the Drop Stitch Floor is a great addition.
  • Design: 100% – One of the things that I really like the most of this kayak is its design because it may look tough, but it’s really comfortable when you’re using it.
  • Rating: 98% – Overall, I recommend this kayak to anyone who would like to tackle both calm seas and rockier shores. You can depend on its durability and the comfort it brings.

Where to buy the kayak?

Like any other kayaks, it can be a little tough to buy it in stores. That’s why it is recommended that you check out online stores (Amazon I think is one of the best choices for you) that have available Hobie i9S. But, just so you know, this product is almost sold out in every merchandiser so make sure you buy it as soon as you’re convinced of this kayak.

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The Hobie is a well-respected company that manufactures kayak at its best. So if you’re looking to buy a kayak that has high performance, durable and very stable, go for the Hobie Mirage i9S. It can be a little pricey, but it’ll all be very worth it when you go into the water. The rolling bag is a great addition to the portability and the drop stitch floor is a huge advantage.