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Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Review

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Review

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Review

--Product Information--
Product Name: Tempest 165
Product Brand: Wilderness Systems
Best Use: Sea Kayaking/touring
Sizes Available / Specs: Comes in a 16'6 and a 17, and 18 foot model, 55 or 57 pounds respectively. Comes in Composite for the pro models or Polyethylene for the regular

--Test Information--
Location of Test: Scappoose Bay
Duration: Day trip

Value Rating: 10
Durability Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 10

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

Full Review: The Tempest is a wonderful water craft. I was using the 165, and although it was definitely a snug fit (I'm 5'8" and 150 lbs), I thoroughly enjoyed paddling this boat. With its soft chines and rounded hull, the boat tracked well and maintained a decent amount of maneuverability. I wouldn't recommend this boat to someone who has never paddled because it definitely takes a bit of paddling know-how to fully utilize the speed and edging that this boat can provide for the right paddler. One could say that you've really got to "work" this boat to get it to do what you want. It has a retractable skeg that's super useful if the wind picks up or if you desire even better tracking. Although it is a sea kayak, there are other boats that may fare better in extreme conditions. For a jaunt up the coast in moderately challenging conditions, this is a great vessel.

The Good List: The speed on these boats in addicting; as mentioned before, great tracking (stays in a straight line with little effort, which makes going faster easier). The skeg is a nice feature especially because it can be deployed partially to give variable resistance in a range of conditions or situations. Also, there are 3 bulkheads in this boat, increasing its safety by chambering off the bow and stern. Only the cockpit could potentially fill with water when all the hatches are closed. That means you don't sink, and with a bilge pump can pump out your cockpit on the go.

The Not So Good List: It is a little tough to maneuver, but that was an effect desired by the designers. Otherwise, I have no complaints.

The Bottom Line: This is an awesome sea kayak and a blast to paddle!

Wilderness Systems Tempest 165
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