Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak Review
Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak (Polyethylene) is the Larger of the 2-kayaks in the Tempest family, which also includes the smaller 165 model. Exceptionally well designed and outfitted the Tempest Series has won Sea Kayakers Magazines prestigious ‘SK’s Readers Choice Award for Best Weekend Touring Kayak ~ twice!’
Wilderness Systems has improved their already amazingly comfortable seating system! The Phase 3 AirPro seating system features a user-friendly design with ergonomic elements to increase comfort, add adjustability, and provide additional support.
Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak provides a fantastic combination of efficiency, maneuverability and stability to satisfy all levels of sea kayakers from novice newbies to advanced level enthusiasts and instructors. The 170 is the most popular Tempest model due to its very wide fit range of ‘medium to larger paddlers’.
The Tempest Series NEW Phase 3 AirPro XP outfitting is widely recognized as the kayak industries best; 5- easy adjust straps custom fit the back band, hip pads can be added to / removed or adjusted, thigh supports can be moved forward or aft, the padded seat can be adjusted up or down, SlideLock footbraces are easily adjustable on the water, and its deck rigging is well thought and robust.
Kayak Efficiency & Maneuverability
Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak offers a good touring pace and responds well to high adrenaline sprints and speed bursts. The Tempests tracks well with the skeg up with only a slight weathercock, while completely lowering the skeg the kayak correctly turns downwind. Its moderately rockered hull, uniquely chined sides and shallow Vee hull responds instantly to subtle course corrections through edging, sweep strokes and leaned turns.
We rated Wilderness Systems Tempest 170’s initial stability as ‘high’ due to its shallow Vee hull and long waterline length. Secondary stability is ‘very predictable’ and is rated as ‘high’ as the kayak seems to rest endlessly on edge due to its uniquely crafted sides.
Kayak Roll & Rescue
Paddler and kayak create a “one with boat experience” due to its brilliant Phase 3 AirPro XP outfitting, which skilled paddlers will love for effortless rolls. More novice level paddlers will enjoy Wilderness Systems Tempest 170’s exceptional fit. But they should practice a few wet exits and entries until a comfort & safety level is achieved. A Low deck height combines with a back band, which relaxes down so as not to interfere with lay back rolls. To make paddle float re-entries far simpler we suggest we install self-rescue straps @ $60 a pair.
We rated Wilderness Systems Tempest 170’s Gear capacity is rated as ‘high’ for a skeg boat, though like all British style sea/ performance kayaks, the internal skeg box does inhibit the storage of longer items in the rear hatch. Cruising speed was good and we found no loss of efficiency even with a full load. The Tempest 170’s nicely flared bow resurfaces and sheds waves well in big-water conditions, while its low deck profile reduces windage. VCP style hatches offer virtually watertight seals.
“Incredibly well designed, Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak (Poly) satisfies a wide range of sizes, skill levels and paddling conditions. No wonder it received ‘SK’s Readers Choice Award for Best Touring Kayak’! The Tempest 170 is also Frontenac Outfitters most requested kayak for our kayak courses and clinics”
Material: Economical, robust Gen2 Polyethylene.
Hatches: Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak (Polyethylene) comes with 3- foam bulkheads and 3- easy to use push on VCP style rubber hatch covers: bow 10″ Domed Bow Hatch / 24 cm, stern Oval Domed Stern Hatch– 19″ x 13″ / 47 x 32 cm, day – 8-inch Domed Midship Hatch / 20 cm.
Outfitting: Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 includes New Phase 3 AirPro XP Seating System that is widely recognized as the World’s most adjustable and includes a multi-adjustable back band and a padded seat pan that adjusts up and down.
Additional Features Include:
- SlideLock Foot Brace System
- Adjustable / removable padded thigh braces
- ‘SlideLock’ easy adjust foot braces
- Recessed expedition quality deck rigging
- Reflective Static Perimeter Safety Lines
- ‘TruTrak Skeg’ System
- Nexus 70P recessed compass mount
- Soft Touch Handles
- Proudly made in North America
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To view Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Kayak on their web site ‘Click Here’