Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Kayak Review
Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Kayak (Polyethylene) is the shortest, narrowest and smallest fitting kayak in the Tempest Kayak Series, which also includes the mid-sized Tempest 170. Paddling characteristics of both models are virtually the same; it’s more a case of finding the right sized Tempest to fit you! The Tempest 165 snugly and comfortably fits smaller paddlers weighing in the range of 99 to 155 lbs.
Like its larger brother, Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Kayak provides paddlers a fantastic combination of efficiency, maneuverability and stability to satisfy a wide range of paddlers from novice newbies to advanced level enthusiasts and instructors. 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.
The Tempest Series 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 165 Kayak offers a good touring pace and responds well to high adrenaline sprints and speed bursts. The Tempest 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 respond instantly to subtle course corrections through edging, sweep strokes and leaned turns.
We rated Wilderness Systems Tempest 165’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 also enjoy its fit, but they should practice wet exits and entries until a comfort & safety level is achieved for the same reasons. Low decks combine 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.
Gear capacity is rated as ‘medium’, 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 165’s nicely flared bow resurfaces and sheds waves well in big-water conditions, while its low deck profile reduces windage. VCP style rubber hatches offer a virtually watertight seal.
“Incredibly well designed, Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Kayak satisfies a wide range of sizes, skill levels and paddling conditions. The Tempest 165 is also Frontenac Outfitters most requested kayak for our kayak courses and clinics”
Material: Economical, robust Gen2 Polyethylene
Hatches: Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 Poly Series hatches have 3- foam bulkheads and 3- easy to use push on VCP style hatch covers. Bow – 10″ / 24 cm, Stern – 18.5″ x 12.5″ / 47 x 32 cm, Day – 8″ / 20 cm.
Outfitting: Wilderness Systems ‘Phase 3 AirPro XP’ outfitting is recognized by many to be the World’s most adjustable and includes: a multi-adjustable back band, a padded seat pan that adjusts up and down.
Additional Standard Features:
- ‘TruTrak’ Skeg System
- Adjustable Padded Thigh Braces
- 10″ Domed Bow Hatch
- Soft Touch Handles
- Bungee Deck Rigging
- Reflective Static Perimeter Safety Lines
- 8-inch Domed Midship Hatch
- SlideLock XL Foot Brace System
- Oval Domed Stern Hatch
- Proudly made in North America
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