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Outback thoughts - 2019 vs 2016

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After three trips on the new 2019 Outback, here are my thoughts how it compares to the 2016 Outback I had previously.


1) It paddles so much better in a straight line, thanks to the redesigned bow.   It's lower and sleeker, less of a tub/barge than the 2016 model.  It turns surprisingly well with a deep stroke from the side and can get up to speed and still stays pretty straight.  I feel confident I'll be able to take the 2019 model out to paddle in very shallow waters and rivers where I couldn't with the 2016 model.   


2) I think because of the new profile, the 2019 OB feels almost effortless pedaling with the 180 drive.   I did an 8+ hour trip Thursday but I feel like I could go another 8 hours.  And I'm 63 years old!  I usually felt beat up after only 5-6 hours on the 2016 OB.  My legs didn't feel like jelly this time.


3) With the 2019 OB, there isn't nearly as much hull slap and seems to cut through the wind much better.


4) The 2019 is definitely a wetter ride, especially when it's choppy out.  It drains well, though, but it may not matter to people who don't like wet rides.


5) Despite the sleeker profile, the cockpit is spacious compared to the 2016.  I haven't yet tried standing up on it yet but feel like it'll do better in that department than the 2016.  


6) The new kick-up rudder turns faster and quicker than the old sailing rudder and that's a plus in my book


7) Having that retractable transducer guard has been a big plus for me with the Helix 7 SI.  It reduces a BerlyPro cover to more of a nice-to-have option than a necessity.  Genius move on Hobie's part


8) It's almost embarrassing how much room the 2019 has in the back.  I don't think I'll ever nearly be able to fill it.   Enough room for a dog to stretch out on!


9) I kind of wish the scuppers were a little further back than closer to the middle.  It makes the back feels so long pulling it out of my trailer before I can put the regular HD cart into the scuppers and taking more effort to keep the rudder off the ground.  The loading block thingy in the back kind of solves that problem but still...


10)  It would be nice if the loading block has wheels on it or something like that.  That would be amazing, I think.


11) The dual rudder controls have been a really nice thing to have.


12)  The seat feels more roomy and comfortable.   Even after a 8+ hour trip recently, my old back felt great afterwards


13) The stern H-rail is a huge improvement in carrying or lifting the back.  With the 2016's pointed stern and tethered handle, it was more far awkward lifting the yak up to get the cart off the scuppers without it tipping over to one side or the other.


14) Can't say enough about the H-rails with the geartrac, retention cords to hold down my plano boxes plus the bungee cords to leash on my pliers and lip gripper.   Helps makes it worth the extra $200 in base price.


In conclusion, the 2019 has met my expectations and more.  Definitely a much improved fishing machine over the 2016 with a better balance of pedaling and paddling power.  I look forward to many trips on it.








Edited by GeoffT
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Pretty much the same observations I had moving from 2018 to 2019. I’m not a fanboy that gets all giggly about equipment but I really like the new design.


yes to the loading block. It’s necessary and useful but incomplete. I cringe when I load my kayak on my truck and the thing flips back and the rudder goes bang in the ground. Wheels would be incredibly useful. I might buy another and see if I can modify it. I like the extra scupper holes,  my wheels fit in both obviously and it gives me a range of carting options I didn’t have.


do you really put your dog in the back?! Mine is my constant companion, and would fit but he’s not terribly enthusiastic in that particular scenario!


oh and so far as the extra $200, remember you get turbo fins and the rectangular hatch standard, things I had to pay for as an upgrade on my 2018. And frankly the h-rail system alone in MHO is worth at least that...

Edited by icarussound
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thanks for the comparison, I was not an old style outback fan, but I got to see the 19 in person and really liked the layout, next up a water demo to see how it handles.  Been a paddler so far, thinking about the jump to pedaling, waiting for right yak.

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