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Wilderness Systems Tempest 165

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 touring kayak

This is a solid, all around sea kayak which, despite its 55 pounds, handles easily in a variety of conditions. The design enables a relatively new paddler to build skills while experiencing better than average performance from the boat. This is a comfortable kayak for an afternoon on the river or three days island hopping in the San Juans.


  • Durability of all parts
  • Performance in various conditions
  • Adjustable seat system
  • Touring capacity and performance


  • Rubber hatch covers may lose integrity

This is an entry level touring kayak that has been an excellent skill builder for myself and my wife. We have small-to-average frames and the boat is well suited for our sizes.

With its retractable skeg, the Tempest 165 is a reliable boat in stiff river currents and coastal rock hopping. The boat is very well balanced, especially when loaded with gear, with edging and maneuverability every bit as good as it's lighter sister, the composite Pro version.

The Tempest 165 sports a highly adjustable, padded seat system, making a ten-mile jaunt up-stream a comfortable journey. The adjustable thigh bracing and padded knee braces especially add to the stability of this boat when and where it is most needed.

The only small quip I have is that the rear rubber hatch cover on my wife's older boat has lost its seal and tends to leak during wet exits and rolls. While we generally stay upright, it would be an added assurance if we knew this compartment could be trustworthy flotation. That said, we find that keeping the covers off in storage helps them retain their shape.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $1200

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Price MSRP: $1,599.00
Historic Range: $999.00-$2,066.52
Reviewers Paid: $900.00
Product Details from Wilderness Systems »

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