Mirage 582 Sea Kayak Review

by Rod

in Mirage, Sea Kayaking

I have been paddling the 582 for 18 months now and believe the speed and stability of the Mirage 582 gives a great alround sea kayak. If you can only buy one sea kayak the Mirage 582 is a great chose. Just running through the many features why you should look at the Mirage 582 Sea kayak below.

nick-in-the-582-4Nick paddling out in the Mirage 582

The length of 5.8 meters can be a bit intimidating at first but after a short time in the kayak you will feel right at home. Of course with that sort of length you get great straight forward speed. This helps you peel away the kilometers on those longer paddles.

Plenty of buoyance and lift in the bow design of the kayak to lift you up and over the steepest of waves. Also the design of the bow deck drains the water away quickly not hindering you pushing through the waves. I love hitting head on into a heavy chop in this kayak, it just seems to handle it so well.

The storage volume inside this kayak is huge, capable of carrying all the gear for a 7 – 10 day expedition easily. With 80 liters front hatch, 27 liters day hatch and 90 liters in the rear hatch there is a lot of storage volume. The bulk heads in between each compartment are fiberglass giving the kayak extra strength. The bulk head directly behind the seat is pacifically designed to aid the fitting of the bilge pump. If you order a kayak without the bilge pump fitted and you decide to after fit the Mirage bilge pump kit there is dimples in the gelcoat of the bulk head so you know exactly where to drill the appropriate holes. This just shows how much thought and experience has gone into the design of the Mirage kayaks. The rubber hatch covers seal very well and are design so that they sit flush with the deck. The hatch covers have a short cord fitted internally so they can’t be lost while you have the hatch open.

mirage-582-4Huge hatches to fit all your gear inside

The foot rest and peddle system for the kayak is another great design feature which is easy to use and easy to adjust. There is plenty of adjustment for different size paddlers to use the same kayak. If you do have particularly long legs, because the Mirages are custom built you can request for the foot rest attachment to be put further from the seat position. When adjusting the footrest, it is easy to adjust the rudder cables with the buckles on each side beside your thighs in the seating position. You may need someone to hold your rudder straight while you adjust the cables.

The seat itself comes in 2 sizes so it is worth talking to Mirage about which seat will suite you when you are ordering your kayak. The sea comes standard with a padded seat and back rest. The back rest is adjustable. The seat is comfortable as standard but as with any seat you may need to add more padding for a longer trip and you may need to add hip padding so that you are not sliding in the seat when supporting and rolling.

mirage-582-7Packed ready for our final day’s paddle of the 8 day trip

The Bilge pump if fitted is a great asset to any sea kayak. As mentioned before the mirage bilge pump is very well integrated into the design of the kayak with the battery in the day hatch and the switch and outlet flush mounted into the deck just behind the paddler.

The allround reflective grab ropes make it easy to hold onto the kayak while rafting up and in rescues.  The ropes also have some reflective Mirage decals fitted to them which all shine when a light hits them at night making the kayak easier to see in the dark.

Mirage 582 Sea KayakAll round reflective ropes and securing bungees

Toggle handles on each end of the kayak are an optional extra, but definitely worth having. They are very handy for carrying the kayak to and from the water.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0697.Mirage 582 with a fitted Fly Sail

The streamline rudder of the Mirage is a unique feature of the brand and although at first I was a bit suspicious I find it very responsive and being streamline will be more efficient through the water. If you are carrying the kayak by the tail end you just have to be careful the rudder doesn’t pinch your hand. I have tested the rudder thoroughly and you don’t have to worry about it breaking if it hit or rests on rocks. To read more about the rudder click here.

Of course the Mirage kayaks are all Australian designed and made in Gosford just outside Sydney, so that is another definite tick in it’s favour.

mirage-582-5All Australian designed and built

The best part of your new Mirage Kayak is, it is customisable to your own desires and needs. From the great range of colours and colour combinations you can have the kayak of your dreams. If you buy other brands fully imported you only have a choose of what the importer thinks will be the most popular colours and therefore easiest to sell. I have seen some amazing colour combinations coming out of the Mirage factory in Gosford recently. You also decide what material your kayak is going to be made with, from straight glass, to Kevlar, to Kevlar IRT( or Infused Resin Transfer, this is vacuum compresses the composite layers) to Carbon fiber kayaks. Naturally these materials and lay up techniques have greatly improved over the year and dictate the weight and strength of the kayak. Just as an example a Glass 582 will weigh 24.5kgs, Kevlar 22.5kgs, Kevlar IRT 18.5kgs and the Carbon/Innegra 18.5kgs. If you want extra reinforcing in a particular spot say for a sail, that can be added in the manufacture of the kayak. You can also order extras such as under deck glove box, bilge pump, compass, carry toggles, seat size, thigh grips, paddle holders, fishing rod holders and even a Fly sail. You can also order some of the standard parts in carbon like the foot rest and peddles, rudder and Rear hatch cover. With all those options you can truly have a unique kayak.


Cockpit coming with Thigh Grips

The Mirage 582 is my pick for an expedition kayak with good speed and stable in open water even when loaded up with a weeks worth of food, water and camping gear. I always tend to take more gear than I really need. Our paddle last year was over 8 days around Keswick, St Bees, Scawfell, Calder, Wigton, Cockermouth, Carlyle and Brampton Islands, I was very happy with the performance of the 582. The Mirage seems to a bit slower than some other sea kayaks at picking up the wave in a following sea, but when you do pick them up, you better hold on for the ride. In the surf it has an amazing ability to be able to surf straight on a wave and when your ready to break off the wave it is surprisingly easy to do that as well. Sailing the Mirage 582 with my modified Fly Sail the other week I could not believe the speed I was traveling at across the waves. Overall very impressed with the Mirage 582.

All of the Mirages are available from Kayaksnthings, You can talk to me about customising your kayak to suite your own personality and type of kayaking you want to do.

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