Submitted: 01-12-2009 by boothash
I have had a rotomolded Tempest 170 for about a about 8 months now and have logged 600kms on it on everything from rocky, tight shallow rivers with rapids, canals, open great lakes with huge waves and backcountry expeditions with long portages over rocky ground using a cart.
For the most part, I am very pleased with the Tempest and find it is an excellent all around kayak. I find it tracks very straight without use of the skeg in most conditions. It handles and turns well and it is relatively fast, I can sprint at up to 12 km/h for short sections. No complaints about the seat - it is good for sitting in it all day. The rotomolded version is very durable and can take anything I throw at it. I've certainly bounced it off enough rocks, scraped the bottom and dragged it over enough rocks while portaging and it still keeps going.
The hatch space is more than adequate to hold enough gear to go on week long + trips.
My biggest issue I have with this kayak is the small quality issues by Wilderness systems. Loose fasteners from the factory I had to tighten up. The hatches are a slightly leaky through the bulkheads and the. I have had to re-silicone the bulkheads myself the first week after getting my kayak in order to seal them properly. I think the rear hatch is still leaking through the skeg control cable hole as well and I have to look at it and silicone it up to seal it before next season.
Other improvements I would like to see with this kayak would be a a GPS marine mount in front of the cockpit, and the skeg slider block is a bit hard on the fingers when actuating the skeg as it has hard edges on it.