avocet rm/tempest 165

Could someone share first hand comparison of these kayaks?

Reason I am asking - I tried Avocet RM, liked the way it handles, but cockpit felt too big - I was sliding sideways a bit, had to work to stay in while upside down.

Tempest 165 is described as “designed for smaller paddler”, whatever that means while Avocert is for “small to medium”. I would love to demo it, but the closest place that rents them is 6h away, just sitting in one in the store (2-3h away) won’t tell much.


Avocet vs. Tempest

– Last Updated: Aug-16-05 2:02 PM EST –

These are two capable boats, but I prefer the Tempest. I have paddled the Avocet RM and I own a Tempest 165 Pro (glass). Yes, you can pad out the cockpit of the Avocet with minifoam, but I found it just too roomy for my liking. The standard outfiting in the Tempest's cockpit locks me in solid. For comparison, I go about 155 pounds. Steve Scherrer could better state the fit range for the Tempest family, but I will guess that the 165 will work best for paddlers weighing less than 170 lbs. The Avocet will fit a larger paddler, maybe up to 190-195.

Both the Avocet and Tempest will handle rough stuff very well. The Tempest is a bit quicker straigh ahead. The Avocet is equipped with VCP hatches. Wildy uses properitary hatches on the Tempest which have some leakage issues, particularly on the poly boat.

Safe paddling,

Although I haven’t paddled the Tempest 165, I have paddled the plastic Avocet and Tempest 170. To preface, both are excellent kayaks and are both quite seaworthy. With that said, the Avocet is much more nimble and playful while the Tempest is more tame and tracks better. I would be very surprised if the Tempest 165 was smaller than the Avocet in regards to room as the Temptest 170 is actually rather cavernous. I’m 5’8" and 145 lbs and I fit into the Avocet rather well although I would personally add a bunch of padding. The Tempest was huge on me, the cockpit outfitting with the Phase 3 seating is excellent. The Tempest has a great backband, adjustable thigh braces, and a flexing seat which feels ridiculously comfortable. Both roll great. The Avocet is a better rolling kayak due to the lower deck but it is also a quicker roll. The Tempest rolls smoother but slower. Both kayaks will not win any races but they cruise at a decent speed. I personally preferred the Avocet as I like smaller and livelier kayaks but I would be interested in tryin the 165 at some point.

I am 5’9’’ 150lb, your frame seems to approximate mine quite well.

I suppose that means 6h drive to try the boat out :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Tempest Experience
I’m 5’ 9" and 160 - 165 pounds. The Tempest 165 fits me like a glove. The 170 is too much boat for me.

and what they said!

I find the Tempest a little better for myself @ 180 but generally speaking I am 170 size. sounds like either would/could work for ya.

good luck


composite Tempest 165
Steve, I tried a year+ old kevlar one last spring and noticed that the thermoformed piece of plastic that the skeg slider moved in was warped away from the sealant adhesive allowing an opening into the cockpit. It’s a rectangular piece of plastic set into a slot cut into the deck with the skeg control sliding in the recessed plastic . Anyway as I leaned the kayak water poured in through a 2"x1/8" hole. I was wondering if you’ve seen that elsewhere. It looked like the plastic just pulled away from it’s slot in the hull. I’m wondering if the thermoformed plastic can relax or distort in high temps,like sitting in the sun on a 95degree day.

tempest 170
I weigh 205 and am 6ft and the tempest 170 is just right the 165 should be perfect for you.


Both nice
I own an Avocet RM and have demoed the 165 acouple of times, but only on flat water. I’m 5’9", 155. The stock outfitting in the Tempest can be adjusted to a snug fit for me. I added thighbraces and heel pads to my Avocet and replaced the backband. The Tempest feels bigger, tracks better and seems faster than the Avocet. The Avocet feels more manueverable. Both are comfortable on edge and roll easily.

I like the T165 – I always try to grab one for a while if there’s one at a demo day – but not enough to make me want to sell my Avocet. If I did more distance paddling I might feel different. When it’s time to replace my boat, the T165 is on my short list of boats to demo in more serious conditions.

yepper again
the material we used was less than desireable and tweaks in hot sun. it’s actually a poured urathane.

Marine sealant- ugly but bomber will do the fix.



it surprised me
like pouring water through a cup against my leg. Have they fixed it?

Build quality…
I openly admit that I’m biased because I own an Avocet. I like the plastic that Valley uses a lot more than Wild Sys. Valley’s hatch covers are far superior. Valley uses poly bulkheads instead of foam, which is a major advantage. I feel the Avocet is easier to shoulder-carry. The Tempest has better outfitting, but the Avocet can be customized to fit you correctly. Both are good boats, but I think the overall quality and hard features are better on the Avocet RM. Just my $.02

doh :slight_smile:

Drive the 6 hrs
I have rented an Avocet (glass) and recently bought a plastic T165, so you know which design I prefer. But I am 5’2" and thought the Avocet fit loosely, with minimal thigh contact. The one I used had very narrow thigh braces.

In contrast, the T165 came stock with excellent outfitting (adjustable) which I later made perfect for me by adding 1/2" minicell foam to the seat. I had never paddled a kayak that came with hip braces, but the T165’s are so good that I realized how much better my fit in my wood kayak would be if I could duplicate them in that kayak.

OK, so outfitting can be tweaked somewhat. Up to a point.

I also really, really like the T165’s behavior in wind waves. Yes, it weathercocks some (EVERY kayak I’ve paddled does, to varying degrees), but it is easily managed. During a potentially hairy paddle with quartering, then direct beam winds from a looming thunderstorm on Yellowstone Lake, I could not believe how my fully-loaded T165 just took it all in stride, including a couple of surf landings. I always had to fight my first sea kayak in such conditions, because it would hobbyhorse, pivot, and (if I didn’t carefully nip it in the bud) suddenly broach. The T165 lets you know when it is about to broach, and if it does, it does so relatively smoothly.

I consider myself lucky to have happened upon a great touring kayak that is also fun to play in. This kayak now actually makes me look forward to having wind waves.

It is easy to roll and do paddle-float re-entries with also.

But still, you need to demo both kayaks to know which one YOU prefer.

ez fix. just change the material. not sure what it is now. i think abs?


well put
sweet thang!!!


I had a feeling you were going to like her!


Avocet RM hatches are Good!
Just got back from my first rolling class today. My new Avocet was upside down a lot and also took more water in the cockpit, then I’m willing to discuss today :frowning:

However, when class was over, I decided to open the hatches and see how wet the hatches were. They were…BONE dry! All of them! The funny proof was that I had forgotten the purchase invoice of my boat inside one of the hatches (the boat is that new) and there it was - a completely dry and crisp piece of paper in the hatch. Some people complain that it’s hard to close these hatches because of the special double seal (in-set hatch rings) that Valley builds. For me - it’s well worth the effort and the extra few minutes of running my fingers in all the grooves around the hatch covers.

I am very happy with this boat so far.


Tempest 165
Well, I tried it.

I am 5’9’’, 150lb, Tempest 165 fits like a glove. Outfitting looks and feels very nice. I have my doubts regarding their footrests - there was a bit too much flex in pedals. On other hand, adjustment was a breeze.

Tracks very well, feels more stable than Avocet RM. Avocet is much easier to edge and hold it there, feels more playfull.

So, I am looking for a good deal on 2 Avocets :wink:

BTW folks at http://windnwaterboatworks.com/ where I demoed WS Tempest are very nice. They also have HUMONGOUS deals!