Tempest 170 RM-- Any changes since...

this kayak came out in 2003.—Rich

new seat. in models made post fall`04 you’ll see a brand new seat, backstrap and seat pad.

it’s wider, lower and more comfy. it makes for a touch more stability, as well.

It will be re-tro-fit-able to older models for $130. see your dealer for the kit. you gotta own a T to get it!


Does this apply to
the T-165 as well?

Is the upgrade worth the $$ in your opinion?



Thanks, Flatpick
I appreciate it.----Rich

What’s wrong with the old seat?
I think it’s very comfy and I like it.

just call me picky
the T-170 is not a small kayak,in order to benefit from the neat adjustable hip pads you have to be very small hipped to even have them in the kayak let alone have the opportunity of adjusting their thickness. In other words one of the neatest feature of the new seat was useless for the intended size of paddler for the T-170 kayak (med-large person). The T-165 is a good volume for a 175lb+paddler who wants a low volume day boat but the seat pan is high off the bottom constricting seat/thigh clearance thereby eliminating a lot of folks looking for a low windage day boat. Lighter/smaller paddlers buying the T-165 don’t need more stability or room but by lowering the seat 1/2" more average sized paddlers could fit and it would be more stable. Since a lot of the elements of the Wilderness Systems seats are a marketing effort to appeal to show room and five minute demos a T-165 with more room and more stability on the water will sell to more people under the $/size bell curve.

I passed both boats by when looking for a plastic boat because the 170 was bigger than I wanted and the 165 didn’t fit.

It doesn’t make sense to complicate the fit for the most common sized person under the bell curve for a kayak that has the displacement to fit that most common sized kayak buyer, whether that’s a med/large person for a large kayak (170) or a med. sized person for a med. sized kayak (160)

can you say…
new seat?


yes and ?
the new seat system is in both the 170 and 165. The 180 got the upgrade on introduction.

the new seat is wider and lower so it gives more room. It doesn’t have that slot in the back of the seat that is filled in with foam. it’s rounded and smooth.

wider so hip pads might fit better. for someone small it will need more padding.

lower- more stability, less leverage over tilt and paddle shaft. it makes the thigh pads further away so it now has more knee/thigh room. good for some but again small people may need more padding.

My wife Cindy is a good example. the new seat gave her more hip room and she is now able to put in the hip pads but the seat seemed low so I put an extra 1/2" of foam UNDER the seat pad. glued the whole mess down and now it’s perfect. she’s in the 130 range, long legs.

If you are comfy with the exsisting system, why bother or ??


LeeG… You Picky.

– Last Updated: Jan-16-05 1:33 PM EST –

The (older) 165 fits me like a glove with no reduction of the hip pads. My weight varies between 160 and 170 and I have a 34 inch waist.

I moved the seat back some to accomodate my long legs.

fit here in the T~165, old seat, with NO hip pads and no need for 'em.

personally I like a little side to side clearance or sway in the seat. the Inuits prefer a loose fit so you can move 'round and get comfy. it also gives you the advantage of shifting ballast and affecting trim, having a loose fit.

with the new seat I can use the pads tho, I still prefer none.

175lbs./34" waist


I’m 5’7 170lb. male, very lean and small hips, I guess that’s why I fit well. The adjustable hip pads are great if more than one person will use the boat… or if the owner has vacillating girth.

Are they ever going to make one with a rudder? like a sealine? Even though I own Two QCC’s one with a rudder and one with out, I still like rudders better for when the water conditions are Really really rough, its much easier to occasionally bend your toe while bracing then to fiddle with the skeg adjustment under variable conditions!


I’m one of those compulsive modifiers!

Seriously, my only complaint with the factory pre-04 seat is the height of the pan. Initially, I removed the whole assembly and made a foam seat and foam butt stop. This placed me 1/2" off the bottom of the boat. Only problem was the rear deck height now interferred with my layback.

I re-installed the factory assembly but moved it back a few inches. This worked well and really eased re-entry for my long sticks.

The hip pads do not work for me. I am only 33" at the waist but I’m high waisted and the pads would not position the way I wanted them. I fit ewll enough that I really didn’t need them anyway.

I made a couple of minicell triangular pads 1/4" thick and put velcro on the back so they could be attached where the factory pads go. These work great and function as ‘grip stops’ when I’m playing Johnny Eskimo.

At 6’2" there is a fair amount of me hanging out of the T-165, however, its such a stable boat that this is certainly no problem.

Quite honestly, the stability of the T-165 is so good that I’ve had several rec paddlers who swore they would never paddle a rather narrow kayak fall in love with the damn thing.

Most versatile the Tempests are. I think you can be proud of your association with regard to the design of these boats. But I’d never admit that in public so don’t let it go to your head :slight_smile:


thanks for the kudos. yep the T is a versatile machine.

sounds like you are doing fine with yours. most folks with long legs do benefit from moving the seat aft a bit, an EZ fix!

hope we can paddle together someday!