tempest owners please help

Hello all,

I have been looking at purchasing a Tempest Pro 165 or 170 and wanted some input from owners regarding fit for me. It will be a couple months before I can really sit in, much less test paddle, each boat. I have read through all the reviews that I can and sifted through recommended paddler weights and I think I am still in between a 170 and a 165 Tempest. I am just shy of 5’9" and weigh about 170.

I want this boat for day touring with weekend camping a couple times a year. Max for me would be a one week trip to Isle Royale. but I am a minimalist backpacker, so I have small / light gear. Will be paddling unloaded most of the time on large inland lakes, large rivers, Lake Michigan and Superior.

I currently paddle a Prijon Seayak, older model with the smaller cockpit. With my insulation layer and drysuit on this time of year, I think I am at the fit limit for the Seayak. I normally wear a size 9 or so shoe, but my winter gear includes size 12 water shoes to accommodate thicker socks under my drysuit. I cannot straighten my feet vertical in my Seayak and that gets old on a long day trip. Are any of you out there similarly sized? My build is on the more muscular side, thicker thighs than most. Any input would be appreciated!! Thanks all!

165, IMO
I am a former owner of the 170 in plastic and at 6’4" at 185lb it was a good fit for me. However, I think it has too much volume that was not necessarily needed for my weight when paddling empty. For day-trips I think the 165 should be better and easier to paddle. If I were to buy again, I would get the 165 - I fit in it fine (except the foot pegs/seat need to move for my long legs) and you probably should fit in it comfortably as well.

I do not know if one is faster than the other, but I hear the 165 is more maneuverable. others with more actual experience packing these boats should hopefully give you more information (I only paddle empty or almost empty).

Anyway, fit is just as important as the other differences IMO - the 165 is snugger than the 170, so you should try and see what you prefer.

I am 5-11, 205+ and the T170 is just right. The T165 for me is snug.

The 165 will do fine. The 170 would be more of an expedition capable boat for your size.

Tempest 165
I’m 6’, 185 lbs and have paddled both. I find the 165 a more responsive boat and I think at your size and packing ethic it would be a more enjoyable boat.

My size 13 flippers fit nicely in a 170

what they said
165 is fine. The 170’s going to feel big, unless you like roomy boats.


I’d pick the 165
I’m 6’ and 180 pounds. I paddle a T165 from time to time (there’s one in the family), and I like it. It’s a snug cockpit fit for me, but not uncomfortable.

If I were a bit smaller (like your size) I think the 165 might be just right. For what you describe and with your minimalist packing, I’d guess you’ll like the 165. Definitely worth paddling both though, as different folks like different feel in a boat.

For me, the 170 felt quite large in the cockpit, and took more effort to edge than I would prefer. The Tempests seem fairly flat-bottomed, and have pretty high primary, so for me the 170 seemed less “fun”. Probably good for logging miles and certainly carries more. If I paddle hard, I can bog down the 165 easily, but I never have had that problem with normal paddling pace.

I’m 5’9", 160, and the 165 feels great. The 170 is too much boat for day paddling.

Better demo both
My husband is between 5’8" and 5’9", a little under 160 lbs. He sat in my T165 (before I added the 1/2" minicell foam under the seat) and didn’t like the tight fit. Ditto for another guy of similar size who tried it. Both of them are cyclists.

He likes the T170 a lot and the bigger fit does not hurt his speed at all. One thing to keep in mind is that he switched to it from a much bigger cockpit and beam (CD Storm). Another thing is that we buy for a longer camping trip duration (2 weeks is our standard of cargo capacity).

I’ve seen the contents of each of our Tempests disgorged, on the same camping trip. There is no question that the T170 holds a fair bit more cargo and weight than the T165 does. But the T165 does hold enough for a week’s worth. You need to demo both of them and decide based on other factors since each will work for a weeklong trip.

and move the seat back. The seat can be moved back a couple inches. Makes a huge difference. I’m 5’9" 165 pounds.

The 165
fits me great, I’m 5’8" and 165 lbs. I have a few boats and the Tempest 165 is my favorite. It has a great seat and can handle almost anything thrown at it. I have never felt like I was in conditions this boat couldn’t handle.

Thanks to all of you who posted. Now my problem is I just can’t wait to sit in each of the boats. Sounds like the 165 is going to be a better fit for me as I am already used to a tight fitting cockpit.

Rutabaga’s Canoecopia cannot come fast enough!!!

Thanks again for your responses!

Yes, you want a 165
I am 5’8" 170lbs and have a T-170. It’s too big. I am looking to trade for a 165 if I ever find someone who got too fat for theirs.

come say Hi! I’ll be @ the Wildy booth and can show ya the boats!!!


Awesome! Looking forward to it.

The only bad (well, actually good) thing is this year I have a wife that is due with our second child right around Canoecopia week! So far I have clearance to go.

I don’t know what I was thinking - we should have planned around the show! :slight_smile:

were you THINKING!!!