Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Review



Wilderness Systems has used the Radar series to introduce its first tri-powered kayak design. The Radar 115 can be maneuvered by using power, pedaling, or paddling. It’s a way to save you energy when you’re out in multiple different water environments.

The SMART Hull Technology is designed to keep the kayak stable, maneuverable, responsive, and trackable with competitive acceleration. Many technological advancements have been incorporated into the design, including multiple storage spaces, SlideTrax rails, and optional side-scanning and down-imaging. Not only that, but you have access to a steering control system that lets you navigate and fish hands-free.

Pros: Wilderness Systems Radar 115

There’s a lot to love about the Radar 115. It’s outfitted with more comfort, convenience, and advanced technology than you’ll find in nearly any competing kayak. Whether you’re a casual fisherman or a seasoned pro, there are features that will extend your fishing time and increase your overall enjoyment. This is particularly interesting because the Wilderness Systems don’t have the long-standing reputation of  Hobie or other legacy pedal kayak companies.

The Orbix bow hatch is a circular hatch providing storage space and access to your kayak’s interior. Also incorporated into the design is a flattened mounting surface that’s optimized for mounting customized accessories. A molded-in tackle pocket self drains and has room to hold all your favorite lures. The rectangular center hatch has watertight storage space for your more precious cargo.

As for convenience, the design incorporates a paddle park that lets you stow your paddles out of the way when they aren’t being used. That’s especially convenient considering you might not paddle at all during some trips – you can pedal and use the motors instead! A one-handed paddle park on the bow lets you keep the paddle in arm’s reach as you fish. Rigid carrying handles make the design easy to hoist into and out of a vehicle.

The comfort is also hard to beat, with a seat that’s so comfortable you’ll feel like you’re sitting in your armchair at home. This seat, called the AirPro MAX, is highly adjustable and has multiple seating positions to support your back and tailbone. In addition, there are cam levers that let you mount and dismount at high speed. The seat’s elevated perch allows you to paddle and cast easily, which means you have greater stability and visibility.

And then there’s the suite of comprehensive technology. The Flex Pod control system is customizable and compatible with whatever fish finding accessories you love. It can also be hooked up to the Helix MD Motor Drive. The pedal drive system allows you to pedal with ease and install side-scanning fish finding electronics.

Accessories can be added and removed from the front of the boat, allowing for quick configurations as weather conditions change. The steering system can be mounted on the left or right side of the kayak; gone are the days when you had to turn with your paddle! The middle of the boat can also be customized and optimized with whatever accessories you need for any given conditions.

A mounting plate on the stern allows you to add aftermarket accessories like trolling motors, battery-operated stakeout poles, and anything else you want to make your adventuring easier.

Cons: Wilderness Systems Radar 115

One potential issue is that the front hatch of the kayak tends to be on the smaller side. That means that more serious fishermen might have trouble storing both their catches and their gear.

If you tend to bring a lot of cargo with you or haul a lot of fish back, you’re going to want something with a little more storage space. People who bring multiple rods or have long fishing rods might struggle.

The mechanism to raise and lower the rudder is also a little hard to pull. In an ideal design, the angle would be centered so you can lean your weight into the pulling process.

Other than that, there’s nothing to complain about – except that the seat might be so comfortable you don’t want to get up! With so many customization options available, you can fine-tune this kayak to suit your fishing needs no matter what.

Perfect Fit

Our Pick
Wilderness Systems Radar 115 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Premium Angler Kayak | 11' 6"

A bestselling tri-powered kayak with paddle, power and pedal capabilities

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02/17/2024 02:13 pm GMT

The Radar 115 is perfect for both the casual and serious fisherman, and it will appeal heavily to those who want a kayak suited to their favorite accessories.

Every aspect of the design has been optimized for mounting accessories. Unlike many other kayaks on the market, you don’t need to use compatible parts manufactured by Wilderness Systems. There’s space to mount aftermarket parts, fish finding electronics from many different manufacturers, and any other accessories you like to have around.

The combination of comfortable seating and the tri-power construction makes the kayak great for fishermen who want to spend hours on the water. One of the drawbacks of traditional kayaks and pedal boats is that your legs and arms get tired. But since you can switch between engine power, pedaling, and paddling, you’re able to conserve your energy.

The steering system also gives the design advantage over traditional kayaks. Steering with paddles tends to cause drag and fatigue of the arm muscles. By incorporating an automatic steering system, that’s a concern of the past. This also is aligned with some of our earliest posts about how to turn with a pedal kayak.

The seat’s positioning and comfort cannot be understated. If you can move your car seat to support your back, why not your kayak seat? You have the ability to recline or perch in style. And since you’re raised off the ground, it’s easy to paddle and cast without getting fed up with bad angles and poor visibility.

For those who need a little extra support, there’s even extra seat customization and lumbar support accessories available for the model.

Final Verdict

The Wilderness Systems Radar 115 is an awesome kayak design with very few flaws. When you ride in the kayak, you’ll experience comfort, convenience, and technological advancements. That combined with the customization features makes this a model that’s hard to pass up.

The tri-power design lets you pedal, paddle, or use engine power depending on your comfort levels. It’s a great way to keep from getting fatigued, especially combined with the super comfy chair. With multiple paddle parking spots and storage areas for convenience, you don’t have to worry about a thing.

See you on the water!

Article Author
Robert Walker has been a Kayak enthusiast for over a decade. He's owned several different Kayak's, but only recently got into Pedal Kayaks in the last few years. This website is Robert's way of sharing his passion for Pedal Kayak's with the world.