Hobie’s Passport series kayaks offer brilliant value for money out of the box and with a few choice upgrades you can really enhance their capabilities and your enjoyment on the water. Having spent plenty of time using Passport kayaks, using and testing a huge range of accessories and getting feedback from our clients, I think we’re pretty well qualified to present this prioritised list of Passport kayak upgrades and accessories. Let’s get straight into it.

1. Kayak Cart

A kayak cart is an essential accessory for almost every kayak owner. They enable you to get to and from the water with ease and ensure your kayak remains in top condition. Hobie has designed the Passport to accept any of its range of kayak carts which insert into the scupper holes in the rear cargo deck.

If you’re generally transporting your kayak across paved or relatively firm surfaces Hobie’s Standard Plug-In Kayak Cart will get the job done for you. For those who need to traverse sand or other soft surfaces, the large beach wheels of the Hobie Trax 2 Kayak Cart is our go-to recommendation.

Hobie Trax 2 plug-in kayak cart with 24cm beach wheels

2. Keel Protector

The Bumper Bro keel protector from BerleyPro is a highly popular and recommended upgrade for Hobie Passport owners looking to protect their craft from gouges or scratches when landing and launching. The simple glue-on protector fits over the bow and the front of the keel where damage is most likely. Durable, cost-effective and easy to mount, this upgrade should be top of the list for most Passport owners.

3. Rectangular Hatch Kit Upgrade (Passport 12 Only)

The Hobie Rectangular Vertical Hatch Kit is by far the most impactful upgrade for Passport 12 owners and something we always recommend to our customers. The upgrade enables you to replace the round hatch in the cockpit to dramatically increase storage right where you need it most. The Rectangular Hatch can be paired with the Hobie Rectangular Hatch Bucket to aid in storage and organisation while also helping your gear to stay dry. 

The existing round hatch can then be installed in the pre-moulded section in the Passport 12’s forward cargo area, massively increasing internal storage and providing access to the mast mount. This is ideal as the Berley Pro Mast Mount is by far the preferred method to mount a battery to run a fishfinder or any other electronics on board and access is otherwise impossible without this upgrade.

4. Round Hatch Bucket

The Hobie gear buckets are compatible with the Round Twist and Seal hatch that comes standard with both Passport models. These convenient storage upgrades enhance organisation while also helping your gear to stay dry. Available in two models, the Hobie Deep Gear Bucket is aimed at maximising capacity while the Hobie Gear Bucket utilises convenient adjustable dividers making it perfect for fishing tackle, spare parts, snacks, tools, sunscreen, first aid supplies and more.

5. Cockpit Storage & Organisation

The sidewalls of the Passport cockpit are a ripe opportunity to increase accessible storage and gear organisation and there are multiple products to take advantage of this. Installation will be significantly easier on Passport 12 as there is a dedicated moulded section to receive these upgrades. It’s still possible (and easy) for the 10.5 but will require a little more care. Please also keep in mind that the 10.5 is narrower in cockpit width and any accessory you install here might impede on your working space.

The Hobie Map Pocket is a soft mesh pocket that is perfect for stashing your phone, packets of soft plastic or miscellaneous gear you don’t want floating around. I find it particularly useful for securing rubbish while out on the water. The Berley Pro Jig Buckets offer low-profile storage that is purposely designed to hang lures, hold leaders, line, tackle boxes, mobile phones and more. The BerleyPro Side Bro offers a tool and tackle organiser with a built-in slot to fit a pair of scissors, pliers or fish de-hookers. 

You can mix and match these three products to get a storage and organisation solution that best suits your needs

BerelyPro Side Bro, Hobie Map Pocket and BerleyPro Jig Bucket kayak accessories

6. Fishing Rod Holder

Take advantage of the accessory mounting tracks that come standard with both of the Passport kayak models to add a fishing rod holder. We created a whole post on choosing the right rod holder for your fishing kayak but for the Passport kayaks, we recommend the Railblaza Rod Holder II paired with a Railblaza TracLoader StarPort Mount.

7. Seat Bag

The Hobie Vantage Seat Accessory Bag offers convenient and accessible storage for your gear. Perfect for storing a jacket, sunscreen, snacks and personal belongings, the seat bag creates out of the way storage that is secure and easy to organise. While not strictly waterproof, the seat bag will resist spray and light rain to keep your gear dry and out of the elements.

8. Anchoring Kit

The ability to anchor or hold position is key for any fishing craft, making some form of anchoring kit a top priority for Passport kayak owners. There is a range of products designed specifically for kayaks to get the job done.

We highly recommend the addition of an anchor trolley to the majority of our customers. The Trolley allows you to control the position of your anchor line fore and aft, providing much more control of your kayak’s position which is essential for fishing. We recommend the Hobie Kayak Anchor Trolley Kit for both Passport models. 

The YakAttack ParkNPole is an 8-foot or 2.4-meter kayak stake-out pole for shallow water anchoring. Its two-piece design makes it the perfect companion for the smaller Passport models. If a slow drift is more you’re style the Hobie Kayak Drift Chute will enable you to greatly reduce drift speed. If you’d prefer a more traditional approach, the Hobie Kayak Anchor Kit is a compact and convenient claw anchor suitable for both Passport kayak models.

9. Storage Crate

Make use of the rear storage deck on your Passport kayak with the addition of some form of storage box or crate. A storage crate not only increases your storage capacity but also provides the perfect opportunity to mount vertical rod holders for additional rod storage.

You can make use of anything from a milk crate to an esky with some rod holders screwed to the side. If you’re after something a little more flash and built for the task, we recommend the YakAttack BlackPak Pro 13×16. This storage crate is the perfect size for the Passport kayaks and the Tether Tube four (4)  Rod Holders with built-in rod leashes that come attached are excellent.

YakAttack BlackPak Pro Kayak Fishing Crate - 13" x 16" with lid open

10. Fishfinder

The addition of a fishfinder to your kayak can really take your angling to the next level. They also introduce a non-trivial amount of complexity with a whole electrical ecosystem required to get it up and running. There are a million and one ways and half as many products to help you get the job done, depending on which system you choose.

Because there are so many options and set-up routes, we won’t detail any specifics here. Please get in touch with me or Andrew and we will happily get you set up with a fishfinder and electrical system that suits your budget and intended fishing style. 


11. Rudder Upgrade

The Hobie Passport XL Rudder Upgrade is a significant improvement over the stock rudder. The larger blade enhances turning and tracking performance providing improved maneuverability and control. The XL rudder assembly features convenient up-and-down control operation, allowing you to easily raise and lower the rudder blade from your seat when landing and launching. In my opinion, this is a huge quality-of-life upgrade and something we consistently recommend to Passport owners.

12. MirageDrive Upgrades

An upgrade to the Passport MirageDrive can provide some serious benefits to your power, efficiency and maneuverability.

The first and more affordable upgrade is the Turbo Fin Kit. Turbo Fins can provide up to a 10% increase in speed compared with standard fins. With these larger fins, you can achieve a higher top-end speed and/or a slower cadence for cruising. 

The second and much more impactful upgrade is to switch to a MirageDrive 180. This can be achieved at the time of purchase by specifying the MD180 drive. If you already own your Passport you can pick up an MDGT to MD180 upgrade kit. The MD180 drive provides full forward and reverse propulsion making exploring structure much easier and more convenient.

Another MirageDrive accessory that’s strongly worth considering is the Hobie MirageDrive Storage & Carry Bag. This bag is designed to protect your valuable MirageDrive from damage. In practice, we find it’s best for protecting your car from the wet, dirty and lubricated MirageDrive that’s prone to tear soft fabrics and damage carpets when floating around in the boot or the back seat. 

Please note; Passport owners with older non-kick-up variants of the MDGT drive will require different parts to make these upgrades. Please consult our Hobie MirageDrive Replacement Parts & Upgrades Guide or contact us for guidance.

Hobie MirageDrive 180 (MD180) with kick-up fins. Shown with Turbo fin configuration

13. Cup/Drink Holder

Staying hydrated during long sessions exposed to the elements is critical for your enjoyment and wellbeing. The addition of a Hobie Kayak H-Track Cup Holder allows you to take advantage of the stock accessory tracks and ensure your drink bottle, travel cup, can etc is always accessible and secure. I find that having my water bottle out and in my vision reminds me to take a sip more often.

14. Rod Holder Extensions

The Hobie Rod Holder Extension is designed to enhance the flush-mount vertical rod holders found on Passport kayaks. The extension provides a deeper sleeve and a slot for the reel arm, keeping your rod more secure. It also raises the reel up off the deck  and makes it easier to reach and to help keep it free of salt water.

15. Kayak Cover

If you’re planning on storing your kayak outdoors a cover is a must. Not only will it protect your craft from the extreme degradation caused by UV, it will also help minimise stains, debris and corrosion from the build-up of dirt, leaves and bird droppings.

The best kayak cover for Hobie Passport 12 is the Lovig Deck Kayak Cover Multifit 12-14

The best kayak cover for Hobie Passport 10.5 is the Lovig Deck Kayak Cover Multifit 9-11

16. Safety and Visibility

As kayak anglers, we’re quite vulnerable to collision with larger craft and this is particularly apparent in low-light or nighttime sessions. The YakAttack VISICarbon Pro is a kayak visibility flag with 360-degree white light to help increase your kayak’s visibility to other boaters. This unit will mount directly to your accessory tracks or with the provided deck mount solution if you’d prefer to mount it on the stern. It can also be mounted in vertical a rod holder due to is foam covered base.

A quality PFD or lifejacket is not just common sense, it’s a legal requirement that anyone aboard a single-person kayak wear a PFD at all times in all NSW waterways. I typically run an inflatable like the Hobie Yoke Manual Inflating PFD  to minimise bulk. Alternatively, a traditional jacket style like the Hobie Outback PFD can provide an extra level of protection in the event you enter the water unconscious. 

YakAttack VISICarbon Pro kayak visibility flag and 360 degree LED light combo. Shown with YakAttack MightyMount deck mounting plate

17. Comfort Upgrades

Comfort on the water is key to longer and more enjoyable sessions. While Hobie’s Suspended Mesh Aluminum seats are very comfortable, cushions can provide a substantial comfort improvement. The addition of Hobie Kayak Kushion Seat Pads provides all-day comfort that I find really reduces bum and lower back pain from longer tournament sessions. 

EVA foam deck pad kits for Passport 12 not only provide luxury comfort underfoot but also enhance traction and sound dampening. They can also really enhance the look of your kayak and add a level of eye-catching personalisation. These deck pad kits are not available for Passport 10.5.

18. Utility Upgrades

Hobie has an excellent range of utility accessories that can greatly enhance your kayak’s capabilities. All of the below are compatible with both Passport kayak models.

The Hobie Sidekick AMA Kit is an outrigger arm with an inflatable float that is great for adding stability and peace of mind while out on the water. Simple to install and remove for transport and storage.

The Hobie Kayak Bimini Sunshade provides ultra-lightweight protection from the sun with a UPF 50+ rating. Perfect for summer days out on the water where fishing isn’t your primary concern.

The Hobie Mirage Kayak Sail Kit allows you to rest your legs and utilise the power of the wind. Convenient and easy to set up and deploy, this sail kit is perfect for beginner and experienced sailors alike.  

The Hobie H-Bar Kayak Standing Bar is designed to provide something to hold on to when standing and to assist in raising and lowering yourself into your seat. In practice, I find it gets in the way when fishing, creating more hassle than help. I’ve also seen it provide a false sense of security for standing use. The H-Bar doesn’t make the kayak any more stable, it just means you have something to hold on to if things get rocky. The H-Bar can be a nice upgrade if you struggle with mobility. However, if you plan on standing regularly there are better kayaks in Hobie’s lineup to suit your needs.

Hobie Passport 10.5 with sail kit and AMA kit


Hobie’s Passport model kayaks have been designed to integrate with a huge range of genuine and third-party accessories to enhance their capabilities, comfort and utility.  With our expert advice you can pick and choose from the extensive list above to create a kayak that is perfectly suited to your needs.

At HWS, we’re not just about selling gear; we’re here to ensure you get the most out of every moment on the water.If you’re pondering over the best upgrades for your Hobie Passport kayak, need advice or assistance with installation, or just want to chat about your options, we’re here to help you.

About the Author

HWS Managing Director James Kilpatrick

James Kilpatrick founded Hunter Water Sports (HWS) in 2012 and has been its managing director ever since. With over 18 years in the marine and fishing industry and a passion for kayak fishing both recreational and competitive, James is an expert in all things Hobie kayaks.