- Good durability
- Good versatility
- Low price
- Made in USA
- Not the best on either lakes or river
- Bulky when stowed
- Squirrely on lakes in windy conditions
- Tied for heaviest in class
The Outcast Commander offers good versatility, in that it performed well on lakes and in most river action (up to class II). It’s not as river friendly as the Water Master, or as lake-friendly as the Creek Company, but it does performance adequately in both situations. The Commander offers an affordable option for anglers who will be routinely moving between rivers and lakes.
The Outcast Commander fits the adage: Jack of all trades, master of none. It’s suitable for rivers and lake fishing, but it’s not the best option for either.
When launched on lakes, the Commander’s rocked design makes it a bit squirrely and the 10-foot length makes it more susceptible to wind, but the open-floor design in the front half of the boat allows for the use of fins for propulsion and steering corrections when not using the oars.
On rivers, that same step-through design makes stopping to fish easy—just standup and body-anchor the boat in the shallows near a hole you want to cast to. The rockered design helps with maneuverability on the river. The boat is nimble and quick to respond when moving through currents. That said, some taller testers found that the seat position they had to use put their weight so far back in the boat that the bow tended to ride too high for ideal boat control in faster water.
The Commander uses Outcast’s two-layer construction, putting a urethane air bladder inside an PVC-coated 500-denier shell. This creates a nice, durable boat, but if the boat does develop a leak—even a small pinhole from a sharp branch or thorn—the two-layer design makes in-field patching problematic.
How We Tested It
A number of testers—including both male and female anglers—used all the boats in this test on lakes and ponds in Washington—from a couple acres in size to a couple thousand acres in size. I also floated sections of the Yakima and Naches Rivers in them, on water ranging from Class I to low Class III.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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- Length: 10'6"
- Width: 46"
- Capacity: 400 lb
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