Pungo 120 Ultralite

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Pungo 120 Ultralite Description

Lightweight plastic with no loss in stiffness offers livlier speed and maneuverability. The striking finish makes the ultralite Pungo dashing both in and out of the water.

Pungo 120 Ultralite Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Wilderness Systems
Pungo 120 Ultralite Reviews

Read reviews for the Pungo 120 Ultralite by Wilderness Systems as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I have really enjoyed this…

Submitted by: Cliffm on 7/13/2020
I have really enjoyed this kayak for its roominess and stability. It tracks very well and is easy to load on top of my car due to its lightweight materials. The lightweight version is also nicer looking with its glossy finish. The only downside is that it is somewhat brittle. I broke one when it slipped off the roof of my car as I was loading it.Fortunately I was able to repair it myself with fiberglass. That was 2 summers ago and I haven't had any problems since then. So if weight is a big factor, I would recommend this kayak. If it is not a factor, save some money and get the regular version. I have had both, and cannot notice a difference in performance in the water.

I like it because it's light…

Submitted by: E.Taylor on 5/17/2020
I like it because it's light enough (40 lbs.) for me to put up on the roofracks of my SUV by myself. With the added kayak konsul, I have 2 rod holders mounted up front for trolling, & room for extra gear. Had it out in rough weather, 2' rollers & it didn't flip, but I did get a bit wet - need a big water proof skirt to keep dry

I run a paddling group in the…

Submitted by: paddlesaurus on 5/3/2020
I run a paddling group in the greater DC metro area of several hundred kayakers, and one of our new members decided to purchase her first kayak from an outfitter "up north" so that she could join us on every trip rather than on only those where rentals are available. She bought her kayak from Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville, PA. She found the boat to be easy to handle, and she could get it on the rooftop of her small car nicely, using a set of rooftop saddles and a blanket on the ground and another blanket on the edge of the car's rear to slide the kayak up and down. She paddled it on lakes, all over the Potomac River, and even took it for a fishing expedition that we did over a weekend. The kayak is not too big and not too small, quite light to portage, having sturdy handles, with ample storage space within it and on top beneath the bungee cords. It tracks well, and is very maneuverable in the current. It is a perfect first-time kayak (as well as a good boat for someone getting on in years like me). Its smaller size makes it very easy to store, and the boat l;ooks really nice as well. It was a joy to see the paddler so happy in her new boat, looking forward to many future trips on the water with her Pungo 120 Ultralite.

I was encouraged to buy this…

Submitted by: tomitch on 5/3/2020
I was encouraged to buy this kayak by the local dealer here in Canada. He was absolutely right for for paddling needs!! Only 40 lbs, it is easy to lift off car and get in water. The seat is comfortable and the hull tracks very true for a 12' length. I like the hull shape so much I recommend even in the less expensive poly material when people dont want to pay the higher price for ultralite. Wilderness Systems has a slightly larger model out this year. I am strongly considering it for the future.

This WAS a good boat. Light…

Submitted by: paddler537193 on 7/31/2019

This WAS a good boat. Light for it's size, tracked well, fairly quick. After about 18 months(in May of 2019) the thermoplastic began to crack around the carry handles, eventually breaking so that now there is but a hole in the deck where the handles once attached. The boat was under a 3-year warranty, which stated simply that Wilderness would repair or replace the boat for defects, at their option. Since they don't make the boat anymore and they couldn't repair it, I expected a credit for the purchase price at my dealer so that I could purchase an equal boat. After 3 months they finally offered just under 1/2 of the purchase price as a credit. This is deficient. I am thoroughly dissatisfied, will never purchase another wilderness systems product, and cannot recommend the company to anyone. My recommendation is, buy your boat from a company that stands behind it's product.


Wonderful boat! I also have…

Submitted by: ddhdesign on 7/10/2019

Wonderful boat! I also have a Pungo Duralite 120, which I like better because it is more durable. (Softer material) I understand they are not making the light versions anymore - hate to see them go, they are both boats I can load on top of my car by myself if I need to.


I have had this kayak for 10…

Submitted by: eaglewanderer on 7/10/2019

I have had this kayak for 10 years now. I use it several times a year on both small lakes, larger lakes, and rivers from class1 to classIII. It has held up very well. It has a very comfortable seat that is adjustable in so many way to make for a comfortable paddle. The rec opening allows for a sit-in style with a larger opening. I also have the cockpit cover and a skirt for the opening. The only thing that I have had to fix in 10 years is that my hatch cover blew off while driving on the highway once. My fault. I replaced the hatch cover and then added criss-cross bungees across the hatch cover to ensure it stays closed and on the hatch. There isn't much bungee to this kayak, so adding some more is a benefit.


Great boat for paddling on…

Submitted by: ddhdesign on 6/19/2018

Great boat for paddling on the Susquehanna River. Light and rigid, though not as forgiving on rocks. I would not take when river is low. I can carry by myself and load on top a a car.


A beautifully made kayak…

Submitted by: paddler442812 on 6/19/2018

A beautifully made kayak thats a pleasure to use


We purchased our Pungo's…

Submitted by: Fmlancaster on 6/18/2018

We purchased our Pungo's last year after renting for years. We enjoy this one we looked at many and tried many prior to purchase. The seat is very comfortable, and the removable dash system is great to store gear to keep dry and secure. It tracks well in rivers, flat, Class I & II, have not taken it beyond.


Absolutely love the Pungo…

Submitted by: Kimfranklin on 5/30/2018

Absolutely love the Pungo 120! This is my 3rd year now paddling down the St Croix River in the upper midwest region with it. The Pungo has held up amazingly well! Did I mention "river"? All us avid river yakers know far too well the obstacles at times on those rivers. A well constructed solid kyak is crucial, that's why I chose the Pungo 120!


I purchased the Wilderness…

Submitted by: arizonajeri on 8/12/2016

I purchased the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Ultralight and have been using it for a few weeks(at least 15 outings). It is being used on a lake that only has waves if the winds are high. Smooth paddling. I use a Carbon Fiber paddle.

There is a major problem with the boat. From carrying it from my vehicle to the water (short distance approx.30 yards) the flexible cloth handles at the bow and stern which are screwed down into the boat are causing the boat to split/crack under all four screws. The splits are getting progressively worse as I use the boat. I am in contact with the store I purchased it at and waiting to hear from the manufacturer to come up with a solution. Evidently I'm not the only one this has happened too.

Not as important but after the third or fourth outing the letters from the Logo started to fall off. I was supposed to receive new ones but they still have not arrived 1 1/2 months later.

A concern I have but have not yet addressed is the softer plastic might not be as sturdy to climb up onto if over turned in the lake. Seems a little flimsy. I will cross that road when I come to it. I need to practice my re-entry so we shall see what happens.

Otherwise, the boat is wonderful. It glides and tracks nicely through the waters. Its pretty well balanced for the V Chine hull that is has. The seat comes with a few adjustments for good back support. Although if you put too much pressure on the top of the back it can get caught under the back of the cockpit. The bottom pad of the seat has already compressed down. I'm sure after awhile I will probably have to put a pad on top of the seat. The boat is lightweight which makes it easy to load into my vehicle. The large cockpit is nice and roomy but if you where to flip over it could fill up quickly with water because of the large opening.

I also purchased the WS Console for storing small items like my keys, point & shoot camera and my water bottle. Really no other place to put things right in front of you unless you don't mind them just being on the floor of the kayak getting splashed on. Or stashed away in the hatch.

The hatch is a nice feature and the hinged hard top is handy rather than the flimsy rubber ones. It does keep things dry but I have a feeling after awhile the o ring might fail. (Weather here is very hot and is harsh on things like that).

Once the cracking problem is resolved I will be more than satisfied with this boat. I do think that these problems should have been worked out ahead of time especially since such a high price tag is on this boat. $1249 + $79 for the console. My decision in purchasing this kayak was partially based on the Wilderness Systems name and being known for their quality products. I do not feel they lived up to there name in this boat.


My wife and I just got into…

Submitted by: kfbrady on 6/12/2013
My wife and I just got into kayaking. We are in our early 60's and want to do this for a long time, so boat weight was important to us. There are not too many options out there for boats lighter than typical poly, but still relatively affordable. When we tried a few out the Pungo Ultralight was at the bottom of our list, but as soon as we tried one we realized what a great boat it is.

There are obviously compromises made in a 12' rec kayak, but I really think that Wilderness Systems has produced a very good design here - as also evidenced by the Pungo's popularity and longevity.

Anyway, to our surprise (as I'm 6'0" and she is 5'0") we both came home with two identical Pungo 120s. They are quite easy to lift on top of our SUV, track well in the water, maneuver well and are responsive and relatively quick for a smallish boat.

So far we've only been out in them a few times, but we are looking forward to a new hobby that we can hopefully do well into our 70's.


I have read all the reviews…

Submitted by: paddler234435 on 2/20/2012
I have read all the reviews and did not see the reason I bought the boat so here goes.

Initial stability - excellent
Secondary stability - excellent
Ocean ability - limited to shore line cruising
River - Don't know
Lakes - I would not cross a four mile stretch of open water, but that is me.
Boats - 14' Vision Composite; 16'+ Double Vision composite; 16' Swift Saranac; My wife has a 12' Vision composite

Now for my purchase decision.
We have a 63 pound labrador mix that loves to go with us, previously the only way we could do this was for me to take the Double Vision (tandem kayak) with the dog in the bow seat and me in stern. Heavy - cumbersome and although easy enough paddle in smooth conditions a little tough in wind. Lots of research etc and came to the Wilderness Systems 12' Ultralite.

Great tracking very stable easy to paddle, our dog lies in between my feet up towards where the cockpit ends in front and rests her head on the top deck where I've placed foam pipe insulation for comfort. She can shift positions, get up to stretch etc with no stability issues.

Not my favorite boat, but the best boat I could find to take a big dog for a paddle. I did buy floatation bags for the bow area.


I just bought a Pungo 12…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/27/2010
I just bought a Pungo 12 Ultralite to replace an Old Town Otter 138T that performed well but was too heavy for me. On my maiden voyage, I paddled on a windy day from a relatively sheltered part of a big lake around the lee of an island and into 2 to 3 foot waves plus boat chop. I did not have the console because it did not come with the kayak so I was very concerned about taking in water. To my pleasant surprise, the waves washed over the deck but did not splash into the boat and I took in only about a cup of spray.

Otherwise the Pungo was very responsive and tracked and turned better than I expected, much better than the Otter. I'm 6' 215 lbs and it is so easy to get in and out of. The seat is so much more comfortable than the Otter and I love the 40 lb weight. I can easily get it in and out of the lake.
Overall, it does everything it promised and I highly recommend it.


We rented previously and…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/27/2010
We rented previously and finally decided to purchase. After paddling many brands and models we settled on the Pungo 120 Ultralite. For all of the water we paddle in the Northwest the Pungo serves our needs as a flat water boat. The new Ultralite material is basically a thermalform boat of acrylic and plastic. It is more expensive but saves 10lbs. or so off the rotomold boats. I like the big rear hatch for storing gear and the kayak console for storing little stuff. Since it does not have a front bulkhead I used the NRS bow flotation product.

Boat performance, tracking, and stability is great. There are faster boats out there my 12 year old sons Perception Tribute 12 is faster since it is a narrower boat with a soft chine. But for comfort, easy cruising, and a lot of fun you cannot beat the Pungo series.


Bought two Pungo Ultra Lights…

Submitted by: paddler230207 on 6/23/2003
Bought two Pungo Ultra Lights after renting tandems for several years. We love them !!! Paddle in lakes and coastal backwaters. They are very stable, even in wind and currents. We are in our 60s and can't be on the water enough. The seats are great but I agree the foot pedals could be a little bigger. But nothing is perfect but these boats come close.

I rented a Pungo Ultralight…

Submitted by: paddler229858 on 8/5/2002
I rented a Pungo Ultralight and used it in a calm lake. I was really impressed with the light, sturdy struction and the innovative hull design. The Pungo tracked rather straight and was easy to turn. The light weight and sleek V design allows it to get up to speed quickly and maintain that speed easily. The small hatch to keep items dry was handy. The phase 3 seat is superb, best kayak seat I've used! This one's a winner. Why not a 10? Well, it did seem to track slightly to the left and the plastic seam down the middle has some sharp corners. I would still buy this kayak in a heartbeat.

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