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!
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 thats a pleasure to use
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.