Tarpon 120 Ultralite

Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Tarpon 120 Ultralite Description

Ultralite material offers composite-like weight with the roto-molded kayak durability in a Tarpon package. Easy to access gear and manageable size refines pleasure.

Tarpon 120 Ultralite Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit on Top / Open Cockpit
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Wilderness Systems
Tarpon 120 Ultralite Reviews

Read reviews for the Tarpon 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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Lakes, harbor areas,…

Submitted by: paddler807753 on 6/26/2020
Lakes, harbor areas, bays...paddles well. Not built to be the fastest, but very stable and tracks well. The biggest plus - carrying it when wheels are not useable (last 50-100 yards to the water, down a slope, across the beach}. At under 45 lbs, I can carry it with paddle, seat, and stuff without doubling back. After more than 6 years, it's my favorite of the 5 I have. Never had a leak.

I've owned quite a few…

Submitted by: ForBoaten on 6/23/2020
I've owned quite a few kayaks, both SOT and SINK varieties, including a Tarpon 100 in rotomolded plastic. I'm a big fan of the Tarpons in general. This UltraLite version I thought was GREAT as I was carrying it. SOTs are pretty heavy usually but this was SO LIGHTWEIGHT, I loved it... until I got it on the water for its maiden voyage. Rode low in the water... lower than my Tarpon 100 so I knew something was wrong. Then it started feeling downright unstable. Well, turns out that's because it was taking on massive amounts of water, apparently through leaks where the scupper holes meet the body of the kayak. Long story here... WS was very willing to repair it (kudos to them) but I was unable to get it to them. So I had to improvise. I ended up getting some clear waterproof caulk and spreading it with my finger around all the areas where the scupper holes meet the body of the kayak. So far that seems to be working. I've only had it out once since I made my makeshift repairs but it seemed to ride significantly higher and I didn't get more than a few drops of water inside. So I'm going to call that a success. Bottom line, I like this boat a lot but you may need to be aware of it possibly taking on water and you may need to solve it yourself if it's out of warranty. (Again, not WS's fault - they were willing to repair.)

My 10 and 12 foot wilderness…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/19/2020
My 10 and 12 foot wilderness systems are so versatile. I use them for touring, fishing and camping. They can go in rivers big or small. Not too heavy to portage and comfortable enough to make a 225 mile paddle for 13 days. The wilderness system is extremely steady and allows for changing of positions for comfort.

This has been a great kayak…

Submitted by: Rocketdog21 on 9/3/2019

This has been a great kayak and really love many of the features. Didn't have any issues with the hatches leaking even after being hit with a few waves from passing boats. Felt stable but did take a little getting used to the feel. It seems much lighter than my original Tarpon 120 and was certainly easier to move around. It was certainly comfortable fishing for several hours but would like to see a better seat in a future edition.


Well I would say this for…

Submitted by: paddler463884 on 9/10/2018

Well I would say this for the Tarpon 120 is it definitely is fairly stable once you get use to the feel. It is in no way a roller like some yak's I have been in. It tracks okay but seems to want to list to the right slightly and that could be me causing it a bit. Both hatches were dry at the end of a few hour lake jaunt with no issues. I do wish the side portions where one sits was a smooth plastic surface rather than having the gradient feel. Reason being, I would love to mount my GoPro suction mount there for easy access in changing out batteries and just in general access. However, slight behind where one sits is a area conducive but it requires one to reach back and if range of motion is an issue then you are out of luck. This system has plenty of cargo storage area and I use dry bags to carry gear I do not want wet. The hatches seem to all function well and remained dry as I stated earlier. The weight of the system is not terribly bad but more than likely would take two to walk to the cast off point for many. The seat is very comfortable and to be quite honest, I could have gone most of the day in the saddle and been fine. I would however look to the bright color configuration just from the standpoint of being very visible on the waters to high speed boats that may not see you until the last possible second if you have a dark colored version. I like being visible but mine is blue/green and can blend into background vegetation at times and makes being seen my boats with motors traveling fast a potential issue. All in all a great system even if it is not your first but looking to upgrade.


I live on the island of…

Submitted by: paddler234625 on 6/27/2012
I live on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. I started paddling here on Kauai, and before I purchased my Wilderness Adventure 120 UltraLite, I rented every kind of kayak available here (approx. 15 - 20 different kinds).

My Ultralite is the BEST KAYAK for me out of all the ones I rented! I like to paddle out in the Bay, and she handles so well, I surf the waves! I do not know of another kayak that is as fast, responds as well, and is great out in the open ocean and the rivers as well! Another added bonus for the ladies out there, this is so lite, that I can carry it around by myself, and load & unload on /from my vehicle by myself!!!

I LOVE my Wilderness 120 ultralite! I am training right now to paddle down the NaPali Coast, AND paddle back up!!!


Now see, I am a woman, and I…

Submitted by: paddler233954 on 4/20/2011
Now see, I am a woman, and I am v-e-r-y disappointed in this kayak. I moved "up" from a Venus (9'10" SOT made for a woman), which I loved loved LOVED, very maneuverable, is almost like "one" with one's body, one is right there "in" the element... so sad, this Tarpon Ultralite 12. Too long to be maneuverable in tight spots, slim rivers/streams; too bulky, like having a Cadillac in a bar room, doesn't turn fast, etc etc. I turned over in it at least 4 times trying to get it back over waves on the ocean in Sebastian Inlet S.P. yesterday. All my gear fell out many times, had to chase it down in over-my-head water. Also cant get back into it in water over my waist. Very, very, disappointed with this boat. I suppose somebody might want to FISH in it... or do things that are slow-moving... but again, for my exploratory / fun uses, such as estuaries, tributaries, Florida "whitewater" and small streams, and 'surfing' in the ocean ... it's not suitable really.

As a tiny woman, the kayak is…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/14/2011
As a tiny woman, the kayak is perfect. It's light, not overly wide on the inside, and tracks well. Because of it's outside width, I do have to move forward of the seat, and slide back onto it when getting on the kayak. It tracks well, looks great and seems to ride rougher water well. I will try it in the gulf waters soon, and post my results. A good choice for a woman, and great for a man, as my boyfriend finds the kayak enjoyable to ride as well.

I've been paddling a Tarpon…

Submitted by: paddler233942 on 4/13/2011
I've been paddling a Tarpon 12 ultralight in Texas streams and marshes for about 2.5 years. Very nice design and tracks well for a 12 ft. boat, and the 45 lb (approx.) weight is a delight to load and unload. Despite its obvious virtues, I'm getting ready to move on to a heavier (groan) conventionally fabricated boat. The reason is that this yak is too fragile to stand up to an occasional bump from a rock or the inevitable grinding over oyster shell that one encounters in Texas marshes and bays. I developed a lateral split in the keel of my boat recently from some unidentifiable event. I did not know the hole was their until I sank in a marsh.
Great boat for looks and handling-not good for rough work.

Nice kayak much as the…

Submitted by: wrx03 on 11/1/2010
Nice kayak much as the reviews for the Tarpon 120. Love how light it is. But I can see it being fragile, wouldn't use it in any rapids or near any rocks.

very light yak (43 lbs…

Submitted by: paddlepack on 8/26/2010
very light yak (43 lbs without rudder); stable, tracks good, easy to ding hull in ul layup - care should be taken; storage ok, nice looking yak in yellow, would buy again, very pleased with yak.

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