Read reviews for the Pamlico 135T 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!
A highlight of this boat is its seats. We are both in our 50s, with some of the usual back pains associated with getting older. The seats have multiple possible adjustments that once you get right, sitting in the boat for hours at a time isn't a problem at all. The adjustable foot pedals are also a big plus. The roomy cockpit opening makes it easy to exit and enter - even for our middle aged bodies with a few extra pounds around the middle.
As others have noted, this kayak has a lot of room to bring along some gear; we usually have a small cooler in the front bulkhead area and a bag with some towels and small items in the hatch. We have recently started to think we could get enough gear into the kayak for an overnight camping trip.
Of course, it's heavier than solo kayaks, but I have moved it by myself for short distances (100-200ft) and have even taken it down off the top of our Jeep by myself without banging it against the vehicle or ground - although it does take the two of us to get it up there. When it's loaded with the basic gear and paddles, though, it would be best to have a kayak dolly even with two people available.
Overall, I would buy another Wilderness Systems boat for sure and would highly recommend this boat for a couple looking to enjoy a day on the water together.
The Pamlico 135T sits low in the water so it doesn't catch the wind or weather-vane. The downside to that positive is...heavy chop is going to find its way into the boat. It'll roll with the wake of passing powerboats, but erratic rollers get you wet. You can anticipate a decent glide once you get it up to speed. With little to no rocker, turning is laborious unlike a canoe.
Another negative is the rear compartment does not maintain water resistance. The seal along the foam is comprised quickly, and without a drain plug, its somewhat a pain in the posterior getting all the excess water out. I appreciate the sliding seat, especially the ability to slide the front seat back to paddle it solo (which gives you tons of room if you are fishing).
All in all, I like the kayak and would get another should this waste away...but it has been extremely durable and survived an airborne loft off the SUV's Thule J hooks at 70 mph...but you can hardly notice. A worthy investment for any twosome.
This kayak is extremely durable as well! After dragging it over sand, rocks, and pavement, there's not a scratch on it! Currently we fit 2 adults and a puppy easily in our Pamlico. Once our puppy is full grown and we venture more into the camping, we intend on getting a 2nd Wilderness single kayak (Pungo 120). Thank you for making a quality product Wilderness Systems! You will be our go-to brand from now on!
My wife and I enjoy spending hours paddling and fishing in the Florida bays, lakes, rivers and creeks in the comfortable seats which give my back great support. We are looking for many years of enjoyment before we pass this down to one of our grandchildren.
I purchased the 135T used. Launched it for the first time this weekend on a large lake in a light breeze. I was very pleased with this kayak. She tracks very well even with just me paddling from the stern. Stable. Turns more easily than I expected (again, with just me turning the from stern). When two are paddling and not in unison (happens often with a ten year old in the bow), we didn't smack paddles as there is good distance between the two people. Balance was fine with me (140 pounds) and child (75 pounds).
My only complaint was that I couldn't get the seat adjusted so it was adequately comfortable. It has plenty of adjustments (seatback pitch and height, under-leg height) and it is padded. So I need to spend a little more time experimenting. Foot rests were well positioned tool.
Finally, I thought that it would be heavy and a bit unwieldy but again pleasantly surprised. I can pick it up on my own and get it into the bed of my truck. If putting it on rooftop racks, you would want help to make it easy.
The seats are excellent, so many ways to adjust we are always comfortable. Get tired take a break let the other paddle. No looking back for each other, can talk without yelling back and forth.
We really love it, took out in our solos once since we bought the 135T. And all we kept thinking was wish we had the tandem with us. The solos will be for guests at the cabin. The tandem will be our boat from now on.
Fast > with 2 paddling it is
Stable > definitely
Storage > lots of space, great dry storage
A Tandem is easy as long as the person in back can keep rhythm with the front. So we have no issue. It is a heavy boat though, but 2 people can handle it. I can move it myself if needed.
And again the Seats in 2012 are awesome, not sure what other year models have.
At 13.5 feet long the Pamlico 135T tracks pretty well for a wide boat (31"). Primary stability is super good on flat water which the kayak is intended for. The flat bottom is great to get into really shallow water, we are fine even into a foot of water. With the front seat adjusted up we don't hit paddles. My wife who sits in the front likes her seat adjusted up pretty far anyway. She's 5' tall, 105 lbs and I'm 5'8" tall, 165 lbs in the rear seat.
Storage is very good. We have 2 dry bags up front under the bow (a 10L and 8L), the stern hatch is small but fits a few items (small 3L dry bag, throw rope and a very small set of kayak wheels). There is additional space behind the rear seat as well. Entry and exit is easy with the super big cockpit. There is a foam block in the bow and a sealed rear bulkhead to help with floatation.
All-in-all a great rec boat if you keep it in quiet flat waters. The large cockpit and wide/flat bottom won't do well in rougher open waters.
Only negatives: it is a bit heavy to load on top of the car rack; the seat comes off it's latched position during handling on/off the car roof (I used a tye-wrap to secure it).
Beware, this kayak is heavy - around 70 pounds and it really takes two people to carry. I get around that with an outrigger in my rack which pulls out 3 feet to the side and helps with loading and unloading.
One great aspect of the Pamlico Wilderness Systems 135T is that it has a flat bottom, so you can place it bottom-down on your roof rack and just strap it down. No need for rollers or special V-brackets to support the hull. I had an after-market drain plug installed in the upper-rear hull. This comes in really handy for draining water out of the kayak. It is too heavy to flip to drain. It also has a large cockpit for easy entry and fishing.
If you want a two-person kayak which also works as a balanced one-person kayak, then the Pamlico 135T is perfect. I look forward to years of family fun with this kayak.
Cheap, sloppy fitting, plastic locking bolt on front seat. SS wire control cables for rudder are looped/crimped thru nylon buckle eyelets for attachment ..only a matter of time b4 the wire cuts thru the nylon ..bad arrangement IMHO! and not easily fixed!! bottom edge of cockpit rim opening is sharp! I bought edge molding for car doors to finish off edges to keep rim lip from cutting into legs. foam chunks in bow and aft are about worthless for flotation. also @ 70 lbs. it's heavy for its size, but with rear seat taken out lots of storage room for things (like a kayak cart, folded up in the back).
For the list price, I think WS could have done a much better job! Seats are comfortable.
The material used is thinner and more flexible. While it probably reduces the weight overall, it makes the boat feel cheap to me.
There is no bulkhead and the small foam inserts in each end for flotation are a joke. They are poorly fitted and one wasn't securely attached. The quality of the seat/rail construction was lacking. There is a lot of play in the front seat where it attaches to the rail that sits in a channel in the floor. Part of the reason is the rail is free floating at the bow. It only stays in place by gravity, so the front seat isn't securely attached to the bottom of the kayak. To make things worse, the engagement of the seat to the rail is by way of a plastic, loose fitting barrel bolt...very sloppy. Having used nicer tandems before, this design and construction was lacking, imo, but it doesn't cost $300 more either, so that's the trade-off.
You are probably wondering why I purchased this yak. The price, roominess, length, intended use and "chunk" factor all played a part. I plan to use it for camping and fishing with my son, so it will get some abuse. I carry my other kayaks around in the bed of my pickup, and this is short enough to do the same. It is durable enough to allow me to "chunk" it in the truck and not baby it like I'd have to if I bought a higher priced, longer, better made unit. It is also pretty stable. I'd give it a higher number if it were half the price, but I can't for that reason.
I'm a utilitarian type of guy. Even w/ its flaws, the boat will serve my needs w/ a little retrofitting (drain plug, bulkhead in rear, paddle holders, new rail holes for front seat positioning, cross-brace/equipment platform behind front seat back for stabilizing center of cockpit and allowing for electronics and rod holder mounting). I'd suggest adding the strap on deck that attaches by way of the cockpit ring. It provides a way to keep cellphones dry. The misc. uses for the tray enhance function for the front seat occupant.
Being a relatively short boat (13'8"), the two seats are necessarily close to one another, so their occupants need to exercise some care to avoid bashing one another with their paddles. It's a very stable boat that's good for a slow, paddle among the calm water of mangroves - a great platform for viewing wading birds, for example. I found that it tracks well in calm water, but handles less well in chop, tending to turn broadside to the waves.
Overall, not bad for a rec boat...
I got this model because of the HUGE open cockpit. I am going to be using it for some scientific sampling, for which I need to tote gear along. I also plan to use it with my 4 year old in the front seat, so she can get out on the water. I wanted the space for gear, and 2nd seat for the kid, but NOT a canoe. This is the best of all worlds.
I've paddled it alone and with said 4 YO in the front seat. I love it either way! With the kid in the front, I threw all gear under the bow deck and pushed her seat forward to even out the weight a little. Worked brilliantly. Paddling alone, I just move the front seat back & voila- I've got a spacious kayak that is a little slower to get moving than my wife's Pungo 120, but once moving it's surprisingly quick and also easy to turn.
I read someone else's review that they spun in wind when alone. No offense meant, but we haven't had that problem at all. Paddled a wide open lake on a very windy day & had no more trouble with this than with the Pungo solo.
I wish it had a bulkhead in the back, but I'm told that was an option. Mine is a factory 2nd due to some scratches on the side, so I really can't complain with how much money I saved.
Simply put, I love this boat.
The weight of the boat is disappointing. I currently load the boat in my Element as I am a block away from the water, but I am concerned about lifting this sucker onto a roof rack in the near future. Still lighter than a canoe - but not by much.
Overall, it has been a great addition and I look forward to having a full paddling summer.
The only drawback I can think of is that it does not have a drain plug. We currently use a sponge to get all of the excess water out after use, but the plug would be a great accessory and we will probably install one in the near future. Bottom line.. Love the kayak, love the quality.
Our main factors were stability and ease of entry-exit, and the Pamlico 135T is great on those points.
My wife sits in the bow seat with the six-year-old between her legs while our little one sits on a foam paddle float, facing backwards, behind the bow seat. (I'm not sure why I bought a paddle float -- if this thing ever flipped, it would suck in so much water there would be no way of getting back in and bailing. But it makes comfy seat.)
It's no speed demon, but with both girls in, that isn't a factor either. My only disappointments are the weight -- it was a bitch to get on top of our SUV, until I built a roller for the tailgate -- and the tracking solo.
I also agree with the other review that suggested a drainage plug. It's a hard boat to tilt to drain.
I had a tough time paddling this boat alone and found it weathercocked like mad in moderate breeze on a lake. Even moving the bow seat all the way back, I got dizzy spinning around, esp. with the wind at my back. Next time I go solo, I'll put in some extra weight. I'm probably going to buy a Tsunami 140 or Capehorn for solo missions without the rugrats.
I have to say what a fantastic kayak. I am 6' 240lbs, wife is 5'3 140lbs. We were comfortable relaxed. The seats are great (not I had a back problem at 1 time), we used it 1st time around in large lake, Piney Run in MD (calm clear), practice run after a learning firstimers class by my son on the Chesapeake Bay.
No turning problems. We were in sync, cutting through the water at a good clip. No turning problems, no slowing problems when we wanted to stop. Great kayaking if you are a birdwatcher. The blue herons were great to watch.
Anyway back to the kayak a fantastic kayak for the beginner I guess to intermediate/according to my son.
A great buy where you get the most bang for your boat. No problem getting in and out of at a pier area, and remote banks, or at boat drop-off areas.
Probably stay with same brand for singles if we decide to get. Now practicing for new challenged in more difficult water areas.
In summary, I don't think you can find a better tandem rec. boat for the money.
Suggested improvement: install a drain plug.
i brought my 13yrs old along, tried out the 135T and 145T in may. the 145T is a lot narrower, not comfortable to sit in, especially the front seat. its a lot easier to tip over as well. not that it happened, but i had a hard time balancing it with a 13yrs old first timer onboard. as for the 135T though one foot shorter, the opening is wider and longer, actually it would hold just as much (if not more) gears as the 145T.
the 135T is not fast with two on it. doesnt turn that well but still easier than the 145T. its very stable. i tried the Phase 3 seats on the 145T, its not that much better than the basic seat i have on the 135T. i stick with the basic setup with the 135T, no rudder, 895Cdn+tax. rather than the 145T at 1099Cdn+tax.
3 months now, i find myself doing solo most of the time. (my kid takes my Tarpon120 all the time.) at first find the 135T doesnt track well and go very slow. after a few trials, i drilled 2 more holes on the center rod, shifting the seat forward, finding the good spot to sit greatly improve the performance of it. i came close to adding the rudder, but i dont need to anymore. when solo, it turns well and tracks well. Tarpon 120 is a lot easier and more fun to be in.
there were a few times i went out in 1-2ft of rough water. 135T handles very well. but it takes on a lot of water from the large cockpit. i wish it comes with the third set of footrest. the tracks are there but there's only 2prs of footrest. now i take the front pair and put it in the middle for solo.
yeah, just like the rest of the 135T owners i got tricked thinking i was getting a 55lbs boat. but now the website changes it back to 69lbs. if not that i would have given a "10" for the rating.
Today, we took it out for the first time and had a wonderful experience. The kayak is short at 13'5" but it is very stable with a very open cockpit (lots of storage space). Although a tandem kayak is purportedly a "divorce boat", when both of us paddled in unison, it moved very rapidly and tracked well. It is listed as 55 pounds but feels heavier. It is easy to store and transport and has a solid feel to it. We had originally intended to purchase a Pamlico 145T. When the 135T became available, we elected to purchase a smaller tandem. The manufacturer indicated the boat has more of the feel of the Tarpon series rather than the other Pamlicos (I wouldn't know if this is correct). It is a great entry level kayak, and although we just returned from our first day of kayaking, I wanted to be the first to review this new model.