Read reviews for the Pungo 120 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!
Let me start by saying this is my first "recreational" boat. I have 4 kayaks but all day touring boats from Wilderness and Necky. I had originally put a hold on a Hurricane Santee sport 120 but changed my mind to the Pungo last minute because I was concerned about the level of abuse it would sustain.
So I bought this boat as a seller blem. It got a little crushed in the warehouse around the cockpit opening and I got 300 bucks off for the slight cosmetic flaw. Ok with me.
Today I took this boat on two outings. The first up a slowish tidal river with a strong current for about 3 miles and back. I was actually quite impressed at how easily it kept up with the Tsunami 125 and the Necky Looksha 12 I was paddling with. Would I call it fast, no but it was much better than I expected for a wide hull. The boat is rock solid stable and as stated earlier, my experience has been touring baots so this one feels very stout and stable. I also noticed immediately how close to the water it sits, unlike most rec boats that sit way high and are prone to weathercocking. This one sits quite near the water, and the cockpit has enormous opening so unless you're in flat water, you're going to get some water in the boat. Thats the trade off for not blowing around.
Comfort wise this one is a 9 out of 10. I'm 6'3" and 235 lbs. Ive got size 13 feet and finding boats that work for my 35" inseam and big feet is a real challenge. The seat is great, though the backrest is a bit firm, easily solved with a slip over pad. The rest of the seat is excellent. The foot rests are also great and well built as well. They have loads of travel and honestly I think they would work for someone in the 6'8" range. The cockpit is spacious, maybe even cavernous by kayak standards. Its the only boat I own that I can pull my knees up in while seated and can even put my legs over the top and lay back.
Ok so the rest- the boat is wide, 29" wide and thats a lot more width than I'm used too. That said a bigger stronger person can edge it and it does it fairly well. Its got some serious chines and they hold it if you've got the leg strength. The boat tracks straight, really straight! The rear hatch leaks, not terrible but there was water in the rear storage compartment after my trip. Could be the bulkhead, I will investigate.
So who is this boat for? Larger paddler looking for a stable all around kick the crap out of boat that will run rivers, lakes and ponds. Maybe light fishing too. Someone who wants a "fast" rec boat to keep up with friends in day touring boats but just cant handle the snug fit of a Tsunami or Manitou type of boat.
Who its not for- Anyone using it in larger open water. It will get too much water in the cockpit. Small, or weak paddlers- too much boat here for the faint of build. Try it in the 10'6" if you're under 175 lbs.
Overall I really like it. It will probably get more use than any other boat in my growing fleet, just because I think it will be the most versitile and resilient. A definite yes on this one if you're a multi boat paddler.
We are beginning kayakers, ages 67, and have bought two Pungo 120 kayaks last year. Use them mostly on lakes around North Carolina and on the marshes at the sea side. Are pretty much satisfied with the performance with one thing that they are a bit heavier than we thought. Getting them up on a trailer, with each one of us at the opposite end of the kayak, is fine for me but my wife has some problems lifting them on her end. Still able to do that and for the transportation at the lake (100-200 feet) we use a small kayak wheeler instead of carrying one kayak at the time. On the water they are very good unless some heavier boat passes by and creates a wave that may splash the interior of the kayak. Need to position the kayak properly (frontally to wave) to avoid that each time. They point well and are easy to paddle and accelerate. So far we have gone for up to about 8 mile trips each way with no problem.
This is a great recreational kayak. I like the wide cockpit allowing easy access and storing accessories within reach. Not being a great swimmer, the kayak is very stable during rough waters. It tracks well even on windy days. The seat is comfortable especially on day trips. Have owned several kayaks but the Pungo is my favourite.
Purchased this kayak for my wife two years ago, after a fair bit of study on my part and a couple demos on her part. She has hip problems, and needed a slightly wider cockpit. This works fine. The boat appears to be aimed at the entry level user, but it has lots of great features, tracks well, and has the most-comfortable seat I've found. No keel or rudder, though it appears you can add the rudder later. Still, performance is fine in small chop and moderate winds. My wife, who I thought would be more timid about it, actually loves it when a small boat goes by and sends us some waves. This is due to the very high stability of the unit. If she was in my Elie Strait 140 XE, which is a very good boat for its intended purpose, she would not be so excited. The Pungo comes with two good compartments and a "dashboard" which stores a water bottle and few other items. It has a small lockable compartment on top that is very difficult to open, regardless of weather, temperature, or any other factor, so it goes unused. This is a small problem, yet the biggest one we see. Weight is respectable -- I can put it on the car roof by myself. At age 62, that's a plus.
My husband and I bought our kayaks 6 years ago as a Black Friday special. We bought them without any research or knowledge of this brand. For the past 6 years, I have been saying it is the BEST money we have ever spent. We go almost every weekend in our home state of Tennessee. In fact, we say we've been outside more than ever since we've bought them. We have kayaked all over our state oand taken them with us on camping trips to other states: Florida, Georgia, South Dakota, and my favorite - Wyoming. We can kayak for hours as the seats are so comfortable. We've had them in lakes, rivers and bays. We have bought 2 more Wilderness kayaks so that our children or friends can go with us. I blog about every trip and it's been a great resource for others. I'll keep paddling this kayak for as long as I can!
The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 has been a near perfect recreational kayak with a sufficient amount of storage, comfortable seat, straight tracking, and a descent amount of speed on the water. The detachable work-deck is conveniently placed and offers extra storage complete with 2 cup holders. I would highly recommend this easy-to-use kayak to novice paddlers, as well as seasoned kayakers too.
My first kayak and very happy that I bought my own.Been renting some very bad ones in past. The pungo is a very good handling kayak Can't believe the difference between the rentals that I have been using in past to the Pungo NICE!!!!
Tracks well, cuts through the water nicely. Seat is decent enough, could be a tad more cushy but it does the job well. A tad heavy, but its a study, solid construction. You can't go wrong with it.
My wife and I both have been using the Pungo 120. From the first moment we tried it, we were hooked on kayaking. If you are a beginner, it is most stable. For recreational kayaking, I cannot imagine a more comfortable kayak. Unless you plan to begin competitive kayaking or intend long paddles, this is likely to be a longterm use kayak.
I love this kayak. It is lightweight and has been a gem for fishing. Plenty of room and I find it comfortable even being 6 ft.
The pungo is a very stable and fast kayak. There is plenty of room and the open cockpit is great for my daughters who don't like to be covered over so much. It is reasonably light weight and very durable.
The best all around recreational and fishing kayak I have tired. While not fishing specific it is so stable and roomy I have some of my best days on the lake fishing out of this boat. There is a reason you see some many of them in rental fleets, ANYONE can paddle this boat and enjoy their time on the water
First Kayak purchase, went straight to the best!!!
Having bought my Pungo 12 in 2002 and just recently bought my wife a 2017 Pungo 120 there are some notable differences. So apples and oranges. The hull of the 2017 is not as sharp chined as the '02 making for a little side slipping. The keel area is a little softer (rounded) and doesn't track as well as the '02 but all in all still an easily managed kayak on the small meandering streams that we are close to. Big water such as lakes and shore area bays it handles quite well. The amenities, aft bulk heading, bigger access aft hatch, the new seat configuration, and the "dash" are nice, the seat being very nice. We bought this because we do a lot of overnight, some longer camp/kayaking and her WS Bandit couldn't handle the gear. As of now we have 2 Bandits for the grandkids, 2- 12' Pungos and 2 105' Aspires. Four stars only because of the differences between the hulls. But it is my wife's and she thinks it should get 5 stars. Just for info I paid $359 in '02, in 2017 $739 on sale.
However...When something breaks such as seat components you can forget about any good customer service from the company. The parts I needed for a 2 year old kayak could not be ordered from the company. They did not have them! I had to order from somewhere else. I feel I was lucky to get the parts from a secondary company. Phase 3 seat parts. I can no longer recommend the company, (even though they have a good product), if they no longer support their products. If buy a product I expect to be able to get parts when it breaks otherwise it ain't no good. Telling it like it is.
I bought the Pungo 120 2 years ago, and have been very pleased with the stability of the boat. It is being used on lakes, where I paddle for a workout. Easy to get in and out of, and isn't too heavy considering it is a 12 foot boat. I used to have an Old Town canoe (14'7"), and that was much harder to maneuver. It was also very tippy. For what I want to do, the Pungo 120 is a good fit for me.
I have a 5 or 6 year old Pungo 12, and am very happy with it. I have to disagree with the reviewer who called it very tippy. I find it VERY stable and comfortable. I use it mostly on a large man-made lake and sometimes in tidal tributaries of Chesapeake Bay, both of which can be subject to strong winds, and the Bay waters can have strong tides as well as wind. I've also used it on an overnight camping expedition, carrying gear on the Potomac River through stretches of Class I & II rapids and one near-Class III, and it's performed well in all situations.
The hull design with chines and a narrow fin at the stern allow it to track pretty well without a skeg. I've stood up in it on flat water to scout rapids ahead with no problems. It holds a surprising amount of gear in the stern hatch and under the fore deck. I find the seat and large cockpit comfortable, and there's enough space for a small dog.
Yes, it's harder to track in crosswinds, but so is any small boat. At 49 pounds, it's light enough for this 71 year old paddler to wrestle it on top of my car.
If there's a downside, it's not particularly fast, and on flat water, even with a current, it doesn't have much glide. I can live with that because when I'm on the water, I'm in no hurry, and hate to have to take out. ;)
The current price on these has nearly doubled since I bought mine, but I'd still consider a new one a good value compared to other models.
I don't know where all of these reviews came from but this is a piece of crap kayak. Never have I paddled a kayak so tippy and it doesn't even move smoothly through the water. Save your money, buy a cheap kayak from Walmart, unless you really want compartments to put your things.
Great kayak for a beginner. It feels very stable in the water and tracks well. This model has been around a while but still a great choice for recreational use in lakes and rivers and protected salt water areas which living in Florida is the limit of my experience so far.
Plenty of room in the cockpit to move around and carry a full tackle box. Crosswinds can be a little problematic for this particular boat. Without crosswind it tracks really well for what it is. Works fine in slow moving rivers too. Beginners are very comfortable with this kayak.
The seat is very comfortable and easy to adjust. I have spent 6 hours fishing in it and did not get any butthurt or sore legs. I have a bad back and need a little recline to sit back and stretch occasionally and it is very easy to make happen in the Pungo.
Did I mention how light it is? I was originally going to purchase a 10 footer because I wanted something under 50lbs, for them days that I want a quick paddle and don't feel like lugging my heavy s.o.t.. This fit the bill perfect weighing just under that mark.
I am very happy with my Pungo 120.
My wife and I recently purchased two Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 kayaks. After extensive research and trial we settled on the Pungo 120 because of its stability, seat comfort, ease of entry, and most of all its hull design and glide through the water. We have been very impressed with the design of the boat and love being on the water in it.
However I was very disappointed that both boats had manufacturers defects showing a real lack of quality control by Wilderness systems. Boat #1 had a significantly displaced bulkhead with gaping gaps, The dry well hatch is torqued and does not close or seal properly. Boat #2 the combing is deformed towards the bow which prevents the console from properly fitting such that any bump from a knee etc... it will pop off. This boat too the bulkhead needed some added sealant.
Our retailer was very good in that for Boat #1 they discounted it immediately and then for Boat #2 they gave us a discount after we realized the console would not stay on due to the warped combing (which by the way does not appear to want to go back to normal after being in the sun with a brace in place to help it along).
Overall I highly recommend the boat and do not regret our purchase, just make sure you inspect it carefully before you walk away. Better to catch any problems before you leave the retailer. Come on Wilderness get your quality control in order, your a big brand and a major player I expect better. Recently I looked at an Old Town Loon 120 which has a similar hull design, better hatch covers, and a console that secures well to the combing, plus the one I looked at seemed to all work as it should. Look out Wilderness you can't live by brand name alone for too long, the competition is going to catch up or pass you by if you keep delivering defective products.
My wife Gail and I went to an event at a local lake which allowed us to try-out many different Kayaks from several manufactures. The Best by far was the Pungo 120 from Wilderness Systems.
I am 6'4" tall and I was able to fit into it nicely. There is about 13 inches of space in cockpit area for the feet rests. I wear a size 12 shoe and I fit nicely.
I understand that this cockpit is the largest in the industry that also allows you to wear a spray skirt.
The Pungo 120 is 12 feet long and tracked very nicely in the water. I was able to make it move very swiftly and it was not effected too much by the wind like several other Kayaks I tried were. The seat is adjustable in several ways and ensured a comfortable ride.
While more pricey than basic Kayaks from a big box store, the Pungo 120 is well worth the money. When buying a Kayak, you get what you pay for.
I bought my pungo 120 this spring. I am very impressed with it. Last year I bought a little sit on top to see if I would enjoy being out on the water. Enjoyed it so saved for this new kayak and it is 100% better than the sit on top for staying dry and the tracking is wonderful. We live in a windy area and having that easer control has been nice. The removable dash is a great feature to give you more room in front for the kids or dogs in there with you. The durability of the plastic was a key feature for me to be able to pull it out on rough shores and not worry about damage.
I have been paddling the Pungo 120 by Wilderness for the past 10 years. The hull with the exception of a few deep scraps from oyster bars has held up well and allows great tracking. It handles well even in tight areas while fishing in the Gulf, lakes or rivers around Florida and other states. It easily adapts to fishing or touring due to it's stability and speed.
We bought 2 Pungo 120's last spring from REI, they were very good to work with. I did a lot of research before buying. I decided on the Pungo 120 because they are one of the most stable Kayaks in the world! We have tried to tip them over and they are very hard to tip over. You literally have to tip them until the cockpit reaches the water line. If you can tip it that far.
They are great in windy conditions, they take waves very well. They track very good. They may be a bit slower than other kayaks, but speed is really not the issue when you are out on the lake just cruse'n around!
I tried a Perception kayak and it felt very unstable. I felt like I was going to tip over if I moved the wrong way. I asked the guy about it and he said the were build for speed. Not sure way stability needs to be sacrificed for speed?
I have looked at all the Wilderness System Kayaks and they have a full range to choose from, but I think one of their biggest strengths is their stability in each and every model they make. I would get another Pungo, maybe the 140 or a sit on top model. We love them!
After a year or so of research on recreational kayaks, it came down between the Pungo 120 or Current Designs Solara 120. Ended up getting the Pungo due to a package deal and sale that I couldn't refuse. When it arrived, I unpackaged and looked it over carefully. The plastic seemed pitted pretty bad. This is a process in the molding. The "dry hatches" seemed to leak a little bit, but not enough to freak out about. The seating system is good. The one thing is the back rest strap system should be ratcheted. It keeps coming undone slowing over time. No big deal though. It's a little bit slower of a kayak but works. Also is the industry standard for first time buyers or in some cases repeat.
Overall, a good kayak, but look for the late fall, early spring deals. It's not worth the brand name retail price. For the $875 price, it should at least have a set of bungee paddle holders.
Purchased the Pungo this spring, used it a dozen times, really pleased with it. I am a senior and find it easy to lift and to get in and out of.
After diligent research, including here, I started kayaking at 67 on Sep. 5, 2015 and purchased the Pungo 120 on the 7th. In four weeks have been on 20 outings and more than 75 miles. On Kansas lakes, have experienced 30 mph winds and 3' waves on two occasions without difficulty. My average speed cruising is 4 mph and have achieved 7.4 (faster downwind in 30 mph winds)
The 120 loves going into the wind and waves and rides well with waves and wind to stern or broadside. Great boat for me. Will get a 140 in the spring. It will accommodate my disability and size from military service a little better. Will keep the 120 for my aerobic and anaerobic workouts. Have lost 20 pounds and BP is fantastic.
I have had my two Pungo 12's for just over a year now. We use them mostly for river paddling and absolutely love them. The sales folks recommended the shorter one (instead of the 14') for river use and it "fits" river use perfectly.
But as far as handling and ease of movement the wilderness Pungos are great!!! I own a small kayak rental business (Lake Isle Kayaking Adventures) in Central Alberta on Lake Isle, and by far the most favorite kayak is your Wilderness Pungo!!
My old Pungo 120 has served me GREAT! It's taken me through rough water, calm water, and into places with almost NO water depth. It's light as a feather and stable. A tough little boat that has been a good friend. It did develop a crack where the seat bolts to the cowling. I put an aluminum plate with through bolts in a couple of years ago... no problems. In rough water, it will take on water if a spray skirt isn't used. I've flipped it intentionally and was able to get in, paddle to shore, with the hull still filled with water. Great, safe, little boat that can take normal abuse.
After 3 years of research and evaluation of multiple kayaks, and after a lot of deliberation I purchased this Wilderness Systems Pungo (as well s 3 other Kayaks for my family and will review those as well). I am very happy with this kayak! I have now used this boat in the Great Lakes, 30 mile passages, Kokosing River Water Trail, Mohican River Water Trail, many many local rivers, including Class I-III rapids. I've paddled approximately, 800 miles with this boat (tracked with a GPS and log).
I've waited to write an evaluation until I could give a real testament after I used it well. I had many questions when I began looking and searching for a kayak. Money does not grow on trees, so I had to make every penny count. I hope this helps whomever is looking at the Pungo series.
Tracking: Tracks like an arrow. The displacement hull and design lend to a very well behaved and predictable tracking boat. Even with poor paddling technique the boat will go where you tell it to go. The hull shape provide incredible efficiency.
Stability: Stable. Very stable. Again, the hull design of this boat is all about stability and efficiency. Even while edging the platform is solid and stable. Being touted as one of the "most stable kayaks" in the industry, I was reluctant to buy into the hype, until I tried it. The well managed and relatively soft primary chines give this boat excellent handling characteristics that beginner and novice paddlers will like and stability that is exceptional! The low gunwale and steep angling to the deck offer a rather wide boat, but the step angle does not effect a low-angle paddling technique or a high-angle paddling.
Cockpit and keyhole: As a reference; I am 6'4 and weigh 256 lbs. The seat on this kayak is the best I've sat on in any recreational kayak. It;s adjustability is nice and the material that it is made of allows water to quickly drain so you are not sitting in water constantly (like on my Dagger Zydeco). The seat is far better than that on my $1,200 kayak! Adjusting the seat can be done very easily while you are sitting in the boat, which is great! However, if you have the seat-back in its highest position, it can make self-rescues (ladder rescues) from the rear a bit difficult. I would recommend lowering the seat back (which is very easy) prior to beginning your climbing.
The keyhole is enormous and makes get in and out a breeze. With the Cockpit Console it feels much smaller. The watertight compartments are well within reach and easy accessible while sitting in the cockpit. A GPS, 32 oz Nalgene water bottle, or a smaller water bottle fit perfectly. Footpegs / braces are easily adjustable and offer many positions and are sized well. Not too big to get in the way if you want to stretch out. Because the cockpit keyhole is so large you can take on a lot of water if you are in a heavy sea (such as in the Great Lakes, where I paddle frequently. But this can be overcome with good technique).
Rear "watertight" compartment. This is where I had to decrease my overall evaluation number from a 10 to a 9. The material of the bulkhead and / or the sealing adhesive separated at the hull and permits water to enter this stowable area. Not that big of a deal really, but, defeats the purpose of having a watertight area. I have noticed that on my boat I have less sealant applied than on my other Wilderness Systems boats. Just an observation.
Deck rigging is nice. Typical of most recreational kayaks. Not a lot. Not too little. No paddle park or paddle holder. I have only added a Navisafe 3-color Navigation light for nighttime excursions (which I HIGHLY recommend!). It fit perfectly onto the forward area of the deck where the WS logo sticker is. I simply removed it and attached it with the hardware. It was money well spent for Nav Lights that are simple, work well and ease to use.
If I had it to do all over again... I would totally do it again! I love this kayak. It is well behaved, stable, comfortable and efficient. bIt would be VERY difficult to find a boat like this at its price point of $875.
Other gear: NRS Clearwater PFD, Navisafe tri-color navigation Light, Bending Branches Whisper 240 Paddle.
Shout Out to The Outdoor Source in Upper Arlington, Ohio. The staff (and owner) were extremely knowledgable, helpful, and friendly with superior service. If you are in Central Ohio or North Central Ohio... do yourself a favor and go there!
I recently purchased a new WS Pungo 120 from LL Bean to add to our fleet...which consists of 5 more Wilderness System kayaks. On our way home we stopped for gas and immediately noticed that the Pungo was oil canning (denting) in the sun. (Yes, it was a hot day, but I'm in New England, not New Mexico!) After examining the kayak more closely we realized how thin the plastic was, no comparison to our others. So we turned around and returned it! LL Bean was wonderful about the return, just guessing that maybe the company is just trying to lighten their kayaks?!? Personally, I'll manage the extra few pounds in exchange for a tougher, more ridged boat that tracks well!
My Pungo 120 is my first kayak and I really like it a lot. Currently I'm mostly in lakes in Nebraska, but it handles well. Its easy to control and the light weight body is easy to handle out of the water by myself. Its comfortable and easy to spend time in it. The only thing is its not a real fast kayak, but for a recreation kayak its perfect and worth the cost.
I received my Wilderness systems Pungo 120 as a birthday present and i love it. Its got a huge cockpit to fit both me and my dog, and still lots of leg room. It tracks well, esp in bigger waves, and has a comfortable seat. Mt only complaint is that as a lady who has Osteoarthritis in most of her body adding 2 handles (kind of like small towel bars) on the cockpit would make getting in and out a lot easier as it is, there's barely enough to grab a hold of to pull myself up into a standing position!! (which is the only way I can get in or out??) But the easability of handling the kayak out on the lake is top notch!!
I've taken this kayak on overnight kayak trips and I've been able to pack all my overnight gear I've needed. The carrying handles and seat are in great condition still after eight years. It's smooth and quick on the water.
I'm giving this kayak a 9 out of 10.....and not 10 out of 10, only because it is heavier and......well I can't lift it on top of my vehicle by myself, but maybe I need to start lifting some weights. If you're looking for a sturdy, strong kayak that would be great from small lakes, to big lakes, to ocean kayaking, to overnight trips.....this is the kayak for you!
First, I'm rating this kayak as a purely recreational boat and not in the broader spectrum of all kayaks. If short distance outings on calm water are all you're looking for then this is a great kayak. The highly touted Phase 3 Seating System is as good as advertised. The seat is cool, supportive, and very adjustable.
The kayak in general is very comfortable. The ridiculously large cockpit gives ample room to not only get in and out, but also to move around while paddling. The cockpit is also large enough to carry some gear, a child, or even a dog. The rear hatch compartment has even more storage space that stays dry. I never had a problem with leakage, but then again, the stern deck is very high and you would not be out in any waves here. The orbital hatch levers are easy to use.
The Pungo tracks very straight and is relatively fast for its class of kayak. You can manage some slight edging to aid in turning but the Pungo is built to stay upright. For safeties sake I would recommend a flotation bag in the bow. I was caught off guard when a wind storm suddenly kicked up on a large lake and the Pungo is not made for these conditions. Water broke over the bow and into the cockpit. I was never in real trouble but I could see how easy you could get there if in any worse conditions. I sold my Pungo after a few outings because I could see that I wanted to do more than the Pungo was capable of.
If you want to develop your skills as a paddler and go on trips over 10 miles, then the Pungo is not for you. As I said in the beginning, it is a recreational kayak.
My first fishing kayak. Great boat, very stable. It has easy access for getting in and out with a large opening, and a skirt is available for it as well. Wish the thief that took it from my truck had just walked on by. Most everyone who paddled it, liked it. It is good for all skill levels. Rotomold plastic was tough and durable.
I love my Pungo 120. It tracks easy and is very steady . Nice large cockpit and a very comfortable adjustable seat. It has a dashboard with cup holders and a mesh bag with a velcro close tab and a dry well. I recommend this kayak to anyone looking for a great recreational kayak.
I have had two Wilderness Pungo 120's and they are the most stable kayak on the market. If you're fearful of or not comfortable on the water, this is the kayak for you. The cockpit is huge so there's no chance of getting trapped in it if you were to tip over, which is highly unlikely in this 12 ft. boat.
I've had the Pungo 120 for a few years now and enjoy it tremendously! I have a lake just a block away and feel very comfortable to go out in the boat alone, however, my husband drops me off and knows where I will be. My course is close to the edge and I don't go out towards the middle where the "big boys" are. There is no difficulty in keeping up with other paddlers and when there are waves I don't fear of tipping as it is pretty stable. There is plenty of room for whatever I want to bring along.
I have two Pungos. I have had a Pungo 140 for ten years and a year later I bought the Pungo 120. I love both boats. They are fantastic for paddling in lakes. Extremely stable, easy to get in and out of with the big cockpit, but best of all they have the most comfortable seat of any kayak I have ever tried.
My husband purchased 2 kayaks, a new one for me and a used one for our kids. We had kayaked last summer using a much shorter kayak which was harder to maneuver.
The first time trying out the Pungo 120 I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it was to maneuver. It moved through the water quickly and stayed on the straight and narrow. It turns with ease. My 6 and 8 year old had no problems paddling their kayak once they got used to it.
It does not seem tippy. They are easy to get in and out of. The cockpit is is roomy. The seat is adjustable and very comfortable. We were kayaking for several hours and was comfortable the whole time. There seems to be sufficient storage although our trips do not require us to carry much. I would like to do more fishing so I would like to get an attachment to place my pole. The kayaks are fairly lightweight. They have handles at both ends that allows my children to help me carry them. We plan to use them mostly on small quiet lakes and are quite content with these kayaks.
I have owned my kayak for two years, and have been very happy with it's performance. I am over sixty, and when kayaking with a group, I am way ahead, which speaks to the ease of handling. It really glides through the water, turns easily, very responsive.
I bought this size kayak to accommodate other larger, taller users. To my delight, even the younger 10 year olds are able to have fun with this yak! It is too heavy for me to portage by myself. Luckily there is usually some around to help. I highly recommend this model if you need to accommodate many differing size humans, And by the way, the cockpit is large enough to bring a medium sized dog or younger child in front of you!
I kayak in local lakes, so before I bought my own boat, I tried out a lot of different brands and models. A lot of people seem to like this boat, because I see a lot of them around, but while I like the length, the Pungo series simply didn't do much for me. I liked the Tsunamis much more, but then, that's really comparing apples and oranges, since the Pungo is more of a recreational model, whereas the Tsunami is more of a touring model.
If this type of kayak is what you like, then you'll probably be very happy with it, but I preferred the touring models
I picked up the next-to-latest version of this boat used last month for $450, paddle and vest included. It still has the rubber hatch and the older, less plush version of the Phase 3 seat. I'm going to sell it, but not because it's a bad boat.
It's a fantastic rec boat for big guys. Wildy really has an interesting design here. This is the only boat I've seen that combines both extreme stability and decent speed. The Pungo has a long waterline and a bulbous cockpit. Nearly impossible to flip, but it still goes like a rocket in smooth water. This is a great boat for lazy, stagnant summer days on smooth lakes and streams.
As with any hull design, there are tradeoffs. Here, the tradeoff is that the Pungo can't turn very well, and it turns into a helpless windvane/cork when chop kicks up. It also has a strange wake action that will cause it to lurch away from the shore if you get too close at cruising speed.
I'm selling the boat, because it doesn't work well as a kid-carrying boat. The hull is not flat enough, and there is very little room under the combing to fit my muscular thighs. It might work better for an older, taller kid, but not my 2yo.
It's not news that this is a fantastic rec boat. Some reviews have mentioned sharp edges under the accessory console which can cause irritating thigh scrapes. An easy and effective fix for this problem is to apply U-shaped edge trim available at auto accessory stores to the sharp edge under the console. I used Cowles Truck/SUV Edge Trim #S37203 for the job- five minutes to install, a custom fit, and (most important) no more scrapes.
I retired in 2012 so we decided to purchase 2 kayaks after renting, borrowing, etc. The staff at the EMS local store and friends in the AMC voted for the Wilderness Pungo 12. We have been very pleased with these boats; extremely stable, track very well, nice features including the dashboard (sometimes we don't bother with it on short paddles) and the rear hatch. This is definitely the best recreational kayak made. At AMC paddling nights almost everyone has this boat.
I got hooked on kayaking when a friend took a few of us out in her Aquaterra boats in 2000. One of those friends then went out and bought a Pungo 100. I borrowed that for 2 yrs, and had to have my own, so in 2006 I finally bought (my first...) 120!
In 2009, I started a kayak rental & excursion business. I bought several boats on Craiglist in a variety of brands. I have always been 'sold' on the stability and comfort of the Pungo, so in the past 2 yrs. I have liquidated my 'other brand' kayaks, and now have only Wilderness boats - Pungo's alone are 2 140's - 2 100's - and 4 120's!!! Unfortunately, because my customers are so comfortable with my kayaks... they go out and buy their OWN Pungo's!! Now, if only I could get a commission...... (or demo's for my rentals???)
I bought this kayak as an upgrade from another that I had bought at a big box store. After a lot of research online, this one seemed like the one to go with. I almost went with a Pungo 140, but that would have been a bit too big for paddling lakes and slow rivers like I do.
This is a great kayak for larger paddlers (I'm 6' with a large frame). I never have issues with getting in or out, and have plenty of room to move around. The boat rides well for my size. The website for Wilderness Systems says this boat will hold up to 325 lbs. I'd say if you get past 275 lbs, you are pushing it though. Beyond that, it will ride low and maybe be harder to control.
Plenty of storage for a day out. You could stuff a dry bag in the bow, have even more storage there. I think it would handle gear for an overnight trip if you were a minimalist.
The boat rides well on flat water, and in a little bit of chop. It's noticably slower to turn then my old 10' kayak, but it's not too bad.
I have a couple of minor issues with this boat.
Overall a great boat, only minor complaints.
After using an Sea Eagle 2 person inflatable kayak solo, I realized I needed another kayak, either a solo inflatable or hard shell. After testing a friends Wilderness Pungo 120 I was sold!
As a fifty-six year old female, I appreciate the wider cockpit and console features. Nice to have a thermos of coffee within reach, or a waterbottle on a hot day. As I watch others struggle to enter their kayak, I climb in easily and never feel unstable as long as I watch my foot placement. The Pungo 120 moves through the water straight and is a joy to paddle! I'm totally happy with my purchase and see this kayak lasting me many years.
I love my Pungo 120. It tracks well n the water and is very comfortable. I love the added console where I can have my camera, sunglasses, water bottle within arms reach.
The Pungo is a well balanced boat it likes to be in the water. There's ample leg room, the foot braces adjust easily and comfortable thigh padding. Wilderness Systems uses the AirPro phase 3 seating system in their line of kayaks. This seat is very comfortable and supports my lower back which is outstanding. There's several adjustments you can make on the seat to get that just right feeling. All adjustments can be done while on the water, straps and handles are right at your reach which works for me as I tend to have lengthy treks. The Pungo tracks true at cruising speed and my "ramming speed" while in my exercise mode.
While practicing self rescues without a skirt, I don't have one yet, the Pungo will dump you right out when capsizing. Exiting under water is no issue. I've climbed on top of the inverted boat without a hitch. Mimicking the sea touring kayaks I've also performed the remounting by sliding up the rear of the boat and entering the cockpit. The only hitch there was my PFD clips snagged the rear hatch cover and latches but with adjusted technique was over come. The hatches were water tight considering my occasional flailing over it. The console attachment is nice to carry things and it's shade on my legs is always a blessing in the desert sun.
The bottom line is the Pungo will handle the water well and comfortably. I've put the Pungo through some rough testing and she took it with a hitch. The Pungo is not a Ferrari nor is it a toy, she's a good kayak. Very satisfied. As a reviewer, nothing gets a ten except my wife.
We were looking for a family activity and after all the research was done the Pungo line from Wilderness Systems seemed to be the winner. Couldn't be happier (good thing as we bought 4) Quality is excellent.
As a beginner I don't have much to compare to, other than research and experienced friends' opinions but as far as my opinion they are easy to use seem stable enough (I'm a big guy so my center of gravity sits a little higher than the rest) nice features to keep newbie comfortable. I particularly like the seating system as it is adjustable not only can you make it fit you, but during a longer outing you can change it to stay comfortable. The orbix hatch lid is a nice feature, easy to access and easy to close.
My only regret is, being bigger I wish my sales person had steered me to the 140 instead of the 120, the 120 handles me just fine but as it sits a little low in the water its tough keeping up with my wife some days...
I researched kayaks online for a couple of years and tested some in the water. My husband and I went with the Wilderness brand. The Pungo was in our price range, they track extremely well and the seats are so comfortable. This is a great intermediate kayak for mild rivers and lakes. We are so pleased with our purchase.
The boat is surprisingly more stable than anticipated, tracks well, and turns with little effort. My boat has the optional console which is very functional for holding small objects, gear, bottles, etc. If they could drop 7 to 10 pounds weight, rating would be a 10.
I've had the Pungo 12 for over 15yrs and it has received hard use. Duck hunting in mud marshes, striper fishing in the bay wk end float and camps. Phase 3 seat has never broke, just had to replace the lining where my boney ass wore it out. Now looking to buy a Pungo 10 for my grandkids. My Pungo was $329 still in the clear plastic bag... Also bought 2 Wilderness Systems Bandits at the same time. I'm big on eye catching lines and these have 'em. I give these recreational type yaks from Wilderness 10 across the board.
Very high initial stability due to the hard chines. Over-sized cockpit and adjustable foot braces allow almost anyone to paddle this kayak. Smaller paddlers will even find enough room for fido (so long as he's not a Great Dane)
Very comfortable. I am tall and it is important to have a kayak that I can fit in. This gives me plenty of leg room. The Pungo 120 does the job and was within my budget.
I now own two of these (bought one for my wife too) and have spent a significant amount of time in both. One is set up for fishing and the other is stock (right off the shelf). I am 5'8" and the kayak is very comfortable and stable. I have spent a lot of time on lakes fishing. Fishing is the reason it did not get a 10. Do to the limit on space and ease of being able to access the rear storage area. I did the South Dakota Kayak Challenge in my stock one. 72 miles on the Missouri river in a 12 foot kayak is not recommended, but I finished. I was one of the few that finished in a recreational kayak. I love this kayak and think it is a great starter kayak for anyone because of ease of paddling and stability.
I have owned my Pungo 120 for 4 years. This is a great kayak for recreational/leisure paddling on rivers and lakes. It does awesome on faster flowing rivers with rapids no greater than category II, and it tracks very well.
The Pungo 120 has plentiful storage in the back compartment, tons of leg room and I love the removable console. Removing the console, allows me to take my two smaller dogs with me. This kayak is also very manageable for me to lift into the J-cradles on my car. I would highly recommend this kayak to anyone who is looking for a great recreational paddle. I have absolutely gotten what I paid for, and more!
I do like this Pungo I bought from LL Bean. I use it for river and lakes, provide there are no rapids greater than II. The cockpit is roomy, foot pegs are easy to adjust while you are in it, its also really easy to open and close back hatch while you are in it. The Pungo tracks well too.
If you plan on padding through any rapids greater than II, this is not the right kayak for that as water will dump into the cockpit. It's also a little heavier than I would like, but it could be the extra material needed to seal off the back hold.
Great all around kayak we have had our boats for two years now and love them. They track well on lakes and maneuver well on rivers. The Pungo is a great recreational kayak. Simply put the price is right for the quality you get with this one.
I've had my Wilderness Pungo 120 for two years. I use it almost everyday giving kayak tours several times a week at a state park in Florida., including a monthly moonlight tour. The park has several other bands of kayaks which I have access to but my Pungo 120 is my preferred choice. It's stable, has a large cockpit, tracks well and has very comfortable adjustable seating.
The Pungo 120 is a great boat over all but does a couple flaws. The dash board has very sharp edges and if you get in rough water you will slice your shins wide open. Bleeding on the river is never fun. Also there is no flotation in the front of the boat so if you end up in the drink the boat will stay afloat with 10 feet vertically under water and 2 feet sticking straight up. Needless to say you can not drag this sunk boat anywhere yourself. I called the company and they told me I would need to buy an airbag to stick up there. I just thought it was awesome they knew about this issue and are still selling the boat for $869.00. So I ended up spending another $50.00 big ones to make the boat safe.
The Pungo 120 is a great rec hybrid. Kayak. It is a solid platform with great stability, tracks surprisingly well and handles great. It is a winner for a kayak that will handle flat as well as fast, tricky water (Class III ). The seating system I believe is the best available with an ample cockpit. The only negative item is that the rear hatch is not fully waterproof, but is only a minor note. This kayak will meet most needs except long distance touring or very technical whitewater.
I am 70 - soon to be 71 - AND overweight,
aren't the properties to take out in a kayak, but my wife and I bought Pungo 100s, which lead to a Pungo 120 for me. So easy to get into - and out of - with it's large cockpit, adjustable seat and foot pegs, it's a "no brainer" for larger (and older) paddlers like myself!
Thank you Wilderness Systems!
Very stable kayak! As a larger paddler (230 lbs), the large cockpit is nice and has enough room for me to paddle with my 3 year old sitting in front of me. Tracks pretty well and is quite maneuverable. The seat is also very comfortable. I would highly recommend for a beginner kayaker like myself.
I purchased my Pungo 120 1 month ago. This kayak is awesome! It glides through the water with ease and is built well. The seat is very comfortable and has many adjustments. The dashboard is great also....no sharp edges on it as someone else stated. If you are in the market for a recreational kayak and want a reliable, well built one with many features and comfort.....Pungo is the way to go!
We just purchased our 3rd Pungo 120 as a guest Kayak. When company comes to the cabin people see the kayaks and a conversation begins. Most people have zero kayak experience. Once we get them into a Pungo 120 they are pleased with the adventure they just experienced. And talk about how much they enjoyed it. Well, that presented a problem because one of us sitting out while the other played kayak guide. So a 3rd Pungo 120 joined the family. We decided to purchase the same so our guest could keep up with us and not feel like they got the cheap kayak. Or that one of us would feel like we should give up our Pungo and take the cheap kayak. So what the heck we popped for a 3rd and we are happy we did. We are also happy that we have never had a bad experience with a 1st timer that could not wait to get back to shore. We are happy with our Pungos and happy to share the experience. When our guest return kayaking is on the menu for things to do again.
I have been paddling this boat for a few weeks and find it to be a little disappointing for the cost. The Pungo 120 has some good features; the seat is awesome, it's a good looking boat, I like the dry wells and the dashboard. That said I find that it is overrated, at 6'2" 245# the boat rides very low in the water, this boat is also not maneuverable, the edge of the dashboard is sharp so you have to be careful getting in and out if you're tall, the hull is small up front so my size 11 feet don't fit in very comfortably, NO DRAIN PLUG!!! what a disappointing oversight on the part of Wilderness. Knowing what I know now I definitely will not be purchasing another Wilderness product. I am in the market for another and will be looking elsewhere.
We are older but find the Kayaks easy to handle on and off our roof mounting system which holds both boats. I would suggest trying whatever Kayak you decide on and would highly recommend the Pungo 120.
Picked it up yesterday, brought it home and then started playing around with the seat. One plastic rivet popped out within seconds and then I began to realize just how poorly the whole seat is made. It may look great at first and be touted as 'the best in the world', but in reality this fancy looking seat is not at all made for serious durability and practicality.
I hosed down the seat (as I do after each saltwater outing in the Loon) and also realized this seat padding won't dry quickly at all. So now the padding has been in the warm sun in my back yard for over an hour and its still wet. On the other hand, a simple seat as in the Loon, can be wiped dry within seconds. If you don't mind having a soggy bum while out yakking (if it rains for example) then ok, but if the Loon seat can be wiped dry immediately and the Pungo seat remains wet then which is really the better, more practical seat?
Not only this, some other aspects of the Pungo are poorly made and what I would expect from China, not America. So regardless of how the hull may handle in the water, this Pungo is not as well made or as practical as my old Loon. So now it seems I will still be using the Loon until it eventually disintegrates.
I have been paddling yaks for over 20 years (for fishing) and having tried many over the years, the Loon III has proven to be the most practical, comfortable and durable. Shame on the kayak designers and manufacturers of the world for coming up with fancy looking products, with all the bells & whistles, that fool the buying public into thinking that's an advantage over shear practicality. Not impressed at all.
This boat is extremely comfortable to paddle. I think of it as a gateway kayak. I don't know whether I'll graduate to a larger sea kayak, but this boat is fun to paddle and gets me out on the water on a whim.
I always ask folks I see with Pungos whether they like them. They seem to love them. I really like mine and sure look forward to using it
My wife and I purchased two Pungo 120's about two months ago. While we didn't get to try various kayaks IN the water before purchase, we DID sit in quite a few on the floor to get the feel. When we sat in the Pungo 120 and experienced the adjustability of seats, that was all it took.
Our first 'cruise' was on a local lake which is generally glass smooth in the morning - not so much after noon.
We found our new 'yachts' (as we call them) to be very easy to paddle, maneuver, and generally get used to. Now we've been out about a dozen times and each time we like them more. Lots of room for taking stuff with (like binoculars, phones, radios, cameras, water, and all the other super necessary accouterments - ahem).
Our only problem (and it's not kayak brand related) is getting them up on our rooftop carriers system. The F-350 Crew Cab is way high, and we have to use step stools to ever get CLOSE to the roof - something we overlooked when we bought the system. Live and learn...
I recently purchased two 2013 Pungo 120s for my wife and I after doing a lot of research and reading many customer reviews that were extremely helpful. We also took the advice of many of the reviewers and tried out the kayaks that we were interested in at a Demo day sponsored by a local sporting goods store. I was pretty sure I wanted the Pungo 120, but the demo sealed the deal. None of the other rec boats measured up to the overall quality, stability, and tracking of the Pungo for a 12 ft recreational kayak at our price point.
Having enjoyed them now for about 3 months, we are very pleased with our purchase. I think that we will even like them even more as we enhance our paddling skills.
If you are looking for a good rec kayak for use on flat water, lakes, and slow moving rivers, the Pungo 120 will not disappoint.
Just bought the Wilderness Pungo 120 and absolutely love it for the comfort (adjustable seat) stability and ease of manuevering thru the water. It has a nice, roomy, cockpit, so that my dog can easily fit in front of me and she doesn't hinder my paddling. My only complaint is that the one plastic screw that holds the seat down came undone??? and I cant seem to attach it back???
I operate a kayak rental business and use primarily Pungo 120's or 100's. They are very user friendly and stable however still glide through the water. My customers (as well as I) really enjoy the wide base as they have very little fear of tipping. The Pungo performs well on both rivers as well as open water. Have had to contact customer service with one minor issue and they were very responsive!
I like this kayak a lot, will definitely be buying a more maneuverable kayak in the future, but for different conditions. This will be my go to for lakes, ponds and calm bay paddling.
I have paddled a few kayaks, from Old Town models to Perception models and the Pungo 120 is above and beyond them. The seat is the most amazing thing I've been in. It tracks great for a 12' boat and has amazing stability. I am 6' 240lbs. so I can put pressure on a boat and rock it very easily...this boat had no issues with me at all.
I've upgraded my deck rigging, but that is because I like having more than was there (very easy and cheap to do). Good storage for trips, great hatch system, and the console is perfect. Test one and you'll fall in love with it too!
We bought our Pungo 120 one year ago. Great boat, stable, east to paddle and tracks well. Super fun rec. boat. negatives, bottom always buckles when tied on to racks, no matter how tight its tied, and front handle broke really easy, when it was being carried... some leakage in rear hatch
I had the original Pungo [now called the Classic Pungo] and now a decade later I re-discovered the second gen Pungo.
Excellent boat, tracks like an arrow. All it needs is a paddle holder and it's ready to go
We are 3 seasons into our Pungo 120's. We are still happy and proud recreational owners. We are in it for the enjoyment and exercise. When we are up at our cabin we try to get in 2 lakes every weekend and maybe 3.
The Pungo's are light enough to transport smooth and easy to paddle and we never feel tippy. Plenty of storage and comfortable for a 2 to 3 hour adventure. Our Pungo's always turn heads and pass on complements from people enjoying the morning on the dock with a cup of coffee. Sometimes we are asked to stop and they want to learn about our kayaks.
Since we bought our Pungos our canoe has not seen daylight, and we have a happier adventure on the water. My comment may bore a snobby paddling enthusiast. But my comments are meant for the recreational user that just wants to enjoy kayaking. If I had to replace my Pungo yes, I would look around to see if I could upgrade for my needs. But most likely I would rebuy a Pungo 120. Be safe on the water buy a bright color.