Length: 12' 0" - Width: 29.00" - Starting at: $875.00See More Details about this Kayak
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...
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!
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...
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.
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!
Excellent boat, tracks like an arrow. All it needs is a paddle holder and it's ready to go
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.
If you're a beginner like me, and want something stable in the water and it comes in a lot of colors and it's got the best adjustable seat (bad back here), this is the Kayak for you. It's 50lbs, so it's not a light weight, then neither am I...
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.
The Pungo 120 is more a more versatile, faster kayak that accommodates just about everyone's needs. It is 20% easier to paddle and performs as well as any 14FT kayak. Excellent tracking and easier to turn than comparable width kayaks. Narrower kayaks will turn easier but stability decreases. This kayak does it all. I have no plans on taking it to rough seas that is what sea kayaks are for.
...and maybe most important for me:
Only... minor complaint.
It's a little hard to empty all the water in it because the kayak is so well formed with no drain holes. Picky, huh?
I'd recommend Pungo to anyone. The Prodigy 10 is nice, but again the hull design on this kayak is far more stable.
Have fun with it. I sure am!!!
After the first year, we upgraded our racking system to the Tulle Hullivator and this was well worth the investment and has been fantastic - a great means of reducing the wear and tear on ones body!
Our 1st experience my wife got in and I pushed her off from shore a bit more aggressive than I should have. I thought oh no I am going to hear about it. Much to my surprise she took to it like a duck to water. I got in and I must say it is more stable than I had expected. We took it easy the first day just going around the shore of our 250 acre lake. At the end of the day she liked it but was not sold if she liked it enough to keep them. A few weeks later a friend invited us to paddle down the Namagogan River in Northern Wisconsin with his wife and kid's. I must say it was a successful day and a real confidence booster for both of us. Now we go to larger lakes with boat traffic with out much fear of large waves.
I must say the Pungo 120 handles very well and stable. We do not feel tippy or do we get wet. We do have the dash on ours and we like it very much. Great for storing a small camera, wallet, money, keys and keeps them dry as a bone. The external net bag is great for sun screen or bug spray. This past season we took them out about 8 times and enjoyed every trip. My wife is more interested in going kayaking without any hesitation.
Actually, I like it more than our canoe and never pulled the canoe out for one trip this year at our cabin. The Pungo 120 seat is so much better than the web seating in the canoe easier to paddle, stuff stays dryer, more forgiving, and I am less worried about tipping. I feel much more relaxed and comfortable. I must say we are keeping them. The dealer gave us a 30 day bring them back if we don't like them for a 100% refund. Needless to say we did not take him up on his offer
I do not see us as getting into camping or long over night trips with them even though they would be great. We use then for recreational paddling and for the seeing and photographing wild life in Northern Wisconsin. We did not get all fancy with the racking systems. We just keep the seats out of our mini van all summer and just slide them in the back and tie down the lid. I bought a foam noodle at the dollar store cut it down the center half way thru and slip it on the bottom of the gate. Works great and does not scratch up the kayaks. I back up to a launching ramp and slide them out one at a time. easy as can be. Just do the same loading up. No heavy lifting and its fast and super easy to get them in and out of the water.
I give them a 10 out of 10.
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.
I am new to kayaking however have spent quite a bit of time on the water in small boats, canoes, and even a 4 year stint in the Navy. The day I demo'ed, I tried my Pungo, a Pamlico, and also a Tarpon. I really liked the Pungo best of all due to the way it handled. I'm 6'3" and weigh about 210 lbs. The cockpit is very roomy even with the dashboard in place. I added a flush mount rod holder, a Scotty rod holder and a paddle mount. I have a bungie style paddle strap on order as well as a 1 lb anchor.
So far I have put about 50 miles on it in 4 weeks. I haven't had any issues with the design. The seat is easily adjustable while on the water and is also very comfortable. Handling the kayak is pretty easy as it weighs around 50 lbs. I use the foam block and cam straps to haul it around on either my SUV or my wife's mini van.
My dry storage was leaking at the base of the divider wall however this could have been from its life as a rental prior to my purchase. I applied some Goop Marine glue and haven't had a problem since. I did take it to a lake in New York and flipped it intentionally to see how it would feel. The Pungo sat just under the surface and since I was in shallow water, I was able to tip it up to drain most of the water. Re-entry was not difficult either.
I would definitely purchase this kayak again although I would like to try the 140 and feel the difference.
Both boats have extremely comfortable seats that are about as adjustable as one could have in a kayak. Like the Old Towns, the Pungos have a very large cockpit. I've often paddled with a dog or second person in front of me. The Pungo's come with a removable dashboard that's very handy. Both Pungos paddled straight however the 14' was much harder to turn. The 120 Pungo is also harder to turn compared to the 138 Loon however not so difficult that a novice would have a lot of problems.
The 120 Pungo tracks straight and is fast for a 12' boat. If I have any complaints at all, is that the 120 Pungo has a very low bow. I recently had the boat in a lake with 1'-1.5' waves and the bow would bury itself in the wave and the water would travel down the front deck and dump into the cockpit. It was a good thing I was near shore as I only lasted about 10 minutes in those waves before I had a boat full of water.
Would I buy the 120 Pungo again? You bet. Just know that it has its limitations in rough water. (You could wear a skirt although I didn't buy one with the boat)
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.
This year Wilderness Systems made a change with their hatch Door's and I had a chance to sell my Dirigo, So I made my Purchase of a Mango Pungo 120 and am now in The PERFECT DO-ALL KAYAK!! The Pungo track's much straighter, and is much faster! The rear of this kayak is molded with a Bobtail, So it really performs like a 14'! The seat is the BEST I have ever sat in! Having Individual thigh adjustments is just perfect for my leg's. And did I mention the 57" x 22" cockpit opening? When you remove the dashboard it's great for you and your K-9 friend or small child. I also mounted a Scotty rod holder on one of the cubby's on the Dashboard. Work's Great!
The Pungo fits in the Caravan with the Perception Sundance, but the Rear door remains open about a foot! Small price to pay for a Faster, Straighter AND Roomier Kayak!
I can't say enough WHAT A GREAT KAYAK WILDERNESS SYSTEM'S HAS MADE!!
I have these boats: Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, Victory Classic 120 (My girl uses this one), Wilderness systems Pungo 100, Pelican Potomac 100es (Loaner boat), Dagger "the green boat", Liquid Logic Jefe and a Cedar Strip 15ft touring boat I built.
90% of the time I am cruising the Pungo 120 If I am on an over-nighter with mild rapids and a lot of maneuverability needed I'm in my Dagger green boat. If I'm doing a day trip with heavy rapids I'm in the Liquid Logic Jefe. If I am doing anything else I'm in the Pungo. Even my cedar strip boat is neglected even though it's a superior boat in just about every way. Why? Why not, the Pungo does everything I need it to do better than I ever dreamed it to, and I don't have to worry about messing up something that took over a year to build. The Cedar strip boat is more of a boat I use to show off.
The Pungo 120 is easily one of the best rec boats I have ever cruised.
The Pungo is a great flatwater, dead calm river boat that tracks like an arrow and is very stable. However, don't take that to mean it's a great boat. First, what makes it track straight is the deep v hull, which is what will get you hung up every time in shallow waters and turn you sideways in quick moving water should you get stuck. The cockpit is large and easy to get in and out of, however, it is too large for a 'real' spray skirt. Pungos notoriously sit low in the water, so any real rapid you have to negotiate you have a good chance of having a wave blow over the bow of your boat and half fill your cockpit. The only spray skirt you can get is a nylon size 7 from Seals. It's not stiff enough to hold any water. No one makes a neoprene skirt that big.
Also, the weight capacity of the 12' is grossly overrated. Wilderness says it will hold 300lbs. I weigh 215 and carry ONE dry bag in the stern hatch. I sit so low in the water it's ridiculous. The boat also needs a front bulkhead, as water can quickly turn this boat into Cleopatra's Needle, and could also then have a day hatch. You better get the 'dashboard' for this boat too, because you'll never reach anything on the deck in front of you because it's too far away.
This is a REC boat only, if you have any inclination of growing with kayaking and trying more than the local pond, try a Tsunami or Tempest. Don't get me wrong, my Pungo has served me well, but, in less than a year, it's short comings have truly held back my paddling.
I paddle at least once a week all year long, sometimes more. In one week I put almost 30 miles on my Pungo, some of it thru some pretty big waves on the Delaware River, complete with imploded spray skirt!
Good boat, but, severely limiting
They both track very well and the Pungo is a bit harder to make sharp turns without back-paddling on one side. I like the padding on the side of the cockpit better than the Dirigo's. It seems more durable and the fasteners are a more secure method of installation than the stick on pads on the Dirigo. The seats are very comfortable on both.
I've used the Pungo quite a bit in the 6 weeks that I've owned it and I really can't come up with any real complaints. It came with a Harmony add-on console. I like the option of using it or leaving it behind. When I first got the boat it had a deformed cockpit, offset from the centerline and, I believe, it affected the boat's tracking. EMS was quick to replace it and Wilderness Systems was very helpful. I'm sure they would have stepped in if I had any problems resolving the issue. The replacement boat is flawless and tracks like an arrow.
I've only used these two boats and only in ponds, lakes, and slow moving rivers so my experience is limited. It is obviously not a perfect kayak as there are faster and more maneuverable boats out there, but it is a very good play boat and I would recommend it to anyone not looking for high performance.
The one thing we both noticed right away was how straight the Pungo went, Too straight! (other people have also mentioned this on this review forum) It seemed like I had to almost stop to get it to go in a diff. direction. The Dirigo tracked great and turned a lot better. Both were just as stable as each other.
I found the foot pegs in the Pungo to be more easy to accidentally move. The Seats were totally different and that would be the riders preference. The Pungo cockpit was larger and the front nose lower which I would imagine the combination would allow more water into the cockpit in rough conditions.
The Dirigo has quicker storage covers (two twist knobs) but the Pungo's may seal better??? Dirigo's have way more bungee-cords on the top of them, which I find very useful. I found them to be similar in speed but have heard the Pungo is a bit faster.
I checked out the Duralite Pungo; Didn't seem too Durable. Very thin and full of bumps and dents while still in showroom cond. (saw 3 duralite's in all). I've read great reviews on both and have heard of many people who prefer the Pungo. So it was at first a very hard decision for me, but after trying them out and deciding what "I" really wanted out of a kayak. I bought the Dirigo (as did my Cousin) and am very satisfied with it.
My recommendation to buyers would be to TRY them out to see what "YOU" like in a kayak. Good Luck!
I have fished more this year then the past 3yrs combined because it's so convenient and fun. I would consider it as a high performance recreational kayak, it simply meets my needs.
I took my Pungo to the Monocacy River (in Maryland, it spills into the Potomac) and had the best small mouth bass fishing trip ever. It totally changed my opinion on this boat.
I look at it this way... I didn't know what I was doing. Before April of 2008, I had never paddled a kayak. I was expecting a canoe like experience. I was totally wrong by stating that the boat would be hard to steer in the river. I had to strengthen my paddling technique and read up on the basics of kayaking.
I have discovered that on the slow rivers is where this boat shines. Its super straight tracking allows you to shoot upstream like your paddling in a pond. The molded skeg and very narrow/vertical bow allow you to keep the boat going straight up stream with no tail wagging. For some reason the boat actually feels more stable in a current then on lakes and ponds. The skeg and sharp bow also allow you to keep the bow of the boat perpendicular to the shoreline while drift fishing, without paddling. The current pushes on the bow and stern equally and holds you 90 degrees to the current. The boat won't spin on you. I also learned that the current helps you turn. You can use it to swing the front of the boat around, allowing you to make very tight 180 degree turns.
I have added a few things to my boat. I mounted a scotty rod holder to the d right rear deck and made my own anchor out of a mesh bag full of gravel. I also attached a paracord lanyard to the front of the seat. My gear bag gets attached to the other end of the lanyard and then pushed up into the bow for storage. When I need to change up my lures I just pull it back towards me, when I'm done I kick it back up into the bow. I do need to add a paddle holder of some type, but for now I just stuff it up into the bow with my tackle bag and let the other end rest on the back or side of the cockpit under my arm.
So, now I feel that the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 was a great buy and that I was unfair in my first review. This boat is great for fishing and river paddling. I have to give it a 10 out of 10. Hopefully I did not convince anyone to buy a boat other than the WS Pungo 120 with my first review because I was definitely dumb for giving it a 6/10 before I really learned how to kayak.
I own 3 of these yaks (for 5 years now) and loan to friends often and soon after they go out and buy one for themselves. If you are a fair weather kayaker, only use it for 2 months out of the year, like to swim EVERY time you go kayaking, enjoy getting ALL of your gear soaking wet... then get a SOT.
If you like to be protected from rain, keep everything you have bone dry, use year round and have a superior kayak for the price, then get a Pungo! And learn to plastic weld, with soldering iron, if you like to fish the creeks and small rivers. Patches up gouges great.
It is not as stable as everyone says (I got to go swimming today when it flipped on me while trying get into it. The boat tracks well, too well. The tightest circle I can turn by paddling continuously on one side is about 15 meters in diameter. Don't even think about trying to "spin out" to make a quick turn, If you try to back paddle on one side of the boat it turns about 20 degrees and you lose all forward speed coming to nearly a complete stop. dragging the paddle on one side or the other is more like braking than turning, and you get even wider turns than back paddling.
I have been using this boat on a large lake and calm ponds and was planning to take it on the Potomac river, but wont be because it is so hard to steer.
If you are looking for a boat that tracks like an arrow then this is a good choice. For big, flat water I recommend the Pungo, for fishing buy a SOT or an ultimate 12. I feel ripped off and now have to sell this boat before I can buy the Ultimate 12 that I should have bought in the first place.
For the purpose that it was intended it works great, it tracks well is easy to enter and exit and the seat is very comfortable and adjustable. It has held up well and I am not easy on it in the least and the weight is light enough for one person to car rack if needed. I have used other boats, mostly sit on tops or tandem sea kayaks and prefer the Pungo overall.
Probably the only things negative I have to say is that the cockpit is probably a little larger than needed and more flotation in the bow would be a good thing (I have added a flotation bag).Otherwise I highly recommend this to the recreational kayaker.
On other comment on the reviews,I feel that submitting a review for a kayak that one has just purchased and not used yet is not helpful to potential buyers. Until one takes the boat out in varying conditions one cannot give an accurate review. Thanks
It is a stable kayak in all the conditions I use it in. I enjoy fishing in the marshes of seabrook and plum island and this boat handles it well. My wife and I were on the Concord river yesterday and it handles slow moving rivers with ease. There is plenty of storage for gear and the boat is light enough for me to handle easily on and off the car.
My wife has a 14.5 Carolina Perception and I can keep up with her with a little more effort when on paddling trips. I use this kayak a lot and have not had any problems with it structurally. Nothing has broken on it and it still is in good condition after 4 years of high use. I would highly recommend this kayak for all types of recreational use. A very satisfied customer and a much different review than the first one.
Our local store didn't have the 140 but did have the 120 for under $600, so I bought it. The boat really is comfortable. Because of the phase 3 seating it should work well for just about everyone. There is good storage. I can fit a small cooler in front of my feet providing easy access. The dry storage is enough for me - we rarely go out for more than day trips. The boat does move side to side as you paddle. This is probably more due to its length than hull design. My friends with longer boats noticed it right away when they tried the boat. The boat doesn't cut waves as well as some others. You will likely get wet in good chop. I think this is related to the front end design. Both of these problems can be resolved with slower, more relaxed paddling and may not affect everyone. But I paddle upstream and against the wind quite a bit so there is some pretty strong paddling going on at times. For heading down stream this boat is great. The comfort and roominess of the cockpit are wonderful. Haven't had it out on flat water yet.
The coaming lip had a fairly scratchy underside lip. Couldn't imagine trying to keep my thighs braced up against it. Or curling my hands around it picking it up.
That said, the Pungo is very stable. & sits pretty high off the water, which might be reassuring. For someone looking to get in and stay at beginner level and have some floating splashing fun, it's fine. Great family kayak or one to keep at the cottage for guests. I could imagine it being a fine fishing platform, too. I just wasn't in the market for any of those.
I also checked out the much prettier Duralite version displayed outside my local outfitter's shop. The temperatures that week ran hot (mid 90s) and with a little effort I could have poked a finger imprint in the hull...but I didn't ;-)....for the extra money for Duralite, no thanks....
The true test came last weekend when we did an overnighter on New Jersey's Mullica River from Atsion to Pleasant Mills. We rented a third Pungo 120 for my wife, she only had the NH experience under her belt. We loaded the Pungo 120s with all our backpacking gear and then some. I was amazed how much gear they could hold. I did add deck rigging over the stern hatch to carry Thermarest pads. The Mullica River is only 15 to 30 feet wide, many snags overhead, at water level and just beneath the surface. The stability and maneuverability of the Pungo 120s got my family through, over and under all the obstacles in our path, including six beaver dams, without mishap.
My son and I each weigh over 225# and we each had at least 60# of gear in our boats. The Pungo 120 easily handled the weight and actually seemed even more stable than without gear. The Phase 3 seats were very comfortable even for the five hours of paddling the first day, and the roomy cockpit adds a sense of security to novice paddlers. We are planning our next trip as I write this review.
The only mistake I made was not removing the hatch cover before driving on the highway for the first time. We lost it, but I recovered it the next day, unscathed. We'll be taking it off next time.
The Pungo handled the heavy chop of the Des Plaines with no problem. Easily sliced through the rough parts, tracked straight, and moved quickly. In the future, I would add a spray skirt to avoid getting a little splash on windy days. On the I&M canal, I really cranked it up, and it sliced through the water. Very nice.
The seat was wonderfully comfortable. Plenty of storage behind the seat. Have not even put anything into the dry well yet, which stayed dry even when I hosed it off after the trip (so the seal works).
The boat is a little tippy if you lean too much but I attribute that to the v-shaped hull, which gives you more speed and solid tracking.
There was plenty of room in front of me. You could easily put a child, dog or coyote in there.
One thing I have not seen posted before is the adjustable footpads. I really like that you can adjust them with your hand (sliding them forward and back), rather than trying to do the "Foot Doodle" thing of trying to release and push it forward or pull back before it locks in.
Just by chance, I met up with another Kayaker who had a Pungo, which was 10 yrs. old. He stared at my new one with awe, and I stared at his, knowing that I look forward to a decade of solid use by this kayak.
I had no problems lifting it up and down. Weighs about 50 pounds.
Now for the bad news. This boat has a 400 lb rating, and I am 6'0" and about 265. Other than sitting perfectly straight, this boat would roll over. The water line came up to the top of what one would consider to be the gunwales, or about 4-5 inches below the lip of the cockpit. For the life of me, I can't imagine how anyone can possibly put 400 lbs in this kayak and not sink. I really think Wilderness is stretching the limit (for marketing reasons?) with that rating. Anyway this is not the boat for me and I will definitely be looking for a more stable platform for myself. As for my 23 yr old 160lb son, he had absolutely no problem maneuvering the boat and he purposely tested the stability by leaning over the side until it started to tip. Again, no problem and he absolutely loved the boat.
In closing, I give the boat a 5 because I think Wilderness is grossly exagerrating the safe weight rating of this boat.
It tracks great, very stable and looks great with room for a bunch of stuff!
There are two negatives that should be mentioned, but which are not terribly serious:
1) The coated nylon sprayskirt the WS makes for this boat is awkward to fit on, once in the boat, due to the 55" length of the cockpit. It also uses a long zipper/velcro closing, and forms a basin in your lap, where some water seeps through, no matter how high on your ribs you wear it. I've searched in vain for a neoprene skirt to fit the large cockpit. In a word, if you plan to use this in cold water often, you may find it somewhat uncomfortable.
2) The other limitation is only for those with biig feet (I'm a size 13). The footbraces mounted in the front are great, but the shallow/wide shape of the hull means you have to sit with your feet angled outwards a fair bit. This gets a bit ####### the knees after a while, as well as limiting your seating position options.
These are really only minor problems, but I'm defintely glad to have bought this boat, and have had a ton of fun fishing & camping with it this year.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!