Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Review

One of the best selling kayaks in the world, the Pungo 120 is Wilderness Systems most impressive all around recreational model. It features all of the patented features that Wilderness Systems offers in their other kayaks, but is specifically designed to be versatile enough to handle just about everything that you can throw at it. Well, it can’t handle fast currents, but slow moving rivers and still lakes are perfect if your into diving, paddling, or fishing.

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This is definitely NOT an economy model. Like most Wilderness products, its going to cost you quite a few of the shiny things, but its even slightly more expensive than other models. However, make no mistake, when you step into this its like stepping into a Lexus, every little attribute is enhanced to go above an beyond what you would typically expect.

Product Features

Phase 3 AirPro Outfitting: Wilderness has a fancy name for all of their patented perks. The AirPropungo 120 paddling is an extremely comfortable seat, that has special foam padding of varying densities, perfectly aligned to the contours of your back. The whole system is adjustable, and the seat flips back giving you 3 adjustable positions to adapt to what you are doing, whether it be rowing, casting, or tinkering around in the cockpit.

Accessories: Just about everything in the Pungo is adjustable. It has something called Slidetrax, which is just a fancy name they came up with to describe their mount system. The console is removable, and the leg lifter is adjustable, with an ergonomic and scalloped supporting system for your knees.

Base Attributes: The Pungo is 12 foot long, and can carry up to 325 lbs of weight. The cockpit is 57″ long and 22″ wide, which is pretty large. The weight of the entire system is less than 50 lbs, and it comes with comfortable carrying handles for easy transport.

Other Rigging: The rear hatch is an Orbix Stern hatch, it has a Stern Bulkhead and additional deck rigging.

Positives of the Model

side view of hatchThe Pungo 120 is incredibly stable. It features a fore and aft keel system which keeps the hull stead as an arrow while paddling. The rods are aligned perfectly, when you adjust the kayak while paddling they will swing out of the way.

The additional versatility and the fact that you can remove the dashboard, means that you can transport this modest sized boat without fear of damage. Plus, the removable dashboard gives you a bit more space, just in case you want to try and squeeze a small child into the kayak with you.

This goes for all Wilderness Systems products, but the seat is ridiculous. You can try out 30 different models and none will feel as comfortable as the Phase 3 AirPro. This is very important if your an angler who likes to spend more than a couple of hours out. Its just so cushy, and all of the additional padding gives you the support you need to sit in a cumbersome watercraft.

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Negatives of the Model

The same keels which allow you to track so fast and easily, are not designed for fast waters and might get you killed! Don’t use this for white water rapids, it won’t track at all if your attempt to turn it in a split second..

Another minor complaint, the foot rest will need some adjusting, they are just too small for how high they are mounted, and will barely contact your toes. Extending the supports to hangl a little lower remedies this.

The cost! This ain’t cheap.

 

Final Analysis

If you’ve got the money and plan on doing most of your water excursions solo, this might be a winner for you. Its as comfortable as similar Old Town models, probably more comfortable and very stable. I think a direct comparison would be the Predator 13 by Old Town, and if I had to vote I would choose the Predator due to its additional space.