Kayak

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Review

Last Updated on March 29, 2021 by KayakPro

Sit-inside kayaks are the best option for year-round adventures. Yes, some of them are horrible in terms of comfort, but luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Today, I’ll review one of the best sit-inside kayaks, the Pungo 120. I love it for the many innovative parts it includes, which makes kayaking more and more fun.

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 | Sit Inside Recreational...
59 Reviews
Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 | Sit Inside Recreational...
  • A best-selling sit-inside Recreation kayak for small to medium sized paddlers
  • Best-in-class speed makes the Pungo the easiest to paddle and most efficient kayak in its class
  • The renowned hull offers reassuring stability without sacrificing performance
  • Phase 3 air Pro seat is fully adjustable and offers ergonomic support for your lower back; The mesh covered honeycomb-vented foam allows for greater...

Without wasting any more time, let’s start with the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Review.

General Features of the Pungo 120

In this section, we’ll take a look at the basic information you need to know about this kayak.

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 features

Stats

  • Length: 12′ 2″
  • Width: 29″
  • Cockpit length: 57″
  • Cockpit width: 22″
  • Weight: 49 lbs
  • Max capacity: 325 lbs

Design

The Pungo 120 comes as a single, sit-inside kayak. Originally, Wilderness Systems released two versions: the orange/yellow Mango and blue/green Galaxy. But recently, they released two more versions: the beige-colored Fossil Tan and Breeze Blue.

Build

The Pungo 120 is made of polyethylene. Since it’s mainly intended for recreational kayaking, it doesn’t offer the best in terms of sturdiness and durability. Several customers were disappointed after the kayak’s body started to detach after intensive use.

What’s Unique about the Pungo 120

What makes the Pungo 120 stand out between the competitors? That’s what I’ll discuss in this section.

It’s Comfortable

If you’re looking for a kayak that would suit lengthy weekend and overnight adventures, you should love the Pungo 120. The main reason behind this lies in the unique seat, Phase 3 AirPro.

The seat frame is made with enough height to reach the middle of your back. This way, it can be relaxing and portable at the same time. With its thick foam padding, sitting for long periods should feel like a breeze. Better yet, the breathable mesh makes it less likely to collect sweat.

What’s more, you can easily adjust pretty much all the seat parts while you’re sitting in the kayak.

Right in front of your lap, you should find two pull-cords. One controls the thigh support while the other is intended for the back height. On the inside walls of the cockpit, there are 2 straps that recline the back.

State-Of-The-Art Footrests

 

The Pungo 120 features the innovative Slidelock XL Footbrace system. To put it simply, this system features footrests that are attached to a long metal rod. This rod moves inside a frame that locks it on different lengths.

This way, you can adjust the footrests to perfectly match your height. Without this feature, short individuals would’ve found it hard to support their legs during paddling.

Convenient Dashboard

pungo 120 dashboard

When you sit in the kayak, you’re guaranteed to have a positive experience through its innovative dashboard.

First things first, it comes with a DryTec dry box in which you can place delicate items. On both sides, you’ll find two cup holders to relax with your favorite beverages.

Toward the front, there’s a recess in which Wilderness Systems Lithium Battery would fit. It’s certainly great to have a convenient way to charge your phone on-the-go.

Last but not least, there are two mounting platforms to install rod and phone holders.

Pros

Lucky for us, the Pungo 120 has a lot of positive reviews. Here are the things that received the best feedback.

Lightweight

As stated earlier, the Pungo 120 falls well into the category of long kayaks. Luckily, this doesn’t reflect in the weight. In fact, the Pungo 120 weighs a lot less than most famous kayaks.

To put things in perspective, we can compare it with the Perception Pescador Pro 12. Both kayaks measure around 12” in length, yet the Pungo is lighter by around 15 pounds.

Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 | Sit Inside Recreational Kayak | Features Phase 3 Air Pro Comfort Seating | 12' 2" | Galaxy

It Can Be Used During Winter

Thanks to being a sit-inside kayak, the Pungo 120 can be used year-round, regardless of how cold the weather is. With its height, it should also be quite resistant to annoying splashes.

It’s Spacious

Personally, I prefer sit-on-top kayaks over their sit-inside counterparts. More times than not, sit-inside kayaks come with an absurdly tight cockpit. As a result, it becomes rather hard to get into and out of the kayak. Not to mention how strangulating it feels inside.

The Pungo 120, however, provides a much better experience. Since its cockpit measures 57” by 22”, it combines the freedom of a sit-on-top and the security of a sit-inside. Some kayakers were able to take things a step further by bringing their dogs along to enjoy the adventure.

Cons

Nothing is perfect, right? Here are the aspects you need to consider before purchasing the Pungo 120.

It Might Be a Bit Hard to Control

Generally speaking, long kayaks have the least maneuverability. They have to be operated by experts in order to yield the best results.

But the problem with the Pungo 120 isn’t only about the length, but also the width. If we looked back at the comparison between the Pro 12 and the Pungo 120, we’ll find that the latter is thinner by around 3”.

Being thinner makes it more likely to rock right and left, especially when you’re paddling. Expectedly, the problem gets more noticeable with novice kayakers.

Small Storage

Despite being large, the Pungo 120 doesn’t have spacious storage.

Perhaps the only good thing is the Orbix hatch put at the stern. It’s like a dry box that can seal away your water-sensitive items. It’s not that spacious, though.

But here’s what I dislike the most. Toward the stern and bow, there are a bunch of bungee cords.

Supposedly, they should be used to secure bags or boxes. But the problem lies in the absence of molding. In other words, your stuff will rest on the convex hull with nothing to support them from the sides. The Pro 12, on the other hand, has a pretty large indented area in the hull.

overhead view of the kayak

The Final Word

In terms of convenience, the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 can easily surpass most of its competitors. The fully-customizable seat should make a long trip a lot easier and more enjoyable.

The innovative footrests are also great since they can fit any individual, regardless of height.

The only downside you might notice is in the stability. In choppy water, the Pungo 120 might be a bit hard to control. Then again, for a recreational kayak, it definitely presents a large value.

 

Last update on 2021-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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