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Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 Review

Mark Armstrong
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If you’re looking to get out on the water all year round, you might want to think about a sit-inside yak. The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 kayak might just be the good all-rounder you’re after.

Pungo 120Pin
  • Length: 12 foot
  • Width: 29 inches
  • Weight: 49 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 325 pounds

But before you jump right in, we’ll take you through some of our favorite features so you can decide if it’s got everything you’re looking for in a new yak.

Pungo Kayaks Overview

The Pungo is a sit-inside recreational yak that can be great for weekend paddling trips and even overnight adventures. Being a sit-inside it can be a useful craft for using in a variety of different climates and can give you the added weather protection you might want when paddling in cold conditions.

This 12 foot yak may be able to provide the right combination of speed and stability for recreational paddling, with a spacious cockpit that can be ideal for both beginners and larger paddlers looking for a less confined craft.

With its lightweight, maneuverable hull and plenty of space for camping gear it can be a great craft for multi-day paddling trips on rivers. While it’s not built specifically for fishing, there is mounting space to rig it for angling if you choose to.

The Pungo family of yaks also includes a 10 foot version and a 14 foot version. Both these versions have similar features to the Pungo 120.

However, the Pungo 100 is perhaps better suited to smaller paddlers and the Pungo 140, with its added speed and storage, might be better designed for day touring. The Pungo 140 also comes in an angler version.

Pungo 120: Top Features

The Pungo 120 is a 12 foot sit-inside kayak engineered for recreational use and designed to offer comfort, speed, as well as plenty of storage. It comes with an adjustable padded seat and is built for a range of paddlers.

Paddle Comfortably

The Pungo features a spacious cockpit, that’s 57 inches long and 22 inches wide, which can mean it can be a little easier to get into and out of compared to some sit-insides.The roomy cockpit also means there’s space to bring your dog along on your paddling adventures.

The seat is an ergonomically designed Phase 3 AirPro padded seat which is honeycomb vented and features mesh covered fabric for added breathability. It can also be fully adjusted for custom comfort.

Video: Slidelock XL Footbrace System

Inside the cockpit there is a Slidelock XL Footbrace System which can let you adjust the position of the foot braces to suit your leg length.

The Pungo also benefits from thigh and knee padding on the cockpit rim for added comfort.


This is a lightweight yak that’s easy to maneuver on the water. It’s built for speed and stability so can be a good craft for both beginners and more experienced paddlers.

It’s designed to track well, making it easy to paddle on flatwater. However, it can also be an ideal vessel for exploring slow moving rivers and creeks, with the ability to handle the occasional section of small whitewater if necessary. 

Load It Up

This yak has pretty good storage, with an Orbix stern hatch that can be ideal for holding some overnight gear or a packed lunch. There are also deck bungee cords a both the bow and the stern, where you can secure dry bags or other gear.

The console at the front of the cockpit is a handy area for storing gear and even has a small sealed hatch built into it that can be ideal for holding your valuables, such as your phone. There’s also a cup holder built into the console, so you can keep your beverage within arm’s reach.

Video: Wilderness Systems | Kayak Konsole Walkthrough

The handy feature of the cockpit console is that it can be easily removed to make it more comfortable to get in and out of the vessel. You can also choose not to install it, keeping a more open cockpit that might be more spacious, especially if your dog is joining you on board.

Rig It For Fishing

As well as providing additional storage, the cockpit console can also be a great place to mount accessories for fishing, such as a rod holder and fish finder, with the sealed hatch being handy for storing a battery to keep your gadgets running while you’re on the water.

There’s also a storage pouch for keeping lures and spare line within easy reach.

Lightweight Hull

The Pungo weighs only 49 pounds, which can mean it’s easier to haul around, whether you’re car topping it or carrying it to and from the water’s edge.

The bow and stern carry handles can help make carrying it easier and can be particularly useful if you have a second person to help.

Alternatives To The Wilderness Systems Pungo Range

Perception Carolina 12 Kayak

Perception Carolina 12Pin

The Perception Carolina is a 12 foot yak that’s built for light touring and is in the same price range as the Pungo 120. This craft features additional dry storage and is a little narrower to allow for added speed.

It weighs the same as the Pungo but the cockpit is significantly smaller (17.5 inches shorter in length), which means getting in and out may not be as easy and there may not be room for your dog. However, adding a spray skirt might be easier.

> Our full Carolina review

Old Town Loon 126

The Loon 126 is similar in style to the Pungo and, again, in the same price range. It has a spacious cockpit, with a removable work deck, making getting in and out easier and letting you bring along your canine companion.

It has a huge 450 pound capacity but also weighs more and is 6 inches longer and 2 inches wider. Additionally, it has a USB charging port, a comfortable seat, bungee rigging and dry storage.

> More on the Old Town Loon series yaks

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12

Sun Dolphin Aruba SS 12Pin

The Aruba SS is a 12 foot sit-inside yak with a spacious cockpit and flush mounted rod holders. It’s less expensive than the Pungo and could be an ideal choice for recreational paddling, whether you’re a beginner or more experienced.

It has bungee rigging at the bow and stern, as well as a small bow hatch. It also benefits from a Portable Accessory Carrier than can be towed behind, giving you extra storage space. It’s stable, lightweight and has a 395 pound weight capacity.

> Our thoughts on the Aruba SS kayaks


The Pungo 120 has plenty of features that you might want on your next recreational kayak.

It offers good storage for an overnight trip and combines stability with speed and maneuverability that can be ideal for river and lake paddling. 

The spacious cockpit is also particularly useful if you plan to take your dog on your paddling trips.

Pungo 120Pin


  • Spacious cockpit
  • Good storage
  • Room for your dog
  • Removable cockpit console
  • Lightweight and stable


  • Not ideal for whitewater
  • Rod holders would need to be added separately

If you think the Pungo 120 might have everything you’re looking for, check it out here. And if you want to let other paddlers know about this versatile craft, share this with them. 

Pungo Kayak Q&A

Does The Pungo 120 Ship With A Paddle?

No, it does not. But this can allow you to choose a more suitable paddle for your size and paddling style.

Is It Good For Rivers And Creeks?

Yes, it can be great for rivers and creeks, and can handle moving water but it’s not designed for serious rapids. 

Don’t forget to leave us a comment with your thoughts on the Pungo

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