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Reviews for Pungo 120 Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 9.31/10 Based On: 123 Reviews


Pungo 120 Kayak by Wilderness Systems

Length: 12' 0" - Width: 29.00" - Starting at: $875.00
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09-06-2014
Submitted by: MattSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     After dipping my toe in to the internet white water of kayak information I selected the Wilderness System Pungo 120. I've traversed the New Mexico side of the Rio Grande and the Gila rivers in a Zoisk inflatable which is great for the low water levels in NM, but not for flat water. On blind trust I drove 273 miles to the closest dealer. I sat in the Pungo on the show floor and knew, it felt right. Price was an issue but quality is an absolute must for me. I'm a big man and I break things. My break in period at the lake was great nothing broke!

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.

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08-13-2014
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased the Pungo 120 during LL Bean's boat sale. I had originally planned on buying the Bean Manatee 12 but store stock was all sold. I spent a little more on the Pungo but the features make up for it. The Phase 3 AirPro Seating System is by far one of the most comfortable seats available. Fully adjustable with ventilated padding, it makes any length trip a pleasure. The hinged rear hatch is also a great feature, easy to operate and no chance of losing the cover. Stability and tracking are also superb, and the large cockpit opening allows cramp-free movement. I am actually saving up for another one for my wife. Highly recommended...
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08-10-2014
Submitted by: Kyler GustafsonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I purchased the Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 kayaks about one year ago. These are very versatile boats as they handle well in rivers and open water. We were especially sold on the ease of getting in and out of the cockpit. There is a removable console that opens the cockpit up even further when needed. I am 6' 7" and still fit easily into the Pungo 120. The console has great storage both open and sealed for keys, a phone, etc. There is also a large dry storage area behind the bulkhead of the boat. These kayaks weigh around 50 lbs. and are easy to carry and transport in the back of a pickup or on top of a minivan or SUV. Overall, these are great recreational kayaks and I highly recommend them!
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07-02-2014
Submitted by: DDH DesignSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Duralite Pungo 120. Super boat! Love the lighter weight and durability of this boat. I understand they do not use this material for boats anymore, not sure why. Fun to paddle and tracks well. Right size for someone my size 5'5" and 145 lbs. I can load to car top myself if I have to. Not as stiff as the newer Ultralight material, but I think a more durable boat. I paddle the Susquehanna in northeastern PA.
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07-02-2014
Submitted by: J.F.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am a first time kayaker, so this is my first kayak. I really like the larger opening for the cockpit because I don't feel restricted. The kayak has excellent balance and at no time do I ever feel like I'm going to tip. It lightly skims across the water with much less effort than it takes to paddle a canoe. Although I have yet to use it, there is a console for holding a few things including a beverage. I love my kayak!
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06-11-2014
Submitted by: Ray Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Jean and I had been renting Kayaks for years. During our last trip to the Florida Keys we finally decided to buy each of us his/her own Kayak. We were in Key Largo and ordered the Pungo 120 from a local Kayak dealer who was kind enough to let us try it before we purchased. We paddled every day through the Mangrove trails and found the 120 safe and very maneuverable. I even dumped my Kayak (accidentally of course) and found it quite easy to get back inside. We live in Ocala, FL where there are any number of paddling opportunities. We have already tried the Rainbow River which was a beautiful experience.

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.

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05-19-2014
Submitted by: JamieSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     After much research, trying to find a replacement yak for my 12 year old Loon, which is still ok but starting to be very worn under the hull, I ended up deciding on 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.

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12-10-2013
Submitted by: moogieSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my lightly used Pungo from Craigslist a couple of weeks ago. I had rented them from the local outdoor store this past summer. I wanted a rec boat in the 12ft range that I can throw in the back of the truck and get to the water quickly. I live in Powell River and am close to both tidal waters and several lakes.

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

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11-27-2013
Submitted by: JeepcreepSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have been using a Pungo 120 for the past 3 years to fish for barramundi in Far North Queensland. One hundred or so metre plus barra later, I am very pleased with its performance. In my opinion It doesn't like rough water, but that may be because I own a Ride 115 as well and you can stand in that.
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11-25-2013
Submitted by: BrianSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This Pungo 120 is my 3rd kayak. I'm looking at this from a different perspective because I'm using a sit-in for mostly fishing. I am very happy with this boat. Admittedly, it is not good for rough water and it does not accept flush-mount rod holders easily. With that said, it has quite a bit of storage for my tackle, dry gear and beer. The seat is completely adjustable and comfortable with leg support and the Konsole is AWESOME! Dry box, cup holders and tackle storage. As I said above, it's not a good rough water boat, but the advantage to it's low profile is that I don't get blown around as much when the wind picks up. The length and weight are about as much as I want to deal with, but the hull design helps it track more like any other 14'. There are better/faster touring style kayaks and sit-on-tops are more fishing oriented, but I am convinced that this is among the best all around, multi-purpose kayaks.
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08-31-2013
Submitted by: RichSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I both use the Pungo 120, the boat is a great recreational boat that track well and is easy to use on flat water. Getting in and out is also very easy as the cockpit is long. I purchased this boat weighing under 50 lbs so I could manage loading it on the Subaru Outback which is higher than many vehicles in its class.
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07-29-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I used to have the original boat this was based on (as far as I know). It's a great boat. My wife, who had never been in a kayak, loved it and it sold her on kayaking. It tracks well and is not hard to control in the wind. I recommend it for newbies and pros!
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07-27-2013
Submitted by: David DunlopSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Light weight and easy to carry... great storage areas... maneuvers easily in water and will glide at a great pace... slips through the water... great for sneaking up on gators and other wildlife for pictures...
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07-17-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently purchased 2 Pungo 120 kayaks. One for myself and one for my partner. Stability is great. We both enter and exit easily, are able to pull to the shallow part of a lake and go for a dip without fear of not being able to get back in. We've paddled 8 ponds and lakes in the short time we've owned them. On choppy 1-2' wave lakes with motorboat traffic they take on a bit of water, but do not come close to tipping. It's a great beginner kayak. Down sides are maneuverability - with any kind of current in a twisty narrow stream from one pond to the next expect to have a rough time.

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.

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06-12-2013
Submitted by: KFBSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife and I just got into kayaking. We are in our early 60's and want to do this for a long time, so boat weight was important to us. There are not too many options out there for boats lighter than typical poly, but still relatively affordable. When we tried a few out the Pungo Ultralight was at the bottom of our list, but as soon as we tried one we realized what a great boat it is.

There are obviously compromises made in a 12' rec kayak, but I really think that Wilderness Systems has produced a very good design here - as also evidenced by the Pungo's popularity and longevity.

Anyway, to our surprise (as I'm 6'0" and she is 5'0") we both came home with two identical Pungo 120s. They are quite easy to lift on top of our SUV, track well in the water, maneuver well and are responsive and relatively quick for a smallish boat.

So far we've only been out in them a few times, but we are looking forward to a new hobby that we can hopefully do well into our 70's.

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08-25-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     First kayak and love it! I have bought almost everything I can think of to be ready for whatever! Sprayskirt, spare paddle, wind sail, emergency kit, H2o proof jacket, sunhat with a growing list of wants (not needs) The spare paddle has already come in use for someone who left theirs at home, anyway, I find the seat very comfortable even after a few hours, stability is great as well as tracking, but feel I am a little slow at times :(

There is plenty of room for all my extras and then some. I usually don't use the console but it has come in handy. Lakes and rivers are all I've traveled and enjoy my time on the water. Maybe I need an anchor so I can relax and get in some read time?

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08-14-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Pungo is my first kayak, it is easy to get into and out of. Plenty of room for your legs and for your bags or the dog. the seat could be more comfortable, on long trips my butt hurts. really, over all the Pungo is a good kayak to have.
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05-30-2011
Submitted by: Carol Packer - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of www.outdoorplay.com

     First kayaks. Very comfortable. Easy to load onto my van roof. Track just fine. Very stable. Great value for our flat water kayaking. Recommend it highly.
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05-30-2011
Submitted by: Virgil Ray - Rating: 8 of 10
This review courtesy of www.outdoorplay.com

     Good starter boat that is stable and tracks well. Although you won't be breaking speed records, I recently found I was able to keep up with two tandem Seaward kayaks on my nearby lake without too much sweat. When I bought my Pungo, I had to paddle it home from the demo and found myself in very rough and windy conditions. Yes, it does take on a fair amount of water from the bow but I never felt unsafe and made it home easily, if a bit tired. Best of all, it's short enough to store easily. Also, I use a cart to transport it to a nearby creek, about 5 blocks from my house. I feel I made a good choice for a first boat and find it great for practicing my strokes and gaining experience.
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05-04-2011
Submitted by: RaptorSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I own two Pungo 120's and highly recommend as a solid general purpose Kayak. Easy to enter/exit. Great adjustable seat and foot pegs. Use on rivers and lakes. Very stable. I often fish from mine and is very comfortable. Removable cockpit if nice if you want more room to spread out. Slightly heavy, but one man can easily maneuver to car top rack.
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05-02-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had two Pungo 120's for 9 years they are awesome. No complaints
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04-27-2011
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     the best!!!
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09-29-2010
Submitted by: KWeaverSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My Mom and I started shopping for kayaks earlier this year and found the Pungo 120 at a local shop. We tested several kayaks out on the river that day, but kept coming back to the Pungo. We ended up purchasing two of them, one in yellow and one in mango. They have gone lots of places now and never give us any trouble. The cockpit is so open that Mom doesn't have any trouble getting in and out. She's not overweight, just not very flexible. She needs to get her legs under her and this boat allows her to do that. My fiance started kayaking with us this summer and had a severe case of kayak envy! We are trading his kayak in for a Pungo 120 tomorrow and we are excited to have three of them! I think everyone should have at least one...lol. Seriously though, this is a very usable and well designed boat. I highly recommend it.
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07-14-2010
Submitted by: Brad WildSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My brother and I have recently purchased two Pungo 120 kayaks and we both absolutely love them! The boat has a beautifully designed hull which has a generously-sized cockpit. We are both over 6 foot tall and both of us have no problem fitting in the cockpit. The seat is adjustable in 3 ways and it is very, very comfortable. This seat is the best of any kayak we looked at by far. The boat is easy to get in and out of and tracks straight with ample speed. The cockpit console feature is really great and holds my water bottle, sunscreen, and my digital camera plus two small plastic boxes of lures. The hatches are made very well and keep out water. The knee /hip padding is comfy. We are using these on a lake and the boat is very stable and to capsize this Pungo would take a very abrupt, careless action by the paddler. The foot pedals are e-z to adjust while underway. I believe this kayak has the best features and the best quality for the money of all in the recreational class.
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07-01-2010
Submitted by: CLPSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've been paddling the Pungo 120 for 1-1/2 years now, and it's pretty perfect for the sort of water I play around on, which is full of rocks, has some smaller rapids, and also includes long stretches of flat water and swampy creeks. It's great for stepping onto logs, dragging the boat across, and getting back in. It tracks well and I can't complain about the speed. While it is very stable, it can capsize, which can create an uncomfortable situation. Because I like to go alone and in cooler weather, I just ordered some floatation bags to help in that regard. It's good information to see how the boat behaves when it's full of water (in several respects like a swamped canoe). So far it has held up to all the scrapes caused by running up on rocks. I'm curious to see how long it lasts with that normal use for the river I run. I give it a 9 because the rear bulkhead leaked from day 1. Also the front deck compresses quite a bit when I lash it to the top of my truck. There may be nothing the manufacturer can do about that, but I still wince when I see it happen. I am 6'1" and can see where this would not be the right boat for a shorter person, who might have difficulty clearing the coaming with a paddle. Overall, I've grown to appreciate this rugged little boat.
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07-21-2009
Submitted by: sharpster_uslfSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am a novice paddler, and my first trip into the water, I realized I had not set up the seat or foot pegs, but had paddled about 100 feet from shore in a fair bit of wind. I was able to figure out how to adjust the seat and pegs, without loosing my paddle in the wind, or getting wet, or feeling like I was about to fall out.

Now with everything set, I was able to make some decent speed, and found the boat very easy to paddle straight into the wind and small waves. Turning the corner and heading into the main lake, there were 3 foot whitecaps. The boat handled them easily and stayed where I wanted it to go, but I did get a lot of water over the hatch even with the Kayak Console attached. I turned around after about a 100 feet or so, I wanted to test the performance going with the wind and waves, as other boats have been a nightmare in that sort of situation. The Pungo 120 stayed very true to course and did not want to weathercock. I commented to my girlfriend that the wind was strong enough to use the paddles as a sail if I held it up. LOL

Paddling back into the bay, I got a wave and surfed it for about 40-50 feet! We spent the next hour paddling 100-200 feet into the big waves and then turning to ride them back into the bay. At no time were we concerned that the boat was in any danger of tipping, but I did take on about 20 lbs of water. No big deal on a warm day, but a spray skirt might help extend the season in Canada. Also this boat is not designed to turn, it took 5 or six strokes for me to turn the boat 180 degrees, using the wave swell helped some.

I give it a 9 because so much water comes in, but as a fair weather Kayaker....who cares

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11-11-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Being newbies, we researched all the reviews -- thanks to everyone who contributed their opinions -- and bought the Pungo 120 and 100.

Great boats for beginners, as almost everyone agrees, with one MAJOR exception. My 120 is the fishing version, which has some great added features. However, the rearmost paddle stowage bracket is attached in the worst possible place. Our first time out, I beat my right forearm black and blue from hitting this thing repeatedly on any kind of pull stroke. It's attached exactly where your arm comes alongside the boat on a normal stroke, and the bracket is made out of a hard rubber material. I have since moved it forward and all is well, but I would have expected Wilderness Systems to have better researched the ergonomics of this before attaching it to their kayak.

Now that it's fixed, I love the kayak and my wife (who's 5'2") is very happy with her 100. We've had a ball going out on lakes and watching wildlife close up. Note to manufacturers: Please pay attention to your optional equipment offerings. Try them out before selling them.

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10-28-2008
Submitted by: MikeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     First kayak and first day on the water today. Incredible little boat, and an unforgettable experience. Tracked excellent, was very efficient, and the seat is really nice.
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09-26-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     After much research, I chose the Pungo 120, based on many of the reviews here. After 16 outings in it since mid-June, I can rate it a 9, but it falls short of a 10 for a few reasons of which I'll get to.

First the good: It tracks extremely well. I find it very easy to maneuver, no matter what I'm trying to do. It's fast. It feels very stable, even in some rough ocean water. Last week I borrowed a Pungo 100 so my wife could join me. Eventually we swapped kayaks, and I was somewhat disappointed in the 100 compared to the 120. My wife favored the 120 also, and it was her first time out. So if we buy another one for her, it will most likely be another 120.

Here's a few things that have annoyed me so far with this kayak: the cover for the dry well is a real pain to put back on. The seatback is woefully shy of enough padding, so I end up laying a towel over the seatback. On the days I forget a towel, I'm reminded how flimsy this "Phase 3" seating system can be. Like another reviewer wrote, there are so many aftermarket seat enhancement products out there that it must be a common complaint among kayakers. Because of the large (size 7) opening, it's pretty much impossible to reach anything you have stowed under the tie-downs without leaving your seat and doing a little contortionist acts as well. Minor annoyances that can be overcome for sure, but enough to keep this below a perfect 10 or even a close 9. Will I buy another one? Most likely... unless someone else comes out with a better 12 footer!

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09-04-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I rented a Pungo 120 on vacation, and found it to be a great rec kayak. It is very stable, and the large cockpit makes it easy to get in and out. It is also faster than I expected, considering the width.

I would not recommend this boat for a shorter paddler; if you have a short torso, you may find yourself constantly hitting the combing with your elbows. One negative I found was that the adjustable foot rest mechanism, although easy to adjust, often slipped when I applied pressure with my feet. Normally I would attribute this to the abuse one would expect a rental yak to take, but the boat appeared to be in very good condition.

Another negative was that the boat tracked a bit to the right. Still water, chop, wind coming from different directions -- varying conditions over the course of a few days of paddling -- it still tracked to the right. However, overall, a good recreational kayak.

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06-06-2007
Submitted by: kmpSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My first kayak....it does it all.
I test paddled many kayaks, and the Pungo was a "do-it-all" option. It is got to be one of the fastest 12' rec kayaks out there. My wife loves the open cockpit, and I could trust my nieces to paddle it with no problem. It even carries my 70lb German Shepherd dog for slow calm water paddles. I can lift it myself and the seat is a dream! Great initial and secondary stability, and it tracks very straight. (P.S. I test paddled more than 10 kayaks from 9.9' to 16' before picking this one)
What a bargain! You'll never regret having this one in your "fleet". Start here!

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02-05-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This review is for the Pungo Superlite-now known as the Pungo Classic. This was my first kayak. I owned this boat for 2 years. Great all around kayak that I used mostly for small stream floats. Hull design would be good for big water to cut though waves. This made it somewhat difficult to turn in moving water. Great stability. Plenty of cockpit room and easy to get in and out of. Finding a neo sprayskirt can be challenging and expensive. I fished out of it and you can consider doing overnight trips but keep the weight down. It is lightweight and durable. Great phase3 seat! Plenty of deck rigging for gear. Sold for a Dagger Blackwater-better moving water design but I miss the Phase3 seat.
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11-16-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a Great Kayak! I've had mine for about 3 months now, and just love it. The adjustable seat, along with the easily moveable foot pegs, give you plenty of comfortable positions to choose from depending on the conditions. It is a bit hard to turn, as it takes some patience to control it, however, on a straight stretch of water, you can't beat it for the tracking. Withn it having such a large cockpit, I would highly suggest a spray skirt, unless you don't mind getting wet.
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10-17-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Have Pungoed (standard abs 120, 2005 model) for one year. Decent compromise boat for both flat water and CII or less rivers. Plenty of room, stable fishing, and great glide with fairly long keel. Keel can catch river rocks a little more than a flat bottom, but should not be a major problem for an moderately accurate yakker. Turns easier with a lean out on turns which is a little counter-intuitive. You're going to want a skirt, at least a mini, as the bow has a low entry and any waves will give you a wet lap. Wet bag on the bow deck tie down works to deflect water too. On the other had the low bow makes for less windage. The multi adjustable seat is pretty nice compared to anything else out there, and the easily adjustable foot pegs should be standard equipment. If you want just one boat for tamer water, I think you like this one.
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06-13-2006
Submitted by: HenrySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I absolutely love my Pungo;it's one of the older pungo 12ft models.Its the best fishing kayak for me.I love it because it track fairly well going backward which is the way I like to fish with streamers;that way i can feel the light takes.Mine doesn't have the bulkhead behind the seat and that allows my 30lb terrier to ride in the back.The boat is incredably fast for its length.I've owned quite a few kayaks this is my favorite.
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05-15-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Thanks to the reviews posted here I'm the proud owner of a Pungo 120. After months of research I picked one up, took it out for the first paddle yesterday. Not an ideal day, strong winds but the boat did well. A short trial run turned into a 5 hour paddle. I'm 6'3" and 250 lbs and I found the boat very comfortable and stable. I've canoed for years but this is my first yak.
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03-25-2006
Submitted by: TimSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Pungo 120 for about 1.5 years now and its been excellent. I've used it on a variety of water. Its very stable, I've been in several foot high waves and had no problem (highly recommend a spray skirt for this). I've also used it for longer trips and fishing and its been very versatile. Quality overall is high and though its picked up some scratches I've never had issues even with very rough use. I would highly recommend it.
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05-30-2005
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Miss my first kayak, a dark green Pungo. A great introduction to the sport. Big cockpit is good. Sprayskirt is recommended, highly recommended. Quite efficient paddler & tracker for it's length. You could make mileage in this boat. Tough as nails, too. Yes it scratched easily, but those scratches carry unique memories. I'm into sea kayaks now, but would like to collect another good used scratched up Pungo. It's a classic. Beware though, other Wilderness Systems products are suspect, in my 'pinion.
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05-16-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my first two Pungos (now they call that model Pungo Classic) going on four years ago. I've introduced more than three dozen people to paddling ages 7 to 82 using the Pungos. They all felt safe and secure due to great stability and tracking. And they all had a great-great time.
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12-12-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Follow up review. Problem was resolved with my Pungos and had a great summer paddling these things with huge loads. Tracked straight and handled great in all conditions. All our friends loved them and always wanted to take them for a spin. I could not ask for a better first kayak. Recommend float bags though, these things can hold a lot of water.
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08-05-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 5 of 10

     Picked up 2 Pungo classics about a month ago. Both my girlfriend and I loved them after our first short paddle on the Deschutes river in Bend, Oregon. On our second paddle I started to get annoyed cause my girlfriend was having dificulty keeping up with me and I started to notice differences in the boats. I hopped in hers and it was like paddling a completely different boat. It was slow, sluggish, tracked ok but pulls a little to the right. Her boat also sat a lot lower in the water and the cockpit was definately shallower. I put a measuring tape to the boats and found pretty dramatic differences in the two boats. One has almost a 2 inch wider cockpit, flater, wider bottom, and 3 inch shallower cockpit. To sum things up, we absolutely love one of our pungo's and the other one is barely tolerable. We are trying to get the situation resolved through the dealer and wilderness systems but it is proving difficult as they say they have never heard of the problem before. Make sure to measure the cockpit before you buy. I think that one of the molds it messed up. The cockpit should be only 19 inches wide at the seat (outside lip)..Good Luck
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07-15-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     We recently bought the Pungo 100 for my wife. She wanted an easy to handle kayak to go out with me on the local ponds and rivers (I have a Carolina 16.0, a little bigger than what she was after.) I was concerned that I'd have to back off the pace a little when we went out together...Not so!! This little kayak moves along pretty well. I've even taken it out a couple of times myself. It tracks surprisingly well for a small kayak, and will still turn on a dime if you want it to. It's very stable, easy entry/exit and easy to transport. The only negative (and it's not tough to live with) is the fact that it does pick up a little extra water because of the oversized cockpit. All in all, a great little boat.
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07-14-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     It was love at first paddle. My Pungo 100 is a little gem. It is perfect for me. I can lift it and handle it with very little effort. I love the seat and it tracks great on the river. I have even used it the bay-side of the ocean and had a blast! I would recommend this little boat to anyone who just wants to have FUN! Very roomy interior and the dog (Tilly) loves being the captain. Highly recommend this boat!
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06-28-2004
Submitted by: AnneSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Pungo Classic - LOVE IT. Stable, responsive, hard to capsize (unless you want to - and it was such a beautiful warm day today in the DC area that I dumped out a lot jsut o play in the water!) Just took a class in self-rescue and assisted rescue and realize I would like a skirt (nylon, I think - not neoprene) and some flotation bags to displace water. It does hold a lot of water!
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06-25-2004
Submitted by: RichSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I love my Pungo Classic. It handles great and the seat is wonderful. It has plenty of room. The only problem I have is due to its length. I have some trouble getting it on the top of my truck. It is ackward for me. It handles great. and tracks superbly. I usually have to wait for my friends to keep up with me.
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06-08-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Pungo--the little kayay that could....and does! With a friend, I spent a winter researching and pondering my first kayak. I learned that it's all about compromise--so many boats had features I liked, but which would I REALLY benefit from? I loved reading the reviews here and elsehwere, they were "armchair" demos which helped keep me on track. For me, there was only one solution--two boats! My final mission became that of sharing the experience with others who "always wanted to try kayaking" and specifically my daughter (12 years old). For less than the price of a week at camp, she has her own boat, and I have the pleasure of her company on the water. For her, for my wife, for friends, siblings and anyone interested, I wanted a boat that would be "friendly," that is, stable, comfortable, easy to get into and out of, and ultimately, FUN. The Pungo scores big in every category. A HUGE plus, is it's "dogability" with the large cockpit, which also allows for stretching your own dogs (feet). The hull design makes for a rock-steady experience and it tracks like a much longer boat, while retaining good manuverablity due to it's short length. On chilly days, the large cockpit does take in some paddle splash, but they make mini-skirts (fashions DO come back!) and I plan to get or make one. My other kayak is a Prijon Calabria (14'-5", which I will review after my rudder comes) and both it and the Pungo can be put into the back of my Chevy Astro (I love that split rear door!), for a quick load-and-go. Even with the two kayaks, I often opt for the Pungo because of it's dependable tracking and stability and if it's cold and I'm bundled, the large cockpit is a plus. Everyone mentions it because it's so incredible: the phase 3 seating is as good as it gets, I am prone to back fatigue when in one position but it's never happened, and in a rec yak, that's a big plus. Have used it on rivers with some riffles and small rapids, inland lakes and withing the breakwater on Lake Michigan. I have the Classic, because it was a great deal at REI (in 2003) and the 120 was constantly backordered.
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09-23-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I had my Pungo Classic out for a weekend trip, finally! There were three different kayaks on our outing and the Phase 3 seat in my Pungo was declared the unanimous winner! The coaming height was a little awkward for the shorter paddlers, but it's not a problem for me. There was plenty of room for all my gear, in dry bags. It's not the fastest, or the lightest boat on the market, but it's been the perfect first boat. It's affordable, forgiving, and so far, really stable. With the polyvinyl hull, I don't have to worry about beaching the boat and ruining the finish!
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08-26-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just got my Pungo Classic and I am pretty pleased with the amount of boat I got for the money. The Phase 3 seat was the big selling point for me while I was researching kayaks. You can't go wrong with the comfort that it offers. When I get fatigued or tired, I just change the seat position and I have another new position to paddle from. You can recline, sit upright to really dig in, the different combos are endless. The Pungo tracks well for a boat of this size, it handles wind and chop better than I ever imagined. I am looking forward to paddling it on rivers as I have only had it on lakes. About the only reason I can think of to mark this boat down is the lack of bulkhead (like on the new Pungo 120). What you get is a little compartment with a drybag inside. I think with a little imagination I can come up with a way to create better storage space. Thinking about adding a bulkhead with some kind of closed cell foam. You won't regret buying this boat if you get the deal that I did ($399 plus 10% of purchase price towards gear at Galyan's). Happy paddling!
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08-18-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 1 of 10

     I gave this a rating of one, only because there were no options below 0. Bought my Pungo at a certain big time sporting goods store. The kayak that I sat in and checked out at the store was sold, so I took a new one still wrapped. On our first expedition, only 30 feet off shore, I realized there was a pointed object sticking me in the back. Paddled back to shore. It was a spike about 2 inches long. It went from the plastic back of the seat, through the foam and fabric seat cover! Darn near impaled me. Took it back to the indifferent sales manager at the indifferent chain store. He said if I brought it around to the back, he'd clip off the spike. I told him that the foam and fabric on the seat were ruined, and I wanted a new seating system. Told me I'd have to contact Wilderness Systems and ask them to send me one. Said his store wouldn't do anything. But, if I wanted a refund, he'd give it to me, and he bragged that he could still sell the boat without any trouble AND without lowering the price, because his store's price was unbeatable. And, he did not know when/if any more Pungos would arrive, so someone would snap it right up. So, I got my refund, as I did not want to be stuck with a damaged seat, and only a faint promise of restitution. I e-mailed Wildnerness Systems. Told them story. They e-mailed me and also called me and left me a voice mail at work. In the phone call, an employee apologized and then said that Wilderness Systems really didn't have control over its vendors. It was "unfortunate" as he phrased it. But, as a show of good faith, they are sending me some bumper stickers and a free baseball hat!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can anyone believe this? What happened to companies caring about their product? What ever happened to customer satisfaction? And, why on earth would I want to give them free advertising?? So, go to Wilderness Systems for all your kayak needs if this is how you would like to be treated.
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06-23-2003
Submitted by: LWSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought two Pungo Ultra Lights after renting tandems for several years. We love them !!! Paddle in lakes and coastal backwaters. They are very stable, even in wind and currents. We are in our 60s and can't be on the water enough. The seats are great but I agree the foot pedals could be a little bigger. But nothing is perfect but these boats come close.
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06-02-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     What a boat! Pungo Classic at Galyan's for $359, almost impossible to achieve, they sell out within days. Waited 2 months for a green one which is now camoflaged to be able to sneak up on nature a little easier. I have a severely degenerative spine with great pain....show me ANY other kayak anywhere near this price with such a great seat with a high back, padded, stable without working at it. Light for a plastic boat (44 lbs.), tracks like a dream, only wish would be a bigger compartment but there is lots of room for dry bags so why complain. Great platform to fly fish from!
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05-27-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Third trip out on my new Pungo Classic and I find it to be a delightful little boat, great for fishing. The first time out I caught a 10 lb channel cat on a jig and the stability and ease of use of the Pungo made fighting the fish an easy chore. It rides high on the water, has some nice speed if you want it, and after using a boat with a rudder most of the time, its a pleasure not to have to deal with that. My only minor gripe, but not much of one, is that sometimes when I stop paddling, it veers slightly to the right. I'm already projecting on the next kayak, probably a Tarpon 160, or a Pungo 140, but this one will stay in the "fleet". Its a keeper, and I'm sure I'll enjoy its capabilities for some time to come.
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03-17-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have the older style Pungo 120, purchased used for a very good value. It was my first 'Sit-In' kayak, much pursued by my girlfriend because she doesn't like the 'Sit-On-Top' feeling of my original Malibu II kayak. The Pungo has been an excellent fishing boat, and faster than my 'Sit-On-Top' Malibu II (but anything is faster than that mother of all kayaks!). It tracks well, turns well, and I have caught numerous catfish with it. I gave it a 9 and not a 10 only because there wasn't much storage space and the little hatch behind the seat might as well be worthless. The cockpit is great and roomy, so you can put some fishing tackles around there. I think this is a great all around sit-inside kayak for anyone.
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01-27-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought a Pungo 140 in October. I wanted an upgrade to my original Pungo (original 12 footer). I do love this new kayak. The Pungo 140 feels better, paddles easier, is faster than my friendís 17-foot sea kayak, and will serve well as a light touring boat. However, one issue that I have with it is that there are some uneven lines. This is apparently a result of a bad mold because every Pungo 140 that I have seen has them. This conclusion is also based on conversations with factory staff. As others have mentioned here, I found that the rear hatch does not have enough clearance to secure the lid well . . . by hand. I use my paddle to push the hatch cover down into the hatch groove to secure it. The Pungo 140 would have rated a 10 otherwise.
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11-25-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just bought a Pungo 100 and paddled it this evening for the first time. Its lighter weight and shorter length made it so much easier to carry, load and launch than my 12ft Pungo. It tracked just as well as the 12 footer, and seemed faster to me, while still demonstrating the same stability of the longer version. There is a little less room, of course, but I still managed to squeeze my dog in there in front of the seat. The Phase three seat is super, too. I miss the little pocket hatch where I stowed my cell phone and keys, but I can see that the large hatch will come in handy too. I donít miss that hard plastic hatch cover on the older Pungo. That could be so hard to open! The soft rubber hatch cover on the Pungo 100 is much easier to manage. Having sold one of my 12ft Pungos today, I am now definitely going to sell the other and buy a second Pungo 100!
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11-21-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently purchased a Pungo 140 and paddled it for the first time on the Pamilco River.The 140 tracks strait as an arrow in calm water and lightswells w/ execellent stability.In rougher water w/ higher winds , the 140 is more of a handful to keep strait but still is easier to paddle than the old style Pungo that I currenty own as well. Setting the Two Pungos Side By Side , the 140 appears to look more like a Manteo w/ a large cockpit than its old namesake.The main design flaw is that the bulk head cover is very hard to seal due to lack of clearance around it which will probally be addressed w/ later models. All In all, I have been pleased and would recommend this Kayak.
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11-19-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     "PUNGO140" I'm surprised for the lack of reviews of the new ones. We have both old style and new 140. You set them side by side only thing that looks familiar is the cockpit size. The new one seems easier to paddle and faster, but it is longer, track straight,stable, handles excellent on calm, flat water, put it in wind and chop, its hard to keep straight. But in calm water its hard to beat, the sides are lower which makes it paddle better for me, seems to feel more comfortable than old style. One thing i don't like is the hatch covers, they are hard to get on, because they didn't leave enough clearance around them or lip should have higher. The poly is suppose to be better and lighter, but looks cheaper, they should ahve had a sealed bulkhead in front, like the back, just for flotation purpose it would have been worth the extra money in price to me. Looks like they should have some common sense help designed kayaks, along with the brain people, all in all i would rate it 9 out of 10, also plan to buy a 120 in the future. Happy paddling!!
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11-02-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     We just bought two used Pungo's and love them so far. They are 2002 models, so they don't have bulkheads, which I would have liked, but I got a great deal that I just 'couldn't refuse'. We've had them in Lake Michigan a couple of times, the Chicago River, and the Dowagiac River in SW Mich. I am very happy with the manueverability of a kayak vs. a canoe and actually find it more stable, too. I think a canoe would have been much more difficult to navigate on the Dowagiac, as there were many downed trees. I will say that a canoe is much easier to empty of water than a kayak, as my daughter tipped hers (goofing around) in the frigid Dowagiac. I bought a bilge pump 2 days later, along with a couple of dry bags for clothes. I wasn't aware of the large number of great places to paddle near Chicago - many within a 1-2 hours drive. I think these boats will be getting plenty of use. For general paddling on slow water, as well as fishing, I think these are just what we need.
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08-14-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My husband and I recently purchased 2 Pungos by Wilderness Systems. We love them! This is our first year kayaking and after turning 50 years old, who would have ever thought we would begin kayaking!! Now it's our time for fun and that is exactly what we're doing! Seriously, we do love them and highly recommend them if anyone is in the process of looking. "Good Luck" Ann Marie & Bob
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08-13-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Whooooeeeee! This is an awesome little boat! I have caught all kinds of fish in it and it has become my friend. Its about as good as its a gonna get for fishin' with a single kayak in a river like the Susquehanna. Them there fish don't stand a chance when you sneak up on em.
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08-06-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I feel so lucky to have my Pungo. I went to buy one from a local store, and they were completely sold out. After much research, I found a store in RI with only one Pungo left, and it was the color I wanted. Thank you Sakonnet Boathouse people! This yak is the best! It's a straight tracker with good speed. I cut through powerboat waves and the stability is amazing. The Phase 3 seat keeps my butt comfy. I paddled off of Cape Cod in Massachusetts in fairly strong current, and it was great. This is no tempermental yak. Ha ha!
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08-05-2002
Submitted by: DESend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I rented a Pungo Ultralight and used it in a calm lake. I was really impressed with the light, sturdy struction and the innovative hull design. The Pungo tracked rather straight and was easy to turn. The light weight and sleek V design allows it to get up to speed quickly and maintain that speed easily. The small hatch to keep items dry was handy. The phase 3 seat is superb, best kayak seat I've used! This one's a winner. Why not a 10? Well, it did seem to track slightly to the left and the plastic seam down the middle has some sharp corners. I would still buy this kayak in a heartbeat.
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07-29-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is my first kayak. I am very pleased that I purchased the pungo. The kayak 's large cockpick allows me to store a waterproof bag in front of me and within easy reach. The kayak is very stable and tracks very well. At first I thought that I would go kayaking on the lakes and rivers of Long Island. However,they are few in number compared to the many inlets and sounds and bays. The pungo handles the waves ,currents and wind better than can expected. I enjoy using the kayak and look forward to each day I go in the water. I would recommend the Pungo to anyone looking for a stable and versitible kayak. I use my boat for photography and the kayak has remained stable so no picture has become blurred. I would recommend that the Pungo have a larger hatch rather than the small rope holder it presently has.
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07-10-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased the reg. Wilderness System Pugo in April because I wanted a lighter "plastic" boat. It replaced my Dagger Delta. My uses are: camping, rocky bodies of water, and to crunch ice -- I still am able to get out on some water up to Christmas if I bang the hull of the kayak in an attempt to smash ice to reach open water. I like the Pungo's weight. It is stable, tracks terrific (better than my expensive kevlar Dagger Willow), has a great seating system, roomy, handles well, good speed, plenty of lashing. Drawbacks? The tiny screw on hatch -- it should at least have a secure loop. Other than that I have no regrets other than to say it's heavy filled with water. Do learn how to handle the boat. Additional floatation might be a consideration / or keep a pup handy. Wear a PFD and learn how to handle an overturned boat. It's heavy when filled with water.
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06-24-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After trying MANY different yaks i decided on a Pungo.The boat is very stable,tracks great,has very good speed and manuvers real well. Plenty of room inside for gear fore and aft and bungies as well on both decks. Theres also a small screw on/off hatch with a bag to hold small items like keys,wallet,etc. The new Phase 3 seat is the most comfortable of all I tried. It handles wind and waves easily giving plenty of confidence when things get nasty. Some of the others I tried were nice too particularly the WS Pamlico 140. I might have gone with that one but its a tad too long for my Toyota pu bed. The boat is just a blast to paddle around! I use it mostly for fishing with both fly and regular tackle. Later on I'll use it for hunting as well. Mine has the sand color which should help it blend in with reeds for hunting and is less likely to spook fish. I tried both the std and the ultra light versions. Cant say I noticed any difference between them in performance or weight. Both are easily lifted/loaded into my truck. If your looking for a boat for lakes and bays it's great. From what others have said it's not much of a white water boat but I've never tried it in rapids yet. I would prefer a larger hatch in back with an air tight bulkhead and a paddle holder should be std on all yaks. But other than that theres nothing to complain about. I love it!
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06-10-2002
Submitted by: KMS
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just traded in my old Pungo for a new Pungo Superlight. The new superlight is just terrific. Being 10 pounds lighter makes it a breeze to lift and move around and the new seat is wonderful. Very comfortable. I love this boat and will enjoy it for years to come !
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06-10-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just took my new Pungo for it's maiden voyage. I live just a few blocks from a river and got to see parts of it I've never seen before. I love the Pungo. I am completely new to kayaking and had no problem paddling upstream through current. I did have to pull the boat through a couple of shallow riffles but that was about it. I bought this mostly for fishing so I can't wait to try it on a lake. It definitely tracks well. Even as a novice I had no problem handling it. Oh yes. I am short but large. Wilderness system deserves any awards they can get for the phase three seat. I was never uncomfortable for a minute!
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06-07-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have a Pungo that is rigged for fishing and I love it. It is a very well rounded kayak and it performs extremely well in slow to moderate river currents. I am a pretty big load at 6'4" and 245 lbs, and I feel very comfortable fishing in my Pungo for several hours at at time. The new seat design can be adjusted comfortably to fit just about anyone and you can adjust your seat while on the water. The hull design produces a very fast tracking kayak with very reliable secondary stability. I couldn't be happier.
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05-22-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've enjoyed my Pungo for around a year now, on slow moving rivers, and on lakes. Great stability and it tracks well on open water. We also injoy our Pamlico tandem.

A shortfall of the Wilderness System company is their customer service. I had some difficulty obtaining the Certificate of Origin when I purchased both kayaks (necessary here in PA in order to regisiter) and recently I wrote to them when I had difficulty with the WS sprayskirt I purchased for my Pungo. My request for service was ignored. Don't purchase a WS sprayskirt if you are the owner of a Pungo.

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05-14-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been out on my Pungo for 12 trips. I love this Kayak. I have been out on calm seas to very rough seas. On calm water is tracks very well and is very comfortable. I put my feet up and relax. Even if a rogue hit me the kayak handles it with no worry about flipping. On rough water it cuts through the waves with amazing grace.

I go out with 2 friends with Perception Sierra's and my kayak is much more responsive. Pungo tracks better and turns much cleaner. Pungo moves through the rough seas and handle the tough currents much better. At the end of a rough trip my friends tend to have quite a bit of water in their cockpits, my Pungo barely any. After all my experience so far I unequivocally give the Pungo a 10.

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04-09-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Took out my new Pungo yesterday to Kerr Lake in N.C. I am a complete newbie and this was my first time in a kayak. I selected a small cove and paddled around the shoreline for about 2 hrs. My confidence grew sharply after about 30 minutes. The boat tracked beautifully and had adequate stability. I put the boat through it's paces: sharp turns, speed runs, backing up, etc. I loved the control of the Pungo. As a rough test, I pulled up beside a floating dock, and with my arm resting on the dock, leaned over and rolled the boat as far as it would go to get a sense of what it would take to flip it. Verdict? The boat is very stable so long as you remain conscious of what you are doing. If you lunge for the side, however, you are going for a swim. It kind of reminds me of riding a bicycle. Sure the bike will fall down, but it's a simple matter if you know how to balance and ride it.

I am delighted with my purchase, and look forward to exploring small rivers and lakes. Unlike many boatmen, I am very interested in what occurs long the shorelines more so than open water. I've got several modifications in mind, but don't want to do them prematurely until I have adequate experience and know precisely what needs to be done. The size of the boat is a big plus. It fits in the back of my small pickup easily.

Thanks everyone for making my kayak purchase easier. I'm rating the Pungo a 9 and a 10 scale. From my point of view you can never get enough stability, so no kayak is truly perfect. This one is close, however.

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04-02-2002
Submitted by: RaySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Sold my heavy tampem, and purchase two new Pungo Superlights. Did a lot of research. I decided on the Pungo Superlight for three reasons, one, Wilderness Systems reputation, two, the weight of the boat and three, the new seat. I never demo the boat and took them out yesterday. I was little nervous, and was overjoyed with the boats. I knew I made the right choice, it was comfortable, tracked very well and was fast. With being lightweight it was a pleasure to take on and off my SUV.
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03-29-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After years of wanting a kayak I finally bought a 2002 Pungo Superlight in February. Did extensive research and decided to go with the Pungo because of the wide cockpit and stability. I'm a big guy, 6'1'' 220lbs. and also am a newspaper photo editor so I can't seem to ever put my camera down.This kayak is ideal for the four times I've been out in it this winter. I live in Southwest Michigan which has the wackiest weather and so far have just been on local lakes. I'm anxious to do some river kayaking as soon as the weather warms up. I decided to spend the extra $100 or so for the Superlight over the basic Pungo. The Superlight weighs about 41 lbs. and I car top it on top of my Jeep Wrangler and it's a piece of cake to do.
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03-19-2002
Submitted by: EMPSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My dear, sweet wife just surprised me with an Ice Blue Pungo, yesterday, on our 5th Anniversary. Wow! I must be doing something right, huh? Anyway, the Phase 3 Seating System is so incredibly clever I can't get over it. I rented a Pungo a couple of years ago and liked it a lot, but this wonderfully adjustable and exceptionally comfortable seat just takes the Pungo to the stratosphere, to infinity and beyond! The advertising hype on this is no hype-it's an understatement! Our two daughters (3+ and 19 months) will have plenty of room to go with me on nature paddles. They both seem totally smitten by it, just sitting and crawling around in it in the back yard. My only concern, now, is, how can I keep my wife from ever paddling it? If she discovers how much fun and great exercise kayaking is, she might take it away from me...
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03-07-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     Got mine three years ago after a brief survey of people using kayaks for salt water flyfishing. The Pungo was easily the reported boat of choice by 2-1. After countless hours of fishing it in all kinds of conditions, I can see why. Short design and light weight make getting it there easy. Large cockpit (and mini skirt) makes for perfect access to gear instantly. Stability and tracking are flawless. (Even 2'-3' boat wakes havn't rolled it.) Only a couple of minor gripes. Floatation that comes with the boat is barely adaquate. If it did swamp,it goes to water level so you'd be bailing till your birthday. A rear/forward bulkhead would be a BIG asset. I ended up adding extra foam and some dry bags "just in case". Lastly, while speed/efficiency is certainly reasonable (and enjoyable), It's not quite as fast as my buddies loon 138. ( of course it's 10% lighter and 15% shorter as well.) Almost wish they made it in a 14' version to get just a touch more speed on those days where the fish aren't biting:-)
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02-25-2002
Submitted by: Kevin PrevetteSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought a Pungo 2 years ago and find it very easy to carry and get into. Use it for fishing and find it works very well for that. Only problem I have had with it is getting used to the on-deck behind the seat head/toilet. In shallow water I can exit the boat and have no touble - good capacity, but in deeper water where I can't get out it is tricky and even dangerous to try and straddle the rear deck while attending to personal business. Other than that, it's great.
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02-04-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought a Pungo last week with new seat system, went paddling today at local lake. Wind was blowing 15+ MPH across lake with small white caps, temp mid 50's. Put boat in and paddled for about 1.5 hrs. Boat is extremely stable, very comfortable and paddles very well into wind and chop. Was surprised how straight the boat paddled considering it's length (12'). New seat system is 100% EXCELLENT. Hope it holds up in durability. Boat is easy to turn if you slow up a bit. The hard chines add significantly to initial and secondary stabilty. Could have napped without falling out. Lots of gear room but put airbag bag in stern for extra flotation in case I went over (didnt need it but good safety item). The new boats (2002 Models are being shipped with float bags now too which is a PLUS) I liked this boat so well I bought a second one for my wife. So if you want STABLE, good initial and secondary stability, lots of cockpit, straight paddle and light ...(49 lbs advertised) plus a great comfortable seat get a Pungo.

Would have rated 10 if had a bulkhead and larger hatch. I think a bulkhead is a great safety feature in the event of a swamping although the Pungo has foam in both ends and a bag. I am 5' 7 about 190. I fit in the boat fine.

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12-11-2001
Submitted by: SteveSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just bought the Pungo on Sunday. Was going to wait til spring but it was a great buy. Wilderness Systems is offering 10% rebate now til the 31st and the the store gave me $100 in store credit. Best deal I seen on this boat since I been looking. I demo the Pungo in Sept and it is a great boat. The one I gotis the Ice Blue and has the Phase 3 seat in it which should be very comfortable. Can't wait to take it on the water, here in NC the winters arent too bad.
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11-13-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently bought a basic Pungo, new, with the Phase-3 outfitting (seat). The Phase-3 seat is what sold me on the Wilderness Systems brand. If you have yet to try this seat, only do so if you are prepared to buy a Wilderness Systems kayak on the spot! It blows the competition away. In addition, the Pungo is fast, stable, and tracks very well. I will be using it all year Ďround in Central Virginia and in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Even though I am a large man, there is plenty of room for gear. I use the Pungo for fishing. I am able to cast from side to side with no fear of capsize. The stealthy nature of it allowed me to observe a bobcat on the lake bank yesterday! I am rating the Pungo a 9 out of 10 due to some minor cosmetic issues. The external seam on the deck near the cockpit is FAR from smooth. This was true for every 2002 Pungo I looked at (approximately 8 of them).
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10-03-2001
Submitted by: JMDSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After much research I bought the Pungo for fishing all seasons on North Florida tidal creeks and grass flats. I'm 6'4" and it is very comfortable. The ads say it tracks like it's on rails and it does. I was surprised at how fast it is and how much territory I could cover quickly. Getting in and out is easy because I can straddle it in up to a foot of water, hold both sides, and just sit down or stand up. The new models have a seat back that easily adjusts in height. I will be outfitting it with my own plan for rod holders, an anchor, and other fishing accessories. I ran it into some barnacle covered rocks and found out that the plastic was softer than I thought. It's not indestructible.
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10-01-2001
Submitted by: VPELLSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     If you're looking for a recreational kayak that is easy on the wallet but that has some of the performance qualities of a higher-end boat, the Pungo is for you. Tracks well, roomy enough for a larger paddler (or lots of gear), light enough to car-top yourself. Super stable for the kids! The deck rigging and multi-chine hull make for a quality boat without the high price! My husband and I love these boats!!
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09-17-2001
Submitted by: pjSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just got my pungo and is everything I heard about it to be. Had it out on lakes and tracked and handled very well. Just trying to get used to the foot peddles, but it is a lot of fun. Can't wait to go fishing with it. May have to get a skirt for it for fall.
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08-23-2001
Submitted by: Karen
Rating: 10 of 10

     Pungo is my second kayak and I love it. My first was a Old Towne 138T and I had it for one month and traded it in for a Pungo. The 138T was too long and heavy for me to transport to the beach, but the Pungo is perfect. Compared to the 138T, the Pungo is 10 pounds lighter and two feet shorter so it is much easier for me to move it around by myself. Also, I am a plus size woman and it is very, very easy for me to get in and out of it. The large cockpit is wonderful. The cockpit for the Old Towne 138T was too narrow and not fun to get into. But the Pungo is a delight. The Pungo is the best and I use it a lot !!
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08-14-2001
Submitted by: Jerry
Rating: 9 of 10

     Probably the best recreational kayak in this class. Bought one used last year and have been extremely pleased. Great for fishing and cruising the shallow back bays off Long Island. Very well made (Have you noticed how cheap the Dagger and Perception rec kayaks have gotten).
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07-23-2001
Submitted by: ginnySend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Wilderness Pungo was the second kayak I ever tried. The first one was Old Town and by the end of the day I had tipped it over twice. I have used a friends Pungo and felt the difference immediately ... so much so I bought one (used) for being 3 years old, it was still in perfect condition.
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07-16-2001
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I began exploring the world of kayaking about 6 months ago. I have been involved with some type of canoe/sail/or powerboat most of my adult life. I signed off the expense/maintenance/insurance and storage associated with most forms of boating and decided to purchase kayaks for my wife and I. Goals: fish, explore and exercise. My first boat after a lot of research, "nervous looking" and use of this Product Review resource was a Wilderness Systems Pungo. The size of cockpit, storage capacity and stability meet my fishing needs. However, it is surprisingly fast and fun to paddle for a wide, recreational kayak. It handles rivers or lakes with good efficiency. Seat is comfortable for both back and "bottom" permiting extended paddling. I purchased a spray skirt and intend to push the limits of the paddling season here in Tennessee. Great boat! Rated a 9 of 10 as I don't rate anything on a 10 level.
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07-16-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I had initially planned to buy a sit-on-top since I'm not a small girl and rather claustrophobic. However, my husband brought the Wilderness Systems catalogue home and I spotted the Pungo. Seemed like a possibility. When I went to the showroom, I sat in it and was sold. I've had it a couple of months now and don't regret it. Even with more in-boat experience, I still prefer (require, even!) the larger cockpit in front. Overall, I find the boat insanely stable and easy to paddle. Holds tons of gear, despite the lack of hatches. Just get a dry bag or two and there's tons of room fore and aft. I use a small bolster-type pillow (I made it of plain cotton, filled with foam peanuts) under my knees, which makes the boat very comfortable, as well. The foot pegs are tiny, but with the knee roll, they're all you need. And I do wish the back rest were a little higher. WS offers a seat back extension, though. I've paddled on flat rivers and in Lake Ontario when it's lightly choppy and find that I don't even need a sprayskirt, as long as I paddle into the waves. In cooler seasons, though, I probably will spring for the miniskirt if I don't make one myself. Overall, a great easy-going boat that can still travel distances.
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06-04-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     We were new to kayaking 6 months ago and bought a pungo, manteo & pamlico tandem. Absolutely love the pungo, easy paddling effort and in windy conditions it is far easier to keep pointed where you want than 12 other kayaks we have rented. It repeatedly is the one desired out of the 6 we have. Used in winter and heavy wind with a spray skirt, our favorite.
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05-22-2001
Submitted by: DavidSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought a manteo for me and a pungo for the wife at the New England paddlesports show. Boats have almost identical hull designs the pungo just a bit shorter. Wife liked the pungo because of the much larger cockpit, she doesn't like the feeling of being closed in. Both boats are much faster than other boats in their size range but a little less manuerverable.
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04-23-2001
Submitted by: BobSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Four of us went out last summer for a day and I rented a pungo, it was my first time in a kayak. The ease of getting in and out and paddling this boat made my day. I am 44 and was not tired even after 6 hours of fun. It got me hooked and I bought a Kayak this fall. My interests lie more in longer trips or open water so I bought a larger boat but am thinking of getting a Pungo for my wife or just a second boat. Buy one you won't regret it. Pay attention to your paddle purchase, It's the first thing I upgraded after only one season. Good luck.
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03-12-2001
Submitted by: John T.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Pungo late last summer. I had never kayaked befor. It was supposed to be for my 17, 15, and 11 year old kids. We fight over it each time out. This fall and winter I used it on a very large lake for duck hunting. Thats right, DUCK HUNTING. The Pungo will hold me, my American Water Spanial and about 10 decoys very comfortably. I had to teach my dog not to stand in the kayak as the craft becomes very unwieldly. But once shee understood that she must lay or sit between my legs it handled great. I would beach the kayak and command her to "sit" while went out about 30 yards to place the decoys. Once we set upthis way she did the retrieving. I plan to use my pungo for fly fishing on the lake for lake trout this spring. I must say that even in the cold wind on the lake I always felt secure. And I ALWAYS had my life vest on.
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02-07-2001
Submitted by: DaveSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I use my kayak for mainly fishing in west central Florida. I own a S.O.T Ocean kayak, Scupper Pro tankwell 14 feet in length. The Pungo I happened on to by accident at a local dealer while looking for a second boat to leave at my mothers house, 80 miles away. I was sure I was going to get another sit on top and wanted somthing that is quicker than the scupper. I took a look at several models and found this homely Pungo. The dealer highly recommended this boat for what I needed and I took it for a test paddle. The rest is history. I fell in love with this boat within minutes! I found it to be more comfortable than my s.o.t. even after a 10 mile paddle. I also did not need the clip on seat, thigh straps and all the rod holders that are requered on a s.o.t., saving me a couple hundred bucks.It also is QUICKER and TRACKS better than my 14"s.o.t.! I couldn't believe it! This is THE boat! I would have bought this one first instead of the sot had I known about it.
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01-14-2001
Submitted by: WBK
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is one of the best recreational kayaks I have used. The large cockpit makes getting in and out easy. Stability is very good. The kayak is a good all around performer. It's only downfall is that it tends to drag in shallow water. I highly recomend this kayak.
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12-15-2000
Submitted by: DougSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I shopped around for the best Kayak to meet my needs and limited budget(with two in college) I really wanted a pungo,but settled for a 138 from Old Town,purchased as a left over..This boat has and does everything.. When I purchased the Old Town the dealer remarked that they sell off there rentals in late fall..I signed up for a Pungo . I purchased a pungo at less then half the store price ..This boat is a little smaller at 12.1 and not so forgiving over fast rocky areas,but with the two boats it can't get any better then this ,no wonder you can't find them used ..DNR.
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11-15-2000
Submitted by: JeffSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     After testing a variety kayaks at my local dealers demonstration I selected a Pungo. I use it almost daily in the often turbulent weather and water in the panhandle of Florida. It is easy to get in and out of, it is very stable and tracks well. The cockpit is big enough so you can get air and sun on a nice day and it is easy to put a half skirt on to stay dry in nasty weather. With the price of gasoline like it is my neighbors with expensive power boats are intrigued with my Pungo. I highly recommmend one.
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11-14-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     After looking at the reviews on this boat that are already posted I really don't have a lot to add except that it is the best rec. kayak out there!I've had a few of them and paddled others and this boat does it all very well.For a beginner it is great and for fishing or just messing about it is great. Tracks well, turns good and is very very stable. Easyin and out and loads of room to put stuff and one of the few boats that stuff behind the seat can be got to without getting out of the boat.
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09-18-2000
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I live in the Midwest, and paddle mostly on smaller lakes, so the Pungo is an excellent boat for me. I am a big guy so I choose the Pungo for its big cockpit, padded seat, and ease of handling by myself. Not a high-performance boat, but stable, fast, manuverable, and comfortable enough for my purposes.
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08-31-2000
Submitted by: RichSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Finally, I can add my owner remarks for the Pungo. I am 49, 6'2", and 250. I love to fish and I love the water. My canoe is a 2 seater and I thought a Pungo kayak would be the answer. It was. When I fish I store my cooler behind the seat and push the tackle box forward towards the bow. My fish locator fits neatly behind me. Even with my older "football" back injuries I can fish comfortably for 5 hour stretches. As for speed...it's incredibly cool hearing kids say, "Gee Dad, kayaks are fast.", as I go whizzing past them. The Pungo is stable and fun. At the end of the day, the 50 pound kayak is an easy lift on top of my car. Enjoy your Pungo, and always wear your lifejacket.
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08-20-2000
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     For two years now, I have been renting at least 20 different types of kayaks, both touring and recreational, from all the leading companies, in order to get to know what would be best for me as an enthousiastic novice paddler. I've had a chance to experience different paddling conditions, either on lakes and rivers near my Montreal residence, and in the Cape Code waters, where I spend my summers. So far, I have taken this great Pungo out in the bays and open waters of the Cape, as well as on narrow tidal rivers, for a total of three entire days, which is not a lot. But it is already enough to feel amazed by it's potential, especially when I compare the Pungo with all the other kayaks I've tried in the past. Wow!!! Actually, I liked it so much and found it so versatile, I am now considering buying it, even if I plan some multi-days trips each summer. On choppy waters (2-3 feet bay waves) it is still a charm. It really turns on a dime and tracks like an arrow in all sorts of water conditions (very amazing for a recreational kayak!). As a large paddler, I found it was very easy to get in and out the boat. Now,why a 9 instead of a 10? Because of the foot braces: they're rather small and not quite comfortable.
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08-07-2000
Submitted by: MikeSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I got the Pungo a year ago...great for fishing! I like the way it handles and it's got room for my gear, as well as a small cooler (which i keep behind the seat). The Pungo has allowed me to fish places where a boat just couldn't go...I love it!
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07-16-2000
Submitted by: FredSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought 2 boats the same day - a Pungo for me and a Swifty for the kids. The Pungo tracks well and has a big enough cockpit for storing lunch and some fishing tackle. The only negative - and its a small one - is that at 50 pounds it is heavy at the end of the day and putting it on the van can be a chore. (The Swifty fits inside.) All in all its a great boat!
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06-24-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just got the Pungo a week ago, and love it. tracks better than any other recreational kayak I tried, and I tried alot: acadia, america, sandpiper, loon138, dagger, and a few others I forget the names of. comfortable, and fast, without killing myself, my gps said I was at 4.2 mph on my second time using it. and I'm a rookie that was moving along ,but not killing myself. if you're a fisherman, buy this boat, you won't regret it. Tom
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06-12-2000
Submitted by: Kyla
Rating: 10 of 10

     What a great kayak! Bought it yesterday, spent 5 hours on it today. With head winds of 10 to 15mph and waves breaking over the bow it tracked beautifully, and turned with little effort. Inital stability is really good, and only gets better as you get moving...big waves and I never even felt uncomfortable. And most importantly my butt doesn't hurt. I can 't tell you how happy I am with this boat...and it fits IN my geo tracker, ok it sticks out the back window, but it's easy to get it in and out, and the seat has enough padding that you can carry it on top of your head. Being that I only live a block from the lake so this is a big bonus. Ok, the only thing I don't like is the foot pegs...way too small, I like to go barefoot, and after a few hours of resting on an square inch of plasic my feet hurt.
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06-01-2000
Submitted by: RonSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Here's an update of my review from last year. For paddeling on bays, lakes, and smooth rivers the Pungo is a 10 for tracking, stability, and comfort. On shallow rivers with lots of rock and sand shoals its a 3, the hard bottom V gets hung up too easily and often. On class II rivers I'll give it a 8 as its pretty manuverable, but again beware the side chines as they hit the rocks below the waterline and give the boat a hard shift left or right. Great boat for open and deep water, but do not recommend if primary use is on rivers with lots of shallow shoals!
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04-06-2000
Submitted by: Coffee RichSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     So me and the brother took our new Pungo's on their maiden voyage recently. The weather started out not too bad the the wind continued to pick up as the day went on. The Pungo from Wilderness Systems turned out to be the exact type of kayak we were looking for. It has plenty of room to store the fishing gear yet comes in a nice 12' package. It didn't matter if we were going into the wind, across, or with it, the Pungo handled flawlessly. I did have a couple of the bigger 1.5" waves come over the top but that just reinforced my confidence in the kayak as the day went on. The only downside of the kayak would be that my lower back got a little sore after about an hour in this boat. Hopefully this will be something that can be fixed with some adjustments to the seat. Buy one...You Will Love It !!!!!!
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02-25-2000
Submitted by: WJDSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We've had four Pungoes for two years. Haven't used the canoe since we got them! Tracks great, flatwater, bay, river and a bit of class 1. Great for the whole family, ages 12 thru 49. I'd recommend it as a flatwater boat, no problems in wind and seas up to two feet, haven't gotten more daring than that yet, though.
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02-18-2000
Submitted by: EMPSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Rented one this week-my first time in a kayak! Very stable and easy to handle. Loved it for poking around mountain lake, exploring, looking for walleyes (unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found). A little small for my purposes; I think a SOT is more suitable for my saltwater fishing aspirations.
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02-07-2000
Submitted by: BRSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a follow up on my comments from last June:
Got stuck on kayaks and I blame it all on that darn Pungo. (will be selling off the two canoes this summer). After a full summer, fall and even early winter I believe I can add some comments to my earlier critique. Still think its a great boat. Been on lakes, rivers and streams and felt comfortable on all three. NO problems tracking open water with head or cross winds, almost impossible to tip over (when you do almost impossible to empty out too) and plenty of cockpit room for easy entry or exit. The skirt was an excellent addition this fall, takes a while to get it zipped up and in place but well worth the effort. The only negitave so far is the foot braces failed on me. First the Right one popped out of the bracket and shortly after the left one failed as well. Luckily I have one of the Midwest largest brick and mortar kayak stores close by to purchase a more substantial relpacement. This is definitely a boat that does many things VERY well.

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12-31-1999
Submitted by: DJHSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Oversized cockpit - very easy to enter/exit ----- only negative is its weight.
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12-02-1999
Submitted by: WillymozSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     A great fishing boat. Light enough to get to those out of the way put-in spots. Open design is ideal for easy access to gear, and keeps the lunkers from jumping off (as with sit on tops). Very fast and easy to paddle for its length. Waited for a used one for 6 months, finally had to buy one new!! Now I see why people don't sell them. Highly recommended.
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10-11-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm a river guide, leading trips on nearly 30 rivers in north Florida. Three quarters of my kayaks are Pungos. People love them. Their stability and tracking makes them great for first-timers. The large cock pit makes them great for fishing, exploring or any other activity that has you in and out of your boat a lot. It also allows you to keep binocs, camera, field guides and anything else you want quick access to right between your legs. No time lost unstrapping. Wanna swim? With very little practice you can slip in and out of your boat easily IN OPEN WATER! Try that with other boats. I'm hooked.
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09-27-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Bought a Pungo 2 weeks ago, had it in the water 4 times. Went to retailer to buy a Dagger Delta, but after comparing w/ Pungo selected it despite its funky looks. Tracks good with plennty of room. Hatch should be bigger. Seat comfortable but footbraces with sloped floor takes getting used too. Haven't taken it down Class I & II yet, then I'll know if I would recommend.
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08-15-1999
Submitted by: GSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Fun boat. Very stable and maneuverable. Easy to fish from because of the huge opening. I wish the hatch was a little bigger so I could hold larger items. Yes there is a cup holder. ( I've been asked a couple times.) Its my 3rd boat. The others are a Rascal(fun small boat) and the Loon 138(great value).
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07-26-1999
Submitted by: GusSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Have had my pungo for 10 months,it is my 3rd kayak.The large cockpit makes it easy to get in or out,also the large cockpit makes it easy for me to take along my camera gear for wildlife pictures,never leave home without my camera.The pungo tracks well and I have used it on rivers and lakes, and have even used it on the Gulf of Mexico ,however I would suggest using the skirt when paddling on the Gulf or the Ocean.Would definitely buy another one!!
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07-05-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had a pungo for two years now and go fishing & camping with it. My wife liked mine so much I just bought her one. I highly recomend it.
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06-30-1999
Submitted by: BRSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought a yellow Pungo( my 6 yr old son stated "it has to be a yellow one"} one week ago and have had it in the water 5 out of 7 days. What a great 1st kayak for the intire family to enjoy. This kayak handles well on open lakes with moderate wind to swift and narrow shallow streams, can't wait to get back on the water.
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06-15-1999
Submitted by: VickiSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Bought one to replace a problem Perception boat. The Pungo is a Great boat! Nice size. Stable and tracks well. Will probably buy another one soon.
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04-25-1999
Submitted by: BrentSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchased a Pungo and I have been very impressed with it's performance. Not only does it paddle smoothly it's also very stable. It is a great kayak to fish off of also! I would highly recommend this boat to anyone. Buy one and see!
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04-18-1999
Submitted by: BudSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great boat to fish from! It handles well in the ocean, as well as in rivers, lakes, and ponds. Paddled at Arcadia last fall and was amazed at how well it handled in 2 to 3 foot seas. Couldn't ask for a better first kayak.
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04-12-1999
Submitted by: JPGSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Very stable, easy to handle in and out of the water. A great kayak to fish from.
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04-05-1999
Submitted by: JerrySend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Great fun! Tracks well and easy to maneuver. A great size to store and car-top. I paddled for hours my first trip this spring and was still having a ball when I got back to the car. A great first kayak. No regrets!
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03-25-1999
Submitted by: RBMSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Pungo is stable, tracks great, has a large cockpit and reasonable price. Lots of Pungo's in my area and you will never see a used Pungo for sale.
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03-09-1999
Submitted by: Bill
Rating: 10 of 10

     Excellent recreational boat. Large cockpit makes entry/exit easy. Very stable and maneuverable. Tracks well, and its 50lb weight makes car topping relatively easy. I have done flat to quickwater in fairly windy conditions and the boat handles very well. Also ver rugged. Minuses -- a face only a mother could love.
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