We have been renting kayaks for several years in Florida at various locations, and are ready to buy. We have found two kayaks that we like - the Mainstream Patriot and the Wilderness Pungo. Can anyone offer advice that will help us choose?
paddles best and feels the most comfy?
it’s a decision you must make.
I agree with flatpick
Which one paddles the best and feels the most comfortable for you is about as hard as the decision needs to be. It really can be that simple.
A friend has the pungo 120 and 140. He just stepped up to the 140, and gave the 120 to his son. He says the 140 tracks much better, I liked the huge cockpit!
I've tried the Pungo 120 (and want to try the 140 as well) and will probably buy one myself sometime before next spring. It's light enought to easily load and unload, it has a very comfortable seat and it tracks and handles well. The Patriot isn't a bad boat to start with as it's going to be considerably cheaper than the Pungo but I don't know much about how it tracks or handles. The ones I see have a solid plastic seat, not as comfortable as the Wilderness Phase 3 seating. Also, I've only seen Mainstream Kayaks at "big box" mass merchandisers where you're not likely to get a whole lot of customer support should you have a problem with the boat later. Like everone else says, try both for yourself (more than once if posible) and base your decision on your experiences. If you didn't know, Mainstream and Wilderness are actually owned and manufactured by the same folks, the Confluence group based in South Carolina (www.youcanpaddle.com, I think).