Jackson Tupelo vs Pungo120

I am debating between getting a pungo 120 and the Tupelo 12.5. I am 6’ and 230lbs. I would mainly be doing slow rivers and small lakes.

It has been hard for me to find much on the Tupelo compared to the Pungo, anyone have suggestions?

rec boats
Both rec boats, only one bulkhead, only good for very protected waters in very good weather.

Neither will be fast, too short for that.

Suggest going a little longer to at least 14’ and get a boat with two bulkheads that you can grow into.

Bill H.

I have a pungo 140 and other WS boats
So I am not a boat snob.

Those boats have a lot more in common than differences.

A big open cockpit that a spray skirt won’t keep water out of, only one bulkhead and no perimeter lines so no on water recovery from a capsize, still they will work fine for the paddling you say you want to do.

12’ long and 29" wide, they are going to handle about the same. You won’t keep up with longer skinnier boats which is moot if your trying to keep up with long skinny boats. I would ignore all the reviews about speed and tracking, boats of that type are all going to handle the same.

It comes down to cost and availability. It would be nice to test paddle, not always an option, but at least set them on the floor and sit inside them.

Wilderness System phase 3 seats are pretty comfortable. Not great for some kayaking purposes but if you are Lilly dipping downstream they set the bar IMO. I’ve never see the Jackson seats but they look like stadium chairs in the pictures.

If you are buying new for a few hundred more you could something 14’ 24" wide which would let you paddle some bigger water safely.

I would also consider a Necky Manitou 13 and 14 if there available in your area.

Go with the


– Last Updated: Jan-20-16 12:14 PM EST –

Why suggest the Necky Manitou - they are not even close to the type of kayak he is even asking about. You are not helping.

two bulkheads
The Necky in the 13 and 14 have two bulkheads, overall a safer design.

Bill H.

I am your weight and recommend a
Pungo 140. I tried a 120 and when I paddled it with much power, the hull bogged down. I got the 140 and, like the ad says, can give plastic sea kaysks a run for their money.

Why NOT a Necky Manitou?
I bought a Manitou 13 after owning a cheap rec boat. It was a huge step up in speed, but was still stable, comfortable seat, etc. I wish I had bought the Necky as my original kayak as it can handle an absolute beginner, yet is still fun to paddle on slow rivers and smaller lakes. I would suggest a manitou 14 for dual bulkheads, but in reality the Manitou is a small step up from a rec kayak, but is one you won’t want to give away after the first year.

Gotta go with rnsparky on this
You asked about two specific kayaks, so I’m going to play fair and not introduce other (longer) options. There’s nothing wrong with a 12’ rec boat.

I’d give a slight edge to the Pungo (for slightly better tracking and that tray thingy that helps organize your stuff, also very comfortable seating) but neither is a bad choice. The Tupelo comes in some interesting colors. :slight_smile:

If the Tupelo is significantly less expensive, I’d probably go with that.

Good luck, and have fun!