Pungo sizing?

I’d been watching for a desirable kayak to come up for sale for about a month when the Pungo 120 showed up on the REI website.
I, of course, searched for video reviews of the Pungo 120 and heard nothing but good stuff, so I ordered one.
Apparently, these were all older videos, because they made no mention of the 120 being for small through midsize paddlers and the 125 being for larger paddlers. It was only days after ordering it that I went to the Wilderness Systems website and found this out.
The thing is, I’m over 6 feet tall, with really long legs. I’m a little concerned that I’m going to have a fit problem.
Anyone have experience with Pungo sizing?

Personal experience fitting lots of folks in the Pungo series boats - up to 6’ 2" and under 210 pounds (and up to size 11 feet), you should be alright. Taller/heavier than that, an Old Town Loon 126 or Current Designs Solara 120 will be the better fit.

Until recently there was only one size Pungo - the 120, which is why most reviews will be focused on that model. WS redesigned the Pungo a couple of years ago and split it into two sizes. Unfortunately I have no experience with the newer version.

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String is tall and I believe has both the 12 and 14. He will probably respond to this.

The cockpits on my 120 and 140 are the same. I am 6’5" with a 34" inseam and fit both boats. Barely.
The 120 is over a decade old and the 140 a couple of years.

Whew! That’s a load off.
I was actually just looking at the WS Tsunami 145. REI has those too.
I’m wondering how quickly I’ll “outgrow” the Pungo and be looking for a longer, faster recreational touring kayak. Hope I got the nomenclature right so Celia doesn’t bust my chops :wink:.

My best advice is get the Tsunami! You can’t outgrow a Pungo because they are so versatile but you will appreciate the Tsunami longer.


I think I was one of the first to post to your first SOT thread. You wanted to get something stable and your SOT wasn’t doing the job, and you needed something soon and not to expensive just to get you on the water sooner than later, and it needed to be lighter to load and haul than the canoes you had. I suggested an OT rec-kayak at about 600 bucks and that wasn’t what you wanted.

You have been around the horn and back the last 3 months and not far off the mark of what I was suggesting in the beginning. We got ours within a week and have been enjoying it all summer.

Depends on what faster means to you, as far as outgrowing it. Time will tell.

I have paddled a Tsunami 14 in Maine, and that would be my choice if I wanted to paddle big water as it is possible to wear a skirt. It has bow and stern bulkheads which means it will have less water to drain from the cockpit in a capsize. Backcountry has them for sale at $1,349

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 Kayak - 2021 (backcountry.com)

The Pungo 12 is a fine boat at about $1,000, but perhaps not so good in big water when it gets rough. The Pungo weight is 49, and the Tsunami is 52 pounds.

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Amen …


By faster, I mean I can cover more distance in a day or keep up with other paddlers on a club outing.
As stated when I first joined this forum, I have a lot of experience, but it had been a while since I last paddled and I’m getting old (67), had open heart surgery and a few orthopedic surgeries. After buying a really cheap SOT that made me feel like I might capsize at any moment, I was uncertain if it was me or the boat. It was the boat (mostly).
I have way more experience with canoes than kayaks, but I do have some kayak experience… My strategy is to re-start with a very stable kayak with a really large cockpit opening (Pungo). I may be totally satisfied with it and never “move up”, or I might start working up to kayaks with smaller and smaller cockpits and longer and narrower hulls.
For the record, I just refer to any kayak that is long and skinny and has hatches as a sea kayak. That doesn’t mean I don’t know how design affects function.

The Pungo is not a slow boat within its family of rec boats. It is however a slow boat compared to people who have a robust pace with a skinnier and longer kayak with a 22 or 23 inch beam and a waterline of more like 16 feet. In a group like that the Pungo could be a workout to keep up,

In a mixed bunch of canoes and other rec boats, not so hard.

If your goal is to keep up with a group, it matters what they are paddling. That information has not as far as l recall been said here.

There is always going to be a group faster and likely a group slower. The trick is if you feel you need a group is to find one you fit in. We mostly paddle as a couple and have friends that paddle and a couple times a year we will go as a group. Part of getting older for me (65) is I can go as slow as I want.

Even if you find it isn’t the right boat for you, Pungos have a great reputation and sell well in the used market. You shouldn’t lose much if you keep it in great condition and know how to create a good online ad.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to really like the Pungo. I ordered the sunskirt and sprayskirt and float bags, for it.
I’ve heard it’s pretty fast for a rec kayak. I should have no trouble keeping up with most canoes.
After making a couple mods to my POS SOT, to make it feel more stable, I took it on a paddle with the canoe club. Three of the people showed up with full bore sea kayaks. It was more of a social paddle than a fitness paddle, so I had no trouble keeping up. But there is also a sea kayak club in town and they have more weekly activities that I’d be interested in. I haven’t paddled with them, but they sound hardcore. I have a feeling I’d get left in the dust, with the Pungo.
I don’t think I’m going to buy anything else till next summer, unless I get antsy. By then, I’ll have my new solo canoe and the Pungo and I’ll see how things go.

Most sea kayak groups I have went out with average 2.5 mph or less. So I don’t bother anymore.