Upgrade from Pungo 120's to

Good morning,

We have been puddling around our local lakes and creeks in our Wilderness Systems Pungo 120’s for several years now but we’re thinking of upgrading to something a little quicker. We initially though Wilderness System Tsunami 140’s or Dagger Stratos but we realize we’re ignorant of all the composite boats that are available out there.

We’re looking for a pair of kayaks that can be stored on a truck bed rack for months in the sun and would work well for large lakes, small streams, intracoastal waterways and maybe an overnighter around the Chesapeake Bay or similar waterways. I know, I just described 4 different boats, so, lets say mostly small streams (Class 1) with the occasional dip into a lake or intracoastal. Maybe something in the 14-15 foot length as we will need to lever it up onto the truck rack.

I would love any feedback about the life expectancy of composites vs plastic in this type of storage/highway transport environment.

Thank you.

Good morning and welcome. I would not recommend leaving any kayak stored on a truck bed rack in the sun for months. The boats you mentioned are not cheap and it would be a shame to expose them to prolonged damage from the sun. If you buy covers and use uv protectant then you can at least reduce it. Rotomolded boats like the Stratos can also suffer warping from the heat.

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I just did this. I’ve been paddling a Pungo 120 for 4 years. I love love my Pungo. And honestly it is plenty sufficient for the paddling I do. I love flat water and flooded timber and slow easy streams. I live in central Arkansas. But I’ve wanted something safer (2 bulkheads) for some of those places I might travel to or for bigger lakes. Touring and rec/touring boats are hard to come by around here. Everything is basic rec or SOT. After 2 years I finally got to demo a tsunami 145. I was a little let down. I figure it’s a great boat but (call me crazy) it wasn’t that impressive over my Pungo. I figured for the $ I’d just get a float bag instead. Then I started lookkng at the Stratos online for a while. I couldn’t believe it but last week a local shop got one in. I went and paddles it and it definitely felt more nimble than the tsunami. So I took it home with me. I don’t have enough time with it to give proper reviews but if you’re looking for something different from your Pungo I think you’ll find the Stratos to be a bigger change. And you’ll miss that Pungo seat until you figure out how to adjust the new one!

Thank you for the reply. The plan is to do a little slow traveling, staying in AirB&B’s and camping for a few weeks to a month in each place. Maybe the better option is to find a secure storage solution for them at each location vs leaving them attached to the truck.

Thank you! Yes we love our Pungoes (Pungi?). Of the kayaks we’ve been in, they’re the closest thing to a pair of camp chairs with footrests.

They might even be the correct solution for us and I’m just imagining that we need to upgrade.

CDD, your thinking is obviously incorrect. There is always a better boat
out there!
Being satisfied with what you have is unAmerican.


Don’t know your size, but I’m 6 ft. was 265 lbs now 230 lb. I use the 145 Tsunami and my partner is 140 lbs in a 140 Tsunami. They’re both rock solid. I’ve never felt they would flio.in waves up to 30" and will go out in 36" without a skirt. It goes in little rivelets and across the bay. I upgraded from a 140 Pungo, and would never go back. The 145 is a good size for the Bay. There are other members who could help you into a more fitted boat, but the Tsunami is stable. Seaworthy, turn fine if you have paddling skills and is solid. You can leave any boat in the sun, but it limits the life drastically. It’s no way to treat a $1,500 investment. Even more important is how it will become brittle, and you won’t know until it fails - that could be catastrophic and life endangering. I would not do it.

Hulls don’t break like potato chips.

Gelcoat on boats is exposed for many years.

The guy who leaves his two Pungos uncovered on the dock said one of his cracked. Don’t know what he did to break it. Cracked is cracked. Brittle is brittle. I told him if both were treated the same, the other is soon to follow. He doesn’t wear a vest.

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They’re rotomolded.

I’ve seen rotomolded hulls left in the sun until red ones turned white and still be used. Not a good idea.


Agreed. Why make it a question mark. One cracked. Cracked is cracked. Question is how long would you trust the other. $1,000 each, plus minus. Put your wallet out in the rain.