Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 Kayak Review

If you are in the market for an affordable high-performance kayak, look no further. In this Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 Kayak Review, we will look at the features and benefits of this unique kayak.

Kayaking is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors.  Some folks like to fish, and others just want to get out and explore.  A kayak gives you the ability to reach places you might not get to on foot or in a larger boat. 

Wilderness Systems kayaks are very popular and for good reason.  They are known for innovative designs and have been in the business for a long time. The end goal is to help people spend more time on the water.

Owning the right kayak can make a big difference in your paddling experience. The Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 Kayak comes at a reasonable price point and offers a lot of value.

Pungo 105 Kayak Summary

Number of Paddlers:1
Weight Capacity:300 lbs
Kayak Weight:47 lbs
Length:10’6″
Width:30″
Construction:Polyethylene
What’s included?Kayak, dashboard, AirPro seat

Wilderness Systems offers a great lineup of kayaks, and they are a very well-respected brand in the industry.  You can’t go wrong with a kayak from these guys.

>Click here to view at REI<<">>>Click here to view at REI<<

The Pungo 105 is an extremely popular sit-inside kayak. It’s stable, comfortable, and easy to paddle.

The Pungo kayak has been updated to give you excellent performance on the water, combining speed, stability, and comfort. You can paddle longer and farther than you may think with this kayak.

Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 Mango colorPin

The Pungo 105 is 10’6″ long, 30 inches wide, weighs 47 pounds, has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, and there are multiple colors to pick from.

The Pungo is excellent when it comes to speed, stability, and easy paddling. It’s great for different skill levels. Pungo 105 also has a bulkhead which creates trapped air space to help keep the kayak from sinking if you take on water.

One thing that sets the Pungo 105 kayak apart from other kayaks is the dashboard.  Yes, you read that correctly, the kayak comes with a dashboard.  Oh, we haven’t even touched on storage yet!

We will get into all of that in a bit.

Pungo 105 Kayak Features

Storage

The Pungo 105 has plenty of storage space onboard.  The front bungee cord rigging is configurable and can be adjusted by the paddler. This is handy for storing gear, clothes, or other items in a dry bag. Bungee cord storage on the rear of the kayak is ample for a water bottle or additional equipment.

The real winner here is the Orbix Stern Hatch.  The hatch has robust latches to keep your gear secure and dry. 

You can attach a padlock to the latches to keep valuables protected. The storage hatch is easy to open and close and gives the paddler a lot of room for storage.

If you use a kayak cart, there is potentially enough room to break it down and store it in the rear hatch. The hatch is versatile and gives you a large space to keep your gear dry.

Dashboard

One of the defining features of the Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 kayak is the integrated dashboard. Yes, just like a vehicle, this kayak comes with a dashboard. 

The dashboard includes:

  • A removable dry box to store valuables. You can remove the dry box and take your valuable items with you for safekeeping.
  • Two cup holders for your drinks
  • A recess that holds the Wilderness Systems battery (sold separately).  You can charge your phone or other devices while you are on the water
  • Two customizable mounting platforms. The paddler can choose which accessories are the best fit.
  • A track to hold mounts for your gear

The dashboard is designed to hold things like:

  • A cellphone
  • GPS
  • Fishfinder
  • An action camera
  • Fishing rod
  • Fishing tackle
  • Other gear

The Pungo 105 is designed with the end-user in mind.  Including all the conveniences that you want to take with you on the water.

Handling

Wilderness Systems designed the Pungo with easy handling in mind.  If you are in the market for a kayak that tracks well and is easy to paddle, this one is right up your alley.

The Pungo 105 is a lightweight kayak that is great for flat water, like lakes and slow-moving rivers. It handles well, it’s easy to turn, and it’s very stable.

The Pungo 105 gives the paddler a combination of stability, speed, and it’s easy to paddle.  It’s a very efficient kayak, which means you can paddle longer and faster.

Accessories

We touched on this earlier, but the dashboard gives the paddler many possibilities when it comes to accessories. You can add accessories right away or wait and add them over time. You can buy a whole slew of accessory attachments for the Pungo 105 kayak.

Mango colored Pungo 105 sitting on grassPin

We recommend taking the kayak out a few times and seeing which accessories would be the best for you.  For instance, if you plan to go fishing, you will want to add a rod holder and amount for a fish finder. 

Remember, there is a battery pack designed explicitly by Wilderness Systems to fit on the dashboard. You don’t have to worry about your devices running out of power when you are on the water.

This includes things like your cellphone, GPS, action camera, fish finder, etc. 

>Click here to view at REI<<">>>Click here to view at REI<<

Besides taking all of your gadgets with you, there are other accessories available, too, like a sun shield, spray skirt, and a trackball that fits various mounts. 

It’s nice to know that you can customize the boat how you want it for maximum performance.

Comfort

The patented seating system is what makes the Pungo 105 kayak so comfortable.  The seat is fully adjustable, so it can accommodate paddlers of different sizes.  The fabric and foam are designed to provide support and keep your back cool.

Thigh pads on the sides of the cockpit give you a soft, comfortable place to rest your legs on a long day of paddling.

Other features

  • The Pungo has sturdy carry handles on the bow and stern
  • There is a replaceable skid plate that helps protect the stern from wear and tear

Who is the Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 kayak for?

The Pungo 105 can work well for a variety of people. If you are an experienced kayaker looking to upgrade from an entry-level boat, this is a fantastic option. At 10.5 feet long, it’s ideal for smaller paddlers.

If you are looking for a kayak that you can grow into, like adding additional accessories, then the Pungo 105 is worth a look.

The Pungo 105 kayak is great for beginners because it’s easy to paddle, efficient on the water, and very stable.  The paddler sits low with a sit-inside kayak, and the kayak has a lower center of gravity. This means it is very stable, which is excellent if you are just starting out.

The kayak is versatile and offers a lot of storage space.  Aside from the dashboard, which is handy for devices and gadgets, the rear hatch is very spacious and secure. Some users even use this kayak for multi-day trips.

Who is Pungo 105 kayak not for?

Although this is an outstanding kayak, it’s not for everyone.  If you are seriously into speed, traversing the ocean, or traveling long distances, you may want to consider a much longer kayak. 

If you are an avid fisherman, you will want a kayak explicitly designed for fishing, like this. An open cockpit, sit-on-top kayak is a better option if you plan on doing a lot of fishing.

Other things to consider

Transportation

Transporting a kayak is no easy task, and it’s often overlooked when people buy a kayak.  If you have a roof rack on your car, that is a great way to get your kayak to the lake. Keep in mind kayaks are heavy and awkwardly shaped. 

The Pungo 105 kayak weighs just shy of 50 pounds, so you need to be able to lift the kayak. Picking up the boat and putting it on top of a car can be challenging for some people. Ensure you have a way to get your new kayak to and from the water, preferably before you buy one.

Other ways to transport a kayak are in the back of a pickup or using a utility trailer. You can read more about transporting a kayak here.

Storage

Along with transporting kayak, storing a kayak the right way requires some forward-thinking. If you have room in your garage, that’s great. A garage or a shed is an excellent place to store the Pungo 105 kayak.

It’s essential to keep the kayak stored off the ground and out of the weather.  UV light can be harmful to your new kayak.  A garage or shed is a great spot to keep a kayak because it will be protected from the elements and from potential thieves.

If you don’t have a garage, try storing the kayak under an awning, or a covered patio, anywhere you have that will keep the kayak out of the weather.  If you have to store your kayak outdoors, you can also buy a kayak cover to protect your investment.

Sit-inside vs. sit-on-top kayak

We touched on this a little earlier the Pungo 105 kayak is a sit-inside kayak.  This means the paddler sits inside a cockpit, compared to a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak with a completely open cockpit and deck area.

A sit-inside kayak is typically more stable because the paddler sits lower in the boat, with a lower center of gravity. Sit inside kayaks are also excellent for colder weather and water. You can add a spray skirt, which covers the cockpit, keeps water off the paddler, and helps keep you warm.

With a SOT kayak, the paddler is completely exposed to the elements. Sit-on-tops are great for warm weather, water and are ideal for fishing.

PROS

Easy to paddle
Stable
Tracks well and travels fast
Plenty of storage
Dashboard keeps your devices charged and close by
AirPro seat is included

CONS

No paddle included
Might be too short for taller people

FAQ’s

Does the Pungo 105 kayak come with a paddle?

No, the Pungo does not come with a paddle.  You might be able to find a package that includes a paddle, but typically it will not include a paddle.

This is good and bad, let’s explain.  A paddle needs to fit the paddler, and a standard, throw-in paddle probably isn’t going to be a perfect paddle. 

You need to choose a paddle that fits your body and the type of water you will be paddling.  Paddles come in different lengths, weights and are made from different materials.  You can read more about kayak paddles here.

The good part is you get to choose the right paddle for you. The bad part is you have to spend additional money on a paddle.

Is the Pungo 105 good for a beginner?

Yes, the Pungo is an excellent option for a beginner.  The kayak turns well. It’s very durable and stable. Plus, it has a dashboard to keep all of your devices and gear charged and ready to go. 

The Pungo is priced higher than many “beginner” kayaks, but you have the opportunity to grow with this kayak, add more accessories as you go, and you won’t have to upgrade soon.

Can you stand up in the Pungo 105 kayak?

Well, that’s up for debate. Some users have said the kayak is stable enough to stand up.  It’s up to you if you want to try. The Pungo is not necessarily designed to stand up like some SOT fishing kayaks are.

Can the Pungo 105 accept a rudder?

The Pungo is not designed to accept, or need a rudder. Rudders are intended to help you go straight, not turn.

>Click here to view at REI<<">>>Click here to view at REI<<

The Pungo is not as prone to wind cocking as some models and wouldn’t really benefit from a rudder. If you are dealing with a crosswind, the Pungo responds well by leaning it.

The Pungo tracks well without having to add a rudder or a skeg.

Conclusion

Pungo 105 Kayak Review - Picture of the Pungo dashboardPin

Thanks for tuning in for the Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 kayak review.  The Pungo 105 is a great kayak for beginners or people with a lot of experience. 

It’s a great option if you are upgrading from an entry-level kayak.

The kayak is fast, stable, tracks well, and has a wide variety of accessories available. The Pungo 105 is a well-priced option for a lot of people.

The boat has a large rear storage hatch that you can lock. The dashboard is excellent for mounting devices and keeping them charged all day long.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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About the author
Steve
Steve is the owner of Paddle About, a blog that's all about helping people get out and enjoy nature. He loves to kayak, camp, hike and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not out exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.

4 thoughts on “Wilderness Systems Pungo 105 Kayak Review”

  1. Wilderness Pungo 105 and 120. Do these have any buoyancy. Reading about some of the sit in kayaks and it says you need to be close to shore because if you upset they will sink quickly.
    I have only been out a few times but want a quality kayak with good tracking and stability.

    • Hi Janet, thanks for your question. There is a lot to unpack here so I apologize in advance for the long reply.

      The Pungo series has been one of the top-selling kayaks for many, many years. I will say this kayak is best suited for calm water, so lakes, slow-moving rivers, etc. This is a mid-range kayak and there are a lot of choices in that category.

      As for stability, you can expect the Pungo series to be very stable. The Pungo has a v-shaped hull so it’s not as stable as a kayak with a flat hull. With the V-shaped hull, the Pungo doesn’t sacrifice speed and tracks well without having a rudder or a skeg. With kayaks, you have primary stability and secondary stability. Primary stability is how stable the kayak is when you are just sitting in it, secondary stability is how stable the kayak is when it’s on edge (like when you are paddling, turning sharply, etc).

      So with the V-shaped hull, you lose a little bit of primary stability, so it might feel a little squirrely when you are just sitting in the kayak. But the secondary stability is great.

      Another thing is that the Pungo has a bulkhead, and not every sit inside kayak has a bulkhead. The bulkhead is essentially a wall that runs vertically from the bottom of the kayak (hull) to the top of the deck and is sealed. This creates a trapped air space where the hatches are located. This air space helps to prevent the kayak from filling up with water if you tip over and take on water.

      I can tell you from experience, paddling an inexpensive sit inside kayak without a bulkhead, I have filled the kayak up with water and it’s not a great place to be. So to say all sit inside kayaks will sink is not accurate, because the bulkhead makes a difference.

      The Pungos are a great option for a lot of people. Like I said this has been one of the top-selling kayaks for a long, long time.

      I also own a Sea Eagle 380x which is an inflatable kayak and talk about stability! You definitely lose some speed, but that’s another option for you if you are primarily concerned with stability. You can read more about the 380x here. The 300x is the smaller version.

      Sorry for this extremely long response, but there I think it’s important to know what to look for when you are investing a lot of money in a kayak.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Steve

      • Hi Steve,

        This is really helpful. I’m also considering a Pungo 105 or 120, and I’d be interested in your perspective on deciding between the two – pros and cons that would help me decide which may be a better choice for me. Ideally, I’d like to try them both first, but I don’t think that’s an option for me.

        Thanks,
        Rick

        • Hi Rick, thanks for reaching out. The obvious difference between the two kayaks is the length. The Pungo 120 is longer which has some benefits based on what kind of water you are paddling. If you are paddling on a calm lake the 120 in theory should track a little better than the 105, it stays a little truer because of the length. If you are paddling on water that might require a more nimble kayak like a slow-moving river that has so light rapids, a shorter kayak is going to be more agile.

          You also need to consider how tall you are and what kayak will be the most comfortable for you. If you are 6’5″ tall you don’t want to be squeezed into a small kayak. But if you are 5’5″ that doesn’t mean you have to buy a shorter kayak. It all comes down to how the kayak feels for you.

          The Pungo 120 has more deck rigging (space for gear) on the bow because it is longer.

          As for trying them both out, yeah, that’s a tough one. Maybe there is a dealer in your area that has a demo day. REI has a pretty good return policy so you might want to check that out as well. Here is a link to the Pungo 120 at REI if you want to check that out.

          Hope this helps.

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