Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 vs 120

wilderness systems tarpon 105 vs 120

If you want a versatile kayak that lets you explore different waters, you can never go wrong with Wilderness Systems.

However, their Tarpon line-up offers a great range you can choose from. But many times, anglers get confused between Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 vs 120.

While both are made somewhat different, they are similar in terms of comfort and versatility.

Let’s find what makes these kayaks similar and different in various departments so you can choose the best for you.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 vs 120 – Overview

wilderness systems tarpon 105 vs 120
wilderness systems tarpon 105 vs 120

Tarpon kayaks from Wilderness systems are made to offer versatility to anglers. You can use them in a lake, pond, river, or sea.

Tarpon 100 was an award-winning boat from the brand. In 2019, the company improvised it with the sit-on-top Tarpon 105.

While the new model retains the Tarpon legacy, it offers a wonderful blend of modern comfort and superior performance.

Tarpon 120, on the other hand, is another sit-on-top kayak from Wilderness Systems that performs well in different water types.

The 12’ boat appeals to the kayakers who are willing to explore new environments with better speed, tracking, and handling.

Weight and Size

The Tarpon 105 is a lighter and shorter kayak among the two with 55 pounds weight and 10’6” in length. The 120 is 12’3” long and weighs 63 pounds.

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Things are opposite in terms of deck height and width. The 105 measures 32” across the width with a 15.25” deck height. The other one, 120, comes with a 31” width and 13.75” deck height.

The 105 kayak comes with multiple handles to make it easy to carry. You can find handles on the bow, stern, and either gunnel side. You will also get handles to carry the Tarpon 120.


Both kayaks aren’t much different in terms of the total weight they can carry. Each can carry an average-sized kayaker with a good amount of gear.

However, the Tarpon 105 offers an impressive capacity of 325 pounds in a smaller size. But if you want more capacity, go for Tarpon 120 with 350 pounds capacity.

Seating and Comfort

Both kayaks feature a Phase 3 Airpro seat that’s known as one of the most comfortable seats today. It comes with a highly breathable and molded foam that’s covered in mesh and drains well.

You can adjust the seat to the most comfortable preferences with changeable backrest height. You can also move the backrest forward or backward.

For extended trips, the seat comes with leg raisers provided in the bottom cushion to relieve your hamstrings from strain.

In addition, the large padded footrests also add comfort while kayaking, especially when you are paddling barefoot.

Storage Options

Since the manufacturing company is the same, both kayaks are likely to share similar storage features.

Tarpon 105 and 120 feature a dry box in the seat’s front that is molded into the deck for storing valuables like wallet cameras, and cell phones.

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More floor molded storage compartments are available on either side for smaller items like chapsticks and lures.

Also, the kayaks come with a dry storage compartment at the bow. The 120 has a dual locking hinged mechanism while the 105 has a latching mechanism.

You can use this storage for items like a one-person tent, dry clothes, a small sleeping bag, and more.

Another storage option is a sizeable tank with a removable mesh cover at the stern in both kayaks. You can store fishing supplies, milk crates, or coolers here.

To keep your beverage secure while kayaking, the boats feature a magnetic strap at the front to hold them in place.

However, there’re certain differences in terms of storage for this Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 vs 120 comparisons. Tarpon 120 provides extra storage under the seat.

Mounting Accessories

When out kayaking, wouldn’t you love to improve your experience or collect memories? The kayaks feature SlideTrax rails on the gunwales for that.

You can use those rails to mount a phone holder, a fish finder, or a rod holder. And get set for photography, fishing, or filing without drilling a hole.

Other Features

The kayaks come with handles so that they are easy to carry and transport. While both have a handle on the bow and stern, the 105 adds 2 extra handles on the cockpit’s sides.

A simple bungee cord on both kayaks serves as a paddle holder. It allows you to quickly set down your paddle and free your hands for a break.

Moreover, the manufacturers also ensure you get a dry ride with scupper holes. These holes can drain out the water from the cockpit to avoid trouble.

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The keel gets a skid plate that lets you drag the kayak over bumpy or harsh surfaces. You can also replace the plate when it feels like it.

However, the Tarpon 105 packs an advantage here. In addition to a deep keel, it also supports the XL Rudder Kit from the company.

Adding this kit can help improve the performance of your Tarpon 105 in choppy waters and windy conditions.


wilderness systems tarpon 105 vs 120
wilderness systems tarpon 105 vs 120

Both the kayaks are made to perform well in different waters but they differ in terms of speed and tracking abilities.

The Tarpon 105 scores better in terms of primary and secondary stability. But it offers decent tracking and is not the best speed for kayakers.

The Tarpon 120, on the other hand, is longer and hence, offers better speed and tracking. When compared to other kayaks of similar length, it offers good maneuverability as well.

Wrap Up – Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 vs 120

Versatility and performance are the key characteristics of both kayaks. And they share quite a good list of features.

But both are made different in various aspects as is clear with this Wilderness Systems Tarpon 105 vs 120 comparisons.

Tarpon 120 is longer, heavier, and offers more capacity as well as better speed and tracking. However, the shorter 105 is better in terms of stability and maneuverability.

Thus, you can pick the one that meets your needs.


Can you stand on a Tarpon 105?

Tarpon 105 is a sit-on-top kayak. Although not designed for standing, it still allows smaller people to stand on top and fish.

How long is a Wilderness Tarpon 120?

Wilderness Tarpon 120 is 12’3” or 373cm long.

What are wilderness kayaks made of?

Most wilderness kayaks use the high-density, maintenance-free linear polyethylene material.

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