View Full Version : help me buy a kayak pfd!

11-22-2009, 05:06 AM
I got the kayak, I got the bug, I need my own PFD :D

I borrow my bfs one and the club ones, but to be honest I'm a bit sick of wearing damp, mouldy pfds rank with the smell of other people's sweat... :rolleyes:

I'm having a little trouble finding one that will fit me and my kayak. I sit quite "deep" in my kayak, plus it has a backrest that protrudes a little above the cockpit. Very comfy, but it means I don't have much space left on my back for a pfd. Most pfd's are too long and tend to ride up and strangle me.

So - any tips for a low-volume, short pfd? I'm flat-chested and wideshouldered, so it needn't be particularly women-specific. I'm thinking maybe a junior size one would do.

And any input on pockets? The more the better? In general I like things smooth and unfussy, but I will need one pocket.

Oh - and here's a photo from yesterdays outing on the fjord just after sunset :) It was sooo pretty!

11-22-2009, 05:32 PM
DH and I have Astral PFDs which we like. It offers a lot of mobility for your trunk and shoulders and sits kind of high. It has side pockets on the waist. It also has "pockets" with fleece for your hands. It is comfortable. DH is broad shouldered and he likes the fit of it as well. I will try to post a pic. Not sure if you can see the detail. It also has a safety ring for towing if you need to tow someone. There is also a quick release on the "tow" strap if you need to release the kayak you are towing.


11-22-2009, 05:33 PM
This PFD does not ride up either like the standard PFDs I have used for sailing.

11-22-2009, 07:14 PM
I was going to recommend something by Lotus Designs but I did a little research and found out that they've been bought by Patagonia and apparently phased out. I also found a discussion thread that the founder and a few key people from Lotus are now at Astral.

I've always rented my equipment -- I got to wear something by Lotus once and loved it -- great fit (not too long) for my petite frame, didn't ride up, and didn't interfere with my position in the kayak or with the back of the seat. I would expect the PFDs designed by Astral to be of similar or better quality.

11-22-2009, 09:50 PM
That Astral PFD looks really nice! Any idea which model? There's one called Bella which is women-specific and resembles it a bit.

11-23-2009, 06:21 PM
Mine is a couple years old. It is similar to the Wonder Jacket. I could not remember the exact name of it and it is put away. If I get a chance I will dig it out to see..I am coming down with a cold now so I don't have too much energy right now..sorry. I do really like the fit. Oh mine also has a chest pocket where I keep a whistle. Good Luck!!

11-23-2009, 09:59 PM
No-no, don't bother hunting it out! The chances that I can find it here are minimal, I just wondered if it was the Bella, which I doubt because I think that's a new model.

I'll spend some time this winter trying to see which Astral models I can find to try on.