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Astral Layla

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Astral Layla life jacket/pfd

This is a woman's life jacket (PFD) that is comfortable and well-designed. Front offset zipper means over-the-head entry and then zip up on the right side. Waist-belt and two side straps per side and shoulder straps all adjust for a secure fit.


  • Comfortable
  • Useful pocket
  • Knife lash-tab
  • Tow-belt ready

I bought this lifejacket in December 2018 and have been using it for kayaking and canoeing all the 2019 paddling season, May through September. I love the fit. It has seven adjustment points (waist belt, 2 side straps per side, 2 shoulder straps) and doesn't ride up in the water.

The foam is well distributed from my waist through my upper chest and across my whole back. It wouldn't work well with a high kayak seat because the rear foam goes down to waist level. The full coverage foam would be an advantage on whitewater—good protection while swimming. I also have an Astral YTV which puts more of the foam lower down and rides up in the water unless I make it uncomfortably tight.

The PFD's pocket holds my car key, a knife, sunscreen, and two Lara bars, with internal dividers and a flap and buckle opening. It is easy to access on the water and to inspect and select the contents.

One unusual feature of this lifejacket is the channel for a quick-release rescue belt. This is a feature usually found in much more expensive rescue PFDs, most of which are made for men only. I've been using a rescue belt and like it. Lets me tow another kayak with the tow coming from the center of my back and the tow pressure distributed over the foam of the PFD. This is superior to an independent tow belt system that goes around the waist.

I have the small size. I'm 5'6" and weigh 110 pounds. I wanted the red color after that color had been discontinued, so kept looking for awhile and found a new but discounted one on eBay.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89

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Price Current Retail: $111.99-$170.00
Historic Range: $84.83-$170.00
Reviewers Paid: $89.00
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