Life Jackets/PFDs

Recent Life Jacket/PFD Reviews


rated 4 of 5 stars A great low price paddling PFD. It may not offer all the bells and whistles of higher end PFDs, but it is made of high quality materials with a form fitting design that provides comfort. I first purchased two of these PFD's when I got my first canoe at the age of 17. I chose them because my parents made it very clear that I would not be allowed to use this hand-me-down canoe unless I outfitted it with the proper safety equipment. Where I bought, what I bought, was up to me. These PFD's were inexpensive,… Full review

Kokatat Maximus Prime PFD

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This is a functional, durable, comfortable, and secure feeling PFD. I love this thing. Super comfortable, no sense that my movement is restricted, and excellent, reassuring fit. This is a type V rescue PFD and comes with the typical bells and whistles: tethering system, quick release, tow ring, and a covered sheath mount for your river knife. All things you hope you don't need to use, but that you must have for safety on whitewater and sea kayaking (don't forget the rescue class(es)!). Fit is easily… Full review

Kokatat Orbit Tour

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This PFD is excellent for freedom of arm movement. It fits well over a paddle jacket. The straps can be adjusted to fit tighter when a paddler is wearing only a bathing suit. After six years of use while kayaking salt water, it's still in good shape. The Orbit is a very well-constructed PFD. I have used mine for seven years but all the straps and seams are still strong. The bright orange fabric has faded a little in sunshine and shows a few grubby marks. It looks like what it is: a tough PFD that… Full review

ONYX MoveVent Torsion Vest

rated 5 of 5 stars Feature-rich, value-priced PFD, perfect for kayaking. I found this brand PFD at a well-known general sports chain store after an exhaustive search for a comfortable life vest for recreational kayaking that fit my restrictive budget and my 50s-plus female torso. I had tried out several other brand vests that I had bought then returned due to deciding I did not like the fit. I tried on the ONYX MoveMent Torsion vest in the local store, really liked the fit and the price, but did not buy it right… Full review

Astral Ronny

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This is an extremely light and very comfortable PFD. I wear my PFD at all times, and I have found this to be comfortable in heat, easy to wear over a paddle jacket, nicely adjustable, and so far it seems quite durable. I had wanted to get a new PFD, one that is lightweight, cool in the summer, and which has lots of pockets! I am always carrying "stuff" and find it hard to access pants pockets when seated in a canoe. When I won my choice of Astral PFD, I selected the Ronny (men's), and am very pleased… Full review

Astral V-Eight

rated 5 of 5 stars Very comfortable and does the job... This is just a little info from our experience that you may not see in reviews of places that sell the Astral PFDs. Being new to kayaking and wanting quality PFDs for mostly summer paddling I liked the description and reviews about the Astral V-Eight. My wife and I tried them on at our local EMS store and found them very comfortable and well made. We bought them and like them very much. I'm 5'5" 185 lbs and the V-Eight does a good job of floating me. They… Full review

Kokatat MsFit Tour

rated 4 of 5 stars A great all around PFD for keeping you above water! I grew up wearing the typical orange, uncomfortable, and oversized life jacket that everybody pictures in their head when they hear "PFD", but once I first tried this on and tightened it up, It felt like I was wearing a bad ass tactical vest that had the bonus feature of keeping you afloat. This PFD is great for any activity that involves water. It gives you amazing range of motion in the arms and sits higher above your waist line compared to the… Full review

MTI Thunder R Spec

rated 4 of 5 stars Thick, buoyant vest with a lot of great pockets. Can be used for multiple paddling sports. My review of this is somewhat inconclusive as I have yet to be able to paddle in this. I plan on using the vest for whitewater kayaking. From what I can tell so far however is it is not as low profile as I would have liked, as it is super thick to the point of having difficulty zipping it (but this could be fixed by more wear of it and getting it wet). I think it is overall a great vest, and it has some nice… Full review

Kokatat MsFit Tour

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Not as flashy or as low-profile as some of the newer designs, but this one won out because it appears more robust and more up to the job when you really need it. After 15 years, my old Lotus vest popped the zipper. I took offense at this and decided the new one should not depend on a zipper--it needed to have at least a buckle at the waist AND a buckle higher up.  I checked quite a few styles and almost ended up with a tiny, very-light Astral.  The MsFit Tour did not immediately come to mind because… Full review

DaKine USCG Approved Waist Belt PFD added Mar 14, 2019
Old Town Riverstream added May 30, 2018
Stohlquist Crossfit added Aug 18, 2016
MTI Headwater added Aug 17, 2016
MTI SUP Safety Belt added Aug 17, 2016
$82 - $109
MTI Solaris F-Spec added Aug 17, 2016
Kokatat Poseidon Full Chest Pocket added Jul 26, 2016
Kokatat Belly Pocket added Jul 26, 2016
Stohlquist Keeper added Jun 20, 2016
Stohlquist Spinner added Jun 20, 2016
$55 - $64
Stohlquist Canyon Lifejacket added Jun 20, 2016
$115 - $119
Stohlquist Spectrum added Jun 20, 2016
$70 - $79
Astral Layla added May 30, 2016
$49 - $139
Astral Airbelt PFD added May 30, 2016
$120 - $139
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
ONYX MoveVent Torsion Vest added Jul 16, 2015
$70 MSRP
Extrasport Eon PFD added Jun 7, 2015
Extrasport Fleet Universal added May 7, 2015
Extrasport Evolve added May 7, 2015
MTI Quest PFD added Apr 5, 2015
MTI Helios 2.0 added Apr 5, 2015
$119 - $139
O'Neill Assault USCG Vest added Apr 5, 2015
Stohlquist Contour added Mar 13, 2015
NRS Siren PFD added Mar 13, 2015
$100 - $109
Stohlquist Coaster PFD added Mar 13, 2015
$69 - $109
Stohlquist Misty added Mar 13, 2015
$59 - $104
NRS Zephyr Inflatable PFD added Feb 25, 2015
Kokatat Poseidon PFD added Feb 9, 2015
$130 - $175
Kokatat Maximus Centurion Rescue PFD added Feb 9, 2015
$240 - $245
Harmony AF 6.5 PFD added Jan 10, 2015
Harmony Genesis PFD added Jan 10, 2015
Harmony Kickback PFD added Jan 10, 2015
Stohlquist Kahuna Lifejacket added Sep 27, 2014
$126 - $129
MTI Fluid 2.0 Belt Pack added May 31, 2014
MTI Race 1 Belt Pack added May 31, 2014
Stearns I465 Versatile Life Vest added May 31, 2014
Stohlquist Nemo Frog added Mar 24, 2014
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
NRS Vapor PFD added Mar 23, 2014
Astral Ronny Fisher added Mar 14, 2014
$88 - $159
Extrasport Equinox DLX added Mar 14, 2014
$80 MSRP
Stohlquist Edge added Dec 31, 2013
$80 - $99
Stearns Comfort Series Life Vest added Sep 30, 2013
Extrasport Equinox added Apr 14, 2013
MTI Voyager PFD added Apr 7, 2013
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Kokatat Maximus Prime PFD added Mar 15, 2013
Kokatat Maximus PFD added Mar 15, 2013
Astral YTV added Feb 26, 2013
NRS Zen Rescue Life Jacket added Jan 10, 2013
NRS Zoya Mesh Back PFD added Jan 10, 2013
$80 - $104
Stearns Work Master Life Vest added Jul 25, 2012
Stearns Illusion Series V-Flex Life Jacket added Jul 21, 2012
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