Life Jackets/PFDs

Recent Life Jacket/PFD Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
Astral Layla

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. 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… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
NRS Vapor PFD

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

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Kokatat Maximus Prime PFD

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

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Kokatat Orbit Tour

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
ONYX MoveVent Torsion Vest

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

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Astral Ronny

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Astral V-Eight

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

rated 4 of 5 stars
Kokatat MsFit Tour

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

rated 4 of 5 stars
MTI Thunder R Spec

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

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