Adventure Racing - PFD?

Anyone have a suggestion for a PFD to use while Adventure Racing? I’m thinking a high-back with easy access pockets up front for food, compass, etc…

I prefer Astral
I like the low profile and huge arm holes. Good center front pocket with snap closure and better ventilation on super hot days.

NRS Clearwater Mesh Back PFD

70 miler
I love the front zip walmart brand that buckles at the bottom. Have it restitched so foam sides will slide back to allow more air to hit your chest. Then have hydration pack strapped to back of pfd.

However check to make sure velcro pockets do not scratch your arm while paddling. If very hot, I wear platypus hydration pack with 2in by 6 in by 14 in white ethafoam in the pack for flotation. I do not wear a pfd becuase heat will slow you down.

Is that still coast guard approved?
I’m speaking from mostly ignorance here, but if you modify your PFD, doesn’t it invalidate it’s Coast Guard approved-ness?


Oh, yeah. Let’s move that flotation back so we can float face down- works great for snorkelers.

Do invalidate coastie regs, anything more than adding things like reflective patches and the likes does. Personally for adventure racing I’d go for something like the kokatat orbit, real low profile, easy to move in.

trade offs
Maybe you raced at Anyhow most racers do not wear a pfd for this ocean race. I wear a pfd in the best way to reduce heat exhaustion. Try doing 20 miles on the ocean on a hot day in 3.3 hours. Or try doing 70 miles in 9.2 hours I did the 70 miler in 2004 with a helmet and pfd. Very few racers wore a pfd.

Again please realize that heat exhaustion can kill like hypothermia. Suppose you are a mile off the coast of Cape Ann in the north atlantic and are at risk of being hammered against steep cliffs. There is no shore. I wear the old ww helmet and a pfd, partly to lessen the effect of cartwheeling thru surf while holding a boat amidst rocks that have more brains than some who post about racing when they are not racers.