Airy PFD's Without Neoprene?

Been Paddling quite a bit last 3 weeks and since it’s been so hot I’ve worn my Lotus. Noticed blood on the back of my shirt this evening and I HAD been itching a lot lately. I have a rash right where the Lotus Rio Grande occasionally contacts my skin. I have an old Seda and a newer Extrasport Hi Float, both of which are fine in Spring and Fall, and in other climes; they’re warmer than I prefer for MO summers. Any other PFD’s out there that may be a little less hot than these two? BTW, looks like I’m going to have to get rid of two pairs river shoes, too. I thought the chiggers were just especially bad this year, but I FINALLY got smart enough to add two plus two! Anyone where size 12? Thanks WW

Lotus Mildwater


If you are experiencing an adverse reaction to neoprene…a word to the wise. You may be suffering from a legitimate allergenic condition.

A lot of water apparel has neoprene material incorporated into the design. Read the content label carefully. Watch for splash jackets with collars and wrist gaskets of neoprene. Same for paddling gloves, water socks, beanies and booties. In other words…almost the full range of stuff worn while paddling.

And if you are afflicted as I am…a simple barrier is not enough to block the offending agents from reaching your skin… unless the barrier is completely non-porous. A simple rash guard or liner will not do the trick. I finally reverted to wearing apparel made of AquaShell( “fuzzy rubber”), Lycra or Urethane.

Definitely a challenge to find neoprene-free gear…but its worth the effort if it keeps you from being driven out of the water by a stupid allergy!

Second the Mildwater
I just picked one up yesterdy. Not too warm here yesterday but the open design with the full mesh back and low cut sides provides great ventilation. The bulk of the flotation is low in the front of the vest which makes a guy like me with a bit of a gut look ablolutely pregnent. Oh well I’m not making a fashon statement. Have not swum with it yet but It looks to be a lot cooler that my full MTI vest and no neoprene that I can see.