Astral PFD question

out of all the astral pfd does anyone know which one is the has the lowest profile fit. i’m looking for a new pfd for sea kayaking and just want to be able to move allot more.

my guess is one of these -

LDP, willis, tempo 200…


I have a coulpe questions for you?

How much do you want to spend?

Size Range? What is you height and weight?

lastly, When are you looking to buy this jacket?

I really like the
LDB. Very comfy – forget I’m wearing the thing on long trips. Mesh back is cool and you don’t have to zip the front.


I had an LDB
and I did not like it’s profile. Of course, my profile accentuated the LDB’s and made it difficult to reach across my chest to “stack my hands” while canoeing.

Now have a Stohlquist A-Sea and it is much lower in profile. Also has a mesh back, but not as extensive as the Astral. Also no provision for a hydration bladder.


I have an Astral PFD for sea kayaking, kind of like the 200 but with a zippered pocket on each side.

Personally, I would not want a PFD without somewhere to keep stuff I might need on my person in an emergency. In fact sometimes I think about getting a new PFD with even more storage.

Good luck with your choice -

Have an older Astral Rescue vest
BEST PFD EVER for me. Just amazing fit and comfort.

Just received…
…my LDB about a week ago and it is way more comfortable than my previous PFD. Nice secure zippered pockets.

Astral V-Eight
I’m a small paddler (5’2"/115 lbs) and started with a Stohlquist Cruiser. It was OK but I too wanted something lower volume. Just got the Astral V-Eight and find it is lighter in weight and definitely not as restrictive.

Lowest Profile
Would be the Hybrid. Taken out of the current lineup for some cosmetic makeovers which will need to get reblessed by the Coast Guard.

Have one of them left on the shelf. More like wearing a cumberbund than a pfd.

I use one for my own paddling and the range of motion is huge and very unencumbering. No, it doesn’t have 10 pockets for all the gidgets. Minimalist pfd.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I have an older Astral Rescue “jacket” and love it.

After having had a Lotus, a Stohlquist and a couple of MTI models, I got an Astral V-8 this summer and absolutely love it. I used to feel restricted and even suffocated in my other PFD’s but I hardly am aware I have this one on, especially on hot days – the lining and perforation design really vents body heat well. and the low cut front and arm holes give great paddling freedom (the back rides a little high but it only looks funny, doesn’t affect the function.)

Only drawback is that it has really lousy pockets: a mesh one on just one side with a snap opening and a second one that is more like a gap in the lining that I wouldn’t trust to hold a tethered chapstick. I plan to hand-sew a more substantial pocket on the other side. Since everyone bitches about this failure in an otherwise outstanding vest, I hope Astral sees the lights and offers better pocket capacity on future versions.

which one?
Looks like its down to these 2-

kokatat Orbit

Astral Buoyancy Hybrid

I’m not really looking for anything with pockets. Just something super comfortable for long paddles.


Depends on what you mean by low-profile
I have a Tempo 200. Love it when I’m rafting, and I assume it would be the same of canoeing. But I’m not so comfortable in it for kayaking. The thick back makes leaning against any hard back or back band uncomfortable. And since it’s rounded at the bottom, back bands slip down naturally, another irritant.

Aside from that, it doesn’t limit my movement at all. And when I wear it in WW, I tighten it nearly to the point of not being able to inhale, but it still doesn’t restrict movement whatsoever. Arm, torso, bending, etc. Wearing it that tight, I can also state that it won’t rise up on you in a swim. I took a pretty tough swim in it last Spring through several holes in a nasty rapid, and an easy swim in deeper water over Labor Day. Neither time did it ride up while swimming.

Can’t speak to what would work better for kayaking, as I’m still considering a change myself. Paid about $150 for the Tempo, btw. . . .


just came across a few more… any thoughts on these?


Stohlquist Brik

Stohlquist Wedge

I use the Brik…

– Last Updated: Oct-10-09 7:32 AM EST –

and I really like it. Only thing I would change on it is the lash tab is on a diagonal. I would prefer it to be more (?)squared to the front of the vest just 'cause my knife sticks out to the side somewhat. It's definatly a low profile pfd and really stays where you adjust it to. it rides high in back, not interfering with most seat backs although I have backbands in my yaks. Very little room for accessories... fine with me...

I've had a couple comfortable pfds in the past and even so, I didn't always wear them mostly in the warmer months...I find the Brik to be very comfortable even when the temps get in the 80's. I wear it just about all the time unless I'm in very shallow water during peak heat..I don't think it's 'cause I've gotten smarter. but because it's so comfortable...

Crap. I hate to hear that.
Just rubs it in, is all. I wanted a Brik myself, and got talked into the Astral Tempo 200 by my outfitter because he didn’t have the Brik in stock. He’s a good guy and just started up, so I also wanted to give him some business rather than another, larger outfitter that did carry it.

But the flotation is about 5lbs. higher on the Brik and it’s about $50 less expensive. The only drawback is that it zips on the side, rather than down the middle, so it’s an over the head “install”. No big deal. Wish I’d gone with the Brik.

Anyone want to buy a “tested and proven” Astral Tempo 200, size XL? ;~)