Backless PFD

I have seen a few of these around, nothing but mesh on the back with no foam and am looking for one as an alternate pfd. I think NRS is coming out with one in April/May but wanted to know what others are out there now.

I like the idea of this type of pfd as it makes it easier to slide over my back deck during a roll and when finished with a side scull/static brace. A puffy back on a pfd makes getting back up onto the deck that much harder.

Anyone know of the models with just mesh on the back?



Lotus makes one.

Go to NRS website
and look at the Lotus PDFs they carry, they have several with mesh backs one is ~$85 (Mildwater)

I have a Mild Water
and like it alot. It has a small collar of foam on the back but mostly open mess. However the foam on the front is double thick. I thought that might be a problem but it is fine, very comfy, and cool in the summer.

I really like the Lotus Mildwater.
It is well made and comfortable. I especially appreciated it last July on a 100 degree overniter on the Eleven Point. The mesh back does work well with the high back seat in my rec kayak.

I have never seen one with only a mesh
back. I went to one (Lotus Deepwater) a year ago that has mostly mesh. It has flotation on the shoulder area and then mesh below that with extra flotation in the front. It works very well and the way the flotation is distributed realy helps keep your face out of the water (very important). It is comfortable and cool and eliminated the problem of the PFD riding up from interaction with the seat back. It is cut for paddling, has pockets in the front, a lash tab, and a strobe tab. It was less than $100. I weigh 260 lbs and it floats me.

another vote for Lotus
This is a PFD that invites the owner to actually wear it! It is comfortable and doesn’t ride up and hit the face. The mesh back is great.

I gave my wife one for Christmas, and I have been trying to think of a way to get it back. It is very comfortable.

Astral LDB
Due out later this year.

See you on the water,


Lotus + pockets = Patagonia
The Lotus vest is also sold as the Patagonia Fishing Vest. It is olive colored and has pockets.

Very comfortable.


Lotus Mildwater
I have two: large/extra large to wear with heavier tops, small/medium with tee shirts. Very comfortable, with two pockets on front. I highly recommend it.

Kokatat Sea O2
The Kokatat Sea O2 has nearly a flat back and it has the advantage of being minimal floatation up to 22 lbs by inflating and deflating.

It also has reduce girth in front making re-entry easier too.


big yep on the kokatat sea02
i predict this pfd and the copycats that will follow will be the majority in 2 years time…i also think but havent proven yet, that if you fully inflate (orally) it and fall over you just might have a fee sculling for support without sculling, it just seems that boyant, or almost as boyant as an avataq…the cool thing is paddling with just the inherent flotation, then off in the distance you see the whitecaps and the black clouds-then you more fully inflate the pfd…