Buying a PFD online, Mesh vs Full back

So, looking to upgrade my PFD, looks like I’ll have to be buying it online with restrictions and stores closed. In Southern Ontario, there’s snow on the ground anyway, so most paddle shops and big box stores are low in stock until March or April anyway.

I’m using a Stohlquist Ebb right now, the higher adjustment strap on the side bothers me and I want more or at least bigger pockets.

Looking at the Ronnie or CVest or Odyssey… torn between mesh or full back.
I have mesh back now and don’t mind it, but the kayak I had at the time had a higher back. Now I have a 14.5’ dagger with a back band, so don’t really need a mesh back, other than preference.

Since I’m buying online and can’t try it on, any thoughts on the 3 I mentioned, and why do you prefer mesh or solid back?

Don’t have or have had any of those as I use the Astral V-Eight.
One of the reasons I chose it (besides liking the pockets) was that it has a mesh back so it’s cooler and doesn’t interfere with the seats or back bands in any of my boats.

Some larger kayak suppliers let you try and return if not used. You can sit in your kayak on land at least. Bought 4 dog pfd before getting one that fit my terrier"s weird shape.

I am down in the Mid-Atlantic, so kayak in pretty hot and humid conditions at times. For that, I like a mesh back. I have the old model of the CVest, and like it a lot. I never feel hot and sweaty while using it, I even forget to remove it at times when taking a rest on shore, even in the summer. But I like the pockets on the new version better, and will probably change to that when it is time for a replacement.

Many of us on here use the Astral V-8. I do because it is hot and humid here at least 8 months a year. Very comfortable and bouyant.

I feel your pain, except you have experience, my wife and I are just starting out on our kayak adventure. I live on a island which requires a ferry ride to the mainland where all the stores are.
Yesterday we had enough need to venture over, its a all day affair.
We looked at three popular stores, and the pickings were very slim, and the forecast of more, and when, uncertain…thank you virus…not.

We tried on some, just to get a idea, etc, and then came home and found some after much searching, and bought those, NRS brand, online, with free shipping and return.

I too opted for the mesh back, after putting some on, even the ones with a little full back padding seemed too much for me, and the seat on my yak is comfortable as is, so I did not want to chance it…

I also got to look at the stock of sit on tops kayaks as well, and now that I have mine, came all the way, shipped, from Georgia to the Pacific Northwest, and not a scratch on it, for only 79 bucks, which I almost have to pay to just go off island and back to buy one…and I am glad I did, after looking at what was available at these 3 stores, the ones we bought (2 of them) I am really happy with…
Yeah, internet shopping has it challenges, matter of fact one of our reasons to go over yesterday was to return 4 pairs of shoes my wife bought online at a big retail store, as they did not fit…arg.

Can’t wait now till start paddling when it warms up…we live on the water (salt) but have already laid out trips to lakes later in the year. I have a boat on a trailer, but I have a travel trailer and can’t pull both, so we got the yaks to have fun when we leave the island…CAN’T WAIT!

BTW, this site is really helpful, read lots of the post…THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING :slight_smile: