Canoe seats and pdfs?

I do not have a pfd! But I really only canoe on shallow lakes and calm rivers. And when I do anything other than that, I borrow one from a friend. The one that I borrow is black neoprene and huge. I’d like something lower profile but is still confortable with my canoe seat. I have a gci sitbacker, so I have a lot of back support.

Just looking for some advice and recommendations. I’d like to spend around 50-100. The lower the better, but I want something that is comfortable and practical so I will actually use it.

Thanks all.


No suggestions on which pfd, but get
one, even a cheapy wally world pfd, and wear it. Shallow lakes are not as safe as you may think, especially if a storm starts blowing up when you are a good ways from shore. The waves are always worse in shallower bodies of water when the wind blows big.

“Black Neoprene” ?
Are you talking about a cushion that you sit on or a PFD that you wear?

In most states if not all of them it is the law to have a Coast Guard approved PFD in your canoe or kayak for each person.

If it is coast guard partolled water it is the law.

I am like you and don’t wear my PFD when I am close to shore or in shallow water, but on the other hand I don’t leave home without it.

You can get a el-cheapo at Wally world that is coast guard approved.



I get his gear
when he drowns.

Seriously. You can drown in the shower. Don’t go on the water without actually wearing a pfd.

$50-100 should get you a good one. After that it’s all fit and comfort. That canoe seat might be a problem. I find pfds that provide the best range of movement (yak jackets) have small thick floatation. One alternative to the canoe seat is to spend another $50+ for a NadaChair.

I have used the Sitbacker seat (still have one) with the Seda PFD and Lotus Rio Grande. These two are very comfortable and you will hardly know you’re wearing it. Now, bear in mind, our bodies are all shaped differently; what feels comfortable on me, may not on you. But these two are two of the most comfortable I’VE ever worn. Piragis has the Seda’s and NRS has the Lotus. WW


A PFD is your most important purchase, because it’s a life saving device.

Even on calm lakes and shallow water things can happen. I tend to not wear mine in these situation when the temps get into the 90s and up, but I always have right where I can easily grab it. That is the law btw. (to have it with you)

Buying a PFD is smart decision. But when paddling you’re just not going to wear it unless it’s comfortable. Riding around in a motor it’s not as much an issue, but free natural movement is very important in a PFD is you’re going to use it paddling. You can pick whatever you like ofcourse, but here is can vouch for these. They are very comfortable for paddling.


I looked at lots of PFD’s …

– Last Updated: Dec-29-05 4:07 PM EST –

online and in stores. Dick's Sporting Goods has a low priced Stearns model. My wife and kids all got MTI Adventure Wear brands which were also very reasonably priced. However........I tried on everything under the sun at one of our local paddling outfitters and the only thing that fit me comfortably was a Lotus Rio Bravo ($129)but I saw NRS had them on sale for $98 some time ago. Each one is going to be different. Good Luck. Go to Google and type in PFD. (Astral, Kokotat,Stohlquist, Lotus, Stearns, MTI, Extrasport)


I still use
my old reliable Seda 33 PFD, Its light comfy and it kept me very warm on Monday night when our group was stuck out in the woods for the evening on a trip gone very wrong (but thats another story).

ONE inch of water
PFDs are important. I also keep an extra in my truck…just incase.

You should check out the Extrasport Chica. It is comfortable and has the “baja Back” the bottum is mesh and the top is floaty. Great for seats.


Lotus Mildwater again.
Works great by avoiding the seat back in mt Tarpon.

Lotus Mildwater
I wear it wether it’s hot or cold. Very comfortable. It does not work however, if it’s not worn.

pros and cons
The fact that you ask the question indicates you are well aware of the disadvantages of wearing a life jacket.

And the safety nazis have given you an earfull of their usual public service announcements on the evils and pitfalls of not wearing one at all times – so help you god.

But no one has mentioned the best reason to have a life jacket onboard – any old life jacket – is that the odds of getting an expensive ticket for not having one onboard far, far outweigh the odds that you will ever need to use it!

In closing…

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 2:34 PM EST –

For under 100 dollars you should be able to get a comfortable, safe, and well constructed pfd.
I suggest you check out different models by Lotus Designs and Astral.
The "advantages" of wearing a pfd, "far outweigh" any discomfort you might experience. Most pfds that are uncomfortable to the wearer are typically cheaply made, not correctly fitted to the wearer, and lack adjustability. All those faults can be laid at the feet of the person who purchased the cheaply made pfd in the first place. Yes, in the summer, pfds can become somewhat uncomfortable. Remember; you are paddling on water! During the summer; stop, have some water to drink, and keep yourself hydrated. Take a swim break & cool off. DUH!

You wear the pfd for the one time you "really" need it; "not" the hundreds of times you do not.

If you "control" the natural features of all the lakes & rivers where you paddle, the weather on those lakes & rivers, and the behaviour of all those who use those rivers, and lakes where you paddle, you have total control of your boat at all times, and you are drown probably don't need a pfd.

From Redneck's profile: In closing, please remember that the redneck on the effing jetski might be my cousin and he's a really nice guy.

My retort: In closing, please remember that the persons that you (Redneck) characterize as a pnet safety nazi might be my friend (several are)and they are really nice guys, who just happen to have an interest in paddling safety.

You (Redneck), missed another good opportunity to not label & putdown with sarcasm, those offering some good advice.


P.S. Take time to read the thread Hypothermic Stories, and get some more input
on the advantages of wearing a pfd.

another stupid poll
Well readers, what should I do?

Should I take the bait and drag this thread off-topic as the above poster hopes I will, or should I just ignore him?

I’m thinking I’ll ignore him 'cause just as coffee has boomer biting his butt all the time, this guy I’m proud to call my own, but I’m getting tired of him.

Let the voting begin!

Do I:

  • Respond,


  • Do not respond.

Getting tired?

– Last Updated: Dec-30-05 7:25 PM EST –

The original poster of this thread was seeking advice & recommendations, regarding pfds that were comfortable & practical.

The original thread poster got positive advice & recommendations from jerlfletcher, paddlinpals, tssplash, preacher, tebpac, liveoutside, string, duggae, wildernesswebb, andylee, and mickmcrea.

What did those that responded with positive advice & recommendations get for their effort? Labeling as "pnet safety nazis", and your categorization of the thread as another "stupid poll".

Should you drag the thread off topic? You already did; when you made the safety nazis & stupid poll remarks. The only real use (according to you) for a pfd is to save you from getting a ticket? Way to go; that's a real positive attitude/statement to make on a paddling website, frequented by possibly hundreds, if not thousands of rookie paddlers.

You asked for responses from readers. I am a reader; here my response, "I ain't tired yet"!


P.S. Another good thread; pfds/swimming.