Comfortable PFD's for Women??

I am so tired of being crushed in my PFD!! I wear a size small to medium but… you gals know what I’m talking about…small to medium does not fit all areas. The first thing I do on shore is unzip and breathe! Also since they’re a little on the pricey side, I don’t want to spend another $100-150 only to be miserable when I’m out on the water.

Any advice/suggestions on ‘women friendly’ PFDs out there?

thanks :slight_smile:

Both kokatat and stohlquist make women specific PFD’s. The padding is thinner in certain areas to accomodate feminine protuberances…

the Chica from Extrasport

astral has one with
Built in support and all that jazz yall like… or so says my wife.


There IS a comfortable PFD for women, my husband just got me a Stohlquist by Water Ware…Model, Betsea

We went to Fluid Fun in Indiana to look at canoes…the owner asked me as we were about to leave if I was in the market for a new PFD. He said slip this one on and tell me what you think…That was all it took!!! Comfort at last.

It wasn’t cheap but will be worth every cent to finally not feel squished. I told my husband he wouldn’t have to shop for our anniversary next month or Mother’s Day or my birthday.

It is contured in the right places…has a zipper up the front and a plastic snap closure at the bottom. My only regret is that I bought it in a beautiful shade of powder blue trimmed in black…I really should have gone with the bright yellow to set a good exmple on safety to the kids in my 4-H club and the participants of the ACA classes I teach.

You really should find a dealer near you that sells these…it is really a comfortable PFD for women.

Fluid Fun in in Bristol, Indiana. I read about it here on this BB and am so glad I did. They have loads of canoes and kayaks plus a nice selection of gear. They also have a web site but you would have to try this on to believe it.

Be careful if you visit…he had me lift a couple of paddles that were as light as a feathers…I almost ended up taking one of them home too. ha ha (I know where my I’m sending my husband to his Christmas shopping next year.)

Now all I need is for the rivers and lakes to unthaw so I can try it out, but I have no doubt that I will be able to wear it for hours and never be bothered by it.

Think Spring ~ Kim

Here’s a link for you

Stohlquist for fit, but…
After trying a variety of quality vests, I zipped up a Stohlquist Betsea and the search was over. The fit is excellent, making it the most comfortable vest I’ve ever tried. However, the codura fabric is really rough on exposed skin. The chaffing rub I get with each stroke makes it painful enough not to want to wear it over a bathing suit or tank. So if you don’t intend to always wear long sleeves consider the fabric, nylon would probably be more user friendly.

I’ll be interested in the responses here as I’m going to have to buy another which will pass the tank test.~Heidi

Kokatat MsFIT
I’ve had one of these for a couple of years and love it. Plenty of adjustments to get a snug fit without crushing. Cut in at the shoulders so that I can freely move my arms. Does not ride up like many and the neck is cut deep enough so that with my short torso I am not strangled. While the exterior fabric is Cordura, it is nylon on the interior and that is where the PFD contacts the skin.

I agree MSFIT
I have this pfd with no problem. At first, I tried to tighten the straps on the shoulders and was never comfortable. Then someone told me to loosen the shoulders all the way and it’s been great ever since

New pfd brand on the market promises much better fit. Check out their models for women. Haven’t tried them but they look promising.

Depending on your size

– Last Updated: Feb-21-04 6:35 PM EST –

My Girlfriend refused to paddle with me again until I acquired a PFD that accomadated her shape better than the ones that I had.

She's very tall (5'11") and thin, and not too large busted.

She tried a couple of Women specific PFD's and ended up getting the Lotus Designs Lolita.

She always wears a rashguard and has some little latex jobbers that stick on to prevent chafing of sensitive areas.


pfd issue
I have had the same problem…2 companies to check out Lotus and Stolquist. I own both and wear them comfortably for long periods of time.

So far, Betsea is in the lead.
I’ve tried on every PFD I could find and the Betsea is looking ok. I tried the Astral and it is better for comfort, adjustment, and unrestricted paddling. Sounds great, right. Oh, don’t I wish. The criss-cross strap system is time consuming to adjust and must be loosened and re-adjusted each time. I don’t like a PFD that has to go on and off over my head. The ones I tried didn’t have pockets or a place for a knife or whistle. But it fit like a bustiere. Hugged the curves and wasn’t going anywhere. I was told they are coming out with a front zip model. I will be anxiously awaiting that development.

Most of the PFDs I tried don’t fit any better than my Extrasport short panel. Are there any women with ample chestage involved in the design phase? I’m getting ready to sew in a net sportsbra with quickrelease buckle on the inside. If I use the same net material that is used on PFDs, it shouldn’t reduce the effectiveness of the vest. I know about not modifying a coast guard approved device, but stuff their rule. I’m tired of stuffing myself into a PFD that affects my breathing when it’s tight enough and is likely to shuck off in rough water. There, I got that off my chest…