Favorite PFD for hot muggy weather?

I didn’t want to confuse the other PFD thread, but I’d like to know what PFD’s are the coolest to wear in hot muggy weather? Are there any that allow airflow next to the body? Don’t like the “one-shot” nature of CO2 vests. Thanks.

take another look
at the Kokatat Sea02 pfd. I do not know what you mean my one-shot. Maybe you do not know that this one has a tube that takes maybe 2 or 3 puffs to fully inflate, but even deflated, the built in foam flotation keeps me above the water. The back is all mesh. Very nice PFD in warm weather.

you still have to
maintain the pfd and change cartridge yearly. I have the SOSpenders that I use in south Florida but it doesn’t cut it for rolling practice…I do wish as the poster above asks for a comfy pfd that’s comfortable in high temps.

Inflatable PFD

I live in Miami, FL and just bought an inflatable PFD from Cabela’s. I don’t like the idea of wrapping myself in foam to go paddling in blistering hot weather. It only covers part of my chest and should be cooler than foam.

Here’s the way I see it regarding the “one shot” aspect: I asked myself how often I would be in a situation where I would really need to rely on my PFD for survival. Unless my judgement goes out the window or I run into some really bad luck, I shouldn’t need to rely on that PFD very often. Also, if I do end up in the water relying on my PFD for an extended period, it does have an oral inflation/deflation tube that I can use to adjust the amount of air in the PFD. The CO2 cartriges aren’t that expensive either.

To be honest, I don’t like paddling with a PFD at all. In fact, most of the time I don’t actually wear one. Alright everyone, calm down!! I do, however, respect the power of the ocean, therefore, I always have one with me. Maybe now that I have an inflatable, I’ll always wear it while paddling.

Pedro Almeida

p.s. Now that I think about it, I should probably rethink that judgement thing…my other hobby is Hang Gliding.

CO2 vests are one-time cartridge only
if you have an auto inflatable type that inflates automatically when in the water. If you were to use a manual(pull the handle) CO2 vest, you could roll and swim without activating the CO2 cartridge. It is hardly noticable when wearing, for maximum freedom of movement and air ventilation. Happy paddling!

astral hybrid…
is blown up by you…not a cartridge…

Just another vote for the Kokatat Sea02
It has completely replaced my Lotus Ocean now. I like the either or–you or the cartridge, when you see the black clouds in the distance give it a puff or two…or if the unexpected happens yank the cord. The two pockets are nice and the size surprising for this vest…the only down is the price which seems to have jumped a lot since I got one.

Kokatat Orbit
or Orbit Tour for the couple of pockets. And I think that Lotus makes one with this profile too. The padding is concentrated lower down, shoulders are pretty free.

Less floatation by a pound or two maybe thant he regular one - I didn’t check - but I suspect it’d do the job for you.

wet yourself
In the blistering heat you can always wet yourself down. We also soak our hats. No vest is cool in the heat but by wetting down reguarly, you won’t even feel it. I never heard of a paddler complain that their vest is too hot.

When we have people with no skills along, they can grab someone’s bow and lower themself into the water for a cool down. You don’t have to know anything to splash yourself.

overton fish pfd
It unzips up the the chest and snaps across the bottom. Cheap with lots of pockets and mesh shoulders

check out NRS
They have many PFDs that have a Mesh back.

Is the back foam?
With a full back the Sea02 still looks hot to me. It does offer what I think is a reasonable hybrid approach of a constant minimal foam flotation with the CO2 providing a large floatation for use on a bad day. Zero floatation with manual release sort of worries me. Sometimes I am in water that I really don’t care to be pouring on myself.

Orange horse collar type.
Completely open on the back. Not very pretty, though.

Lotus Sea Sherman
3 weeks paddling a loaded kayak 99deg heat 99% humidity.

Mesh back PFDs
seem to be the “latest great thing”. Everyone appears to have a version: Kokatat, Stohlquist, Extrasport, NRS. Personally, I like the Stohlquist and may invest in one this season (like I need another PFD).


The Sea02
The Sea02 has a mesh back. Across the shoulder there is an inflatable portion about the size of your hand.

I typically wear a sprayskirt all the time, but when it is hot, I may use a nylon one and wear a long sleeve shirt under the Sea 02.

Check out fishing pfds
A lot of them have a decent amount of mesh, and lots of useful pockets.

I paddle the Texas coast, and wear an Extrasport paddling vest, I never mind the heat.

Recall on Lotus Mildwater


I was looking around, as I’m thinking about buying another pfd, one with a mesh back. The Lotus looks good,

but apparently has had a buoyancy issue.

The recall is dated in 2006, so maybe the 2007 models are better for buoyancy, although Lotus has not stated what the optional trade or improved model is. Could have been some pfds were not filled with enough flotation.

I had a minimum flotation pfd years ago, and when put to the test in a canoe flip, the pfd failed miserably. Had I not been able to swim, I wouldn’t have made it to the surface. I’m looking for one with more than just the minimum rating of flotation, as I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

He’ll give you a piece of his ever-present mind (& pot-stirring thoughts) on PFDs for you -or anyone else, for that matter, to use )or NOT) -most ESPECIALLY in WARM weather, let alone HOT weather, LOL! -to


-Frank in Miami