Inflatable PFD's

any coments or advice on inflatable pfd’s? tried some on and they are much more comfortable to wear.

My opinion
I have never worn an inflatable PFD, so I can’t speak to comfort or how they work in action. I wear my PFD like a glove - when I move, it moves with me; and when in water (flat or moving), it stays where it is suppose to.

I understand the cost of the inflatable, plus replacing 1 or 2 of the Co2 containers (intentional or inadvertent inflation) will add up to the cost of a good PFD.

Go to a to a reputable outfitter, try on a bunch of PFDs, and ask questions. I think your $$ will go further with a good, non-inflatable PFD.

This subject…
This subject has been discussed ad nauseam in the past 5 years.

Type in inflatable pfd in archives, and you will find multiple posting on the same subject, and probably 125 to 130 responses.


$15-20 if you pull the cord but comfortable.

Inflatable PFD
Simply the best thing I ever bought, very comfortable without all the bulk. There are some pluses and minuses but I won’t get into that here. The one I have been using for the last 3 years is a Mustang survival manual inflation model.

Kayaking is generally too wet to use an automatic inflatable, don’t want it inflating on it’s own. If you get upside down you need both hands already and don’t have a spare to pull the lanyard. Might be ok in a pond.

Bill H.

Kokatat Sea02
I don’t think the yacht-type inflatables are that useful or comfortable for paddlers, because of size, and the way they fit. But Kokatat makes a 15# vest that inflates with a pull-cord up to 30 pounds or something. Or can be orally inflated. It’s extremely low profile. Has the sort of pockets a seakayaker wants. Looks very slick.

I’ve seen a few instructors wearing them (probably sponsor-gifts). They’re close to $200 at retail.