Has anyone here worn this pfd yet? I would like to get myself a new pfd this winter and Kokatat is at the top of my list. Obviously fit will be the final decider but I would like to hear opinions of those who have experience with this jacket.
Havn’t looked at rescue vests for a couple years I guess. Not real thrilled with the fit of my Astral 300 and now notice that they too have a new one, the green vest. Might have to go PFD shopping, oops CG now wants us to again call them life vests.
I paddle with a normal Ronin, and i find it quite comfortable. It fet well as soon as i had it on, and with a few adjustments hasn’t bothered me since getting it on the water. The adjustment straps are all within easy reach when sitting down, they’ve held up very well so far, and they stay quite tight, i’ve had no problems with them slipping at all. The only downside from me is that it is on the warm side in the summer for flatwater paddling compared to some of the lower profile touring pfd’s out there. As far as i know te Pro model is exactly the same jacket but with a few extras built in.
I’ve got one
I ordered it based on another kayak’s review of it. It’s got some good quality’s but feels just a little bulky to me. My main PFD before that was the Stohlquist E-traxt which is an excellent Rescue pfd and IMO more comfortable then the Ronin Pro. It’s also about 50.00 cheaper.
Thanks for the feedback.
Waiting for a local supplier to get some stock to try on. Hoping to find something that was less “bulky” feeling and not to warm for those hot summer days. Perhaps this may not be the ideal vest. Also looking at the SeaO2 and Orbits.
I’ve got a demo at the shop - it feels really bulky under the arms. Perhaps it’s designed for protecting your sides with foam for whitewater.
It felt strange enough that I’ve not paddled in it, so I can’t speak from on-the-water experience.
My advice - get a MsFit Tour or Outfit Tour. If you want really low bulk, try the Orbit or Orbit Tour.
I’ve got the Ronin (not the pro rescue vest) and I find it very comfortable and not at all bulky. The MsFit does not fit me well, but I’m 6’6" so none of the shorter torso PFDs fit me well.
The biggest thing about a PFD is fit, you’ll have to try one on to be sure you like it but I love mine.
Curious, what is wrong with the fit of
the Astral 300? Is it the model 300T (300 Touring)?
The Astral Green Jacket is based on the platform first designed for slalom racing, model called the Newton. This has evolved into the Willis/Bella (mens/womens) non-rescue versions and then to the heavier duty, feature laden Green Jacket. The Limited Edition version coming out now is a pretty wild color scheme. Tough to miss. Been exptremely pleased with my red one for whitewater or sea kayaking.
The X-Tract by Stohlquist will probably be outshone by the new resuce pfd called the Descent. Seems to be rather classic Stohlquist low profile foam panels with lots of novel features such as a generous belowed front pocket with hydration port through the top, armored shoulders for portage comfort, elasticized shoulders for automatic fit and tensioning on front transverse straps, crotch strap ready, and it appears that the back panel is bellowed so as to accept a hydration bladder but the literature doesn’t specify that. The pfd has a more armored feel to it but not to the point where you feel like paddling in brigandine plate.
That’s news here.
Back to procrastinating.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
I favor Kokatat for
their reputation and the fact that they are American made. I am a VP for a well known Union so I try to buy American whenever possible. I preach it so I practice it. Sometimes its not always practicle and other times its downright impossible but this is a situation where its a no brainer for me.
Not all American made
Kokatat isn’t very clear on the country of origin on each product, but over half their PFD’s list made in USA/China in their catalog.
I know I read somewhere that the PFDs are supposed to all be made in the States. I will have to do more research.
If the MsFit my husband bought this summer is any indication, evidently not all Kokatat PFDs are made in the USA as his was made in China. Like you, we try and buy as little as possible from there, especially for gear, but it’s just getting too hard to avoid.
Country of Origin
Both the Ronin and the Ronin Pro are made in both US and China. Each list country of origin on the tag. It would be possible to check with your local store and see if they can get a US made one through Kokatat.
I too like to see the Made in America tag on the products!
As for fit - the Ronin/Ronin Pro feel bulky under the arms for people with short torso. If you have a normal to long torso, it is worth a try.
The MsFit/MsFit Tour are made for short to normal torso people and the foam is articulated to sculpt over the belly or breast area which is why it fits both women and big bellied men (to a point, not bigger than an XL).
Outfit/Tour fits long torso’d men w/o big belly.
Hope this helps.