Kokatat Sea02 and Orbit?

Anyone used these? I’m interested in a less restrictive/bulky PFD, but wonder about these. Would they hinder rescues and rolling with their lower boyancy? I know the Sea02 actually has very high boyancy when inflated, but how realistic is it to be inflating this while you’re under water and trying to right yourself?

I demoed a SeaO2 this summer, before they came on the market. They have plenty of buoyancy for my 175 lbs without the reserve inflated.

It has a CO2 cartridge and a breath tube to inflate the reserve. The CO2 cartridge has a ripcord that you pull to activate it.

I have some concerns about the placement of the CO2 cartridge (On the belly), as it may become an issue during rescues. Myself, I’d remove the CO2 cartridge, and just use the breath tube, but that’s just me. But then again, I have no need to buy another PFD anytime soon.


maybe this should be a new thread
but what woudl be the best pfd style for rolling and traditional greenland maneuvers?


Greenland rolling practice is usually somewhere safe, generally Walden Pond in my case, so I just use a tuilik. When required I add a Sospenders inflatable PFD. Depending on your boat, a PFD with nearly all the foam on your chest might not be too bad, but in a SOF, sitting forward in the cockpit, it will hit the front of combing and definitely be in the way.


Lower buoyancy not a hindrance
I rolled without using a PFD at all, in a swimming pool. Did not notice any difference in buoyancy.

Pluses and minuses
This PFD may actually have more pluses than people realize and a few minuses to be considered too.

Pluses are less restrictive but also may actually facilitate ease of recovery both self and assisted as main problem for many paddlers who have high rear decks, are short, for many women, the PFD really hinders. This may be a significant safety factor!

Another plus is that is heavy seas and high winds it is possible to drown with a regular pfd by virtue of not being able to sustain one’s head above the wind and waves. Having a higher float value may be a real life saver.

The minus is related. If for some reason the inflate abilty gets damaged, the vest will have less than regular floatation.

Just my thoughts not having tried it yet. But I want to seriously consider it both for myself as an instructor and for others.

One more plus
A type III PFD is a buoyancy aid for a conscious swimmer. If a person is incapacitated (too exhausted or hypothermic to keep swimming) or unconscious, it is just as likely to leave you floating in a face-down position as a face-up or anywhere in between.

My SOSpenders inflatable, which concentrates all the buoyancy over the chest and behind the neck, does a very good job of turning me face up and holding me there. I know this because I accidentally tested it one day while freediving. When I tried on a SeaO2 last Spring it appeared to have a similar design in the placement of the buoyancy chambers. IF it performs in the same manner as the Mustang and Sospenders type inflatables, this would add a significant degree of safety in the worst type of situations.


Thanks Ralph, this would be good!

If this turns out to be the case for many a great plus. Thanks.


Thanks everyone for the thoughts!

I have an Orbit. What I like: the low profile is great for rolling, sculling, and general comfort. Two big front pockets with top and size zip. I carry VHF and camera easily. Can get a great fit.

What I don’t like: can’t wear over bathing suit in summer, it rubs my lower neck and shoulders raw. It’s a bit of a pain to re-adjust the fit properly every time you take it off (6 adjustment points which, if not adjusted properly and you end up in the water it floats up around your head).