Ladies-most comfortable PFD?

For a sea kayak.We looked at several this morning , but none made for a woman.The Astrals rode up on the bcak of her neck. The Stolquist had too much padding in the back.My Lotus Mildwater puts too much pressure in front.

Suggestions please.

Kokatat MSFit
A lot of guys I know like this one too. Shorter back. Nice thing for you guys down south too, the sea kayaking Kokatat’s pass Coast Guard muster with the zipper undone because of the plastic clips behind it.

My wife has a womans PFD she got from LL Bean and says it’s very comfortable.

I ain’t a lady but the Kokatat Msfit works very well for us folks with short torsos.

Another model that worked for me was the Extrasport eagle. I swear the tag said ‘osprey’ but the pfd says ‘eagle’.

Good luck.

Another vote for MsFit nm

kokatat orbit tour
I have a kokatat msfit which is also really comfortable but I find the armhole cutouts not big enough as i can feel them. Not sure how different a med. would be as this is a large when i didnt have a medium to compare it to and that would be my proper size. The orbit tour although strange looking is extremely cut out and i dont notice it at all while paddling but it is thick in the front. I notice that during wet exits. I still love it though.

PFDs for women

– Last Updated: Mar-01-08 10:51 PM EST –

There are specific Astrals for women, but since every woman is different some fit and some don't (and sometimes the men's model fits best.) One of our daughters has an Astral Abba, one has a PFDiva from MTI (which comes w/a collection of foam wedges to customize the bust fit) and my wife continues on w/an Extrasport that needs to be replaced. One of our projects at Canoecopia next week will be to find the replacement. One of the women at Rutabaga told us that it takes an average of 5 minutes to fit a man for a PFD and 30-45 to fit a woman, after which she laughed, rolled her eyes, and said, "Some things just NEVER change."

Kokatat MsFit Tour

Agreed, the Kokatat Ms Fit Tour
I previously used an LL Bean PFD, followed by an Astral. The Kokatat is far superior for touring or recreational use.

There is supposed to be a new Astral
coming out that Nanci has been advised to wait for, that I have been told is the best women’s one to date.

She is eagerly awaiting it, and we should get an e-mail when they are on the market.



Lotus Designs Lolita
Great if you have a short torso.

At least the ladies will not hesitate to
replace PFDs every 3-5 years, if not sooner.

try a bunch

– Last Updated: Mar-02-08 9:56 PM EST –

Every body is different, so she should try a bunch. The MsFit is my favorite--but I really like the high-vis colors that LL Bean sells. I regret choosing the water-blue color of my MsFit tour when powerboats come buzzing by.

NRS Mystic PFD
I’m a bit different, (ok, no jokes here hehe), I really like my NRS Mystic PFD. I have tried on ALL of the rest of them, and this one was the most comfortable for me. I have “curves” and this one didn’t feel like I was being smushed, like the rest did. The one downside is that there aren’t a lot of pockets or places to store stuff, so I get creative.

Good luck on finding one that fits you,


Palm Freestyle
No more riding up the back, the neck. Etc.

No more squiggling around at all.

Stays where it’s strapped.

Gives rescuers a good grip at shoulder (at least

based on rescue practices)or alternately at the side via soft not too stretchy neoprene bands.

Endless customized fits to accomodate different layers.

NOT too thick - front or back. Easier to vault up on the kayak deck or other shimmying around.

Slim on the sides to facilitate torso rotation and to fit nicely in a narrow (12") seat.

Some whitewater people like it. It’s not especially designed for men, or for women.

It’s designed for people who prize mobility and don’t want to be engulfed in their gear.

Not the obvious choice but worth a look. This was the third PFD I bought and by far the best. The LL Bean I bought was entirely too stiff and boardlike - ugh. Not even worth ruining in pool classes. It’s now extra floatation in the stern of the boat.

The first one I bought was for jetski use (since I do that on occasion) The torso is too long for any decent amount of kayaking. It’s OK for pool practice or to loan to larger friends.

I agree it depends on torso length,

chest size, and also, weight distribution, esp below the rib cage. Might also factor in height of seat back, width of seat, etc. Try before buy, obviously.

If it’s a demo vest, swim in it (backstroke, sidestroke, surf in with paddle, etc) and see how that feels. It’s fun, and better to know how it feels beforehand.