Least bulky lightest PFD?

Looking to purchase my own PFD, every one that I’ve had to wear from rental places is too bulky and also too hot! I get over heated pretty quickly and have to take it off. Suggestions? Thanks!

I have a Vaikobi ocean racing PFD that is pretty low bulk and open at the sides. Pretty comfy. Only in super bright colours though


Type of kayak you will be using? Type of paddling you will be doing? Where are you located and what sort of weather will you be seeing?

Astral V8. Very light and well-ventilated. Even on the hottest days I barely notice I am wearing it.

2nd the V8.

3rd on the V-8

After I bought my V-8 I never had to say “I wish I had a V-8”.

@shiraz627 said:
After I bought my V-8 I never had to say “I wish I had a V-8”.

Don’t quit your day job.

This topic was on the message board a while back - you may want to do a search to see the responses posted. I paddle in Florida and use a… you guessed it, an Astral V-8.

Oh man! I coulda had a V8!

V-8 is Grrreat!

I use a manual inflatable life jacket for flat water paddling in Florida. Sierra Club paddles require wearing one during their outings. With the heat here, most jackets are very uncomfortable. The inflatables feel like you’re not wearing one at all. Got mine at West Marine.

I have the previous version of the Astral V8 and love it – light, cool, unobstructive (although the pocket design is poor - not easy to work with one hand). I don’t like the newer version as much as they removed all foam from the lower back (adding a small, thick “pillow” at the top instead), and the front panels seem thicker, to compensate. The new version does have 2 pockets that is an improvement but it doesn’t wrap around my body as well and looks like it would chafe my arms for a low stroke. Does anyone who has the new version feel the same way? If I find one of the older ones, I may buy it for a backup, rather than go with the newer model.


Astral V-8 - love it. I have the new version with foam removed from lower back and find it much more comfortable than my old one which rubbed against the back of the seat and was just too bulky. I don’t have any chafing problems. It comfortably wraps around me.