Touring/tripping sea kayak vest??. Anyone have recommendations on something that is light and comfortable. I have an older AstralB, but panels sit high and are thick/bulky. Maybe a WW vest of some sorts? Other? 6’, 210 lb.
I really like my inflatable. It definitely fits the light and comfortable requirement. I set it up for manual inflation because I’m most likely to have my chest go under water slipping on rocks (helping others in the group launching and landing mostly) when I’m not even in the kayak. I have this specific one, but really only chose it because West Marine had it on sale for $49.99 a couple of years ago:
Had it for several years and out of boat experiences. Mostly don’t realize I have it on.
I’m quite fond of my Astral Blue Vest. I can mostly forget that I have it on … until I try to get up onto the (high) back deck of the Arctic Tern.
I wonder if a NRS Ninja might be what you are looking for.
Look at the Kokatat Outfit Tour.
Kokatat Ul Outfit Tour, Color: Red, Size: XL (LVUOFTRD5)
If you like this, let me know. I used it for 5-6 paddling sessions, and was not able to get comfortable in my boat (racing kayak) due to cockpit constraints. Really love the versatility, but ultimately had to go with something that was higher on the back due to the seating in my boat.
It would probably be perfect for what you are doing. I can send it to you. try it, if you like it, keep it, if not send it back.
Can’t beat that!
Might I suggest that when selecting a PFD you consider first what maximizes your safety. Two areas that I think many paddlers gloss over are visibility and enhancing the possibility of rescue when in the water. I have seen paddlers in dark colored PFDs and dark boats who were barely visible 50 yards away in overcast conditions while in the same conditions I have seen paddlers and rowers wearing fluorescent green tops from almost a mile away. Getting run over by a ski boat is something to be avoided. The visibility issue becomes worse if you end up in the water and deteriorates from there if you get separated from your boat. A PFD with pockets that contain a few rescue aids is a big plus in that situation. You might want to check out some of the writings of Mario Vittone on this subject. The PFD industry as a whole is fairly lax on providing options that satisfy both criteria, but there are some PFDs in high visibility colors with decent pockets. Comfort is important but it is also a good idea to consider how a PFD will perform in situations where you really need one.
I use a Kokatat MsFit for touring and a Kokatat Neptune for day trips. Both work well for me as the MsFit is a female vest, hence a shorter cut and the Neptune turns out to be the same length. A characteristic that I find more comfy than longer men’s vests.
I owned a Maximus Centurion for a couple of years but just never liked the length. Also, with all of those pockets and add-ons it still held way less than my MsFit. About the same amount as the Neptune which isn’t enough to suit me on a long trip. The length problem that I have had with the Centurion and other men’s vests is that they sit on top of my tow belt which sits on top of the sprayskirt. That forces the vest up slightly and there is too much interference to suit me.
I’m 5’10" - 190 pounds paddling a Tempest 170 and a Progression so it isn’t an issue with the deck being overly high.
The MsFit is my second women’s vest (the first was a Lotus L’ocean)
Definitely agree on visibility. As I age, I just bought a bigger bulkier pfd. I’m about floating not fashion. If I’m in shape in summer a slinkier one is fine. Cooler weather bigger