Hello again to those who remember me from my first post. I’m still on the hunt for a life jacket/vest and I have size issues. I’m a short woman of about 4’ 9, not fat but a little puffy and short waisted. Can anyone suggest a PFD that might work best for my type? One that wont get pushed up to my ears when I’m sitting down?
Here’s a relevant thread :
Nice, but it costs almost as much as the Kayak I got .
I was thinking under 50$
I’d suggest a gently used good kayak-specific PFD. I love my Stohlquist Cruiser, and managed to get a very lightly used one inexpensively. eBay can be a good source. I think that would be preferable to a new, cheaper one.
You get what you pay for. PFD that doesn’t fit or is uncomfortable is hell I would imagine.
Honestly, there are so many variations with body types, cockpit heights, personal comfort levels, etc., that it’s tough to make a solid recommendation. You really need to find a paddle shop with a wide variety of PFDs. Take your boat with you. Start with all adjustment straps loose, then adjust to fit once it’s on. Walk around with it, lift your arms up and down, sit in your boat and ‘paddle’, so on and so forth. Take your time and narrow it down to the top 2 or 3, then go through the process again.
Budget ~$150. This isn’t something to cheap-out on (and if you’ve started a couple of threads on the subject, you understand why). A proper fitting PFD is worth every penny.
Budget is 50
I doubt you can find a properly fitting PFD for your needs new for under $50. Either see if you can find a gently used one, or rethink the budget.
As I’ve suggested in similar threads, try on some youth-size PFDs. They accommodate short torsos and cost less than adult ones.
But if you are “puffy” you might not fit in a youth PFD. It’s always best to try on first, and especially whenever proportions don’t fit “average.”
That’s a Type V PFD, which sort of boasts that the wearer is skilled and able enough to rescue other paddlers.
Aside from not being a good thing to do unless OP is willing and able, it might be frowned on by the safety authorities.
The Stohlquist Brook is the cheapest woman-scaled good quality PFD that is close to your budget: $60. But they have been out of stock for a while. That’s a situation you are likely to find at this point with a lot of gear. Manufacturer shortages combined with high demand.
The Onyx brand PFD’s are OK on a budget. But they are not as durably made as brands like Astral, Kokatat, NRS, etc,. and would have to be replaced in a few years. But they do make a women’s model that might work for you, especially since it has the lower mesh back. I see one vendor has it on sale for $40.
I am taller than you (5’ 4") but very short-waisted and busty and also have had trouble finding a PFD that doesn’t ride up. I like Astral PFDs a lot but all are far above your limited budget. The Astral Linda and V-8 are both designed for short torsos and the female build. I have an Astral Abba (older model similar to the Linda) and a V-8 and both fit me well. Those run around $100 to $120.
There’s a Stohlquist Cruiser on Poshmark for $65 OBO, size med-large. Looks very little used. Offer a bit less if it’s your size!