Life Vests

I’m looking at getting a Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vests and was wondering if anyone knew how the sizes go. I have a size 45 chest but have no idea which size to pick. On top of that I was also wondering if anyone had any advice on good quality kayaking life vest for under $80 preferable with some pockets on the front. Thanks ya’ll.

Look in some not so obvious places

– Last Updated: May-05-14 10:41 PM EST –

I enjoy my Cabelas fishing PFD for paddling. Not the high end configuration, but works fine. Floats me properly. Big pockets in the front. Adjusts well. Has mesh upper portions and shoulder straps to keep you cooler.
Here: Cabelas-Comfort-Mesh-Flotation-Vest

Need to try them on
You really should try on PFDs in person as a PFD that matches your chest size is not any type of guarantee that it will fit your body type right.

My first PFD was a very respected brand but just never fit me right – mainly because I didn’t know how a PFD should fit, nor did the salesman. I would either keep it unzipped or somewhere on the kayak. It was useless to me. When I finally found one that fit perfectly I never think about taking it off and rarely even realize I am wearing it.

You also have to check that the back of the PFD will clear the top of your seat. That is easiest done in person. Again a PFD that works well for one person might ride too low for another.

The reality is expect to pay closer to a $100+ for a good comfortable PFD. No clue about the Onyx you are looking at as I have never seen them sold anywhere around me.

Usually fishing PFDs have more pockets but some can be pretty small and are almost useless.

The NRS C-Vest has a lot of pockets.

The Extrasport Osprey is a fishing/hunting PFD. The camo seems to be on clearance now on Amazon. The Osprey sizes are XS/S (33" - 39"), M/L (40" - 45"), XL/XXL (46" - 56"). The measurements are your chest size. The reality is for a given vest it is usually the same amount of padding – the differences is mainly the length of the straps to get around your body. You don’t want too much extra straps or have them too short.

Thanks for the advice guys. I went ahead and ordered the Onyx one because I needed a vest for this weekend. If it fits weird I can always just send it back. Again thanks for the advice and of course I plan on getting better stuff as I get more into kayaking.

Try them on.
There is a reason why the good ones are more pricey. However, if you watch for sales, you can often score a super deal. I tried on a lot of pfds and almost had to learn the hard way that not every pfd is made for paddling. So the first step is to only look at pfds that are designed for paddling. Next in my book is to only look at the very well made vests and I prefer the 500 Cordura material.

I was very lucky to find a store that had some unbelievable deals on some very high end vests and I picked up a rescue vest for a price that I still can’t believe. If you’re anything like the rest of us, you will end up with a collection of vests.

Astral knock-off?
I had never heard of that manufacturer or model but it looks kind of like an attempt to knock off the Astral V-8 series vests. If this one you ordered doesn’t work, I would suggest looking at the V-8. It tends to sell around $90 to $100 and is very comfortable, especially in hot weather. l.L. Bean and REI stores stock them.

I would make sure that one you ordered does not ride up when you wear it and it fits securely. The side adjustment straps look very flimsy to me. It also doesn’t have a whole lot of flotation. If you are over 200 lbs you might want to consider a higher quality vest. I think this one may be marginal.