I was reading on another website that somebody manufactures a foam pfd weighing around 14 oz. Does anybody know who makes these?
For several years I have loved my cabella mesh pfd that buckles at the bottom and leave it unzipped so air hits my chest. Or you could try inflatable.
If not concerned about enforcement,
go to rapidstyle.com and buy a slalom racing jacket. I have owned two Rapidstyle jackets, and if worn properly, they float you quite well enough. Dana Chladek (one silver, one bronze) of Rapidstyle does not bother with the expense of getting Coast Guard approval, because these pfds are worn on racecourses and few other places. If you are concerned about enforcement, you can put a cheap horsecollar PFD somewhere in your boat to meet the legal requirement.
That site also has a good link to info on how to dress for kayaking.
Depending whether you are looking for just lightweight or also low profile take a look at Astral Bouyancy Hybrid. It provides 8 lbs. of floatation and I believe, if memory and caffine serve me correctly, 24 lbs. of floatation inflated. Two bladders in the front panel inflate via tube and expand riding up the front straps. The nice thing is that the back panel is only 1" or so thick. Makes lay back rolls and other mobility much easier without a bulky foam block on your back. Most of the other Astral vests are thin in the back but this is the smallest I’ve seen or worn.
See you on the water,