Lotus Designs Touring Tow

-- Last Updated: May-27-05 11:23 AM EST --

Does anyone have experience with these? What can you tell me.(ie how's it operate?) Some vendors mention attaching to the Deepwater PFD, others mention a slew of others but not the Deepwater. Thanks



Older version
I have the older version. Disadvantages are that it’s hard to restow after use, it’s hard to adjust how much line you have out, there’s no bungee, and the high tow point puts a load on your back. The big advantage is that it’s always with me – I don’t have to remember it, load it, or put it on.

For situations where you know you’ll probably be towing – instruction, mixed group trips, etc – a good belt tow rig would probably be better. But the Lotus has worked OK the few times I’ve had to use it.

Thanks for the info

where does it attach on the PFD when not in use, and is that where it stays when in use?


– Last Updated: May-27-05 4:00 PM EST –

Mine's on an older L'ocean PFD. It rides on the right side of my waist. The ring ends up against the right-side belt loop on the back panel of the PFD, and I clip the carabiner to a d-ring by the right pocket. If you stuff it so that the ring is barely out of the bag it doesn't have enough slack to flop around.

Angstrom’s analysis
mirrors mine. Restuffing in teh boat is a royal PIA. I now use, and like a Current Designs/Northwater waist mounted tow system. Modified, of course, per BNystrom’s instructions.


maybe I’m not getting this
Thanks for the help so far but let me be new and raise my hand here.

What am I attaching it to? The adjustment straps on the side? The deepwater has loops all the way around, are they somehow involved? Could someone talk me through its placement on the PFD when not in use and then when it is in use please.

You need a “RESCUE” PFD.
They have a quick release strap that goes all of the way around you. The QR strap threads through the ring on the tow system.

If you don’t have a rescue style vest, you should just get a waist mounted tow belt.

Go with a North Water Tow System
either the original design, modified using Brian Nystrom’s excellent instructions:


  • OR -

    Purchase North Water’s new Sea Tec model, which incorporates many of Brian’s well thought out modifications. Note that the Sea Tec model is shorter in length at 30’ vs. 50’ in the original.


    Lastly, I started out with the Lotus Tow system. Many have already stated its disadvantages. It also felt like a lump under my arm because that’s where it tends to ride.

    Safe Paddling, Joe

I forgot to mention the quick-release belt that goes through the belt loops. I’ve had it on there so long that it’s just part of the PFD to me.

Fine for occasional user
All comments I agree with. However, as a club leader more concerned that everyone has one rather than willing to get the North Water model.

These smaller less easy to restuff units are not as good alright, but they are SMALLER so many more folks are willing to strap them on have them ready when needed. They can simply restuff them inside their pfd until later. So yes better models but better to have all with a tow if they are not willing to get the bigger models imo.

Another Disadvantage
is that it is not as easy to ‘hand off’ a tow to someone else if they don’t have a ‘rescue’ pfd. A waist unit can be removed and given to another tow-er, without the need to unclip from the tow-ee.

Having said that, I prefer (and have) a PFD mounted tow: much more comfortable.