I ordered 3 different PDFs from LL Bean…and they all “ride up”. I’m going to return those and get a Stohlquist Trekker or Drifter. I understand these have a diagonal strapped cinch systems that solve this problem.

They’re the experts.

I just bought a Stohlquist
and like the fit very much. I have the Kokatat Misfit (which is for sale) and am selling because it was riding up…but part of it is because i am short and sit deep in my boat. A friend that is taller loves it and it fits her great,she actually has 2 of the Misfits. So it’s all just really individual i have discovered. Just like a pair of jeans. you will know as soon as you find the right one.

Function of belly shape …
iF your “PDF” is riding up look at your belly . Astral makes some good designs for “belly ride up issue”

If you don’t select your pfd in a good
paddling store, you’re likely to be disappointed. It really helps to try them on, even sitting or kneeling while mimicking the paddling mostion.

I have a new Stohlquist with the “magical” diagonal tension system to keep it from riding up. That system just makes the pfd too tight to allow effective torso motion. My almost 15 year old Lotus Sherman is about as good at resisting ride up, and it’s lighter and more comfortable.

My opinion is that there will never be an effective system to prevent ride up until a pfd is held down either with crotch straps or by being attached to one’s pants via the sprayskirt.

PDFs fit
The most important part of a PDF is the fit. If it does not fit, you will not wear it.

I have 4 for differing applications (river fishing, surf casting, boating, canoeing). They are all worth the money I paid for them when they save my life (or the life of another that I have to rescue).

Take the fit seriously, and get one that you wear all the time.

Just my 2 cents.

Nothing Beats Trying Them On
I spent well over an hour at the Mountain Equipment Co-op Halifax store trying on different PFDs, helped by a very knowledgeable young woman who knows her stuff. Took a few minutes to get each one adjusted properly, and then try moving and tugging - some tended to slip, others felt too tight, others pressed on rib ends. Must have tried a dozen makes and models - it’s amazing how different they all felt.

Finally, I remembered a post on p.net re a guy using a MsFit he really liked - she helped me decide on the right size, then adjusted it properly, and bingo, it fit like a glove. I’ve never worn anything as comfortable, and there’s no ride-up. If I hadn’t been able to try it on, and have someone who knew how to adjust it properly for me, I never would have given the MsFit a second thought.

I have not paddled in my
new Stohlquist…but i can tell you that i like a pretty tight PFD. I never felt like it has kept me from being able to rotate, that action is done below the vest anyway.

The only place a PFD needs to be
tight is at the base of the ribcage, and not even there if is secured with crotch straps.

I have a very long torso, and I notice resistance to effort when my PFDs are too tight. I also notice that, in summer, I foul PFDs with perspiration when they are too tight.

I’ve taken many swims in whitewater, and I’ve made PFDs from scratch, so I say again, try not to buy PFDs that only stay down when they’re tight around the entire ribcage.

I agree with this
I don’t have a long torso but did have a protruding stomach and like G2D have rolled many times in WW. There are lots of life jackets out there that would not work for either of us. Also consider the position of your spray skirt. Don’t pull it up too high and make it impossible for the life jacket to be tightened where it should.