Would appreciate comments from folks who have experience with these products.: Replacing an old, large PFD and trying to decide between a Stohlquist Edge or an NRS Ninja. Frequent use, solo canoe (3-4 times/week), Class 1 water, year-round, southern sun and humidity.
I would choose neither if you mostly paddle in hot humid weather. Have you considered the Astral V-8? It’s the coolest, best vented and lest restrictive PFD I’ve ever used. if you prefer more flotation in the back, the Astral Norge is also comfortable. I own both Astrals (actually the V-8 and the female version of the Norge). They are so comfortable I often forget to take them off until I climb in the driver’s seat at the takeout.
I’m sure either would be fine. Both are low profile, which you don’t necessarily need in a canoe. I went for something a little longer in the torso - NRS Vista. Full back, plenty of pockets, place to attach my camera - it has worked out fine. I paddle all summer with it up here in the northeast, and never found it to be too hot. It’s always good to try before you buy if you can.
I haven’t tried the Stohlquist but I do have a Ninja. It’s a fine PFD, very nicely made with an open design that is cool in warm weather and provides great freedom of movement.
I like the simplicity of it and its small front pocket - room for not much more than a whistle and a knife - means there’s not much in the way when doing kayak re-entries.
Of course, the minimalist pocket has its disadvantages too so when I want to bring along more stuff - like a marine radio - I wear a Kokatat.
Thanks to those who responded. I did not know about Astral V-Eight PFDs until reading willowleaf’s suggestion. There are several informative YouTube reviews/videos about them. The Astral is the most logical choice for my paddling area and conditions - frequent paddling in 85° to 90° degree, humid, south Florida days.
So, much appreciation for the forum responses. Thanks again.
Unfortunately, due to the re-formatting of the “review” section on this site, you can no longer access the user comments that used to be available in that section. I tried repeatedly, to no avail. I hope this is corrected in days to come because if it is not, we will have lost a great trove of valuable first person experience with specific paddling related items. But several long time active forum members who live and paddle in Florida have highly recommended the V-8 both in reviews and in past forum threads.
Astral redesigned the V8, last year. I prefer the previous model. The newer version, has a big foam block at the back shoulders. The previous version, the foam was spread across the back more. I prefer it, to the new style. The old style, can still be found on Ebay.