PFD for Guides

After 7 years of fairly heavy use, my trusty Lotus Strait jacket is past due to be retired. I was very happy with the Strait Jacket and am disappointed I can’t get an exact replacement.

I ordered a Patagonia Locean but am not sure I’ll keep it due to the shortage of pocket space (no place to put the vhf) and the pretty radical “to be worn high on the torso” design.

What do others think about the Locean?

What other pfd’s should I consider that will provide:

–pocket for vhf radio

–reinforced loops for tow belt system

–all day comfort

–reasonable price

Stohlquist and Kokatat…
Both make a variety of great Guide vests…

Hit their websites for more info.

We noticed that the MSFit in guide version, my favorite PFD, has one less pocket lower down than the non-guide version. In case it matters.

try this out
I found this the other day. Maybe it will work for your needs.

It might be a nice alternative.


Salus, Astral
My new favourite is a Salus. They are Canadian, though, so it might not work for you.

Astral has some really nice stuff out, and some environmentally friendly materials as well.

I recommend
that I stay out of this conversation for safety’s sake

Look at Kokatat and Palm . Extrasport makes a Guide pfd i think. Most of the PFD makers have a guide model. Surf that web thing. Good luck. VF

saw a whole pile of Lotus Strait Jackets a couple of years ago going for $20 each! It’s enough to drive you nuts because I know what you mean, it’s my favorite too and you can’t find it anywhere Wish he had bought them all up. If anyone knows where to find one, let us know because you’ve got at least two buyers! :slight_smile:


I disagree with the fact
that a sea kayak guide needs to handle 101 different pockets…select your gear appropriately and you will be fine. I guide on BCs coast and on the interior and wear a Kokatat Orbit tour…

Careful gear selection and uses will open your range of selection and if you’re just more interested in carrying as much gear as you possibly can, buy whatever pfd fit you like and add the North Water Guides Vest…as you can guess I dont wear a guides vest, I’m a small paddler and refuse to weigh myself down with a multitude of different pieces of equipemt all stuffed into a mesh vest that you would have to wear over your PFD…Good Luck.


Just 1 good pocket . . .
not 101. The VHF I have is an older model Icom with a large battery pack. Needs a fairly deep pocket, probably 5 - 6." Sure I could replace the radio with a newer more compact one, but I’m trying to avoid that.

Extrasport Retroglide Sabre - no attached tow system but good radio pocket. Some places have them on special because it is an older model.

Highly recommend for a touring/guide vest.

Aquavest 300
Although not as comfy as my old Brik, it’s definately more usable for work. Tow belt, big front pocket, small side pocket, I can stash my VHF behind the front pocket, Can put a water bladder in the back. It’s nice.

Astral Grunion
Tow belt ready, not included. Also works very well with a Northwater PFD Link. Couple it with a Wildwasser Neo/Neo Pocket or IR Excursion Sprayskirt and you should have enough pouches/pockets for anything. Helps keep the front deck clear of do-dads that’d get in the way.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

whats a reasonable price
most of the quality pfds are over or close to 100 dollars—but if you really have to depend on it you would find that price cheap

extrasport retro glide sabre
I think tis same I’ve got . There is a tow system in the vest you just gotta add it , but the belt loops are there . they go undeer the pocket an works very well, coming from the needs you speak off an having similar needs myself . Tall front pocket for vhf a smaller one atop that pocket too , handy for a knife, chap stick , gum ,compass , what ever .left side pocket is big enough for a tow belt rig or flares , mirror , ring dings …an the standard plst. lash tabs too on the vest

Guiding for me ,it was what I wanted , but the dude in BC welp I spose if we did what he wants us to do the world would be alot safer and we’d all be the same an it’d be boring as hell.

my 2 cents