PFD for shrek?

So I’m just now getting back into canoeing after a very long hiatus. I was a lot thinner and single last time I canoed. Today I’m a bit older, a lot fatter, and three kids to my credit so far.

The problem I’m finding is most PFD’s only go to XXL. My shirts are 3XL, and I imagine a PFD should probably adjust to 4XL to allow for the layers between my body and the PFD.

So I’m about 6’2", 300lbs… basically Shrek. I’m getting my “new” (to me) canoe next weekend and don’t want to waste much time before I get on the water. Who makes PFD’s big enough for me?

And to make matters worse, on a related subject, my head is physically enormous. A 7-3/4 hat is too small for my head. Finding a helmet for river paddling is going to be quite a challenge.

stohlquist, astral, back posts
I was exactly your size when I started, 6’2", 290 lb.

I didn’t try a lot of brands, just the Stohlquist and Astral in the store.

I like the Stohlquist Motion XXL. Between the waist strap and the diagonal strap it doesn’t ride up much. I also like the shorty cut and form fit which is more important for kayaking and maybe not as much of a consideration for you.

A lot of people also like the Astral. Someone else would have to recommend a model.

If you search the archives with just the word ‘Astral’, you will get some hits on PFDs for big guys. Astral is usually mentioned at least once in any PFD thread, and always in the context of PFDs, and then you will read comments on other models as well.


Paul S.

try Salus
Salus makes a vest marketed as a fishing vest but ideal for canoeing. And the bigger sizes are generous cause Canadians know how to size things.

Only comes in tan I think but I love mine for canoeing. Hand warmer pockets are great and the mesh shoulders comfy. I prefer an Astral for kayaking.

6’2" 275
I use a Extrasport Hi-float XL w/ crotch straps in WW. In a wetsuit, with poly or fleece underneath it’s (pfd) a snug, cold weather fit. But I find even with just the waist cinch, those of us ‘round in the belly paddlers’ a pfd tends to slid-up to your head if your in the water. I don’t know of any pfd that’s got the waist cinch that’ll fix under a extended belly. Especially on taller ‘big’ people. Crotch straps, although a bit uncomfortable at first are a blessing for keeping a pfd from hiking up to your head. And I just use them in WW, in flatwater paddles they just drape behind my rear end. They just make you talk in a higher voice when you kneel down in the canoe at first. '.-)

Might want to call Tom at Shred Ready. They used to make a composite helmet called the Kudzu. It fit huge heads. Don’t know if they have anymore of that discontinued model around.

See you on the water,


Lidds-company is now defunct but hey- i have two of theirs that fits my 7 3/4 head well…

i have a SEDA that fit but was very round-not so comfy for me…

Predator has offered to let me ship back what ever did nto fit from them as well…

what type of coverage do you want/need???baseball type???

protec’s usually fit well…

I have the Extrasport Retroglide XXL and love it. I can custom fit it to my large chest and larger belly. SierraTradingPost has them on clearance for 59, and you can get 20 knocked off of that if you use Google checkout. That’s a $100 top quality PFD for $30. worth at least ordering to see if you like it at that price.