PFD Recommendation

I am in need of a new PFD. This will be used for kayaking in rivers bays and lakes. Want something effective but co\mfortable to paddle in. I plan on doing a few day tours

Check out the PFDs from this company

After trying several, I found that ones with a mesh shoulder strap rather than the foam padding are much more comfortable.Also, with the mesh shoulder strap, they don’t seem to ride up as much.

Had lots of PFDs
None as comfortable as a Lotus Sea Sherman

Kokatat makes nice ones

I have the OutFIT Tour and find it to be very comfortable - roomy in all the right places and doesn’t ride up. I hardly notice that I have it on when I’m paddling.

That outfit looks very nice. Any idea of the best place to buy. Any sponsors that carries them.

Astral Tempo 300T

– Last Updated: Jun-14-06 10:36 PM EST –

I don't yet own one of these, but one day very soon I will. From what I've seen locally, this seems to be the prefered vest of several area instructors, and after trying one, I can certainly see why. It's got all kinds of adjustments to get the fit just right. It doesn't ride up. It's not restricting of movement. It's got not only multiple pockets, including a hydration bladder pocket, but it can be worn either zipped or just buckled. Best of all, for me, is it actually seemed to help my back when adjusted properly. To me, this thing is just plain comfortable. If I hadn't just dropped a ton of cash on new boats, skirts, helmet and sundries, I'd order one of these tonight. No joke. Maybe I will anyway. ;-) I thought it a bargain at $140. At $120 it's a slam dunk.

Edit: Bummer, they don't have my size on sale. Guess I'll have to pay $140 + tax locally.

I bought mine from I would have preferred to get one from a local paddle shop, but no one had the size/color I wanted in stock.

I am looking for a gear hauler pfd
Realizing that there is a diminsishing return on flotation, when I am out in the SOF, there is literally no room for anything in the boat and I don’t like to clutter up the deck with anything more than a bilge pump and spare paddle. so everything else needs to go in or on the pfd. Ideally the Sea 02 by Kokotat would be great but it doesn’t have too many pockets. The Kokotat Bahia model looks good. anyone have one of these?

For myself
I am not looking to put an overly amount of stuff on the pfd. Except basic emergency stuff, light whisle, knife ect. I want a couple of pockets.

Astral Tempo 200
I’ve switched all my stuff over to the Astrals as the fit and comfort is fantastic. Plenty of gear storage, zipping up is optional if you want to stay coooler in the Summer additional pocket space built into the back for the drink bladder isn’t a bad feature either. This was very nice this past winter amongst the ice, having some hot tea on board while paddling.

Go with the Tempo 200, I use the 300 but only makes sense if you need a built in tow harness.

See you on the water,


i have Lotus & Stohlquist pfds…
i add on a Lotus Designs EFT pack…a hydration pack onto the back of the pfd…it is then out of my way (although might be in the way for some g-rolls) and i can then bring a lot more stuff if needed…

the EFT is not made anymore-there are some around…and NRS and KOKATAT both make the same idea products…

200 vs 300
Marshall, if you could get either the Astral Tempo 200 or 300 for the same cost, would you go with the 300? I can get that one locally. The 200, I’d have to order without trying.



I have LLBean Extrasport Osprey.

Can’t beat the price.

Astral is my choice (after 2 others), comfortable, mine is the female specific, a little shorter, although looks big and puffy, great to wear, doesn’t ride up, has hand warmers and can hold a bladder. I think it runs about $140, worth every penny!

Just how much stuff can you get into the astral. The pictures are not that great on the website. I want to carry a marine radio, a small first aid kit(see pnet Paddlers medic), whistle and mirror, a couple of power bars, a strobe on the shoulder strap, a knife, extra and regular car keys, set of three small flares in floating tube, a pentax optio w10 that I need to access fast sometimes. nose plugs and ear plugs for rolling.

…The water pocket in the back…how big a bladder fits in there? In south Florida I usually carry about 100 ounces on deck but would rather have that as a reserve in the hatch and a smaller one on my back. (unless I am rolling and then would want to take it out for laybacks)

I have two dry bags that fit in the day hatch for additional items.

For no other reason than the comfort mesh on the interior of the pfd is very comfy. The extra reflective trim and tow belt aren’t bad either. Normally this lists for $175 whereas the 200 is $136.

See you on the water,


Lots of stuff

– Last Updated: Jun-16-06 1:03 PM EST –

Quite a toy box Brazilbrazil!

From my experience with the 300 you'd be good with the whistle(attach to zipper) mirror-side pocket, Cliff bars (step closer to cookie than paste bar) knife (lash tab behind zipper section), keys - in front pocket, 3 pencil flares - front or side pocket (don't know about the floating tube), Optio - in the front handwarmer pocket as I don't think you'll be using it to keep your digits warm in S.Florida. Nose plugs (Smiley's) on cord attached to reflective tab on shoulder strap & ear plugs - I guess in a front pocket, can't be that big. This should still leave you a side pocket for your tow biner and a tow bag (like the Wildwasser Touring Tow Belt - bag portion) slides onto the integral tow strap. Course if you're doing layback rolls then going with a tow bag/belt that can pivot around to your lap is better as a bustle is just going to get in your way.

The rear pouch area can accept a 1.5 Liquid Solutions Bladder from Astral. It has a strap hanger system that works well but takes a little fiddling. I substituted mine with a couple of mini-biners and some cord. If you come up north in the winter invest in a tube insulator to keep the drink tube from icing up your otherwise hot tea that stays insulated sandwiched in between the layers of the pfd back. Yes this keeps stuff cold too.

Hope this helps.

See you on the water,

My wife and I went to the local Paddlesport Expo back in March and tried on PFDs from pretty much every vendor out there. The Astrals were by and far the most comfortable for us both. We even got two different style PFDs - I got a TEMPO model and she got an ABBA model - but they were still more comfortable than the other manufacturers.

Kokatat MsFIT TOUR version has nice
pockets – I sometimes have my waterproof Pentax, two protein bars, med sun lotion, and a whistle in mine. Sometimes cheap sunglasses fit in, too.