PFD recommendations for women

-- Last Updated: Jul-02-06 10:22 AM EST --

Good Morning, All!
I purchased my first kayak a little over a month ago, and, I am now in the process of trying to decide what PFD to buy. An instructor highly recommended the Kokatat MsFit Tour, but, I tried one on the other day and it felt SO BULKY. I know I'm not used to wearing these things - are they all this bulky and heavily padded? I want something that is effective, but, also, comfortable. I did like the fact that the Kokatat has a V-neck and lots of pockets and nooks to store things. Any suggestions will be most appreciated.


We sell Stohlquist and Kokatat
and a lot of women seem to prefer the fit of the Stohlquist over the Kokatat… just my observation on the floor. Don’t appear to be quite as full through the arm pit area also, maybe a slight bit more room for movement?


I had bought a Kokatat, (I don’t rememebr what style) I liked it, but when I tried on the NRS Groove (one of the one’s made with their mystery material)at the Jersy PAddler sale, I could NOT, not buy it. Obviously you can feel it is on, but you can move with it on. I think it truly is the most comfortable PFD I have ever tried.

Astral WonderJacket/Vest
Astral Bouyancy Wonderjacket or Wondervest

Whether you like a zip front or a pull over style. I switched over to these for my instructional fleet use from Stohlquist (which isn’t bad just hasn’t updated their designs)

See you on the water,


Stohlquist Betsea
I like the Stohlquist Betsea - the padding is tapered at the top in front so you don’t have a “shelf” that catches on the deck of your boat when trying to climb back on from the water. I have enough natural “shelf” of my own to worry about! The Betsea also has molded cups on the inside of the padding to accommodate larger breasts.


Kokatat Sea O2
Has been a real winner for a number of women friends and students I have instructed. It has the ability to be low AND high floatation due to its variable inflation. Give it a consideration. It also has a nice mesh lower back that allows for lay back position on rolls and bracing too.


Lotus Locean?
Originally a ladies design. I’m a guy and use it, like it. Short waisted, nothing on the sides. Try one one.

Agree BETSea
The BETSea fits my wife well. She tried the Astral series, EMS Version of Astral, the Lotus side zip model (not the LOcean). All “crushed” her breasts. The BETSea, with it’s molded in cups, fits her very well and it doesn’t ride up.