PFD recommendations for women?

Those of you among this crowd who are female know that we can have some challenges with comfortable fit for PFD’s. I have a short torso but not a narrow one, and I’m tired of PFD’s that are big enough around but ride up to my chin. Other than overall discomfort, the biggest issue is that my current PFD just about floats over my face which is NOT a good situation.

Anyone have any positive experiences to share or good suggestions?



I have this one and love it

I have difficulty with most pfds as well due to a large chest, but this one fits comfy and doesn’t ride up around my neck.

My Wife also likes the BetSEA
She finds it comfortable and better fitting than most others she tried.


I like the MsFit Tour (Kokatat), and so do lots of other women I know.

Does wearing my MsFit make me a cross-dresser?

Good PFD - great pockets.

Astral makes a dandy
I have been using an older verson of the Astral Wonder Jacket. I love it. Great fit, lots of pockets and very adjustable. Doesn’t get in the way when paddling. It’s a bit pricey, but I looked around and found it on sale.

Astral Wonder Pro
works great for me - comfortable and no interference while paddling

Even though I didn’t ask the question
…thanks for this info. I’m looking for a new PFD. The one I have is made for a man, and squashes me. Nice to know there are some made for us gals who have a few more curves up top than most men. :wink:

I Wondered the Same Thing
about myself. I really like the Msfit. I also found a great fitting pfd with a more macho name. Extrasport is the brand and the model name on the pfd says “eagle”. I swear the price tag was labelled “osprey”. I like this pfd even more than the Msfit.

I have a 14 1/2" torso and the Astral has fit me well.


This is my PFD of choice. I have used one for 3 years, and it fits my short torso, my “curves”. I tried on all of the others, and it seemed like when I tightened them up I couldn’t breathe. This one is very comfortable for a woman. Good luck to you finding one that fits your needs.


Another MsFit
You mentioned your PFD riding up. One of the things I like about my MsFit is the buckle at the waist which can be tightened while other parts don’t have to be quite as tight. It also has a buckle in the middle, under the zipper.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Now I have to do some more research and either start saving my pennies or send a note to Santa. I’ll save the old PFD for my husband :slight_smile:


Kokatat Msfit
works for me. Doesn’t ride up. I sometime wish I bought the touring version(?) it has more pockets.


Salus "Kiwi"
My wife just went through the same thing you are going through. She previously bought a Kokatat Outfit Tour that looked and felt fine in the store, but when she got it out on the water it was terrible. With her short torso the jacket would hit the skirt on the boat and ride up on her. It made it almost impossible for her to paddle effectively. She previously had a Betsea and it also rode up on her. We went to a number of different paddling stores, and the only jacket that helped was the Salus “Kiwi”. She is very happy with it and it has improved her paddling since she now has a PFD that fits.

Good luck finding the right PFD for you.

Kokatat MsFit here too

– Last Updated: Aug-10-07 10:23 AM EST –

With some pockets for compass, earplugs, whistle, laser flare, gu, camera and magnifying lens (to read the instructions on the camera) and clips for light. My next PFD, when this one is due for replacement, will be the full rescue PFD because I want the final pocket for a on-body VHF.
And yup, can do a re-entry over the deck with this stuff in it.

And yet another MsFit
I’m short and not skinny, and most of the time I forget I have it on.

I have a Stohlquist BetSea and it’s the best fit I’ve seen for chesty women. It’s actually shaped inside to accommodate . . .

I’m going to get a Motion next, which has the same chassis but more pockets and lash points.

I haven’t had the opportunity to try on any of the others mentioned as there is not much shopping in my neck of the woods . . .

My BetSea stays on well during rescue practice, and when paddling long distances.


Some say it depends on what
type of paddling you’re doing. Whitewater women I know seem to like the Astrals. I had an Astral but sold it and bought a Kokatat Ms. Fit Tour which I like much better. Heard good things about the Stohlquists also.

I think of all the gear you buy early on, the PFD is the most important. Spend the bucks and get a good one; you won’t regret it.

Another vote for MsFit Tour
I also like the ability to buckle it without zipping up when it is hot.

Lots of pockets, including an interior one for my camera where I can secure it with a lanyard.