PFD Storage

I keep most of my yak stuff in a large bag. My concern is that my PFD will take a set from the gear under it and the foam will be deformed. How do most people store their PFD’S? Also is there a way to take out the dent in the foam of the PFD if this should happen?


In the Cockpit
Dried and folded, it lays in the seat in the cockpit, covered by a cockpit cover…

I keep my
PFD flat in my 40 gal. paddling tote.

After everything’s dry
I roll up stuff like farmer john, paddle top, splash skirt, smaller dry bags, neo-booties, and bungie individually. It all gets dumped into a dry portage bag, pfd at the top and not squashed too hard. Roll the top just enough to keep critters out. Store on covered patio near other gear. It takes me about 10 minutes to load gear and tie down the yak for the next trip.


It’s in the bag
After each outing I thoroughly rinse off all my gear, including my PFD and hang it up to dry. When everything is completely dry, I put it in my paddling gear bag and it waits there impatiently until I’m ready to use it again. My PFD is the last thing I place in the bag so it’s always on top. I haven’t noticed any deformities in the PFD foam from items underneath, but then my gear bag is quite large, having enough room that nothing gets compressed.

I doubt that the weight of the PFD alone will affect the foam so If you find that the foam in your PFD is getting deformed from adjacent gear, it’s probably that it’s getting compressed from being in close quarters. Perhaps you just need a larger gear bag?


Mine hangs in plain sight
in my bedroom on the wall… I wake up every morning and see it there next to my paddle in it’s bright red bag.

These two items remind me of my priorities before I start my day.

We use …
one of those large plastic boxes - the kind you get a wal mart. After a paddle we let everything dry then put our helmets - throwbag - pump with PFD’s last in the box and put the top on. The box is not completely airtight.

I just put it on a hanger
in a utility closet and zip it up so it doesn’t deform. It’s usually dry by the time I get home from the paddle.

On a hanger…
… on a rack in the basement, along with (on other hangers) dry top, dry suit, farmer johns (long and short), paddling jacket, sealskin cag, spray skirts (pull loops over the hanger neck), mesh bags.

My reasoning for the articles I wear is the ancient one – hangers simulate how the clothes hang on your body, and that’s how the clothes are designed to work, so it can’t be bad for them.

Prior to a trip, I go through the rack and select the items I need for the paddle. That way, I don’t have to worry that, days or weeks ago, I forgot to pack something crucial or removed something from the bag in the meantime for one reason or another. Also, what I take depends somewhat on the weather and water that day (dry suit vs farmer john + dry top vs just farmer john, long or short). I always pack the cag and paddling jacket, however, no matter what the weather.

BTW, I keep the paddles in the car (a wagon) at all times, so they cannot be forgotten! Before I started that, I did once or twice forget them – or almost.


My daughters and mine are on the coat
rack at the front door. Foam will reexpand but if it is getting compressed enough to matter that’s not good for longevity.

Tossed in the corner…

– Last Updated: May-17-05 12:41 AM EST –

..of the living room. No sense putting it away as its usually less than a few days in between paddles. We live in a relatively large house (5 bedrooms, three baths, for two people), but most of my gear stays on the couch next to the front door so its always ready. I have a long standing promise to myself to say "yes" to every last minute phone call to go paddling. I hate to be slowed by gear retrieval.

I Rinse
the saltwater off and hang the PDF on my paddle and hang the paddle from the rafters in my storage shed.


I just hang mine in the garage…

I have a clothesline in the garage which I drape all my gear over in the futile hope to dry them out. I’m usually on the water again before they really have a chance to dry. I also have a few big plastic bins nearby. One holds my sea kayaking gear, the other my whitewater gear, and the third any miscellaneous pieces of paddling gear that may apply to both. That way in a pinch I just grab my paddle, the stuff drying on the line, and the appropriate bin and I’m set to go!

I thread my paddle shaft through the
arm holes and hang them both next to my boat. Can’t paddle without a paddle, won’t paddle without a PFD. This arrangement ensures that I remember both. It also allows the PFD to remain in a more or less “as worn” configuration when not in use. I also hang my sunglasses/croakies, compass, gloves, hat, and painter on the paddle. This keeps everything that I need together. My knife and whistle are attached to my PFD.

As far as indentions in PFD flotation material, it depends on the PFD/material. If it is the hard styrofoam type material, once it is deformed it is deformed. But, this type of material is pretty tough and really only deformed by a heavy pointed object. If it is the soft-cell type of foam then this will, over time, return to its “memory” shape as it is worn. The warmer the weather, the faster the response.

Same Here
Hanng the bikes from the ceiling with bike hooks and use the handle bars and such to hang everything else. Cleaned first of course.


My Extrasport
hangs from one of those girly padded clotheshangers in a closet in my house. I paid an absurdly jacked up $90 for it, so I want to make sure it lasts a looooooong time.