PFD - Warm Climate

-- Last Updated: Jan-06-09 7:50 PM EST --

Lookng to purchase a new PFD -- I do mainly light touring and live in Fla. Any suggestions or input woudl be appreciated.

Update --- Thank you all for your input

Astral Hybrid

I live in South Texas
and I really like the manual inflatables from West Marine. So much more comfortable in the summer. Downside is loss of storage on the vest. I sometimes add a fanny pack to carry some of the items that would be in the pockets of the regular PFD. They are easy to blow up manually for rescue/recovery practice or if you get in some situation where you feel that you might not be able to pull the inflation cord.


Charlie, I can’t find an Astral hybrid
on line.

Staying Cool
Get yourself a comfortable pfd and roll to cool off.

Astral Hybrid
A quick google search of “Astral Hybrid pfd” returned many hits. I think it’s discontinued though.


We use these in Hawaii

If you can’t roll …
Put your hands on a buddy’s bow, lower yourself into the water, and hipsnap back up. If necessary, do it on both sides.

Try the Astral V8…

– Last Updated: Jan-04-09 5:07 PM EST – has great mesh openings that should give you plenty of breathability. It came out last year and I find it quite comfortable (but, of course, everyone fits in a pfd differently.)

Or the Astral LDB
Back is mesh and front doesn’t have to be zipped to stay secure – also pretty comfy.


Astral Hybrid at REI on sale
It would appear that the Astral Hybrid is being discontinued by the manufacturer (it is no longer on their web site). I had been recommended this model by a friend earlier in the year for its coolness and low cut non-confining fit, important for unrestricted rotation with a wing paddle.

REI has them on sale right now, probably as a clearance item. Not cheap, just cheaper. I put one in my stocking for the Holidays although I have not used it out on the water yet.

As with other inflatables it is a CG type-V meaning that it needs to be worn at all times, just having it in/on the boat does not count. It does offer eight pounds of flotation uninflated v none for the West Marine inflatabables. In my surfski I swim occasionally and consequently liked the idea of a little flotation assistance being on hand all the time. The pocket for miscellaneous safety gear and snacks is well placed.


Astral V-8
Here is review on the Astral V-8 done on a summer lake in Mississippi. I bought one when they frist came out and it is the most comfortable PFD I have ever owned no matter what the weather.

Kokatat MsFit or ProFit
Both have internal buckles that allow you to leave them unzipped and still meet CG flotation requirements.

Love my
new Astral Willis. Almost like wearing nothing.

PFD Warm Climate
Can highly recommend the new Astral V-Eight. Very light, open vent holes (you have to see it), and high mesh back. It lists for $109, but I got it at 30% off at a winter sale.

Kokatat SeaO2 hybrid

– Last Updated: Jan-13-09 6:02 PM EST –

7.5 lbs foam flotation deflated. 22 lbs when inflated. Light weight. Non bulky. Slim. Good pockets, especially when you take out the unnecessary CO2 capsule and ripcord contraption.

The base foam flotation is enough to float me. Inflated, the chest puffs out and will float you unconscious face up. You can fully inflate with a few puffs on the manual blow tube; hence the CO2 inflation is unnecessary, IMO.

I have used one for years in the hottest, most humid Florida and other southeast weather. I would not go back to any 15.5 vest. They are all bulky somewhere.

I live on the Texas Coast
And in summer time I never really feel hot wearing my paddling vest, an Extrasport something or other. As long as it is cut for paddling, so that you don’t have a lot of buoyant material on your shoulders, under your arms, or below the ribcage, you’re not going to feel hot.

Now, if you are looking to shell out some extra money because you’re one of those people who starts sweating when it gets above 75, then I’d go with an inflatable, or more safely, a hybrid.

this one

– Last Updated: Jan-14-09 12:18 PM EST – woeks great in HOT Humid sunny S.C.

I’m pleased with the MTI Orleans
and so is my wife.—PFD—Med%2FLarge—Blue_W0QQitemZ330300150636QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090112?IMSfp=TL090112125004r13176

The arm openings are large enough and the chest padding arranged in such a way that it’s comfortable for both kayaking double blade strokes and single blade canoe strokes.

I’ve used it through two seasons with no complaints.

If you can’t roll

– Last Updated: Jan-14-09 12:20 PM EST –

do EXACTLY as I say. Failure to do otherwise will mean certain death.

Carefully reach down with only ONE hand until your hand touches the water. Now insert your hand to get it wet and IMMEDIATELY bring that hand up to your face and wipe the watery hand in a CLOCKWISE fashion on your face. This will tend to be the most efficient way to cover your face with the cooling agent known as water.

No need to ROLL THE FRICK'N BOAT and no need to rely on holding onto someone else's bow so that you can dip your head into the water.

This "rant" is not intended toward the OP. Nor is it directly intended toward Kudzu and Dr_Diso. It is directed to the MANY folks who continually persist in telling people that the ONLY way to cool off is to ROLL THE FRICK'N BOAT.

Sorry, but my "technique" is not as COOL as rolling the boat but sheesh! Come on! Talk about overkill! Just splash some water on your face and paddle on.

Is Winter over yet!?