Does anyone produce a PFD with a hydration carrier built in?
I have an Astral Tempo 200 with a hydration bladder compartment. I prefer water bottles, but the compartment is there if I need it, and unobtrusive if I don’t.
hydraulics Pro series of jackets
have them built in, but they are rare in the US and not cheap.
Racers have neat systems. Some put platypus hydration behind seat and run tube up thru pfd. But then sometimes the tube kinks in back of you. Maybe wrap stiff wire to reduce kinks.I carry it on my back under pfd. Trick is wrap stiff wire around top 12 in of tube so it will stay near mouth so you can keep paddling. I made my own with plat hydration pack. 3 qts of water and a 2in by 6in by 14 piece of white ethafoam in the pack. Cool on chest with some flotation
MsFit with Tributary
Can’t believe I went so long without it. I do not like water bottles on my deck or in the cockpit.
PFD + Hydration + Good Idea
I have a Kokatat with their hydration pod attached, and an Astral with the internal compartment. Both work well.
Having a drinking tube nearby allows easy drinking, and prompts me to stay hydrated.
Try an inflatable
I use a manually inflatable PFD. It’s very light, comfortable, unrestrictive, and leaves my back open for a hydration pack. I don’t think I’d put a hydration pack or bladder behind the seat; it would probably be hard to suck the water all the way up to your mouth.
I love my inflatable, but would only recommend it to people who are comfortable and confident in the water. Inflatable PFDs are not suitable for those who are poor swimmers, or who tend to freak out if they end up in the water. If you can keep a cool mind while getting dumped in the water, an inflatable PFD might be a good idea.
With a bite valve you only have to fill the tube once. after that it doesn’t matter where the bladder is or how long the tube is.
That said I do like the shortest tube possible because the fluids in the tube heat up faster than the fluids in my camelback.