PFDs Canada/USA

OK wise ones, some serious questions although it may be a dumb one… If I purchase a PFD in the US will it meet Canadian standards and be recognized as a “legal” one for Canada? How about the converse? If it is purchased in Canada will it meet US standards? (a pfd for Kayaking)

Second - are there instances where the PFD “Police” give anyone grief over not meeting the standards of the particular country? (ie. does it matter?)

Third - is there really one that is “better” than another - brand or Canadian vs US? (ie. does it matter?)



– Last Updated: Jan-03-07 2:26 PM EST –

Appears the answer is that Canada and the US do not recognize each others' approved PFDs as compliant for residents of their respective country, but if you are just visiting and bringing your own gear, they would allow it.

The exception would probably be a Type I, which is regulated by SOLAS, an international convention, which would be universally compliant.

Check it out, a PDF about PFDs

Thanks for this, I tried searching the archives before I asked my question but wasn’t successful there must be a trick to it that I don’t know.

Another question - Since it would be so much cooler to wear an inflatable pfd in the warmth of the Baja what do you think of them? It seems to me that if needed - one has to take the time to blow it up or release the cartridge (thus having to keep extra cartridges around somewhere). In addition, if needed it would cause one to float on their back which would make it difficult to turn over to get back into the kayak.

Archive are tough to search
Sometimes I have to search several ways to find an older thread I want to revisit, even when I know what month it was posted in, who started it, and several unique keywords. I did a yahoo search for “canadian us pfd” and found this thread.

Inflatable is a personal choice. I don’t use them for paddling, prefer the security of knowing I have buoyancy without having to worry that I bump my head and am unconscious and unable to deploy, or that inflater might malfunction, or that the inflatable gets punctured and all my buoyancy comes whooshing out. In college I used one for racing in sailboats, but in that situation I had one that automatically activated when submerged (not really practical for kayaking)and I was with a crew, in an organized activity with lots of other boats and chase boats around. Since I do a lot of solo paddling, I don’t consider an inflatable an option.

I paddle Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico all year long. In the summer the air is still, heat index commonly above 100, high humidity, and water temp about 86. I wear my paddling pfd, feels plenty comfortable to me. But if you feel like you would be tempted to take off a pfd in really hot conditions, then by all means wear an inflatable. They also have hybrid inflatables, that offer some buoyancy even when not inflated.

Thanks for the tips
I figured this board must surely have talked about pdfs before! Including the Can/US thing.

Good advice on the inflatable too, thanks again.