PFD's for big boys

I searched the archive and sadly the closest I got was a thread about a pregnant woman. I am looking for a pfd that will sit comfortably above a spray skirt and provide freedom of movement, and all this for a not slim guy. I have been looking at the lotus rio bravo. Any comments?

Lotus Sherman
I have a Lotus Sherman in XL/XXL and it fits great and i am big. I actually can let it out a lot more. Really, try to find one at a store that you can try on. Last Summer, I was at NOC and had dozens of different PFD’s to try on and was frustrated how each different design of the same size could be so different.

Another thought; Send an e-mail to one of the reputable gear companies (NRS, REI, others) and give them your measurements and your need for a PFD and let the experts help you.

Good Luck,


I asked the same question last week.
I have narrowed it down to the Kokatat MSfit (womens) and the Extrasport Retroglide Sabre. The Astral Tempo 200 was also mentioned. The 2 on my list retail for about $130 so I am looking for a sale. REI has a 20% off any item for members. I may have to go for that.

Here is the thread.

NRS carrys pfds up to 5 4
maby a bit larger.

Funny this…as I mentioned to Brent, I’d be more than willing to purchae one of the shirts P.nets offering…but they don’t come in large enough sizes (now, I haven’t changed in size in 12 years but every year it gets tougher to find stuff in my size…go figure!)

Rio Bravo
I measure 50" around the gut, have a Rio Bravo, and love it. It’s got a low profile, no constriction at the arms, and I’ll be damned if there isn’t plenty more room for a bigger paddler if you wanted to let it out more! (Mine’s cinched up only half way.) If you can find a deal, I’m happy with mine.

Rio Bravo
NRS has the Rio Bravo on sale right now.

The Lotus Mildwater in XXL is huge.

I did see the NRS sale on Rio Bravo and
I think that is what I am going to do. I biggest question was how they fit on a skirt. I won’t have a chance to try it on if I buy it online. Are all paddle vests good with spray skirts? With the Astral have you found any sights that it is on?

Well I bought it
It was on sale for 79.9something. I don’t have any paddling shops within two hours and the West marine had stearns that were $10 more. I should receive it in 5 days so I will let you know how it fits and if I wasted a lot of money.