PFD's for Sit-On-Top high back seats

Many paddlers in kayaks with “high back style” seats

don’t or won’t wear a lifevest PFD because it just

interferes with the comfort of the seat.

Are there PFD’s made specifically for highback seats ?

Lotus Mildwater;Astral V-8.

Kokatat Bahia and Bahia Tour

Check out
Extrasport “baja back” models. Worked well for me.

second the Astral V-8
There are several models of PFD’s with the lower half of the back made of un-padded mesh. My personal favorite is the Astral V-8, which is also the most comfortable all around vest I’ve ever worn, especially in hot weather.

Mildwater RECALLED

NRS Clearwater

– Last Updated: Mar-28-11 3:40 AM EST –

Take a look at the NRS clearwater. I talked to the NRS folks at Canoecopia and they claimed it is the highest backed PFD on the market. I can believe it. I haven't had a chance to look at the V-8 but the clearwater looks to be significantly higher in the back.

Get rid of the high backs

– Last Updated: Mar-28-11 7:09 AM EST –

Replace them with standard back bands. Problem solved and you'll be able to paddle more efficiently, too.

If still available try Extrasport Chica.
Over the course of 15 years we have accumulated 12 kayaks, 6 of which are sit-in type and 5 of these were made by Old Town and have the higher backs. The seats are VERY comfortable and if I could, would change the backs to the lower style but haven’t run across that knowledge yet.

We have several of the Chicas for our sit-in and SOT kayaks. We find them very comfortable even in hot weather, plus they have the indentation in the front top half for women’s breasts, or men with muscular chests.

They have mesh on the sides which makes them cooler in the summer. May you find what you need.

Happy paddling.

It Just WON’T happen for Fisherman
The sit-on-top fishing crowd in Michigan loves

their high back seats for leaning back & relaxing.

They fish first, kayak second - and that’s the issue !

Many simply won’t wear a decent vest of any kind

  • because that “big box” fish store doesn’t carry them.

Filter out the gene pool.
and we see several hundred of these “experienced” kayakers in the news every year.

Unfortunately they have probably spawned before buying a kayak.

Here’s one…

Specifically made for the fisherman. I have one and it works just fine with a seat-back at least 13" high - and I am average height.

What can I say about someone who would spend $1000 on a boat but not $90 on their life?

convertible seat
One of the things I like about my Venture Easky 15LV is the clever “convertible” seat back. It folds in half horizontally to make a back-band like narrow support (with adjustable side straps) that stays out of my way for paddling. But when I stop for lunch or a nap, I can ubnfold and flip up the back, loosen the straps and lay back like in a Barcalounger. Very nice design.

Even in the couch potato position, my V-8 PFD clears the top of the seat.

The best PFD is the one that is so comfortable you aren’t tempted to leave it off. I like the V-8 because it has never felt hot or binding. I’m busty and short-waisted too, and it actually fits without strangling me.

V-8 link

– Last Updated: Mar-28-11 4:32 PM EST –

for comparision. Upper back foam is tapered at the bottom. Note the mesh sides and vent ports, fore and aft (they work!)

Pockets suck, though. I plan to sew on a couple of better ones.

Most REI and LL Bean stores seem to stock the V-8. I tried one on 2 years ago (admit I was attracted to the pumpkin orange) just because it looked cool (I didn't need one since I already owned 3 including a pretty nice women's Lotus) but I liked it so much I gladly popped $100 for it.

Get-Away, Great quality and comfortable. The back is high enough to clear any seat back.

Same basic design as the PiSeas - but the PiSeas has better pockets, IMO.