When looking at PFD’s for sea kayaking, what is the minimum requirements I should look for? What rating is a bare minimum (ie. Type I, II, III?)

Any other features, design aspects I should be aware of?


you want a type III
Anthing that is Coast Guard approved, fits snug, is comfortable, and won’t ride up under your arms/over your face when you’re in the water is fine.

Basically, walk into any kayak shop off the street and you’ll find a wide selection of good PFDs. So long as you hit the key points (above), you can’t miss.

Asked because I had a wake boarding PFD here - It is PFD 3 - will evaluate for comfort i guess and check the local regulations (am in Australia).

Was just unsure if PFD 3 was acceptable

Lash tabs, pockets
Lash tabs are critical for things like a basic C light, small VHF radio etc if you need those.

Pockets can be controversial, but I know of few people who end up sea kayaking without needing them for the hand-held compass, whistle, package of nutrirional supplement, magnifying glass to read the charts with for us boomers, laser flare and all the other junk you end up with on your person.

If you get a PFD-mounted hydration pack, suggest you look for one that affixes at four places. I’ve had the ones that only affix at the top, and they are at best annoying when you get into rolling or surf.

Must look like a pin cushion :slight_smile:

Even better
By the time I am fully loaded up, it actually looks like I have female attributes underneath.