with more than one pocket that isn’t a bulky mess.
Not sure what constitutes bulky but I am a fan of the Kokatat MsFit. Great functional storage pockets. It is a vest for women so it is a very comfy fit for the average male paddler. It is also short waisted which all works for me.
If you like the pockets but prefer the Men’s version you can consider the Outfit Tour. The zipper on the men’s is offset which I consider a disadvantage, it fits a bit closer and is a bit longer which I personally dislike.
Accessory pockets and hydration packs are available for both.
Both vests close by zipper and fastex buckles so on a hot day you can open the zipper for better ventilation and still be in a Coast Guard approved configuration. On the men’s version to ventilation is not as effective as the zipper is offset. Another issue with the men’s is that if you paddle with a VHF radio the antennae can poke you in the nostrils. Just sayin’.
Thank you. My brother just told me he only wants to spend $60.
I told him to shop a Walmart sale.
Stolhquist was closing out some last year designs recently, and some non-current colors are available at 30-40% off list, if he does some looking. There’s nothing in the $60 range that’s comfortable enough or fits well enough that a person would want to actually wear it, and if you don’t wear it, there’s not much point.
Try eBay. You can sometimes find older models or lightly used ones for around that. I like my Stohlquist Cruiser. The Trekker is the male equivalent. Good pockets. Got mine used less than 1/2 price from a woman who’d worn it for one sailing trip.
Does he want it for kayaking? Or something else? Here are some that might work, but probably would not be so good for kayaking specifically:
Bass Pro Shops Tournament Fishing Mesh Life Jacket | Cabela’s (cabelas.com)
Ascend Deluxe Life Jacket for Adults | Cabela’s (cabelas.com)
I used a Trekker for a few years even 4-5 possibly before I got my Kokatat Hustler. I liked it pretty comfortable and has worn well.
I like NRS life jackets. Plan on spending $100.
I have been looking at the Onyx Kayak Fishing jacket. It seems to get good reviews. $55 on Amazon.
I know of a lot of people of both sexes that like the Kokatat MsFit. However, it is very expensive.
If your brother is planning on paddling open water, ask him how important his life is. Comfort is important as well if he is going to wear it all the time. There are plenty of other good choices around the $100 level.
There’s lots of places to save money, a PFD (life jacket) isn’t an item I’d be cheaping out on.
My wife and I have the Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports CGA Life Vest which is less than $60 on Amazon and is good pfd. See reviews from this forum and Amazon.
I have been riding motorcycles for 54 years, and I always hear people complain about the cost of a good helmet. They don’t want to pay much at all. I always question how much their life is worth to them?
But at any rate, these are up in the $140 range, but I have a lot of good quality life vests I have put aside once I bought one of these. I really like the fact that there is no back to these where the seat back is located when seated. There is no bulky back to deal with, and it has enough pockets and D-rings for everything I need to keep handy.
Good luck in the quest for a PFD!
I made the same point to my brother who is doing the looking.
Stohlquist Drifter! LOVE it! Not too bulky but still has two pockets, last points, and hand-warmer sleeves. Perhaps the ideal tripping PFD!