Small PDF for travel...?

Has anyone used a smaller size or ‘low cut’ or ‘limited profile’ PDF which would be suitable for packing in a small space for airline travel?

My current gear is all fairly bulky for travel by plane.


Kokatat SEA O2
just got the Kokatat Sea O2, will experiment with in in Florida in a couple of weeks…it is smaller than my old standby,a Lotus Locean with many miles and years on it. The SEA O2 def. has promise and I love the 3/4 mesh on the back, e.g. most of the back is mesh, the top 1/4 of the back is an area of flotation with a spot for adding a beacon. The front has two decent pockets for a PFD this small…what i love so far though is that you can inflate manually and deflate fast…all without using the CO2 cartridge (and it appears it is a standard cartridge, BB gun type)…I wanted all black but the only dark color available was a cobalt-will have to due…i think most of the flotation is in the front–definitely when inflated, so most layback rolls should not be affected and because of the mesh back people using high seats might get some relief…with a backband the PFD is essentially not there. It is a side entry/love by some and hated by many, to me a non issue. Typical build quality of Kokatat. I also got an Extrsport Retroguide last fall-unimpressed, will relegate it to the gear pile for others to use.

Portable PDF’s
My first reply was going to be to try to use Adobe Acrobat Reader for Palm PDA’s, but then I realized that might not be want you needed.


don’t know if they’re legal but
I saw a fellow at a pool rolling session where PFDs were required wearing Sospenders. Search the archives, I know they’ve been discussed. They look very travel friendly. Lyn

I wonder if there air CO2 issues …
with Airlines – even in luggage? I have no idea, but it’s worth looking into if you want to fly w/ CO2 cartridges in luggage.

Old fashioned U-shaped orange
PFDs are about $6.99 at Wal-mart, (probably only a little more than the cost of the CO2 cartridge – although you could buy that on the other end too if there were airline regs against carrying it on board), and actually are not as cumbersome for paddling as you would think since arms are free. They may make you look like a reject from Camp Ninny-Caca, but they work in a pinch. So when you get off the plane, make a bee-line for Wal-Mart. :slight_smile:

CO2 on planes
Not sure if disallowed. The TSA site lists prohibited items… But remember, most airlines have CO2 powered life vests under your seat…

Inflatable PDF
I use SOSuspenders for every day paddleing; they are comvortable and nonconstraining. I never asked the airline about checking it, but I have checked it on two trips to Croatia and one to Vietnam and no one has ever questioned it going or returning. These trips have included internal flights in the U.S. and international flights. I pack it in the bag with my Feathercraft Khatsalano so the CO2 cylinder may get lost in all the aluminum frame tubing in the X-ray screening.

Type V PFD
If you don’t want to use an inflatable, you may want to look at Type V PFDs. I saw these in a local kayak shop for the first time a couple of months ago. I don’t remember which brands made them, but a search would probably find some.

They have a lower amount of buoyancy than the normal Type III PFD, but are also smaller.

Regulations require that they be worn to count as a PFD on a boat.

lots of good ideas, … especially about the life preserver under the airline seats. Since I’m heading out of the country, the Wallmart may not work this time, but the Kokatat SEA O2, Sospenders and the Type V PFD’s sound like good options.

No, you’d have to buy the cartridge
when you got to your final destination.

I always thought Type V
was a catchall category for pfds that don’t fit the other categories, and includes inflatables but also has noninflatables.