Small women's PFD ?

Any suggestions from any of you smaller women for a low profile, (one that doesn’t ride up and touch your chin when you are sitting in a kayak).

Some one walked off with my wife’s the other day.

She is 5’-2" and 122 lbs

She didn’t care for the Lotus Rio Brava that walked



my bride
is pleased with her Astral Wondervest. It pulls over and I think they over similar in front zip. We scored a great deal at Frugal Backpacker, next to Diamond Brand. I know you are in FL. Have fun and thanks for your updates.

Hey Jack ,
Thanks for the kind words before, hope you guys are doing great … sounds like it.

As an option you might walk into the marine stores and check out the neoprene ski vests.

Muy wife 5’2" uses the O’Neal “Outlaw” model and loves it. This one is not CG approved but they make one that is and has the same cut.

These cover a little more so provide a bit more protection and warmth. The nice things are they are NOT bulky, fit better and move wihh you … Not sure if down there they would be more hot or not but for being wet all the time IMO they work better than the traditional " paddling " vests.

did you expect
anything called “the Outlaw” to be CG approved?

Astral Tempo 200
Best fit of the ones I’ve used. Just make sure that the thick front panel is not too thick for all your uses: when I use my SOT (has a weird seating position), I have to use a different PFD with thinner front panel.

With every other PFD I’ve used, to cinch it well enough to prevent ride-up means I can’t expand my lungs fully. Thanks to sing for his recommendation of the Tempo 200. The foams are contoured, too–not like being squashed between two slabs.

Palm Freestyle
Greetings Jack: I am a petite woman also, 5’3" 115 lbs, athletic and curvy, that’s me.

The Palm Freestyle is by far my favorite and the one I used all last season. Here is my review:

The shoulder and side buckled straps take maybe 30 seconds longer to put on that other vests (less if only one side is undone and rebuckled) but it is by far the most comfortable. It fits snugly enough to perform well in self and assisted rescues and stays right with me when

going under to scull or roll. Never had a snag. The chest zip pocket is well sized and accessible.

I happen to like the black/silver technical colors altho I believe

Palm offers brighter shades as well if the bride prefers them.

Lotus Designs Lolita
I’m 5’3" and have a short torso. The Lolita fits me well and seems very well made. It’s what I hoped for – stays out of my way. Has only one small pocket however. I want to try a Kokatat MsFitTour because of the big pockets and reputation for comfort, and I need a larger vest to fit over drysuit and insulating layers.

Kokatat MS Fit Tour
I’m 5’4" but I like the fit and all the pockets.

I used to have
I used to have a Lotus Designs Lolita and switched to a Stolquist Kitty. I find the Kitty to be much less bulky in the front/lower profile and a much better overall fit for me. I can move a lot better and rotate further/more comfortably in the Kitty than the Lolita.


I Am Not A Small Woman
Nor am I a big woman.

But Jack, this short-torsoed, long-legged, road biker man had issues with chin chaffing pfd ride up. I bought the Kokatat Msfit and have been very happy. I highly recommend it.

Womens motion. A great pfd with a shorter torso.

My wife is the same size and uses the Betsea.

kokatat orbit tour
This is the smallest least cumbersome pfd i have found with pockets- although i dont have access to a large amount of manufacturers. From viewing comparisons, I can tell somewhat thru pictures that it is one of the smallest. The downside is for flotation purposes, because it is small it is thicker than many. Not an issue in the boat but can be difficult for reentry after wet exits plus it is a pullover style. In speaking with a Kokatat marketing rep, she said many people really like the newer Kokatat Ronin available this year -different fill thus making it softer and more pliable than the previous ronin. Might be worth checking it out.

Astral Abba
Another suggestion. It’s very comfortable, and environmentally-friendly, filled with kapok fibers.


– Last Updated: Feb-23-08 1:03 AM EST –

..when Nanci will do the tide checks and you the weather eye.

Sally will be happy to let Nanci check out her Stohlquist Betsea, favorably reviewed by a few posting here already. But as we saw up at Florida Bay Outfitters, the length may be the determining factor.

Pat's suggestion is a good one, especially here, where there's a ton of boat stores, sporting goods stores, and -I'll bet -even grocery stores! -where ski vests might be available. But once again, these tend to be longer than normal, so Nanci will have to try them on to check out their appropriateness to not only fit her standing up, but seated, to see if it works when y'all get out to


-Frank in Miami

Astral Wonderjacket
I’m 5 ft 1 and not flat chested and this fits me better than any other. First one I’ve owned that didn’t keep rubbing my chin since I’m short torso.

Cool embroidery too!