I apologize if this topic has already been discussed here–I’ve been less present than usual on p.net over the winter, 'cause of too much work, mostly.
Two ads caught my eye recently. Both advertised a new form of PFD (one Kokatat and one Astral). Each has a minimal amount of bulk and bouyancy–7 or 8 pounds. But each also can be inflated, giving over 20 pounds of bouyancy, i.e. much more than the usual kayaking PFD.
This idea seems to me to have several upsides and one (literal) downside:
- Less bulk and weight should make it easier to wear–and therefore more likely to be worn.
- Less bouyancy should make it easier to swim in one of these vests, which could be a major safety plus.
- Less bulk would likely make rolling easier.
- When inflated, the large amount of buoyancy could be life-saving, e.g. allowing an unconscious paddler to be kept breathing.
- Will one of these float you up to the surface if you’re capsized and injured? Will one of these float you if you’re out of the boat and unconscious, and didn’t have time to inflate it?
I’m curious if anyone’s yet tried one, and what others’ thoughts are.