Which inflatable PFD?

I am trying to decide between the two basic models, belt pack and horseshoe collar. This will predominantly be used in a solo canoe with some portaging of the boat. I do not foresee ever carrying a pack as I think I will still prefer foam PFD’s for when I wilderness travel. I would think the belt pack would be more comfortable on the water with no coverage of my upper body. A plus because I overheat quickly. The horseshoe style appears to be the better for portaging because it would bounce less, staying in position.

For those that have these lifejackets, how did you decide and for what reason do you have a favourite?

If you are a good swimmer and don’t tend to panic I would go with the belt pack. However, I like the horeshoe because even though I am a good swimmer it’s one less thing to deal with. With the belt pack you have to put the pfd over your neck once it inflates. Horeshoe is a quick pull on the cord and you have great flotation and don’t have to fumble around and let go of canoe and paddle to put collar over your head.

I use an SOSuspender over the shoulder
I am a sea kayaker, so my criteria are probably different than a canoer’s. There is some information that may be useful to you in a kayaking oriented previous thread: http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=823185

Type 5 PFDs must be worn to satisfy the requirement for having a PFD. Do the belt type inflatables have Coast Guard Type 5 designation?

I use a belt pack
I like it 'cuz it doesn’t interfere, at all, with my arm and torso movement. It’s also cooler. But you are required to wear them, while the regular PFD’s just have to be on the boat.

obviously going to wear it
If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t feel the need to buy one. I’ve been looking at the MTI brand lifejackets and both their inflatables are badged as Type III. I find that very unusual that they are not Type V, but again, I’m buying one to wear so mute point to me.

My big dilemma is over comfort versus convenience. I paddle shirtless and I wonder how much the horseshoe will chafe compared to how annoying the belt pack will be on land. I haven’t decided one way or another which is ideal.

I have the horsehoe collar -type
I think it is made by Mustang. I wear it when working and find that I still have complete access to all of the gear on my belt, plus complete freedom of movement. I also like the idea that if I am knocked/thrown from the boat, I won’t have to fumble with much to turn it into a working PFD: just pull the cord.