Winter pfd storage

I kinda messed up. I kept my PFD in the back of my car all winter. DC metro area, so no crazy cold temps - but assume this was not ideal, especially given that I could have easily brought it inside. No sure what I was thinking! It was new last year. I actually want to get a new one, and just purchased an Astral V-8, but it didn’t fit me right and so I had to return it - so still on the hunt for a new one but hoping/assuming the one kept in my car is still ok to use, just perhaps shortened its lifespan a bit?

My PFD stay in a tool box in the bed of my truck. They stay dry which is the biggest concern. PFD material isn’t affected by normal hot and cold. Mildew is their greatest enemy.


I’m not sure how being in the car could hurt it?
I have one or two in my truck all the time. At least one in the back seat, sometimes one in the canopy. Undamaged through Idaho winter cold and summer heat.
Did it mold or something?

No problem with cold. Adventure paddlers wear their PFDs while exploring very cold places.

It’s fine try a kokatat hustler pfd. I like it better than astral v8. I sent the v8 back

Thanks everyone - guess I was worried about the cold degrading it somehow. But yes, of course, people use them in the cold! And thanks for the kokatat rec PaddleDog - I will take a look at that one.

Really extreme heat may degrade a PFD, like in the trunk of a car in summer in hotter climates. However cold is no problem. Ideally, store in a cool dry well ventilated place out of the sun.

I’d be far more worried about the sun than the cold. Any new gear starts fading within weeks here in Florida. I replace my pfd every 4-5 years more from sun damage than anything else.


I had never given it much thought where I keep my pfd’s. I keep some in my closet, at least one in my dressing room and a bunch of them out in the shop with the boats.

I wonder when they will make them sun-proof.

Store them in a dry place that’s free of UV exposure .
I keep them on plastic coat hangers in my garage; no real extremes of temp change, and no wetness to create mold or mildew. Don’t just throw them in some corner somewhere, after usage and when wet.

Test them for loss of buoyancy at the start of each season.
I clean mine with a semi stiff brush, Dawn dish wash liquid, and rinse thoroughly with clear water. Works for me.


Storage is important. Dry, out of the sun. I have made the mistake of keeping some older PFDs below deck on my power boat. They tend to get some mildew. Not good.

Cars get super hot. Surface temp on your trunk could hit over 200° F

Found this
When temperatures outside climb range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees , the internal temperature of your car can reach a scorching 130 to 172.

Not good for a PFD.

Dash pads can go 200°+ F