women's specific PFD

I am very small, short waisted and not poorly endowed (best way I could think to put this). I’m looking for a PFD that will work for me without squashing “stuff.” Any ladies out there who could recommend some specific models? The local shop doesn’t have any stock for me to try on. Thanks!

I have the same body type as you, and the only PFD that doesn’t feel like I am squished and can’t catch my breath is the NRS Groove or Hustle. They are made of a squishy material that molds to your shape. The best part is that they are on sale right now at the NRS website.


Good Luck


Step into my office !
My wife just finally after many years of searching has found the one that you want.

Check out the Astral “Bella”

It has adjustable torso length and bra.

  • Made specifically for you wonderful ladies.



what’s the problem with PVC?
thanks for the recommendations. The prices look very appealing!

These are made of PVC, and I note that descriptions of other vests almost seem to boast that they are “PVC free.” What is the problem with PVC?

Thank you
This looks interesting. A built-in bra? I’m a total newbie to these types of vests. Is it really a bra??

Not really…, but you can adjust it in
or out so you won’t get squashed.

Look it up on the Astral site or on the NRS site.

They do call it a “bra” though.

It costs big bucks, but you guys are all worth it if it keeps you happy and unsquashed.



Astral Bellaand Wonder Jacket
Phil Curry, the design genius behind the Lotus Lola has two newer designs for shapely figured women.

Bella is a WW oriented, class 5, pull over.

Wonder Jacket 200 is a front-zip PFD, with foam sculpted to lift and separate.

Both are available at better paddlesport retailers across the nation.


my lovely wife has Astral
Wondervest in the pull over version. Really likes the way it fits her curves after trying many others. Rises low and encourges arm and torso rotation. I recall there is a zipper model as well.

Environmental concerns
Some folks are trying to move away from PVC because of concerns about the chlorines and plasticizers used in the manufacturing process. It has nothing to do with function.

Short torso
Go with the Astral Bella. Much more body contour following than even the Wondervest or Wonder Jacket. also the only PFD that I’ve ever seen where the front torso height can be adjusted. My wife almost got away with swiping the prototype from Phil a few years ago when she got to try it on for size.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


Kokatat MsFit Tour
I admit I haven’t tried any new pfd’s for YEARS, but I still like this pfd just fine. It’s a good fit for short-waisted folks.

Astral Wonder Pro
I purchased the wonder pro - pullover - about a year ago and love it.


I had a terrible time looking for a women’s pfd and actually bought one that was highly recommended. Because of the “girls” stature, it didn’t seem to make that much difference to me whether it was specifically made for a woman or not. I found it rode up to my chin no matter how I adjusted it. Most pfd’s squished me :slight_smile: anyway. I am very short waisted as well and found my back sore in the women’s jackets.

I ended up with an ASTRAL TEMPO 200. It has long straps, easily adjusted, fits my short torso, does not ride up or pinch. As far as the chest issue, it was a little squishy but nothing that bothered me on a 4 hour paddle.

Stohlquist Betsea or Motion
Can’t speak for any of the Astral models, but my favorite is Stohlquist Betsea or Motion. Same chassis, just different pockets, etc. They actually have molded “cups” - indentations in the foam to conform to your breasts. I wear a 36D and am short-waisted. It’s the only PFD that’s ever fit. Highly adjustable and never rides up.


and never was bothered with “squishing” by the MSFit Tour. However, I usually wear a stout sports bra which may already have me squished BEFORE the PFD comes into play.