Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Lifejackets

  1. #1
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Eagle River (Home!)
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Lifejackets

    Need some new ones, sold mine with a Zodiac. Any recomendations on where to buy and the type?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Comfortable ones -- But that is different for every person.

    Lotus Designs has several that are quite easy to wear all day, and a lot of people like them. I prefer to use America's Cup Ultra Floats, but few others do. I like them because they are warm, and give good coverage while providing a huge amount of floatation. (I don't like swimming rivers without one.) They are somewhat restrictive, but since I don't bend so well anyway...

    Lots of places to look though. Alaska Raft & Kayak, REI, Sportsmans Warehouse, Costco, Sam's Club, and plenty of others. I never buy such things online or mail order though, because you can't try them on first, and what one person recommends another finds miserable.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    I should also add that PFDs for rafting are very different than PFDs for canoeing and kayaking. A good canoe/kayak PFD can be used on a raft, but often not the other way around, as they are sometimes too restrictive to paddle. I use my Ultra Float for inflatable kayaking, but I would not want to use it for canoeing or sea kayaking any distance.

  4. #4

    Default Extrasport Hi-Float

    I have tried many life jackets and it only took one nasty swim to conclude that a 15 lb floatation PFD is not what I wanted. I rented an America's Cup to see if I liked it and frankly those things are not made for women. It was such a relief to take it off at the end of the day. To me it felt like a chest mashing straight jacket.

    After trying many, I came to love the Extrasport Hi Float. Note - if you are under 5'8" this jacket may be uncomfortable. I see more river guides in this jacket than any other in the lower 48. It has 27 lbs of floatation, it has more give and freedom of movement than any other hi floation PFD I have tried. It is also warm like the America's Cup. It is not cheap, not at all the regular is $160.00 and the Rescue Version for swift water rescue technicians are $180.00. Since I have had this jacket I have only had one serious swim and it was really wonderful to have those 10 extra lbs of floatation.

    One thing I have found, is if the life jacket is comfortable more people will keep them on and have them fastened properly. If they are not comfortable they will loosen them, unbuckle them and all kinds of things in their search for comfort. Go somewhere that carries a good selection if you can. Try on as many whitewater jackets as you can before buying. I know this is not always easy.

    This is not an area to scrimp on quality, nor is it a purchase to be made in haste.

    Lori

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,449

    Default

    Lori, I have an Extrasport High Float, but prefer the fit of the America's Cup Ultra Float. Which just brings us back to your point about finding one that fits you. Everybody's different. Some of it's anatomy and some of it's just preferences.

  6. #6

    Default All people are different

    I am not surprised, I have friends who swear by the America's Cup (all male) and friends who swear by the hi-float mixed group. It is all a matter of preference and perhaps anatomy. Women just have a couple of extra problems when it comes to the fit of a PFD.

    I agree with you about finding a great fit but if he has a wife or girlfriend that goes boating with him, he should not buy something for her without her trying it on first. I am amazed at how many boating couples have one person go buy the PFD's and then one of them hates what they got. If she feels squashed, she will not keep that PFD done up the way she should to be safe. The America's Cup is not the only PFD that is hard for women to wear. That is one reason I always take my Lotus Lola along in case there is a woman on the trip who just cannot wear anything else. I have not worn it since a nasty swim on the Salt River in AZ. Not enough floatation for me.

    Lori

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •