Ok guys and gals, I am a looking for some savvy life jacket / pfd ideas…. Here is the plan. Two adults (230lbs and 150lbs) plus three kiddos (ages 2, 4, and 6) in a Zod MkII 15 footer. The water is gonna be lakes, fairly large rivers (think Yukon) PWS and Cook Inlet (Deep Creek). Keep in mind that we aint gonna be impersonating Navy Seals or anything wacky like that. I am a fair weather boater for sure and safety for the family is obviously paramount.
Now I have read a ton of posts about various pfd’s but they all seem geared towards floating rivers which I will not be doing (unless of course the engine goes TU….) and it seems there is a great deal of concern regarding pockets and extraneous gear attached to your PFD as being a safety issue were sweepers and other debris may be encountered. I cant help but feel that I want a PFD with gear storage and pockets for my particular application as I want to carry a flare gun, portable VHF, throw bag and some other essential survival gear on my person, and preferably attached to the PFD. Same goes for the wife’s set up. Also, as I am a bit of a “porker” I will be looking for really good flotation qualities.
As far as the kids PFD’s go, I really want top notch stuff…. Money spent here is truly no object. And their gear must have some sort of grab handle or lanyard that I can use to yard them back into the Zod if the worst happens.
Any suggestions or pointers would be most appreciated, and thanks in advance for your input!