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Thread: PFD recommendations

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default PFD recommendations

    I'm looking for some advice on a pfd. I'd like it to work for both canoeing and kayaking. I don't need much storage, but I would like low profile. I've seen some kokatat and some wilderness systems that looked like they would fit the bill, and they fit well.

    Recommendations? Any brands to avoid? Any brands to seek out?

    I've crosslisted in the canoeing forum.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member Ripface's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    When I picked my kayaking PFD, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and tried on 5-6 of them. I really like mine, though I don't know what kind it is. It was comfortable and has two pockets, which is a plus. Just go try a bunch on, and settle with comfort.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Douglas Island

    Default PFD choices

    There are lots of different kinds of personal flotation devices available today! Specialty jackets for canoeing/kayaking are designed so you can maximize arm movement for paddling and still provide all-day comfort and safety. Lots of retailers carry brands by Kokatat, Mustang, Stearns, Extrasport and others! Look around, try different kinds and get the jacket that fits you best. Make sure that it's been USCG approved and has the features you want. Inflatables are getting very user-friendly, usually have more bouyancy (rated in pounds - look for it on the tag) but typically are more expensive. More traditional jackets can be quite comfortable and are readily available. Call us at (907) 463-2297 or 463-2298 if you have more questions, thanks! CG Boating Safety

  4. #4
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Best bet here on obtaining the proper info is to go into some greater detail regarding the waters or type of kayaking and canoeing you'll be doing. Address aspects like boat-types, your build/weight, climate air/water temps, seasons, creeks, rivers, lakes, seas, clothing you'll be generally wearing. All these kinds of things really make an inquiry on PFD use much easier to answer vs. sorta throwin' it all out there. Take a bit of time listing more specifics and I think others will chime in --- you'll find far more suitable results.

  5. #5

    Thumbs up brands to seek out

    Take a look at anything made by Lifesaving Systems Corp.

    their gear is professional quality/mil spec. they are one of the p.f.d. suppliers to the u.s.c.g. and u.s. navy. if there is something better out there, i would like to know what it is. they have a web site and are located in fl.

    good luck, stay afloat.
    Cold Zero
    Member: S.C.I., N.R.A. Life Endowment Member & L.E. Tactical Firearms Instr.

  6. #6

    Default PFD Selection

    Try going to They have a good fundamental page on their pfd list that will really help you narrow down the right one for your needs.
    Last edited by remotealaska; 02-04-2007 at 12:00. Reason: new at this!

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default THE Solution

    With 18 years expeience canoeing, I can say for my part, that SOSuspenders are the best PFD I have found yet. I have owned them for 5 years, and have relied on them twice, and I am writing you!

    Several models to choose from. I own the instant activated type, not effected by rain or gaining water, yet the T-handle activas\tion works just a well....SwedeSteve

  8. #8


    I use the SOS as well and they have worked well I too am still here after playing hard and getting wet.

    You are not pushing the envelope unless you get wet.

  9. #9


    Sam's club has some nice neoprene life vests in their store in the summer. They are quite comfortable compared to some of the others, however, I do not recall if they are coast guard approved.

  10. #10
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Ketchikan, AK

    Talking PFD Recommendation?

    Boy, was I misled by the title. I thought someone want to help me spend my permenant fund money.

    I was going to let someone help me, but not now!



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