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Thread: Life Jacket for kids

  1. #1

    Default Life Jacket for kids

    I'm looking for a new life jacket for my 2 year old -- does anybody have any suggestions? She is just shy of 30 pounds, and about 36" tall. Most of the use will be in our raft on pretty tame rivers (Kenai, Placer, Portage, etc.).

    Obviously the most important factor is safety, but having a comfortable life jacket is almost as important. You know how kids are, if it isn't comfortable, they aren't going to want to wear it. I figure if it's comfortable then there won't be any arguments about wearing it.

    As a side note, if anybody is looking for a great life jacket for an infant, I would really recommend the Bijoux Baby Vest by Salus Marine. http://www.salusmarine.com/product/bijoux.html Jen Aist (Babes in the Woods author) recommends this vest and she was nice enough to let us try it out before buying. There are also vidoes on Salus' website. We had to order one direct from the factory, but they were great to work with.

  2. #2
    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    Saw some nice child life vests at Samís club in Anchorage, (the one that is at Dimond and Old Seward), a couple of days ago. Costco on Dimond also had some that I saw about a week ago.

  3. #3
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Corn,

    My daughter, that just recently turned four, wears a Type III NRS Crew with a user weight of 30-50lbs. She weighs a little under 40 lbs; I'm not sure how much she weighed last summer, but she wore this same vest. You are right, comfort is very important. If they are not comfortable, NOBODY is having any fun. She has never complained of comfort when wearing it. She has used it on a lot of day trips on mellow rivers, a rainy multi-day Gulkana trip, and numerous eight-hour plus days fishing on Kodiak. I would not want to see what happens to her in this vest if she fell into Suckhole on Six Mile, but for her rafting experiences it works well. I let her swim with it just to get her comfortable and see how the thing works. It has a crotch strap, so think that helps from riding up.

    If you find a better one, let me know; this is the most important piece of gear we purchase as river bum parents.

    Josh

  4. #4
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    I whole heartdly agree that comfort is very important.... however, that said, we all learn by example.. So... I don't care how comfortable a PFD on a kid is, if the adults are not wearing PFD's the kids are not going to want to keep theirs on either...!!!

  5. #5
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Give Alaska Raft & Kayak a call if you are near Anchorage (907) 561-7238.
    Hopefully they have some quality vests for smaller kids. If anybody is looking for a high quality vest in the 50-90 lb range one I have one for sale in the forum swap & sell section.

  6. #6
    Member cristancanoe's Avatar
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    http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...CR&pdeptid=954

    We bought this vest for our little man last summer. It will fit him for a while. We decided not to get one with the collar since Sam can swim really well and he was always bothered by the collar on his infant vest.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the reply's, everyone. We ended up getting the NRS Crew that Heg has from AK Raft and Kayak. Our 2 year old had it on for 6 hours on Saturday and it never seemed to bother her. The only compaint I heard was that it isn't pink! Hopefully we can get her in the pool this week to try it out.

    We are also going to order a child's size vest from Salus Marine. That will give us a back up childs vest and we'll be able to compare the two. (Plus Salus makes them in pink, so now everybody will be happy.) If anybody want to try either one out, just let me know and we can meet up. I'm in Anchorage. http://www.salusmarine.com/product/nimbus.html

  8. #8

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    Heg, I tried to hit you up with a Rep point, but I guess I need to spread some around first. Thanks for the tip. We took some out of town visitors down the Kenai on Saturday for some sight seeing...it was fantastic as usual.

  9. #9
    Member Heg's Avatar
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    Yeah man, what's up with the pink?! My wife and daughter both think this is a critical need on a female pfd. I bought my wife a new yellow NRS pfd a couple years ago to replace an old purple Lotus Designs pfd. She looked disgusted when she opened it and would secretly stash the old purple pfd in the mesh bag before trips. A couple weeks ago, I bought her a new Astral pfd, and her first comment was, "I love the pink highlights." Whatever.

    Let me know what you think of the Salus vest, especially if it comes in pink.

    Josh

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