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  • looking at a new pfd prefer one with a lot of pockets looking at stolhquist rocker and edge also nrs has a nice one too would like to use when i go kayaking also to do overnight trips .suggestions please thks
  • Walmart "Fluid", two pockets, about $20. Seldom in stock. Pete
  • pbegleWalmart "Fluid", two pockets, about $20. Seldom in stock. Pete

    I googled... because that's an incredible price. Even the orange Type II universal/minimal PFDs are half of that. https://www.walmart.com/i…ene-PFD-XL-XXL/782283059
    This is an instore-only item... there are none in stock close to me.

    Mine is a cordura-over-foam paddling vest -- I like that it rides above the harness hook and has great mobility.

  • Wow!!! Found same life jacket with camera mount for $9 and $13 without.

    Tomcat 6.2
    Supercat 20 / 17
    Searunner 16 Tri home built
  • I like pockets for my stuff. (Radio, Epirb, knife, ect) I've got an MTI Adventure Wear Fishing Vest that I purchased years ago, and it appears to no longer be available.

    I see lots of options online for these types. Google life jacket or PFD with the words fishing or angler.

    Bill Mattson
    Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
  • I got mine off of eBay. They say "happy fisherman" on them, (small tag), and have many pockets, there is even a pocket on the back side for storage as well. They are black with silver reflective straps and I paid 20 bucks apiece.

    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
  • For Race to Alaska (8-day race) where we had to carry lots of gear, we used NRS cVest. $86 from REI (https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/129282/nrs-cvest-mesh-back-pfd), good value for what we needed. Potentially overkill for your needs...!

    I typically carried in the cVest: handheld VHF (dedicated pocket), Ocean Signal PLB and spare AAA battery tray for VHF (in pocket), ACR Firefly Waterbug strobe light (strapped to shoulder), Aqua Lung squeeze lock dive knife (strapped to chest), whistle & small emergency mirror, sunscreen and a cliff bar or two (in pocket). So it certainly met my needs of having a lot of things within reach! I never found it too bulky (we wore trapeze harness under the vest).

    You can see us all decked out starting around 2:10 of the video linked in my signature.

    Edited by southstars2012 on Mar 05, 2018 - 01:51 AM.

    Nacra Inter 20 (sold)
    2017 Race to Alaska "Team Ketch me if u can"
    - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamKetch/
    - Race video highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTWp4DP0VcA
    Sausalito CA
  • west marine $69 often on sale on national holiday sales (4th of july , etc.)

    has pockets, and extras
    only issue it doesn't sit well while on the wire - i unzip it and leave the bottom strap secured during wire time

  • I would definitely recommend investing in a quality PFD and not cheaping out on a Walmart or similar vest. You will (or at least should) wear your PFD more or less anytime you're on your boat. It will be your most used piece of equipment, so get something that fits well, is comfortable, and is built do last. Most Walmart type vests are designed to meet the minimum USCG requirements and are targeted towards waterskiers or power boaters who will just throw them in a box and never actually wear them. They hang down too low in the front for catamaran sailing and get in the way of your harness hook, or they ride up and will be in your face when you're on the wire. You definitely don't want to have to unzip or unbuckle your vest every time you go out on the trap. You want your PFD to fit well enough that you barely know it's there.

    Kayaking vests are good because they are cut high around the waist so they don't interfere with the hook. I've been using a West Marine sailing-specific vest for years and find it to be quite comfortable, has several pockets, is well made and doesn't interfere with my hook. Try before you buy if at all possible and don't skimp out - this is a life saving piece of equipment afterall.

  • Quote I've been using a West Marine sailing-specific vest for years and find it to be quite comfortable, has several pockets, is well made and doesn't interfere with my hook.

    do you know which model?
  • I have used the NRS vests for years and found them to have a lot of room in the pockets (of some models). They have held up well. Watch the website as they intermittently go on sale.

    ARC 21
    Prindle 18
    Annapolis, Maryland
  • After looking around i bought a nrs cvest through REI currently on sale for 85.00 I read southernstars page and have complied all the safety gear for my needs.Thank you all for your help.They dont call it a LIFE JACKET for nothing dont cheap out unless you dont value your life !!
  • I wear a Kokatat Bahia Pro. It's got plenty of pockets including one for a VHF

    Captain Chris Holley
    Fulshear, TX
    '87 Prindle 19 "Cat in the Hat"
    '74 sunfish "1fish"
  • I went ahead and bought that NRS vest on sale for $85 at REI based on southstars2012's recommendation, after watching his video. Haven't sailed with it yet, but I like it and it definitely has ample supply of pockets for emergency gear. Thought it was a pretty good deal compared to others.

    Seems like these vests sticking out from your chest are really going to make it more difficult to pull yourself back up on a hull (haven't done it yet with the vest on), but I guess there's no way around that.

    As an example of what could happen if you get a cheap vest: My brother received second hand a kayaking vest you can buy for about $30 online. At first glance it looks fine, so you might ask why should I buy a more expensive one.

    Well, many of these vests (including the NRS one I bought and the one my bro received) have flotation panels on your chest, and panels on your back, and there are nylon straps on the sides and at the waist that connect the flotation panels on your chest to the ones on your back. Those straps have to hold, because they are basically the straps that hold the lower part of the vest around your torso. If they break, the vest will no longer be secured around your waist. The flotation panels of the whole vest will just float up around your face. Maybe they'll even slip over your head.

    On the NRS one I got, the strap at your waist is one continuous strap all the way around. On this cheap one made in China that my bro received, there are only the nylon straps at the sides holding the front and back panels together, and they were simply stitched into the seams of the nylon covering the flotation panels. The stitching was cheap, and one strap had already ripped out of the cheap stitching. I'd hate to get forcefully tossed into some roiling waters and have the straps holding the PFD around my lower torso rip out from the cheap seams such that the thing comes floating up around my neck.

    Edited by CatFan57 on May 08, 2018 - 04:57 PM.

    1998 P18.2
    Sailing out of SHBCC, NJ
  • ZHik for comfort, https://www.zhik.com/pfd-black-rio-edition.html?___store=us_sail&gclid=CjwKCAjwlcXXBRBhEiwApfHGTRWUQl56EYUky8H2Ad-MQmFJw6I7GG28XsHFBPrMFRWNB2UR2rJguBoCuacQAvD_BwE

    Forward is more like what the Americas Cup guy's were wearing in San Francisco. I like the radio attachment. armorhttps://www.murrays.com/product/47-031/

    Wear what comfortable and WEAR IT!!!
  • After getting tossed from the boat a couple of years ago and sitting in the drink for over an hour I learned one thing. A dude with my girth really needs a PFD with a crotch strap or an optional crotch strap kit. My kayaking pfd is very similar to the ones being discussed but kept on riding up and wanting to go over my head. It would have been fine under normal conditions but a squall came in and the waves on our shallow lake were huge. Any suggestions for a decently comfy PDF that can be fitted with a crotch strap (and isn't for 10 year olds)?

    Dave Bonin
    1981 Nacra 5.2 "Lucile"
    1986 Nacra 5.7 "Belle"
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • QuoteI would definitely recommend investing in a quality PFD and not cheaping out on a Walmart or similar vest

    Nothing wrong with cheap, $$ does not = quality or comfort. I have cheap comfortable jackets that I have been using every year for 15 years, they are in great shape.
  • QuoteNothing wrong with cheap, $$ does not = quality or comfort. I have cheap comfortable jackets that I have been using every year for 15 years, they are in great shape.

    Higher quality costs more
    higher quality in critical parts can be the difference between the part working or failing when you need it most

    I feel DogBoy's advice was spot on

    QuoteA key factor to watch out for on your PFD is degradation of the foam. Kevin Mulligan from Astral Designs explains that foam is firm and stiff in a new PFD. Over time the foam breaks down, becoming softer and more pliable. You can feel the foam with your fingers and check for folds, lumpiness and malleability.

    Kokatat’s product manager Matt Porter says that he often hears people who are trying on new PFDs mention that their current one is way more comfortable, as if they are barely wearing anything. He says that can be a sign the foam has shrunk and is potentially lacking adequate buoyancy.

    Lili Colby, co-owner from MTI Adventurewear, explains that sun exposure can severely shorten the life of your PFD. UV exposure decreases structural strength and breaks down the fibers in the fabric. If your PFD shell fabric is significantly lighter in color than when you purchased it, it may not be as strong as it once was. Peak inside a pocket to compare against exposed, faded areas.

    If you have been using your PFD in saltwater or sweating excessively without rinsing it after, corrosion of zippers and other metals will also likely occur. Porter adds that using PFDs as a changing mat or kneeling pad can ramp up abrasion and wear out the fabric more quickly. Overall, this is a bad idea.

    Jim Stohlquist, founder of Stohlquist WaterWare,advises paddlers to replace their PFD if there is bagginess inside the foam envelope where the foam used to be, and if there are any rips, tears or holes that expose the underlying foam. Malfunctioning adjustment buckles and torn or frayed webbing attachment points are another obvious sign it's time to look for a new vest.

    The bottom line is that there isn’t a set expiry date for PFDs. Mulligan says the rule of thumb used at Astral is that a PFD should be replaced every five years or after 300 days of use.That guiding principle is “not set in stone,” he explains, and varies based on the user and care. A raft guide who spends all day, every day from May to September on the river will have significantly more wear and tear on her PFD than a weekend warrior over a comparative period of time.

    Edited by MN3 on May 10, 2018 - 10:39 AM.
  • I think this is the actual 20 PDF being refereed to: https://tinyurl.com/ybp4db3w

    Edited by kevinlbatchelor on May 10, 2018 - 09:36 PM.
  • Consider this, if you are supposed to replace your PFD every 5 years, and you spend $20 on one of these:


    Every 5 years you will get a new, certified, safe and comfortable PFD, and over 25 years you will only spend $100.

    Your "quality" Zhik PDF will cost you $600 and it is NOT even coast guard approved.

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