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Old 02-27-2006   #1
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 12

I'm looking for a PFD for my 55lb dog and am wondering what works best. Does anyone have experience with these?

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Old 02-28-2006   #2
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
My pooch has one from Ace mtn. wear, which is a local NM shop, which has worked great, cordura, w/ reflective stripes, and the (crucial) grab loop. NRS makes one that looks good for $40, which is probably cheaper then the equivalent from Lotus or extrasport, although Lotus makes good stuff.... two things to consider are the security of the neck velcro/ buckle, and the durability of the fabric. one of my friends (RIP Tess ) dogs' CFD would unwrap from around his neck, making it a choke hazard, as well as impossible to pick him up, and just generally wasn't worth a shit since it was unreliable like that. and at least on the rio grande, there are plenty of bushes to shred CFDs.
Oh and BTW, be prepared to dunk your friends if they're drinking tequila at the put-in and decide that the grab loop is for picking lil' homie up, spinning around a couple times and airing pooch into the river.....

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Old 02-28-2006   #3
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845

I cannot attest to the fit or quality of the ruffwear K9 float coat yet, but I just ordered one from REI-outlet and it looks to be a good vest. It seemed like a great deal on a well thought out vest. They still have a medium size, which might be right for your dog (check out the manufacturer site). Anyway, thought I would let you know because the pfd is a good price already, and if you enter the coupon code GM224 you get an extra 20% off, so it's about 30 dollars. here is a link:
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Old 02-28-2006   #4
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 436
Of the ones I have seen, I like the Lotus Designs one the best. Its the only one where the foam wraps all the way around the dog and provides some belly protecting. The others are just a slab of foam that gets clipped around the dog but sits on their back. The Lotus ones are slightly more expensive, but not by much. As for build quality, I think the NRS, Ruff Wear and Lotus are fairly comarable. The NRS one is the most "no frills" of the bunch, but the Lotus and Ruff are about the same in frillyness. Both have reflector strips and style patches, whereas the NRS is just a slab of foam with the necessary buckles. All of them have a grab handle, which is definetly necessary for safe boating with your doggy. You really couldn't go wrong with any of these, but I personally would go with the Lotus (in yellow).

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Old 02-28-2006   #5
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 12

I ordered the REI ruffwear coat today and used the coupon. The Lotus coat looked great too but I couldn't beat the price. Thanks for all of the advice.
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Old 02-28-2006   #6
riojedi's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 191
My 70lb dog wears the Lotus, but we tried on a bunch at the shop and that fit best, the person that helped us out said it will vary by the dog what fits best. We got it at Alpine Quest in Edwards they had the Lotus, NRS and at least one other. They let the dog come on in just like any customer, great service!
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Old 02-28-2006   #7
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
If price matters, they have puppy PFDs at PetsMart that are a lot cheaper than what you'll get at the boat shop. Should have them in the size you need. I got one for my cat and it worked great when he got thrown in at Sunshine Falls!

But seriously, the ones at PetsMart seemed pretty bomber, were cordura, but just not made by Lotus.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 03-01-2006   #8
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 31
My 95 pound dog did great with the Lotus PFD.

By the way NRS currently has the Lotus Doggy PFD on sale for $51
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Old 03-01-2006   #9
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

The NRS vest is outstanding. My dog's been wearing his for three years now. Fit and function have never been a concern, and all sizes retail for $40. If you ever have an issue with fabric quality return if for a replacement.

The "new" Ruff Wear CFD looks just like it and should work great as well.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 03-01-2006   #10
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 39
We've got a 35lb heeler and a 45lb springer that both wear the K9 FloatCoats from RuffWear, and I think they're well made and after two seasons still have good form (holding up well.)

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