This thing just showed up at my house today. Seems I ordered it like a year ago.
My first thoughts are that this jacket is dope. It's lighter, slimmer and more form fitting than the 300 and offers better protection. It doesnt have that spare tire, extra love handle feeling. The jacket stays really secure on your torso but still allows all that freedom of movement like the old ones. It doesnt feel like it will ride around on you at all.
The flotection feels good. The front and back of the ribs feel very well protected, theres a lot more coverage than before yet not bulky. The sides feel like there's a little less coverage than the astral300...like its the only place where you might be vulnerable but still it's pretty minimal. There's still padding there....I think the padding was just thicker on the old ones there. I'm gonna appreciate this thing when i'm swimming.
Oh and I like the shoulder straps better. They dont feel like the stitching will start to come apart like a few of the 300's i've seen. They got rid of the useless shoulder strap tension thingy's on the back too, now its just a solid strap with just enough padding to comfortably rest a boat on...i think they finally got it right.
I think i'm gonna like this thing alot more than the old one. Go pick it up if your in the market for a new rescue vest...but dont get black, that colors taken. Forrest, feel free to come by and check it out if you want.