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Old 07-05-2013   #1
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Life Vests

Looking for recommendations for life vest for expedition rafting, particularly for the rower. Need large size, something with pockets for survival gear, with hopefully enough clearance for rowing. Many thanks.

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Old 07-05-2013   #2
Craig County, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Rescue Vest

I would definitely buy a rescue vest of some sort, you can never be to prepared when on the water. I can only talk about Astral Green Jacket because it is the only jacket I have used for the past 6 years. Updated my jacket to the new Green Jacket this year and I absolutley love it. Has a large pocket on the front for storing rescue gear. Fits nicely and allows for a lot of movement.

I am sure there are more qualified jacket users here but that is my $0.02.

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Old 07-05-2013   #3
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Alright bear grylls..first off they are pfds cause they don't actually save your life.. Second off what kind of survival gear are you needing to store?
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Old 07-05-2013   #4
colorado_steve's Avatar
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 284
mti patriot vest might be what your looking for.
Oh! I don't take it lightly! I've always got to know
There's an old lion a roarin' n the river down below
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Old 07-05-2013   #5
BryanS.'s Avatar
Prineville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 308
If mti's life jackets for people are anything like their jackets for dogs I'd steer clear. My dog had a swim on the Owyhee this past spring. While pulling him in the boat his straps both ripped off sending my dog back into the drink. When I emailed them informing them of this design flaw, all they did was send me a new, design flawed vest. Thanx but no thanx.
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Old 07-05-2013   #6
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
My next PFD is going to be the Astral Greenjacket. I have an NRS Rapid Rescuer right now, and the one thing I don't like about it is the pockets on the front get in the way when rowing. I bought it originally because of the tall back, as it provides some padding for my back against the framework of my captains seat.

I like the tight, flat pocket on the Greenjacket much better. Wish I would have thought through that when I bought the NRS. The Greenjacket also has pockets on the side as well as the front, so easier to distribute your survival gear so it's not one big blob getting in the way.

Products - GreenJacket
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Old 07-05-2013   #7
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Thanks folks. I'll check out the Green Jacket.
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Old 07-05-2013   #8
Duckins's Avatar
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 173
For rafting you may like the Kokatat Ronin Pro best. It has rescue features similar to the Astral and the zipper makes it a little easier to take off for lunch stops.
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Old 07-06-2013   #9
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 144
I have used the Stohlquist Descent for the past few years and love it. If I remember right it has a bit more buoyancy than the green jacket. Nice gear pocket in front that I keep two carabiners and a prusik cord, Plus a great pocket above that to hold your beer.
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Old 07-06-2013   #10
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 68
I am not sure what you mean by 'survival gear,' but if you mean the items you need to spend a week out after you loose your boat, then the pfd is not where you store these items.

Rather, I would suggest a bag of essentials (lighter, limited food, emergency blanket, can of dip, ect...) dropped down the leg of your dry suit. This way, in any situation where you become separated from your gear, if you survive, your supplies will probably be there with you.

After talking with a few folks, as far as I can tell, this is the standard in wilderness boating.

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