Any suggestions on a good one? Is there a particular type that is best for whitewater? The one I have now I got a long time ago and that was for lake use and is uncomfortable and scrapes my armpit when paddling. I was at REI today and tried on one of these Astral Camino 200 PFD - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com. This was much more comfortable than the one I have, but wanted to ask you guys before purchasing. I was also looking at a couple at the hiking shack that look to be top of the line type V. Is it worth the extra $ to go type V?
Type III is the type that can have the head pillow, Type V is for the ones that don't fit neatly into the rest of the Coast Guard's flotation scheme. A fair portion of the non-rescue PFDs are IIIs, and I don't think I've seen a rescue jacket that isn't a V.
A word on the rescue jackets: If you don't know what you are doing with it and haven't been trained on their use, don't get one. They contain a number of dangerous features that offer expanded capability in exchange for higher risk. They do not have any more float than a non-rescue PFD.