Best PFD? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-02-2016   #1
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 183
Best PFD?

What is everyone's favorite Non-rescue PFD? Lopro PFD?

Not really concerned about cost...

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Old 10-02-2016   #2
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 148
I use the astral ytv. It's got zero bells and whistles. 2 pockets, which are very small, and a knife holder. It works great for its intended purpose, which is to be very low profile and lightweight. I find it very comfortable. If you are looking for something slim, simple, and comfortable, I highly recommend it for that purpose. Price is good too if you aren't picky on color. It doesn't have a strap all the way around the waist area, but I can get it plenty snug enough with the bottom side straps.
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Old 10-03-2016   #3
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,476
I settled on the NRS Big Water Guide PFD and I see them a lot. Lots of flotation for a relatively slim form factor.

I have a couple of Astral Bouyancy vests (The original Astral vest as well as the predecessor to the Green Jacket rescue vest) and the NRS one floats me MUCH better. The Astral rescue vest is pretty good, but the buckle and all the stuff catch on my oars all the time.

I will say that the NRS is decently comfortable but the shoulder strap system could use some work in that area. I wouldn't mind a more comfortable bottom strap as well, but I'm a big guy with a bit of a large midsection. Kinda wish the anti-lift waist belt was 2" strap material or something. I find myself unbuckling the waist belt during flatwater stretches and smaller rapids pretty much all the time.

Its a good vest though, and by far the tightest fitting vest for its flotation level.
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Old 10-03-2016   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 206
I really like my Stohlquist Drifter. I even bought my GF the women's version of it. I have another PFD too but I highly prefer the fabric material and fleece lined pockets. Its a great PFD
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Old 10-03-2016   #5
Awesome, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 106
Loving the NRS Ninja. Simple, low-profile, and lots of mobility; I can row, move around in it without even realizing I have it on!
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Old 10-03-2016   #6
Voodoo003's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 132
Here's my checklist for a sure fire great PFD.
1. Is it comfortable?
2. Is there a front pocket that will hold my beer?

Hasn't failed me yet.
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Old 10-03-2016   #7
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,835
The Stohlquist Brik is the shit for a low pro vest. Super light and total range of motion. I wore mine out and upgraded to a Green Jacket because I figure it's always better to have safety equipment on your person on the river... you never know when you will come around the corner and find a shit show.

The Brik is pretty hard to find anymore, but they are still available.

Brik - Stohlquist
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Old 10-03-2016   #8
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 183
Thanks folks for the input! Always good to get feedback from those in the know!

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Old 10-04-2016   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 10
Best Life Jacket is Astral Sea Wolf

The Astral Sea Wolf has a breast pocket that is invaluable. It has an inner zipper too so even with the pocket open you can hold stuff without worry. I have two of these and everyone always wants to use my spare. The pocket doubles as a great beer holder. You can zip up the sides so just the top is open and it is awesome to hold a can. You can confidently put a can in there while you are going through a rapid stretch and it wont fall out.
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Old 10-04-2016   #10
fat guy in a little boat
bigben's Avatar
FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 409
x2 for the NRS Big Water Guide.

I'm a fat bastard, but it fits good, great mobility, and a ton of flotation.
Front entry is nice for at fat guy. It's got great pocket space. Fleecey hand pockets. Everything you could want!!
All around, it's probably the best jacket I've ever bought.

I've swam some bigass rapids both with it and without it.... If I'm gonna swim something big, that's the jacket I wanna be wearing.

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
- Spicoli
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