Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Buzzards, I am in the market for a new pfd. I am going down the grand in march and need to replace my old pfd. What are your thoughts on hi-floats vs regular pfd's (pros/cons). I am open to any brand and floatation weight. Just wanted to see what other people are using out there and their thoughts. Thanks for your help.:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
i've been swimming in huge water on the new in west virginia in both a class v customer pfd and various smaller kayaking pfds and i have to say that there really isn't much difference. when you swim in really big water (30,000cfs+) you get completely pummeled by the big waves and eddy lines. 3 or 4 more pounds of floatation really doesn't matter very much. i'd go for the comfort and mobility of the smaller vest. it actually is much easier to swim aggressively in a vest that doesn't confine your arms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
MTI Big Buoy Whitewater PFD

This is the jacket I wear. I'm 6'1" 225 lbs. I need all the float I can get. It is way comfortable and it fits just like a lotus rio grande...except thicker. Highly recommend this 1. Especially if you aren't a scrawny little guy or a chica.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
3 or 4 lbs can make a big difference. Most low profile pfd's have about 15.5 lbs floatation. Most High Float are 22 - 25 lbs floatation. Way back when a study was done by Underwritters Labs i think... It says people weight 14-15.5 lbs in the water. Between negative boyancey of fat and fluids in the body this is mostly skin and bones I guess. So that is what the aim of the minimum floataion 15.5 lbs, make you just better than negative boyancy. This is adequate for most situations. A lot of people feel that the extra boyancy of the high float makes a big differrence in big water. That extra 5 lbs of floatation is 30% more floataion. This can be significant. I've been down the grand 4 times, have always worn the low float and will probably continue to wear the low float. I can tell you however that on a swim in Lava I spent WAY TOO MUCH time underwater. The nature of Big Water means you can also have big downtime. Don't know if more floatation would have brought me up quicker ort not, I was caught in a big ass swirly. Knew the surface was just above my head for 'ever', but couldn't get there. This all being said, there is something to be said for retiring your pfd after a coule seasons. The foam breaks down and the floataion is comprimised. When I was guiding every day I figured every other season.

Bottom line for me is still comfort and freedom of movement. If I was spending most of my time in high volume I might consider high float more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Ola amigo,
I too am going down in March, early march. How about you?
I bring two life jackets. NPS rules are each raft has to have an extra, so I bring a high float for the big stuff and a smaller one for the float days, which are many. Good luck and we'll maybe see you down there. I am one of the boatmen by the way. If you are a passenger, maybe get a bigger one.

Hello Buzzards, I am in the market for a new pfd. I am going down the grand in march and need to replace my old pfd. What are your thoughts on hi-floats vs regular pfd's (pros/cons). I am open to any brand and floatation weight. Just wanted to see what other people are using out there and their thoughts. Thanks for your help.:confused:
 

·
____________________
Joined
·
971 Posts
Ola amigo,
I too am going down in March, early march. How about you?
I bring two life jackets. NPS rules are each raft has to have an extra, so I bring a high float for the big stuff and a smaller one for the float days, which are many. Good luck and we'll maybe see you down there. I am one of the boatmen by the way. If you are a passenger, maybe get a bigger one.
As I recall from a recent trip, NPS doesn't require that each boat has an extra PFD. I think it's one extra for each 8 or 10 people. I think for the size of our group (16) we had to have two extras. Check the regs for the exact number. That being said, I think it's anyways good to carry an extra whether it's required or not, especially on the Grand. Imagine the wind blowing your jacket into the water at camp and having it float away and then having to wear an ill fitting, uncomfortable jacket the rest of the trip.
I also like rafterbrooks idea that if you are a passenger, get the high float. I think a passenger has a greater chance of swimming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Ola amigo,
I too am going down in March, early march. How about you?
I bring two life jackets. NPS rules are each raft has to have an extra, so I bring a high float for the big stuff and a smaller one for the float days, which are many. Good luck and we'll maybe see you down there. I am one of the boatmen by the way. If you are a passenger, maybe get a bigger one.
My girlfriend and I ran the grand last sept in my 14' vanguard and that is exactly what we did and after a flip in dubendorff and lava we were REALLY glad we had the high floats. Can't wait to get back to the grand ... enjoy your adventure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
It's one per 10 people, but one per boat is a better idea, they make good pillows

The two PFD idea is GREAT! I've moved to Hi-floats, but always bring my regular float PFD for our spare on multi-day trips. My newer hi-floats fit great, and I haven't switched back and forth, but I like the concept.

As I recall from a recent trip, NPS doesn't require that each boat has an extra PFD. I think it's one extra for each 8 or 10 people. I think for the size of our group (16) we had to have two extras. Check the regs for the exact number. That being said, I think it's anyways good to carry an extra whether it's required or not, especially on the Grand. Imagine the wind blowing your jacket into the water at camp and having it float away and then having to wear an ill fitting, uncomfortable jacket the rest of the trip.
I also like rafterbrooks idea that if you are a passenger, get the high float. I think a passenger has a greater chance of swimming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you guys for all of your input. I like the two pfd approach. I think I am going that route. Thanks again and happy boating :mrgreen:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
My question is this, does anyone have a high float rescue jacket that doesn't look like a 1970's relic and fit like a custy jacket?

The high float Extrasports are a no go for me (Although I do wear their Pro Creeker w/ 16 lbs of float and am generally a big fan), I think the NRS is a bit better, it looks lower profile with large pockets:


Anyone have/used one of these? Thoughts/opinions? Other options for a high float rescue jacket?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
My question is this, does anyone have a high float rescue jacket that doesn't look like a 1970's relic and fit like a custy jacket?

The high float Extrasports are a no go for me (Although I do wear their Pro Creeker w/ 16 lbs of float and am generally a big fan), I think the NRS is a bit better, it looks lower profile with large pockets:


Anyone have/used one of these? Thoughts/opinions? Other options for a high float rescue jacket?
Ah, how do you think the PFD look will matter in your casket? No, just joking. Here's the Force 6 jacket, I think I'm going to order one of these. They are red, not orange like they look. Canadian, about $200 USD. If you want Hi-Float, you just can't have the fashionable look, the foam's got to go somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
The Force looks interesting. One thing strikes me though - the tops of the pockets look like they might get caught on the perimeter line when trying to pull yourself back into the boat.

The one major gripe I have with my current jacket (The Extrasport Pro Creeker) is that the lash tab is in the front center of the jacket on the pocket. This makes the knife catch tryng to get back into the boat. The Tab broke in the first few months and I now keep my knife tucked into the rescue belt where it isn't in the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The extrasport hi-floats do look a little uncomfortable due the length. I have not tried one on yet though. I like the extrasport B-22. It is more of a low profile jacket with beefed up floatation. I really want the pfd that will keep my hair and face dry. Because looking good on the river is paramount. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
the other thing I am a bit leery on the Force 6 is that it looks like there's a lot of float in the shoulders (does it do any good there, vs on the body?) and that the shouldn't aren't adjustable. Supposedly the shoulders are well designed making adjustability unnecessary. We'll see. I think I'm going to give it a shot, then the NRS if I'm not happy with the 6.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
The non-adjustable shoulders will boil down to a torso length issue. If you have a long torso no problem (unless the jacket rides too high for your taste), short torso and you may be outta luck. Either way it would be great if you post a follow up when you get the jacket - I have never seen one of their jackets in the flesh and would love a first hand report.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
The non-adjustable shoulders will boil down to a torso length issue. If you have a long torso no problem (unless the jacket rides too high for your taste), short torso and you may be outta luck. Either way it would be great if you post a follow up when you get the jacket - I have never seen one of their jackets in the flesh and would love a first hand report.
Good incentive, I want to be dialed in with my new jacket by spring, so I just need to get on it and order the darn thing. I have a long torso, so hopefully it will work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
I just got my force 5 rescue pfd in the mail. It seems like the best designed PFD I've ever had one. I previously wore a MTI big buoy, which seemed way too constricting in the front for me. this pfd seems to have the bouyancy spread out more, even some in the sides where it is adjustable. I've not had it on the water, so no trial yet, but the out of the box review is that I'm very pleased. Hopefully I'll have it on the water within 4 weeks, and I'll let you know how it runs.

I am tall, (5'9") with a relatively long torso. I don't think I'd want this pfd to be any longer, the waist belt really comes down to my waist. That's great for me (and a rare fit-find), but probably wouldn't be for shorter/shorter torso women.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I've swam up to 20k in the Grand in a low float. It was kind of a wild ride. Since then I use the low float on most days in the canyon and on those days when we hit the bigger stuff I where an Anti Gravity Shirt underneath my PFD to add an extra 10lbs of float.

NRS Anti-Gravity Shirt

And DON'T forget your crotch strap.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top