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Paddling The Paddling forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness paddling (canoeing, kayaking, rafting). Topics focus on trip planning and gear.

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Old 08-03-2011, 10:44 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
PBF Administrator & PB Podcast Host
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Which Personal Flotation Device do you prefer? Please share the extra features that you like (beyond that it floats).

Thanks for your participation.

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Old 08-13-2011, 06:20 AM
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beekeeper beekeeper is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
Backpack: Golite Galaxy
Sleeping Gear: Hammock peapod
Shelter: Tarp
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fairview, TX
Posts: 106
I use a PFD made by MTI adventure wear. It just has a zip front with one strap and fastex buckle at the bottom. No pockets, no loops and no d rings. There are a couple of 1 inch wide straps on each side to make adjustments to the fit. The floatation material is in the front and the back. There is no bulkiness on the sides, and the arm openings are large enough not to chafe. There is no crotch strap. I mention a crotch strap because I pulled a body out of a strainer once, where the kayaker's PFD got turned inside out over his head and trapped his arms and blinded him to his surroundings. A crotch strap would have saved him. Possibly having a snugger fitting PFD would have saved him also.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:32 AM
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DavisMeschke DavisMeschke is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
I do mostly class 3 and 4 whitewater and I use an old Lotus Designs PFD passed down to me from my dad. I don't think Lotus Designs even makes PFD's anymore now that it's owned by Patagonia and I'm pretty sure Patagonia plans to dissolve the company altogether.

The guy who started Lotus Designs is also the same guy who currently runs Astral Designs so if you liked the durability of Lotus PFDs then you will like Astral.

The thing I like about my Lotus PFD is the simplicity. Mine has 1 pocket for miscellaneous items but other than that its extremely simple. Low-profile and does the job it's supposed to do. MTI Adventurewear is also a good company that makes a quality product.
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