PFDS that fit


When you go to buy a life jacket, you'll hear a lot about pounds of flotation and Coast Guard safety ratings. But here's what you really need to know: If it doesn't fit, it won't work. That's reason enough to love the latest generation of comfortable, form-fitting PFDs. The pre-curved 'wrapture' foam panels in top-of-the-line Stohlquist vests like the new Edge now come in graded sizing. "We alter the thickness, buoyancy, and overall scale of each individual size, so that we get the same footprint and mobility for people of different body sizes," explains Stohlquist Senior Designer Ryan Lightbody. MTI led the way with the female-specific PFDiva whitewater vest, and this year offers the entry-level Moxie with Adjust-a-Bust female-friendly front and a high-cut back ideal for use in rec boats with seat backs. On the sea-paddling front, Kokatat has taken versatility to a new level with its new Poseidon ocean vest. Inspired by military tactical load-carrying systems, the Poseidon can be configured with a variety of modular pockets, hydration packs and clips. Finally the two-panel pioneers at Astral streamline the stalwart Greenjacket for the sea with the new Seawolf, while updating the original torso-grabbing whitewater version of the jacket with what C&K charger-contributor Darin McQuoid calls "the first good, functional pocket on a PFD … ever." — JM

EDGE Video Review

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