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PFDs for canoeing or packrafting
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Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
PFDs for canoeing or packrafting on 06/08/2009 16:41:34 MDT Print View

I'm taking a 5 day trip near the BWCA this summer and was curious as to what personal flotation devices you all were using. We'll be using canoes (but packrafting the area would be equally fun) and thus rowing a lot. I've heard of canoe friendly PFDs which minimize chaffing from the repetitive motion of rowing. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
PFD suggestions on 06/14/2009 22:09:31 MDT Print View

MTI, NRS and Kokatat all make good pfd's. MTI should be easy to find at most sporting good stores. Make sure the arm holes are large enough that you do not chaff. The better vests will allow you to adjust the fit at your chest, shoulders and waist. You will want to try them on then have someone grab them by the straps and attempt to pull it off. If it gives too much it is not a good fit. In water you will find that the pfd will want to ride up on you.

A vest pocket is nice for those items such as bug dope, sunscreen, chapstick, etc.

If you are renting a canoe from an outfitter they do provide ok pfd's. You might look into getting yourself a good paddle that fits. It will make a world of a difference by day's end. Lastly, if the pfd is not comfortable you will eventually find yourself not wearing it.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
PFD on 06/15/2009 16:05:48 MDT Print View

I'm a big fan of Stohlquist. I have the WedgeE and love it. Salus Marine makes some nice pfd's too. Even though my paddling style is that of a canoeist - I prefer a kayaking style pfd because I find they allow greater range of movement than more traditional styles.

Tobias, my 8 year old, uses one by MTI and I am pretty impressed with the durability and construction of it.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 06/15/2009 16:06:32 MDT.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: PFDs for canoeing or packrafting on 06/15/2009 20:44:48 MDT Print View

For flatwater or low class whitewater, the Stormy Seas SV100 inflatable vest is popular among packrafters for its low weight and minimal stowed size, and low-bulk (non-inflating?) back area which is more compatible with the Alpacka's high-ish backrest design (an important consideration somewhat unique to these rafts).

. Callahan

Locale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
Stormy Seas EXP100 Expedition on 07/17/2009 16:48:54 MDT Print View

I opted for a couple of Stormy Seas 'EXP100 Expedition' inflatable vests as I wanted to have a good spray skirt seal, and multi-pocket vests which pack small and light.

The Llama or Dory/Explorer, Alpacka paddle and EXP100's make for a very compact and light set up.