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Old 01-24-2016, 08:46 AM   #1
thinkxingu
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Default Kayak PFD Suggestions/Inflatables?

Holla! Bought my wife a Craigslist kayak and, though we have vest PFDs, I think she'd like something lighter and less obtrusive. Any feedback on the inflatable options? It appears they'd be unnoticeable and with the auto/manual feature, reliable.

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Old 01-24-2016, 09:19 AM   #2
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I like the idea. We have talked about getting a pair of kayaks, and I feel a little confined with vest type jackets.

We have talked about getting inflatables to wear on our 25 ft Mariah, and I would think we would get good double duty out of them. Wear they when we kayak, whether we rent or own, and wear them on the boat. Seems to be a win-win.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:28 AM   #3
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A couple of thoughts: first, ( it's hard to type with the dogs nose between your hand and touch pad).

Let's try again, the PFD's designed for kayak use have a higher cut on them so most of the bulky flotation is above the coaming. Yes they are bulky and cumbersome, that's why most people just have it tucked under the bungees.

I always wear mine early and late season when the water is cold, or when going out far. Normally, we just hug the shore line.

Last August my wife did buy 2 inflatable vest. I thought they would be good for the colder water or for someone not as comfortable in water such as my wife. Honestly, I never got them put together last fall. I was waffling over "automatic" or "Manual". In-decision is not a good thing when it comes to boats, so the plan is to buy more cartridges and set to automatic.

One important thing to check is can you get out of the kayak with it inflated. This is not an issue on a sit-on-top, but may be on a tight fitting Sea kayak. The inflatable PFD's hang way below your chest.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:37 AM   #4
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We have manual only inflatables as we use them both in the power boat and for kayaking. While kayaking a splash from a wave might trigger an auto inflatable.

Belt inflatables are another option for kayaking and SUPs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB1K2wJC8Vc
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:21 PM   #5
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Instead of using a pfd in a kayak, I usually use a swimmer's belt, which costs about $25 new, from Parafunalia in Gilford. Those bright yellow, foam belts with the one single strap. They are much less bulky than a pfd, and don't get in the way for paddling, plus they can be moved from one's waist to one's armpits, plus for swimming they center your buoyancy .....something that a pfd does not do.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:45 AM   #6
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OK, we confirmed that my wife's vest is to bulky, both for comfort and it is a tad tight in the cockpit.

Anyone use a belt inflatable? Seems like short of being unconscious it would be good.

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Old 05-22-2016, 08:24 AM   #7
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We have inflatables, both vest and belt type and love them. So light you forget you are even wearing them.
My belt has a 33g co2 cartridge for a little extra flotation. I believe the vests only have 23g
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:31 AM   #8
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First choice:
A Type 3 PFD designed specifically for kayaking.

Second choice:
An Inflatable vest if you are not kayaking on rivers or streams where there are rapids and rocks. Manual is OK if there is no chance of entering the water unconscious. The newer automatics will not inflate unless they are submerged. If there is a chance that you might capsize, I would not recommend the automatic.

Third choice:
Belt type inflatable. Same concerns as the Inflatable vest with the additional concerns. It must be worn so the pouch is in front of you and after inflating, you still have to pull the inflated part over your head. In cold water that may be hard to impossible.

Swim belts/Ski belts are not Coast Guard approved lifejackets!

Wear your lifejacket at all times.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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IMHO there is always a chance that your kayak may capsize. Much less chance for a very experienced kayak-er. However most out there on the lake are not in the very experienced category.

Without a lot of experience, a capsize can be a bit unsettling. If a touring style kayak with a smaller cockpit, the wet-exit maneuver is a hands behind hips and push out. Easy enough after a few practice runs in shallow water with a buddy standing next to you. The thing is out in deep water a capsize may be totally unexpected. I would not want my inflatable PFD to auto inflate while I am in the process of executing a wet-exit from the boat.

So I'll stick with manual inflatable PFDs. Also not keen on the belt type for kayaking. A capsize probably means unexpected rough water and maybe cold at that. The extra steps to get the belt type in place on your body may cost you a lot.

And wear the damn PFD. If it is attached to the boat somewhere and a sudden wind dumps you in the lake, that PFD attached to the boat will be last seen blowing away from you. The answer my friend is..................
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
The extra steps to get the belt type in place on your body may cost you a lot.
I never ever take the belt-pfd off. It is my cold water, security belt! it's worn like a belt in case I flip the kayak, or small sailboat. Staying afloat for 15-minutes in cool 55-65-degree water without a pfd can be challenging.

It is named a 'swimmer's belt' and is designed for swimming.

As a belt, it is much smaller than a vest, and doesn't get in the way of paddling so much.

Price: 24.95 at Parafunalia in Gilford.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:24 PM   #11
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FFL, we are talking about an inflatable belt type approved PFD. Not the non-approved substitute for a real PFD that you have been peddling.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:45 PM   #12
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Default ....... a cpfd?

Oh ok ......o-well?


Something new and exciting at Wal-Mart this year. For about 5-dollars, Wal-Mart has a Mega Monster Noodle in red, green, or blue which is a 6"d x 48" foam noodle which has a whole lot of flotation.

It has so much flotation that you could use it as a group flotation device for five people all at the same time ...... a cpfd ..... a community flotation device!

Just picture a blackhawk helicopter finding five people all together, clutching a Mega Monster Noodle, 36-hours after their 19' fishing boat got flipped by the waves or something!
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:07 AM   #13
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Default Kayak PFD

I asked a friend of mine (a former Illinois state kayaking champion and current kayaking coach) for a recommendation. He suggested the following.

NRS Vista

Kokatat Outfit for men 7 way adjustable for a good fit

Kokatat Msfit for women 7 way adjustable for a good fit

Kokatat Aries

I have found Inflatables to be very comfortable and most provide very good flotation. Inflatables should be checked and maintained periodically to insure proper function. The manual toggles for these can sometimes be triggered when entering and leaving a kayak. No matter what kind of PFD you choose it must be properly adjusted to work well. They say in auto racing "If you have a $5.00 head get a $5.00 helmet". The cold waters of the lake require a good PFD that will keep your face out of the water even if hypothermic NOT a swim aid like a floatation belt.
Most kayaking PFDs will work well. Comfort and fit can only be assured by trying them on and simulating paddling motions. This is especially important for women. One of the best ways to do this is to take kayaking lessons at a place that might have several types of PFDs to try. Just as the true comfort of shoes cannot be known until you have walked a while in them PFDs should be paddled in. Please learn how to self rescue and how to stabilize another's kayak with your paddle so they can reenter their own kayak from deep water. A spray skirt and flotation bags for the kayak will greatly enhance your comfort and safety. A paddle leash will keep you from being blown away from your paddle should you drop it.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:13 AM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. We decided on the following: use the sport PFDs we have now for cooler weather/water as they're not too restrictive but definitely warmer. For warm weather, we picked up a manual inflatable that is much cooler and more flexible. It's also much more flexible in sizing, so it'll work for both my wife and me (on the very rare occasion I choose manual propulsion over motorized!).

Cheers!

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Old 08-03-2016, 04:23 PM   #15
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Default To PFD or not PFD

I'm sure everyone heard about the couple that drowned at Clough State Park this past weekend while paddle boarding. A couple went by earlier on their SUPs and didn't have have a PFD with them. Are they crazy? Its one thing to not wear it but another to not even have it with you. I wear mine every time I go out kayaking. Its a pain but its not worth the consequences.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:54 AM   #16
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I bought a spare box of CO2 cartridges so we could teach the grandkids how to use and repack the inflatables. You should definitely test them in the water so you can see how they react. Some suspender types have a single tube at waist level, my belt model has a regular strap on,over the head type in flatable.
Repacking is easy.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:19 PM   #17
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There was another kayaking fatality this weekend on the Pemi River. A man exited his kayak to get his dog that had jumped out. He wasnt wearing his pfd.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:57 PM   #18
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I wanted to follow up on my previous post after reading a new article about the drowning. The people and their dogs were in a small boat, not a kayak as was previously reported and that I repeated in my posting. The man jumped in after one of his dogs. He wasn't wearing a life jacket and in all honesty I don't wear mine when boating. But I'm not a good swimmer and I would not have jumped in without it.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAMIAM View Post
I bought a spare box of CO2 cartridges so we could teach the grandkids how to use and repack the inflatables. You should definitely test them in the water so you can see how they react. Some suspender types have a single tube at waist level, my belt model has a regular strap on,over the head type in flatable.
Repacking is easy.

What a good idea. ---------- testing them before the day you need it.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:03 PM   #20
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We have several kayaks/SUP. We also have a variety of standard PFD's, ski vests, belt inflatables and one vest type auto-inflatable (mine). Although we all (adults) wear an inflatable in the boats, there was never any consideration that belt type or auto inflatable was suitable for Kayak/SUP. Everybody wears a regular padded ski vest for kayak/SUP. No complaints about discomfort. (Kids wear the padded type all the time, boats and Kayaks.)
As kids, we were always taught "Never swim alone". Probably a good plan for Kayak/SUP too.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
We have several kayaks/SUP. We also have a variety of standard PFD's, ski vests, belt inflatables and one vest type auto-inflatable (mine). Although we all (adults) wear an inflatable in the boats, there was never any consideration that belt type or auto inflatable was suitable for Kayak/SUP. Everybody wears a regular padded ski vest for kayak/SUP. No complaints about discomfort. (Kids wear the padded type all the time, boats and Kayaks.)
As kids, we were always taught "Never swim alone". Probably a good plan for Kayak/SUP too.
Not to make light of this in any way shape or form, But what was the other one you were always taught.


Monday’s medical myth: wait 30 minutes after eating before you swim. (Who else grew up with this one. The longest 1/2 hour in the world.)
http://theconversation.com/mondays-m...you-swim-10653
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick35 View Post
I wanted to follow up on my previous post after reading a new article about the drowning. The people and their dogs were in a small boat, not a kayak as was previously reported and that I repeated in my posting. The man jumped in after one of his dogs. He wasn't wearing a life jacket and in all honesty I don't wear mine when boating. But I'm not a good swimmer and I would not have jumped in without it.
The guy drowned after he chose to leave his boat without a PFD.
You would not choose to leave your boat without one.
So...what happens if you leave your boat accidentally?

Hopefully you at least wear a connected kill switch.

You could experience the deadly double header, drowned & chopped up.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:40 PM   #23
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We're moving off point. My point was, it is always better to have someone standing by, as opposed to being solo, whether kayak or swimming.
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