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MassYak85

Alright kayak guys, time for an upgrade - Life Jackets

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Alright, confession time. I rarely wear my life jacket in my kayak unless I feel hypothermia is an imminent threat should I tip. I want to change that this year. Currently I just have a cheap water skiing life jacket, it's not exactly the most comfortable thing, which I know isn't an excuse, but is one of the main reasons I opt to leave it behind my seat when out on the water for long days. I'm looking for something that is comfortable first and foremost. I don't need or even necessarily want any pockets or mesh or anything like that (the less things I can get hooks tangled in the better). What are some of you guys wearing currently that you would highly recommend? I'd like to keep it around 50 bucks but I am open to upping that if you can convince me. 

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I wear a NRS Chinook and it is comfortable with a high back made for kayak fishing.  It is about 99 dollars.  I use to wear the bass pro fishing model and it worked well for me. It was around 49 dollars. 

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I wear a Eyson Slim Inflatable PFD.  It was $64, but very comfortable and cool on these hot humid southern summer days. Being unobtrusive I really forget it is there.

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Good for you - solid plan.

I can't recommend a life jacket for kayak use as I don't fish out of one. 

However, there's plenty of very experience BR Members who do, so I'm sure you'll get a few viable options.

btw - interesting that you value your life at "around 50 bucks". 

So essentially your worth the same as 2 bags of beef jerky & a tank of gas ?

:annoyed1:

A-Jay

 

 

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15 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Good for you - solid plan.

I can't recommend a life jacket for kayak use as I don't fish out of one. 

However, there's plenty of very experience BR Members who do, so I'm sure you'll get a few viable options.

btw - interesting that you value your life at "around 50 bucks". 

So essentially your worth the same as 2 bags of beef jerky & a tank of gas ?

:annoyed1:

A-Jay

 

 

Haha I was actually thinking something similar when I posted. Like I said I'm flexible on price for that reason. 

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Kudos to you, mate!

 

There are some excellent brands in the $99 range, 

NRS Chinook (mentioned above), I wear the BPS

branded Ascend life vest. Previous version to the 

one I'm linking to here:

 

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/ascend-paddling-fishing-life-jacket-1508311300-1

 

They look virtually identical, but I think mine has a 

larger back. Anyhow, basically a knock off of the 

Stohlquist Fisherman PFD (on sale at Austin Kayakfor $89.99)

 

You don't have to spend a mint to get a good vest

that will save your life. I think you'd be happy with

any suggested thus far.

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I also wear the NRS Chinook. Comfortable and I have pliers, knife, line cutters, scent, camera and whistle all right there where I need them.

 

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I have a Cabelas inflatable PFD. It was about half the price of my kayak but worth every penny. It’s light, doesn’t interfere with paddling or casting and its an open back style. That helps you sit properly in your kayak.

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Thanks for the suggestions so far guys. I might take a trip to REI tomorrow to try some of those on. 

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Now a life jacket is a piece of life saving gear and I buy the best.  When I raced motorcycles I bought 800 dollar helmets 2000 dollar leathers and 300 dollar boots.  All a waste of money until you lay the bike down over a hundred miles an hour get up and walk away, with no skin missing.  I fish 3-5 days a week and am a stong swimmer.  I put on my Mustang inflatable with hit every time.  My biggest worry is being hit by someone else.  If you don't believe there is a thread on here about a boat hitting another boat you should watch a few times....

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So I went to REI to try some on this morning. I narrowed down their selection to two.

 

Astral V-Eight: This was the most comfortable one I tried on, and it fit the best. I liked the high back cushion and it had a lot of ventilation in front which is something that would be nice for fishing in the summer a lot. My biggest gripe with it was there wasn't many options for managing loose strapping. It also had mesh pocket in front, which I am trying to avoid (less things to get hooks caught on the better). It was also a bit pricey.

 

Stohlquist EBB: This fit very well too, although I'd still give the nod to the V-eight for that. It was a bit cheaper and was very minimalistic as far as the pockets go (a good thing in my mind). It didn't have the venting of the V-eight in front. It seemed like I was better able to manage the loose straps with this one too. 

 

If anyone has tried either of these and can speak to the longevity, as well as how comfortable they are in the heat that would be much appreciated! I think right now I am leaning towards the Stohlquist. 

 

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I use a Stohlquist Fisherman Kayak vest.  High backed, has pockets, lightweight.  You can find them on sale for around $80 online.

 

http://www.stohlquist.com/life-jackets/fishing-pfds/fisherman.html

 

BPS sells a similar one (Ascent brand) that is a little cheaper and looks like it would work fine too.

 

I wouldn't wear one of my inflatables I have for my big boat on my kayak because all it would take is hitting one unseen log in the stream and have it flip me to set the thing off, then I have no PFD for the rest of the trip.  I usually don't carry a recharge kit with me in the kayak but I suppose I would if I wore it in the kayak.

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30 minutes ago, moguy1973 said:

I use a Stohlquist Fisherman Kayak vest.  High backed, has pockets, lightweight.  You can find them on sale for around $80 online.

 

http://www.stohlquist.com/life-jackets/fishing-pfds/fisherman.html

 

BPS sells a similar one (Ascent brand) that is a little cheaper and looks like it would work fine too.

 

I wouldn't wear one of my inflatables I have for my big boat on my kayak because all it would take is hitting one unseen log in the stream and have it flip me to set the thing off, then I have no PFD for the rest of the trip.  I usually don't carry a recharge kit with me in the kayak but I suppose I would if I wore it in the kayak.

I had not considered a low kayak skill as a reason to not weAR an inflatiron vest.  That should be taken into account.  I have never rolled my nucanoe in the 10 years I have owned it.  I stand a lot and never fallen out.  It would be rather expensive to run an inflatable if going in the water is a regular thing.  Great counter point and we'll worth considering.

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Just to clarify, I am not looking for a vest designed for fishing. I want it to be as low profile as possible (no bulky pockets in front). I also do not want an inflatable. 

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I have Stohlquist EBB, I like it, fit pretty good and comfortable enough for me to wear 3-4 hours a time. Austinkayak got that on sale for 69.99 and you can get 15% off when signup.

Now I only fish in the morning on kayak and I don't stay long in water. If you don't have any threat of jet ski, speed boat or high river flow that can flip your yak and comfortable is main concerned , you should check auto inflatable type. Cabelas always have their on sale for less than 100.

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15 hours ago, Angry John said:

ght 800 dollar helmets 2000 dollar leathers and 300 dollar boots

Arai, Vanson (I’m lucky, Vanson is 45 minutes from me), and Alpinestar ... at least for me, for street and occasional track day.

 

Anyhoo, back to PFD’s. I fish out of an Ascend 128T & Feelfree Lure 11.5 and wear an Ascend fishing PFD and like the full back and large pockets.  

 

As a parent and Firefighter/EMT, you should always wear one so try them all on and pick one that’s comfortable.

 

Recoveries are NO fun.  Ultimately it’s your choice.

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Again I'd like to avoid inflatable. I sometimes just go out paddling with friends and mess around and we get wet so I'd rather "getting wet" not mean $20. Most of my use will be during the summer. MA doesn't have brutal summers like down south but 90's and humid aren't uncommon so it's got to be able to breath well. I also stay out on the water for a while usually. I've had some twelve and fourteen hour days so comfort is something I don't mind paying for. 

 

 

*Edit. I decided to go with the Stolquist EBB. The price was right from Austin Canoe and Kayak. Thanks for the input everyone!

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Thank you all for sharing your experience with new comfortable lifejackets. Try one on and wear it is a great policy especially in cooler water.

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12 minutes ago, Roxanne said:

Thank you all for sharing your experience with new comfortable lifejackets. Try one on and wear it is a great policy especially in cooler water.

Welcome aboard, Roxanne!

 

I would say great policy in any water no matter the temp :) 

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I'll third the Stohlquist Fisherman.   It does have pockets...and may be a little bulkier than you envision.  But, it is comfortable - I rarely remember that I have it on -- and it is extremely well made.  It is the only PFD I've ever owned, and except for being a little dirty, it performs like new -- the zippers, straps, etc are still perfect going into my fourth year of heavy use.

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Good to hear!

 

ACK canceled my order because they ran out of the color I wanted, so I ran back to REI tonight to get the one I had tried on (ACK was cheaper which is why I ordered from them first). 

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I'll admit that I didn't always wear one either. I invested the money is a PFD comfortable enough to wear all the time. Totally worth it if you read all the articles about kayakers drowning every year. Accidents NEVER happen when it's convenient! 

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I use to wear an Onyx vest. I switched to an Astral a couple of years ago and am very happy with it. It doesn't work its way up to my shoulders as I paddle like the Onyx did. he Astral has more/better adjustments to get the right fit.

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On 2/5/2018 at 6:22 PM, MassYak85 said:

Good to hear!

 

ACK canceled my order because they ran out of the color I wanted, so I ran back to REI tonight to get the one I had tried on (ACK was cheaper which is why I ordered from them first). 

What a bummer, which color you ordered anyway? I like very bright color when I'm on kayak so other boater can see me from far away. I plan to add orange flag this year too.IMG_0191.thumb.JPG.a7603aa525e13d9587b5f974cbe3fa0b.JPG

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