PFD recommendation

#1
I'm in the market for a new PFD and don't know where to start outside of a google search. I will be using it on a mix of rivers and lakes and would prefer for it to be low profile. And, if it matters, I will be fishing out of an Outcast Commander. Thanks in advance for the input.
 
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#4
+1 I wear one whenever I'm out and I bought the self-inflating type. Truth be told, you never know when you might bonk your head and wouldn't be able to pull the handle to inflate the PFD.
 

Jeremy Floyd

fly fishing my way through life
#5
+1 I wear one whenever I'm out and I bought the self-inflating type. Truth be told, you never know when you might bonk your head and wouldn't be able to pull the handle to inflate the PFD.
i had the self inflating, but i was spending hundreds per year from water getting splashed, or deep wading, activating the auto inflate... Now i carry kapok style, in my boat for rough weather, but when its nice i just wear the inflatable.
 

steve s

Active Member
#8
I did a bit of research before purchasing a new PFD. I didn't want bulk but I also knew that safety was my #1 priority. I mainly wanted one for floating rivers but will plan to spend more time on lakes this year too. I debated going with an inflatable but decided against it. I looked at the NRS Chinook (which happens to be on sale through NRS right now) but ultimately went with the Astral Norge. It is a no nonsense vest with a place to click in a knife. I've only used it twice since purchase but it is comfortable and not too restricting. I'm happy with my purchase.
 

Shad

Active Member
#9
Inflatables are a comfort thing. Nobody likes wearing a traditional style PFD for longer than about 5 minutes. They're bulky, tight, and HOT. That said, you pay a hefty price for the comfort of an inflatable. Even if you don't accidentally trigger them (to Jeremy's point), you have to replace the auto-inflate mechanism every couple of years to keep them functional. Not cheap. Essentially like buying a new one.

I had my eye on one of those NRS models. Looks like a good compromise, plus provides storage for fishing tackle. I bet they get hot in the summer, but not like the old school, full torso models.

But yeah. Good idea to wear a PFD, and inflatables are the way to go if you don't mind spending the extra coin.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#12
I have & have used the Mustang inflatable, Chinook & Stohlquist low profile fisherman's vests. Of the 3, I prefer the fit of the Stohlquist (I like pockets & admit that the Chinook pockets are superior, however. Life's a trade-off at times.). BUT - I ALWAYS wear a PFD when on the water, including when using a float tube!
 

Skip Enge

Active Member
#13
I have & have used the Mustang inflatable, Chinook & Stohlquist low profile fisherman's vests. Of the 3, I prefer the fit of the Stohlquist (I like pockets & admit that the Chinook pockets are superior, however. Life's a trade-off at times.). BUT - I ALWAYS wear a PFD when on the water, including when using a float tube!
I know nothing about PFD's...I looked a bit at Stohlquist's... my concern is buying something that makes me feel like Kenny on South Park...aka Macy's Day Parade baloon...
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#14
I know nothing about PFD's...I looked a bit at Stohlquist's... my concern is buying something that makes me feel like Kenny on South Park...aka Macy's Day Parade baloon...
I don't find low profile PFD's uncomfortable or "Kenny-esque" at all. What I like about the Stohl over the NRS Chinook is that the Stohl doesn't tend to "ride-up." It just fits me better. On the other hand, I'm sure that I'd find drowning extremely uncomfortable & downright terrifying (at least for a short time anyway.).
 
#15
Have been using Mustang inflatable colours at work and play for almost 20 years. Also looking at the Stearns model C1248 although it's a manual inflate system, not automatic. .