PFD recommendation

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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Steve Saville

Active Member
+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

Veðrfölnir
+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
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
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.
 

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Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
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

Uck Uck Uck, bitches
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
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.).
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
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. .
 

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