by  NRS

NRS Ninja PFD Description

Designed for athletic performance, the NRS Ninja PFD is the ultimate low-profile jacket for paddlers of all persuasions. We've concentrated all the flotation into a smaller surface area for unbeatable range of motion, so the Ninja stays out of your way and off your mind.

NRS Ninja PFD Specs and Features

  • Material Description: 400-denier ripstop nylon

Additional Attributes

  • Soft PVC-free foam panels are shaped for comfort and the floating front panel follows your movements and doubles as a handwarmer on chilly days
  • AirMesh fabric on shoulder straps and inner panels provide ventilation throughout the jacket
  • Side-entry with six adjustment points for a customizable fit
  • Redesigned front clamshell pocket features internal organization for essentials and the dual-entry zippers create a frosty-beverage-compatible pocket
  • Features a lash tab and strap garages
  • The Ninja is a great option for adults with short torsos or petite kiddos who have grown out of youth jackets' weight range
  • The Ninja is a Type III, low-profile life jacket designed with 16.5 pounds of flotation and carries the US Coast Guard Certification, through testing by Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Where to Buy the NRS Ninja PFD

NRS Ninja PFD Reviews

Read reviews for the NRS Ninja PFD by NRS as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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It feels substantial enough…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/21/2022

It feels substantial enough without getting in the way of paddling and such. I also like auto-inflate PFDs, but feel more secure in the Ninja.


After living with the Ninja…

Submitted by: Scriv on 7/26/2022

After living with the Ninja for a couple years it has proven to be reliable, and relatively comfortable except for one nagging habit. It likes to ride up unless you adjust it so loose that it literally hangs on you. If you are as flat as the foam used to make it you likely find it to be ok.


Nice PFD for paddling, with…

Submitted by: Nighthawk59 on 12/14/2021

Nice PFD for paddling, with plenty of room and freedom of arm movement. One issue I found has to do with the thickness of the foam on the back. It is thicker than I expected and pushes my body forward in the kayak seat. Unfortunately, my seat is fixed and I cannot rectify the issue with a seat adjustment. Other than that it is a great PFD.


I have traditionally had a…

Submitted by: NCMultisports on 7/14/2020
I have traditionally had a conventional PDF with the zipper on the front. The Ninja has a side entry with a dual clip in system. After a couple of uses I have found that I really like the side entry. The Ninja is true to size and is very well constructed. I have used this mainly for kayaking but plan to try it for paddle boarding.The design makes it very comfortable and compliments the seat that I have in my kayak. Would highly recommend this PDF to both new and seasoned water sports participants.

The NRS Ninja PFD met many of…

Submitted by: paddler813460 on 7/3/2020
The NRS Ninja PFD met many of the qualities I was looking for in a PFD. Once the jacket was adjusted for me it was easy to loosen the shoulder adjustment and released the waist and chest buckle for easy on/off. The shoulder straps are well padded and have plenty of adjustment. If you’re shorter in stature the shoulder strap tail will need to be tucked between you and the jacket or into the hand pockets to avoid it flying around. The back of the front padding is absolutely flat making it a challenge for those of us who aren’t! There is one zipper pocket on the front that is convenient, easy to reach and secure. The zipper as it passes where the key holder is seems to catch but with a little care isn’t a problem. On either side there are deep hand warmer pockets between the separate layers of flotation. These provide additional places to put things but are not secured by any type of closure. The waistband is nicely padded, adjustable and very comfortable. Again the overall design of the jacket allows great freedom of movement. Overall it’s a great jacket with a lot of adjustment, quality materials and comfortable. It easily would have rated a 5/5 if it was a little more accommodating for a woman’s shape and perhaps a vislon zipper instead of the YKK on the curved front pocket. As with all PFDs if you don’t wear it it won’t help you when you need it.

I wanted a minimally…

Submitted by: Scriv on 6/16/2020
I wanted a minimally intrusive PFD that still had confidence inspiring flotation. The Ninja delivered. You hardly know that you have it on regardless of how hard you are paddling. Try one.

I love it. I wanted something…

Submitted by: Gheazey on 5/24/2020
I love it. I wanted something that didn't limit my range of motion, but had to be honest with myself about the amount of maintenance effort I'd put into a self-inflating PFD ('d be close to zero). This gives me a lot of freedom and a nice little pocket for phone, wallet, and keys. Keep it simple, baby. This is a great PFD.

I have had this PFD for 3…

Submitted by: paddler490563 on 7/29/2019

I have had this PFD for 3 1/2 years now. I upgraded from a neprene body glove Life jacket. The Ninja is open around the shoulders, so it doesn't hinder paddling. It also sits much higher on your body so it doesn't interfere with your sprayskirt. I have been very happy with my Ninja PFD. So far very little signs of wear.


I have had his PFD a little…

Submitted by: paddler534582 on 7/29/2019

I have had his PFD a little over a year and I absolutely love it! It’s comfortable, doesn’t feel bulky and keeps me afloat while allowing me to freely move my arms unobstructed. I love mine so much sometimes i even wear it just to float in the pool!


Recently, I had an…

Submitted by: ClanRiffster on 7/22/2019

Recently, I had an experience kayaking, which could have easily been fatal, because I was not wearing my PFD. When I told my wife about it, I admitted that I never wore my PFD, because it was so uncomfortable.

She made me go to REI, where the wonderful staff worked at fitting me to the right vest. Being a large guy, this was no simple task. As soon as I donned the NRS Ninja, I knew I was in love! The design allows for a great range of motion, with no chafing, even after 18 miles of paddling.

Do yourself a favor. Spend the money on a good vest. You'll never regret it, and it could save your life one day.


I have a variety of PFDs…

Submitted by: T.W_Cook on 10/29/2018

I have a variety of PFDs (too many, my wife would say), but was looking for something minimal to wear on a SUP. I usually paddle pretty hard for an hour to an hour and a half as exercise, and my other ones just don't breathe well enough (I'm in central Texas, it's usually pretty warm). This PFD is amazingly light, ventilates well, and is easy to get on and off. It feels much cooler during a hard paddle than any of my other ones. The only potential downside is the small pocket - if you need to carry a lot of stuff get something like a cvest instead.


The Ninja is a very…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/19/2016
The Ninja is a very comfortable pfd. I notice when we stop and get out of our boats to take a break, everyone in a ninja leaves their vest on, while all the others take their vest off, which says a lot about their comfort. The hand warming pocket is a plus and Is also good place to stash small items.

I just sold mine. It was…

Submitted by: 1Recluse on 4/6/2015
I just sold mine. It was uncomfortable in my Necky kayak due to the seat back which would force the PFD up against my neck in the back. I had to keep pulling it down. I just traded kayaks so the seat is now not a problem but I got an inflatable type which I read is cooler.

The NRS Ninja is a compact…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/25/2014
The NRS Ninja is a compact vest that is comfortable to wear and feels less bulky and more open then other vests I've tried. it fits nicely and is easy to enter and exit as well as adjust once you have it on. I like the hand warmer space that is on the front of the vest and it doubles as spot for holding small gear. My only wish is that it had one more lash tab. Overall I love the vest and highly recommend it.

Awesome PFD for the…

Submitted by: f4toad on 7/13/2014
Awesome PFD for the minimalist kayaker. Sometimes I don't care to wear one but since I bought this one I do all the time. No rubbing or chaffing and not bulky at all. Handy pocket up front and attachment point for knife/light.

I got the Ninja primarily for…

Submitted by: paddler235314 on 8/28/2013
I got the Ninja primarily for whitewater kayaking. It is minimalist in design, not a lot of bells and whistles, but gets the job done. I like that it never gets in the way, has multiple adjuster points, and could be worn all day long. Only downfall, the buckles on the right side only adjust so much. I am on the skinny side and have the smallest vest, so my adjustments aren't even as I've tightened the buckles down to where they hit the adjusters; that then hits my hip bone when sitting sometimes. So unless you are super skinny, you'll love this vest. Easy to put on, adjust, clean, and has a small front pocket. No zippers to worry about getting broken. I recommend as it is also very affordable.

My first PFD was a "womens…

Submitted by: Heidrun on 7/26/2013
My first PFD was a "womens PFD" what a joke, it had a zipper in the front and you had to adjust the side straps EVERYTIME, it took forever. Than I saw an ad about the Ninja, tried it, bought it - you adjust the straps ONCE, 2 clicks to get in - 2clicks to get out, that is all, and yes it works great - I had to use it in anger (as the british say) once, I didn't even notice I was wearing it when I swam.

Context: I paddle a canoe 99% of the time, intermediate skill level, mostly…

Submitted by: MCImes on 5/3/2013
I paddle a canoe 99% of the time, intermediate skill level, mostly flat water cruising and racing. I was looking for a PFD that was extremely comfortable and functional (stays out of the way). In the past I haven't worn my PFD much because it encumbered my paddling stroke, was uncomfortable, or was too hot. Over the winter I bought a new boat and wanted to be safe in cold water, so I needed a PFD I could wear for long periods of time. The Ninja was my answer.

I'm very glad I went with the Ninja. This is the most comfortable PFD I've ever worn. The radical triangular shape is perfect for a canoe stroke. My top arm never rubs on the vest due to the triangular shape, and it sits lower on your chest than most other PFDs, which provides more clearance. The vest does not interfere with my stroke at all! In the past I normally just have a PFD in the boat to comply with DNR rules, but the Ninja is so comfortable I will actually wear this regularly. The build quality seems to be good (only had it 2 months as of now), the fit is superb, functionally it is the best canoeing PFD Ive ever tried on.

I was debating between the Ninja and the Stohlquist Rocker. I tried them on, and both are very comfortable. The Ninja seems to be better suited for canoes/open boats while the Rocker seems more geared towards Kayaks/skirted boats. The Ninja sits relatively close to your hips so it would most likely interfere with a seat back in a Kayak. The Ninja is more designed for canoes or boats that the seat does not come up your back more than a few inches.

Ninja is THE pfd to have for canoeing/open boats. I'm going to buy one for my better half. Overall I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a comfortable PFD. This is a must for any racer

The only (tiny) drawback is that there is very minimal storage (1 small front pocket; only enough space for a whistle, mirror, and car keys or a Cliff bar) but I don't carry much stuff in my vest so this wasn't an issue for me. It may be for some fisherman or kayakers. If you have a kayak, possibly look more towards the Rocker due to the fact that it sits higher up on your chest and will clear the seat/skirt.