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Most Recent Reviews
I have yet to find a perfect PFD. All have something wrong. The Vapor is the best so far from the first paddle. I love the neoprene lining, it moves with my body and creates very little friction between the PFD and my body. The outer covering slid gently against my kayak seat, this left me with very little heat rash under the PFD. The side straps didn't shift and sit low on my chest so there was no underarm rubbing or chaffing. The foam is not too thick so it doesn't get in the way when paddling. It is sufficiently comfortable that I was not only willing to wear it the whole time I was out, but I was not in a hurry to get it off as soon as we got back to the ramp.
Now the shortcomings.
I have a fairly short torso so I cannot tighten the waist straps effectively. The chest strap, at least on me, is sufficient to keep it in place so that is not a deal breaker. The neck area is a little high, I have to keep my chin up and look where I am going. That said, it does lie flat against my chest and it does not rub anywhere as long as I keep my chin up a little. If NRS were to lower the front top about 1 1/2 inches and shorten the entire torso about 2 inches this would quite possibly be a 10.
I will review again after some more use.
My initial review [06-30-2014] of this pfd was better. Sadly, our relationship did not improve with age. The nylon lining slides and creates quite a bit of friction on me. The side straps chaff to the point that I would only put it on in dire emergency and would pick places to paddle that I felt like I could get by without wearing it. Furthermore, being female, it would ride up just enough to pinch my breasts unbearably. I am going to pass this one over yo my brother and see what he thinks about it.
I first reviewed my Tarpon 120 the day I bought it [06-23-2012]. Since then we have logged many hours on the waterways of Tidewater VA as well as in NC and I even took it to Key West this summer. I docked it a point because the front hatch has warped some and leaks a fair amount of water in the boat and because it is not the fastest boat. However, we do average right at 2.5 miles an hour. This is taking into account wind, waves, the fact that we always seem to be going against the tide and all. After 2 ankle surgeries and a total knee replacement, I have missed very little paddling time because the boat is so stable and responsive. My Tarpon is still my "go to" boat and I love it.
I bought a Werner Kalliste small shaft paddle about 7 years ago. The smaller shaft helped, I have small hands. It did not help my wrist issues, however. So a year later I gave that paddle to my husband and bought a small diameter, bent shaft Athena. It is worth every penny. My best friend, husband, and I try to paddle 3-4 times a week during the summer and whenever possible the rest of the year. We usually paddle 5-15 miles per trip.
I paddle a WS Tsunami 125 or a WS Tarpon 120 and have never had an issue with either my shoulder or my wrist since I bought the Athena. Not even when we wound up going against the wind current and the tide in a fairly tight river. It may not be the paddle for everyone, but it you have wrist/shoulder issues consider it. Even if your paddle costs twice as much as your boat, you will get more pleasure from your boat because of the good paddle.
I had a V8 that the foam was separating on and needed a new PFD for kayaking. Just about everything makes me break out in hives. My local store had gotten this in and I decided to give it a try after reading other reviews.
It is minimalist, 6 straps. You have to pull it over your head to put it on. It will work for men or women, I am a 56 year old woman. It is light, comfortable, and it did not make me break out. Neither did it ride up so that I had PFD in my chin.
The drawbacks so far! I need to play with the shoulder strap adjustment. The shoulders did rub my neck a little, not badly. After the first use, the front did "pinch" my chest somewhat so I have to figure out how to get it a little lower. That would be the difference between an 8 and a 10.
I have been looking and reading reviews for years. I may need surgery on an ankle and decided to go for it. I picked up my boat today and promptly took it out even though there was a chance of thunderstorms. I also have a Tsunami 125 and the Tarpon 120 IS a little slower. However, the tracking was excellent and I loved the way it handled. Severe storms came up, we had to beach the boats and use it for cover. It provided excellent cover, I would have even felt safe with hail. Once we headed back to the ramp, the chop was pretty big. Again, it handled everything that I asked superbly. I will rate it again when I can be more objective, but I am so impressed by what this boat did for me the first time out.
I have been looking and looking for a comfortable PFD that does not make me break out in hives. I have a BetSea that I like, but the straps rub me raw under my arms. I bought a MisFit and broke out in hives everywhere it touched me. I tried several others and had no luck. They ALL made me break out in hives. Finally I tried the V Eight.
The ventilation is superb under it, NO HIVES. I still get a little heat rash from it, but I do not get hives. It sits really well on me in my Tsunami, I also have used it on a SOT twice. Fit is good and it stays in place in the water too. The fact that I still get a rash keeps if from rating a perfect 10, but it really is close.