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I cannot add much technical detail to what "anave26" said previously [below], but offer my experience with it.
I'm 5'10, 200lb and barrel chested. This jacket in an XL fits me perfectly with everything from a thin rash guard to as dry-suit with 2 insulating layers under it. I always make sure the front is secure around my waist/gut. The waist & rib adjustments are easy to make, but not as easy as the NRS Ninja series, compared to some other jackets I have borrowed that sell in the same price range.
My experience with it is on slow moving rivers, lakes, pools, and once on SF Bay at the gate. I've worn it in temps from 34F to 105F. It stayed flexible and form fitting when cold. The mesh back is wonderful when the temps are high.
I paddle sea kayaks. I started in a Prijon Touryak, which has a high back deck a seat that protrudes slightly above the cockpit rim, so the mesh back/high flotation was a great fit for the boat and did not interfere with me learning aft finishing rolls or reclining for a quick rest.
I've been in the water with this PFD almost every time I've paddled, mostly practicing self rescues. It stays out of the way during aft finishing rolls. I'm still working on consistent forward finishing rolls, but it is also comfortable when I practice those. I've also taken a swim off a power boat in it amidst a small storm of wakes & wind waves on a lake. It did its job and kept my head out of the water with minimal added support from my arms.
My only issues with this PFD are:
-The lack of a structured lash point. I mounted my knife on the rear shoulder via the beacon loop.
-The Velcro pockets. While they have ample storage, I feel they open too easily. The stitching on the hook side of the Velcro started coming out in the 2nd year I had the jacket. That may be because I had not learned any rolls and prefer a cowboy scramble for self rescue; I definitely stressed the front of the vest.
I would buy it again, but I like the zippered pockets on the cVest, which is like the mesh-backed Clearwater, only with tougher nylon and improved storage.
This style of PFD is a good choice if:
-You have a high back deck and/or tall seat - mine was
-You heat up quick and benefit from venting on the sides and your back - I do
-Your PFD budget is under $100 - mine was
-You are a novice or recreational paddler and do not need your jacket storage to be secured with zippers - this was me when I started.
I upgraded to the 2014 edition of this boat from a 2007 Prijon Touryak as I wanted something more lively and maneuverable.
The Boat - The 2014 Atlantic RM
-Three layer PE construction
I paddled an earlier model of this boat with the stiffener bar in it back in 2011 at Half Moon Bay, CA. I decided then that this is the boat I wanted.
Earlier models of the Atlantic RM had single layer PE and a stiffener bar. The later models use three layer rotomolded PE for a stiffer boat and do not have the bar.
There is not much I can say about this boat that has not already been mentioned in previous reviews concerning the specs, the design, construction, and handling. The stability, ease of turning, speed, and responsiveness are all very good for a poly boat at this price.
The aspects of the boat that stand out to me are
I really wear this boat. I was able to quickly adjust the foot pegs and back band for a proper fit. For a person my size, it feels like an extension of me.
The seat/backband setup is very comfortable. It is just soft enough, but not squishy. I find it supports my back well and also flexes enough to not hinder re-entry when I cowboy-scramble back in after a capsize. I have sat in this boat for over 5 hours straight with no discomfort, numbness, or cramping. The seat pan does not cut into the back of my legs, as happens to me in other similar boats I paddled like the P&H Scorpio and Delphin, or Valley Aquanaut. I also wear size 13 NRS Sasquatch boots when I paddle cooler water and my feet fit under the deck with a smidgeon of room to spare.
To me the boat is just nice to look at. I say it is elegant. I am partial to the British style sea kayaks.
As described in previous reviews, this boat turns well on edge. I can easily spin 180 deg on edge with a few sweep strokes on each side; Bow and stern ruddering bring quick results and only get better with higher edging. I can roll this boat easily with a sweep roll on both sides and I come up faster than in my Touryak. I rolled up on both side on my first attempt after not paddling for almost 18 months.
I rented the of these and paddled Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, CA with it. My goal for the day was to paddle windy conditions and start getting comfortable with leans and braces. This boat was a charm to paddle, challenged me to improve, and was worth the time.
The winds on the harbor were between 6 and 12 MPH. The low profile on this boat made weathercocking a non issue for me, even without the skeg down. The seat design is OK. The pan feels great, but the back rest was not as strong or stable as I expected. When I adjusted it to a comfortable position on shore, dropping my rear into the seat while floating was difficult, as the seat kept getting caught under me. The wear & tear on this rental was obvious in the seat buckle adjustment mechanism. The adjusting buckle was rusted and flaky. When I tried to adjust it a 2nd time it slipped out. But even with the back rest in a loose position I had no comfort issues when paddling straight into the winds all the way across the harbor.
Turning this boat on edge was OK, as well. I am still getting comfortable with leans and edging. This boat pushed me out of my confort zone, as my Prijon definitely feels beamier, less playful, and I have not leaned in it as much. Breaking the keel free to turn tight was still a bit of work, but doable for the novice.
Raising and lowering the skeg was simple with the release line. The skeg worked well for me in tracking straight when I paddled across the harbor straight into the wind, although I did not weathercock much as all without the skeg dropped.
Water did come over the deck a lot as I paddled into the wind/waves. This was not an issue in the P&H Delphin 15.5' prototype I paddled later that day.
Aesthetically, I liked the lines of the boat, while the color, hatches and lashings were all unremarkable to me.
Overall, 7 out of 10, using my other experiences in a Touryak, a Delphin, and a Necky Looksha 14.5.
Definitely a recommendable boat.
I rented the of these and paddled Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, CA with it. My goal for the day was to paddle windy conditions and start getting comfortable with leans and braces. This boat was a surprise, was worth the time, and gave me confidence. I think the version I paddled was a prototype, as was the seat. The renter mentioned it and I believe he meant the boat and seat.
The winds on the harbor were between 6 and 12 MPH. This boat weathercocked a lot for me at first, as the area ahead of the cockpit was much higher than the lower profile of the Easky. Once I got the feel fopr the boat and got the skeg deployed she tracked better.
The skeg on this boat uses the UK sliding lock design on the port side of the cockpit. The mechanism was very stubborn to use. Once the skeg was down, tracking in the boat was excellent!.
The seat design is OK. The pan feels OK and the back rest did not adjust easily. I mentioned this was probably a prototype, so enough said on the seat. I had no issues with it.
Turning this boat on edge was brilliant and easy. As a novice I got this boat to turn on a dime in windy & chppy conditions. I am still getting comfortable with leans and edging. This boat pushed me out of my comfort zone, as my Prijon definitely feels beamier, less playful, and I have not leaned in it as much. Breaking the keel free to turn tight was easy work compared to the Easky. I went to a zone of the harbor with 1' breakers and stayed sideways to them, bracing through them for practice. The responsiveness of the boat made the practice session well worth the risk of getting wet.
Water did not come over the desk at all as I paddled into the wind/waves. The bow is well cut for quartering or straight approaches on small waves without shipping any water.
As with the Easky, aesthetically I liked the lines of the boat, while the color, hatches and lashings were all unremarkable to me. The day hatch in front of the cockpit is a welcome and familiar feature for me.
The boat was light and easy to carry on my own, as easily I lifted it out of the water and carried it uphill and back into the rental area. My Prijon is a bit heavier and harder to manage.
Overall, 8 out of 10, using my other experiences in a Touryak, a Easky, and a Necky Looksha 14.5.
I would buy this boat new or used, but definitely customize the seat.
I rented the of these and paddled Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, CA with it. My goal for the day was to paddle calm water and maybe play in the swell outside of the harbor mouth. This boat was a good rental.
I did not like the rudder kit on the boat. I have quickly grown to like the gas pedal approach of my Tourya, so sliding the pegs front & back to steer was clumsy for me. It was too touchy for my novice level and I constantly over-steered. Since the day was calm I kept the rudder up most of the time.
The seat design is OK. The pan feels OK, but not as well formed as the P&H Easky or the Prijon. The back rest stood out as stable, well fiting, and easily adjustable.
The stability of the Looksha is what stood out to me - initial and secondary. Leaning enough to break the keel free to turn tight was not easy for a novice like me.
I did play in the swells outside of the harbor mouth, but got spooked when caught between a swell and a reflected wake that hit at a 45 deg angle. The boat and I rode right through it, but the chaotic after currents unsettled me, making the boat feel out of control, so I headed to the safety of the harbor to test my speed.
The boat gets up to speed quickly, but I felt like I could be going faster. She glided well, tracking straight, but slowing sooner than expected.
I love the look of this boat and I like the outfitting. I did not capsize on this trip, so wrestling items out of the rigging was not needed. Casual grabbing of my drink bottle from under the front deck webbing was simple.
Overall, 7 out of 10, using my other experiences in my Touryak, and the Easky & Delphin.
I would not buy this boat, as the looks are the best thing about it to me. But it is probably a boat better experienced by an intermediate to advanced paddler.