This is a classic vest. Very comfortable, just slightly less so than…
This is a classic vest. Very comfortable, just slightly less so than the Astral. Not the most durable product out there, but you'd get a few long seasons out of it before it started to fray apart. The adjustable shoulder straps are the vest's biggest flaw: the buckles slip. People seem to come up with home-made fixes for this, but I never found a way to really make the slipping go away and still maintain the adjustability. I ended up just tightening them a lot - like dozens of times a day on the river.
My search for the "perfect all around PFD for kayaking" looks like…
My search for the "perfect all around PFD for kayaking" looks like it may have reached a conclusion with this beauty. The quality of construction and the attention to detail made it shine. I paddle mostly, touring kayaks, but do wander into a whitewater boat when I can. This PFD has fit any cockpit I've tried, the high cut back panel seems to clear any backband/coaming configuration out there. The main attraction for me is the integrated quick release "tow/rescue" harness. I tried numerous water entries and found that this PFD always ended up leaving me face up (preferred). About the only drawback on this unit is the lack of a pocket that will fit a VHF radio. Oh, you get the really cool "Lotus Designs" logo on the back along with ample reflective striping.