Read reviews for the Descent PFD by Stohlquist 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!
I've had my Stohlquist Descent for about 6 years now and it's holding up like a champ. I've looked at other rescue pfd's but none have offered enough features to get me to replace my Descent,
The big, easily accessible pockets are my favorite feature allowing me to carry everything - rescue knife, camera, gps, VHF radio, flashlight, strobe, snack bars, etc. It also has another feature that I haven't seen anywhere else, the shoulder straps have battens in them and a non skid texture which come in very handy when carrying your boat. Put the cockpit rim right on the strap and you're good to carry it without having the rim cutting into your shoulder or slipping off. The quick release for the tow belt is very easy to find without looking and operate.
It's comfortable to wear for a full day of paddling but my only complaint is that it's heavy. The Cordura construction makes it bombproof but also adds weight, plus the side panels are a 3mm or 4mm thick neoprene which can make it kind of hot to wear in the summer. This is my only complaint though, if you live in cooler regions like I do, New York, you'll be fine year round no problem.
Overall, I definitely recommend trying one before you buy a rescue jacket. Mine has survived many seasons of hard use and doesn't show any signs of giving in. If you're looking for a rescue jacket you can rely on, definitely check out the Descent.