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Women's Cruiser PFD

by Stohlquist

Reviews

I am a small woman 5'0" and about 110lbs. Of all the…

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I am a small woman 5'0" and about 110lbs. Of all the PFDs I tried on, this one fit the best. Overall, I am pleased with it, though I should note that I've not been tossed out of my boat and in need of rescue yet (and, hopefully, I won't need to review it based on that anytime soon!).

Pros:
- It comes in colors that aren't pink. Mine is blue.
- It fits well across the chest, back, and shoulders, and the straps make it very adjustable.
- It doesn't ride up and chafe my chin, which is a huge problem with some other PFDs on small women.
- It's got nicely-sized arm holes for good range of motion. This means paddling is easy, as are things like getting in and out of the boat, rotating to grab something behind the seat, stabilizing another boat for someone, etc.
- Zipper pockets allow for hand warming, or storage of small items (chapstick, etc.)

Cons:
- Chafing. Even with something (shirt/tank/paddling neoprene vest) under this, I end up with chafing welts on the side of my neck, my sides where some of the webbing for the buckles hit, and the side and back where the PFD ends. The chafing is worst at the buckle webbing for me. The rest is just irritating, but this is actually a problem I am working to solve (or will get another PFD). It's not that the PFD is too tight or loose, because it doesn't seem to matter who I adjust it--if I wear it, it chafes. So, this is a bit of a big deal and the primary reason it only gets a 7.
- Hot. There's not a lot of meshing on this, so it can get pretty warm.

There aren't a lot of options for paddlers as small as I am. This is, so far, the best option I've found for my size and build. Because I am a woman, my body shape is wrong for a kid's vest, and this vest doe accommodate that. But, it's still a bit big, overall, even with the adjustment tightened all the way (hence, some of the chafing, I think)

This PFD is cut to fit a woman's body eliminating most of…

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This PFD is cut to fit a woman's body eliminating most of the crushing that occurs with other styles. There are multiple straps that enable you to get the right fit both around the torso and over the shoulders ad still allows you to breathe. I especially like the cross chest straps that seem to keep the mesh back of the PFD from riding up. The PFD is relatively open on the sides allowing for freedom of movement. I've paddled up to 12 miles a day in this PFD and have not had any rubbing or discomfort. The half mesh back allows for the PFD to not get hung up on your seat back. This is the most comfortable PFD I've worn and it does keep you afloat when you need it! I only give it a 9 out of 10 because there is always room for improvement. I recommend this PFD.

My wife uses this jacket for SUP. It is an excellent…

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My wife uses this jacket for SUP. It is an excellent jacket, allowing her plenty of freedom of movement and is very comfortable. Overall an excellent jacket for the price.

At last a woman's specific pfd that is geared to a woman's…

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At last a woman's specific pfd that is geared to a woman's anatomy!
I am small, very small, but the carve out in the chest makes a HUGE difference in comfort
No one likes being smashed in constantly for reasons of safety in moving water!
My husband has a pfd with water bladder clip on, radio slots, secret pocket i.e. All bells, but I would rather strap things on and be comfy and safe when and if I go over in my kayak!
Great design thanks stohlquist, also nice flower design on front!

My wife uses this PFD for SUP. She really likes this…

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My wife uses this PFD for SUP. She really likes this jacket. She finds it to be of high quality and a great fit. She has freedom of movement and comfort. Overall great value.

I purchased my Stohlquist Women's Cruiser PFD in March 2014, and have…

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I purchased my Stohlquist Women's Cruiser PFD in March 2014, and have used it extensively this summer. The fit is very good, and it does not ride up while sitting, like previous PFD's I have had. I especially like the padded shoulder straps; a necessity for those day-long paddles!

Very comfortable and well made pfd. Love the mesh panel on…

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Very comfortable and well made pfd. Love the mesh panel on bottom half of the back and the zippered front pockets. Doesn't restrict paddling at all. Great choice for larger chested ladies.

I have several of these Stohlquist Cruiser PFDs. I first tried…

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I have several of these Stohlquist Cruiser PFDs. I first tried a MTI PFDiva. The Cruiser is definitely more comfortable. While kayaking my arms do not rub against the sides of the Cruiser. Perhaps due to the nice adjustment areas.

It seems to me that all women's PFDs are a bit puffy in the bust. The Cruiser fits well for my average bust and does not make me feel like the michelin man. I wear this vest for both whitewater and for flat water kayaking. With both the high angle and the low angle paddling styles the Cruiser is a comfortable fit.

I also like that Stohlquist has bright colors for the Cruiser. I really like being visible. Great pockets. Nice little key clip in the pocket.
Highly recommend.

I tried on many jackets before I felt right with the Stohlquist…

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I tried on many jackets before I felt right with the Stohlquist Women's Cruiser. It fits very well and is very easily adjustable with the angled pull downs. The back is short enough that it doesn't catch on the kayak seatback. The pockets are just the right size to hold keys or a small snack and are easily accessible with the vest on.
I would highly recommend this jacket for big busted women as it fit perfectly on me.

This is one of the few PFDs that will truly work with…

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This is one of the few PFDs that will truly work with a high-back seat like those found in many Old Town kayaks (the ExtraSport XtraComfort seat). Many PFDs claim to be for high backs, but they hit right at the top of the seat back, which is irritating, or they come just below it and you're constantly tugging them down. The foam portion of the Stohlquist Cruiser comfortably clears the seat back even in its highest position, with mesh below.

The Stohlquist Women's Cruiser is the only PFD I've ever owned (I've had several) that I could stand to wear for any length of time. This is mainly because it is cut low in the armpits for great freedom of movement. The women's cup shape really is comfortable. The foam is not bulky---it doesn't protrude out in front of you like many PFDs.

Adjustment is simple: you pull on two straps located on the front and they tighten up the whole PFD, with one additional waist adjustment.
The front zipper works very well. There is a patch on the back where you can attach a light.

I give this PFD an 8 instead of a 10 because I would like the pockets to be larger and I would like to have at least 2 D rings on the outside, not inside the pockets. There is only 1 D ring, inside a pocket.

Price is $90. That's steep, but I guess my life is worth $90. All previous life jackets were used as deck decorations. That could be why paddling.net has never published my photos---they set a bad safety example. Now I can paddle safely and in comfort!