How To Choose A Kayak Lifejacket
Finding the right kayaking lifejacket is not that hard...
First it's important to know that a kayak lifejacket can also be referred to as a PFD which stands for Personal Floatation Device. A kayak lifejacket provides buoyancy, extra insulation on cold days, and body armor in the event of a swim. Wearing a kayak lifejacket is a prerequisite in kayaking.
The style of kayaking lifejacket you choose will be based on the type of kayaking you will be engaging in.
Select from one of the following options.
Touring & Recreational Flatwater Kayaking Lifejackets:
Touring and recreational paddlers need a kayak PFD with a short torso and additional
pockets to stow gear. A high visibility kayak vest with reflective trim or bright
colors is also a good idea.
Flatwater Kayak Lifejackets
Whitewater Kayaking Lifejackets:
Range of motion is everything for the whitewater kayaker. A low profile yet high buoyancy kayak PFD is the jacket of choice, and there are several great models to choose from!
View Whitewater Kayak Lifejackets
Rescue Kayaking Lifejackets:
Those who have specific rescue training or those who engage in creek boating may opt for a rescue kayak vest. This kayak vest has extra gadgets that will assist the paddler in a rescue situation. It is important to understand how to use the kayak lifejacket before hitting the water.
View Rescue Kayak Lifejackets
Rafting Kayaking Lifejackets:
Kayaking PFDs for rafting provide more flotation and coverage than PFDs designed for kayaking. They have front buckles and more adjustment points to accommodate a variety of people. Some include padded headrests to keep your head up and out of the water.
View Rafting Kayak Lifejackets
Some dogs jump in the water. Other dogs fall in. Either way, a lifejacket keeps them on the surface. Many vests feature grab loop and leash ring for security, and reflective tape on top for visibility.
View Dog Lifejackets
Kids Kayaking Lifejackets:
Teach children water safety from the very beginning - get them a kayak lifejacket. It will help make a child's early experiences on the water safe and memorable. A comfortable kayak PFD is the key to getting your kids wearing and enjoying water activities safely.
View Kids Kayak Lifejackets
Fitting your kayak PFD
General Kayak Lifejacket Info:
First, zip the kayak PFD and tighten the side straps. Be sure to fasten all zips, belts, snaps, and straps. The kayak PFD should not rub your chin or around your armpits. Test the sizing on your kayak PFD by holding your arms straight out and have a friend lift the jacket from the shoulder straps. If the vest slips upward, tighten the fit. The right hydraulic could rip an unsecured PFD right over your head. Be sure your kayak PFD adjusts to fit over bulky, cold weather paddling clothes.
Care for your kayak PFD
An old jacket will lose some of its buoyancy. If the foam in your kayak PFD seems stiff and doesn't spring back when you push on it; it is time to replace it. Don't permanently alter your kayak PFD, if it doesn't fit when all the straps are adjusted, you probably need a different kayak PFD.
Don't use your kayak PFD for a kneeling pad or seat cushion
Let your kayak PFD dry completely before you put it away
Store it in a well-ventilated place
Never dry your kayak PFD directly on a heat source