Best Kayak PFD & Life Jackets of 2018
While you are legally required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or a life jacket during kayaking for safety. You will all agree when I say that a PFD or life jacket boosts your confidence, especially on whitewater.
The best life jacket ought to provide buoyancy and comfort, both on calm and rough waters. To help you choose a high performing PFD/life vest, we have provided you with seven best kayak PFD/life jackets reviews for information.
Top 7 Best Kayak PFD & Life Jackets
No. 1 ONYX MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest Review
The ONYX MoveVent is the best kayakers’ life jacket for the money. This high-quality personal floating device comes in two color options for your choosing: aqua and orange. It comes with a customer-friendly sizing chart (x-small/small, medium/large, and x-large/xx-large).
The vest is vented on the front as well as the back for superior ventilation while paddling under the hot summer sun. This floating piece attaches comfortably to your body for a perfect fit. The soft floatation foam is very comfy to the touch.
The foam panels on the front are structurally shaped to fit your body, as long as you choose the correct size. Two main shoulder straps and side straps allow you to effortlessly dial in your desired fit for relaxation and security on water.
You can easily remove the jacket by simply opening the large front zip. You can stow away small gear in the front zipped pocket. The wide arm openings allow unhampered mobility for rowing and padding.
Verdict: If you are looking for quality, long-term use, and unmatched performance with negligible flaws, then the ONYX MoveVent is the ideal life vest for you.
No. 2 KOKATAT Bahia Tour PFD Review
The KOKATAT Bahia is the best tour/fishing PFD that is geared towards kayak anglers with a lot of gear to carry. The very first impressive feature is the little flat window on the front that you can use to store your ID card or fishing license.
When you unbuckle the license window you gain access to a sizeable pocket that you can use to carry a GPS device or your mobile phone. There is another compartment behind the license window for pliers. The vest also comes with two duplex front pockets for larger tools.
This PFD is made of 210D nylon material that has high tenacity for durability. The articulated front foam panels and shell will fit your body perfectly for convenience and comfort. The back and front lash tabs and the side adjustments allow for easy dialing of a snug fit.
Verdict: The KOKATAT Bahia PFD is a very resourceful life jacket for a kayaker with lots of tools, because it is well-equipped with storage pockets.
No. 3 NRS Clearwater Mesh Back PFD Review
The NRS Clearwater PFD is the ideal safety outfit for a passionate kayaker. It is available in three color options, including charcoal, red, and blue. The sizing chart includes: small/medium, large/x-large, and xx-large. So, it offers an ideal fit for an adult.
It offers sixteen and a half pounds of flotation and a medium profile. You will admire the front zippered entry, which allows you to easily get in and out of it within seconds. The jacket is fitted with two large front pockets with Velcro closure.
The pockets are spacious enough to accommodate most of your fishing gear or personal items, such as your mobile phone. The upper part of the pockets is installed with a key attachment that you can use to attach your keys to avoid dropping them into the water.
Verdict: The NRS Clearwater PFD is one of the best life jackets that any kayak should have. Not to mention that it comes with a competitive price range that will fit the budget.
No.4 ONYX MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports Life Vest Review
Here is another unique PFD by ONYX. The ONYX MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports is a well-built personal flotation device. This life vest is exceptionally shaped for whitewater, SUP, and rowing. Basically, it offers a snug and comfortable fit.
This specific model is available in red color. The front zipper allows you easy entry into the jacket. The vest has expandable front zipped pouches with mesh drainage. The pouches offer enough room for carry small gears and personal items.
The inner back of the jacket is reinforced with bubble foam for superior comfort. You can easily fit in a high back seat, thanks to the meshing in the lower back. The ventilation panels in the back and front of the vest will keep you well-ventilated in hot weather.
Verdict: The ONYX MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports Vest is built for kayaking; you just have to choose the ideal size.
No. 5 Stohlquist Edge Personal Flotation Device Review
If you are in the market for a low-profile personal flotation device for your kayaking activities, then the Stohlquist Edge vest is what you need. It comes with a customer-friendly price range that will certainly fit your budget. And it offers remarkable features for the price range.
This particular flotation device is available in the mango color and the following vest sizes: S/M; L/XL; and XXL. The small/medium size has a buoyancy of 15 pounds 8 ounces; the large/x-large size has a buoyancy of 16 pounds 8 ounces; while the xx-large size has a buoyancy of 17 pounds 8 ounces.
The vest has a rapture-shaped torso that does a great job of shaping the interior foam to fit your body naturally. This provides you with a comfortable, snug, and a more secure fit. The offset zip and the waist buckle do firmly hold the jacket into position.
Verdict: Unlike most personal flotation devices, the Stohlquist Edge is equipped with a large top loading front pocket and a bunch of features that are worth the price.
No. 6 NRS Ninja PFD Review
The NRS Ninja is a high performing personal flotation device for the money. The vest is available in three color options for preference, including black, blue, and red. The vest features a very simple design that you will admire at first glance.
It has double front panels that can actually fit your hands, providing you with great hand warmer pockets in case the weather gets cold. It is equipped with a sizeable front pocket for carrying small items that you might need during your kayaking activities.
The short torso along with the two shoulder straps and side adjustments offer you a custom fit. This makes the vest convenient for kayaking, boating, swimming, rowing, and paddling. The interior stretchy, soft fabric improved breathability of the vest.
Verdict: The NRS Ninja personal flotation device is a competitively priced life jacket that will certainly fit the budget of a kayaker.
No. 7 Astral Buoyancy YTV Life Jacket Review
The Astral Buoyancy YTV is one of the best life jackets for kayaking. It comes with a user-friendly sizing chart that guarantees you an ideal fit. For preference, you have five colors to choose from, including eggplant, hot coral, cherry creek red, slate black, and cherry creek.
What you will admire most about the Astral YTV vest is the fact that it is simple by design. The manufacturer achieved the simplicity by reducing straps. It has a great torso lock platform, which incorporates adjustment wings on either side.
This platform does a wonderful job of holding the jacket in place below the widest section of your torso. Astral eliminated ride up in order to keep the vest right where you want it be. The vest has a very nice shelf, making it suitable for women.
The life jacket is also fitted with two zipped front pouches for carrying gear and personal items, such as a mobile phone. Each front pocket is fitted with a knife slip pocket. Generally, the feather-light construction offers superior performance in calm water as well as whitewater.
Verdict: The YTV simple design will meet your expectations; not to mention the high-quality features with fewer flaws.
The Wrap Up
The Astral YTV life jacket marks the end of our best kayak PFD/life jackets reviews. Kayaking is an adventurous water bound activity. However, safety is a priority, and there is no better way of protecting yourself than wearing a personal flotation device or a life jacket.
When choosing a kayak life jacket, always favor safety over comfort. However, life vest/PFD made for kayakers should have additional flotation in the area below the waist. Also, make sure that the PFD of your choice offers a snug and comfortable fit.