Submitted: 08-07-2006 by Beaverman
Been paddling 36 years and have owned over a dozen vests. Paddled as much as 200 days per year for 14 years. Paddled Chattoga, Gaulley, Overflow creek, Colorado, (many others) and Nantucket harbor in a 36kt blow with the tide against us. Lotus Strait jacket is the best jacket I've ever worn for comfort and practicality. Looks like someone liked it better than me after 6 years, because it grew legs and now I have to get another one. I've looked at all the other makes and models and I still want a Lotus Strait Jacket. If anyone sees mine, its a mango colored XXL with lots of black mildew stains from being constantly wet. Last seen at the Beaver Paddle Fest where it was used by over 40 folks on demo rides. Paddled 121 times last year (5 miles or more), and am at 91 so far this year from Jan 1 to date. Well used but no signs of wear or tear, other than the mildew stains. Be it 8F to 105F and in up to 50KT winds, this is the jacket to wear, particularly if you are doing long distances. I'm ticked at having to replace it, but I've definately gotten my money's worth out ot it. Still have 8 old jackets I keep patched up as loaners, but I will order a new Lotus Strait Jacket today as it's the only one I want to wear when I paddle.
To those who complain about the radio pocket not being secure, mine has never fallen out even after doing 20 rolls in sucession. Put something else in there and it ought to be in a waterproof case, bag, or box.
To those who complain about the belt fastener system not being the size of their rescue system - Make an adapter or buy something else and be sorry. Less than 0.5% of sea kayakers carry a tow belt. Spend less time gripeing and learn how to roll or self rescue so you won't be the towee. I carry a "turkey catcher" which has worked without fail to rescue others from the Chattoga and Colorado to Nantucket harbor and I have yet to hear complaints about its not being a standardized type from those I rescue.
To those of you who use carbon carbon paddles and appreciate them to the point of never wanting to use anything else - this is the carbon carbon vest of PFD's. Bombproof and comfortable enough to forget you have it on.