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Submitted: 02-09-2007 by dragons4
Great PFD/life jacket for women w/ "more than average" chest. I bought the Stohlquist BetSEA before I'd bought a kayak! The rental PFDs were _SO_ uncomfortable.
The BetSEA by Stohlquist has "sculpted" the front foam - read there are cup-shaped "cut outs" in the front where the bust fits. The foam is thicker below the bust and also sculpted a bit thinner at the armhole edge and much thinner at the upper chest.
Shoulders are stretchy w/ adjustment straps to take up slack, if any, so PFD sits properly on torso, not lifted off shoulders.
Along w/ waist strap and under arm strap to adjust circumference of PFD, there's a "cross chest" strap from mid back to upper chest that also helps hold the PFD in the correct place on the body.
Unfortunately, mine is powder blue, which is not the fault of the PFD, but the boat shop, because that's the only color they had. I'd prefer a more Hi vis color.
There's just one front pocket and one front lash tab on the BetSEA. If you want/need more pockets and a back lash tab, check out the Stohlquist women's Motion - built on the same chassis as the BetSEA.
I've progressed brom beginner to intermediat kayaker wearing this vest. I kayak on lakes and ponds, slow rivers (no bumps or whitewater) and some ocean/bay (not yet surfing). The armholes are cut out abit and rarely chafe me, so Stohlquist has figured out that some well-endowed women have narrow rib cages. They say it's short and doesn't interfere w/ the back deck - as I don't (yet) "have" a roll, I can't comment on that.
All in all, GREAT (umm, maybe ONLY) PFD for the more than averagely endowed woman kayaker/boater. (Other Mfrs attempts at women's models did not accommodate my DD chest.)
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