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Submitted: 10-03-2001 by bnystrom
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The MsFit Tour is designed as a serious touring vest for people with short torsos who want more pocket capacity than most recreational PFD's. Prior to buying one, I had been using a Lotus Lola, but was frustrated by the lack of pockets and attachment points for safety gear. Additionally, I found that the high front pad of the Lola would hit my chin when I needed to look down. I had looked at "rescue" PFD's, but was put off by the high prices and unnecessary features ("strong swimmer" harness and built-in tow belt).

The MsFit Tour solved all of these problems and then some. It has two side pockets with good capacity, but that are out of the way when paddling. It has an additional pocket in the center pocket that is perfectly sized for a VHF radio or GPS. It has a forth mesh pocket under the zippered front flap, which is ideal for keys, knife, etc. There are also the requisite key rings, attachment patches and reflective tape.

One additional feature bears mentioning. The front closure is a combination of buckles and a zippered flap. According to the Kokatat rep I spoke with, the vest is Coast Guard compliant with just the buckles fastened. This means the zipper can be left open for ventilation, which has proven to be very nice on warm days.

The arm openings are large and there is zero rubbing or chafing. The front padding is low enough to provide ample chin clearance. Perhaps the best indication the comfort of this PFD is that I forgot that I was wearing it after the first few minutes.

At $121 suggested retail, it's priced between the better recreational vests and the "rescue" vests. I find it has everything I need with nothing I don't. My gear fits in the pockets and it's exceedingly comfortable. If you're looking for a full-featured touring vest, this is one to check out.

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