As our whitewater brahs & sistas value fit lightweight & a generous cut, I decided to give this Palm PFD a try for flatwater paddling. It's proving itself w. every hour on the water. Note: This PFD is rated Type V which the USCG approves for Type III usage provided it is always worn, never carried. No prob for me -when I paddle, I wear my PFD. No debate here.
Fit can be customized: 3 sliding buckles on each side backed by lightweight, puckered poly and one per shoulder backed by stretchy fabric (almost like neo) make for the 3 Cs of fit: custom, cozy, comfortable. The wide variation in fit makes it suitable for men or women of slender to average build in this Adult Small/Medium (30-40 inch chest)
The Palm goes over the head, no PITA front zippers. But it ain't gonna go anywhere once the 8 buckled straps are cinched down. The bulk of the floatation (Airex) rides low & center like some of the most popular Kokatat & Stohlquist PFDs.
The selfdraining, D pocket holds snacks, spare gloves, knife in sheath & also has a short (plastic) snap clip for your car key and whistle lanyard and money for pizza at the takeout. Perfect size yet low profile and stays out of the way.
The pocket zipper works easily but not slackly. Very easy to use on the water. There are two wide "C" shaped stretch panels - 2 front/side, 2 rear/side that make a temporary snug home for your gloves while you are making barefingered adjustments. I am sure I'll think of other uses.
The fabric is quadruple stitched at the major stress points by Wellington Leisure Products of Georgia (Palm is a British company). The fabric is a small checkboard twill of black and gray is very tight & I suspect more durable than the plain coverings of most PFDs. Bonus: it looks good- very techno.
After two days's paddling with this Palm PFD over my drysuit: never rode up, interfered w. my skirt underneath, nor felt cumbersome no matter what type of paddle stroke. This is my third PFD in a year and I can honestly say this one I forget I am wearing. Nevertheless I wouldn't leave home without my Palm!