My original vest lasted 3 years before it began to fade. So when it came time to replace it I went back to get another Lotus. Somewhere along the road Lotus was bought out by one of the mega-companies. The are now Over priced and poor quality. Instead of being made by folks who understand PFDs they are made in Mexico. In this case cheaper labor clearly means poorer quality!!
The vest is supposed to come with two "D" rings in the pockets. These are crucial for securing emergency gear like EPRIBS. My first vest came without them. The mail order firm sent me a replacement-- that one didn't have them either! So I sewed in my own "D" rings.
15 months later, the vest is fading and the fabric is drying out. So I spent over $100 for a vest that failed to have the advertised features, and did not hold up....... Skip Lotus, look for another brand!!!!Overall, the Locean is a good PFD, and perfect for real skinny boats combined with a low padle angle and bent shaft paddles. No other will prevent the arm chafe issues like the Locean. That said there are several drawbacks:
1. to provide the buoyancy, the Locean is long, this cuases the Locean to ride up under one's chin if your torso is hsort of your sprayskirt is tight across the coaming,
2. it's expensive when one considers that it's still a PFD,
3. the side entry is a bit awkward and prevents one from zipping open to vent heat on hot paddle days.
We just fixed the issues with item 1 by opening the lower seam, pulling out the two sheets of foam, everting the center foam pocket, replacing the 1 1/2 inch shoulder straps with longer one incorporating plastic D rings at the adjuster end and bar-tacking through the front and black nylon rear fabric versus the existing design of just bar tacking to the front fabric, sewing a deep U notch to prevent the PFD from rubbing one's chin when it rides up, adding a neoprene liner for the bottom and side adjuster straps (prevent chafing when worn next to the skin on hot days) everting to normal and inserting shorter but thicker ensolite foam and re sewing the bottom seam. It's better now but each PFD took us a day to tweak. I'd seriously look at shorter PFDs in the future.