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  PFD fit
  Posted by: hodtay on Jan-21-13 2:54 PM (EST)
   Category: Other Gear 

I've been through a couple of PFDs trying to find the right fit. My current one is a men's XL Stolquist Rocker. It's a little on the large side and the shoulder straps are way too long. The shoulder strap length is not adjustable.

My wife's PFD is a Kokatat Woman L, a little large for her. Recently I mistakenly grabbed her PFD in stead of mine when I loaded up for a lesson. Out of necessity I used it and to my amazement the the straps lengthened out and her PFD actually fit, in fact more securely than mine.

Am I crazy to use a womem's PFD. My wife wants a smaller one anyway.

Any thoughts? Any suggestions?


 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

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PFD's (Life Jackets)

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Messages in this Topic


  Man boobs?
  Posted by: seadart on Jan-21-13 2:56 PM (EST)
  also known as
  Posted by: leeherring on Jan-21-13 10:51 PM (EST)
  Not necessarily. There are men who
  Posted by: shirlann on Jan-22-13 7:46 PM (EST)
take time to work out at the gym and have great chest muscles. Thus PFD's, like Extrasports "Chica" also fit some male bodies. Plus they have a thinner lower back for kayaks that have high back seats. This allows you to sit as far back as needed to be comfortable.
  Posted by: mcimes on Jan-21-13 3:00 PM (EST)
Depends if you can tell its a womens jacket from 6 feet away. If it is a pastel color and has boob cutouts you might get harassed by your buddies, but you'll be comfortable so whos the fool?

I say wear whats comfortable. Thats why I wear womens underwear...Uh, I mean, silk boxers...uh, uh, i mean, commando. ya. thats it.
  Just bought an Astral ABBA for ME
  Posted by: yatipope on Jan-21-13 3:09 PM (EST)
I "mistakedly" tried on one of those kapok-filled Astral ABBA womens (its yellow and gray) at a local outfitter who had it 20% off. It fit perfectly and is the most comfortable PFD I have ever worn. I decided to buy it ON-THE-SPOT and it was during checkout that the outfitter kinda whispered,.."Its a womens PFD" I said,.."I don't care" It feels that good and after wearing it on a couple daytrips,..I LOVE IT!
  Everyone is Shaped Differently
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Jan-21-13 3:13 PM (EST)
I have a long torso and paddle canoes kneeling so I tend to like long PFD's (I might have to check out your Stohlquist). Forget male, female, etc and go with what fits. It's so hard to buy a proper PFD without trying it on because what feels good to me may not to you and vice versa.
  That one is favored by a lot of guys
  Posted by: Celia on Jan-21-13 3:20 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-21-13 3:40 PM EST --

(Assuming it was the MSFit) The Kokatat MSFit has a more centered zipper and I think one more larger pocket than the male version. I know a lot of guys who prefer that one, to the point that I don't quite understand who their market is for the mens outside of new paddlers.

  If You're a Cross Dresser,
  Posted by: Kudzu on Jan-21-13 4:48 PM (EST)
I'm a cross dresser. Kokatat Msfit fits me the best.

I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
  Me too
  Posted by: carldelo on Jan-21-13 5:11 PM (EST)
Kokatat MsFit Pro - many, many men wear this vest and I am a convert. Nice description by a pro here:

  MsFits for all
  Posted by: aamapes on Jan-21-13 5:17 PM (EST)
At the paddlesport center, we have MsFit's from Kokatat in four sizes and use them for all the adults that paddle with us. Two-piece foam in the breast area conforms to the body well, and many men find this model more comfortable. Personally, I wear an Outfit Tour and like it, but my build is on the skinny side.

Cheers, Alan
Atlantic Kayak Tours
  MisFit Tour
  Posted by: nermal on Jan-21-13 10:33 PM (EST)
Great fitting PFD for men. Kokatat does itself a dis-service by trying to sell a mens version of that vest (OutFit). They should just sell tha one PFD to rule them all.
  MsFit +1
  Posted by: gstamer on Jan-22-13 12:38 AM (EST)
My old MsFit Tour was getting a bit ragged after years of hard use, so I tried the new OutFit Tour. I wanted to like it, but ordered a new MsFit Tour instead.

I do like the larger arm holes on the Outfit and how its pockets are closer to the center of the vest. That said, I much prefer the fit of the multiple front panels of the MsFit versus the thick solid slab of the OutFit. I also like how I can leave the MsFit unzipped with just the front buckles clipped for ventilation.

Fit is everything so YMMV.

Greg Stamer
  Been Using a MsFit...
  Posted by: VK1NF on Jan-22-13 12:58 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-22-13 12:59 AM EST --

......for several years - fits me better than any "Mens" PFD ever did. I must have tried on every PFD at MEC's Halifax store before I tried on the MsFit by mistake - have never looked back...5'10, about 160 lbs...

  Posted by: thirstyturtle on Jan-22-13 10:20 AM (EST)
I had the Misfit Tour, wanted to like also and it just wasn't right for me....ended up with what some would say " is not as serious " PFD. It didn't have all the attachment point for gear that i wanted, but have found solutions for that and am really comfortable with me new PFD. So go with what is comfortable and forget the rest. Us girls wear mens gear all the time, plus, a lot of it is just marketing. Enjoy your new vest!
  Mis-Fit on Fat Elmo too....
  Posted by: fatelmo on Jan-22-13 7:49 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-23-13 8:02 AM EST --

Nice coomferabool lifevest fer dis here fat boy...


  A vote for Astral "Camino"
  Posted by: tktoo on Jan-23-13 7:40 AM (EST)
They had the foresight to call it a "unisex" design.

Very light, excellent ventilation, low back, shelf for whichever kind of oobs you got.

Great warm-weather vest.
  Astral Sea Wolf
  Posted by: Marshall on Jan-23-13 11:44 AM (EST)
Broad fit range. Shoulders are integrated into adjustments of upper chest plate which floats independent of the cummerbund. Also has a ton of storage without having gear poking out all over.

PFDs are one of those pieces of equipment you really need to try on.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
  Outfit/MisFit Tour
  Posted by: wilsoj2 on Jan-23-13 2:38 PM (EST)
I bought an OutFit Tour in 2003. It got very heavy use. About 3 years ago, I bought a MisFit tour. Both are fine. I prefer the fit, centered zipper, and pockets of the MisFit. I am male 6' tall, 175 lbs.
  Fit for Comfort or Safety
  Posted by: jimyaker on Jan-23-13 4:02 PM (EST)
A PFD should fit comfortably, but more important is the fit in terms of safety. It needs to stay on when you are out of your boat. If you sit down and have a friend grab at the top of the shoulders and pull straight up, the PFD should stay in place. Even better, jump in a pool and make sure it doesn't pop up and over your head.

Snug it up each time you get in and make sure all the straps are connected properly.
  Posted by: hodtay on Jan-23-13 6:12 PM (EST)
You guys convinced me that my wife's MsFit PFD is perfect for me. I attached my nose plug and whistle to it last night and told my wife that we would be going shopping for her replacement PFD.

The model MsFit we have must be the basic model because it only has one side pocket and another inside the zipper on the front.

I'm headed the the Golden Gate Symposium this weekend where I hope to learn how to use a tow line and other important safety stuff I don't yet know. I suppose I'll need more pockets in my PFD for a knife, radio and the other stuff I see paddlers carry.

Thanks again. You save me from buying another PFD.
  Minimize gear in/on PFD
  Posted by: jimyaker on Jan-24-13 5:35 PM (EST)
Only really essential items should be on (or in) your PFD and it's very much dependent on where you are. Different priorities for Sea kayaking, Whitewater, and Recreational boating. I run whitewater mostly, so for me, I have a whistle attached to a shoulder strap, a knife mounted at a lash tab, my car keys in a pocket, and spare noseplugs in the pocket.

Narrow that list of essentials down or work up a ditch bag if they start making the PFD too bulky.

  Posted by: ppine on Jan-24-13 5:16 PM (EST)
Do you want to look good or save your life?
  i like
  Posted by: svenkalmar on Jan-24-13 7:32 PM (EST)
the kokatat guide. very nice in the water, making things easy.


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