To help you out we have selected eight of the best PFD's available in store that are great for summer use.
Not just summer of course but as the white water season slowly fades away ( apart from you lucky folks chasing the sun and snow melt across Europe) our paddling changes so our kit needs to reflect this.
Some of these are new and others have had a facelift or subtle tweaks to recharge them.
Old boy and kit junky Ewart gives us a run down:
In we go in no particular order.
1, Yak Kallista.
The cheapest PFD on the list, our go to every day recreational PFD. Its the PFD we chose for our hire business and basic tuition.
Why? The construction is solid, bar tacked shoulder strap for extra strength, super soft foam that is really comfortable and moulds to the body well. A non intrusive cut that allows for easy paddling. shoulder, waist and chest strap adjustment and only £54.95! Junior, s/m, m/l, xl and xxl
2, Palm FX.
The FX has been around for 3 years in its current guise. It doesn't rest on its laurels and keep proving itself as one of the most versatile buoyancy aids out there. Low cut foam that hugs your body, a massive pocket for all your ice cream and beer money. Oh and possibly some safety essentials like a phone and Sun screen. (don't giggle, the sun is on its way) xxs, xs/s, m/l, xl/xxl
3, Yak Galena.
Nipping at the heels of the FX the Galena is the new kid on the block. This PFD is so fantastically light I just don't know how the do it. Well actually its down to the layered foam inside and the Fusion fit technology. This wrap around foam and figure fitting padded mesh panels in the front and back.
Pocket wars! This front loading pocket certainly competes with the FX and might actually be bigger. Max says "nice colour!" Three colours to be exact. Red, Blue and bright neon green.
s/m, m/l, xl £79.95
4, Astral Sea Wolf.
We have had this in store for about 2 years now. Its a quiet one, a bit like a Wolf bit it definitely has bite!. Max has had his for a while now and loves it. Again its light weight, ideal for the warmer weather and has a low profile fit. Its the little things about this PFD that make me love it. The sneaky pockets on the side panels, a fleecy hand warmer in the front with the Clam shell pocket on the front. Ok so you expect this kind of stuff but it will also take a chest belt (chest harness what ever you want to call it) so its great for towing situations. It also has a space in the back for a hydration bladder. Wins all round.
£129.95 s/m, m/l, xl.
5, Astral V8.
One for the Sit on top crew. The most American looking (if there is a thing) pfd of the bunch as its covered with mesh in most places so you can see the light weight foam. The foam even has spaces in it to allow your body to breath and stay cool. Most SOT's have high back rests these days and the V8 has a reduced foam cut on the back to allow for this. Light, with pockets and cool (in every way) to wear.
£89.95 s/m, m/l, xl.
6, Yak Xipe,
Updated for 2015. A little underrated pfd I reckon. Ok, so the internal chest belt adjustment isn't obvious straight away but get this on and it feels great. I think this is one of the best touring buoyancy aids available for under a hundred quid. The new 2015 updates include two solid colourways with a nice bright and safe orange and a trusty red. The highlights that set these off are the new coloured blue and yellow zips, very snazzy. A massive hydro bladder compatible pouch on the rear will take up to a 3 litre bladder. Enough juice for the thirstiest paddler.
£99.99 Jun, xs, s/m, m/l, xl, xxl
7, Palm Kaikoura.
The badboy. Top end and fully loaded. Do you want more from your pfd? Well you can't have it as this pfd has it all. The choice of kayak anglers, expedition sea kayakers, open boaters and anyone who wants the best. Massive amounts of buoyancy, loads of storage, fleece hand warmer pockets a big hydro pouch/pocket at the rear.
£159.95 xs/s, m/l xl/xxl
8, Palm Peyto.
Hot off the press and straight to a top selling position. The Peyto is a fantastic competitor to the Yak Xipe. For an all-round touring buoyancy aid you can't go wrong with either.
A huge reshaped rear hydration pouch pocket, fleece lined hand warmer pockets and super snug wrap around Comfort fit foam give a great fit. Smooth profile for easy re-entry in to your boat if you fancy a dip and the 3D anti ride up waist belt keeps every thing locked in place for the more wild adventures.
xs/s, m/l, xl/xxl £99.95
Of course there are lots more buoyancy aids to choose from but this selection fits most needs for non white water paddling. Pop in to the shop for expert advice on what's right for you and the correct fit.