Paddling PFD - Buy It To Fit

Paddling PFD - Buy It To Fit

Blog post written from an interview with Brian Ramakko.

Marine PFD vs Paddling PFD

One of the most common questions we get asked in the paddling department is the difference between a marine PFD and a paddling PFD. Most often people have a boat, and they are looking at getting a kayak. They may have a marine PFD at home and not sure they want to spend the money on a paddling PFD as well.

The marine PFDs that we are all familiar with are long, bulky, and stiff. You can boat with it on, but you end up just sitting there feeling uncomfortable. You can’t really use it for any other activity than boating and often you will find them stored under the seat instead of being worn.

Whereas on the other spectrum, a paddling PFD is smaller profile, lighter weight and a better-quality foam compared to the marine PFD. You can cinch on the body so that it fits very snugly.

Interview with Brian Ramakko

When fitting a paddling PFD, you look to see how much room you have. You want it to fit firm on the body, so it doesn’t move. You want no chaffing as you are paddling. With a paddling PFD, you will see that you can paddle, fish, sit down and flex. Not only can you paddle with it on, you can now also wear it as a marine person, so you end up wearing it a lot more.


Fit to your body shape

Zip it up. Cinch around the waist. Press down on the chest and then cinch the front shoulders. The final adjustment will be when you sit down in the kayak. If it bulges a bit, press the chest down and cinch shoulders again.

Depending on your volume, loosen it up a bit, pull it down until it is comfortable. There will be less pressure on the upper body overall and women specifically will understand the value of that.  Over time the paddling PFD melds to your body shape, and you will love it and you will choose to wear it.

If you have investments on different areas of the body, we can suggest a different style that will work best with your body shape.

If you are going to spend the money, buy it to fit. Then you will wear it all the time.


Our Best-Selling PFD: The Salus Eddy-Flex

Salus Eddy Flex

The Salus Eddy-Flex offers added contouring back foam, tapered shoulders, Dry-Lex back lining, pull-forward adjustments and an easy-grab zipper tab, making it a welcome companion to any water adventure. The addition of unisex styling, contoured fit, easy-on front zipper design, 3MTM reflective trim, rounded edges and soft-foam construction put the Eddy-flex in a league of high-end vests with streamlined features.

Choosing a high-vis colour will only make your time on the water safer and more relaxed.

Shop the Salus Eddy Flex Paddling PFD

Shop ALL Salus Paddling PFDs


Be water safe. Know the rules.





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