The 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers

The 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers

Introducing Life Jackets For Women Kayakers

When it comes to choosing the best women’s life jackets for kayaking, there are many factors to consider.

Firstly, you need to find something that fits well. Many PFDs designed for men are often too big and bulky, which can make them uncomfortable and difficult to wear.

So in this blog post, we’ve put together a list of our favorite 5 PFDs for women kayakers, as well as some information on what to look for when making your purchase.

Now, let me preface this article by stating that I am a guy writing about what you, as a woman, should buy. Let me first state that I’m drawing from the personal experiences of a wife, daughter, and the female whitewater rafting guides I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

I remember them all explaining to me how uncomfortable Unisex PFDs were to wear, and how important it was to have a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket that was designed for a woman’s body.

So, here is the information that I gleaned from them and came up with the 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers!

What to consider before you buy

Now more than ever, women are taking part in water-based sports, and doing a great job of proving that they’re at least as good as most men. One of my dearest friends, and former river guide, was phenomenal on the river and with clients. It was always disappointing to see younger male river guides misjudge her abilities. However, she had no problem setting them straight and showing she belonged.

Some top manufacturers have now recognized the need for more flexible women’s PFDs, and some of today’s women’s PFDs include all of the capabilities of their male counterparts. These life vests are made with high-quality materials, offering added durability, and plenty of adjustable straps to serve all types of body shapes.

What we looked for when trying women’s life vests.

In this article, we will review the Coast Guard approved Type III Life Jacket. Each life jacket will work for whitewater and touring kayaks and we focused on life jackets with added comfort in mind. Some life vests had a mesh back panel, which helps you stay cool, and others offer a higher buoyancy rating.

However, it is important to go and try them on before you buy. I would wear the clothing you typically kayak in and make sure that you are not constrained by the PFD. A lot of this comes down to your personal preference, and what works for you on your paddling adventures! I have more information regarding PFDs in general in this article: Is White water rafting dangerous.

However, let us help narrow your search by providing our 5 best PFDs for women kayakers!

NRS Zoya

The 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers

The NRS Zoya PFD is a type III PFD and is a great life vest option for women kayakers. It’s designed to be slim and comfortable, with plenty of room to move around.

I have a couple of river guide friends that use this women’s PFD and swear by it. This Life Vest doesn’t have the half-cool mesh that others have but is cut away in the back to provide plenty of airflows.

The Zoya has adjustable shoulder straps that help with a comfortable fit in both the front and the back. It also has two front zipper pockets that work great for storing a small snack, car keys, or some safety gear.

I have a couple of river guide friends that use this life vest and swear by it. This life jacket is comfortable, lightweight, and has all of the storage space that they need! This life vest makes a great kayaking PFD.

Price: $127

Stohlquist Cruiser

The 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers

The Stohlquist Cruiser Women’s PFD was designed specifically for women and aims to be especially pleasant for women while also providing a snug fit. This low-profile life jacket features supportive inner cups and an ergonomic form, as well as a smaller cut than other similar women’s PFDs.

The zippered pockets and a rear lash tab keep your stuff safe, while the open sides and mesh back can keep you cool in the warm sun.

It is a little light on floatation, at 16.4 oz. but is a comfortable fit. I offer this life vest to young adults and teenage women who want to run inflatable kayaks on our trips. The life vest provides high back flotation making it great for paddle sports.

Price: $119.95

NRS Siren

The 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers

The NRS Women’s Siren PFD sports a six-panel design of soft foam to wrap the torso. This provides ultra-comfortable protection while also providing an athletic fit for paddling comfortably. You shouldn’t experience any chafing issues or the PFD riding up. The large arm holes make it easy to paddle as well. I wish it had more pockets, but it is a great life jacket if you do not need to carry much gear! This is another great kayaking PFD.

I have a few of these in my inventory because it seems to be a popular choice for all shapes and sizes. A lot of my customers also like the look and style of this life jacket.

Price: $118.00

Astral Layla

Astral Layla women's PFD

My wife has an Astral Layla women’s PFD from previous years and likes how comfortable it is. She can go on lengthy excursions without getting chafed or having to adjust her life vest around her torso. She’s owned it for a long time, and I doubt we’ll need another one! This is the best PFD for paddling, in my wife’s opinion.

Astrals are regarded as being long-lasting, and this women’s PFD is not different. The Astral was designed specifically for women. It is made with hinged princess seams, inner cups, adjustable shoulder straps, and super soft organic kapok.

Price: $165.00

Stohlquist Flo

Stohlquist Flo PFD

The Flo PFD is a great option for woman kayakers and rafters alike. The Flo has a vented back, which helps you stay cool on those Summer days! The PFD’s built-in inner cups result in a better overall fit.

There are additional cross-chest cinch straps for a more solid fit around your torso. These chest straps are made to keep the life jacket from riding up, allowing it to sit lower on your body.

I have heard that they are not as comfortable for all body types as the Astral or NRS options.

Price: $ 99.95

The 5 best PFDs for Women Kayakers Conclusion

Women’s PFDs are designed specifically for women with the goal of providing a better fit, and offering more comfort while out on the water. We’ll go out on a limb and say that women have different physique shapes than males. Therefore, it is logical that these personal flotation devices are tailored to fit a woman’s body differently.

The best five PFDs for women kayakers that we reviewed provide a good value, and will perform well on all your paddling adventures. All of these life vests are made from durable material, and offer a secure fit, US Coast Guard approved. You would have made a great choice no matter which one you choose for your water sports. The right life jacket for you is the one that fits you the best!

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