I’ve been raft guide and been whitewater canoeing for years and it has been a real challenge to find a rescue jacket that actually fits, seeing as it seems they are all made for guys. This is definitely a unisex PFD, but I can get the right fit with a small adjustments. The panel in the front stays out of the way when I’m in my canoe or kayak and the big pockets are plenty for all I have to bring when I’m teaching classes. I have a lot of friends who kayak and raft recreationally and really like having this jacket because it has all the safety features without the bulk.
One of my favorite parts of this jacket, I have to admit, is the really cool design. Astral Buoyancy issues just a few limited edition lifevests a year that are made in small batches in their factory in Ashville, and the one I have is called “Dark Water.” It was actually inspired by Tibetan thangka artwork! The images in this blog were taken from Astral’s website showing the inspiration and the final design.