Regardless of my decision to buy a Kayak vs rent this year, I swore this year I was going to buy my own PFD. Found that you have limited choices on PFD when you are renting, you get what they have, regardless of style, storage capacity or condition, and it kind of felt like wearing someone else’s undergarments.
After reviewing a number of different manufacturers I decided Kokatat was the brand for me. I took a trip down to Mountain Equipment Co-op in Toronto and started checking out the different models, in the end I went with the MsFit Tour, pronounced “MissFit” yeah I know it’s a PFD for the ladies, just meant I had to go a size up with XL instead of large. You may ask, why pick a ladies PFD.
Quite simply, for some reason Kokatat in their infinite wisdom made the ladies PFD with more options. All the men’s PFD’s had either 1 pocket or a VHF pocket and another pocket. This was the only one that has VHF pocket and two additional pockets, one on each side, three if you include the little inside one for storing keys or whatnot. It fits me perfectly and I’m very happy with it although, I can hear my buddies now, “nice jacket, does it come in men’s”. Went with mango color, they didn’t have pink in stock.
Picked up a Wenoka Squeeze Titanium knife by Aqua Lung, I had a folding mini one on my vest last year but if you ever needed to use it in a pinch, good luck. Figured I had to man up my ladies jacket and this one is amazing, very rugged and sharp, has a sheath which the knife snaps into and can attach to PFD, I used zip ties to attach upside down to the front lash tab on the PFD, I can take the knife out one handed with either hand if required. Never know if you get tangled up in rope and need quick access. My motto, “better to have and not need than need and not have” plus, cool factor is up there.
Attached my fox40 and strobe light to the front zipper so I can reach easily and it’s out of the way, VHF fits perfectly and there are still two other pockets for putting whatever else I may want to carry on the water.