I’ve always used a ski jacket on a boat and for jet skiing. I just purchased my first recreational sit in kayak and the PFDs for kayaking feels awful.  I’m close to 105 and about 5’3”.   I’ve bought the Astral Linda and Storquist Flo.  Besides being so bulky I cannot zip on my own.  It is difficult buying this item online.   Will be nice when store opens again.

Any suggestions will be welcomed and appreciated. 


@Melinda7 Thanks for reaching out!

We're sorry you're having issues with the fit of your PFD. Kayaking PFDs are designed to give you freedom of motion in your arms while paddling as well as fitting your torso while sitting down. As a result they can feel like they are bulky as the foam ends up above your stomach, on your chest, and your upper back (to accommodate the seat). They fit very differently than some of the lower profile, body hugging, water skiing models. One reason they can feel so much more bulky is because they need to contain as much material for flotation but they can't have any of that material located under your arms, low on your stomach, on the small of your back, or too much on your shoulders.

One recommendation I have is loosening the straps on the sides of the pfd (and over the shoulders if you have them) before attempting to zip it up. This allows you to have the least amount of tension on the zipper when you zip it up. Once you have it zipped, you can tighten the side straps down to make sure it is snug. Begin by tightening the bottom side straps and work your way up, to allow more room in your chest and shoulders for movement while paddling.

Both the models you have bought are high quality, fitted PFDs. Hopefully this helps dial in their fit a little bit!

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