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  • This PFD fits short torsos well, when more conventional life jackets are uncomfortable
  • Rugged Cordura® nylon holds up to hard wear, standing up to the test of time; stretchy interior fabric enhances breathability and encourages flex
  • Soft PVC-free foam flotation panels are contoured for your comfort
  • Floating front panel contours to your body and offer a warm place for your hands on chilly days
  • NRS Ninja PFD's athletic design won't interfere with your range of motion in paddling, rowing or swimming
  • 4 side adjustments and 2 shoulder adjustments customize the fit
  • Side entry features quick-release buckles for easy on and off
  • Lash tab holds your rescue knife


View all NRS Men's PFDs

REI membership


Best Use Paddling
Flotation 16.5 pounds
USCG Classification Type III
Material(s) Cordura nylon
Lash Tab Yes
Fits Chest
42 - 50 inches
38 - 46 inches
33 - 40 inches
Weight 1 lb. 8 oz.
Gender Unisex
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great for sailing and canoeing This is a pretty good jacket for sailing. I sail a small catamaran and other dinghies. I also use it for canoeing and kayaking. It is very comfortable for canoeing, but with the recreational kayak I have the back of the jacket doesn't fit well with he kind of seat it has. The jacket and the seat overlap a little bit, but not enough to be very comfortable. I have not tried it with a touring or white water kayak. I can also swim pretty well with the large arm areas. Another feature that the description doesn't say is that there is a little key loop inside he pocket. It can stay outside of the pocket, so I put my whistle on it. I also keep a nylon strap in the pocket. One last thing, if you use a knifeor something attached to the lash tab, this might not be the best jacket. The tab is so far down the jacket that it would be hard to use.
Date published: 2012-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fits like a glove! The Ninja was purchased for flatwater kayaking. It has proven to be a near perfect fit, is highly adjustable and offers hours of comfortable paddling. It does, however, have several drawbacks. The lashing point for the knife is badly placed on the front panel. It also lacks an attachment point for a safety whistle. For this purpose, the whistle can be stored in the small convenience pocket on the front panel. All in all, the Ninja is a great PFD and is highly recommended.
Date published: 2014-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A PFD for people who hate PFDs This is by far the most comfortable PFD I've ever worn. I've been an expert swimmer for as long as I can remember (lifeguard, too) and I've always HATED wearing PFDs (even though I sink like a brick if I'm not continuously treading water). I bought the NRS Ninja PFD to use with my stand up paddle board (USCG compliance) and I've found that I actually like wearing it since if I wipe out my head stays dry. This PFD is so comfortable and low-profile I honestly forget that I'm wearing it: full range of motion in any direction, doesn't ride up, no chafing or pressure points, cool on hot days and warm on cold days (it even has this nice little handwarmer pocket like a hoodie on the front). It has a handy little pocket in the center chest for my keys and a whistle (ring tab stitched in). The side-entry system is a very nice change from conventional PFDs as well, since it allows the shoulder rests to sit comfortably on the upper torso and keeps the vest in the proper location, even on taller or shorter wearers (the vest is adjustable in every dimension to fit even big and tall guys like me). I'd recommend this PFD to anyone who loves being on the water all-day but usually hates PFDs - you won't find a better fit!
Date published: 2013-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comfortable and it works! I had to get all the safety items to go with my new kayak and decided to spend just a little more on my pfd than I planned. This one is so comfortable, I forget I have it on and it keeps me afloat and stays in place and helps protect me from the cold water when I am practicing my self rescue skills.
Date published: 2014-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If rolling a priority for you, this is it This was the only PFD that REI carried that is really great for whitewater, because the way it is designed does not inhibit rolling. If you're getting into whitewater, make an investment in this so you don't have to rebuy later. NRS is a fantastic brand of very high quality, you will be impressed.
Date published: 2014-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I like it I've had several opportunities while teaching an Intro to Kayking class to paddle and swim in this pfd. I really like it. I can adjust it so that it's comfy both on and in the water without riding up over my head.
Date published: 2014-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Buy One On a recent trip where my sense of adventure over ruled my sense of self preservation this thing saved me.
Date published: 2015-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very comfortable I had a PFD that was styled like an article of clothing. It always made a lot of rubbing noise as I paddled my kayak. I could not hear what my companions were saying that were paddling right along side of me. I rented a kayak last September while in the Adirondacks to paddle around Fourth Lake and tried a PFD that the outfitter had that was shaped the way this NRS is shaped. I took it on its maiden voyage down the Batsto River in NJ. It was very comfortable and did not make all that rubbing noise. I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2016-06-28
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I wear an XL-will XXL fit me or LXL?

Asked by: Stevex
The L/XL fit a chest 38 - 46 inches. The XXL fit a chest 42 - 50 inches.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2015-09-20

Can you tell me how thick the front panel of this life jacket it (size large)? (from skin out! for instance 1 inch). I'm looking for a low-profile (thin) LJ. thanks!

Asked by: GeeLo
The front panel on the NRS Ninja PFD is 3 inches thick.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2015-09-20

I am 5'6" and athletic, wearing a 41-42" sports coat. What size would you recommend? Also, I want this for a sit on top Kayak and paddle boarding. Would this be a good fit? Or I there something better you would recommend that I not an belt?

Asked by: Frank V
We recommend you put on your coat and take your chest measurement. Once you know your measurement you can appropriately size yourself with the sizing information in the "Specs" section. This PFD is a great option for both kayaking and paddle boarding.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-01-07

I'm 4 ft 10 inches tall, 115 lbs. Short torso. Need PFD for flat water kayaking. My current PFD is too long. Think this PFD would work for me? If not, other ideas? For a daypack I ended up resorting to a youth pack. But I'm on the heavy side.

Asked by: Carol Ann
Based on the information provided, the Ninja PFD is a good choice. The PFD has many adjustment points for a customized fit.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-01-16

would this pfd be appropriate for sup and wearing a hydration pack while doing so. thanksl

Asked by: telco
Depending on the size and configuration of the hydration pack, combining it with the NRS Ninja PFD could be a suitable option. The smaller and lighter the hydration pack, the better the fit would likely be.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2015-09-20

Is this life vest USCG approved?

Asked by: Becky26142
The Ninja PFD has a Type III USCG Classification.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2016-05-27

will this keep you afloat if you become incapacitated while swimming for excercise?

Asked by: Kent
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