A personal flotation device (PFD) should be worn when youre out boating or kayaking. Think of it as a rule that you should learn to live with. Now, that being said, a PFD may not be the sexiest thing you ever wrapped around your torso, but they really arent that bad. Todays PFD isnt necessarily your fathers life preserver.
Most kayakers will wear a US Coast Guard Class type III PFD in either a vest-style or a pullover style. The PFD should be designed for paddlers and feature large neck and armholes and narrow shoulder straps. It should allow for good freedom of movement through all paddling motions. Although there is a breaking-in period to a PFD, the right one should feel pretty good the first time you try it on.
Your PFD should have a variety of adjustable straps at the waist, shoulder and armholes to provide a proper, snug fit. Most are typically waist length to compliment a sprayskirt. Make sure you get one with lots of neat pockets you can always use them. Some manufacturers are making gender-specific models which may help you get a proper fit.
PFDs come in a variety of colors and styles, so get something you like and you will never feel the urge to go without it.
Woods Canoe Company
Northwest River Supplies
Town Canoe Company