Best PFD For Paddle Boarding Guide

It’s no doubt that paddle boarding is a wonderful watersport to get into. Millions have jumped on board and have gone out to the waters. If you haven’t tested this out, you are missing out on something grand. When you go out on the board, you will want to add a PFD to your gear. You may be a very strong swimmer, and may not think you need this at all, but it could save your life. What most people fail to realize is that they are going to get quite tired when they are on the waters. Paddling takes a lot out of you. Even if you’re very fit, it’s going to take a great deal from your energy. If you fall into the water, while fatigued, your full strides for swimming may become difficult for you. A best  PFD for paddle boarding will save your life, letting you float through without worry.

Not sure what PFD means? It’s simple, a life vest. There are a lot of choices that you can run through in this regards. To ensure that you’re getting the best, there are several standards that have been taken into consideration. There are 4 major things that were looked into before the following was compiled. That includes the following:

  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • High standards for safety
  • USCG (United States Coast Guard) Approval
  • Extra Storage

Best PFD For Paddle Boarding Reviews

The Best PFD For Paddle Boarding Hip Belt Option:

Connelly Skis Inflatable Paddle Sports Vest

Connelly Skis Inflatable Paddle Sports Vest

This is best PFD for paddle boarding on the market. A hip belt could very well be the best option that you consider in regards to life vests. This is not a vest, obviously, but it works like a charm. When you are in the water, and struggling, pull the tab and you will be given a life line. A full 25 pounds of pure buoyancy glory will help you rise up and stay away from drowning. The reason why this works is because it’s small, it’s out of your way, and the C02 cartridge doesn’t discharge until you pull the string. This gives you an added element of control. Once in the water, you can easily reach for this tab, pull, and within seconds your PFD inflates and you’re buoyant. If for whatever reason this doesn’t work, you can manually inflate it fast, and get yourself to safety. The reason why this is one of the best is the ease of use, which is a sign of good design when it comes to PFD solutions.

Comfort and Storage

Two elements that are great about the Connelly Skis Inflatable Paddle Sports Vest include the zippered storage pocket and the air mesh padding. That means that you can wear this all the time with ease. Then you can store whatever you’d like in the pocket. It fits firmly on your waist, without a lot of loose elements, or anything along those lines. It lets you have full mobility of your arms and legs. While on the water, you will be able to push through waters, paddle, bend, crouch, and do everything without having a bulky vest on your upper body, nor anything dragging down your lower body. Since this is not inflated through most use, you will not have to worry about anything, giving you peace of mind as you paddle, move around, and even swim a little. Whatever the case is, you’ll be able to stay buoyant when you need a little help.

The Main Features You Will Find Include:

  • USCG approved
  • Inflates Fast
  • Manual Inflation Element (in case the CO2 doesn’t inflate)
  • Adjustable Belt
  • Padding
  • Zippered Storage Pocket
  • Mesh Elements for fast drying
  • Belt up to 52”
  • 25 pounds of buoyancy
  • Pull Inflation fast
  • Lightweight

What Are People Saying

For those that have purchased the Connelly Skis Inflatable Paddle Sports Vest, the reviews are favorable. People are citing the lightweight, and the simple use for SUP to be amazing. It’s lighter than it looks, and when the tab is pulled, it absolutely works well. It’s simple, easy to use, and definitely worth exploring, according to many reviewers. Oh, and of course, it’s priced right, which is always a factor for the consumer. Simply put, this works quite well, pushing 25 pounds of buoyancy with relative ease. That alone makes this one of the best solutions on this list and beyond.

The Best PFD For Paddle Boarding Suspenders Option:

Onyx A/M 24 Automatic Vest

Onyx A/M 24 Automatic Vest

Moving forward to more traditional solutions, you will find that the best option in terms of suspender typed PFD is the Onyx A/M 24 Automatic Vest. This is a simple solution that goes over your shoulders. It’s made to allow you to use your arms with ease, and have the mobility you need to push your board. This inflates automatically, and gives you a full 22.5 pounds of buoyancy on your upper body. There’s a manual pull tab with easy reach when you need it most.

For those that have any sort of issue, there’s a manual option as well. The manual setting allows you to inflate things orally if you need to work through that. However, the automatic mode is the traditional solution that works fast. You choose whether or not you want to go manual. Most often, you’ll want to have this automatically inflate, so that you are not worrying about inflating things manually.

The Main Features You Will Find Include:

  • Auto Inflation
  • Manual Inflation (you choose)
  • Easy To Adjust
  • Fast Inflation
  • Lightweight
  • Neoprene Neckline (comfort)
  • Reflective Elements (visibility)
  • 22.5 pounds of buoyancy
  • USCG approved

What Are People Saying?

The reviews associated with the Onyx A/M 24 Automatic Vest are quite good. People note how simple and easy to put on this is. Not only that, they mention the lightweight of the suspenders. Moving around is easy, the lining is comfortable, and truly works when in the water. The minimalist design is one of the main things that people discuss. However, others noted that it’s “too” light for their tastes. Even though it is a lightweight PFD, it still produces 22.5 pounds of buoyancy which is quite a bit all things considered.

Priced to sell, and quality overall, this is a great USCG approved solution that is light and airy, while on the body. It’s easy to continue your SUP adventure with this on, that’s for sure. On our best PFD for paddle boarding list, this is definitely the lightest.

Best PFD for Paddle Boarding Vest Option:

NRS Ninja PFD

NRS Ninja PFD

Looking for something more traditional? A true vest? Then this is the best solution to consider. The NRS Ninja PFD is a solid solution that fits easily on the upper body. It goes over the shoulder, and is cut in an athletic manner to let your arms and shoulders work towards pushing your board. As you paddle, you will enjoy how simple this is overall. You will not feel like you have something bulky on, that’s for sure.

The Custom Fit

For this vest, there are several adjustable areas. There are 4 total areas to adjust, and they let you figure out what works best. So long as you don’t have it so loose that it falls off of you, you’re going to find that this is going to help you gain peace of mind. Comfort and fit are very important, and they need you to help you stay safe while in the water.

Speaking of comfort, the NRS Ninja PFD has a special athletic cut. It’s cut to allow you to have full freedom when you are on your SUP adventure. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re an intermediate, you will find that you will be able to use your paddle with relative ease. The cut lets you have 100% free motion, as the manufacturer didn’t takeaway comfort.

If the fit is not enough of a selling point, consider that this vest has an easy to access storage pocket. It’s easy to save your glasses, or any other item on the front, as the pocket is simple to access. NRS has been putting out PFD options for some time, and this is one of their best.

The Main Features You Will Find Include:

  • Low profile design
  • Active Cut for movement
  • PVC Free
  • Foam flotation panels
  • Quick drying fabric
  • Front storage pocket
  • Cordura outer elements
  • Soft
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable in 4 major areas
  • 16.5-pound buoyancy
  • USCG certified

What Are People Saying?

Right now there are a lot of reviews coming through about the Ninja PFD. People love the cut, as it is easy to paddle without intrusion from the vest. The cut and customized overall fit is one of the best features that people discuss. Aside from that, people like the weight, which is lighter than most. With so many positive reviews, it’s no wonder that this is one of the bestselling, best reviewed vest available today. There are no major downsides to this vest, considering it’s sleek, designed for sport, and simple to adjust and customize.

Staying Safe

The best PFD for paddle boarding can mean a different thing to different people. But one thing is for sure, if you utilize one of the aforementioned products, you will stay safe. Each one is meant to help you keep your movements free from obstruction. Each option works to help you move, and stay buoyant in the water. If you fall off your board, if you’re tired, or you don’t know how to swim, these will help you stay above water, and signal for help. Safety matters when you’re on the water, and these PFD options are going to save your life, if you use them on your SUP trip. Remember, you never know when you may need a little help in the water. It’s best to be safe, not sorry, these will help.

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Steven Conte
 

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