The Hobie Hi-Back Mesh Life Jacket - PFD was designed specifically for Hobie Kayaks by Stohlquist, a leader in personal floatation devices. The flotation in the back is up high and away from the seat back (less bulk down low). Short length does not ride up? around your neck when you are sitting. There is a mesh panel across the back. Front zip entry for easy on and off. A zipper keeper to prevent the zipper from slipping down when in use. Large mesh pockets on the front for easy storage and access of small items. Stretchy neoprene adjustable padded shoulders. Ventilated mesh side panels. High waistline cut. Huge arm cutouts and a short waist allow excellent freedom of movement. Adjustable side straps offer enough size variation for many layers underneath or none! Check Fit Guide tab for proper sizing.
|Approval:||USCG Type III|
|Shell Fabric:||500 Denier Oxford Shell|
Winter now in the Buffalo, NY area, so fat chance my wife will get to field test the life vest ordered. However, she does like the fit and cut of it and thinks it will work out nicely. Compared to the Stohlquist model, seems only real difference are the mesh front pockets vs. nylon on the Stohlquist. Extremely satisfied with service and delivery time from ACK. Great job!
Kayak specific PFDs are a must for paddling. I am disappointed in this product though, as it rides up in the front and the zipper sometimes rubs under my chin which is a bit uncomfortable. I have adjusted the straps to minimize this, but haven't been able to eliminate it. Perhaps it is less anatomically designed for women?
Love these Jackets. They are lightweight and very easily adjustable. I got the S/M and it is easily adjustable between my wife and daughter. ACKs customer support really shined here. I ordered my L/XL in yellow but it was out of stock. I got a call on my cell phone and ACK offered that green was in stock. My order wasnt delayed and I appreciated that option. The green looks great too.
Pros: The high back is the reason I purchased this PFD--it works as advertised. The many adjustable straps make for a good fit. Cons: Fabric seems light. May be very sensitive to sun. I suggest using 303 protectant regularly. Fabric is skimpy near zipper making it hard to start zipper. The zipper is the only closure. It does not have a fast clip closure around waist. None at the top. So, again the zipper is the only closure. The mesh pockets on front are very tight. You could fit a cell phone (just an example, but don't do if not waterproof!) However, fitting in a small waterproof camera or VHF radio is tight. It would be difficult and maybe impossible to fit a large, handheld VHF radio in one of these pockets. Also, there are no convenient loops or D-rings to tether a radio or camera. There is a single, very small loop high along zipper, but it is small and inconvenient to tether something too. If you have more than one item to tether (like a camera, VHF radio, SPOT, the lack of loops will be a problem.