Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Tuesday, 02 January 2018 14:25

5 Great PFDs To Help Keep Kids Safe While Kayak Angling

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Taking your kids along when kayak fishing can be a great bonding experience and also provide them with a welcome break from digital distractions. Spending more time in the great outdoors can be very beneficial for their health too, but there are some obvious safety concerns to handle too. 

One of the most important things is ensuring that your children have adequate protection out on the water. It doesn’t matter how well they are able to swim or how good they are at paddling, wearing a PFD is absolutely essential. Fortunately, most of the major personal flotation device manufacturers also have ranges that cater to the needs of children. Here are a few great PFDs for kids that are worth the investment.

Mustang Lil Legends 100 Life Vest

The Mustang Lil’ Legends 100 Life Vest is a US Coast Guard approved Type II PFD. This PFD features a grab handle, which makes it easier to pull kids back onto the kayak in the event that they manage to fall in the water. It also has a float collar that is designed to support their head in the water. The three piece design of the float collar actually makes it more comfortable for kids to wear. Additional safety features include an adjustable crotch strap that prevents the PFD from popping up if the child is submerged. The front entry zipper design of the Lil’ Legends makes it easy to put on, but it also has a single buckle that goes all the way around the PFD. Finally, the Lil Legends feature some mesh on the back to make it more breathable. The Mustang Lil’ Legends PFD is available in infant and child sizes. What sets this PFD apart from the rest is the fact that it is a Type II, whereas most commercial PFDs for kids are Type III.

Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest

Like the Mustang Lil’ Legends 100, the Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest is a Us Coast Guard approved Type II PFD. The extra contoured flat above the neck ensures that if a child falls into the water that they will always float face-up. It also has the obligatory rescue handle for assisting children with getting out of the water and is designed with bright, reflective material to keep the child visible at all times. The Stearns Heads-Up is made from durable polyester and nylon along with PE flotation foam. Strapping this vest on is easy as it two adjustable chest straps along with a Hydroprene-material covered crotch strap. The latter is designed to reduce chafing, making this PFD more comfortable for kids. If you do your angling in choppy waters, then the Stearns Heads-Up Child Vest is worth the investment for the peace of mind it offers.

MTI Adventurewear BOB PFD Life Jacket

The stylish design of the MTI Adventurewear BOB PFD makes it a good choice for kids who are a little more picky about what they wear. However, it is not just a good looking PFD, but also a very safe one that is packed with useful features. Unlike many PFDs for kids, the BOB has a handy cargo pocket, complete with a soft fleece hand warmer tunnel for cold or windy days. The life jacket is made from abrasion-resistant nylon, while flotation is provided by soft foam. Since the jacket also has straps on the shoulder, waist and sides, it can easily be adjusted for a good fit and kept even if your child grows older. It has a mesh porthole on the back and since it uses over-the-head entry, there is no risk of children unzipping the PFD. In addition to reflective trim, the jacket also includes a whistle and is a good choice for kayak fishing close to shore.

 Stohlquist Drifter  Youth

The Stohlquist Drifter Youth is a USCG Coast Guard Approved Type III PFD that is designed for youth in the 50 - 90 lbs range. It has a 500 D Cordura Nylon outer shell and a 200D Oxford liner for comfort. Thanks to the Cross-Chest Cinch harness of this PFD, it won’t ride-up while also providing more effective buoyancy. Young anglers will appreciate the extra wide armholes of the Drifter Youth as it provides them with more mobility and it also has stretchy adjustable neoprene shoulders along with cool mesh side panels The Drifter Youth is also one of the few PFDs aimed at kids that offers useful angling features. These include a 4-way accessory lash tab along with a roomy bellows pocket that has a drain grommet and D-ring on the inside. Some additional padding around the neck would have been great, but other than that the Stholquist Drifter Youth is a quality PFD for young kayak angling enthusiasts.


Astral Otter 2.0

Astral is a well-known brand when it comes to PFDs and their Otter 2.0 is one that caters to the youth. It is a United States Coast Guard approved Type III PFD that is crafted from organic kapok. Astral also wrapped the front flotation panels of the Otter 2.0 in rugged urethane cases, which enables them to conform comfortably to any body type. Meanwhile, the back flotation panels have soft PE foam sheet constructions. A snug fit is provided by the three buckle center closure of the Otter 2.0 and it also has two shoulder, two waits and two side adjustments for added comfort. To prevent ride-up, the Otter 2.0 includes leg straps that ca be fastened into loops in the jacket waist. If the child does end up in the water and need assistance, the grab handle that is sewn into the back of the PFD will enable an adult to help. Finally, the Otter 2.0 has two zippered pockets where kids can store a variety of items to take along. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 January 2018 14:54
Naomi Bolton

Yakangler's Community Manager and Editor - in charge of sourcing news and articles for the website. ┬áIf you have any ideas for new content, please do get in touch with me at: [email protected]

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