by Forrest Wells August 12, 2019
Start of by ensuring that all of the straps are nice an loose before putting the vest on. Next zip up the vest in the front or on the side. Start from the bottom of the vest and work your way up as you tighten the straps. Most Vests will have a buckle that will need to be snapped at the buttom. Once snapped take a moment to tighten this bottom strap. This is the strap that should rest just under your rib cage to keep the vest seated.
Most vests will have two adjustments on eash side of the vest. Cinch these straps evenly as you don't want the life jacket to be off center. These side straps should be snug without resticting your ability to take a deep breath. It can be nice to have a paddle buddy get the straps started.
Last tighten the shoulder straps. Once the shoulder straps are snug take a moment and pull up on the starps with a moderate amount of force. Your vest should remain snug. If you are able to pull up on the vest drastically then you will need to adjust the fit or try a different Life Jacket. I will usually do this again when I am seated in the kayak since my vest fits differently when I am standing vs. siting.
A properly sized PFD should be snug and fit like a glove, yet allow you to move freely and not chafe while paddling and playing.
PFD fit tips:
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