Safety is paramount in water sports and nothing is more important than wearing the right gear for the situation you are paddling. Inflatable belt pack personal flotation device (PFDs) are popular with standup paddlers. Their size makes them convenient and are generally considered to be non-obtrusive for paddlers.
Before you make your purchase or head out on the water it is important to know that not all models are the same. The two most popular styles are an ultra-slim Type V and the slightly larger Type III. The key difference between the two is the amount and style of flotation they provide.
Watch the short video below as PaddleXaminer founder Matt Chebatoris walks you through the two most common belt pack types. Choose the type that is best suited for you and the conditions you’re paddling in.
Click here to learn more about different USCG certified life jacket and PFD types. You may also be interested in reading our reviews of popular models. Remember, the best PFD is one that you’re wearing.
Have fun, be safe and we’ll see you on the water!
Note: The Coast Guard is working with the water safety community to revise the classification and labeling of PFDs. When completed, this information will be updated and hopefully be somewhat easier to understand. Meanwhile, spending a few minutes to understand the many options available to find a life jacket or PFD that you’re willing to wear could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one.
Each PFD sold for use on a recreational boat is required to be provided with a guide to selection entitled “Think Safe – Choose the Right PFD”. These pamphlets are tailored to the kind of PFD to which they are attached.