packable pfd

i realize that this topic has been discussed quite a bit within this forum, but i’m just wondering if anybody had any new experiences and/or ideas, where to be looking, etc. for a lightweight packable pfd for backcountry travel?



It largely depends on what type of packrafting you’ll be doing as to what an appropriate PFD will be. If you’re using the packraft just as a tool (river crossings, lake paddling, fishing) I would suggest an inflatable Type V PFD such as those made by Mustang Survival. They come in either a manual or automatic inflate model. When deflated these are extremely packable and light weight. If packrafting is the main focus of your adventure, and you’re seeking out serious whitewater, it’s best to have a foam Type III PFD designed for flotation in whitewater. These are not nearly as packable as the inflatables, and you wouldn’t want to “pack” it anyway, since doing so can compress the foam and compromise your flotation. One good way to carry these PFDs when ‘packing the raft’ is to attach them to the outside of your pack. If you have a beaver tail feature, using that to hold it in place works well. Another way could be to have the PFD attached through the shoulder straps with your pack’s side compression straps, effectively wrapping the PFD around the pack.

Keep on having fun…