Our whitewater friends have it right with their Type V devices. They are comfortable, protective and highly adjustable. The Palm Freestyle has two top shoulder buckles (one per shoulder) and three cinch buckles on either side. this takes longer to put on but allows for a very customized fit that does not move. From rescue classes I can tell it is much easier to lift a person during a scoop rescue if the PFD fits well and closely, and this one does. Its adjust-ability also allows for an excellent fitted low profile, making it much easier to vault onto the back of a kayak doing a solo paddle float or cowboy rescue. I am done forever with those puffy PFDs by some major makers that ride up like an umpire's chest pad and take up about as much room.
The zip front D pocket drains, opens easily, and is plenty big enough to hold a whistle on a lanyard, my nose clips, and my car keys, again on a lanyard, along w. the odd powerbar or two. The pocket is also trimmed in SOLAS reflective tape, a nice touch. I added more to the back straps.
The Freestyle also feature four soft stretchy C shaped semi-pockets, two in front, two in back. They are quite grippy and make it easy to lash essentials to you, yet keep them under cover so they don't snag.
The fit is so good I honestly barely know it's on. I kayak for hours at a time in open waters (small lakes, big lakes) in temperatures between 45 and 90 degrees) This fabric is somehow more breathable than the standard polyester closethreaded fabric seen on the majority of PFDs.
Finally, the fabric is a handsome black/silver textured twill, which does not show dirt and wear as many other PFD smoothfaced fabrics do.
The Freestyle grades out to a 9 because it does take longer to put on that the zip up types, however, I will gladly trade 30 extra seconds for a PFD that looks good, is soundly made and most importantly allows me to do my safety practice successfully.
Oh yeah, I wear it. Always.