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In the newest version, Kokatat moved the placement for the knife attachment and protected it with a flap - excellent change so the end of a knife doesn't get in the way during scramble re-entries. Kokatat also makes a hydration pocket that easily attaches on the back of the PFD. I can hardly wait for my current model to wear out so I can justify getting the newest version!
Basically its the best pfd you will find for sea kayaking. The hydration system is a little expensive, but it could not be better. I think it has the best bite valve you will find. And you can turn the valve off completely if you like. The back pack can be used to hold some ditch gear if you need it.
All around its worth the money if you do a lot of open water paddling. Its no wonder it is the #1 by far life jacket among instructors at the symposiums.
The MsFit Tour solved all of these problems and then some. It has two side pockets with good capacity, but that are out of the way when paddling. It has an additional pocket in the center pocket that is perfectly sized for a VHF radio or GPS. It has a forth mesh pocket under the zippered front flap, which is ideal for keys, knife, etc. There are also the requisite key rings, attachment patches and reflective tape.
One additional feature bears mentioning. The front closure is a combination of buckles and a zippered flap. According to the Kokatat rep I spoke with, the vest is Coast Guard compliant with just the buckles fastened. This means the zipper can be left open for ventilation, which has proven to be very nice on warm days.
The arm openings are large and there is zero rubbing or chafing. The front padding is low enough to provide ample chin clearance. Perhaps the best indication the comfort of this PFD is that I forgot that I was wearing it after the first few minutes.
At $121 suggested retail, it's priced between the better recreational vests and the "rescue" vests. I find it has everything I need with nothing I don't. My gear fits in the pockets and it's exceedingly comfortable. If you're looking for a full-featured touring vest, this is one to check out.
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