The Palm Helix is billed as the ultimate play vest. RRP is around £80, but a search of a few UK Kayak stores will reveal that a brand new Helix can be had for less than £45!
The Helix Palm Buoyancy Aid (PFD) has the buoyancy fixed low down and as a result it has a very similar feel to the old Lotus design and Astral 200 PFDs. It is an over the head design which I did find a little awkward when I was wearing my drysuit. However this is more to do with wearing a drysuit and the zip position than a design flaw in the Helix.
• Flex Formed Foam front panel wraps around torso
• Low profile front pocket with handwarming liner
• 3D anti ride-up waistbelt
• Easy Glide strap adjustment throughout
• Continuous loop failsafe shoulder straps with strap keeper pockets
• Side-release buckles at each side allow easy entry and exit
• Reflective detail on shoulders, front and rear panels
• Vent Mesh inner lining for next to the skin comfort
• Gaiaª PVC free foam throughout
Materials: Cordura 550D
The Helix feels well made and fits well. Adjustment is easy with the standard range of buckles and fasteners. The has a low bulk and works really great as a PFD for raft guiding. I would prefer a different colour but that is being a little picky. Maybe in the new Lime green colour that Palm are using in a number of bits of kit.