If you are using a throw line on the river I firmly believe that you need to carry a knife capable of cutting the line you are using.

NRS Co Pilot Rescue Knife

There are two schools of thought on how a knife should be carried. The first option is to have a knife stored in such a way that it does not create a snag hazard but still remains accessible. The choices on how this can be achieved is limited and really relies on using a pocket on your PFD. The second option is to carry a knife clipped onto the outside of your PFD. By doing this you are accepting that there will be an increased snag risk but the knife will be readily accessible. The other issue with knives that are mounted on the outside of your PFD is that it should remain secure until it is required to be used.

NRS Co Pilot Rescue Knife

The NRS Co Pilot knife is probably one of the most popular knives on the market. The NRS Co Pilot is available from Rapid Kayaks who kindly sent a Co Pilot knife for review.


Dimenions: Overall length: 5.75″, blade length: 2.25″, width 1.25″
Weight: 4.6 oz
Blade Material: HC Stainless Steel
Blade Finish: Mirror finish on yellow handle model; PVD coating on black handle model
Handle Material: Glass-reinforced polypropylene with TPR over mold
Sheath Material: Glass-reinforced nylon
Blade Edge: Smooth and serrated sections
Blade Tip: Blunt
Squared hole in handle serves as a valve wrench for an oxygen tank
Bottle opener in handle

The system uses an open top plastic sheath that protects the user from the sharp and serrated edges of the knife yet allows the knife to accessed very quickly.


The way in which the sheath fastens to the PFD and the way I which the knife itself clips into the sheath both feel very secure. I ŵould have any concerns about losing the knife de to a failure of the fastening system. Releasing the knife from the sheath involves pinching the grey buttons. This is super easy.


The knife itself has a good grip that still feels secure in the hand when wet. The blade has a blunt nose to help prevent any stabbing injuries. The edges of the blade are a combination of a smooth and serrated edge. Both are very sharp and have cut through a 11mm climbing rope without issue. I haven’t tried it on a throwline but if it will cut 11mm climbing rope it will pretty much cut through just about all types of rope and will defenseless cut through the rope supplied in throwlines.

NRS Co Pilot Rescue Knife

The knife has an integrated bottle opening and a hole that would allow you to attach a lanyard if you so wished. It is also possible to get a titanium version of the Co Pilot!

In the UK the NRS Co Pilot and Pilot knives are available from Rapid Kayaks Ltd.

Elsewhere, including the USA the NRS Co Pilot and Pilot knives can be purchased from the best Kayak stores including those found here.