Your Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is probably along with your helmet your prime piece of protection whilst on the water. Your PFD not only helps to keep you afloat it also offers vital padded protection for your body.
The Rescue PFD is something as yet I have not covered as part of the Pin Kit series. So here it is.
A rescue PFD is a PFD that includes an integrated chest harness and tends to be more robust (and often larger) than a standard PFD. The harness can be used to safely secure yourself in a belay situation or during a life bait rescue scenario. The important thing is that the chest harness can be released quickly and easily even if the system is under tension.
All of my rescue PFDs over the years have been from Palm Equipment and my current PFD is no different. My weapon of choice is the Palm Extrem River Vest. It offers a really good fit which is important, great floatation and I don’t find it restrictive or too bulky. All of theses points are really important to me.
The Extrem River Vest can carry the vast majority of my pin kit. My Spyderco Delica sits in my left hand pocket, and my whistle in the right hand pocket. My camera, rescue tape, prussic loop and a couple of carabiners sit within the front pockets. If I need to carry additional carbiners they get clipped into the shoulder straps for quick access.
Other PFDs that are worth a look include: