It's been two years since I bought my last PFD, so I thought a change was in order. The biggest problem is all the choice!
Hmm, what to try first? The Palm Kaikoura, Palm Hydro, NRS C-Vest, or the Astral V-Tour all have excellent reviews and certainly look the part.
This past year it has become clear to me that Kokatat is the way forward. I use the Kokatat Expedition Goretex drysuit and Kokatat Hydrus drypants, which are fantastic pieces of kit, so why wouldn't their buoyancy aids be the same?
The question is which model to go for?
Now one of my main reasons for not going for the Palm Kaikoura is all the pockets. Once you've filled them, as I usually do being an angler, I find this to be a hindrance when self rescuing and the metallic items stored in the pockets will eventually rust.
So my choice was the new Kokatat Bahia Predator.
The back of the PFD as you can see in the photo has been drastically cut back to allow better movement, has foam to retain your core temperature in the winter months, and doesn't interfere with high back rests.
The Bahia Predator offers plenty of support. It has a waist strap along with four adjustment straps which connect the back to the front offering lots of adjustment (before and after lunch).
The shoulder straps are also adjustable and have neoprene padding for extra comfort.
The Kokatat Bahia Predator has one pocket on the left of with plenty of compartments and an attachment loop that's handy for keys (non-electronic).
On the right hand side it has a special thermo-formed pocket, which is very good for any fly fishermen or single hooked lures/soft plastic lures. I think this feature will attract a lot of anglers.
Although I'm not a lover of loads of pockets I do like to have kit close to hand like my safety knife, pliers, VHF, and a few other bits. So the other part of this buoyancy aid that I really like is the attachment straps inside and out.
The Kokatat Bahia Predator is now available at Escape Watersports, and is a cracking buy for the price it is at. Highly recommend it!