|Nothing lasts forever, not even a well-made PFD.|
But some things haven't changed. Kokatat still offers terrific gear that's made in the US and backed by excellent customer service. And the MsFit Tour is still the gold standard among PFDs--another observation we made while researching our article, "The Right Stuff." So we decided to try out the Ronin Pro, an attractive vest with only one big pocket because it is designed for whitewater paddlers, and the new MsFit Tour.
|The new Ronin Pro (left) and MsFit Tour (right).|
|The new MsFit Tour features a clever pouch above the lash tab so a knife can be tucked in.|
|The Ronin Pro features exceptionally large cut-outs around the arms.|
|Alec in the Ronin Pro. A paddler with a short torso fill find it especially bulky over the stomach.|
A single pocket sounded like an attractive feature now that we carry less kit, but Alec discovered that he was always rooting around in it to find what he needed. Having three pockets, even if they aren't full, is better for staying organized. And there was no place on the Ronin to carry a VHF radio.
|The MsFit has ample room in the two side pockets for more than enough gear, a designated radio pocket, and a knife pouch. (No, that's not the knife we'd actually carry.)|
Some day, we hope someone will figure out a way to add buoyancy without bulk. Or perhaps over time we'll discover that we need to carry even less kit, or that PFDs need less foam. Until then, the MsFit seems to offers an excellent combination of fit, adjustability, workmanship, pocket configuration and other features for sea kayakers. Sometimes, like Dorothy, you go out looking for your heart's desire only to find that you had it in your own back yard.