When paddling, coaching and guiding, I’m looking for comfort, pockets, fit, and visibility when choosing a PFD. Kokatat’s Poseidon, delivers on all accounts. Designed with a modular pocket system that can be configured in almost any way imaginable, the life vest comes with a super roomy chest pocket. I chose to expand my options and upgraded with the Poseidon Expedition Kit that includes the Tactic Pack, Hydrapak 1.5 liter reservoir, Belly Pocket, and Quick Release Belt.
For normal everyday coaching and personal paddling I use the tactic pack, filling it with some basic boat repair items (thin plastic cutting board, denzo tape) and the hydration reservoir. In the front I use the belly pocket which is wonderfully large and well designed. Inside the belly pocket, for small on water medical events, I keep a roll of electrical tape- which sticks to anything even if it is wet, my noseplugs, a laser flare, my VHF radio, and a tube of sun screen. In the back of the belly pocket, which is readily accessible on the water, I keep my grease pencil, signal mirror, a handheld compass and expired driver’s license.
If I’m going on an expedition I’ll add the chest pocket and put in my personal locator beacon, several energy bars and those other odds and ends that I seem to want when I’m paddling all day for an extended period of time.
The Poseidon fits be better than any PFD I’ve worn in my 20 years of paddling. Although not cut specifically for women, the 8 adjustment straps, the wide sensibly shaped neoprene shoulders and the Gaia-PVC free foam pads make it extremely comfortable. It runs a bit smaller than the MsFit PFD, so if you are at the top of the size range, think about ordering up a size.
The Poseidon has a quick release loop that I use for my tow-carabiner. The loop can be moved and positioned to wherever it feels most comfortable for you. I keep mine down low so that very little of my line is out of my tow bag.
Lastly the Poseidon looks good and the person wearing the Poseidon can be readily seen. The reflective logos, yellow accents of the modular pockets and tactic pack, plus the extensive reflective tape makes anyone wearing the Poseidon extremely visible on the water in normal or reduced light.
I waited a year to write this review because I wanted to test the Poseidon in a variety of environments and conditions. Surfing in Baja, coaching on Lake Superior, playing in tide races in Maine, or paddling the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, this vest is the one I’m taking with me.
The God of the Sea may well have become the God of PFD’s.
The Poseidon fits me better than any PFD I’ve worn in my 20 years of paddling.