Monday, March 26, 2012

As we gear up for the European boating season, we thought we'd tell you about the Rivermonster XT and why it's the best choice for whitewater kayaking.

Most hi flotation pfd's are too thick at the front, and impede both pro-active swimming and your chances of scrambling onto a rock or into a raft. The Rivermonster XT has the perfect foam distribution to allow passive/defensive swimming, or head down front crawl. And has more and better distributed impact protection too.

The foam is hinged to allow it to mold to the shape of the wearer's body. The new tweaks of fit and construction are just awesome. It's a joy to wear.

Most whitewater pfd's have built in webbing harnesses to give high shoulder strength, but only the Rivermonster XT has continuous seat-belt webbing (yes, it's all one piece with no joins) that terminates front and back in loops for karabiners.*

The quick release chest belt is made from the same webbing and features a load spreader/brake plate that can be threaded by experienced persons for auto, manual or no release depending on your needs.

We don't approve of welded steel rings because their strength/condition cannot be reliably ascertained, so we suggest you use an appropriate screw-gate karabiner when attaching to the back of the chest belt.

The shoulders of the Rivermonster XT are double thick padded for clavicular safety  and boat carrying comfort.

The neoprene stretch front pocket system is amazing, you can fit tons of gear in your pockets but it doesn't protrude and cause an obstruction like other whitewater pfd pockets.There are separate compartments for quick access to knife and other accessories.

The unique Nookie krab park comes with an attachment system to lock the krab in place but to be honest most pros find a standard bent-gate is secure just stuffed in the pocket, so well designed is this feature.

Add to this the one-time only adjustment, the bright panels and hi-vis bits, and the Cordura shell and you have the ultimate whitewater pfd. It is also successfully used for sea kayaking and open boating. All the metal components are corrosion resistant. You can remove the chest belt and paddle freestyle. Maybe it's the only buoyancy aid you need.

for full tech spec go to

* Experienced persons can tether the buoyancy aid to a sit harness or crotch straps so that it cannot be pulled off. The immense strength of the buoyancy aid internal structure would be of no use without this system because the buoyancy aid could simply be pulled off as the wearer's body starts to deform significantly at forces in excess of 1.4KN (150kg vertical weight equivalence).