Michael (GearZone.com Tester) from Utah, United States
The Hydraulics Race Pro PFD was specifically designed for adventure racing, but it also excels at kayak touring. The main difference between this PFD and almost every other PFD on the market is that the Race Pro has a built-in hydration pocket. The hydration pocket easily holds a 100 ounce bladder and with the hydration tube holders on the front of the life jacket, you can drink while paddling without every having to take your hands off your paddle! This is a huge benefit to adventure racers and sea kayakers. It is often difficult to stay hydrated while kayaking, but it is easy with the Race Pro. For best hands free drinking I also use a Camelbak tube director and Camelbak Big Bite Valve. The tube director is a neoprene sleeve with a wire in it that allows you to bend the hydration tube to whatever shape you need it. With this setup, I can place my bite valve a few inches below and in front of my mouth.
The Race Pro has plenty of pockets for food that on the front of the vest. The middle neoprene pocket can also hold a water bottle. There is a separate pocket for a river knife and it comes with a safety whistle that has its own pocket on the shoulder strap.
I used the Race Pro for kayaking and adventure racing this last season. The PFD was really comfortable and made it much easier to stay hydrated and fed during long paddles. The Race Pro offers a lot of versatility that makes for a great touring PFD too.
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