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akfishers

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm shopping for a new life jacket so I thought I'd ask what people thought of theirs. 

I'm not in a location I can go try many of them on for fit.  I had mail-ordered an Extrasport U-22, which fit fantastic, but the padding on the chest must have stuck out 3 inches which would have shortened my canoe stroke at least 6 inches.  So I'm considering a Patagonia Rio Frio.  Anybody with experience with that one inparticular?

Thanks for any input.

AKFisher,
Fearless_Chuck

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Reply with quote  #2 
Short answer - call NRS and ask them for their advice/comments 877-677-4327.

And I'm pretty sure this is one of those topics that's 90% personal/subjective preference (like do you sit or kneel and what's your favorite paddle)!

I haven't been able to try on the Patagonia Rio Frio jacket but I do have a Lotus (aka Patagonia) Rio Bravo (front zip) and a Lotus Sherman (side zip) - they're both well made and have served me well for the past two summers. Orange photos below show the RB on left and Sherman on right - yardstick for size.

My concerns with the Rio Frio (yellow photo below) is...
1 - It's $120.00 which seems excessive for a VERY basic PFD
2 - The pockets look like they'd be hard to access once you're paddling
3 - There's no reflective striping on it

NRS' listing of Patagonia PFDs...
http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product_list.asp?deptid=1952
shows a Rio Serrano and their fishing vest on sale; they also have a "mesh back" pfd for only $89 at full price.

Here's the link for NRS' "house branded" PFDs.
http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product_list.asp?deptid=1682

Personally, I like my Lotus Rio Bravo because (in no particular order)...
1 - zips in the front
2 - has plenty of lash tabs for knives and stuff
3 - pockets are easy to access
4 - has reflective striping
5 - highly adjustible for sizing

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: Patagonia_Rio_Frio_Yellow.jpg, Views: 27, Size: 24.73 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Lotus_Fronts.jpg, Views: 48, Size: 881.44 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: Lotus_Backs.jpg, Views: 23, Size: 889.27 KB 

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Charles White in Reno, NV
2006 SOAR 16 - Pro Pioneer
2000(?) SOAR 14
2002 SOAR S-CAT 12

psyodin

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Reply with quote  #3 

Recently we got Stohlquist pfd's, motion and betsea. So far we are very pleased with them, my wife especially likes how the betsea fits her. Very comfortable and unrestrictive so far on several overnighters and day trips.

Fearless_Chuck

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Reply with quote  #4 
NRS has a nice Patagonia PFD on sale right now. And shipping is only $3 this month.
(I tried to upload a photo but got a "storage limit" error.)

This appears to be a pretty basic PFD, but...
1 - it has more flotation than the average 16 lbs.
2 - it has a solid back which I like since it keeps me warm

http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=42125

Patagonia Rio Grande Life Jacket    On Sale: $63.95
You Save 35%, Regularly: $99.00

  • Type & Profile:  Type III / medium profile
  • Design Flotation: 18 lbs. 4oz
  • Entry System:  Front-zip design
  • Pockets:  2 zippered mesh front pockets with interior d-ring
  • Lash Tabs:  1
  • Adjustment System:  8 webbing adjustment points
  • Fabric:  500 denier Cordura┬« exterior
  • 200 denier nylon oxford interior

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Charles White in Reno, NV
2006 SOAR 16 - Pro Pioneer
2000(?) SOAR 14
2002 SOAR S-CAT 12
riverattler

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Posts: 191
Reply with quote  #5 
Patagonia has closed its paddling division, which used to also be known as Lotus.
That's why NRS and others are closing out these pfds.
The Rio Grande is a great jacket if someone wants to save some $$.
I am on my 2nd RG, and love its practical design: front zipper, 2 large
patch pockets, and a multitude of well placed adjustable straps.
Thanks for the heads up Chuck!
Rattler


Fearless_Chuck

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Reply with quote  #6 
Now NRS is selling ALL their Lotus / Patagonia PFDs for 40% off.

http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product_list.asp?deptid=1952&src=front&refer=MainRight_Patagonia_PFDs

Just so y'all know. - CW

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Charles White in Reno, NV
2006 SOAR 16 - Pro Pioneer
2000(?) SOAR 14
2002 SOAR S-CAT 12
Canoeman

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Reply with quote  #7 
I'm with Larry on this one. I have two Rio Grandes, one from Lotus and one from Patagonia (after patagonia acquired Lotus) - both are superior and very comfortable. But, I recently bought a MUCH better one for big water rivers - the MTI Headwater with 26 pounds 5 ounces of flotation, and it is the KING of big water PFDs.

Marc "Canoeman" McCord
http://canoeman.com/
http://southwestpaddler.com/

"Love many, trust few, and ALWAYS paddle your own canoe!"

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"Love many, trust few and ALWAYS paddle your own canoe!"
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