Stohlquist PFDs 2022: the Ultimate Guide and Reviews

Since its foundation in 1977, Stohlquist has been on the forefront of watersports product design and innovation. Every PFD they offer comes with a 40-year legacy of constant refinement and improvement. Let’s take a look at what Stohlquist life jackets are available in 2022.


Stohlquist Coaster

Stohlquist Coaster

Floatation: M: 16 lbs. 8 oz. L: 17 lb. XL: 17lb. 8 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Coaster has a similar cut and design to the Cadence model, but is a step towards touring and longer recreational days out. It still utilises Stohlquist’s graded sizing and the same thinner design and larger footprint, but has a slightly more freedom focused cut.


Stohlquist Drifter Youth

Stohlquist Drifter Youth

Floatation: 11 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Drifter Youth is a top end youth PFD suitable for recreational, touring and even some whitewater paddling. With extra wide arm holes and panels which conform to your body, your young one will have loads of freedom to paddle without anything getting in your way.


Stohlquist Fit Youth

Stohlquist Fit Youth

Floatation: 14 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system:  Front buckles

Stohlquist Fit Youth PFD is a high mobility vest for paddling, general boating and personal watercraft use. The sculpted front and back foam panels create a more appropriate fit for paddlesports, while still providing the ability to be used in other boating activities.


Stohlquist Fit

Stohlquist Fit

Floatation: 18 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front buckles

Sometimes, simplicity is key. Stohlquist Fit is a multi-use PFD designed for high mobility and ease of use. The large buckles on the front can be used with cold hands or small hands, and that lack of a zip can make this a far easier PFD to fit around layers or on larger users.


Stohlquist Infant & Child

Stohlquist Infant & Child

Floatation: Infant: 7 lbs. 6 oz. Child: 8 lbs. 6 oz.
USCG Rating: Infant: Type II Child: Type III
Entry system: Front zip and buckle

Stohlquist Infant and Child PFDs are a perfect way to introduce your young paddler safely to the water. Dual support collars cradle the head to support them as they swim around, while a handy grab handle on the rear allows you to fish them out of the water when necessary.


Stohlquist Brook

Stohlquist Brook

Floatation: 16 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front buckles

The adjustable three-buckle entry system gives you easy access to this highly comfortable female-specific PFD. The adjustable shoulder straps let you position the Brook correctly on your torso so that the interior cups sit comfortably. The sculpted foam paneling is malleable, designed not only to fit your individual shape but to maximize movement while you paddle.


Stohlquist Spinner

Stohlquist Spinner

Floatation: Not stated
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front buckles

The Spinner is Stohlquist’s budget fishing PFD, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features or useability. Stohlquist Spinner focuses primarily on comfort and mobility.


Stohlquist Spinner Youth

Stohlquist Spinner Youth

Floatation: 18 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front buckles

Stohlquist Spinner Youth is a simple, high mobility vest for kayak fishing, paddling, general boating and personal watercraft use. The scuplted front and back foam panels create more mobility for angling and paddlesports.


Stohlquist Escape Youth

Stohlquist Escape Youth

Floatation: 12 lbs. 8 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Escape Youth is based on the popular Escape PFD. This youth version is designed for young or smaller paddlers who don’t quite fit the adult model. Soft foam on the front and rear panels help the Escape Youth to conform to a range of body shapes, fitting comfortably and securely while staying out of the way. It gives you support but does not interfere with your paddling.


Stohlquist OSFA

Stohlquist OSFA

Floatation: 16 lbs. 4 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

OSFA stands for One Size Fits All. The Stohlquist Osfa is a simplistic, entry level PFD which can fit a wide range of paddlers. This is a great choice for beginner paddlers, or where several different paddlers might be sharing gear.


Stohlquist Spectrum

Stohlquist Spectrum

Floatation: 16 lbs. 8 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Spectrum is lacking the features which would make it a more advanced PFD, but just because it’s a basic recreational jacket, doesn’t stop it being a really comfortable and well designed piece of gear.


Stohlquist Escape

Stohlquist Escape

Floatation: 16 lbs. 2 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Escape is a full body, low profile PFD which is so figure hugging that you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing it. This recreational, full panel PFD is a minimalist design, which gives you loads of freedom and comfort without intruding on your paddling experience.


Stohlquist Ebb

Stohlquist Ebb

Floatation: 16 lb. 4 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Ebb is one of the company’s most popular PFDs and is billed as an economic alternative to the Trekker. The Ebb has been steadfast among the range, but has been updated with the graded sizing to give you the best fit possible.


Stohlquist Melody

Stohlquist Melody

Floatation: 16 lbs. 4 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

The Melody is a female specific, broad fit PFD. This is essentially a smaller, female cut version of the Onsa. It’s a simplistic, comfortable and adaptable PFd that fits a wide range of paddlers, making it the perfect choice for those who share their kit, or who want a spare PFD for visitors or family.


Stohlquist Misty

Stohlquist Misty

Floatation: S: 16 lbs. M: 16 lbs. 8 oz. L: 17 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Misty is the female version of the Coaster model. It features the same thin, malleable foam and highly comfortable design, but in a different range of graded sizes. The Misty retains the high quality design and comfort of the Coaster, but is a far better fit for female paddlers.


Stohlquist Edge

Stohlquist Edge

Floatation: S/M: 15 lbs. 8 oz. L/XL: 16 lbs. 8 oz. 17 lbs. 8 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Side zip

Stohlquist Edge is a low profile whitewater PFD which is perfect for beginners who want the freedom to paddle easily. The small footprint and graded sizing means you don’t have any more foam than you truly need. This allows the Edge to conform to your body and wrap closely to you, giving you a comfortable fit that doesn’t inhibit your paddling.


Stohlquist Piseas

Stohlquist Piseas

Floatation: 16 lbs. 12 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Piseas is a budget-friendly fishing PFD. Despite its affordable price, it is a great combination of a comfortable PFD and a usable fishing vest. The half-back design with a mesh lower half and open sides give the Piseas plenty of ventilation, so you can keep cool on the water.


Stohlquist Flo

Stohlquist Flo

Floatation: 16 lbs. 2 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

With a high mesh back and a comfortable, adjustable female fit, Stohlquist Flo is an economic alternative to the Cruiser model. The outer of the Flo is made from sturdy ripstop nylon, while the inner mesh design wicks away perspiration and keeps you feeling fresh.


Stohlquist Cruiser

Stohlquist Cruiser

Floatation: 16 lbs. 12 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Cruiser is a highly breathable, ventilated women’s PFD designed for touring and sit-on-top kayaking, where the common high backed seats can make the full-back PFDs uncomfortable.


Stohlquist Fisherman

Stohlquist Fisherman

Floatation: 16 lbs. 12 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

The workhorse of the range, the Stohlquist Fisherman PFD is designed for serious anglers who want a vest which will not only be comfortable and cooling to paddle in, but which will give them maximum workspace.


Stohlquist Canyon

Stohlquist Canyon

Floatation: Adult: 26 lbs. Youth: 20 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type V
Entry system: Front buckle.

Stohlquist Canyon is a commercial grade PFD, designed for whitewater rafting and kayaking in the most demanding environments. This is pure floatation. The Canyon is a no-frills, easy to use, secure vest which will keep you or your customers safe in big rivers and raging torrents.


Stohlquist Canyon Youth

Stohlquist Canyon Youth

Floatation: 20 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type V
Entry system:  Front buckle.

Stohlquist Canyon Youth is a high float PFD designed for commercial whitewater boating and rafting. It’s an extremely low-profile, high mobility vest that offers big buoyancy for big water. A terrific fit for petite and younger boaters alike – perfect for teens and tweens.


Stohlquist Cadence

Stohlquist Cadence

Floatation: S/M: 16 lbs. L/XL: 16 lbs. 8 oz. XXL: 17 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Cadence is an entry level, recreational PFD, designed with a slightly wider than average footprint. The broader design allowed Stohlquist to make the Cadence thinner and more conforming, so it wraps more snugly around your body and offers maximum comfort.


Stohlquist Trekker

Stohlquist Trekker

Floatation: 16 lbs. 12 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Trekker is remarkably similar to the Cadence on first glance. Turn it around, however, and it’s a whole different beast. The Wrapture torso system is an advance on the normal set up that Stohlquist use. It pulls the front panels even tighter around your torso, leaving you maximum movement to paddle comfortably.


Stohlquist Cruiser

Stohlquist Cruiser

Floatation: 16 lbs. 12 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Cruiser is a highly breathable, ventilated women’s PFD designed for touring and sit-on-top kayaking, where the common high backed seats can make the full-back PFDs uncomfortable.


Stohlquist Glide

Stohlquist Glide

Floatation: XS/S: 16 lbs. M/L: 16 lbs. 8 oz. Plus: 17lbs.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front Zip

Stohlquist Glide is the female-specific version of the Cadence model. This PFD utilizes the same larger footprint and thinner foam design but has a different graded sizing to the Cadence as well as built in, sculpted cups for increased comfort.


Stohlquist Keeper

Stohlquist Keeper

Floatation: 16 lbs. 8 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Keeper PFD utilizes the same high quality construction and comfort as Stohlquist’s recreational and touring PFDs, but with the additions of fishing specific features. This is an excellent, year round fishing vest.


Stohlquist Betsea

Stohlquist Betsea

Floatation: 16 lbs. 10 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Betsea is a female-specific touring PFD. Similar to men’s Drifter, this is a highly functional, comfortable vest which focuses on freedom of movement.


Sohlquist Rocker

Stohlquist Rocker

Floatation: 16 lbs. 8 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Offset front zip

Stohlquist Rocker is the ideal low profile PFD for whitewater or SUP paddlers. This is one of Stohlquist’s most popular PFDs, loved for the simplicity of the design. By centering all of the bulk around the waist, you maximize upper body movement and freedom. This is a great choice of PFD for a freestyle river paddler who can’t afford to miss a stroke.


Stohlquist Descent

Stohlquist Descent

Floatation: 17 lbs.
USCG Rating: Type V
Entry system: Side zip

The Descent is Stohlquist’s ultimate rescue vest, designed for the steepest creeks and tightest situations. Most of the buoyancy, and bulk, are centred around your midriff, keeping you well protected and giving you loads of floatation, while also keeping your arms free to paddle.


Stohlquist Drifter

Stohlquist Drifter

Floatation: 16 lbs. 10 oz.
USCG Rating: Type III
Entry system: Front zip

Stohlquist Drifter is a low profile PFD which offers all day comfort and movement. With hand bevelled foam and a Wrapture shaped torso, the Drifter pulls in closely to fit your body and move with you. Extra wide arm holes prevent any chafing under your arms.


Tom Kilpatrick avatar

Moose started his paddling life on the ponds and rivers in the South-East of England. He has slowly worked his way north and has spent the last few years paddling in Scotland, both with friends and as a canoe guide. A very experienced and knowledgeable coach and guide across Scotland and the rest of the UK, he spent a summer in Norway and a month in Nepal. He is also a cofounder of PaddleMore.co.uk.

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