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My daughter (age 6) just reached the minimum weight for a "real" PFD. The Bob PFD has adjustable straps over the shoulders, around the torso, and around the waist to allow for firm, snug fit. My daughter loves the attached whistle and enjoys showing fellow paddlers how she "stores" it in the elastic loop on the shoulder of the PFD. The mesh vent in the back helps keep her cool and the Velcro pocket in the front is great for storing all the rocks and shells she collects on our paddles. (Also love that there are loops in place in the front and back to run a crotch strap through on the PFD for when she moves into whitewater paddling.)
The only downside for me is that the buckles around the torso and waist are very stiff, which means my daughter cannot take off the PFD by herself. (Maybe this was the manufacturers intent to assure that younger kids don't strip out of their PFD when they get hot, but for me, if my child is old enough to be paddling, then she needs to be able to get in and out of her PFD, as well as adjust her PFD for safety on her own.
One important note is that this PFD goes on over the child's head, unlike her baby PFDs which zipped up the front. Over-the-head isn't necessarily a problem, but this means hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen all have to go on after the PFD is put on, otherwise the front neckline of the PFD builds up a stick residue of dirty sunscreen from being pulled across the face and over the head.
Reviewed by: Anne Anthony from San Diego, California.
We saw this pfd at last years canoecopia and wanted to purchase it but there was only one left and it was for display. Our daughter just reached the minimum size to wear it and we are looking forward to the spring canoeing season to try it out. well built-great fit- fun pocket and whistle for the kids. Sure to be a hit. Nice snug but unobtrusive fit.
Reviewed by: Brook from putnam IL.