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Bring Your Own PFD to Kayak Pittsburgh

Did you know you can wear your own Personal Floatation Device (PFD) when you’re out on the water with Kayak Pittsburgh? 

To decrease the number of users for each jacket, patrons are able to bring their own PFDs to wear while kayaking! Before getting out in the water, a Kayak Pittsburgh staff member will inspect your PFD to make sure it meets the same requirements as the ones Kayak Pittsburgh supplies. The PFD must have a legible label that has not rubbed off for staff members to make sure it is coast guard approved. If your Personal Floatation Device does not meet the requirements, don’t sweat it! We will provide you with one of our own jackets.

To check that your PFD is acceptable, read over the details in the jacket label to make sure the PFD meets these requirements:

  • US Coast Guard approved, unaltered, wearable jacket in good condition
  • Appropriately sized
  • Non-Inflatable 
  • Minimum buoyancy (adult): 15.5 lbs
  • PFD must be properly tightened and zipped up at all times
  • Safety Whistle (may be able to provide you with a whistle on-site)

*We provide class Type III Personal Floatation Devices, but will still accept Type I and Type II ones as well as long as the jackets are USCG approved and fit properly.

Types of PFDs

Photo courtesy of Discover Boating

Type I

These devices are considered to be off-shore jackets that are for any area where rescue can be slow in coming. They are best for all waters, the open ocean, rough seas, and remote water.

Type II

Includes near-shore buoyant vests that are usually worn where general boating activities are going on in calm inland waters that make it easy for a fast rescue.

Type III

These PFDs are the best flotation aids for general boating or any specialized activities such as kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, etc. They are great for places that have calm inland waters with a better chance for a quick rescue.

PFDs for Children

Need help finding the right size Personal Floatation Device for your child? Here are the youth PFD specifications:

PFD SIZE                WEIGHT                CHEST SIZE

Youth                       50-90lbs                    26-29in

Child                        30-50lbs                    20-25in

Infant*                  Less than 30lbs            16-20in

*Not applicable – below our minimum weight requirement

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